The New Spark
“Not only did I know that this bike was something else when I saw it for the first time, but when I rode it for the first time I knew that Scott Sports had created another winner. Light, fast, capable - everything I want from a modern XC race bike and so much more.”
- Nino Schurter
Looking at the frame layout in general, we took years of feedback from the world’s fastest athletes to develop the new Spark RC’s Geometry. One of the main goals for the bike was to have a platform designed around 120mm of suspension travel front and rear. Having more suspension travel for the increasingly technical racetracks was a priority. The result is the most capable XC race bike ever, and the lightest on the market with 120mm of suspension front and rear coming in at just 1870g with shock.
Working with athletes like Nino Schurter, Kate Courtney and the rest of the Scott Sram Team, we were able to pinpoint exactly what we wanted in terms of Geometry. We wanted the most dynamic of XC bikes, so we aimed to have a geometry solution that sacrificed nothing in terms of efficiency when you need to put the power down or fly up technical climbs, while giving athletes a safe, confidence inspiring ride on the way down. From what we’re told, we’ve hit that nail squarely on the head.
INTEGRATED SUSPENSION TECHNOLOGY
Now, a more noticeable change is that we’ve moved to a frame platform with an integrated shock.
Why you ask? Well for one, we think it looks fantastic. But if we take a deeper look, this approach allows us to refine suspension characteristics without sacrificing weight. Often, when working with bikes at this level, the concept of marginal gains becomes an ever important one.
For the optimal performance of a suspension shock, power transfer must be the most direct possible. What we want to avoid are any inefficient directional movements, in other words, lateral movements (sideways to the direction of travel) as the shock goes through its compression.
Having an integrated shock allows us to improve this in several ways. Firstly, the frame construction around the shock and with the trunnion mount can be designed to be much more rigid, reducing movement and fostering more efficient power transfer. We can also add much larger bearings to the seat tube pivot, further reinforcing this area and reducing any unnecessary motion. Our integrated Suspension technology also helps us to engineer frames with a lower shock placement which lowers center of gravity. As a result, the bike benefits from better handling, and a more stable, confidence inspiring ride for the end user.
While these may seem like minor improvements individually, the sum of their parts results in more efficient shock performance.
Additionally, the shock is fully protected from any foreign elements. Rainy race? No problem, your shock will continue to perform at its best regardless.
Another goal of ours was to keep things light. We engineered the Spark to have two main construction zones – a stiffness zone and a lightweight zone. Through strategic carbon reinforcement in the stiffness zone, we can afford to really shave weight in the lightweight zone. Some areas of the frame have less thickness than a credit card!
Integrating a shock presents a few constraints for weight, but our team managed to develop our lightest full suspension carbon front and rear triangles to date for this project, achieving something that we always want with our carbon mountain bikes, a ride that doesn’t weigh you down while pushing you to go harder and harder.
The all-new Spark platform is Designed around a 55mm chain line - this allows us to do a few interesting things. Firstly, we can guarantee great tire clearance while not sacrificing stiffness – which is key when it comes to power transfer. Additionally, and this is great for the XC racers, we can easily fit 40t chain rings.
By popular demand, we also made sure that there was room for two water bottles in the frame, for those, you know, two bottle days.
All bearings on the frame come with an extra seal to fight against the elements and to foster better performance for longer.
The New Spark features an all-new Fraser iC combo from Syncros. Integrating the cables presents a number of unique problems and the Fraser was designed in part to address this. Syncros’s designers worked on the shape to allow the cables to flow under the bar and around the sides of the stem before disappearing into the headset with integrated plastic parts to keep it clean and efficient. This avoids bends or kinks in the cables and provides a minimalist front end. All our bars and stems feature multiple options for computer, light and camera mounts both on top or under the bar.
We wanted to keep a similar pedaling position between the RC, which is the all out race bike, and the 900, which is more trail friendly. We wanted both bikes to have the same feel and acceleration, but also to build two different bikes that could both make good on their intentions. To do this the frames have a built in angle-adjust headset. This means you can combine the slacker setting with a longer fork on the 900 or run something shorter and steeper for XC racing.
The two iterations of the Spark, the RC and the 900, share the same frame, but thanks to the headset adjustment can both have head angles to suit their intention while leaving many of their other dimensions relatively unchanged. For instance, the RC has a head angle of 67.2 degrees and a seat tube angle that is around 76.4 (+/- 0.5 depending on the size). The 900, the trail bike which has a 10mm longer fork, has a head angle of 65.8 and a seat tube angle that is merely 0.2 slacker. The wheelbase does grow marginally on the 900, and the amount that it grows is dependent on the size, but for a size large there is a 15mm change. Everything else stays largely unchanged. The adjustment of the headset can be achieved without the removal of any cables or anything needing to be re-bled.
We have a limited assortment of new season Sparks arriving late 2021, early 2022.
Don't miss out.
Pre-order yours today.