Testing the new SCOTT Lumen

Mountain bike 01/12/22 16:00 Migue A.

The presentation of the new SCOTT Lumen took place a few weeks ago in Tuscany and we had the chance to test it for a couple of days. These are our first impressions after riding the first SCOTT lightweight eMTB.

If you haven't already done so, here you can see all the new SCOTT Lumen models and prices.

First rides with the new SCOTT Lumen

Massa Marittima was the place chosen by Scott for the presentation of the Scott Lumen. A town located in the heart of the Italian Tuscany region with a multitude of trails and a perfect climate for cycling. Being there we understood why it is one of the places chosen by the SCOTT SRAM team to spend weeks there preparing the goals of the season.

We had three routes spread over two days to test the new Scott Lumen. Each of them with a different and varied course that would allow us to see its adaptability to each terrain.

The model that the brand put at our disposal was the Scott Lumen e-Ride 900 SL, its top-of-the-range version. Its 15.7 kg weight with tubeless wheels, and all the accessories needed to go out riding, place this e-bike among the lightest on the market today.

Its lightness makes you forget about the assistance

On the first day, the terrain was dry, loose in some areas, but generally favourable for MTB riding. The morning started with setting up the bike, adjusting suspension, tyre pressures, saddle height, etc. After this we started our first route with the Lumen.

As soon as we set off, we could see that we were looking at a bike that was going to give us a lot of play on any route. We went out with the motor off to initially see what sensations its reduced weight would give us, always comparing it to other e-bikes. In the first few kilometres approaching the trails we noticed how the electric assistance was unnecessary. With its suspension completely locked, the position and efficiency of pedalling lead us to ride for a while forgetting about the motor.

Climbs with the agility of a rally bike

It was time to take a track that would lead us to the first climb of our route. A somewhat technical uphill with several 180º bends that were chained together every few metres. It was a perfect stretch to test the Lumen's climbing qualities.

We activated the TQ engine assistance and set the Eco mode. Our first outing was with the default settings, which Scott has found to be the most balanced for this model. With the Twinloc in the Traction position and the assistance in Eco mode, the Lumen climbs at a surprising speed, but what struck us most was the finesse with which the TQ engine works. As we approached a corner and lowered the pedalling cadence, the TQ stopped providing assistance, making corner entry easier. On exit the power came in smoothly, without slamming, helping to keep us on the line.

The Lumen moves with ease over this terrain, its weight and a more central position on the bottom bracket due to the more vertical angle of the seat tube make our climbs not only more pleasant but also faster.

The power delivery is subtle and very natural

After leaving this section, we headed for a more broken climb with a steeper gradient. It was time to play with the Mid and High assistance modes, as well as test the traction values. Most of the climb was done with the Twinloc in the Traction position, although we also had the chance to use the fully open position to see how it behaved on climbs.

When the terrain gets tricky, opening the Lumen's suspension fully provides extra traction. On regular bikes this can mean a considerable loss of power, but in this case we counteract this with the electric assistance. The anti-squat values are very well achieved and during pedalling in this position there is no excessive movement of the suspension. In addition, having a higher bottom bracket than the Spark version allowed us to pedal in more difficult areas without hitting obstacles with the cranks.

When the slopes become almost impossible, the TQ motor's High mode is there to provide the extra power needed to overcome any slope. The motor's 300 watts maximum and the 15.7 kg weight of the set-up make it easy to climb to the top. In both Mid and High modes, the power delivery is still very subtle, forcing us to maintain an energetic but natural pedalling action at all times.

It is easy to adapt to the new Scott Lumen

Although it is true that having similar geometry measurements to the Spark model, we predicted that we were going to have a comfortable position on it, but we didn't know how a model with assistance, with a little more weight and robustness, would respond.

Our doubts were quickly dispelled. As we said, it has similar measurements to the Spark, but it's even more comfortable if that's possible. The Reach is only 6 mm longer but having the angle of the seat tube 1° more vertical allows us to get closer to the handlebars in a more upright and relaxed position. From the first pedal strokes to the last we feel very comfortable on it.

Lightness and stability combine to give us confidence on downhills

It was time for the downhill and we could choose from a multitude of trails of different levels of technical demand to do it. We started with an easy descent, to feel the flow of the Lumen. Its contained and well-distributed weight, most of its mass is placed very low, allows us to move it quickly, giving us confidence and poise in every curve we handle. 

The next trail we took was a more technical one, with banked turns and the occasional jump, which allowed us to continue to enjoy the Lumen's good downhill feel. Its 65.5º head tube angle gives a lot of confidence in any downhill situation and together with the longer chainstays it provides great stability when the speed increases.

However, when the trail became more broken and technical, we found it difficult to find that previous good feeling, as we had a few scares with the grip of the tyres. It wasn't so much the grip itself, as its tread pattern is more than enough for the terrain we were riding on. It was more about the tyre casing itself. We felt it was soft and when we were looking for strong cornering, the tyre felt like it was losing grip.

Playing with the assistance modes of the TQ motor makes the bike even more fun

On the second day, after a rainy night, the trails presented a different situation. The terrain was more compact and the rocks and roots were more slippery, a situation that allowed us to take more risks on bends, but without forgetting to pay attention to the roots that appeared, sometimes in the form of a loss of grip. For this day they had prepared a route of short and explosive climbs combined with very fast descents where it was necessary to move the bike with ease.

Before leaving, we took a few minutes to customise the TQ motor settings via the App. A simple operation that allows us to adapt the power delivery to our taste or needs.

On the first climbs we tried the different assistance modes of the TQ motor again, but this time giving priority to the High mode, as from the start we had the range extender that would give us extra autonomy.

Switching modes is easy with the minimalist handlebar remote. It's neatly integrated with the rest of the controls and in a position that's easy to reach without taking your hand off the grip.

This is not the case when we want to change the information on the display integrated in the top tube, which requires pressing the button next to the display and involves letting go of one hand if we do it while riding.

The High mode, despite being the most powerful assistance mode, is still very little intrusive. In those moments when we stop and start pedalling repeatedly, the motor stops and starts almost unnoticeably. When we move at speeds around 25 km/h, where the motor stops providing assistance, everything is very natural. 

No noise from the bike and the assistance system

Another feature we noticed on the Lumen was the absence of noise. This has become a standard feature of Scott's latest designs. Cable routing and chainstay protection help to keep things quiet, even when the terrain gets rough and tricky.

The TQ HPR50 motor works along the same lines. As we have already seen in other tests, it is currently undisputed when it comes to quietness. Regardless of the assistance mode selected, the noise emitted by the engine is almost imperceptible and is camouflaged by the sound of the tyres themselves as they roll over the terrain.

Even so, in our testing days we found that, in the case of the Scott Lumen, the slight hum from the motor was slightly amplified. This is probably due to the soundboard effect caused by the larger volume of the down tube needed to house the rear shock. However, even if it was our opinion, the TQ motor still offers noise values well below those of any other motor on the market.

The Syncros Silverton SL2 wheels give it a lot of personality

On climbs, we also have to highlight the sensations that the Syncros Silverton SL2 wheels gave us. They are wheels that, due to their characteristics, offer different riding sensations to the majority, but where they can't be beaten is in strong accelerations. Their stiffness helps to transmit to the ground every watt of force that we exert in our pedalling and this, together with the help of the electric assistance, made our sensations on climbs unstoppable, offering us a reactivity that we would find difficult to find in other wheels.

On the other hand, this extra stiffness was transmitted to our hands on rocky downhills, as their ability to absorb vertical bending is less than that of conventional wheels.

Suspensions ready for 100 % performance

The route alternated between uphill and downhill. As the kilometres went by, we gained in confidence and became more and more comfortable. On the type of descents we were encountering, fast and with less technical areas than the previous day, we could appreciate how the sensations were similar to those of a regular bike. The braking distances are similar and the manoeuvrability is far from the powerful e-bikes that we can find on the market.

The 130 mm of travel are very usable in all situations, with no need to deal with big impacts to use every single millimetre. The improvements brought about by the integrated shock in this position were evident on every downhill section. This location allows the centre of gravity to be as low as possible for stability and handling confidence. Both suspensions were sensitive to any imperfections in the terrain, showing linear behaviour with no noticeable bottoming out at the end of the travel. Yes, we did hit a bump or two, but nothing remarkable considering the route we rode during these two days.

The best of Trail and XCO

After two days of testing we have been able to make some conclusions about the new Scott Lumen. It is a bike halfway between Down Country and Trail. Thanks to its position on the saddle and the assistance of the motor it allows us to climb as if we were on our XCO bike, also due to its light weight and its distribution of the masses it allows us to handle it with ease both uphill and downhill. But it not only stands out when the slopes are positive, when it comes to descending its 130 mm of travel give us a lot and shows an agility unusual for an e-bike.

In terms of components, it stands out for being able to mount some similar to those of regular MTBs, making the experience on it even more similar to that of a conventional bike.

SCOTT Lumen, an eMTB that will surprise even the most sceptical

This is as far as we can tell from our first rides with the Scott Lumen. Despite being two days of pure MTB, there are several details that we will have to test in depth later, for example, modification of the steering angle, possibility of mounting other tyres, battery autonomy... This last point, despite being something very relative, with more days and test time we could get a more accurate idea.

Clearly, given its similarity to the Scott Spark and the success of the latter, we are sure that the Lumen will appeal not only to the e-bike enthusiast public, but also to those XC fans who want to make the leap into the world of assisted bikes. After all, as some of the media present at the launch commented, "It's basically like having legs like Nino Schurter, just on demand".



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