So it turns out, that winning the World championship, and taking a Silver medal in the Olympics on a bike that isn’t available to the public can create quite the demand. Such was the case with Nino Schurter’s prototype 650b Scott Scale hard tail that as Scott puts it, “created the demand for 650b.” There is such a demand in fact, that Scott has introduced two “limited edition” 650b Scale hard tails, rather than waiting for the 2014 model year.
As part of the limited edition, there are only two models that will be offered – a carbon 710 and an aluminum 740, each with only one build option. As Sea Otter is just ramping up, we got a chance to weigh in on the new Scales. Full details after the break.
Undoubtedly the star of the Scale 700 launch, is the new Scale 710. Constructed with the same IMP tube to tube carbon fiber technology as other Scott bikes resulting in extremely light and compliant frames. Carbon construction of the Scale 710 was integral to building in Scott’s claim of 4.6mm of vertical compliance (under 1000k load), that is derived from the SDS seats stays – not a flexy seatpost.
According to Scott, tapered head tubes are now standard across the line for all mountain bikes, even cheaper models. Looks like the death of 1 1/8″ mountain bike steerers may soon be upon us. While the brake house routing for the 710 is external, the shift cables are routed internally, sneaking into the frame just behind the head tube.
The rear brake hose follows the downtube to the rear brake, with the extra cable at the front for the Scott Ride Loc for the Fox CTD fork that is similar to their Twin Loc used on full suspension bikes. For the 710 Scale only, the rear dropout uses their IDS-SL dropouts, which in their stock form are configured to 142×12, though they can accept 135×12 or standard quick release rear wheels.
Built with a BB92 press fit bottom bracket, this is one of the few differences between Nino’s bike and the production versions as Nino’s runs a BB30. Also exclusive to the carbon Scale 700 is the direct mount e-type front derailleur.
To get a feel for the new Scale, we rode a few laps with Race Club 11 in the hills surrounding Laguna Seca which were sandy, riddled with braking bumps, and quite fast with few decent climbs including intimidating sounding Hurl Hill. Without a 26 and 29″ identical bike to compare to, it’s difficult to say how much the wheels played into the ride, but at my height (5’8″) I felt much more comfortable on the 710 (medium) than most 29er hard tails I’ve ridden. While I won’t be giving up full suspension any time soon, if I was going for a hard tail, carbon like the 710 would be hard to deny thanks to the incredibly smooth ride it offers. Make no mistake though, the Scale is built to race and the stiffness of the bike illustrates this clearly. While you shouldn’t expect a ground breaking performance difference in the wheels, smaller riders should benefit from the sizing and still retain some of the benefits of the bigger wheels.
Along side of the carbon 710, Scott will also be offering an alloy 740 model with a down speced parts group to bring the price down to $2399 for the complete bike versus $4299 for the complete 710.
As mentioned, the tapered head tube is now standard. All of the cabling for the 740 is external.
The 740 receives a standard 135mm QR rear wheel in lieu of the IDS-SL dropouts on the 710…
.. and while it keeps the BB92 press fit bottom bracket, the direct mount front derailleur is replaced with a standard clamp unit. Also note that with only one part spec per bike, the 710 is shipped with a 38×24 double, where the 740 keeps a standard triple.
Both the 710 and the 740 have post mount rear disc brakes tucked inside of the stays.
Nino Schurter Replica Scale
In addition to the Limited Edition Scale 700s, Scott is also offering an extremely limited edition Nino Schurter replica frame which is exactly like the bike he rode to victory. Just how limited? Well, with only 25 of 200 frames coming to the US, if you haven’t already spoken for one, you may be out of luck. Interestingly with the Nino replica, you will also be getting Nino’s geometry which is different from that on the production Scale 700s:
The Nino replica will only be offered in a medium sized frame, the 710 and 740 will be offered in S-XL.
When asked about the difference between the two geometries, Scott’s marketing man Adrian Montgomery mentioned that geometry for the production bikes needed to be mainstream enough to work with most riders as Nino’s preferred geometry is not the norm.
Other differences for the replica frame include an integrated seat post collar, and the previously mentioned BB30 bottom bracket – which is set up here with Parlee BB30 – Hollowtech II adapters. If you can find a replica frame, you can pick one up for the same price as the complete 740 – $2399.
Set up without pedals, one bottle cage, and fatter Nobby Nics in place of the stock Rocket Rons, the 710 came in just over 23 pounds at 23.02. This was with a complete XT build kit, and aluminum wheels, bar, stem, and post. Claimed weight for a medium 710 frame is 945g.
Weighed without pedals, the correct tires, and one bottle cage, the 740 was roughly two pounds heavier at 25.07. We also weighed the Nino replica, even though there is no complete build spec the way Mark from Scott had it set up with pedals, two cages, and a computer, it was just over 20 lbs.