Yesterday, I wrote a long breakdown of Scott’s all-new carbon Ransom enduro bike, but now I want to dive deeper into my experience riding the top-spec Scott Ransom 900 RC. Scott developed the new bike to take enduro up a notch. And with an all-new 6-bar suspension design and unique rear suspension remote, they created what I see as a freeride bike for the downhills and an all-mountain trail bike for the climbs. With almost no compromises at either end of the spectrum.
Riding the new Scott Ransom 900 RC carbon enduro bike
I spent three long days back in mid-November riding the new bike on steep, rocky & loose natural trails in Santa Coloma de Farners, just outside of Girona, Spain. And I came away wanting to ride the bike more and more. And then I left. Wishing that my home bikepark wasn’t already deep in snowy skiing season for the next several months.
All-new 6-bar suspension design
There’s plenty that’s unique about the new bike. Like its relatively complicated 6-bar suspension design. Or the Integrated Suspension Technology design that hides the rear shock inside the bulbous downtube. Or internal frame storage, internal cable routing, adjustable geometry, and more.
Read my full 2024 Scott Ransom launch story for all the nerdy details.
But what really struck me about the bike was that it was just super composed and playful to ride. With three distinct personalities.
It could be a full gas freeride bike that wanted to fly down rough tracks at high speed. It could be a progressive enduro bike that dove into technical sections and popped off every lip on the trail. Or it was a upright trail bike, that clawed its way up steep and tight climbs.
How it does all three comes down to Trac-Loc
This is genuinely the single most important feature of the new Ransom. And it is what makes you really able to enjoy the 170mm of plush 6-bar rear suspension.
You can’t actually see the tech that makes this work. Because it happens inside the custom Fox Float X Nude EVOL rear shock. And you can’t even see that because Scott hides it inside the frame. So, instead we look at the 3-position Twin-Loc 2 remote. The two upper levers cycle you through 3 rear shock modes – Climb, Ramp Control & Descend. And the lower lever is your dropper post remote.
It’s not a lockout, but rather three different shock tunes accessible at the push of a button.
Climb, Ramp Control, or Descend
The fully open Descend mode is built to fly. Here you get unrestricted access to the best that the 6-bar can deliver. A rearward axle path and progressive linkage rate that east up big hits for breakfast. Go down as fast as you can hold on, like you are riding a few years old DH bike, but upgrade with 29er wheels to roll over everything.
The middle Ramp Control mode is the most interesting. By closing an air chamber in the rear shock, you effectively get volume spacers that you drop in at the push of a button. No change to the full 170mm of travel or your compression damping settings. The bike just becomes instantly more progressive.
Changing volume spacers to adjust your shock progression for different riding conditions isn’t really feasible for the average mountain biker. But being able to do the same thing at the flick of a switch is game-changing.
Interestingly, the middle Ramp Control mode is a lot of fun on descents that aren’t too technical – think flowy berms and jump lines. But it’s also good for climbs that aren’t as smooth or steep.
Lastly, Climb mode increases compression damping, reduces rear travel down to 130mm, and lowers the air volume for more progression. Together, it makes you sit up higher in the stiffened suspension, and makes pedaling uphill a breeze. Perfect for when you really need to stomp up some steep climbs that demand your attention.
Riding the new Scott Ransom 900 RC out on the trail
The first thing I did on the new Ransom was pedaling up steep, rocky, sandy fire road climbs. And alternating between Ramp Control & Climb let me adjust the bike to how my legs were feeling at the time.
Then as the big rock slab descents got steeper and rougher, I would transition from the playful Ramp Control mode into full-on Descend to let the bike soak up the big and sometimes unexpected hits. And as I got up to full-send speeds, I could let the gravity-shredding magic of the new 6-bar really do its thing.
How much does it really weigh?
Looking back at it now, it’s no big surprise that my sub 16kg ready-to-ride test bike climbed well in 130mm travel mode. (Size Large at 15.96kg with 480g of Mallet DH pedals, a bottle cage, set up tubeless, and with a spare tube, levers & chaintool inside the matchbox internal storage.)
Of course, that’s not superlight for a trail bike, but with a gravity-ready burly build it’s really not that heavy. My steel enduro hardtail weighs almost that with everything I carry on regular rides. And my carbon fatbike with 130mm fork, a frame pack to carry extra warm clothes, and light studded tires weighs the same at the moment. And I’m happy to pedal those slowly up endless climbs, too.
Weight is really the only compromise in Climb mode. And there don’t really feel like there are any in Ramp Control or Descend modes.
Transforming from Trail to Enduro to Freeride, and back again
The transformation seems like a much bigger attitude shift than I’m used to in bikes with remote lockouts or adaptable geometry. Singling out one, I feel like the shift is significantly more that the experience I’ve had with Canyon’s innovative ShapeShifter on their Strive enduro bike. Plus, I appreciate that the Ransom achieves the same concept entirely inside the shock, which feels less complicated, and less likely to deteriorate in performance over time.
I pedaled up a lot on this bike. It undoubtedly is totally a reasonable climber. But internally, we got to talking about ebikes after riding this new bike, because at this price & weight-level, there are some solid e-Trail eMTB options, too. For those that are itching for the assist to cram more ascents/descents in, there is a use-case for eMTB in some locales.
But the Ransom is simply so much more fun descending on really rough trails, that I’m happy to take a few extra minutes and sweat out a bit more on the climbs to get to my downhills.
And really it would/will be a blast in the bikepark. It feels way more like a DH bike going down than most of the enduro bikes that I regularly ride at my local uplift. And way better at climbing than the other big bikes, more on par going uphill with lighter all-mountain or trail bikes. The 2024 Scott Ransom is now officially a gravity bike, but it manages to vastly improve pedal-ability at the same time thanks to Trac-Loc and user adjustable geometry.
2024 Scott Ransom 900 RC build spec
The 2024 Scott Ransom 900 RC reviewed here is the top-tier 10,000€ build, with the full HMX carbon frameset, Fox Factory suspension, and a SRAM X0 Eagle AXS Transmission. While, there’s not a lot more you could ask for, even with money as no object. Perhaps a gravity-ready carbon wheelset could save a few grams. But for a bike built to smash bikepark laps and race blindly through rock gardens, the aluminum RaceFace R30 wheels are at least something to not worry about.
Now do I really need all those fancy components to enjoy an enduro bike? I think there are plenty of compromises I could make to save a few bucks, and still be happy.
It’s really hard to ignore the 10,000€ pricetag of the bike, no matter how good it rides. Sure, there are a lot of more expensive bikes out there. But this is clearly far out of many riders’ budgets. There is a silver lining though…. All of the unique tech that makes this bike great, is also available at lower pricepoints. Not exactly cheap. But the 6000€ 920 & 5200€ 930 have the same 3-mode rear shock function, a slightly heavier carbon & alloy frame, and more affordable mechanical drivetrains. At just 1-1.5kg weight penalty.
Final Thoughts on the new Ransom
I can’t think of a bike I’ve ridden in recent memory that was more composed and confident on the downhills than this new Scott Ransom.
And I kinda fell in love with its Trac-Loc remote. Especially, riding even downhills with the rear shock in the middle Ramp Control mode was a playful blast. And I really wish this was an option on almost every big travel bike I ride – from all-mountain to DH. Then, of course, popping it into Climb mode transformed the bike completely. It didn’t drop 2kg which would have been nice, but it did make it climb much better than I anticipated.
If I were looking to buy a new bike for enduro racing and riding bikepark laps, this is the first bike that I would think of. But realistically, I would consider those more affordable models first.