VINTAGE TECH – SCOTT EQUALIZER SHOCK

Shaun George Mechanics

The Equalizer shock by Scott was one of the greatest shocks of its time. It’s been around for more than a decade now and you’ll still find a couple of riders equipped with the Equalizer on their bikes. Our very own Mech here rides a 2009 Scott 30 Ransom with the first DT Swiss-made Equalizer shock.

It performs brilliantly on all terrains.

It is also a component that has faced severe criticism over the years for its design and functionality. It was standard issue on the Scott Ransom from 2008 to 2010. Many owners over the years complained about its unreliability.

Riders believed that the Ransom was a great bike that was ultimately let down by the Equalizer shock that was OEM on it at the time.

Only later did people fully realize the Equalizer’s true potential. It’s true, the shock had its fair share of problems-but this was only because nobody really knew how to use and properly take care of the suspension. Remember, this was a completely proprietary shock design by Scott in partnership with DT Swiss.

The Ransom was designed with a multi-pivot design in combination with linear shock characteristics. Due to this, chain tension was reduced and pedaling did not affect the function and movement of the rear swingarm.

The Equalizer featured Traction Control (TC), a Power Stabilizer and an Intelligent Rebound Valve. The combination of these systems eliminates the bobbing as well as the kick-back of the shock after a big impact or jump. No power will be lost and the optimum power transfer is generated as the swingarm can follow the trail surface, and will offer perfect traction even at higher speeds.

The Scott Equalizer TC shock offered the riders 3 different shock adjustabilities through the remote lever.

FULL-TRAVEL MODE

The suspension was under the lowest possible compression and therefore offered the full 165mm of travel.

TRACTION MODE

putting it in this mode reduced the internal chamber volume inside the shock-travel of the shock reduces to around 60% (100mm). This results in climbing without “bobbing” and offers optimum traction to the rear wheel.

LOCK-OUT MODE

In this mode the shock is locked, climbing on asphalt roads was possible without any power loss. There is also a blow-off-system that prevents the shock from damage in case the rider does not open the system while crossing obstacles.

ADDITIONAL FEATURES

POWER STABILIZER

Adjusting this knob on the shock adjusts the compression damping. Pulling up on the knob makes the shock a little stiffer and responsive. This makes peddling on uneven terrain easier.

INTELLIGENT REBOUND VAVLE

This rebound valve can distinguish between soft and hard impacts. It automatically adapts the speed of the rebound based on this to avoid a harsh kick-back from the shock after a hard impact or jump.

On small impacts, the system stays fully active and reacts with a fast rebound.

EQUALIZER SHOCK TECH

Contrary to conventional systems which have the piston with compression and rebound shim stacks moving in an oil bath, the Equalizer system pushes the oil through a fixed piston from one oil chamber to another. By using this fixed piston Scott was able to integrate more functions (e.g. Power Stabilizer, Intelligent Rebound Valve) beside the standard compression/rebound adjustment devices available on most shocks. In addition, the shock has a bigger volume of oil which results in higher heat resistance and reduced wear and tear of the oil and oil seals.

The large volume oil canister of the Equalizer shock is separate from the two air chambers and drives through a rising and falling rate stroke. This gives the Ransom a naturally smooth ride for soaking up both serious impacts and small trail chatter. The twin speed rebound also does a really good job of catching big drops or boulders without disturbing the ride feel too much. The negative air chamber in the shock contains an air-spring influencing the brake-away characteristics while absorbing shocks.

The Scott Equalizer was an engineering marvel from its time and it was misunderstood by many riders. The shock required professional care and services, without which it would begin to showcase some problems over time and usage. But overall, the shock provided an excellent ride and proved its trail worthiness.

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