PINKBIKE FIELD TEST
SCOTT RANSOM 900 TUNED
The bike’s 64.5° head angle means that it’s a comfortable descender. When you consider the long wheelbase too, it’s clear what sort of riding this bike is aimed at.
Words by Paul Aston, photography by Trevor Lyden
2019 marks the return of the Ransom. It used to be Scott’s do-it-all bike back in 2009 before enduro became its own discipline. It rocked 160mm of travel, tipped the scales at around 30lbs and had a funky looking pull shock system dubbed the “Equalizer”.
With the Genius happily taking its place as the trail bike in Scott's range, this leaves the Ransom to fill the gap between that and the Gambler downhill bike. With 170mm of travel front and rear and 29" (or 27.5+ wheels), the new Ransom blurs the boundaries between enduro, freeride and downhill but climbing still receives a nod with the TwinLoc system.
Ransom 900 Tuned Details
Travel: 170mm front and rear
Wheel size: 29" or 27.5" (700 Tuned)
Frame construction: carbon
Head angle: 64.5º
Chainstay length: 438mm
Sizes: S, M, L, XL
Weight: 29.10 lb / 13.20 kg (size L)
Price: $7,500 USD
More info: www.scott-sports.com
The geometry is modern but arguably still slightly conservative, considering its intentions (and the similar numbers found on its trail brother, the Genius), with a 64.5° head angle, 467mm reach on our size large, 438mm chainstays and a 75° seat angle.
This 900 Tuned model features a Fox 36 FIT4 fork, SRAM X01 Eagle 12-speed drivetrain, Code RSC brakes, and wheels and finishing kit from Syncros to arrive at the $7500 USD price. Climbing
As a 170mm travel enduro race bike, the Ransom has well thought out geometry for climbing and Scott’s own TwinLoc system makes the suspension sit up in its travel in climb mode.
That said, it still climbed better after I had adjusted the seat so that it was as forward as possible and angled the nose down to help get my weight further forward on the uphills, which suggests that the seat angle could be steeper. Unfortunately, the TwinLoc system still keeps the fork high in its travel. It does tilt the bike forwards slightly but would climb even better if the rear end rode higher and the fork sagged more.
I found the bike’s rear suspension supportive in open mode, which is surprising considering Scott’s choice to spec all of their bikes with the TwinLoc system. There's a bit of shock movement if you're standing up and cranking with the shock in the fully open mode, but nothing too
crazy, and it was more than acceptable on all but the smoothest of climbs I took the bike on. Plus, the additional levels of traction really helped when things were exceptionally steep or rough.Descending
The bike’s 64.5° head angle means that it’s a comfortable descender. When you add the long wheelbase to the mix, it’s clear to see what sort of riding this bike is aimed at. I do feel that the ride would have been enhanced with even more aggressive geometry and it would have been nice to see a slacker head angle, which would increase the bike’s stability even further. Yes, considering their Genius trail bike, that has 150mm travel and a 65º head angle, is not an enduro bike it would have been nice to see another degree knocked off the head angle to get it into real downhill bike territory.
Although there are plenty of arguments either way for fork offset, I found that the lower 44mm offset number really helped with the bike’s steering stability in high-speed situations, particularly when there were lots of uneven smaller bumps, such as natural roots and rocks that fed back their input into the bike’s bars. Equally, the bike didn’t feel especially twitchy, and I liked the feeling of needing to make positive inputs to change the bike’s direction.