Flow's First Bite: Scott Spark 900 Premium

The not-so-minor details


Scott Spark 900 Premium


Sheppard Cycles






A cross country racing thoroughbred.
Very light.
TwinLoc suspension system.


Would prefer a single ring for less clutter and more simplicity.

29″ wheels, on-the-fly compression and travel adjust, and so, so light.

For the past few seasons, the Spark has been available in both 27.5 and 29er formats. We’ve opted to test the 29er version, which has slightly less travel than the 27.5″ model (100mm vs 120mm). In this category of bike we’re still inclined to prefer the larger wheel; when you’re hammering along a fireroad or hanging onto the bars at the end of a five hour marathon, we find the big wheels really help cover ground and cover up mistakes._LOW0635-2

24/34 dual rings.
24/34 dual rings.

Coming in at 10.3kg, the 900 Premium is lighter than an angel’s fart. Scarily enough, there are even lighter models in the Spark range – the frameset is one of the lightest on the market, which is part of the appeal these bikes possess for racing.
A full XTR drivetrain and brakes, super light Syncros carbon bar, post and stem, and some very racy Syncros wheels all help to keep this bike incredibly lean. Needless to say, we were diligent about using a torque wrench when it came to building this bike – a carbon stem is a weight saving we’d happily forego, tightening that sucker up is terrifying!
The FOX Nude shock isn’t an item you’ll find on other brands’ bikes. The TwinLoc system lets you drop from 100mm to 70mm travel at the push of a button.

The TwinLoc suspension system is well-proven and extremely effective, giving you simultaneous control over the damping (and travel) of both fork and shock. The handlebar-mounted lever has three positions: open – the fork and shock are fully active; traction mode – the fork is toggled to a firmer damping setting and the rear travel drops to 70mm, which firms up the suspension and raises the bottom bracket slightly; lock out – the fork and shock are fully locked out. This system is incorporated into a FOX Nude shock, which you won’t find on any other brands’ bikes.
Yes, there are lots of cables, but they’re all well managed.

Because the Spark 900 Premium has a twin chain ring in addition to the TwinLoc system, there are a lot of cables to keep an eye on! It’s executed very neatly all things considered, but we’d probably be inclined to run a single chain ring, then get a TwinLoc ‘Downside’ remote which positions the TwinLoc lever under the bar in place of the front shifter.

The Spark gets a 32mm-legged fork and filthy light wheels. This is a proper XC bike, and the balance between weight and robustness is definitely tipped towards saving grams.

Set up has been simple – the TwinLoc system doesn’t require any funky shock pumps or use two rebound dials like the Cannondale Jekyll’s DYAD shock which also has travel adjustability. We’ve opted to leave the Spark’s geometry adjustment in the lower/slacker of the two settings, and we’ve gone tubeless with the wheels of course too. Now all that’s left is to go hunt down our mates and leave them in our dust!
24/34 dual rings.
24/34 dual rings.

It appears you're using an old version of Internet Explorer which is no longer supported, for safer and optimum browsing experience please upgrade your browser.