The 2019 Scott Ransom 900 Tuned - One Bike To Rule Them All
Originally released in 2006, the SCOTT Ransom all-mountain bike was no stranger to critical acclaim. It was seen as a game changer for it's super lightweight carbon frame, insane 165mm suspension travel, and handlebar-mounted suspension remote. However, when the newest Genius was released for 2018, there was a suspicious hole left in the long travel category. The 2019 SCOTT Ransom fills that hole. Upon first glance, the new Ransom looks awfully like the SCOTT Spark, as well as the trail-ready SCOTT Genius. The Ransom looks very similar in terms of overall layout and build, and significantly different to the complicated lines of it’s predecessor. We had the opportunity to put the new Ransom through its paces at SCOTT HQ in Switzerland, and finally having the Ransom in the shop means we can sweat the details on why the new Ransom is such a quality all-mountain bike. TECH The defining feature of the original Ransom was it’s advanced suspension, and here it continues with SCOTT'S TwinLoc. Like every other application of TwinLoc, there’s three settings: open, traction, and lockout. The traction setting is a game changer in the all-mountain world. It changes rear suspension travel from 170 to 120mm, but it also changes spring and low-speed compression rates as well. This puts the rider in a better climbing position, by steepening head/seat angles by 1.5 degrees, and raising the bb 20mm on a 15% incline. All in, this means less rock strikes and more efficient climbing. Who doesn’t want that? SCOTT didn’t just slap on Twinloc and call it a day. New for 2019 is the Fox NUDE TR shock, which offers a truly-unique ramp adjust switch. Simply put, ramp adjust offers on the fly adjustment between a linear setting and a progressive setting. The linear side closes an air chamber in the shock, a go-to for trails that are rooty, rutted, rocky, or wet. The progressive side gives a more lively and poppier feel, and is the choice for bigger hits and drop offs. The function of this switch is like you’re adding or taking away a volume spacer, except you don’t need to take apart a shock to do it. Besides that, the frame is as cutting-edge as they come. You want strength? SCOTT claims a 2000 lb weight can be hung from the bottom bracket without issues. You want stiffness? The bottom bracket pivot point is nearly 9 mm wider than the equivalent SCOTT Genius frame (and same width as Spark RC). You want protection? There's an integrated downtube protector under the bottom bracket and along the downtube, as well as a seatstay/chainstay protector to quiet the chain as you’re rambling (or blazing) down the trail. All of this comes in at just 2650g for a frame, swingarm, shock and hardware. Like nearly every other SCOTT bike on the market, the Ransom is one of the lightest in its class. The frame is also ready for coil shocks with a piggyback, if that's your jam. The Ransom is appropriately of the times when it comes to geometry. A long but not-unmanageable wheelbase, long reach, and a 44mm offset fork might be en-vogue, but they make for a bike that promises to crush even the gnarliest of descents. It promises to be a stable descender, and in the real world the Ransom is right there. RIDING THE RANSOM Now, there’s a lot of talk about how well the Ransom climbs for a bike with 170mm travel. The tech makes a discernible difference on the trail, and it makes the case for the Ransom as a quiver-killer, at least for those who prefer the chunder to a groomed XC course. However, that’s not really why anyone would ride a bike with this much travel. Ultimately, anyone looking to pick up a SCOTT Ransom for themselves is looking for more traction and control over really loose, technical, and rough surfaces. The Ransom delivers. The bike is roomy in the cockpit, and the slack headtube and 44 mm offset fork makes for a bike that is appropriately confident on descents, but never feels unmanageable like some long-travel bikes can feel. There are times that the Ransom makes you feel like an absolute stud. The suspension travel feels endless, and the excellent shock tune means you that not picking the correct line down the trail doesn’t result in unsavory curse words. Even in the traction setting, the suspension is very active and soaks everything up. What’s remarkable is how the Ransom can do this while feeling like a normal bike. Usually, a long travel bike like this requires a lot of high-speed commitment to get the most out of the bike. Instead, the Ransom is manageable, offers precise handling, and in the right conditions is playful and poppy, words not usually used to describe bikes with 170mm travel. It feels really similar to the Scott Genius, except the extra 20 mm of travel makes a world of difference on the trail, especially when taking in repeated big hits. Positioning is key on a bike like this. Most 170mm travel bikes, especially those with 29" wheels, place the bars high in the sky with big stack numbers. The Ransom has deceptively short stack measurements, which means the Ransom can be set up as aggressive or relaxed as you'd like. There's way more freedom in how you position yourself on the bike than on most other bikes. Along that note, we really like the Syncros Hixon iC Rise carbon handlebar/stem combination. We also realize that the fixed amount of sweep and rise isn’t for everyone, but for those it works for, the bars make a huge difference is the Ransom’s ability to turn in. They complement the new Syncros Revelstoke 1.5 wheelset well, and are surprisingly light for how strong they feel. CONCLUSION Its no secret that we are big fans of SCOTT mountain bikes. The Ransom didn’t disappoint, and if anything it surprised us. Like the original Ransom, it features tech few other long-travel mountain bikes can match; however, it does it in a much more balanced package. Its an eager companion on the mountain, one that will coax you to take that double berm faster, corner harder, and even pedal up the mountain faster. There aren’t many bikes that can match the Ransom Tuned’s all-round competency. This model, the 2019 Ransom 900 Tuned with the Hixon iC SL bars, Fox Factory suspension, and top-spec wheels lists for $7499. However, Ransom starts at just $2999 for the 930 model featuring an alloy frame and a SRAM NX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain. We have the SCOTT Ransom in the shop, ready to take home. Send us an email any time to firstname.lastname@example.org, or give us call during business hours for any questions about the latest and greatest from SCOTT Sports.