It says something about Scott’s 2017 range that it has at least five different bikes we could’ve put in as examples of why 2017 is going to be brilliant. In fact, between the double Olympic gold winning Spark SL, the Spark Plus and Scale Plus super rapids and the silly light Scale SL race hardtail, the standard Spark, the Spark 900, is the most conventional.
Scott Spark 900 spec overview
- Frame: Carbon / alloy
- Fork: Fox 34 Perf
- Shock: Fox NUDE
- Wheel Size: 29”
- Drivetrain: SRAM X01 Eagle
- Brakes: Shimano XT
- Head Angle: 67.2
- Seat Angle: 73.8
- Reach: 460mm (L)
Scott Spark 900 ride impression
But we certainly aren’t saying conservative — Scott’s continuing its innovative tradition of trail-proofing its fastest bikes with confident geometry.
Even this second tier carbon frameset with alloy rear end is damn light at 12.21kg for a medium sized bike with a chunky Fox 34 fork, Fox Transfer dropper post and reasonably grippy triple compound Maxxis ForeKaster 29x2.35 rubber.
It’s that gripped and sorted persona that dominates on more tasty technical trails too, with a surefooted, confident determination even on sketchy sections with sizeable chunks and drops in, where the suspension of previous Sparks has struggled.
As you’d expect for a company with a race history as rich as Scott’s it’s when you drop the hammer that the Spark really separates itself from the pack. The rigid, neatly internal routed front end with super wide down tube and flush junction linkage onto the Boost back end does a great job of putting all your power into the trail, however rough it is.
The shifting of the 12-speed SRAM Eagle transmission is outstanding too and you can shorten the 120mm travel or fully lock the suspension at either end from the unique TwinLoc bar lever.
The result is a bike that’ll blast out of every corner or into every climb full gas just because it just feels so good doing it. If you’d rather have faster turning 27.5in wheels there’s an identical-spec Spark 700 as well as a huge spectrum of lighter carbon and more affordable alloy models before you get started on the SL and Plus models, and we reckon some might even have a higher scoring price/performance balance.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.