BIKE TEST / SCOTT SPARK
Scott revamped its suspension design with a single-pivot
platform and an inverted trunnion-mounted shock with composite
rocker. The Fox Nude shock has a remote lockout and a special
rebound adjustment that offers 15 clicks of rebound damping with
a custom dial that is easy to use on the fly. Scott uses its TwinLoc
remote, which controls the fork and shock’s three-position
dampers from the handlebars.
The Spark is one of the most progressive XC bikes on the trail
with a slack 68.5-degree head angle that rivals most modern
trailbikes’ and is a full degree slacker than most current XC race
bikes’. The wheelbase is tight, and the seat tube angle comes in at
73. 8 degrees for an aggressive climbing position.
WHICH COMPONENTS STAND OUT?
Our test bike came stock with a full SRAM Eagle build kit that
provided smooth and consistent shifting during our testing. The
Level TLM brakes added to the aggressive XC race feel and were
powerful on long descents. Scott includes a custom, minimalist
chainguide that gave our test riders peace of mind when charging
hard on more technical descents.
HOW DOES IT PERFORM?
Moving out: The fit and geometry are very progressive with an
impressively slack 68.5-degree head angle. Our test bike had a
zero-offset seatpost that helped center our weight over the pedals
in combination with the seat tube angle. The stock 70-millimeter
stem and 740-millimeter-wide handlebars felt comfortable for
longer days in the saddle and all-around trail riding.
Suspension setup: We have
tested the new RockShox SID fork
and were able to find our preferred
settings quickly. With 20-percent
sag and two bottomless tokens, the SID didn’t
require much adjustment during our testing.
The rear shock took a few rides to dial in, with
slight changes in air pressure dramatically
affecting the ride quality. We started at
25-percent sag but ended up at 20 percent
for a little more support at the top of the
travel. Riders looking for more small-bump
compliance will be more comfortable setting the
sag at 25 percent.
Climbing: The TwinLoc allowed us to control the
suspension settings on the fly, especially on rolling
terrain or steep climbs. With the suspension in the
firmest setting, the Spark became a rigid hardtail that
responded to our every pedal stroke. The frame and
rear triangle were stiff, making sure
all of our power went into keeping
the machine moving forward. The
progressive geometry gave us a
good position to negotiate more
technical, steep climbs.
Descending: Nino is
regarded as the most skilled
cross-country racer when it
comes to descending, and the
Spark was designed with this
in mind. The Spark doesn’t
casually roll down trails; it
rips confidently. With our
Fast and smooth: We tested the RockShox SID recently and
were impressed with the tuneability and overall ride quality.
During our testing, the SID performed flawlessly with smooth
travel and plenty of stability.