Frame: Thermoplastic carbon fibre
Shock: Rock Shox SID 35mm stroke, 240mm length. Running 140psi +ve/ 120psi -ve, 10 out on rebound.
Fork: Rock Shox XLC Stop Formula disc
Stop: Formula disc
Go: XTR rear mech, with XT other
Wheels: Formula hubs with Mavic X317 disc rims.
Stuff: Kore Lite post, Selle Italia Trimatic saddle, Kore stem, Scott Octane bars.
From: Scott UK 01670 712129
Around ten years ago, magazines were full of “bikes for the year 2000″ — full of artists impressions of aero bars, disc wheels and brakes, carbon fibre and other goodies. The Scott Intoxica is probably one of the closest bikes to that Dan Dare image, and so, with the millenium closing fast, we wondered how what this future-bike held for us.Scott’s bikes have always been either hooligan full suspension (the Octane series) or cross-country racer (Scott Comp Racing). Though it has the looks of a downhill bike, the componentry says cross-country. The stem says race and the bar says downhill. It’s another freeride bike (whatever that means) but that’s not it’s only problem…
The frame is a dazzling construction of carbon with aluminium bonded in at areas where holes need to be drilled and bits bolted on. The swingarm is a mastery of metal construction, bending and weaving around the chain. The front mech is suspended in space, fitted to Shimano’s clever bracket thing and doing away with the need for a comedy seat-tube. Disc brakes, fitted front and rear courtesy of Formula, Rock Shox cheap-but effective XLC forks are painted in psuedo Kawasaki green. There’s no doubt about it folks… it looks the bollocks.
“Bollocks”, shouted Fat Adam as he was pitched forward for the fourth time into the stem. The gears were slipping under load — ghost shifting — because the huge loop of continuous cable that runs down the frames top-tube to the rear mech was free to wobble it’s way backwards and forwards. With a possible 40 clicks of compression damping on the SID air shock, we were running on the high side, with between 28 and 35 clicks in. Less than this, and you’d bounce for ever after trolling through a pot-hole.
Things weren’t going well. The back wheel refuses to follow the front wheel, with the swingarm flexing and springing from side to side. The feel of a disintegrating rear wheel isn’t an enjoyable one, and whilst on smooth, rolling bermed corners it was possible to constructively distort the bike, effectively bending it round corners.
Where was the flex occuring? Held side-by-side with the Scott G-Zero we tested last month, the swingarm design is practically identical. The differences can only be seen in the main frame. The bolt-on seat-subframe of the Intoxica visibly offers less support to the pivot area, which points towards flexibility, though for our money, the flex seems to be in the swingarm, rather than in the frame. Whatever, Scott know about the bike’s flexiness — why else would they custom fit a spherical bushing (Rose joint) to the top of the shock shaft and not fit one on the similarly designed G-Zero. The spherical bushing stops side loadings on the shock, which would cause premature wear or air leakage, but the bushing itself adds a small amount of rattle to the back end. These sort of problems shouldn’t be happening on a bike like this with between three and four inches of travel.
The bike squeaked, the cables rubbed, the discs sung to themselves. But people stood and gawped. Small boys were prepared to sell their older sisters. Men to give up their wives. There’s no doubt it’s a looker.
Things improved with the seat-frame mounted full-forwards and the shock in it’s longest travel position. The long travel position gives a more falling rate curve that counteracts the rising rate of the air shock, but even then it couldn’t be call plush anywhere other than the start of its stroke.
Scott know about the bike’s flexiness — why else would they custom fit a spherical bushing (Rose joint) to the top of the shock shaft and not fit one on the similarly designed G-Zero.
-Disc brakes-Good stopping from Formula, but ride them back to back with Hope’s and you’ll notice the Italians lack of modulation — it’s all or nothing.
-Sensibly wide bar, unfortunately coupled to a too-long stem.
-A top of the range rear mech (XTR) with a bottom line fork (XLC)?
-Development time – At the moment it has the feel of a design prototype rather than a bike ready for market.
-Less form – More function
-All the looks in the world ain’t going to save a bike that doesn’t work.
The back end flexes, the gears ghost shift, the brakes squeak. It’s not sounding good is it? We’re sure, with another year, Scott will fix the problems with the Intoxica — after all, their Thermoplastic is a stunning bit of kit as is their G-Zero. They’ve just got to try and combine them in a better way than this.