The range of Spark models offered by Scott in 2017 is absolutely astounding- much like a box of Favourites, there's something for everyone in the Spark lineup!
The not-so-minor details
Scott Spark 900
Well-thought out spec for the most part.
Very supple rear suspension.
Tyres aren't great in dry conditions.
What’s the Spark model we’ve got on test?
The Spark 900 we’ve got on test is a 120mm, 29” trail bike. With a dropper post and a beefy fork, it’s a world apart from the Spark RC 900 World Cup we recently tested.
What’s the Scott Spark 900 all about?
The 120mm trail bike hasn’t received much love recently, with many companies increasing their trail bike model’s travel to 130mm, and going with beefier components than in years past.
Whilst there’s nothing wrong with the evolution of more aggressive trail bikes, and indeed a 130mm trail bike with solid kit is a great quiver killer, a 120mm bike with a slightly lighter build gives you that extra versatility you don’t get from an XC race bike, whilst remaining light and zippy in the singletrack.
What do you get for your money with the Scott Spark 900?
The Scott Spark 900 retails for $6499, and comes with an acceptable rather than astounding build kit for the price. The front triangle is carbon, paired with an alloy rear end.
What’s the frame’s build quality like?
The Scott Spark 900 is a lovely bike on the eye, and a scan over the frame reveals real attention to detail.
The front triangle is very similar to the Spark RC model we tested earlier this year; Scott have once again integrated a very neat chainguide that attaches to the main pivot, however the grade of carbon is slightly heavier than what you’ll find on the RC models.
The sloping top tube gives solid standover clearance, and the headtube and downtube are chunky and look ready for some straight-line ploughing.
The rear end is alloy, a definite nod to the Spark 900’s trail riding intentions as opposed to its race oriented RC siblings, as well as a point of difference between the 900 and the Ultimate and Premium Spark models, which come with a full carbon rear end.
What about the squishy bits?
the suspension is from Fox, with the Performance Elite fork and shock utilising the same internals as the top of the line Factory series, but without the Kashima coating.
The 34mm fork with low speed compression adjustment is a great choice, providing a stiff front end with tonnes of adjustment.
Both the front and rear end are hooked up to a Twinloc remote on the left-hand side of the handlebar, which has fully open, 95mm travel and fully locked out settings.
In the dropper post department, the bike comes stock with a Fox Transfer dropper post that’s integrated nicely into the Twinloc suspension remote, which also doubles as the lockring for the grip.
As we discussed in our First Bite of the Transfer, it’s a very impressive offering. Disappointingly however, the post only features 125mm of drop in a size large- we’d like to see a 150mm post specced for larger sizes.
Is that an Eagle drivetrain?
It is indeed! The drivetrain is Sram’s Eagle paired with a 32 tooth chainring up front.
Yep- we won’t waste your time here, Shimano’s XT brakes with 180mm rotors front and rear will work exceptionally
Where will we ride the Scott Spark 900?
We started this First Bite discussing how many brands are beefing up their trail bikes to cope in gnarlier terrain, at times to the detriment of how fun a lightweight trail bike can be in flowy singletrack.
We’re excited to see how the Spark goes on the flowy trails it was designed for, but we’re also interested as to whether its 120mm of squish will be noticeably different to beefier 130mm trail bikes on more technical trails.