HOW DOES IT PERFORM?
Setting sag: Scott’s Voltage is designed with nearly 8 inches
of travel, and the amount of sag you choose to run will greatly
impact the overall feel of the bike. Our size large came equipped
with a 350-pound spring that put our 175-pound test rider at
roughly 30-percent sag. For all-around gravity riding, this felt like
a well-rounded setup. Riders looking for a plusher, more race-in-spired feel could run more sag to keep the wheels better glued to
the ground. Riders looking to push the Voltage on jump lines, and
more general “hucking” could benefit from a stiffer spring setup.
The air-sprung Fox fork makes matching the sag, front and rear,
a breeze via an easily adjusted air spring. From there, we set the
compression and rebound adjustments in the middle of their ranges and hit the trails.
Moving out: The Voltage has an extremely short seat tube
that’s curved, meaning there’s very little room for adjustment
before the post bottoms out. Our Syncros post needed a trim with
a hacksaw right out of the gate, but since this bike is built for gravity junkies, there won’t be much need to readjust it later anyway.
Find your ideal saddle height and trim the post so that 4 inches
inserts into the seat tube.
The Voltage is a slack bike to begin with. While it may be tempting to reach straight for the “slackset” headset cups right out of
the gate, we recommend trying the stock 65-degree head angle
first and then going to the big hitters if you need them.
Climbing: You had better have a lift pass or a seat in a shuttle
van, because this bike doesn’t like to be pedaled uphill. Riders
looking for a bike that’s not pigeon-holed into park and gravity riding should look to the much more efficient Genius LT enduro bike,
which still sports enough travel for an occasional day riding the
lifts but isn’t afraid to climb.
Cornering: With the bike set in the low, slack and long-travel
settings, the Voltage nearly mimics the feel of a gravity race bike
that’s not afraid of high-speed corners and laying roost in its wake.
In the other settings, the bike feels like a bruiser that’s not afraid
to pick its way down the steepest chutes and technical steeps.
The single-crown fork improves the turning radius slightly, meaning
tight switchback corners are easier on this bike than with a full-on
downhill sled. The Schwalbe Magic Mary tires held the ground well
throughout our testing, although they wore down relatively quickly
as a penalty.
Descending: This is where the Voltage truly shines. And with
nearly 8 inches of travel, that doesn’t shock us. The single-pivot
suspension design boasts a slightly progressive feel, meaning the
Better than a rental bike: With models available for as little as
$2000, the Voltage would be an excellent choice for beginner and
expert gravity riders alike.