Scott Scale 29 Comp Review

The Scott Scale 29 Comp is a mountain bike at the more affordable end of the market, £850, but despite its value-oriented pricing it is still packed with the features you would expect to find on a far more expensive model. A light frame and hardtail setup should help budding riders fly uphill and take on rough terrain while the geometry is similar to what you will find on the race-friendly siblings higher up the pricing ladder, so the great standover height and large wheels will have you rolling quickly across any surface.

Scott has spent the last few years knocking gram after gram from the weight of the Scale 29 Comp and in 2012, at 13kg, it is the lightest bike to date. The 6061 alloy frame features custom butted tubing and forged race disc dropouts so it is light and very strong, letting you put down power on the slopes and cruise over muddy trails without getting bogged down. The 29 inch wheels help in this respect, absorbing the bumps and helping you maintain a constant speed where bikes with smaller wheels might be less conducive to building momentum.

At the front the Suntour XCR 29 fork with 100mm of travel is on hand to take up the slack when things get really rough and while this is not the most advanced shock in the world its range and stiffness work well together. You have to remember that this is a sub-£1,000 bike, not an expensive MTB. You will never feel like you are wasting energy because the shock is absorbing your forward motion, which can be an issue on some of the more affordable hardtail bikes. It would have been nice to see a more progressive delivery of impact-absorption from the shock, building pressure as the force exerted upon it increases, but for the money it is more than adequate and a great place to begin improving your craft.

The front and rear wheels are kitted out with Tektro Draco disc brakes which are operated hydraulically for improved smoothness compared to mechanical alternatives. This is a braking system that Scott only use on two other mountain bikes, both are Voltage YZ dirt bikes and both are sub-£1,000.

You also get chunky, grippy and yet surprisingly light tyres in the form of the Rocket Ron Active range from Schwalbe. The Shimano drivetrain combines a number of components from this firm’s respected product families; SLX and Alivio, so you can rely on it to deliver slick shifts each time you need to change.

The bike is setup to handle well in most situations, although it is most at home on climbs or when travelling across the flat. Downhill can leave it feeling just mildly skittish, but for most purposes it will be more than adequately planted and easy to control and at this price you will not find a more capable performer.

The black frame of the Scott Scale 29 Comp is etched with red and grey swooshes and it is a well designed, competently constructed bike which should provide hours of fun in the great outdoors. Whether you are going to be getting involved in competitive racing or just having some fun with friends it should serve you well without needing too much attention.

Model: Scott Scale 29
4 / 5 stars
*****