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Scott Spark 900 Tuned AXS review

Swiss brand’s new speed machine turns heads on the trail

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £8,199.00 RRP | USD $10,000.00 | EUR €8,999.00
Pack shot of the Scott Spark 900 Tuned AXS full suspension mountain bike

Our review

Fast and furious, but can feel a bit like a coiled spring at times when you’re really hauling
Pros: Supremely smooth suspension over large and smooth hits; picks up speed like nothing else; up-to-date geometry with some adjustability
Cons: A bit of trail induced twang; if it pumped through terrain better, I’d be happier
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Scott’s purchase of ‘hidden shock’ maestros Bold Cycles has clearly influenced the design of the new Spark.

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This Tuned version gets the ‘downcountry’ treatment with a 130mm-travel fork and more ‘grrr’ from the spec list.

The Spark’s 120mm of rear-wheel travel is provided by a single-pivot swingarm, which connects to the mainframe just behind the chainring. A little flex in the carbon fibre seatstays helps Scott control the suspension kinematics.

Scott Spark 900 Tuned AXS linkage
Hidden in the bowels of the bike is the bulk of the suspension’s linkage.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

The shock is concealed at the base of the seat tube, where it’s protected from the elements, but can be accessed via a door in the down tube.

This design gives cleaner lines, extra bearing real estate and more room in the front triangle. A nifty shock linkage hidden inside the seat tube helps to portion out the travel.

Scott Spark 900 Tuned AXS shock
Basic shock adjustment is done via an easily openable door. It’s a slightly more involved process to get inside the shock, though.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

An adjustable headset can be used to steepen up the slack 65.8-degree head angle by 0.6 degrees.

This is matched to a 76.4-degree effective seat tube angle – but note that the actual seat tube angle is fairly slack, so the higher you extend the seatpost, the slacker the effective angle will become.

Scott Spark 900 Tuned AXS sag meter
With no shock visible, a little decal sag meter arrangement helps you set the sag.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

The reach on the large size we tested is a healthy 470mm, while the chainstays are a moderate 437.5mm.

Scott Spark 900 Tuned AXS geometry

SMLXL
Seat angle (degrees)75.775.976.476.7
Head angle (degrees)65.865.865.865.8
Chainstay (mm)437.5437.5437.5437.5
Top tube (mm)561589613641
Head tube (mm)9090105115
Trail (mm)107107107107
Bottom bracket drop (mm)43.543.543.543.5
Bottom bracket height (mm)331.5331.5331.5331.5
Wheelbase (mm)1145117412051236
Standover (mm)759767778801
Stack (mm)607.5607.5617.7627
Reach (mm)410440470500

Scott Spark 900 Tuned AXS kit

A proprietary Fox Nude 5T shock is paired with a matching Factory-level 34 fork.

Both are controlled by Scott’s TwinLoc on-bar levers, which toggle between ‘Lockout’, ‘Traction Control’ and ‘Descend’ modes.

Scott Spark 900 Tuned AXS
A top-flight downcountry fork from Fox adorns the front of the bike.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

With the remote for the Fox Transfer dropper post hung off the bottom, there’s a trio of levers to navigate, which takes a ride or two to get used to.

You get a wireless SRAM Eagle AXS drivetrain, while the brakes are Shimano XTR four-pots.

In-house brand Syncros provides the all-in-one Fraser iC carbon cockpit and Silverton carbon wheels, which roll on DT Swiss 370 hubs, with a slightly slow pick-up.

Scott Spark 900 Tuned AXS
Tyrewiz’s instantaneous tyre pressure data is beamed to your electronic device – a nifty addition from Scott and Quark.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

Scott Spark 900 Tuned AXS ride impressions

With pure race-bred DNA, the Spark, even in its ‘downcountry’ form, is a fast bike.

The way it picks up speed is almost alarming – before you know it, you’re reaching for the punchy brakes to temper your speed.

This is partly thanks to Schwalbe’s new Wicked Will tyres, which have a great blend of predictable grip and low rolling resistance.

On groomed or hardpack trails, they’re some of the fastest I’ve ridden. It’s also down to the smooth suspension, though.

Scott Spark 900 Tuned AXS cornering
The Spark is quick to turn from corner to corner.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

With the rear wheel unimpeded in its ability to track the ground, the Spark has an incredibly plush ride, which keeps the chassis stable and you able to concentrate on the trail ahead.

It’s one of those bikes that encourages you to keep pedalling, never choking over stutter bumps or kicking back through the pedals.

On flatter tracks, though, it’s not as reactive to pumping through the terrain as some in this category. Here, there’s a slight bias towards your bodyweight compressing the suspension, rather than driving the bike forward.

With the head tube at its slackest, the geometry is on-par with the best downcountry mountain bikes.

The long front centre aids stability at higher speeds, but it’s still easy to get the bike pirouetting through corners. Concentration is needed, though.

Scott Spark 900 Tuned AXS jump
The bike feels super-nimble on the trail.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

With all that speed, it’s possible to overwhelm the tyres, especially on loose or dusty trails – and when the rear goes, it really goes.

When slamming the bike into a berm, there’s a little more flex between bar and rear tyre than I’d ideally like, which occasionally caused me to miss lines.

This bit of twang was also noticeable on crux uphill moves – as you power out of a corner, the Spark seems to uncoil and sit up a touch.

I reckon this is due to a combination of the lightweight tyre casings, skinny-ish wheels and some flex from the frame. Outside of this situation, the Spark Tuned is one of the best climbers I’ve ridden.

Male cyclist in blue riding the Scott Spark 900 Tuned AXS full suspension mountain bike through woodland
Scott’s Spark 900 Tuned AXS is fast and furious.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

In Descend, the level of traction generated is incredible – on loose, rocky, steppy climbs I could clear more sections on this bike than pretty much any other.

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Left in this mode on smoother ascents, the shock moves more than it might on other bikes – a result of that incredible suppleness. However, if you use the TwinLoc lever, the bike surges forward with every pedal stroke.

Product Specifications

Product

Price EUR €8999.00GBP £8199.00USD $10000.00
Weight 11.5kg (L) – without pedals
Brand Scott

Features

Available sizes S, M, L, XL
Rear derailleur RAM X01 Eagle AXS
Tyres Schwalbe Wicked Will EVO Super Race ADDIX Soft (f) and ADDIX SpeedGrip (r) 29x2.4in
Stem 60mm (effective)
Shifter SRAM GX Eagle AXS Rocker Controller
Seatpost Fox Transfer Factory
Saddle Syncros Tofino 1.5 Ti
Rear Shocks Fox Nude 5T Factory
Handlebar Syncros Fraser iC SL DC, 760mm
Bottom bracket SRAM DUB
Frame ‘HMX’ carbon fibre, 120mm travel
Fork Fox 34 Factory, 130mm travel
Cranks SRAM X01 DUB Eagle Carbon crankarm
Chain SRAM CN X01 Eagle
Cassette SRAM X01
Brakes Shimano XTR, 180mm rotors
Wheels Syncros Silverton