Over my 10 years of going to Interbike, I’ve become quite the trail and bike snob. It’s a great opportunity to ride bikes you’d never get a chance to ride otherwise, so I’m spinning around Bootleg on $6000+ mountain bikes having a blast. But sometimes, it’s great to step onto an “everyman’s bike” just to see how technology has progressed. While 29ers aren’t yet for everyone, I’m going to put my hat in the ring, along with Matt Pacocha of VeloNews and promote the death of the 26er hardtail. And, the one to start the demise of the 26er hardtail could very well be the 2010 Scott Scale 29er.

About the 2010 Scott Scale 29er

I posted about the new Scott Scale 29er a few months back, but didn’t have much information on it at that time… just a photo with some sketchy details. Well, when I got the details from ScottUSA’s Adrian Montgomery, it all became clear. As Scott’s first foray into the 29er market, they decided that they wanted to attack the entry-level market with a killer-looking and performing bike at an amazing pricepoint. Well, I was in disbelief when he said the MSRP would come in at $1649. To get it to that price, the parts spec is pretty pedestrian, but the frame, fork and wheels are solid.

Scott Scale 29er Review

Here are a few specs on the test rig (they vary slightly from production):

  • Hydroformed tubeset
  • Slightly curved seat tube for improved tire clearance and shorter chainstays/wheelbase
  • Trail-friendly geometry
  • DT Swiss 485D wheelset
  • Rockshox Reba SL fork w/remote lockout (100mm)
  • Avid Elixir S brakes
  • Schwalbe Racing Ralph 2.25 tires
  • Weight: 26.21 lbs
  • MSRP: $1649

Scott Scale 29er Review

Scott Scale 29er Review

Scanning over the Scott lineup at the demo, the Scale 29er was tops on my list–even before I knew it was a budget-friendly spec. Just in time, the 29er appeared and Adrian gave me the lowdown. As Scott’s first 29er, this one is poised to take advantage of the current 29er wave by offering a knockout pricepoint with a solid bike. Going over the frame details, it has all the makings of a great bike with hydroformed tubes and trail-friendly geometry. Even the paintjob is stunning–not your typical $1500 rig as far as looks go.

Slipping out on the trails, I was quickly reminded why the 26er hardtail should die a slow death… 29ers just make everything smoother and faster. This bike was an effortless climber and just felt comfortable. It felt like a great bike with the ability to rail corners and maintain speed in a way only 29ers can.

I was able to power up some good terrain and climb anything I wanted. And when the trail turned downhill and the turns made their way down the desert singletrack, the Scale 29er felt poised and comfortable. This bike is a well-executed entry into the market… hopefully the future holds a carbon 29er from Scott because that would truly make this bike that much better.

Scott Scale 29er Review

Scott Scale 29er Review

Good Scale 29er

  • Comfortable trailbike
  • Well-mannered and smooth
  • Great looking overall package
  • Amazing pricepoint means easy entry into 29er land
  • Well-executed aluminum frame with solid geometry
  • Fast and fun

Bad Scale 29er

  • Entry-level parts
  • With Scott’s carbon expertise, I’d expect a carbon frame option

Bottom Line: Scott Scale 29er

This bike has a ton of potential and at a killer pricepoint to boot. If you’re thinking hardtail, skip right past the 26ers and look on over at the new Scale 29er–you’ll be hard-pressed to find this much quality, value and fun on the market today.

More Info: Visit ScottUSA.com

About Author

A Seattle native, Jason developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 --sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.


  1. Yeah, you’re really sticking your neck out predicting the death of the 26″ hardtail. Nobody in the industry saw that one coming.

    FWIW, Gary Fisher has been making entry level 29er hardtails at that price point for years. I don’t see how putting a Scott badge on a similar aluminum frame makes it special in any way. If anything, Scott is playing catch up with Fisher, Niner, Specialized, Marin, Haro, Felt, Orbea, and pretty much every other manufacturer that got into the 29er game way before they did.

    Maybe if Scott made a carbon frame 29er that was somehow better than the Superfly it might be worth taking note. But as it stands, your review and my response are probably more attention than yet another aluminum 29er deserves.

  2. Good points and feedback… I was trying to locate that article that you linked to late last night when I posted this. Thanks for posting it.

    You are correct on the other players in the market and yes they are playing catch-up, but this bike rides great and frankly feels more comfortable than a higher-end Felt I rode a couple of years back. I still think the price is solid for what you’re getting. And, those who like Scott’s offerings, this is something they can latch onto.

    It’s a great bike with some other solid competition, you’re correct. We’ll see how it all pans out… I’m stoked that Scott seems to have nailed it for their first try. Now onto that Scott carbon 29er… someday!

  3. What size Scott 29er did you test? I’m 5’9 and was thinking of going towards the Small size.



    • I’ll have to look back through my notes to see if I wrote that down. I can’t find the geometry on Scott’s Web site… hang tight until tomorrow and I can hopefully dig that info up for you.

  4. @Michael… That would be a killer deal, indeed. However, I believe that Scott bikes are excluded from the 20% member discount. It is only available on Novara-branded bikes. Sorry to burst your bubble there.

  5. I test drove this bike today along with a Haro and a 26 inch scott. No comparison at all, the 29er was a much easier ride especially for someone who stands 6’4′ as I do.

  6. Pingback: First Look: 2011 Scott Scale 29 Carbon - FeedTheHabit.com

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