2017 Scott Spark and Scale - First Look

Jun 23, 2016
by Olly Forster  



For those of us who live outside of continental Europe, cross country racing is perhaps a discipline we know little about. But thanks to the likes of Nino Schurter, arguably one of the fastest, certainly one of the most stylish riders and one of the few who can conquer the dizzying severity of today's XC race courses, this lycra-clad hurt locker of speed and endurance is coming to the fore. And with the Olympics this year in Rio di Janeiro, the only representation of mountain biking on what is the biggest stage of them all, the leading brands are going all out to give their athletes the best tools for the job.

Swiss super brand, Scott, are well known for their passion for cross-country racing and in a world where the lines between a trail bike and that of a pure-bred cross country bike are becoming increasingly blurred, they felt now was the perfect time to unleash their updated Spark and Scale range. Lenzerheide, Switzerland would play host to the launch and while its slopes may be more associated with the gravity race set, this picturesque location is loaded with trails to suit all tastes and indeed bikes, making it the perfect location for Scott to show off their 2017 speed machines...

bigquotesCross country is getting more and more exciting and the bikes are getting a little bit closer to the bikes most people are riding around on in the woods, with dropper posts and wider bars. It's an exciting time to engage more riders into XC. - Joe Higgins, Chief of MTB Engineering, Scott Sports.


Scott Spark 700 Plus Tuned

2017 Scott Scale and Spark. Photo credit Olly Forster.
Big tires equal big fun - the 130mm travel Spark Plus is an XC machine with a fire power.

2017 Scott Scale and Spark. Photo credit Martin Bissig.
Details
• Intended use: XC / trail riding
• Travel: 130mm front, 120mm rear
• 27.5+ wheels
• 110mm Boost front and 148mm Boost rear
• 66.9° head angle
• HMF carbon main frame, link and swingarm
• Fox 34 Float FIT4-3 forks
• Fox NUDE trunnion mounted shock
• Scott Twinloc TSP Suspension system
• SRAM XX1 Eagle transmission
• Internal cable routing
• Weight: 11.6kg / 25.5lb (Size M w/tubes)
• Sizes: S, M, L, XL

2017 Scott Scale and Spark. Photo credit Olly Forster.

Okay, so this isn't necessarily what most of you would consider as a cross country bike, but what Scott's new 700 Plus range proves, is that it doesn't take much to turn a thoroughbred XC race machine into a smile-inducing trail thrasher. And that's exactly what you have here. Combining the lightweight versatility of the Spark RC, Scott's engineers upped the travel, tweaked the geometry, added a shorter stem, wider bars and some plus-sized rubber for good measure.

The resulting bike has fun written all over it and with only 120-130mm travel, you won't feel like you're taking a gun to a knife fight; as, really, how many of us really need 140-160mm travel on our local trails? The 'plus' tires help tame even the wildest of terrain - don't take our word for it, go and try one - not to mention the crazy lightweight build and fun-loving geometry. Think all-day adventures and hitting the kind of terrain you would usually steer clear of with anything less than 150mm travel and you're pretty much at the Spark Plus. and what it represents. With five models in the Spark Plus range to choose from, plus a women's specific Contessa Spark Plus, Scott haven't skimped when it comes to a concise range of options to suit all riders and budgets.


Like all the bikes in the Spark lineup, the Spark Plus, Spark RC and the standard Spark, Scott's chief engineer, Joe Higgins, hit the drawing board to create a new suspension design that would not only deliver the desired attributes for the new Spar, while doing so in the lightest way possible.

Though the new Scale still maintains the single pivot design, it's moved away from the top-link design of past iterations and now employs a rocker link with a pivotless swingarm. The swingarm not only aids the design through a degree of flex, it's lack of bearings or hardware also helps to keep weight to a minimum.

The new suspension design was also intended to tackle much of the feedback gained from the old
2017 Scott Scale and Spark. Photo credit Olly Forster.
Spark which suffered with, a lack of sensitivity and support - two elements which were at the top of the to-do list for the new Spark. What Joe and his team did, was to create a suspension kinematic that would achieve a more consistent leverage ratio. Dishing out more sensitivity at the start to handle small hits, support from the sag point to maintain a good position in corners and putting the power down and with enough progression at the end to help you when you need it.

bigquotesConstruction processes have matured so we could easily save some weight compared to the old bikes. Something which is more specific to the Spark was that we could improve the kinematics as we had feedback that the old Spark wasn't as sensitive or as supportive as we wanted. Geometry was another factor, which has, on the whole, moved on in the last few years and we now have access to new materials that didn't even exist five years ago as well. - Joe Higgins

2017 Scott Scale and Spark. Photo credit Olly Forster.
To maintain the sleek look and feel, the Spark's cable and hose routing is a completely internal affair.
2017 Scott Scale and Spark. Photo credit Olly Forster.
Machined alloy entry ports on the frame help take the pain out of a fully internal set-up.

2017 Scott Scale and Spark. Photo credit Olly Forster.
Maxxis' 2.75 x 2.8" Rekon tires pack a serious punch on the trails...
2017 Scott Scale and Spark. Photo credit Olly Forster.
and were designed specifically for this burgeoning new "option".

2017 Scott Scale and Spark. Photo credit Martin Bissig.
Delivering traction and stability in places where a regular 130mm travel bike would struggle to stay calm and collected, riding the Spark Plus was an eye-opening experience, especially on trails where a longer travel option would be the more traditional tool for the job.

bigquotesI think there's really going to be a renaissance in the amount of capable 120-130mm travel bikes. - Joe Higgins

Developed in collaboration with Scott's XC team, their new integrated chainguide mounts directly to the frame via the main pivot. Adopting this interface, the engineers at Scott not only saved weight (the guide itself weighs a claimed 23 grams), but also removed any potential complications or additional components from the frame.

2017 Scott Scale and Spark. Photo credit Olly Forster.
The easy to assemble and mount chainguard can accommodate chainrings from 30-36 tooth.


The Syncros SL line was developed alongside the new Spark and Scale range, adding a degree of integration while upholding the same ethos of reducing weight while simultaneously increasing comfort and structural rigidity. The Spark 700 Plus Tuned (medium tested) came with an appropriately short 50mm FL1.5 stem and 760mm wide FL1.0 carbon bar with a 12mm rise and finished off with Syncros lock-on grips. The super lightweight XM1.0 saddle (10% lighter than the 2016 iteration) sports carbon rails, which have had their fibres orientated to increase comfort and control flex.

2017 Scott Scale and Spark. Photo credit Olly Forster.
2017 Scott Scale and Spark. Photo credit Olly Forster.

2017 Scott Scale and Spark. Photo credit Olly Forster.
Only two clamps yet so much control at your fingertips...
Love it, loathe it or simply don't understand it, Scott's three-position on-the-fly Twinloc suspension system is back for 2017. Through a unique partnership with Fox Suspension, the patented Twinloc system controls both the damping and the air volume in the mere milliseconds it takes to activate the lever.

The handlebar-mounted lever has been redesigned for 2017 and now sits under the handlebar, increasing its integration into the cockpit while making full use of today's 1x equipped bikes. Switching between 'descend' mode, 'traction' and fully locked-out, you can optimise performance based on your trailside circumstances. The latest Twinloc system is a far cry from those it superseded.

The Trunnion mount isn't new, but it's a design which has been somewhat overlooked in recent years, that is until now. For Scott, adopting the Trunnion mount allowed them to use a metric shock and since the shock body extends between the mounting bolts, it frees up additional space to cram even more in. In this instance, this was an additional 7mm of shock stroke on a 165mm eye-to-eye shock, which coincidentally is the same size as that used on the old Spark.

bigquotesThe Trunnion design gave us the opportunity to save some additional weight, but we mainly chose it for the structure. Suspension performance isn't really affected but it does represent a stiffer foundation for the shock and with a shorter linkage, as it's stiff at both ends. There's also a tiny bit of 'float' in the Trunnion mount to help with wear and tear as well, but it's less than a millimeter. - Joe Higgins

2017 Scott Scale and Spark. Photo credit Olly Forster.
The cables for the Twinloc system neatly disappear into the downtube which only adds to the sleek and highly integrated look and feel of all of the new Sparks.
2017 Scott Scale and Spark. Photo credit Olly Forster.
Increased stiffness, a lower centre of gravity and the ability to create a more compact frame...the trunnion mount brings a good many benefits to the table.

The other significant advantage of the Trunnion mount is that you can design a very clean frame around it. In the case of the Spark, that meant removing unwanted and unnecessary bends and angles, which can compromise carbon fibres from achieving their full potential. The asymmetrical down tube and linkage give the shock 6mm of left-hand offset and some continuous structures and straight lines for the carbon fibres to do their job.

The carbon layup around the mounting areas is also superbly stiff, compromising of 15-layers of carbon fibre on either side of the trunnion mount. Each layer is around 0.2mm thick. While 3mm of thickness might not sound like much, the downtube is on average only 1mm thick, so the stiffness of this part of the bike is significant. The way in which the wall thickness varies between different areas of the frame is also a critical element that Joe and the team put a lot of thought and effort into. The goal? To deliver a more efficient structure.


Scott Spark RC 900 and 700 SL

2017 Scott Scale and Spark. Photo credit Olly Forster.
Scott's latest thoroughbred XC race machine, the Spark RC, has podiums and championships in its DNA.

2017 Scott Scale and Spark. Photo credit Martin Bissig.
Details
• Intended use: cross-country
• Travel: 100mm front and rear
• Wheels: 29" and 27.5" options
• 110mm Boost front and 148mm Boost rear
• 1x optimised frame design
• HMX-SL carbon main frame
• Fox 32 SC Float Factory Air forks
• Fox NUDE trunnion mounted shock
• Scott Twinloc TSP Suspension system
• Internal cable routing
• Frame weight: 1749g w/shock
• Complete weight: 9.9kg / 21.8lb (Size M) w/tubes

2017 Scott Scale and Spark. Photo credit Olly Forster.
2017 Scott Scale and Spark. Photo credit Olly Forster.

Away from the plus-sized tires and fun loving attitude of the Spark Plus reside the real speed machines of the Spark range, the Nino-inspired RC 900 SL (29" wheels) and 700 SL (27.5 wheels). These are accompanied by the RC Ultimate, RC World Cup, and RC Pro - all of which are available in either 29" or 27.5. On top of that, there are 10 more Sparks in the range and yeah, they too are all available in both wheel sizes. Add to that the five women's specific Contessa Sparks, which are only available in 27.5, and you're looking at a lot of bikes and a lot of options. With that in mind, let's focus on the top of the range, all singing, and all dancing, RC 900. After all, we can all dream, right?

bigquotesWe moved the main pivot up because it's optimised for a 1x transmission, giving us more anti-squat than the previous bikes. We stayed with the single pivot as it allows us to build the lightest possible suspension system. - Joe Higgins.

2017 Scott Scale and Spark. Photo credit Olly Forster.
Race optimized and packed with features, the Spark RC's are a serious piece of kit.

bigquotesIt's just like a tiny additional spring so it's like a couple of PSI in your shock and it saves us a lot of weight in the process. - Joe Higgins on the advantages of the Spark's new 3-piece pivotless swingarm.

THREE PIECE SWINGARM

2017 Scott Scale and Spark. Photo credit Olly Forster.
The Spark's new swingarm consists of three separately moulded parts and consists of a brake mount and the left and right sides. The old Spark swingarm was made up of 18 individual parts and weighed 130g more than the new one.

Saving weight here meant that it could be added elsewhere to boost stiffness, such as the BB shell. The new dropout design on the Spark takes this innovation one step further, thanks to a design integration with the 12mm thru-axle, further optimising weight, increasing stiffness and reducing the chance of the frame being damaged if the rear derailleur is damaged.


BRAKE MOUNT

Thanks to the simple tubular carbon construction and the lack of a pivot in the dropout, the seat stays flex freely as the suspension compresses. If the brake was mounted to the swingarm using a traditional mount or bracket, it would compromise flex.

The new mount anchors directly to the chainstay and the wheel axle thanks to an innovative adapter. The rearward-facing caliper bolt fixes to the chainstays, much like a regular mounting configuration, while the front bolt attaches to the adapter. The beauty of this design is that it is cleaner and lighter and doesn't inhibit the brake from doing its job as the swingarm flexes.
2017 Scott Scale and Spark. Photo credit Olly Forster.


1X AND 2X OPTIMISED

2017 Scott Scale and Spark. Photo credit Olly Forster.
Scott have two Spark frames in their 2017 range, one with a removable 'High' direct mount front derailleur bracket and the other, a bespoke 1x offering. The latter gave the team behind the Spark the opportunity to engineer symmetrical chainstays and seat tube that would not only save weight but also boost stiffness in the process - these are found on the more race-orientated HMX-SL and HMX-RC frames.

The 2x optimised Spark frames, which are either made from HMX or HMF carbon, have also been designed with 1x in mind. If you choose to shed the front derailleur at a later date, the frame effortlessly turns into a more 1x-specific chassis.


TWO PIECE ROCKER LINK

The rocker link is made from two separate compression moulded carbon pieces (alloy on Spark with the HMF frames) to allow access to the unneeded material that would otherwise be hard to reach and remove in a single piece. Manufacturing them in this way, as opposed to injection moulding, also allows for a greater degree of carbon fibre placement and subsequently delivers increased control over the load levels, which are transmitted through the rocker.

2017 Scott Scale and Spark. Photo credit Olly Forster.
2017 Scott Scale and Spark. Photo credit Olly Forster.

2017 Scott Scale and Spark. Photo credit Olly Forster.
From the Fox 32 SC's to the carbon Syncros rims and SRAM Eagle XX1 transmission... The Spark RC is loaded!

2017 Scott Scale and Spark. Photo credit Olly Forster.
A Syncros 700 Series stem and...
2017 Scott Scale and Spark. Photo credit Olly Forster.
an XR1.0 SL saddle with carbon rails finish things off nicely.

Scott Scale RC 900

2017 Scott Scale and Spark. Photo credit Olly Forster.

2017 Scott Scale and Spark. Photo credit Martin Bissig.
Details

• Intended use: cross-country
• Travel: 100mm front
• Wheels: 29" and 27.5" options
• 110mm Boost front and 148mm Boost rear
• 1x optimised frame design
• HMX-SL carbon main frame
• Fox 32 SC Float Factory Air forks
• Scott Rideloc TSP Suspension system
• SRAM Eagle XX1 drivetrain
• Frame weight: 849g, size medium
• Complete weights: 900 SL - 8.6kg / 18.9lb w/tubes / 700 SL - 8.5kg / 18.7lb w/tubes

2017 Scott Scale and Spark. Photo credit Olly Forster.
2017 Scott Scale and Spark. Photo credit Olly Forster.

Revamped for 2017, Scott's premier XC race hardtail, the Scale RC, is back and packing a plethora of updates. The ready-to-race RC (Racing Concept) frame now weighs a featherweight 849g, which is no mean feat and sets a new benchmark for weight. To achieve this the engineers responsible for the Scale's development worked hand-in-hand with their opposite numbers working on the new Spark frame. No surprise, both bikes share a number of similarities.

With a grand total of 15 Scales in the range, all of which are available in either 27.5 or 29" wheel options, with three additional 'Plus' options and seven more in the Contessa range, Scott have lots of bikes to suit all manor of riders. At the top of the pile is, of course, the RC 900 SL. Manufactured using Scott's premium HMX-SL carbon, it saves 117g over their marginally cheaper HMX frame and 250g over their entry level carbon HMF frame. A key feature of the Scale, aside from its astonishingly low weight, is its shock damping system, which is designed to balance both comfort and stiffness.

bigquotesThe biggest challenge encountered while developing the new Scale was the balancing act between strength and weight. - Dan Roberts, Bike Engineer, Scott Sports.

2017 Scott Scale and Spark. Photo credit Olly Forster.
Engineered to control flex and deliver optimal absorption from both the saddle while seated and through the pedals when stood up.
The spindly seat stays and thin top tube work hand-in-hand with the wider downtube and chainstays to create two distinct zones. The 'comfort zone' extends from the dropouts to the end of the top tube, where it joins the head tube. The 'stiffness zone' follows the same path underneath, extending from the dropouts via the bottom bracket and up to the headtube.

The idea behind this new frame design was to deliver the rider with increased comfort, as well as stiffness where it matters most. The new Scale RC delivers both the traditional 'seated comfort' associated with carbon frames, but with 'stood comfort' factored in as well, to help reduce the volley of vibrations encountered on descents.

bigquotesThe previous Scale was very stiff and while it delivered 'seated comfort' the feedback we had was that it was harsh when you were descending with too much feedback through the pedals. We've learned a lot about seated comfort from our road bikes, but the challenge with the new Spark was about 'stood comfort' and absorbing impacts while stood up and descending. Nowadays, if you release a really lightweight hardtail, that's cool, but if you can release something that's the lightest in the world and have added features like seated and stood comfort, then that's even better. - Dan Roberts

2017 Scott Scale and Spark. Photo credit Olly Forster.
From dropper posts to electrical drivetrains, the Scale's internal routing system can handle it and do so with little fuss and hassle.
2017 Scott Scale and Spark. Photo credit Olly Forster.
The integrated chainguide is a really nice touch and came about thanks to feedback from Nino and the team.

bigquotesIt's like a little Jack Russell... you can pull up on the bars and get it into the air and you can still race on it. It's a whole mess of fun in the woods. - Dan Roberts


We'll have more on these insanely light bikes in the coming months, including prices (which aren't currently available) and comprehensive reviews of selected models.


MENTIONS: @SCOTT-Sports




156 Comments

  • + 112
 So good they didn't give the prices. I can get excited about this uber light, mega, plus, boost, HMX-SL stuff and still think I can afford it.
  • + 11
 I had the same reaction when the Genius LT plus came out..
  • + 46
 It's like high end sports cars...if you have to ask you probably can not afford it.
  • + 10
 These new Scotts are looking hot. And they reveal a trend of the decade... a lot of bikes will start to look very similar in the quest to lose weight. Minimalist horst link/pivotless rear, short links, front triangle with kink for standover clearance, etc. Any new bike innovation will die out eventually if it doesn't directly increase efficiency, and ultimately the less material being used the more efficient. In 300 years people will still be riding horst links around and not some fancy 20-link contraption (if the anti-gravity e-bikes haven't taken over by then).
  • + 55
 + Size bikes are always called more capable, but are never chosen for any form of racing, where advantageous solutions are always paramount and used. They may seem more capable in specific scenarios but are they really an advantage overall to the ride? Racing, where ideas are put to test, seems to point to the answer being no. Maybe a bit more slow speed grip through roots isn't trading off somewhere else.
  • + 72
 They help make a less capable rider more capable. Riders at the top of the sport don't need it
  • + 15
 @kleinblake: thats a good point, and something I didn't consider.
  • + 3
 Are they really more capable though? Genuinely curious, I've never rode one. I can't imagine a tire of that size is needed on a mountain bike. Just seems like more weight to throw around, harder to let the bike do it's thing under you when you're going down steep techy stuff? My bike has seen some insanely narrow little ditches that it's been able to scoot through on some tech, wouldn't having a wider tire increase the chance for punctures and busted rims?
  • + 7
 I can't remember now where I read it but it has to do with the plus tires sucking. Too heavy, and the lighter weight ones aren't durable enough for racing.
  • + 1
 @anchoricex: they provide more traction which is something a less skilled rider is all about when cornering
  • + 4
 @anchoricex: Honestly, they are. I picked up a Specialized Fuse a few weeks ago, and it feels faster on the downhills and through gnarly stuff than my normal sized trailbike. Not sure if it actually is faster, but it feels faster. Honestly, it just feels like you're riding a really fun bike with a lot of traction, if you're not looking at the front tire then you don't even realize you're on a thiccbike
  • + 3
 @matadorCE: Don't say you read it somewhere, own it!!
  • + 2
 I've ridden one, once. It was on some flow trails in Hood River, with a few tech sections. I didn't like it at all, and am confused why they always seem to be called "more capable." You're right, if they were such a game changer you would see pro's in competition blowing up everyone else on their limited narrow tires.
  • + 2
 i tried a genius LT plus the other day and it's definitely different, although i actually found it to be too bouncy and felt like the bike was a bit out of control at times, you can definitely feel the grip however and they are a blast to ride after getting used to it a bit but i wouldn't call it more capable (apart from when grip is concerned) and i wouldn't get one in preference to a normal size tyre, good fun though!
  • + 3
 @JMBMTB: sweet spot for plus-size tire PSI seems to be way smaller than traditional tires. One pound too high and you're trampolining some skid-bouncers, too low and you're riding on your rims. Hit it right, though, and you're mars rovering over anything!
  • + 3
 @anchoricex: So far I have found the answer is yes no. There are places in this country I have ridden where a plus bike would be great (like the big peaks in the Lakes, Scotland etc) where the extra grip would be a huge help on unfamiliar terrain. However, when I demo'd one on a local trail it was underwhelming. If I ran the tyres at the 'right' pressure they rolled off as soon as I hit a berm, if I ran them hard enough to not roll off it was like being on a bouncy ball.
.
It seems to very much depend on where and how you are riding, for the moment I'm not selling my current bike to get Plus, but it's not impossible in the future.
  • + 1
 @atrokz: An example is of what @kleinblake is talking abouot: DH riders have been known to ride skinnier tires without 2 ply sidewalls on some tracks, because they have enough skill to make up for the drop in traction, & the lighter wheel weight makes them faster.
  • + 4
 If the tyres are developed to current weights (circa 1kg for an enduro race tyre) then the sidewalls are going to be too thin and the guys and gals at the top will rip them with very little effort. Dual ply or strong sidewalls like the super gravity or Double Down will be way to heavy for racers
  • + 5
 The increase in traction, up & down, is absolutely remarkable. You will thunder right through those parts of the ride you always used to think of as impossible. Are they going to make you faster...no. Are they a foolproof answer for someone who love to go "Mach Chicken"...hell no. You have about 1-2 square inches connecting you to the ground on a regular tire and the larger contact patch just gives the "AVERAGE" rider more confidence in their bike and thereby more confidence in themselves. (IMO)
  • + 5
 @anchoricex: I've ridden the Salsa Pony Rustler. My take is pretty much what others have stated: they make a less skilled rider more capable. I rode trails that I am familiar with and the bike let you completely shut off your brain. I was able to put all my bike handling skills away for the day, and just point the bike down and go, choosing a line be damned.
I went into it setting my expectations pretty darn low, so in the end I wouldn't say it was awful--it was actually more fun than I expected. After riding the 27.5+ tires, I got it. This makes a ton of sense for a new rider that may not be as good at choosing their lines, or anyone that may not be as nimble atop their sled. The traction is amazing, and lets you lean the bike waaaay over when you want to. Still, after riding one I can safely say that the 27.5+ is not for me. If you could give your ride a shot of novocaine, and pop a few Xanax, that's what this tire size felt like to me... just slogging down the hill, ironing out all the wrinkles until everything was a nice sanitized shade of beige. Climbing was not the worst, but I cannot use any word even resembling 'fast' to describe it. Perhaps at the top of the carbon-o-meter (and price range) the weight to climbing relationship would be different.
  • + 2
 @kleinblake: But then the less-capable riders riding the plus size tires will be terrible when they transition to normal tires...
  • + 2
 @bridgermurray: the riders don't care, and the industry definitely doesn't care
  • + 3
 @mikealive: I just picked up a Specialized Fuse the other day and it's a total blast for the same reasons you mentioned. On my normal trail bike, I gotta pick my lines carefully and actually try to be a good rider. But on the Fuse, you just point and shoot. I think people are getting confused here, 27.5+ bikes are mega fun but not really mega fast. I'm much faster on my regular bike and it's great for it's own purposes but the mid-fat bike is just plain fun. I agree that you don't need as much skill to ride one and I think that's the point.
  • + 1
 Seems like tire tech/weight is the limiting factor.
  • + 2
 @dooms101: One man's trash is another man's treasure? Riding the bike wasn't "bad" for me, but like I said, I wouldn't buy one (for myself). I'm fine with choosing a line, and being in my late 30's, I'm still foolish enough to think I'm better than I actually am Wink

I can say that I'm thankful that many of these newer frames will run a 27.5+ AND a 29r, having the choice is great. And hey man, I'm stoked for you and that you're having fun atop your new bike! New bike buzz is the best buzz!
  • + 2
 @anchoricex: It is the same effect as the Price large-face tennis racquet or the Big Bertha golf club. It works for most people. Instead of a plus bike though, I am just using the largest tires that will fit my regular bike. At some point the weight difference is an issue.
  • + 2
 @Rucker10: The pros DO ride them and Nino Schurter won the 2016 world championship on it and dominated most of the world cup series as well as the gold medal at the olympics so I guess you need to do your homework before you comment ?
  • + 2
 @xcmtnbiker56: wait. You think Nino raced on a plus bike this season?!n
  • + 2
 @atrokz: this confusion is so bad that I'd like to think this person is thinking of boost instead of plus.
  • + 1
 @kleinblake: It also makes more capable riders faster! The problem is that companies want to sell their high end endure rigs, so that's what the racers race,
  • + 51
 B oring O verpriced O utdated S tandards T yrannosaurus Rex A poem by me.
  • + 16
 Boostr?
  • + 32
 Bunch Of Obvious Sales Tactics
  • + 19
 Buy Our Overpriced Stuff Today!
  • + 22
 But is it metric?
  • + 0
 I've seen this term being tossed around. Does it literally mean was it designed using measurements based in the metric system as opposed to English/Imperial or is it slang for something?
  • + 4
 @dbarnes6891: Its a poke at the new "Standard" of Metric rear shock offerings (they used to come in nonuniform dimensions).
  • + 2
 The article specifically mentions it...
  • + 6
 @dbarnes6891: Everything is metric, just not whole number metric. It could be better referred to as 'limited number of versions happy whole number metric sizing so that suspension companies don't have to produce as many sizes of the same shock.'
  • + 2
 @Bluefire: While that is probably true... I only looked at the pictures.
  • + 1
 @jasdo: I love the brilliant new standard. It's like you couldn't possibly measure the same distance two ways. 25.4mm that couldn't be a 1" if we are talking about a shock. No way... :-)
  • + 2
 it's better, trunnion mount--the new mounting standard.
  • + 6
 @ijb2105: Do you know what they call a quarter pounder in France?
  • + 2
 @ReformedRoadie: A Royale with cheese...
  • + 2
 @matadorCE: or get everything cotter pinned! Boom, on trail fixes with nothing more than aggression and a rock!!! Think how much lighter your bag could be without tools!!
  • + 0
 i was meant to say fresh. Scotts previous line of Geniuses was Meh as hell to me. This speaks to me for some reason. Off course I haven't ridden them. Trolololooooo
  • + 2
 I can't wait for metric handlebars. That .4 on the end of 25.4 and .8 on the end of 31.8 are just the worst thing ever.
  • + 1
 @sevensharpnine: and do you know why?
  • + 1
 @ReformedRoadie: Man, they got the metric system. They wouldn't know what a f--kin quarter pounder is.
  • + 1
 @dfiler: we've got 35mm handlebars now, that should suit you well.
  • + 1
 You mean 1-3/8 inch bars? ;-p
  • + 15
 Finally some original stuff from Scott (at least other than the truly outstanding Gambler). There's been nothing spectacular since Ransom (which was unreliable as hell but it looked tits). Good work Scott, looks solid!
  • + 9
 Original? Nothing is really "original" in the bike industry any more. Sure looks a lot like the new Kona Hei Hei to me...
  • + 1
 I remember that Ransom shock being impossible. Two chambers supposed to at teh same psi, at like 250psi for a 170 pound human, requiring a special long-throw shock pump, with the little chamber pretty much going to zero when you'd remove the pump...
  • + 4
 What about the original LT ? 185mm travel and 30lbs. I ride mine on Fort Bill WC dh , enduro races and just fun riding.

5 yeras old and still going strong. Great bike and lead all the other light , longer travel designs (enduro?)
  • + 1
 hard to tell if serious or not....
  • + 1
 @ScandiumRider: looks like the Giant Trance to me.
  • + 12
 Well, for the riders who want to go hard on the downhills and still be able to compete on the uphills with XC weaponry, looks like the trail / 120 mm market is going on really good. These bikes, like the Spark, really are the swiss knife of the mountain biking for those who can maintain more than 300 watts on a bike Smile
  • + 7
 If you can maintain 300 watts on a bike then why use some wimpy 120 bike when you're obviously badass enough to pedal something more fun up the hill?
  • + 6
 @WestwardHo: Haha, good question bro, but you will always be faster on a 120 mm bike than on a 160 enduro/freeride ready machine. That's why I said those bikes are ideal for the people who truyl want to go fast going up but without sacrificing the downhill possibilities. 120/130 for a biker who rides cleanly is a pure killing machine.
  • + 2
 @WestwardHo: And with 130 mm, you can do a LOT, not necessarily need 150/160. For sure, if you only ride on big enduro and freeride stuff, well, you know the deal and choose the big guns. But who really does ride these trails on a daily basis or at least regularly ? 1 % of the riders ?
  • + 9
 @WestwardHo: for those of us who actually like the climbs and can maintain some speed on the uphills, a wimpy 120 bike makes the climbs much more enjoyable.

I would ride the shit out of a 120 spark. It's gorgeous and Scott has amazing XC geometry.
  • + 3
 @bkm303: Yeah, right. With such setup you can do very much more than plain XC. I'm curios since when 130/120 mm bikes became XC machines??
  • + 4
 @milkdrop: I know!!! Just a couple years ago my buddies were all stoked on their 130mm "trail" bikes. Looks like they'll all have to wear lycra kit and eat gels now.

@RoadRunner13: my thoughts exactly. I buy bikes for the type of riding I do every day, not because I have aspirations to hit DH tracks a few times a year. 120/130 makes the climbs fun, keeps my local trails exciting, and is capable enough to get me up/down *almost* anything, and have fun doing it. And if I'm going to a big mountain destination ride I can always rent/demo for a few days.
  • + 1
 @bkm303: I have a Spark and a 160mm bike. I ride the 160mm probably 3x as much as the Spark. Spark is better on beginner and smooth intermediate trails, but anything upper-intermediate to advanced is a lot more fun on the 160.

Spark gets overwhelmed and sketchy if you try to push on descents. 160mm is however way overkill for the trails I typically use the Spark for. So best option is to have both, but I'd take the 160 if I could only chose a single bike.
  • + 9
 Scott really does make some sexy bikes.
  • + 5
 Some XC bikes get chainguide mounts because the riders want it and some all mountain bikes don`t get one because the company tells the rider they don`t need it.
  • + 4
 That Spark looks mint. Ditch the pointless + wheels & tyres & chuck some 29" on there, it's a proper slack, reasonably long trail ripper Smile
  • + 1
 My thoughts exactly. Maybe not pointless + wheels. They have their place, but pointless to me for the type of riding I want to do. This bike with 29s would be waaaay too much fun.
  • + 1
 I own an older model of the carbon scale 900. I love it. But there is one major flaw: tyre clearance at the chainstays. I run 2.25 racing ralphs on ZTR crest rims and there is like 5mm of clearance on each side. I hope they updated this part (I can't say from the photos).
  • + 1
 At first I really wondered why they mounted the shock upside down. Then I realized that it is mounted like that in order to hide the cables that run to the shock from their Twinloc remote.

TL/DR - upside down shock to hide the cables
  • + 4
 I would imagine it's also to keep the cables stationary for the remote lock. Instead of having to leave a certain amount of slack in the housing to accommodate the shock compressing, the cables and housing can be as short as possible since they don't have to more.
  • + 2
 That shock mount looks like a pocket to collect mud and crap. Is it open at the back or not, and if the twinlock cables exit the frame there, what is in place to stop the ingress of contamination to the fram /system?
  • + 1
 Plenty of cool close up pics of clever manufacturing of parts. A five and five bike thats under 25 pounds and a uber light xc dualy that is under 22 pounds! I love this stuff! BTW i would throw a leg over any of these bikes!
  • + 1
 There is so much I like the sound of in the new spark. All the design details are very impressive and the weight is unbelievable. I'm in the market for a nice new FS frame but since I already get heel rub on a non-boost hardtail chainstay there is no way I am buying a frame with boost. Ever. I might need to buy a frame soon or I wont have many choices...
  • + 4
 Dear Boost,

Have you ever considered killing yourself? Just a thought.

Yours truly,
A Mountain Biker
  • + 1
 Boost will be dead soon... Super Boost time!
  • + 1
 @jaydawg69: Ya, pity the fool that buys boost. Boosty boost is the fute-chum.
  • + 3
 @jaydawg69: And after Super Boost we'll get Hope's proper version (actually zero-dish, narrower rear end). I just hope (heh) they call it Brake, or something similar.
  • + 1
 I've always liked the look of the Spark bit it hasn't been versatile enough for me - I do the odd black trail, uplift, etc. I would love to have a go on a proper slacked out xc style bike though - I can't imagine much better for most trail centre riding... These look very nice!
  • + 1
 You mention early on in the review "how many of us really need 140-160mm of travel for the trails we ride on"?? That solely depends on where you live and what kind of terrain you like to ride. Bigger wheel sizes and "plus size" tires can only make up for so much travel. I can't imagine riding anything less than five inches of travel for trails in Tahoe and surrounding areas. You're gonna take a beating and furthermore,any weight that you will save from running less travel will be insignificant.
  • + 1
 An SS slope version of the Spark sure would be nice. These things are all so clean, lean & elegant looking. Just absolutely nailed it! Now if only they could fix that ugly bullshit mess they call the Gambler. :/
  • + 0
 "Though the new Scale still maintains the single pivot design, it's moved away from the top-link design of past iterations and now employs a rocker link with a pivotless swingarm. "

Please change "Scale" to "Spark" since that's the bike with the suspension.
  • + 1
 aaaand the order has been placed. The Spark Ultimate 29er was just too much to resist. I've not used a 1x system yet so I hope I have enough juice in the legs to turn it around.
  • + 1
 Spark 27.5 now has a chainstay length of 425mm which is pretty on trend... nice! If they can make their alloy 740 Spark light enough it should be pretty sweet. I bet prices will go up though...
  • + 3
 Almost as if Kona may have been onto something with that new Hei Hei Trail...
  • + 1
 Scott sure know how to make pretty bikes. I like that spark plus a LOT, it'll doubtless be prohibitively expensive which explains whyI have never seen a high spec Scott on the trails. Shame, I bet it rides very well indeed.
  • + 1
 Seems like the wrong application for trunnion mount: from the initial press it provides bearing shock mount for areas of high rotation, which occurs at the rocker link, not the lower mount.
  • + 2
 Props to the Scott graphic designers. Always taking risks with colorways and most of the time pulling it off. Nice work.
  • + 2
 'normal' tires starting to look too thin too me, damn you marketing people!!
  • + 1
 Under the details itemized they long list the price.....I would have read some of the article if I saw a price.but since they didn't,just looked at the photos
  • + 0
 The plus bike is a step in the right direction geometry wise. Bravo Scott for going down that road!
Shame you didn't do the same with the race bikes...still too roadie (light but with roadie crap handling).
  • + 1
 I love my 2013 Scale 950... feels really good, and still remains failry flickable for a 29er. Although the stock wheels are utter poop
  • + 2
 Sexy looking bikes, not interested in buying one but my bike-pornimitor is registering a high reading.
  • + 2
 That spark tuned plus looks like an absolute blast to ride, especially with that HT angle. I'd love to give one a whirl.
  • + 3
 Ooh, that Spark is pretty!
  • + 3
 Is it just me who thinks the plus one looks the most fun?
  • - 1
 Would Scott sell more (okay, any) XC FS race bikes if they were not single pivots? With the likes of DW Link available (yes, licensing fees, but it's the cost of doing business) why market it as saving weight sans pivot and bearings? Seems it's either a HT or multipivot efficient comfortable anti squat non pedal bob frame: nothing in between for Cat 1 and Pros aka the lycra and gel slurping demographic. For the past three years the few Scott sponsored racers I've asked all admitted the rear shock and/or design was so inefficient they left it 100% locked out which in turn forced them to pedal a heavier frame for the sake of sponsorship obligations. Looking at the recent 50 miler that PB featured in Tahoe, the Scott racers are on HT and the pros on FS had efficient non single pivot designs. Maybe I'm wrong.

As for Scott's marketing guru smoke and mirrors comments, give riders an efficient fast FS XC design that works great everywhere, and let the rider "save weight" by choosing a lighter fork, tire, saddle, pooping more, using 30ml less sealant. Saving weight was a goal so now it's an expensive single pivot with multiple shortcomings, puh-leeeze.
  • + 4
 I think the whole multi pivot thing is a little overrated. The previous Spark wasn't THAT inefficient even with off the shelf non remote Float CTD. It could be better yes, and they have increased anti squat on the new model via raising the main pviot. However the old one had no problem winning World Cups. Also there are other single pivot XC race machines out there (Orbea, Cannondale etc.). Also the Spec' Epic, though Horst instead of single pivot still requires a ton of LSC to be efficient.

Remote lockout important even on DW Link bikes in racing though, hence why Absalon has it on his BMC. I've watched Giant Anthems (Maestro) go WOMP WOMP WOMP on out of saddle efforts, or bob when spinning up hill.

Even on HTs they still lock the fork when they can on climbs.
.
  • + 3
 The whole multi pivot vs single is mostly a fabrication in my personal experience. They all have good and bad points and each bike is different. Personality I think single pivot bikes seem to get the best out of me generally but there are some exceptions.
  • + 2
 I hope Fox realizes just how many people will buy the Factory Transfer specifically to match their suspension.
  • + 3
 The new Scale looks drool worthy
  • + 1
 A little late to the party buy here ya go file:///C:/Users/Scott/Downloads/MY17%20Bike%20and%20Frames%20Media%20Price%20List%207.22.16.pdf
  • + 1
 I went through 3 chain stays on my spark sl last year. These are more narrow and lighter. There's gonna be some walking out going on with this bike
  • + 2
 I hope this one is better than the Genius, because that bike is a total dog in the plus size version.
  • + 3
 Am I the only drooling looking at these bikes?? Man they are sexy!!
  • + 1
 What does a millimetre of float at the shock mount actually mean; play I assume? Ugh...
  • + 1
 Chainstays are way too long on the spark. Why not just standard 27.5 wheels??
  • + 1
 Any mention from Scott on how big of tires the Plus model can run? 275x3.0?
  • + 1
 Are the claimed frame weights for 29 or 27.5? could be useful information for shoppers.
  • + 1
 Can't believe no one has called out the horrible cable routing below the BB in most of those shots, wtf is up with that?
  • + 1
 It's not. My 2016 Scott Genius 710 looks exactly the same. The cables have never been damaged or caused any issues out on the trail.
  • + 1
 That kind of routing has been going on for a while now, even on Specialized. It's pretty much a non issue.
  • + 2
 I hate articles this long, it takes ages to get to the comments section
  • + 1
 I have learned to go to the comments FIRST.
  • + 2
 Not a big fan of "+" bikes. But that Spark Plus is a good looking bike
  • + 2
 I want the lightest 27.5+ carbon Scale and let me be. ????
  • + 1
 It surprises me, they boosted the front hubs even on XC machines, where every gram counts.
  • + 6
 Probably to make up for some of the lost stiffness of the step cast fork
  • + 0
 Im just waiting for somebody to come on here and say they dont see the point in 120-130mm travel bike as they are no faster than a 160mm....
  • + 2
 Lovely looking bikes, certainly towards the top of the scale
  • + 1
 the paint job and the matching wheels is nothing less than IMACULATE.
  • + 1
 so many fucking cables. i got tangled up just looking at the damn things
  • + 1
 Suspension Looks like cdale trigger I like
  • + 1
 Why are you becoming such ugly stuff?Bros.
  • + 1
 never seen such wide bars on a xc bike....it looks awesome!!
  • + 2
 nice bikes
  • + 1
 Oooooo lycra!!!!! YESSSSSSS!!!!
  • + 1
 seems that eagle is too much. sounds like unnecessary thing
  • + 1
 That Spark lools like a vitus
  • + 1
 That 1st riding photo is pure gold Big Grin
  • + 1
 Scott giant trance 27.5
  • - 1
 "really, how many of us really need 140-160mm travel on our local trails?"

please tell me what I need
  • + 0
 those syncros saddles are eyesores
  • + 1
 More than just your eyes will be sore on one of those.
  • - 1
 "...this lycra-clad hurt locker of speed and endurance..."?

Seriously?

Endurance? Yes, but there's hardly enough speed.
  • + 0
 Looks like a metric session
  • + 0
 Glad they've dropped the schwables or what ever they were called.
  • + 1
 only on the + size bike. The rest get them. Rocket Rons are insanely light and weight is a sales priority for Scott as a brand.
  • + 1
 Snaptastic!!
  • - 2
 Mint green accents with black and orange? No thank you. All baby blue bikes and bikes with mint must die. #saynotobabybluein2017 #saynotomintin2017
  • - 2
 So basically another flex point design that I would never trust riding!!!!
  • + 1
 Because?
  • + 1
 @brockfisher05: because bearings are a lot cheaper to replace than a whole rear triangle after the carbon fatigues it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out bud
  • + 0
 I'd rather have a bearing blow than my whole rear triangle snap!!!
  • + 5
 @mhoshal: well... 2000-2006 Trek ran a flex stay rear suspension design on the fuel series... I work at a trek dealer and I see these bikes still out there rolling around no issue.
The amount of flex needed on bikes with 100mm or less of travel for this style design is very very minimal not enough to cause premature destruction from riding, shit you can't even visually see it or feel it happen.


It's not just Kona and Scott going the route of a solid rear triangle single pivot design so maybe, just maybe the engineers who develop these suspension designs for major companies may know a little more than you and I when it comes to how much stress is actually happening at any given time through the suspensions travel.

Also, just a heads up for when you rant about how bad this design is with your buddies later....The flex for this system does not come from the rear triangle, it comes from the pivot area located on the seat stay. So if the Carbon was to fatigue as you stated it would break in the pivot area, the rear triangle will be fine. I mean, I don't mind hating on a particular design, we all get an opinion... just make sure your hate, is educated hate.
  • + 0
 @brockfisher05: why would it break at the pivot before the flex point of the rear triangle. I was looking at a giant stance that was the same design but I opted not to get it because I feel bearings do a better job than a piece of flexible material
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