Scott Spark 900 first ride review£4,599.00

Scott’s new Spark is a proper incendiary device

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.

The metric-sized shock helps to make weight savings over the previous model
The metric-sized shock helps to make weight savings over the previous model

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 TwinLoc bar lever allows for handy suspension tweakage on the go
The TwinLoc bar lever allows for handy suspension tweakage on the go

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.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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