This Custom-Painted SCOTT Scale Limited Was Ahead of its Time
SCOTT Sports has been at the carbon fiber game for quite a while. Their 1995 release of the Endorphin carbon fiber mountain bike caused a serious stir in the MTB world, as its elevated stays and carbon frame were emblematic of an era where mountain biking tech was still taking shape. This 2010 SCOTT Scale Limited (or LTD) mountain bike might just be 14 years newer, but it is also a serious leap ahead and this demonstration of carbon fiber technology deserves to be celebrated. Fortunately, this bike received the new lease on life it deserves. The SCOTT Scale is an XC hardtail mountain bike mainstay for its low weight, agile handling, and performance on the World Cup circuit. And while carbon fiber may not be as sophisticated then as it is now, the basics of this bike are no slouch. The LTD seen here seems to be a 2010 model using what they called HMX Net Fiber to construct the frame. Logoing is a bit different on this bike and not necessarily period-correct but is done up beautifully. The logos are hand-painted in this case and are a fantastic accent to the deep Navy Blue Metallic paint. Again, not a stock color, but certainly appropriate for its use. Also notable here is the Rockshox SID Team fork. Like the Scale, the SID fork (an acronym that means Superlight Integrated Design) is a winning design in its own right. At the time, the SID was the most successful suspension fork on the WC cross-country circuit. Overall weight for this fork is just a touch under 1500 g, a terrific number for something with 32 mm stanchions, even with 26" wheels. Early suspension forks were anything but stiff, and while it won't be confused for a rigid fork when cornering, the SID was a bit of a revelation at the time. Complementing the repainted frame and fork is a smattering of new and old. I dig the Stan's ZTR Podium MMX wheels; Stan's NoTubes dominated the tubeless sealant market then just as they do today. Part of that is the sealant, but part of it is also pushing the newest in innovative rim design; their minimal bead hooks, internal channel profiles optimized to keep a tire's bead in place, and shorter-than-normal sidewalls were a precursor to the hookless bead rims we see today. Besides being optimized for tubeless tires, this rim profile meant the tire could better conform to the terrain, avoid the pinch flats that come with tubes, and cut the weight associated with tubes. Additionally, the rim itself was lighter, had lower rolling resistance, and had improved resistance to denting. This rim specifically was a race-ready rim that weighed an incredible 284 grams, the lightest rim in production at the time. Like the fork, this is period-correct goodness that was ahead of its time.
In contrast to the frame and fork is the lightweight Shimano XTR M9000 drivetrain and brakes, which combine to provide precise shifting and tons of braking power. There's also a Rockshox Reverb dropper post, Shimano XTR Trail pedals, a carbon bar and Syntace stem, and modern Maxxis Ardent Race MTB tires. All said and done, this bike weighs in at 20.3 lbs with pedals, exceptionally light for 2010, and lightweight even today. Now, we get that 29er wheels are the de facto choice for any serious adult mountain biker looking at XC bikes like the SCOTT Scale. But what if you're not even a teenager? In that case, 26" wheels make plenty of sense and breathe life into what has become a forgotten wheel size. And it isn't like 26" wheels are trash; like Michael Jordan wearing Nike and Jordan, this is the bike that propelled Nino Schurter into the eight-time World Cup winner that he is today.
Have any questions about the SCOTT Scale, or about SCOTT mountain bikes in general? Give us a call, visit our bike shop in Salt Lake City or Park City during business hours, or send us an email any time to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos by Alvin Holbrook