Scott Contessa Spark RC review

Women's bike built for all out speed

Our rating 
3.5 out of 5 star rating 3.5
GBP £3,499.00 RRP | USD $4,000.00

Our review

Stands up to any of Scott's men's bikes, although the shock and price could be improved
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Scott have always had a strong women’s line. And they’re not pulling many punches when it comes to the Contessa version of the Spark RC short-travel full suspension bike either – it shares all the state-of-the-art features of the excellent blokes’ bikes.

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The HMF Net carbon-fibre frame is one of the lightest available, but it’s still loaded with trail-friendly features. A tapered head tube and chunky tubes keep it tracking super-tight and the dropouts can be upgraded to a screw-through rear axle. 

While the 120mm RockShox SID fork already makes for a slack and confident ride (for its category), twiddling the shock mount chip drops the Contessa even lower and rakes out the front to create an absolute singletrack ripper.

The easy-adjust RockShox SID fork gives 120mm of travel from very little heft
The easy-adjust rockshox sid fork gives 120mm of travel from very little heft:
Adam Gasson/Future Publishing

The easy-adjust RockShox SID fork gives 120mm of travel from very little heft

The unique DT Swiss/Scott ‘Nude’ shock isn’t exactly the smoothest one around, but racers and summit sprinters will really appreciate the double-ended shock control and lockout of the DNA3 Twin Loc damping system.

While there’s a lot going on in terms of remote levers and geometry choices, the kit list is a who’s who of maximum ride, minimum maintenance componentry. Slick-shifting Shimano XT transmission and powerful matching brakes do their job through a custom DT Swiss tubeless-ready wheelset.

The lightweight but still generously sized Schwalbe Rocket Ron tyres provide surefooted grip and easy speed to help boost on-trail confidence, while helping to keep weight to a hardtail-style 24lb. 

Oh, and the Scott finishing kit and Fizik Vitesse saddle are easier on your hands and hindquarters than the Euro colours are on your eyes…

This all makes for a superbly versatile machine that’s ready to excel whether you’re racing, riding marathon cross-country epics or just mucking about in the woods.

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This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Contessa Spark RC (12)
Brand Scott

Description S, M, L sizes
Rear Hub DT Swiss XR20 Disc IT, 12 x 142mm, RWS
Spoke Type DT Swiss Super Comp black
Brake Levers Shimano XT BL-M785 Disc
Weight (lb) 24
Weight (kg) 10.9
Stem Scott Pro, Oversize 31.8mm, 1 1/8", 6° angle
Shifters Shimano XT SL-M780, Rapidfire Plus, 2 way release, Ispec clamp
Seatpost Scott RC 03-60, 34.9mm
Saddle Fizik Vitesse HP
Rims DT Swiss XR20 Disc, 28H, Tubeless ready
Rear Shock Scott DT Nude2, 3 modes Lockout-TC-AT, Ball joints, 190 x 50mm, rebound adj.
Rear Derailleur Shimano XT RD-M780 SGS, Shadow Type, 30 Speed
Bottom Bracket Shimano SM-BB71-41A / shell 41x89.5mm
Headset Type Ritchey Pro Tapered 1.5" - 1 1/8", semi integrated 50 / 61mm
Handlebar Scott Pilot 15 Pro, D.B., 15mm rise, OS, 640mm, Scott lockon grips
Front Hub DT Swiss XR20 Disc IT, RWS QR
Front Derailleur Shimano XT, FD-M780-E, DM
Frame Material Spark Carbon, IMP5 technology, HMF NET, BB 92, Alloy swingarm with 160 PM, U-Mono Link, Tapered Headtube, IDS SL dropouts for 142 x 12mm, BB height adjustable, 120mm rear travel
Fork Rock Shox SID RL3 Air, DNA custom damper with 3 modes, tapered steerer, rebound adj., 120mm travel
Cranks Shimano XT FC-M780, Hollowtech 2, 42Ax32Ax24A T
Chain Shimano CN-HG74
Cassette Shimano XT, CS-M771-10, 11-36 T
Brakes Shimano XT BR-M785 Disc, 180/F and 160/R mm SM-RT75 Rotor
Tyres Schwalbe Rocket Ron EVO, 26 x 2.25, 127EPI Kevlar Bead, Tubeless ready, Pace star compound