Ride far, ride fast: the Scott Contessa Spark is ready for marathon and trail

Carbon-framed 29er designed for efficiency and speed

The Contessa Spark 910 from Scott is a carbon-framed 29er that Scott says is perfect for marathon events, stage races and general all-day trail riding.

Scott Contessa Spark 910 specs

  • Weight: 12.6kg
  • Frame: Spark 3 Carbon / IMP technology / HMF Mainframe BB92 / Alloy SL 6011 swingarm
  • Fork: FOX 34 Float Performance Air, Grip, 120mm travel
  • Shock: FOX NUDE EVOL Trunnion Contessa Custom Tune / geo adj; 3 modes — Lockout, Traction Control, Descend
  • Wheels: Syncros XR2.5 CL
  • Tyres: Maxxis Forekaster / 2.35 / 120TPI Kevlar Bead TR Tubeless Ready / EXO / 3C maxx Speed
  • Crankset: SRAM X1 1000 Eagle GXP Boost PF QF 168 / 30t
  • Bottom bracket: SRAM GXP PF integrated / shell 41x92mm
  • Shifters: SRAM GX Trigger
  • Rear derailleur: SRAM GX / Eagle 12-speed
  • Cassette: SRAM GX / XG1275 / 10-50t
  • Chain: SRAM CN GX Eagle
  • Brakes: Shimano SLX M7000 Disc 180/F and 160/R mm SM-RT64 CL rotor
  • Handlebars: Syncros FL2.0 T-Bar / Alloy 6061 T shape Flat / 9° / 720mm
  • Grips: Syncros Pro lock-on grips
  • Stem: Syncros FL2.0 / Alloy 6061 integrated Spacer and Top Cup / 31.8mm
  • Saddle: Syncros FL2.0 Women / CROM rails
  • Seatpost: FOX Transfer Dropper Remote 31.6mm / S size 100mm / M, L 125mm

The Scott Contessa Spark will be part of our Bike of the Year 2018 test — keep your eyes peeled for updates!
The Scott Contessa Spark will be part of our Bike of the Year 2018 test — keep your eyes peeled for updates!

Scott Contessa Spark 910  frame and kit

This bike is part of the Contessa women's bike range in Scott's lineup. However, since Scott moved away from women’s specific geometry in 2016, the frame is unisex and shared across both the women's and unisex ranges, but it is finished with women's-specific kit, such as saddles and different colours for the Contessa range.

The frame is made from carbon with an alloy swingarm, which adds a degree of springy compliance to what could be an otherwise stiff build.

The Spark has 120mm of travel front and rear supplied by Fox 34 Float Performance Air forks and a Fox NUDE EVOL shock with trunnion mounting, which leaves enough room in the frame to pop in a bottle cage.

The FOX NUDE EVOL Trunnion comes with a Contessa tune to suit lighter riders
The FOX NUDE EVOL Trunnion comes with a Contessa tune to suit lighter riders

Both the shock and forks can be locked out remotely using Scott’s TwinLoc system. Operated by two levers on the handlebars. This means you can close or activate the suspension without reaching and fiddling directly with either — a little feature that attests to Scott’s cross-country and marathon racing pedigree.

The shock has a 'Contessa custom' tune, which means it's tuned for the lighter (on average) per height and weight of female riders, and has three modes: lockout for climbing, traction control for more technical climbs, and descend.

The downside of this is the cockpit feels cluttered, particularly on the left where the Twinloc off and on levers are placed adjacent to the dropper remote.

The dropper remote located just over the suspension lockout controls — this could be confusing when you're riding
The dropper remote located just over the suspension lockout controls — this could be confusing when you're riding

Gearing is a mixture of SRAM Eagle and the lower priced GX 12-speed for shifters, derailleur, chain and 10-50t cassette, with a SRAM X1 Eagle 30t crankset and Shimano SLX M7000 disc brakes.

The Fox Transfer Dropper seatpost has a 125mm drop in the medium and large size for the Spark, and 100mm in the small. Unusually, the seatpost also has a quick-release clamp. 

Finishing kit is all provided by Scott’s in-house brand Syncros, including alloy stem and 720mm handlebars, Syncros FL2.0 Women saddle with chromoly rails and the Syncros XR2.5 CL wheelset with tubeless-ready Maxxis Forekaster tyres in 29x2.35.

Finally, aesthetically this is a well-put-together bike. Black and magenta make for a fierce combo with coordinating decals on wheels and forks bring it all together, without being too much. Cables are internally routed, and the angle of the top tube flows nicely into the angle of the seatstay in a pleasingly complementary way.

This bike is being tested as part of BikeRadar’s 2018 Women’s Bike of the Year, so stay tuned for more info and a full review.

Internal cable routing keeps things neat, tidy and protected
Internal cable routing keeps things neat, tidy and protected

Scott Contessa Spark 910 pricing, sizing and availability

The Scott Contessa Spark 910 retails at €4,199 / £3,999 / $4,199 / AU$4,999.95 and comes in sizes Small, Medium and Large covering a height range from approximately 160–180cm.

The Contessa Spark 910 is second from the top in the Spark range. If you don't want to fork out, the Spark 930 is the entry-level model at £1,999 / $2,099.99 / AU$2,699.99 and comes with an alloy frame, RockShox Judy Silver forks, X-Fusion Nude shock with Shimano SLX-Deore.

Aoife Glass

Women's Cycling Editor
A mountain biker at heart, also drawn to the open road. Likes big long adventures in the mountains. Usually to be found in the Mendip Hills or the Somerset Levels in the UK. Passionate about women's cycling at all levels.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road
  • Preferred Terrain: Rocky, rough and a long way from anywhere.
  • Current Bikes: Liv Avail Advanced Pro 2015, Juliana Furtado 2013, Canyon Roadlite AL
  • Dream Bike: Juliana Roubion, Liv Avail Advanced SL
  • Beer of Choice: Red wine for the win!
  • Location: Weston Super Mare, Somerset, UK

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