Scott Scale 965 Mountain Bike Review

Scott Scale 965 Review

Price

From $1,000

Pros​​​​

Frame, brakes

Cons

Tires, saddle

Summary

If you are looking for a bike that is fun and capable on a variety of cross-country terrain, look no further.

Our Rating

82/100

Manufacturer

The Scott Scale line of hardtail mountain bikes was designed with performance racing in mind, based on the contributions of competitive athlete Nino Schurter. 

The Scale 965 model is more entry level than the Scale RC models, yet it comes with many qualities that make the scale lineup so impressive, including a light and stiff frame made for dominating cross country trail rides.

Tech Specs

FRAME SIZE: Aluminum Alloy custom butted tubing
BRAKE TYPE:
Shimano M365 Disc
SHIFTER:
Sram NX1 Trigger
RIMS:
Syncros / 32H
TIRES:
Maxxis Ikon / 2.2 / 60TPI
PRICE: $1,000 - $1,500

How did the Scott designers create a bike that is fast, stable, balanced, and affordable?

Here are the tech specs that show us just what the bike is made of.

Aluminum Alloy Frame

The Scale 965 is built with an aluminum alloy frame. Many of the other bikes in the Scale lineup have lightweight carbon frames. Since the Scale 965 is designed to offer riders a more affordable version of the Scale concept, we see Alloy in place of the carbon which makes the bike more substantial than the higher-end racing Scale bikes.

Scott’s cross-country bikes are well-known for being top of the line. 


They’ve been raced in World cup and Olympic events, with winning results. In the Scale 965, we see the innovative Scale concepts put into an affordable model. Cross-country riders will enjoy this lightweight, stiff, and durable hardtail mountain bike. 
Scott Scale 965 Frame Review

However, even though the engineers used Alloy on this bike, the frame is still remarkably light, weighing in at 27.8 pounds.

The weight of your bike will affect the speed at which you can move and the momentum that it takes to propel yourself forward. The frame features a tapered headtube for added stability and an aggressive front end.

Reliable Hydraulic Disc Brakes

The hydraulic Shimano M365 Disc brakes are reliable in wet and muddy conditions. Hydraulic disc brakes require regular maintenance, so you need to pay attention to how they feel and how long you have ridden on them.

These brakes are reputable and robust, so you most likely won’t have any complaints here.

Shifter For Transition Through Eleven Gears

The Sram NX1 Trigger offers eleven gear options, which may seem at first to be limited to some riders.

The more you ride on this setup, the better it feels. You get used to the gear options and can find the right gear for every grade.

Scott Scale 965 Wheel Shifter
Scott Scale 965 Break System

One of the upsides of this the NX1 Trigger shifter is that Sram worked to cut down on the weight of all of the related drivetrain components, so it is lighter than other comparable shifting systems. A downside is that it is fundamental and doesn’t have any adjustment options.

29-Inch Rims

The Syncros rims on the Scale 965 are mid-level parts that may need an eventual upgrade. Though they may not deliver the durability that some riders desire, they do get the job done. They fit 29-inch wheels.

Maxxis Ickon Tires

The Scale 965 comes with Maxxis Ikon tires. The low thread count (60TPI) is not ideal for some riders, who prefer a higher thread count. Many performance cross country bikes and racer-quality tires of 120 TPI. It is possible, however, to buy the bike and simply upgrade the tires when you are ready and have the extra cash handy.

The 29-inch diameter on the tires makes it easy to roll over obstacles so that you can keep riding regardless of logs and stones in your path.

Affordable Price Range

The Scale 965 is one of the most affordable Scale bikes and can be found in the price range of 1,000 dollars to 1,500 dollars. Remember that you may want to upgrade one or a few components of the bike, and consider this when price-comparing with other models. For this affordable price, the Scale 965 is an incredible bike.

What We Like

The Scott Scale 965 has critical features that make it an exceptional mountain bike for the price point. The frame design is top-notch, as Scott engineers put a great deal of innovation and testing into the Scale lineup as a whole.

The bike offers geometry built for a stable and fast cross-country ride. Thoughtful designing made for a lightweight, stiff frame.

  • Lightweight Aluminum Alloy frame with custom butted tubing
  • High quality Shimano hydraulic disc brakes
  • Well-designed hardtail frame with a tapered headtube for stable, balanced riding

What We Don’t Like

Because this is a budget-friendly option within the Scale lineup, all components of the bike are not ideal. Buyers might find that they need to make a few upgrades to the bike once they ride it a few times to get a feel for it.

Novice riders may need to make updates as their riding abilities advance so that they can tackle more varieties of terrain.

  • Tires lack substantial knobs and grip for loose terrain
  • The seat is uncomfortable to some
  • Limited gear options

Buying Advice

This bike is perfect for a rider who wants to get high value for dollars spent. For about one grand, this bike will offer you some of the significant advancements in the Scale lineup, including a lightweight, stiff frame and racer-quality geometry.

If you are looking for a bike that is fun and capable on a variety of cross-country terrain, look no further. This bike is perfect for someone getting into mountain biking. You can always upgrade the parts that are lacking as you spend more hours on your bike.

Before buying, test out a 29-inch mountain bike to make sure that this diameter fits your riding style.

You might love the advantages that the 29-inch wheels offer, such as more traction on the trail and roll-over abilities, but you may also note that the wheels have a dense, grounded feel. If you want an agile bike that feels playful, this tire size might not be right for you.

Scott’s cross-country bikes are well-known for being top of the line. They’ve been raced in World cup and Olympic events, with winning results. In the Scale 965, we see the innovative Scale concepts put into an affordable model. Cross-country riders will enjoy this lightweight, stiff, and durable hardtail mountain bike.

This post was last updated on June 2nd, 2018 at 06:03 pm

About the Author Max Shumpert

Over the last few years, I’ve taken my love of the outdoors, hiking, skiing, trekking and exploring to the next level by starting this site. I started a bike shop in Denver, CO, and have seen amazing growth over the last few years. Getting paid to do what I love has been a dream come true for me. That’s also what led me to start BikesReviewed.com. In my shop, I spend a large amount of time helping people find the perfect bike for them and the style of biking they’re going to be doing. It only made sense that I expanded my reach and got online, making it possible for me to help people all over the world. If biking and staying fit is your priority, too, you’ve come to the right place.

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