In 2009, Scott USA’s Voltage bike line represented a complement of progressive street, dirt jump and park oriented 26-inch-wheeled hardtails, which boast some of the shortest chainstays in the industry.
For 2010, the Voltage line gets a new chassis addition – the Voltage FR, an 180mm-travel freeride bike built specifically for park riding and for Scott-sponsored freeriders to use in slopestyle and gravity competition. The hardtails will continue while Scott’s longer-travel Gambler will evolve into the brand’s dedicated downhill racing chassis.
“The whole premise of [the Voltage FR] was to address the equipment needs of our slopestyle athletes, who require a certain type of bike,” said Adrian Montgomery, Scott USA marketing manager. “But we wanted the same platform to translate into something that people would buy, because the reality is that there is only like 1 percent of all riders who need to be on a pure slopestyle bike.”
Montgomery said he sees the new platform fulfilling the needs of the brand’s slopestyle athletes without alienating consumers who aspire to that style of riding.
Coming from a company that’s known for producing extraordinarily expensive bikes, the three-model Voltage FR line may represent the company’s best ratio of cost to performance. The top-of-the-line Voltage FR10 tops out at $3,500. The second-tier FR20 hits a price point under $2,500, but you can enter the line at just $1,700 with the FR30.
It’s worth noting that the whole of the line shares the same base frame so the different price points are a function of bike specification.
The Voltage FR employs many of the same formed-tubes that the Voltage hardtail uses, with the top tube being the most noticeable example. It’s built to be compact – both short and with huge stand over, which is a departure from traditional frame sizing. This type of bike is fit based on reach rather than the dimension of the frame itself. So rather than sizing it as small, medium or large, it’s simplified to long- and short-reach cockpits, where the stand over clearance is maximized in both lengths.
Design highlights of the linkage-activated, single-pivot Voltage FR chassis include replaceable rear thru-axle dropouts in three lengths as well as adjustable travel from its stock 180mm to 140mm through use of adjustable mounts and use of three lengths of shocks. The bike doesn’t come with additional shocks because most consumers will find the stock shock and two-position linkage (180mm to 160mm adjustable, with stock 241mm shock) adequate.
The reason for the adjustability of the travel is to allow the modification necessary – shorter travel – for such an economical chassis to be used in elite level slopestyle competition. The frame is finished off ISCG mounts.
Voltage FR Adjustability
The accepted optional shock lengths and associated travel with using the two-position linkage:
Shock Length – Long Travel – Short Travel
215mm ——— 150mm ——- 140mm
222mm ——— 170mm ——- 150mm
241mm ——— 180mm ——- 160mm
Replaceable Dropout and chainstay length adjustment:
Dropout ————- Chainstay Length
Short: -10mm ——- 415mm
Standard: 0mm —– 425mm
Long: +10mm —— 435mm