Scott Bikes 2016: 27.5 Plus steals the show
The Scott Bikes 2016 product launch for North America took place recently at Deer Valley resort in Park City, Utah. There were perfect temperatures for riding and only a few hours of rain during the three days of testing. The bikes included dozens of new or returning, updated models. The Swiss brand brought with them some of their top engineers from Europe to explain the technology and design of their latest offerings. Once at the demo tent, it was the new 27.5 Plus range of bikes which quickly attracted all the attention. Scott Bikes is offering eight Plus-series models across three platforms, for its debut.
These models include dual-suspension Genius Plus, Genius Plus LT (long travel) and a new trail hardtail, Scale Plus. The company is going full-throttle with this technology that brings so much fun, stability and confidence to any level of rider.
Working closely with Schwalbe, Scott found through testing that the 2.8″-wide tire, even with much less tire pressure, had negligible rolling resistance, a 21 per cent larger contact patch and an 8 per cent less chance of pinch flatting than a 2.35″ version. By using SRAM’s Boost hubs for the wheels, which have a 148-mm width at the rear and 110-mm width at the front, designers didn’t have to increase the Q-factor. Shifting performance and chainline was preserved. As well, these plus models can easily accept Boost 29er wheels if you feel that may be more suitable in certain terrain, adding to the versatility of these bikes.
Scott hasn’t ignored the rest of the MTB line with suspension improvements throughout from Fox, new TwinLoc under-bar mounting compatible with 1x systems and some significant weight reductions on their aluminum Scale frames making them the lightest alloy frames at their price point.
Cyclocross riders will be happy to see the new Addict CX, which is made with the company’s mid-tier HMX carbon-fibre composite. The frame is lighter, stiffer and more comfortable than the previous model even with the upgrade to disc brakes and front and rear thru axles. A 54-cm frameset is only 1,250 g. Using a marginally heavier version in HMF carbon and a slightly beefed up fork is the new Addict Gravel Disc bike. Both bikes are designed around a 27.2-diameter seatpost for extra compliance.
Disc brakes and thru axles are now features on the popular Solace endurance road bike. Scott says the Solace is still a formidable race bike with a frame weight still less than 1,000 g, but is also the best option for longer duration rides. While it has a slightly higher bar position and shorter top tube, it is no slouch when climbing or accelerating. When I was faced with rain, I opted to test road bikes instead of the mountain bikes. The 28c tires of the Solace combined with the disc brakes made braking on the slick pavement a non-issue.
The top-tier Addict frames using HMX carbon weigh in at an astonishing 720 g for frame alone, while the HMF framesets used on the lower-end four models are a very respectable 1,220 g including the fork. Road vibrations were only slightly more noticeable than on the Solace. The top two complete bikes come in under 6 kg.
For the time trial specialists or triathletes, the Plasma lineup sees the top-end get Dura-Ace Di2 and Zipp wheels added for this year. These were the only bikes not available to test and I am glad as the test loop was about 8 miles and thousands of feet of descending and climbing tight switchbacks—not an ideal place to test your aero position.
If you want the perfect bike for going off the front of the pack, the new Foil is for you. The previous iteration was fast, but the feedback Scott got was that the frame was a bit punishing. Scott’s engineers came up with a new frameset that is lighter than the previous one by 70 gram, is stiffer by 13 per cent, offers drag savings of 6 W (27 seconds over 40 km at 45 km/h), and is 86 per cent more compliant. I couldn’t detect any difference in comfort to the Addict. And equally important, this bike just looks fantastic. Combined with the new Syncros one-piece aero integrated handlebar/stem system, and its one of the most intimidating aero road bikes out there.
If you are curious about adding an electric assist commuter or e-mountain bike to your fleet, then Scott has you covered with their range of Bosch powered models. The hybrid I tested was extremely user friendly and I could see myself owning one in the near future.