Hardtail MTB's are the most versatile type of bicycles with a vast range of use from dirt tracks to downhills. To manufacture a performance oriented hardtail MTB is always a challenge with regards to the flexibility that the price offers. From the Scott's hardtail range we got an opportunity to review the Scott Aspect 740 2015 and this is what we thought.
The Aspect 740 is a race focused hardtail MTB with a 6061 alloy frame. It is important for any race focused bicycle to get the frame weight distribution right and the Aspect 740 2015 has ticked all the boxes in this. The intersection at the top and bottom tube has the major chunk of material with smooth welds. This makes the hardtail MTB stronger and does not succumb to the hard hitting received out of the trails. The top tube thins out as it approaches the seat tube which makes the frame weigh lighter.
The Suntour XCM-HLO front suspension fork is the best in business for Hardtail MTB's. With its 100mm travel the Aspect 740 2015 can make the trail ride much smoother with almost 70% of the travel being used consistently while on jumps or drops.
The Scott Aspect 740 2015 which I test rode came in a full bright orange. With no prominent secondary colour the Aspect 740's colour stands out and can be spotted from a long way. The orange shade is used in the saddle, rims, grips and fork to increase the flashy aesthetic of this bicycle. The frame design is sleek and has a neat shape to it.
The gearing department in the Aspect 740 2015 is packed with Shimano Alivio and Shimano Altus. Yes there is a bigger performance difference in these two gearing components and it did show during the test ride. A faster rear mech Alivio wasn't well supported by the Altus up front which had a much slower shift to the bigger chain rings. This might not be a big deal on flatter trails but whilst on rougher trails or during competitive riding this gear shift speed difference could hinder performance, mainly on climbs. The Altus shifters were top notch with comfortable thumb and trigger shifts which made a pain free gear shifting experience.
Shimano BR-M355 hydraulic disc brakes took care of the braking in the Aspect 740 2015. With it's 160mm rotors, the braking was impeccable. The stopping power was not just quick but balanced which resulted in a safe braking experience during sudden halts and turns. The Shimano brake levers could have been slightly longer for an easier reach.
The Syncros 680mm MTB handlebar was wide enough to open up my chest while riding. This resulted in a comfortable shoulder position and also making the breathing easy.
The Aspect 740 rolls on a pair of Kenda Slant 6 27.5'' x 2.1'' MTB tires. 27.5'' is a perfect tire size for any rider who does not want to handle the taller 29'' tires but still wants a faster rolling speed than the 26'' tires. The treads were bulky and evenly spaced with the edges shaped in a manner to avoid any flats from smaller stones or gravels on the trails. The stock Aspect saddle was perfect in length and was designed ergonomically to avoid any back aches. But, the width was slightly smaller for a saddle this size. The over-all ride quality was good on rough surfaces but the heaviness could be felt on urban roads.¾
A hardtail MTB with the right mixture of performance and comfort is hard to miss and the Scott Aspect 740 2015 is one such bicycle. Not all bicycles are meant for dual purposes and this bicycle isnÈt either. A core trail bicycle which is not the most comfortable on urban conditions. Packed with top notch components and priced at Rs.47,500 the Scott Aspect 740 2015 is an MTB best suited for anyone looking to hit trails regularly and also looking for some competitive trail riding. We would like to thank Pro Bikers, Chennai for providing us with this bicycle for the review.