Scott introduces the all-new Scale – a hardtail mountain bike with a world cup winning pedigree

Scott Scale RC
(Image credit: Scott)

It was in 2009 when a young Nino Schurter won the mountain bike World Championships in Canberra, Australia, his first elite World Championship title. In August 2021 in Val di Sole, Italy, I had the honor to shoot and watch Nino winning his ninth title. The bike he rode then and the bike he rides now – the Scott Scale. Scott's aim then as it is now, to deliver the fastest bike possible.

Working together with Nino and former women's world champion, Kate Courtney, along with their Scott-SRAM Racing Team teammates, the focus for the Scale was to deliver a bike capable of being one of the best xc hardtail mountain bikes on the market.

Nino winning on Scott in Val di Sole

Nino wins his ninth at Val di Sole (Image credit: Paul Brett)

Nino gave his thoughts on the new Scale RC. "The new Scale RC supports my riding style well and the direct handling feels great on technical sections and turns smoothly. It offers me more direct momentum when hitting steep ascents or when I need to sprint on the flat."

With Kate Courtney stating, "The Scale shares a similar geometry with my full-suspension Spark RC, I’m able to easily switch between both without an adjustment period. This option of switching seamlessly to the Scale RC for fast XC loops provides me with confidence for the coming season.”

With the new Scale promising a perfect blend of stiffness, lightweight and carbon expertise. We delved deeper into the details of new the Scale features.

Kate Courtney winning on Scott

Kate Courtney winning on the Scott Scale (Image credit: Scott)

Design

Scott aims to deliver perfection with the Scale and having the expertise and knowledge of world champions like Nino and Kate to work along with their SCOTT-SRAM Racing Team teammates, it's a fountain of knowledge to tap into and they hope to have designed a bike to compete anywhere from local XC rides to World Cup tracks.

In their search for the holy grail in a bike: perfection, Scott has focussed on the essentials with a straightforward design that balances the bike’s DNA and hopes to achieve aggressive handling on descents and corners without compromising climbing performance. The Scale certainly looks distinctive and aggressive but is it a claimed 'new breed of XC bike'?

Geometry

As Kate Courtney mentioned, the geometry of the new Scale has been inspired by Scott's World Championship-winning full-suspension race bike, the Spark RC, and adapted to suit the characteristics needed for a thoroughbred XC hardtail. 

With years of feedback from world-class riders they have fine-tuned the Scale's geometry and hope to have pinpointed exact requirements for optimizing riding position and handling for a wider group of riders on a variety of terrains.

All four sizes (from small to extra-large) feature a head tube angle of 67.9 degrees, which is slacker than the 69.5 degrees on the previous model and should provide more aggressive handling while descending.

Seat tube angles are kept virtually the same through the sizes at 75.4 degrees and is 1.8 degrees steeper than the previous Scale.

The chainstay length remains the same as the previous model at 425mm across the range of frame sizes, with Scott not adopting for proportional geometry on the Scale.

Close up image of the Scott Scale's design

Scott aims to deliver perfection with the Scale (Image credit: Scott)

Carbon Engineering

Showcasing over 30 years of carbon expertise and development and their strive to lead the way through innovation. Scott states the Scale is a showcase of carbon craftsmanship, that balances the characteristics of different carbon fibers and creates a specific mix for each part of the bike and allows the materials to do what they are meant to do. 

The Scale's monocoque construction enables a production using only one mold for the main section of the bike, the front triangle. And the entire bike consists of only three separate pieces molded together that has decreased the overall weight of the Scale but kept the stiffness required in a hardtail race bikes.

Scott Scale

The entire bike consists of only three separate pieces (Image credit: Scott)

Weight reduction

Throughout the range, Scott claims to have hit the sweet spot in advancing the Scale by reducing weight without compromising strength and stiffness and still ticking the boxes with the right amount of compliance. They have focused on the marginal details and they say it makes a real impact on you as a rider and the performance of the bike.

The Scale RC frame is lighter across all variants according to Scott, with the HMF being 126g lighter at 1,013g, and the HMX 57g lighter at 912g, compared to the previous models.

Impressively, hardware weight has been almost halved, from 82g previously to 45g in total (HMX-SL model) and has been achieved by reducing the use of metal inserts throughout. 

An example of weight saving is in the newly designed dropout featuring an advanced and hollow construction. That enables the lightest possible construction approach and a clean-looking design that shaves off 7.5g and a narrower construction of the rear triangle area, which in turn enables another reduction of 20g in this area of the frame.

The new weight saving bottle cage inserts on the Scott Scale

Reducing the use of metal inserts saves weight throughout. (Image credit: Scott)

Frame Technology

Scott has added a host of new or improved additions to the Scale frame – including a small service door, accessible through a downtube cover that allows easy access to the interior of the frame without the need to remove the bottom bracket, having used a similar service door in the Spark, it allowed maintenance and adjustment of the suspension super easy and should deliver the same on the Scale in regards to cable routing.

Another interesting addition is the removal of metal inserts (including bottle cage inserts) and replacing them with much lighter polymer versions. They can be plugged completely, sitting flush on the frame and are claimed to eliminate potentially vulnerable points as these are easily replaceable in the event of a damaged thread. With no additional tools required, plugs and inserts are easily set up and they enhance the overall clean design.

The chain guide has also been simplified to sit flush against the frame and offers the most minimalistic construction. When not in use the bracket held against the inside of the frame can be easily removed and the aperture can be covered completely with a smart plug again offering a clean design.

Scott's attention to detail on occasionally overlooked areas are a welcomed, useful and practical addition and is found in all carbon frame options of the Scale RC – HMX-SL, HMX and HMF.

the service door of the Scott Scale

The service door on downtube allows for easy access (Image credit: Scott)

Cockpit upgrades

The 2023 Scale features an all-new Fraser iC combo from Syncros. Their designers have worked on the shape to allow the cables to flow under the bar and around the sides of the stem before disappearing into the headset with integrated plastic parts aimed to keep the look clean and efficient. This avoids bends or kinks in the cables and provides a minimalist front end. 

You can also Scale adjust the head angle by 0.6 degrees slacker or steeper. This can be done without cutting cables or bleeding brakes. All you do is disassemble the bar, rotate the headset cups 180 degrees, and reassemble.

The Scott Scale cockpit

The clean and minimalist front end of the Scott Scale  (Image credit: Scott)

The Scale range

The Scale will come with a selection of different models featuring the high-end Scale RC (Racing Concept) as well as a range of Scale models featuring different carbon layups and alloy versions, including four dedicated Contessa women-specific Scale models.

The Scott Scale

The Scale will come in various models  (Image credit: Scott)

Scott Scale RC SL

  • Fork: Fox Factory 32 FIT4 100mm
  • Drivetrain: SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS
  • Brakes: Trickstuff Piccola
  • Wheels: Syncros Silverton SL2-30 CL
  • Tires: Maxxis Rekon Race
  • Price: £13,999 / $13,999

Scott Scale RC World Cup Evo

  • Fork: RockShox SID SL Ultimate 100mm
  • Drivetrain: SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS
  • Brakes: Shimano XTR M9100
  • Wheels: DT Swiss XRC1200 CL
  • Tires: Maxxis Rekon Race
  • Price: £8,299 / $9,999

Scott Scale RC World Cup

  • Fork: RockShox SID SL Select+ 100mm
  • Drivetrain: SRAM X01 Eagle AXS
  • Brakes: SRAM Level TLM
  • Wheels: DT Swiss XRC15016
  • Tires: Maxxis Rekon Race
  • Price: £6,499 / $7,499

Scott Scale RC Team

  • Fork: RockShox SID SL RL 100mm
  • Drivetrain: Shimano XT
  • Brakes: Shimano XT M8100
  • Wheels: Syncros Silverton 2.0
  • Tires: Schwalbe Racing Ray (front), Schwalbe Racing Ralph (rear)
  • Price: £2,999 / $3,499

Scott looks to have released an exciting addition to their range in the all-new Scale and you can read our Scott Scale RC SL review and discover the full collection over at Scott with all specs, availability and pricing.

Paul Brett
Staff writer

Based in Edinburgh, Paul Brett is a staff writer for BikePerfect.com. He has been an avid cyclist for as long as he can remember, initially catching the mountain biking bug in the 1990s, and raced mountain bikes for over a decade before injury cut short a glittering career. He’s since developed an obsession for gravel riding and recently has dabbled in the dark art of cyclocross. A fan of the idea of bikepacking he has occasionally got involved and has ridden routes like the North Coast 500, Scotland and the Via Francigena (Pilgrim Route), Italy.


An award-winning photographer, when not riding a bike, he can be found at the side of a cyclocross track or a downhill mountain bike world championship shooting the action. Paul has been the founder, editor and senior writer for Proper Cycling magazine that has seen him travel the world interviewing some of the biggest names in mountain biking and writing about some of the biggest cycling brands.


Rides: Scott Spark RC Team Issue, Bergamont Grandurance Elite, Standert Kreissäge Team Edition


Height: 176cm


Weight: 85kg