Looking for a no-compromise ride? Enter the £8,500 / US$12,500 / $AU13,000 Scott Spark Ultimate Di2, the most expensive mountain bike Scott currently offers and one that showcases integrated electronic shifting and suspension adjustment.
As the flagship bike of Scott's 650b-wheeled Spark 700 series, the 10.4kg (22.93lbs) Ultimate Di2 is a build with, as its name suggests, very little in the way of concession to low pricing.
Dan Roberts from Scott talks MBUK's Rob Weaver through the technical highlights of the new Spark 700 Ultimate Di2
Despite the Spark having 22 gears and remotely adjustable suspension at the front and rear you will not find a single cable on this bike - well, not cables in the traditional sense anyway. Instead, the Scott is wrapped in a network of wires, each of which reports to the Shimano XTR Di2 transmission and that's because Scott has chosen to combine the Di2 components with Fox's iCTD (intelligent climb trail descend) technology.
Designed to plug and play with Di2, the Fox iCTD system features actuators at both suspension units, these provide simultaneous and rapid adjustment to both the fork and shock. Just like Fox's regular CTD components there are three settings – climb, trail and descend, flicking between each is achieved via a handlebar mounted rotating collar switch.
The three position handlebar mounted switch of the iCTD system is disappointingly flimsy to the touch
In its descend position, the specifically developed Fox eNUDE rear shock offers its full 120mm of travel and the Fox 32 fork is set to full open. Turn the switch to Trail mode and, along with a strangely satisfying but brief whirring noise, things get really interesting – the shock now switches to a shorter 85mm travel mode and its sag rate also decreases as the unit adopts an altogether smaller air volume.
The damping of the fork and shock are also altered as low speed compression damping is added to increase efficiency. Finally, climb mode optimises the bike for just that, adding further compression damping which brings the Spark to an almost rigid state. At any point a rider can see which mode their suspension is in via an arrow on the standard XTR SC-M9050 display unit.
Enough of the gadgetry, let's talk about the bits that are more familiar. The frame is formed from Scott's top-drawer HMX carbon and gets a tapered head tube, an oversized press-fit bottom bracket and, thanks to a reversible chip at the suspension hardware, a bottom bracket height that can be raised or lowered by 7mm.
The iCTD unit could never be described as subtle
Finishing kit is mostly provided by Scott's own sub brand Syncros and consists of a 700mm carbon flat bar, a carbon wrapped stem and a carbon seatpost. Syncros also provides the XR1.0 carbon tubeless ready wheelset, which arrives wrapped in 2.25in Schwalbe Rocket Ron Evo tyres.
If Scott cross-country machines like this one are right up your street then you shouldn't miss out on a closer look at arguably the best one in existence, Nino Schurter's Scott Spark 700.