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First Ride: 2012 Scott Voltage FR 20

Scott's adaptable freeride machine.

Words by Morgan Taylor. Photos by Morgan Taylor.
December 11th, 2011

Scott’s Voltage FR platform is highly adaptable, from 130 to 180mm rear travel and up to 200mm up front. How can Scott get away with such a large range of travel and still make a confident handling bike in all conditions? Read on to find out exactly how Scott accomplishes that goal, and what we plan to do to put it to the test.

2012 Scott Voltage FR 20
  The Voltage FR 20 is the long travel version of the platform that can tackle anything from slopestyle to big freeride.

The Voltage FR 20 is the burliest of the three Voltage FR models, with a dual crown Rockshox Domain RC and the long 240mm Fox Van R shock for either 160 or 180mm out back. In terms of price, the FR 20 is in the middle of the model range; for the spec the bike is a great bang for the buck.

2012 Scott Voltage FR 20
  I tried my best to get the Coastal Crew vibe going by shooting directly into the sun.

Here’s where the magic happens: three different shock mounting plates that work with shocks from 215 to 240mm—as well as two mounting positions for each shock providing a different actuation ratio. The Voltage FR also has interchangeable dropouts to dial in the rear end length.

2012 Scott Voltage FR 20
  Three interchangeable front shock mounts allow the rider to choose rear travel between 130 and 180mm while maintaining head angle and bottom bracket height—smart!

2012 Scott Voltage FR 20
  Two shock mounts on the linkage let you choose between two travel modes and leverage ratios no matter what shock you choose. The short travel setting ramps up quicker, while the long travel option gives a bit more squish. Big sealed bearing pivots ensure long-term durability.

The Voltage FR is available in Short and Long top tube lengths, indicating its slopestyle roots. With a head angle of 65º and a seat angle of 73.3º, this little hucker can handle just about anything you can throw at it.

2012 Scott Voltage FR 20

As for the ride? With the long travel spec the Voltage FR 20 is definitely a shuttle-oriented build. While the rear end is a single pivot, the 180mm travel setting paired up with the 200mm Domain and dual ply Schwalbe Big Betty 2.4s lets the FR 20 maintain speed through chunky sections—and it still loves to jump.

2012 Scott Voltage FR 20
 Pretty much a dead sailor. Mouse over for the next shot in the sequence. Photos ~ Jason Fuller

Our test bike has seen days at Squamish, Cypress, Fromme, Seymour, and Burke so far. All of the stock parts are performing great and the Voltage FR is a platform that we have enjoyed getting back on every time the opportunity calls.

2012 Scott Voltage FR 20
  Before I got on the Voltage FR, Cam McRae popped its cherry with a shuttle day in Squamish. Here he is riding a warmup rock face on Cypress.

As its adaptability is one of the Voltage FR’s highlights, we’re looking to put a shorter travel single crown fork on this test bike and see how it fares. With lighter tires and fork, the FR 20 should make for a fun pedal-for-your-freeride bike.

2012 Scott Voltage FR 20
  Click for a high res version of this shot to check out the details of the FR 20.

Scott’s done a great job with the matchy-matchy branding across the bike, right down to the bars, rims, and hubs. This approach can be at times be problematic, but the execution on the Voltage FR 20 is sharp. The size long that we are riding weighs in at 18.5kg/40.8lbs. MSRP for the 2012 Scott Voltage FR is $2699 CAN / $2399 US.

2012 Scott Voltage FR 20 Component Spec.

Frame

Voltage FR Alloy 6061, hydroformed tubing, Slopestyle&Park geometry, ISCG & ISCG05 tabs,  1.5″ headtube, IDS interchangeable Dropout with 12mm thru axle, 160 – 180mm travel
Rear Shock
Fox Van R coil spring preload, Speed sensitive compression & rebound d
Fork

 RockShox Domain Dualcrown R, 200mm travel, Coil oil, Reb adjustable, alloy steerer, 20mm Maxle
Headset FSA Orbit E 1.5R, alloy cups, 1.5“ Reducer to 1 1/8“, semi-integrated
Rear Derailleur Sram X7, 9 Speed, short cage
Shifters Sram X5, Trigger Shifter
Brake Levers  Avid Elixir 5S Disc
Brakes Avid Elixir 5S Disc, 200/F and 200/R mm Rotor
Cranks Truvativ Hussefelt 1.0, 165mm, 36T chainring
BB Truvativ HowitzerXR, 73mm shell
Chainguide E.thirteen LS-1, ISCG05, Chainguide w/Taco
Bar Scott Pilot FR 1 Pro, D.B, 20mm rise, 750mm
Stem Scott MJ-Boxxer02, 1 1/8“, 0° angle, 50mm ext.
Pedals Wellgo B155U SCT, Flatpedal w/replaceable pins
Post Scott DJ zero offset, 31.6mm
Saddle Scott Voltage FR
Front Hub Scott Comp, 20mm thru axle
Rear Hub Scott DHL-135, 12mm thru axle, 135mm wide
Chain Sram CN-PC-951 w/pwr lock
Cassette Sram PG-950, 11-28 T
Spokes DT Swiss Industry black 14G 2.0mm
Rims Alex FR 32, 32H, DH disc rim red
Tires Schwalbe Big Betty DH, Front: 26 x2.4 Vertstar, Rear: 26 x 2.4 Trailstar, Triple Nano Compound, Wire Bead, 2-ply DH casing, Snake Bite

2012 Scott Voltage FR 20
  Riding the Voltage FR 20 off into the sunset… Photo ~ Jason Fuller


Are you stoked on the Voltage FR 20? Could this be your bargain park shredder for 2012? Let us know below…