Scott Spark 940 review£2,899.00

Trail-bike versatility with race-bike speed

BikeRadar score5/5

Scott’s 940 isn’t the purest racing Spark, but it’s a brilliant balance of serious speed efficiency and flat-out trail fun.

Scott Spark 940 frame

At around 3,000g (with shock and remote), the all-alloy frame is a kilo heavier than Scott’s flagship HMX carbon chassis. It weighs 500g more than the semi-carbon HMF Spark too. Stiffness is good, though, and it has some sweet detailing.

A Boost back-end and press-fit bottom bracket add stiffness, and you even get a minimal guide to keep the chain connected in crazier moments. Scott has always pushed aggressive trail geometry on short-travel bikes, and the Spark gets a 67-degree head angle and long wheelbase and reach.

Scott Spark 940 kit

The equipment is clearly trail-orientated. This starts with a relatively stout-legged Fox 34 fork that has 120mm of travel and is linked to the TwinLoc lever on the bar so that it syncs with the rear shock.

All-weather Maxxis Forekaster tyres on mid-width rims mean you’re not left tiptoeing around in the wet. A 180mm rotor adds more power to the back brake. You even get a short-stroke dropper post so you can throw your weight around. You also get 12-speed SRAM GX Eagle gearing, putting the 940 on point for value.

The frame and fork stiffness means any power you generate isn’t wasted
The frame and fork stiffness means any power you generate isn’t wasted

Scott Spark 940 ride experience

Even with a mid-width 740mm flat bar, the 67-degree head angle gives the Spark a reassuring amount of self-correcting stability. The 34mm fork is noticeably stiff  once you start loading it up in turns or under braking, and the trail-tough tyres on 25mm rims offer plenty of grip and low-pressure support.

While it’s not always so quick to turn, the 60mm stem keeps the Spark’s steering light and responsive enough to micro-manage lines and traction.

The rear end is just as trail-capable. Scott’s proprietary Fox Nude shock feels smooth and controlled right through the operating range, and longer travel leaves more in reserve to protect the tyres and keep you on-line when slapping through rocks, troughs and drops.

A low bottom-bracket means an impressively stable and confidently driftable high-speed ride to back up the suspension and tyre advantage. Add the dropper post, and the Spark can be pushed as hard as the best 120/130mm trail bikes.

The Spark’s Fox 34 fork and 67-degree head angle give it a significant control advantage when things get aggro
The Spark’s Fox 34 fork and 67-degree head angle give it a significant control advantage when things get aggro

The Forekaster tyres roll well, so you’re not dreading every section of hardpack. Its enhanced grip and handling mean you can carry that speed more aggressively into and through corners and chunkier sections too.

Being able to instantly firm up or lock out the suspension at both ends gives a psychological and physical advantage when you hit a power climb or sprint. It also means you can run the rear end slightly softer to maximise smoothness and control, while keeping a firm power kick in reserve in case you need it.

The frame and fork stiffness means any power you generate isn’t wasted. Even the intricately profiled chain and X-SYNC 2 chainring of the Eagle transmission feel fast and efficient.

The Scott Spark is still seriously quick, and what you gain in terms of excellent control and full-gas fun on tastier terrain will definitely be worth it for flat-out fast trail riders.

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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