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2023 Scott Scale RC hardtail MTB takes weight reduction to new extremes

2023 scott scale MTB in the forest with fog
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By cutting hardware weight in half, rerouting cables more efficiently, and minimizing individually-molded frame pieces, the 2023 Scott Scale RC sheds a lot of weight and introduces some clever new design features.

Designed for those days when Nino Schurter and Kate Courtney don’t need a full suspension bike, the new Scale gets modernized (and adjustable) geometry and fork suspension travel, and yet still comes in lighter than ever…

How Scott saved weight on the new Scale HMX-SL

scott scale hardtails being ridden on a trail

The 2023 Scott Scale comes in three different levels of carbon frames and a heavily sculpted alloy frame that shares much of the same laborious process used to shape the gorgeous alloy Genius trail bikes.

Naturally, the most extreme weight savings comes on the top model, the Scale HMX SL, and those weight savings come in several ingenious ways.

scott scale hollow dropouts cutaway

New hollow dropouts save 7.5g directly, and allow for a total 20-gram savings in the general area because it’s slimmer overall.

scott scale hollow dropouts with axle inserted

The design eliminates the outer structure where the thru-axle enters the non-drive side, letting it clamp directly against the inner wall. A floating washer around the axle’s head prevents damage to the frame. Not only does this save weight, it’s also completely flush.

brake mount on new scott scale

Streamlined rear brake mounts save another 14g.

chain guide flush mount on 2023 scott scale

The chain guide sits flush with the frame, which looks clean and saves a bit of weight, too. When not in use, it can be removed, as can the threaded insert on the inside of the frame, and plugged to save more weight.

closeup details on 2023 scott scale

That insert is accessed through a downtube port that also eases internal brake hose routing and general maintenance.

closeup details on 2023 scott scale

Polymer inserts for bottle cage mounts replace in-molded or bonded metal inserts. This allows for smooth, flush inserts to be used for a cleaner look where the mounts won’t be used, or clip in the polymer mounts (no tools needed) when you want a bottle cage. And those parts are all replaceable should they ever break or get lost.

In total, hardware weight was cut in half, from 82g down to 45g.

monocoque frame cutaway on 2023 scott scale

The new construction uses a monocoque (single-piece) construction for each section of the frame, and there are only two sections – the Stiffness Zone and the Lightweight Zone.

The lower half of the bike is where all of the torque and bending forces are applied, so that was created as a single piece to maximize strength and stiffness by eliminating joints and optimizing the carbon fibers throughout. Fewer joints means less overwrap, which means less weight.

closeup details on 2023 scott scale

That let them make the top half lighter (and, with flat stays and clearance for 29×2.4″ tires, presumably a bit more compliant).

closeup details on 2023 scott scale

Here’s how they compare to prior models:

2023 scott scale carbon frame weight comparison versus 2022 models

Other features of the 2023 Scott Scale RC

closeup details on 2023 scott scale

The rear brake hose and any rear shifter and dropper cables run internally, ported through the headset and a custom spacer, but there’s a trick up their sleeve…

exploded view of headset angle adjust on 2023 scott scale

An adjustable headset cup lets them adjust the head angle by 0.6º, which was used to allow them to run 100mm or 110mm suspension forks without affecting handling…but it can do that, too.

To swap, simply loosen and lift the stem, rotate the upper headset cap 180º, reinsert and reinstall everything, and it’s ready to ride. No need to remove any cables or hoses to make the adjustment.

cutaway view of headtube on 2023 scott scale

Paired with their Fraser iC one-piece bar/stem, it makes for a very clean cockpit on the top-level bikes.

headlight mounted on 2023 scott scale

And they offer various mounts that attach underneath the bar to mount cycling computers, lights, action cams, etc.

2023 scott scale geometry chart for carbon frames

Scott Scale tech & promo videos

Above is a solid tech run through of the new HMX SL frame. Below, a little riding action.

2023 Scott Scale RC Models

2023 scott scale hmx sl hardtail

In total there are 24 different Scott models with the top-level Scale RC frame (from $3,499 to $13,999, but not all are the “SL” version), plus more with standard carbon fiber and alloy frames ($1,599 to $2,999), including four Contessa women’s specific models. Here are a few highlights, check their website for the full catalog.

Above is the Scale RC SL with HMX SL frame, Fox 32SC 100mm fork, SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS with power meter, Trickstuff Piccola brakes, and Syncros full-carbon SL wheels for $13,999, and a claimed 8.9kg / 19.62lb complete bike weight.

2023 scott contessa scale rc women's mountain bike

The Scott Contessa Scale lineup gets women’s specific components and unique colors, and some models and builds are not available in every market (this one shown above doesn’t show up on the U.S. site at time of publication).

2023 scott scale 910 carbon hardtail

The Scott Scale 910 gets the base-level carbon fiber for a more affordable option, but still a decent build. Scott’s naming hierarchy puts “RC” at the top, then 900-series numbers where a lower number (“910”) indicates a higher end build, and a higher number (“970”) is a lower end, more affordable bike.

2023 scott scale 960 alloy mountain bike

The alloy Scales come in plenty of build options, with a nearly all-white Contessa model with stealth graphics (not the one shown here).

2023 scott scale 960 alloy mountain bike details
2023 scott scale 960 alloy mountain bike details

A heavily hydroformed frame shows that Scott’s engineers put plenty of engineering effort and attention to detail in their more affordable models, too.

Check their website for all available models and pricing.

Scott-Sports.com/Scale

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Jordan
Jordan
1 month ago

What’s the full build weigh?

Eich
Eich
1 month ago
Reply to  Jordan

“Scale RC SL with HMX SL frame, Fox 32SC 100mm fork, SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS with power meter, Trickstuff Piccola brakes, and Syncros full-carbon SL wheels for $13,999, and a claimed 8.9kg / 19.62lb complete bike weight.”

Eich
Eich
1 month ago

Wow, just 1,7 kg heavier than my 2012 Scalpel!

Meme
Meme
1 month ago

9kg is not an extreme.

Dockboy
Dockboy
1 month ago

So the weight savings all come from the hardware?

E x
E x
1 month ago

Not impressed. I have a 2022 epic evo that weighs 17.8 and cost less.

Allan
Allan
1 month ago

Funny how ahead of the curve Yeti was with their ARC HT! Two years later and companies like Scott are finally catching up with the ARC’s “radical” geometry.

Daniel
Daniel
1 month ago

Hi
How does this model compare to the 2022 Scott scale 930. What is the safe load limit on the model if the previous models was 128kg?

Last edited 1 month ago by Daniel

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