ABOUT THE NEW SCOTT RANSOM
For the new Ransom, Scott wanted to update its design to fit in with their current lineup’s identity and appearance, of which the Integrated Suspension Technology featuring a shock that’s nestled within the mainframe of the bike is the most notable feature. But rather than simply giving their Genius All Mountain bike some extra travel, Scott set about optimizing the new Ransom around the longer travel platform as well as they could, resulting in a completely different suspension platform.
FRAME AND FEATURES | The new Scott Ransom continues to provide 170mm of travel on both ends. There’s a pair of 29” wheels fitted as standard, and Scott offers the option to change out the rear wheel to a 27.5” with the use of a flip chip in the lower link, which preserves the geometry aside from a shorter chainstay length to accompany the smaller rear wheel. The carbon fiber front triangle houses the shock inside with a system Scott calls Integrated Suspension Technology, with an access hatch on the bottom of the downtube to allow shock settings to be adjusted. Scott makes use of this port in the underside of the downtube to neatly integrate a spare tube, tire levers, a chain tool and a multitool, keeping you covered for basic trailside repairs.
The layout of the suspension design – with the shock sitting very low and close to the bottom bracket – has a number of claimed benefits. Firstly, it allows for good dropper post insertion depth, allowing for size medium frames to fit 180mm travel dropper posts without issue. There’s a lower Center of Gravity for improved descending performance; and the frame is more structurally efficient with better support around the shock, yielding a stiffer and better aligned frame with less weight needing to be added for reinforcement.
Scott has covered the details on the Ransom frame well, with an integrated sag indicator outside of the frame around the bottom bracket; a headset routed cable system that combines with an angle adjustable headset to let the geometry be tailored to rider preference, and some dialed frame protection on the downtube and chainstays to keep rock strike and chain slap damage and noise to a minimum. Thanks to the design of the frame, there’s plenty of room inside the front triangle for a large water bottle.
SUSPENSION | The Ransom uses a modified version of Scott’s Integrated Suspension Technology, with a 6-bar design used to obtain a number of benefits and solve some issues that may have otherwise been encountered with a standard Horst Link layout as seen on their Genius. The same benefits of their integrated shock are retained, with a low Center of Gravity and good structural efficiency; but the 6-bar design (with a set of tie rods connecting upper and lower suspension links) offered Scott some further possibilities.
First of all, the 6-bar design ensured there was space for everything inside the frame – especially a deep dropper insertion – as well as letting them forego the shock extender as found in their other designs, and fit a bearing to the rear shock mount to improve suspension sensitivity. Another benefit to the suspension performance was the higher degree of tunability Scott obtained, letting them obtain the exact kinematics they desired.
The Leverage Ratio obtained is said to yield great initial sensitivity and solid mid stroke support, with roughly 28% progression over the stroke making it equally suitable for coil or air shocks. Pedaling support gets progressively higher as you move down the cassette, with Anti Squat sitting at roughly 100% at sag in the climbing gears and growing to 140% in the hardest gears. Anti Rise – the influence when braking – sits at a low 60-70% across the travel range, allowing the rear end to move relatively unhindered when braking.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Scott mountain bike without the inclusion of a form of remote suspension control, and so the Ransom is equipped with their Tracloc bar-mounted rear shock adjustment system, which adds two extra levers to the dropper post remote. The custom Fox Float X NUDE Factory EVOL rear shock fitted to all Ransom models offers three modes: Climb, Ramp Control and Descend. Ramp Control closes off part of the shock’s main air chamber to increase shock progression; and Climb adds a high degree of compression damping to this reduced air volume shock state to increase pedaling efficiency further. Descend mode can be tuned with its own compression and rebound adjustments, as you would find on a regular Fox Float X; and the shock shares most of the same architecture and small parts to allow it to be serviced by any Fox service center. If the user does not want to use the Tracloc system, the Ransom is compatible with a wide range of air and coil shocks from a number of brands.
GEOMETRY | Scott has given the Ransom a purposeful and modern Enduro geometry package, with no outlying figures. The Small to XL size range features Reach numbers from 428mm to 508mm with 25-30mm gaps between sizes; which are paired with 615mm to 642mm Stack heights. Consistent across the size range are a 440mm Chainstay length in the 29” wheel setting; 63.8° Head Tube Angle; and 25mm static Bottom Bracket Drop giving a 350mm BB height. Effective Seat Tube Angles steepen slightly from 77° to 77.6° as you move up the size range.
The size Large tested has a 483mm Reach and 633mm Stack; with the Wheelbase totaling 1270mm.
BUILD SPECS | Scott is offering the Ransom in a choice of two different frame materials: a full carbon fiber frame with their top-tier HMX carbon fiber as featured on their 900 RC spec; or the HMF carbon fiber front triangle with 6061 aluminum swingarm that is featured on all other builds, which saves some money at the expense of some gained weight.
Build specs range from the entry level 930 (EU only) at €5,199/£4,499, through to the 900 RC I was fortunate to test at $9,999/€9,999/£8,599. For North America, builds start from the $5,999/€5,999/£5,199 920 Spec. Scott also offers a women’s-specific model in the Ransom Contessa 910.
The 900 RC is equipped with a desirable build spec, but with considerations made to keep it sensible and ready to hit the race circuit. Suspension duties are handled by Fox, with their Factory level 38 170mm fork and the same Float X NUDE Factory shock that’s shared across the range. The groupset is the full SRAM X0 Eagle AXS Transmission, except Scott opted to equip the AXS Rocker shifter opposed to the standard AXS POD. The brakes are SRAM’s Code Stealth Ultimate, with their thicker HS2 rotors to maximize stopping power and heat resistance. The RaceFace Turbine R 30 wheelset is wrapped in a Maxxis Assegai EXO+ MaxxGrip and Dissector DD MaxxTerra combo.
Rounding out the spec is a selection of parts from Scott’s in-house component sister brand, Syncros. The cockpit is an integrated combo with their Hixon iC Carbon bar and stem; and the seatpost is their Duncan dropper with generous lengths across the size range, which is topped with their Tofino 1.5 saddle. Syncros and Acros partnered to produce the Angle adjust and cable routing headset system, offering ±0.6° head tube angle adjustment. Total bike weight tipped the scales at a reasonable 15.6kg/34.4lbs for the size large tested.