The first SCOTT Ransom revolutionised mountain biking. What you’d expect of every modern enduro bike today was next level shit in 2006. For years, the Ransom had disappeared from the Swiss brand’s portfolio. Now SCOTT has re-released the Ransom in the form of a long-travel 29er. Can the new SCOTT Ransom 900 Tuned once again define an entire bike category?
Almost 13 years ago, SCOTT presented the first Ransom and turned the mountain bike world on its head. Thanks to lightweight construction and adjustable travel at the push of a button, the bike climbed very well despite the ample suspension on offer, uniting opposites without compromise. And even today these are the fundamental ideas behind the concept of the new SCOTT Ransom. First and foremost, you’ve got the variable TwinLock suspension with a remote control.
With 29″ tyres and up to 170 mm of variable travel, you should be able to find the right setup for every trail. To test this out we took the € 7,599 bike on long tours in the Alps and moderate mountain ranges, mastered countless laps in the bike park and made the brake rotors glow on some proper enduro stages.
Scott Ransom 900 Tuned in detail
Regarding design, the new SCOTT Ransom no longer has much in common with its original namesake. Instead, the frame is based on the current Spark and Genius models, which are among the lightest bikes in their class. The new Ransom is also super light, but still promises to achieve similar stiffness values as their downhill bike, the Gambler. SCOTT’s stiffest carbon frame to date is the result of intelligent fibre overlays and reinforcements.
The Ransom can accommodate tyres up to 29″ x 2.6″. Thanks to the FlipChip, it’s also compatible with 27.5+ tyres and wheels. The Horst Link rear linkage and the FOX 36 fork, both provide 170 mm of travel. The developers attached great importance to a tidy appearance and therefore routed all cables internally. The cleverly designed, ribbed chainstay guard and chain guide eliminate all noise from the chain. However, the Ransom isn’t entirely quiet, since at least one of the numerous internal cables tends to rattle, and the cable guide at the main bearing doesn’t always stay in place.
In future, ever more electronics will be used on our bikes, and the SCOTT Ransom is prepared. The Ransom is ready to accommodate both Shimano’s Di2 electronic drivetrain and FOX’s new electronic suspension.
The Spec of the Scott Ransom 900 Tuned
Fork FOX 36 FLOAT Factory FIT4 170 mm
Schock FOX NUDE TR 170 mm
Brakes SRAM CODE RSC
Drivetrain SRAM X01 Eagle
Seatpost Fox Transfer 150 mm
Stem/Handlebar Syncros Hixon iC Rise Carbon 780 mm
Wheelset Syncros Revelstoke 1.5
Tires MAXXIS Minion DHF 29″/27.5″ x 2.6″
Price 7.599 €
Lightweight without compromise, the new SCOTT Ransom Tuned weighs in at just 13.19 kg. A highlight is the futuristic Syncros Hixon IC cockpit, featuring a one-piece stem and handlebar construction. The 780 mm wide carbon handlebar-stem saves up to 100 g in weight compared to a traditional handlebar and stem combo but limits the rider a little in the adjustment possibilities.
The newly developed Syncros Revelstoke 1.5 wheelset is made of aluminium, promising to survive botched lines even at low tyre pressures. The SRAM XO1 Eagle drivetrain takes care of shifting, and SRAM’s Code RSC brakes and Maxxis Minion DHF in 29″ x 2.6″ tyres provide traction.
The geometry of the Scott Ransom
|Seat tube||420 mm||440 mm||470 mm||500 mm|
|Top tube||571 mm||604 mm||635 mm||671 mm|
|Head tube||100 mm||100 mm||115 mm||130 mm|
|Chainstay||438 mm||438 mm||438 mm||438 mm|
|BB Drop||22 mm||22 mm||22 mm||22 mm|
|Wheelbase||1183 mm||1216 mm||1249 mm||1289 mm|
|Reach||406 mm||440 mm||467 mm||500 mm|
|Stack||614 mm||614 mm||628 mm||641 mm|
TwinLoc and Ramp-Adjust
Uphill or downhill, rough or flowing, fast or slow – with the TwinLock system and the Ramp-Adjust shock, the new SCOTT Ransom promises to always offer the right setup for the situation. Twin-who? Ramp-what? With so many adjustment options, it’s easy to get mixed up.
The TwinLock offers three riding modes (Lockout, Traction Control and Descend), which can be selected via a remote on the handlebar. They adjust the compression of the fork and the travel of the rear suspension. In Lockout mode the shock and fork are locked out, making the Ransom super efficient. With the lever set to Traction Control, the fork compression becomes much stiffer and the shock so progressive that the rear suspension offers only 120 mm of travel. This also changes the dynamic geometry of the Ransom; with a raised bottom bracket, steeper seat tube and head angle and less travel, it turns into a light-footed trail bike. In Descend mode, the SCOTT Ransom can exploit its full downhill potential with 170 mm travel front and rear.
These three modes are not the only ones though: in the open Descend mode, a lever on the shock allows you to adjust the progression of the shock further still. The additional adjustment is made possible by three positive air chambers on the FOX Nude TR Evol shock specially developed for SCOTT.
Scott Ransom 900 Tuned on the trail
Climbing, your position on the bike is slightly stretched, though not extremely so. However, the pronounced curve in the seat tube means that tall riders are sat very far above the rear wheel, pedalling from behind. Reaching for the TwinLock lever can help: in Traction Control mode the travel is reduced to 120 mm and with less sag the seat tube angle becomes noticeably steeper and the pedalling position more efficient. Offering plenty of traction, the SCOTT Ransom gets up steep, winding and technical climbs with ease. The rear suspension provides just enough traction when going over obstacles without bobbing or being noticeably inefficient. In Lockout mode, the suspension is completely locked out, but because of the reduced traction, this only makes sense on asphalt, unable to convince us on forest roads.
In terms of reach and stack, the developers have not imposed any extreme dimensions on the Ransom, so that you are neither overly stretched nor cramped. They have given the Ransom a low bottom bracket and a relatively slack head angle of 64.5°. Your position as the rider is integrated into the bike, placed centrally between the wheels. In Traction Control mode particularly, this ensures balanced weight distribution and provides a lot of grip on both wheels in corners. In Descend mode, the shock sags into its travel more, which makes the Ransom ride a bit wallowy. In steeper terrain, however, this, in turn, offers a great deal of composure and provides a good distribution of weight.
A Swiss Army Knife is not the best weapon for a knife fight (enduro race), but the ultimate tool for every other kind of adventure!
The 2.6″ wide Maxxis Minion DHF tyres offer loads of grip and confidence in most conditions. In extreme mud and very dusty conditions, however, they may not dig into the ground as well, conveying a spongy ride feel.
With the TwinLock in Descend mode, there are two more riding modes to choose from. With the Ramp-Adjust lever in the linear setting, the rear end reacts sensitively over roots, ruts and rocks. In the open mode, the rear suspension and tyres also generate a lot of traction, even under braking, particularly noticeable on technical trails and at slower speeds.
In the progressive setting, one of the air chambers is closed, thus reducing the volume of the shock, similar to the way volume spacers work. The difference to the linear mode is especially noticeable on fast bike park trails riddled with compressions, jumps and berms. Due to the additional progression, the Ransom sits slightly higher in its travel, better able to absorb successive hits and braking bumps. In this setting, the bike pops out of high-speed compressions and berms with a lot of speed and in a controlled manner.
When things become very fast and technically more demanding, the Ransom lacks composure. Despite the amount of available travel, going flat out isn’t an option in rough terrain, even with the shock in its linear setting. The bike’s character is much better suited to an active riding style: because of the low weight, you’ll be able to jump over obstacles with ease, agile enough to pick and weave your way through rock gardens.
The new SCOTT Ransom sets the bar high and includes a few smart features. Unfortunately, the bike can’t combine the opposites of ultimate climbing and downhill performance without compromise. Enduro-racers, bike park riders, as well as high-speed junkies will want something a little more composed and potent. Those looking for a versatile, light-footed long-travel bike, the Ransom will be a revelation on every outing – not setting record times, but a lot of good times!
– great spec
– partially noisy cables
– lacking composure at the limit
For an overview of all SCOTT Ransom builds head to the next page