Setting the rugged trail ablaze, is the all-new Scott Spark!
Developed with the input of Nino Schurter; Scott were able to analyse a rider’s needs and wants in fine detail. They then divided the Spark family into 3 groups: The Spark RC; full on XC racer, the classic Spark; which goes in for 50% XC and 50% trail, and the Spark Plus: with 30% XC and 70% trail ratio.
The typical SA rider is going to go for the normal Spark. It’s got a reasonable amount of suspension travel, and still finds itself on the light side of things. We had a crack at the Spark 910 and saw why it’s so good at being a XC snake and Trail monster!
The Tech that Matters…
The front triangle is made from Scott’s HMF carbon: this type of carbon fibre focuses on being stronger than most, but at the cost of extra weight. That, combined with the rear alloy triangle, our frame’s weight came in at 2429 grams. (with rear shock) – Not bad!
Scott went back to the lay-up of their carbon when designing the Spark, and used FEA software to stimulate different forces on the frame. They then applied their EVO-LAP technology, which involves adding carbon layers to areas of the frame that need it the most. The FEA software also helped them to see the areas of the frame where there were unnecessary extra carbon layers, and subtract them to make the frame lighter.
New Rear Suspension
The most noticeable change to the 2017 Spark is the new rear suspension design. The shock itself now links onto the bottom-bracket with a Trunnion mount. Since the shock extends past the linking points on the BB, it allowed FOX to have more design space for their Nude DPS Shock and to incorporate Scott’s Traction Control technology.
Simplicity is everything.
- The swing-arm is pivotless!
- The rocker link was made as two separate pieces.
- The new brake mount is anchored into the chain-stay and axle.
- The rear triangle was moulded as a single left and right side, minimizing the hardware and saving 130g in total.
Other tech we experienced outside from the frame, was firstly Scott’s Twin-Loc Technology. With both shocks, front and rear, adjusted simultaneously, we were able to focus more on riding and less on adjusting. Then we’ve got Scott’s Boost Technology, which improves overall wheel stiffness and centres the bike nicely.
The head tube angle for the Spark 910 sits at 67.2 degrees. This makes you feel steadily in control when snaking up single track and manoeuvring your handlebars. The short chain-stay makes the bike feel compact and easy to navigate through tight squeezes. Thanks to a seat angle of 73.8, you don’t feel that you’ll fly over the handlebars. It helps keep you fairly centred over the bike, therefore increasing your confidence.
The geometry used gives the Spark a feel of wanting to attack forward. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself in a sprinting position most of the time!
Shoots to kill; rides to thrill!
The Spark 910 is definitely one of the most comfortable racing bikes we’ve tested. Not only do you feel the bumps less because of the shock being directed into the bottom-bracket, but you feel more confident. It’s not like a bucking bull, trying to throw its rider off! On the contrary, it feels as though the front triangle of the bike doesn’t move at all when cruising over bumpy sections. It maintained a suspended feel all the way.
Now don’t get wrong, the rear shock is not that soft that you lose traction or start bouncing up and down in the saddle. The FOX Nude was set to exactly the right pressure!
The FOX 34 Elite Performance took care of things upfront with 120mm travel. We can definitely see how this bike is built for trail and xc riding. Both front and rear shocks have 120mm travel; this travel length is the middle ground between XC bikes and Trail bikes. You never feel the shocks wanting to bottom-out with that amount of travel.
With Shimano XT Deore shifters and derailleurs providing a 2×11 setup, there was no searching gears. Especially on steep climbs, that 11th gear came in handy.
Most of the Spark models come with Maxxis IKON tyres. Low rolling resistance and max grip were what we had! However, they did tend to lose grip and slip out from under us. We’d have preferred Scott to standardise their bikes with Schwalbe Racing Ralphs or Rocket Rons or something…But that’s just our opinion.
Going back to how the frame performed; well that’s like asking how does a Bugatti perform on a race track! The Spark lived up to our expectations alright! The frame was adequately stiff and reliable. It’s not a “sissy” frame, if you know what I mean!
The way Scott are in designing frames; is to be as simple as possible with no compromises. We also like the fact that they divided the Spark family into 3 groups; now buyers have a diverse range to choose and they can specifically select the bike they want with the gear they want.
We’ve been told the Spark models are selling like hot-cakes! So be sure to get your hands on one of these soon
Scott Spark 910: R76000
Conveying Scott’s quality service and their “No Shortcuts” character, is the stocked and loaded cycle shop of Flandria Cycles! Bike was proudly supplied by them…