If the Scott Ransom is a bike that you’re unfamiliar with, you’re not alone.
That’s in part due to the fact that before this year, the bike was last produced in 2006. The 2019 model comes with more suspension, bigger wheels, and a list of adjustments that help it stand out from the noise.
The Ransom strikes me as a very technical bike. There are many adjustments to be made to the suspension, shock linkage, wheel size and rear spring curve. I imagine while listing the attributes Scott wanted for the new Ransom, the engineers made a long list and said, “Yes, all of it.” This is not a bike that was slapped together, but a project designed to push the envelope in a sensible way.
This Ransom 910 features a complex twin lock system that actuates the front fork and rear shock simultaneously with two adjustments. With the flip of your left thumb you can send the bike into one of two setups. The first is a firmer “traction mode” which effectively lifts the bottom bracket height and firms the suspension. The second is a full lockout mode—front and rear.
The rear shock features an additional adjustment that I haven’t experienced before. The Fox Nude rear shock has a ramp adjustment that changes the size of the shock’s air chamber to give a more linear feel or progressive ramp.
Riders are also able to pick their wheel size. The bike that was tested came with 29 inch hoops, but you can also opt to run 27.5 wheels if that’s your thing.
It’s apparent that the new Ransom was designed by a team of experienced riders and I really fell in love the components they chose. On almost every component it seems to deliver. The Fox 36 fork was exceptionally buttery with an amazing oily feel. The Fox Nude rear shock was also remarkable with all of its adjustments. Maxxis 2.6” Minion DHF tires with the new exo+ casings are the perfect tire for this bike and show that the designers at Scott are paying attention. The tires soak up everything and provide a great high-volume feel that holds up on high speed cornering.
The most impressive factor on this Ransom though was the stopping power of the four piston Shimano XT brakes. It’s been a while since I’ve ridden Shimano brakes and I missed the massive and immediate stopping power that they provide. The shifting was handled by a Sram GX Eagle derailleur—which does its job without any fuss.
The first thing I noticed when hopping on this bike was how agile it felt for being such a large-travel bike. With 170mm of squish and 29-inch wheels, I was expecting to drive a cruise ship though the woods. However, the bike actually felt most at home for me on the climbs. After a bit of adjustment to the seat position and stem I felt very centered over the bike and felt inspired to hold speed up long drawn out climbs. The Ransom really stood out when I needed to lift the bike’s front end or do a last minute pop.
Despite having the lockout options right at my fingertips I found that rear suspension was an asset throughout technical single track climbs. I opted to keep the shock wide open on almost all of the trails I rode. The bike has such great feeling dampers that I just wanted to keep it wide open as much as possible.
On fire roads, this was a different story. When the lockout switch is in such convenient location by your thumb you definitely end up using it. This inspired me to get out of the saddle more and really get cranking up the climbs.
On the downhills, the Ransom feels like it’s on a mission. It’s one goal is to encourage you to never loose speed. With the 29-inch wheels, wide tires and ultra-plush suspension, it gobbles up roots and rocks. I was once again surprised with how much speed this bike could carry over flat, technical sections of trails where I’m usually simply in survival mode.
The Ransom shines in bumpy terrain. The suspension has an impressively effortless feel to it and the Fox dampers feel so supportive and smooth through square edge hits. The geometry of the bike encourages a rider who knows how to weight the bike and ride confidently. The Ransom isn’t going to hand you an easy day—it wants you to focus intently on the trail and give every ride your all.
I found that I liked to ride this bike in the less ramped, more linear mode on the rear shock. It was surprising to me just how big of a difference the ramp adjustment made. In the linear setting the rear end soaked up the trail. In the higher ramp mode the bike was impossible for me to bottom out.
The Ransom is an incredible machine that makes it easy for you to carry speed in any terrain. The bumpier and nastier, the better. I can only imagine how great it would feel on the technical sections of Captain Ahab trail in Utah.
The rider that would get the most from the Ransom is someone who’s looking to constantly match their setup with what they’re riding. Someone who wants a bike that can do it all and be set up for anything. You can fidget with the wheel size, bottom bracket height, rear shock ramp and even do mid-ride changes the dampers with the stroke of your thumb. Whoever’s on board should be looking to crush technical trails (like those of the Whistler Valley or the Southwest) because that’s exactly what this bike wants to do.
After riding the Ransom 910 for an extended period of time, I’m confident that it’s a trustworthy setup that will hold up to abuse, despite its seemingly complicated design. It’s a bike that was produced by a team that knows what works in the world of bikes with a singular, unimpeded goal: to conquer every inch of technical trail without mercy.
Scott Ransom 910