Scott Bicycles Voltage FR 10  2012 Mountain Bike Review

Scott Bicycles Voltage FR 10 2012

Reviews / FreeRide Bikes

Scott Bicycles 590,986

At A Glance

The park and play bike market is constantly growing, and if you think about it, it’s easy to see why. A bike that’s just as handy on the slopes as it is on the jumps and the drops, perfect! The FR 10 from Scott is the top bike in their Voltage FR range, and it is the epitome of what a play bike is all about.

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Visually the FR 10 is stunning, with colour-coded components and matching intricate graphics on the frame. This bike is bound to turn heads whether it’s moving or not.

Tech Heads

Looking at the specifications up front sits a Fox 36 Van FIT fork with 180mm of travel. Meanwhile at the back the suspension is taken care of with a Fox DHX RC2 coil shock which can be set up to provide either 160mm or 180mm of travel, allowing you to switch your set up when you switch between tracks.

Avid’s Code R brakes might not be their premiere model, but they provided ample power and the lever adjustment on the lever allowed for getting the perfect set up. The Schwalbe Big Betty tyres did take a little bit of getting used to. We found we had to run them at a slightly lower PSI than other tyres, which led to some serious grimacing when things got a bit rocky. But credit where it’s due the DT Swiss rims kept on rolling without any issues.

Gearing is taken care of with by a SRAM X9 10 speed derailleur and the chain is kept in place by an E-13 LG 1 chainguide. Incredibly the whole build weighs in at just over 17 kilos, making it so easy to throw the bike around. It’s that agility that really struck us and made it such a fun bike to ride.

On The Trail

With a lot of play bikes we’ve tested we’ve been impressed by their speed, particularly the way they accelerate. This wasn’t the case with the FR10 though, perhaps it was the Big Betty tyres holding it back, but it never felt like it was overly eager to get up to speed. What it lacked in acceleration though it made up for in overall “feel”. The ride is very planted and the bike is super stable when you throw it around corners or huck it off some jumps. This solid reliable stability gives you the confidence to throw in that extra tweak, safe in the knowledge this isn’t a twitchy ride.

The Coastal Crew; the Fast Fokus guys, Timo Pritzel, all make the most of the FR 10 and all ooze style. This bike is all about getting low in the berms and high in the air. But more importantly it’s all about doing it with a smile on your face.

Our only quip with the FR 10 was with the saddle rubbing on the rear tyre when the suspension neared the end of its travel. We tried moving the saddle position forwards but that just resulted in some close encounters with the rear tyre. Raising the seat post changed the riding position too much and interrupted the ride. You have to take a pretty massive hit to make this happen, but we did manage it a couple of times.

Overall

If you’re on the look out for a new play bike then your choice was just made that little bit tougher. The FR10 might not be the fastest bike out there but it’s certainly one of the most entertaining. The ease in which you can switch from 160mm-180mm rear wheel travel opens it up to a larger array of tracks and will no doubt make it more attractive to buyers. But don’t fret if your budget can’t stretch to the FR 10, be sure to check out the other two models in the Voltage FR range that share this impressive frame.

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This review was in Issue 15 of IMB.

For more information visit Scott Bicycles

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By Nigel Garrood
Nigel Garrood was one of the instigators of the IMB project and has been with us since the very beginning. This loveable rogue has more stories than the Bible and is known to enjoy a beer or two. On the bike, he’s fast and loose and often puts younger riders to shame. Equally he’s been known to suffer from the odd crash and carries the scars to prove it. He was once referred to as being a robot sent from the future to save us all!

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