Scott Scale 50 Review
The Scott Scale 50 is part of a well respected range of lightweight mountain bikes which want to thrill you with their hardtail racing prowess while still giving you a cycling experience which lets you develop your skills and make the most out of your strengths, wherever they may lie. This is essentially a long winded way of saying that it is a great all-rounder.
The Scale Alloy 6061 frame that is the centrepiece of this Scott mountain bike it definitely one of its strong points thanks to custom geometry that is ready for racing and superlight tubing which actually lives up to its name. It is also literally a strong point since it has a stiffness and stableness that is surprising because of its unobtrusive weight, being just 11.4kg. You can wind up the bike to high speeds and never feel like it is holding you back, but the lightness does not mean that it needs to be handled delicately. In fact the assured way in which you can control the bike in any environmental circumstance is a testament to the cohesion of the whole setup.
The RockShox Recon Gold TK Solo Air shock on the front fork will help you roll over rocks and leap off boulders without compromising the carefully accumulated stiffness of the frame. It has 100mm of travel which is more than you will find on other stripped-down racing bikes, but the subtlety of the air shock only adds to its ability to keep you on the right track.
A selection of Shimano components from the SLX and XT ranges comprise the drivetrain and you also get the Shimano M505 Disc brakes at the front and rear which are a step up from those found the lower priced Scott Scale models, whereas the higher priced bikes get Avid Elixir brakes. Like all in the 2012 Scale range, the Scale 50 sits on Schwalbe Rocket Ron Performance tyres, which are complimented by DT Swiss 445d rims, which promise to dole out speed when required without substituting it for inappropriate traction. Lower down the price range, the rims are Alec XC-44’s but the Scale 50 is the first of the higher priced bikes to use the DT Swiss wheels.
On the outside the Scott Scale 50 is well constructed and features white frame and saddle design with black detailing. Because it shares geometry with other bikes in the range it is tougher to tell them apart from afar, but anyone who gets onboard this bike will see where the extra money has gone, compared with the Scale 60 bike. However, it’s slightly harder to understand why the Scott Scale 40 is priced at £350 more. The Scale 40 gets Reba SL forks and Elixir 5S brakes but that’s about it.
The Scott Scale 50 is very much a racing bike designed for enthusiastic riders with aspirations and skills to develop. It has the racing geometry and hardtail setup which will help put you at the front of the pack and yet it is not so specialised as to require the control of an expert off-road rider. It is instead intended to nurture talent on a stable platform which feels like it has room to grow along with you.