SETUP | Being that the Scott Lumen SL is so far outside the normal riding position for our test team, we had no choice but to adapt and ride this bike the way it ships. We left the one-piece bar/stem installed and kept the headset cups in the steep position to really embrace the spirit of XC. We’re not fans of one-piece cockpits but it seems more and more brands keep releasing them, so we made do. Scott’s bar/stem does have some adjustability compared to other fixed units but we ended up leaving them and focusing more on changing out the grips, which were a bit slippery.
One area that was a bit finicky was the rear shock. Being that it’s hidden under a cover and in a tight spot, it took a little more time to change air pressures, but specifically we found the rebound knob was a bit difficult to engage and discernably feel how big or small or adjustments we were making to the damping.
ELECTRONICS & INTEGRATION | Scott has done a splendid job keeping the Lumen as streamlined and stealthy as possible. In fact it’s probably the least eBike-looking bike we’ve seen, or picked up! The screen in the top tube sits flush and the small TQ remote is easy to use. We also like the quick disconnect bottle cage feature for either the range extender battery or water bottle. And for those who want to use their phone to get into the apps and modify tunes, customize power delivery and check other stats, the Scott and TQ products work well.
MOTOR POWER & RANGE | We’ve learned a lot over the years of testing eBikes and having put together five eMTB Shootouts. One of the things we’ve learned is just how much range and perceived power can vary. Everything from soil compaction to clipless vs flat pedals, tire tread and compounds and overall weight. We bring this up because the Lumen 900 SL is the lightest bike and our testers noticed a bit more range and a slightly sportier feel from the TQ drive unit, especially with the OE spec’d tires compared to the grippy and soft Tacky Chans we installed. But, compared to the 43lb Trek Fuel EXe, which has the same drive unit and battery, ridden by the same rider on the same loop, the Scott would return with anywhere from 5-8% more battery.
Aside from the weight and efficiency gains by the TwinLoc-equipped Lumen, the TQ drive unit is very quiet, only slightly louder than the Fazua Ride 60. It’s also a bit less powerful than the Fazua, delivering 50Nm of torque, which you could feel on the steeper climbs.
CLIMBING | Being that the Scott Lumen is aimed at XC riders, it’s no surprise that it’s the sportiest climber and regularly put down some fast times. Only the Giant and it’s monstrous 85Nm of torque could battle the Scott on general XC, short-track style loops. It does put the rider in a more aggressive, over-the-bars feel, which helps on climbs and while getting aero, but also means a little sketchiness on the downhills. More on that below.
DESCENDING | Sporting a 65.5-degree head tube angle with a long and dropped stem, the Lumen is not built with shred-tastic downhill trails in mind. It’s designed to offer a fast, efficient and lively ride for cross country and trail riders looking to make up time on the flats and climbs. Make no mistake though, we still punished this bike on the trails and sent it off plenty of head-high lips with 15-20 foot gaps and we’re all here to tell the tale. With the bike in the slacker head tube position and some burlier tires, the Lumen is capable of being ridden in a fun and aggressive manner for a 130mm bike, it’s just that we’re not so sure a 130mm eBike is a niche we’d be looking at.
FINISH AND VALUE | Next to the Forestal, the Scott Lumen 900 SL is probably the most impressive-looking bike. The one-piece carbon wheels demand appreciation and the subtle raw carbon and translucent blood red paint with little hints of flake beg you to look closer. We wanted to polish this bike often to keep enjoying the aesthetic vibe. If you’re spending 16-grand on a bike, it better make you excited just looking at it. This bike is one we’d happily hang in the entryway of our theoretical mansion under some decorative lighting.
The Wolf’s Last Word
We’d love to hear our reader’s feedback on if they think the cross-country, short travel SL eMTB category is one that will grow. In our opinion one of the most anti-eBike groups are those very fit and proud XC riders who feel they’ve “earned” it, and so we don’t see them jumping ship and picking up a performance XC-E machine…But maybe we’re wrong!
Genre-assumptions aside, the Scott Lumen eRIDE is a pretty awesome bike for a specific audience. If you regularly ride in knee pads, like pushing the limits on your downhill skills or want to hit steeper trails and bigger jumps, this is not the bike for you. Instead check out the Scott Ransom eRIDE or even the Patron, which are both bikes we love! If however, you are a speed-seeking trail rider who wants to climb, spin and power your way around the more XC-minded trails in your area, this bike rips. It’s fast, fun, lively and executed well. It’s just not the right tool for us.
WHO’S IT FOR?
Either the performance minded XC rider or a general trail rider who wants to have a lightweight, fast, nimble and mountain bike-feeling eBike.
Price: $15,999 (900 SL)