Expert Review: Scott Ransom 920 Mountain BikePublished on 05/13/2023 · 6 min read This review is my honest opinion of the mountain bike, which I tested for 5 rides in April of 2022.
Photo courtesy of Andrew Keehn
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the mountain bike, which I tested for 5 rides in April of 2022.
The Scott Ransom 920 is a true enduro machine that is exceptionally capable in any and all realms of mountain biking. Any rider looking to go as fast as possible on the way down in the gnarliest of terrain—while being able to zip back to the top for more laps—should consider the Ransom.
About the gear
- Model: 2022 Scott Ransom 920
- Build Kit: 920 SRAM NX / Shimano Deore
- Wheel Size: 29”
- Frame Size: Medium
- Height: 5’10”
- Weight: 170 lbs
- Experience 20+ years of biking
- When I bought it: April 2022
- Number of rides: 5+ rides
- Total Mileage: 50+ miles
- Approximate Time Ridden: One season
- Type of trail conditions ridden: Dry/Loose/Hardpack/Rocky/Rooty
- Where I’ve used it: Jackson, Wy, and Driggs, ID
How it performs
What I was looking for
I wanted a bike that was slightly more comfortable on bigger, gnarlier terrain and would still be efficient on the way back up. Unfortunately, the modern mid-travel bike seems to lack on both ends, while an enduro and XC bike can excel up or down well while destroying their intended field.
Why I chose this gear
I chose the Ransom 920 because it was available to me at my shop. In addition, I wanted to try a long travel 29er with relatively snappy geometry and short chainstays. The build kit on this bike for the price was also pretty attractive.
What I love about it
- Frame/Geometry/Adjustability: The alloy front and rear triangle on this bike is extremely stout, yet compliant and never feels harsh. With an adjustable flip chip to adjust the geometry to accept a 27.5” setup, this bike is quite customizable. I kept it in the stock 29” setup, and it still feels playful enough due to its relatively short 437.9mm chainstays. It really shines on high-speed descents and can stay glued to the ground due to its low center of gravity and longer wheelbase. What it does lack in customization are adjustable chainstays. Brands like Rocky Mountain offer this on models like the Altitude, and it can really define the snappiness and pop from the rear end of a bike, which is a very personal preference for most.
- Suspension: The suspension on this bike is top-notch and simple to tune. The Fox 38 fork upfront is absolutely incredible. The stability and plushness from the extra thick stanchions make riders feel unstoppable. The rear in this build comes with a custom-tuned Fox Nude, a proprietary shock made specifically for Scott. It is plush yet very responsive and supportive, and the TwinLoc lock-out system really shines during climbs. The only gripe in this build is the lack of adjustability in the Fork as this is just the simple 3-position GRIP damper and lacks the more in-depth tuning possible from the GRIP2 damper on the higher-end builds. The lack of heat management from a non-piggyback rear shock is definitely noticeable, and this shock feels a little out of place for such an aggressive bike. Compared with a shock like the Fox X2 with a huge air can and piggyback oil reservoir, there is a noticeable difference in plushness and consistency on big descents.
- Wheels: The bike is stocked with Scott’s own Syncros 30mm internal wheelset and is everything that is expected from a quality all-mountain wheel. They are surprisingly light as well. I put carbon wheels on every bike I ride, but that costs plenty of money.
- Cockpit: The reach is perfect for me in a size M, and the amount of pushable buttons on my left-hand grip actually feels quite comfortable after one ride. Scott has really dialed in the TwinLoc system and integrated quite nicely with the dropper post lever without feeling too crowded. Still, some may feel that having a remote lock-out on such a downhill-oriented bike is overkill.
- Seatpost/Saddle: The Syncros saddle has been comfortable and durable so far.
- Brakes: The 4-piston Deore brakes are incredibly powerful and have a great feel in the lever. I love seeing companies stray away from sticking with only one company on the drivetrain and brakes. For this price, the Shimano Deore brakes outperform the lower-end Sram G2 R brakes by a mile.
- Durability: Nothing on the bike has had to be replaced so far after a full season of riding.
- Weight: For how capable this bike is on the descents, it is, not surprisingly, quite heavy. This bike weighs around 35 lbs in this build, depending on the frame size. For the cost, though, this isn’t abnormal in any sense. When looking at the same bike in its highest-end 900 Tuned build, that weight gets lowered to a shocking 30 lbs.
Issues I’ve Encountered
- Drivetrain: The NX drivetrain from SRAM works just fine when tuned correctly. Although, it does lack the ability to smoothly shift under load like the comparably priced Deore drivetrain from Shimano. The shifter feels slightly junky, and the weight of the cassette is definitely noticeable.
- Tires: The Assegai/Dissector combo is a fast-rolling and very grippy duo. Cheers to Scott for stocking 2.6” tires stock on this bike, as the extra support and grip are huge. They even went ahead and put an Exo+ casing on the rear Dissector to beef up the flat protection, which is a much-needed move for such an aggressive bike. Still, I think for any rider weighing 160 lbs or more who rides aggressively, the Exo+ casing and no tire insert are certainly not appropriate for the abuse a bike like this will take and should be stocked with a DoubleDown tire casing in the rear.
Favorite moment with this gear
When I took this beast of a bike to the Teton Pass here in Jackson, Wy, and hit the infamous road gap, which is nearly 40 feet lip to lip.
Value for the money vs. other options
I think this bike is fairly similar in price to some other big brands but leans toward the more affordable side. Big brands, like Scott and Trek, can offer builds for a lower price because of the parts they build and own in-house and don’t have to source elsewhere. In this case, Scott’s in-house brand, Syncros, is responsible for many components on board, including the seat, stem, bars, grips, wheelset, and even the headset.
The Ransom is a truly versatile beast for the aggressive downhill-focused rider who prefers pedaling over a chairlift. With customizable geometry, a big suspension, and a reasonable price, this 920 Ransom build is a no-brainer option for a one-bike do ANYTHING option.