Words by: Ryan Palmer
Photos by: Anthony Smith
The day before the circus that is the Sea Otter Classic began, we had the opportunity to show up early to check out Scott’s new 650b hardtails, the Scale 710 and 740. The carbon 710 will be priced at $4,300 with a full Shimano XT double build kit, while the SLX and Deore equipped, aluminum Scale 740 comes in at $2,400. Plus, Scott will be making 25 limited edition Nino Schurter replica Scale 700 frames that will have slightly different geometry and a BB30 bottom bracket shell instead of the BB92 used on the other models
After not having ridden a hardtail in a while, the first few minutes aboard the Scale were a bit tumultuous. Once I made it through the first half hour, however, I really began getting a feel for the bike and could start testing its capabilities. More than any other 650b bike I’ve ridden, the wheel size definitely stood out. I was able to take advantage of increased cornering and climbing traction, while being able to hang onto some of the acceleration that smaller wheels offer. The bike definitely impressed me.
While it sounds great that Scott worked on vertical compliance, I was skeptical that I’d be able to detect it considering that I haven’t ridden a hardtail recently for a baseline comparison. Luckily we were able to take both the carbon 710 and aluminum 740 out. After having ridden a lap of our course on the alloy frame, the carbon model felt so much more forgiving, yet also stiffer torsionally at the bottom bracket. After some initial getting used to, the new Scale felt quite comfortable. With its 100 millimeters of travel and 69-degree head angle, it’s definitely a cross country race bike, so the bike didn’t feel overly playful, but it was certainly fast and stable with very capable climbing and descending manners. I would definitely recommend both the Scale 710 and 740 to anyone looking for a solid XC bike.