Shocking new look for Scott Spark

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Where is the rear-suspension's shock? It is hidden from view (Photo: Scott)
Where is the rear-suspension's shock? It is hidden from view (Photo: Scott)
  • This is a dual-suspension mountain bike, that has a hidden shock
  • A proudly Swiss project, Scott partnered with one of its subsidiaries, to design the new Spark
  • With the shock completely shielded, you could have lower suspension servicing costs

Scott has a strong local following. The Swiss brand’s many World Cup XC wins, thanks to multiple World Champion, Nino Schurter, has made it a desirable dual-suspension mountain bike option.

For its latest product update, Scott has radically reshaped the appearance and suspension function of its popular Spark range.

In one of the most dramatic redesigns for an established mountain bike model range, the Spark now has a hidden rear shock. The result is a bike that looks simple and purposeful, despite its sophistication.

mountain bike
The shock is completely hidden, protecting it from crash damage and grit (Photo: Scott)
mountain bike
A removable access panel, allows you to adjust the Spark's shock settings (Photo: Scott)

Looking better - and keeping it cleaner

Why did Scott decide to completely redesign its popular Spark frame? In a market where appearance and visual differentiation can often trigger a subliminal marketing influence, Scott desires greater product differentiation in a very competitive mountain bike market.

Most dual-suspension mountain bikes look broadly similar, which is the logical design outcome of having to package a fully external suspension linkage and shock, as part of the frame. With this new Scott, the shock is placed inside the seat- and downtube juncture, completely hidden from view.

Beyond the wonderfully slick appearance, the internal shock mount could reduce maintenance costs. In South African riding conditions, fine dust permeates all mountain bike components, triggering wear. With the Spark’s internal shock being shielded from environmental dust and mud, you could see seals lasting a lot longer, compared to rival bikes.

Scott Spark
Kate Courtney, on the women's version, branded as Contessa (Photo: Scott)

Two front fork options

Trick frame design aside, what are the notable features and core specifications on Scott’s new Spark? The wheel size is obviously 29er, with 120mm of rear-suspension travel.

Fork specification depends on whether you choose the Spark RC or 900. These two naming conventions split the Spark range between dedicated XC- and trail bikes.

The Spark RC is configured to be a pure lightweight machine, ideal for rolling huge distances and crushing those stage racing goals. It has a 120mm fork and is equipped lightweight tyres, which prioritize rolling speed instead of absolute grip.

If you enjoy fast and flowing descents, Scott offers the Spark as a 900-series bike, with an upsized 130mm front fork and grippier tyres.

Scott Spark
Spark's handlebar is a single carbon moulding, with clever cable routing (Photo: Scott)

A potentially complicated handlebar - neatened

Scott prizes efficiency with its Spark range and allows for both the front and rear suspension, to be locked, remotely, when climbing – or riding along on a level road. This TwinLoc system’s remote is placed on the Syncros one-piece carbon handlebar, with clips that guide all the cables, tidying up the Spark’s cockpit.

As one would expect, considering its topography, Switzerland is a force in mountain bike design. The new Spark is a notable collaboration between Switzerland’s most global mountain bike brand, Scott, and Bold Cycles, a boutique Swiss brand.

Scott bought a controlling share in Bold Cycles during early 2019 and the new Spark, is proof of how clever that acquisition was.

mountain bike
Swiss mountain bike phenom, Nino Schurter, showing what the new Spark is capable of (Photo: Scott)
We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24