Scott Scale 80 Review
The Scott Scale 80 is a hardtail mountain bike which aims to give riders on a budget something that will keep them entertained on tracks and trails without overstretching their finances. But don’t be fooled into thinking this is a cheap bike. The Scale 80 is the entry level bike in the long-line of Scott Scale bikes, a line that stretches from the Scale 80 to the Scale 10 and then onto the RC, Premium and eventually to the £8,800 Scale SL. All-in-all there are 12 bikes in the 2012 Scale range.
The Scale 80 features an alloy frame, supple fork and adjusted geometry to give you great obstacle clearance. Meanwhile its stiff back end lets you steam ahead of your mates or simply have a great time off-road at the weekend. Of course the Scale 80 is heavier than the more expensive carbon frames but at 13.3kg it’s not what I’d call a heavy bike.
The custom butted tubing of the Scale Alloy 6061 frame has become a standard of this range and remains consistent with previous entries, showing that Scott is confident in its capabilities. The frame is light enough to not feel like extra baggage when you get up to speed and it is still strong and stiff in all the right places so that you can accelerate smoothly and never feel like the bike is struggling against your efforts.
Scott Scale 80 Specifications
At the front you get the Suntour XCR LO coil spring fork which has a lockout feature and 100mm of travel. You can get shorter travel bikes at this price point (£700), but anyone who is planning to take on big hits during their typical trail treks will want this extra cushioning available to soak them up. The Scale 80 is the only bike in the range to Suntour, most of the others use RockShox Recon, Reba, SID etc.
The drivetrain is made up of Shimano components and these are finished to a standard that is in keeping with the top reputation of this manufacturer, allowing for fast, slick gear changes that belie the mechanical nature of the technology. Yes, it’s the near-entry level Shimano gear but it’s still Shimano, which I’d take any day over most other components. Front derailleur is Shimano Alivio, the rear is Shimano Deore, and the 27 gears are controlled via the Shimano Alivio Rapidfire shifters.
The brakes at the front and rear of the Scott Scale 80 are from the Shimano M446 Disc range and like the gears these can be manipulated smoothly, responding to the pressure you apply and letting you feel more integrated with the bike. It’s actually a nice ride, made even better by the thought that this is a sub-£1,000 bike. The large 180mm rotor at the front also gives you that extra confidence in the brakes, so you know that they will help you control your speed and direction on tricky surfaces and downhill sprints so that you can push yourself and the bike harder and faster than you might feel comfortable with on lesser models.
The Scale 80 shares the Alex XC44 rims with the Scale 70 and Scale 60, and the Schwalbe Rocket Ron Active tyres with the whole range, right upto and including the Scale 10. This rim & tyre combo are a good pairing, giving you that lightness you need as well as delivering ground-hugging grip and fast rolling speed in fairly equal measure. A Scott Racing saddle is affixed to a Scott Comp seatpost, indicating that this is a bike with the ability to take you out on the competitive track against your mates, as well as simply acting as your leisure time companion.
A simple red and white design scheme gives the frame, fork and rims a touch of excitement and the geometry of the tubing really shows off the potential of the Scott Scale 80. Overall this is a mountain bike which lets you buy into a respected range at a price which might appeal to your frugality. Although it is aimed at the money conscious enthusiasts it is not lacking of features to catch your eye, so as a hardtail mountain bike with Shimano components and disc brakes you will not be disappointed.