Words by Flow | Images by Flow, Matt Staggs

The not-so-minor details

Product

Scott Spark RC 900 World Cup

Contact

Sheppard Cycles
www.scott-sports.com

Price

AUD9,499.95

Weight

10.00kg

Positives

Super lightweight.
Intelligent frame design and geometry.
Outstanding finishing kit.

Negatives

None as yet.

‘I didn’t know Nino Schurter was spending the offseason in Sydney?!’ remarked one rider we flew past on the singletrack aboard the Spark, throwing a cheeky whip in the process.

The brand new Scott Spark is drastically different to the previous design.

The brand new Scott Spark is drastically different to the previous design.

Okay, maybe nobody said that to us, and we certainly haven’t thrown the Spark sideways through the air like the Swiss wizard himself, but the all new 2017 Scott Spark has been filling our heads with thoughts that maybe we missed our calling in life as fit and powerful cross-country racers.

Motoring through the trails is what the Spark is all about.

Motoring through the trails is what the Spark is all about.


So, this is a brand-new Scott Spark for 2017?

Yep! We were lucky enough to attend the launch of the new Spark range earlier this year, and we won’t go into the incredible number of changes and new additions the 2017 frame features here, but check out our recap of the launch to see just why the new Spark is perhaps the most desirable cross-country bike on the planet right now!

An integrated derailleur hanger is one of the Spark's many weight saving revisions.

An integrated derailleur hanger is one of the Spark’s many weight saving revisions.


It looks like there’s some top of the line kit on the Spark- is there anything on this bike that you can upgrade? 

Our large sized Spark RC 900 World Cup weighs in at ten kilograms on the dot without pedals, and the only components that aren’t top of the line are FOX’s Performance Line suspension, a set of alloy Syncros wheels and SRAM’s XO1 Eagle groupset rather than the flagship XX1.

Fox's Performance Elite forks still get the Step-Cast treatment.

Fox’s Performance Elite forks still get the Step-Cast treatment.

Despite this, we’re pretty much of the opinion that if you’re on this bike you instantly relinquish any bike/weight/equipment related excuse that you may have used in the past.

The Ritchey World Cup Series finishing kit is simply sublime.

The Ritchey World Cup Series finishing kit is simply sublime.

The Scott Spark RC 900 World Cup sits one model below the top of the line SL model, which comes decked out with factory level Fox suspension, a full complement of Syncros carbon finishing kit and some super light carbon wheels made for Syncros by DT Swiss.

The Scott Spark RC 900 SL is the lightest dual suspension bike in the world.

The Scott Spark RC 900 SL is the lightest dual suspension bike in the world.


What sort of geometry numbers are we looking at?

The Spark is an out and out cross-country race bike, but that doesn’t mean that it hasn’t received some of the ‘modern’ geometry touches that have increased the capabilities of bikes in all travel categories. The new Spark has moved from a 70-degree head angle to 68.5 degrees; the reach has been lengthened in every size (for example, our large sized bike has gone from 438mm to 456.8mm) and the chainstays have been shortened across the range by 13mm to a very snappy 435mm.

The geometry changes Scott have made to the Spark make it a more lively ride.

The geometry revisions have made the Spark a more lively ride.


What’s the lever on the left hand side of the handlebar if there’s no front derailleur or dropper post?

Scott loves their bikes to be adjustable, and the new Spark is no exception. The bike features a Twin Loc remote that controls both front and rear suspension simultaneously. The system has three positions. Firstly, a fully open position that allows full travel, front and rear. One click of the black lever switches the rear shock to Traction mode, while the fork remains fully active and the shock is switched to a firmer setting. Click again and rear shock and fork both lockout fully. The silver lever returns the suspension to full travel.

The Twin-Loc remote system is an excellent feature for Cross-Country racing.

The Twin Loc remote system is an excellent feature for Cross-Country racing.

On trail bikes, we’re not huge fans of lockout levers cluttering the handlebar and creating a bird’s nest of cables adorning the front of the bike, but the Twin Loc system on the Spark makes a lot of sense for cross-country racing and is well integrated. In a recent interview, Nino Schurter commented that he often finishes races with a sore thumb from using the Twin-Loc system continuously throughout a race!

The Twin Loc cable for the rear shock pops out neatly at the bottom of the downtube.

The Twin Loc cable for the rear shock pops out neatly at the bottom of the downtube.


What about if I don’t want to race cross-country World Cups?

We’ll point this out now after only a few rides on this rig- it’s not a trail bike. Every single element of the Spark has been engineered to optimise performance on the cross-country race track. You don’t have to be Nino Schurter to reap the benefits of this machine, but unless you’re racing, or your riding consists of flowing, non-technical trails, then perhaps this bike isn’t the right choice.

The Spark wants to go fast all the time.

The Spark wants to go fast all the time.

Despite this bike being a dedicated race bike, look out for a full review soon, where we’ll go into more detail about how the Spark handles the variety of riding we plan to throw at it.

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