Bike Check: Nino Schurter's Custom 10-Time World Champion Scott Spark RC

Apr 24, 2023
by Ed Spratt  



As the first round of the 2023 XC World Cup season is under a month away, Scott has marked Nino Schurter's historic achievement of a 10th World Championship title in 2022 with a custom Spark RC race bike. Check out the details on Nino's custom bike marking his past world champs titles.

bigquotesEach of the 10 World Championship titles are special for me and all of them together on such a beautiful bike make me extremely proud. But the World Cup title at home in Lenzerheide in 2018 still outshines all the others. I can hardly wait to chase the bike over the World Cup tracks. Nino Schurter

Big table off the bat for Nino Schurter.
Nino Schurter // Scott-SRAM MTB Racing
Hometown: Chur, Switzerland
Height: 5'8" / 173 cm
Weight: 150 lb / 68 kg
Instagram: @nschurter
Instagram: @nschurter

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Scott Spark RC Details

Frame: Scott Spark RC Carbon HMX SL Custom
Wheels: Syncros Silverton SL-30MM, 29"
Fork: RockShox Sid Ultimate, 120mm
Shock: RockShox Deluxe Nude
Tyres: Front: Maxxis Aspen 29x2.40WT 170TPI EXO/TR // Rear: Maxxis Aspen ST 29x2.40WT 170TPI EXO/TR
Pedals: HT Components M2 Titanium
Crankset: SRAM XX SL Eagle Transmission Power Meter // 170MM // 38T Chainring
Shifter: SRAM SL EC AXS Controller
Rear Derailleur: SRAM XX SL Eagle Transmission
Cassette: SRAM XX SL CS-1299 Eagle Transmission // 10-52T
Brakes: SRAM Level Ultimate Stealth 4 Piston
Seatpost: Rockshox Reverb AXS 100MM, Titanium Bolts
Cockpit: Syncros Fraser IC SL WC / -40° / 80MM / 700MM // Syncros Silicon // Syncros Tofino Regular SL Channel Saddle

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After testing the new Eagle Transmission during the past season Nino has the production version kitted to his new ride.

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Along with his usual wild-looking integrated bar and stem with a negative 40-degree drop Nino has opted for the more conventional AXS shifter instead of the new pod controller.

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Look closely and you'll see the years of Nino's victories etched into the chain.


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The custom paint job features all ten of Nino's World Champs titles. Will they need to add another one in August?

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It's interesting to see that while the new MaxxSpeed compound from Maxxis uses 120tpi, Nino still has access to some special 170tpi versions for racing. The rear tire is also a seemingly pro-only ST version of the Aspen XC tire.


Author Info:
edspratt avatar

Member since Mar 16, 2017
3,159 articles

189 Comments
  • 152 2
 My chain would look like 'World Champ - not this year - not this year - not this year - not this year - definitely not this year -..."
  • 62 9
 Cant scott afford to give him a new one i dont know anyone that gets 10 years out of a bike let alone one that gets thrashed round the world cup circuit
  • 37 2
 Username is not checking out.
  • 4 57
flag bman33 (Apr 24, 2023 at 12:14) (Below Threshold)
 @Compositepro: What are you talking about? He isn't riding a 10-year old bike. Most likely changes everything inclduing the frame muliple times per year. That custom one will be ridden/raced a few times and then hung up on a wall somewhere.
  • 50 1
 @bman33: No no, it's not a 10yo bike but a 14yo bike, as the first win was 2009.
  • 2 40
flag bman33 (Apr 24, 2023 at 13:03) (Below Threshold)
 @Will-narayan:not sure what 'Copositepro was talking about...Nino is on a Scott Spark, but a 2010 Spark isn't the same as a 2023 nor is a 2013 the same...etc. My questions to him is what he means by '....gets 10 years out of a bike alone...."
  • 23 0
 @bman33: just read the title of this article, he is taking the piss out of the double meaning
  • 33 4
 @gooral: doh!! Got it now. Jokes on me Big Grin
  • 13 0
 @gooral: bows head in acknowledgment
  • 15 1
 No weight? Isn’t that all that matters? I’m surprised you didn’t use it as an excuse to use Kg’s.
  • 13 0
 @gooral:

Speaking of which...is a negative 40 degree drop actually a forty degree rise. I'm no engineer, but, actually, yes I am.
  • 11 0
 @enis: you have to be a bmx engineer round here to carry any weight bro
  • 1 0
 Chain = Beer. Beer. Beer. Hold. My. Beer. Big Grin
  • 1 0
 My free hub body would sound like "Nope - Nope - Nope - Nope -Nope - Nope - Nope - Nope..."
  • 1 0
 So many wc's they needed to take a panormac shot to fit them on one photo.
  • 3 0
 @Compositepro:

I have a picture of my mongoose bmx from when I was 11 as my background on windows. Does that count?
  • 1 0
 @enis: your asking the wrong streetbum mate
  • 93 0
 I couldn’t climb anything with a 38 chainring
  • 77 0
 my ebike couldnt climb anything with a 38 chainring
  • 7 3
 Even my dh bike dont have a 38
  • 9 3
 Ironically, anything over a 34t chainring messes with the antisquat, probably making pedal bob much worse. I suppose thats what remote lockouts are for.
  • 6 3
 Bikes use to come with a 32t and 10-42…. Thats .76

38/52 is .73…. Like a granny in comparison
  • 22 1
 @solarplex: that was probably before 29 inch wheels
  • 42 6
 @ybsurf: that was before Eagle. When men were still men.
  • 15 2
 I bet you could climb my mum
  • 56 0
 @Muckal: From Paul de Vivie's wikipedia:

The Touring Club de France organised a challenge in 1902 in which a female rider, Marthe Hesse, participated riding a Gauloise with a three-speed derailleur. Hesse was one among only four riders crossing the Tourmalet without setting foot to the ground.[10][11] Desgrange, though, wrote:

"I applaud this test, but I still feel that variable gears are only for people over 45. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailleur? We are getting soft. Come on fellows. Let's say that the test was a fine demonstration - for our grandparents! As for me, give me a fixed gear!"
  • 2 1
 That's what I was gonna say. It's a lower gear than I've ever owned. Shame the pros have to use a 52t cassette.
  • 4 1
 @hamncheez: no. Anything over 34t chainring on specific bikes. Anti squat is designed around specific chain rings but there are some bikes that do better with bigger rings
  • 2 0
 @spaced: not this one. Look at the pivot location. Way below the chainline.
  • 1 1
 @hamncheez: sure. I just disagreed with saying it as a general rule. My 2010 banshee legend was designed around a 38T ring actually.
  • 7 0
 @winko: I worked at a bicycle shop that had that quote posted on a wall near the mechanics area. A grumpy old man threatened to sue us for ageism when he saw it on the wall. I’m quite sure he was a triathlete.
  • 1 0
 @spaced: You mean back when we had double chainrings? A condition that hasn't existed in the market for a decade?
  • 2 0
 @IronWheel: the land of the free and the home of the brave.
  • 4 0
 @winko: Replace “derailleur” with “electric motor” and watch the pitchforks come out.
  • 1 1
 @sfarnum: a motor is quite more than a simple derailleur.
  • 2 0
 @ybsurf: Just pointing out that there’s always a new innovation coming out that will make everyone soft and ruin the sport, be it derailleurs or batteries.

I ride a steel HT though so don’t @ me about e-bikes.
  • 1 0
 I have a single speed dh and love it for lift acces but the thing with derailleur for mountain biking is range not only fo making the climb easier but to be able to go faster on the downhill if you do 1000m elevation ride and want to go fast on downhill a derailleur is the only way to go.
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: My 2018 Scott came with a 2by but it's now been swapped to 1x12, but that 2x10 was so fast on the flat and decent for going up hill with a 28t and a 36t
  • 68 1
 If we wins another one, he should legally change his name to nInI, Also I wonder if I can get a custom chain made for my 4th place finish at the 4th round of our Wednesday night XC series.
  • 68 0
 Mr Big Shot braggin' about his wins over here.
  • 5 1
 I didn't know they made ninth place ribbons...
  • 12 1
 The fourth place medal should be made of tin or aluminum or something relatively ordinary lol. My best place finish 11th palce in the mid level bracket should be worthy of a being made from twigs or whatever they can dumpster dive for. I'd cherish it all the same!
  • 3 0
 OBVS. I remember when he won his 7th champs and they tried to change his name to N0N7. Didn't catch on, and didn't really make sense then but they were just trying to build the hype for N1N0 a few years down the road.

Maybe this year they will ask him to throw the race away since the good part of the joke is used up now?

Also, congrats on the racing, I think Nino is looking over his shoulder...
  • 6 0
 @Breeconay: fun fact: aluminum used to be more valuable than gold because it was so difficult to extract from ore.
  • 2 0
 Sorry folks - accidentally put an italics tag in here and I can no longer edit the comment.

  • 40 0
 First time I'm seeing a customized chain ... and then Nino is going to obliterate it with watts.
  • 5 4
 It's just laser etching/marking in this case.
  • 20 0
 All of the '0's in the dates will be ovals
  • 10 0
 @uncanny: Still, I don't think I've seen anyone else do that in the bike world.
  • 8 0
 @uncanny: man, I thought someone sat down with an engraving tool and hand did each link. Bummer. Wink
  • 28 1
 Nobody is talking about how he is running 4 piston brakes on a bike that weighs around 20lbs. That just seems crazy to me, even as a xc rider.
  • 16 0
 Eh, I’d be running Codes…I also weigh 50 pounds more than Mr. Custom Chain
  • 19 1
 How many people do you know that can hit a tabletop like that on a 20 lb bike?Smile
  • 7 3
 Eh. It’s unsprung mass. Then 10g difference between calipers won’t make any discernible difference in a 90min XC race (or 6hr race, considering ninos fitness). Plus better brakes = later braking = more speeeeed
  • 5 1
 @corposello: unsprung mass has a greater effect on bike handling than sprung mass, but i agree otherwise
  • 2 0
 Probably helps make up for small rotors, which have a bigger impact as rotating weight.
  • 5 0
 It's possible stronger calipers allow him to use smaller rotors than he would use with lesser calipers - and omit the adapters - which would be lighter, overall.
  • 2 0
 @bluemonkeywrench: It's the seat to bar drop that freaks me out! It's more than I run on my road bike and I would never...
  • 3 0
 Also running axs, which is heavier than cable
  • 2 1
 @dthomp325: GCN first did several calculations via scientific modelling software and did timed runs under fixed conditions (as much as realistically possible) on frame versus wheel weight. The effect of rotating mass at this level was found to be insignificant. Brake discs are both smaller in diameter and lighter than wheels, so the effect of their weight on performance is heavily exaggerated.
  • 1 0
 @R-M-R: I wonder if they also want to run smaller rotors to reduce warping and rubbing?
  • 3 1
 @ajaxwalker: Possibly, though 4-piston calipers are far more susceptible to rubbing than 2-piston, so they probably would've used 2-piston calipers if rubbing was one of the top considerations.
  • 25 0
 Holy hell. what a piece of art.
  • 16 0
 Is anyone interesting about the weight of this bike?
  • 2 0
 The last Nino bike check had his Spark at 23.2 with similar parts. Maybe Transmission and those shorty tires are a c-hair lighter, so it’s right at 23
  • 3 0
 @hllclmbr: 23 bananas?
  • 2 0
 @Tinus96: tours have to imagine that it’s either pounds or kilograms.

Using the context clues, which one do you think it is?
  • 15 0
 Nino article - not written by levy. Wellness check? Or nino finally got around to the restraining order?
  • 14 0
 He won 50% of these world champ titles with DT Swiss suspension, just sayin'
  • 2 2
 Realistically, you don't need much in the way of suspension performance for XC. You just need it to do be fairy active in open mode with a quicker rebound, and fully locked out when the switch is engaged.
  • 12 0
 Yeah that's a pretty bike.
  • 1 0
 This is what fast looks like
  • 11 0
 The video of it getting built is a must watch: www.youtube.com/watch?v=igmJZhxnm30
  • 2 0
 Excellent, thanks, why they didn't post it in the OP... !?
  • 1 0
 How are the bars not turning? Did he crank the shit out of the top cap? Or Nino doesn't even need to steer anymore?
  • 2 0
 @bigtuna00: Stem bolts are concealed under a fairing. Watch the video at ~1:33
  • 9 2
 You would all be surprised how fast you can go with lighter tires with less traction. I switched from a 27.5 x 2.5WT Maxxis DHF(1024g) to a 27.5 x 2.6 Maxxis Forekaster (800g) and I was faster on a few of the local technical downhill trails here in SoCal. Yes, it probably means I'm not going fast enough to warrant more grip but that's okay since I'm not racing.
  • 9 1
 Forekasters FTW (especially the old ones) !
  • 4 2
 I have said this for years, no point having the grip if 99% of the time you are not using it and its slowing you down.
See so many people these days on groomed trails with DD casing on a DHR2 and inserts complaining the trail is too flat. They need that setup for when they hit gnarly stuff seemingly. We used to ride 2 sets of wheels back when I was young or if you were not that posh, you changed your tyres to suit what you were riding.
Fast and lighter tyres for XC is the way forward, makes for so much more fun as you are going faster for 99% of the ride.
  • 7 0
 Of course he likes the original AXS controller rather than the pod, you literally let your thumb rest in it and barely roll it up/down rather than having to actually push two different buttons. The OG is the best AXS controller.
  • 3 0
 Plus you can shift over the top to a harder gear with an index finger when standing, can't do that with the new shifter.
  • 1 0
 @Snowytrail: and just pull your finger back to shift into an easier gear
  • 11 1
 Nino making 2 Chainz sweat with that kinda drip
  • 9 0
 That Whip! Reminds me of the classic JT one....
  • 1 1
 He's absolutely nailed that. I'll probably get some downvotes but often his smaller whips do look a bit goofy when he throws his head the same way as the back of the bike. It seems to happen to most XC riders with the post up.
  • 2 0
 Ain't that whip a tabletop?
And a perfectly executed one,to.
  • 1 0
 @nozes: I've always known a tabletop as keeping bike in straight line, getting sideways like this + tabletop puts it into the whip category for me....but it's a fine line, I agree....
  • 2 1
 @RadBartTaylor: Its more about how its executed. If you watch his videos, he basically takes off straight, then pushes the front to the side while kicking his legs out, which is a table. A whip would involve more carving motion off the lip, which is hard to do on an xc bike with such a low handlebar.
  • 2 0
 @8a71b4: I dunno - I've seen his vids, it's very different than a traditional table top....I'd put it in the whip category.....it's definitely not a traditional tabletop.

Tabletop:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqbJHCkeARU
  • 5 0
 That is a heavy post for WC XC bike Rockshox Reverb AXS 676 grams Vertical Helium Dropper Post 304 grams Fox Transfer SL 327 grams
  • 4 1
 Derailleur heavy also
SRAM XX SL Eagle Derailleur: 440 grams
XX1 Eagle Rear Derailleur: 269 grams + 50 grams for cable
  • 2 0
 He doesn’t use the axs dropper for most races
  • 4 0
 Interesting how extreme that -40° cockpit sounds, but then you the the whole bike and the saddle to bar drop isn't even that radical
  • 1 0
 Yeah, looking at it is seems not too crazy. But limb length plays a big role in it. I don't know Ninos measures but from online images I think he has fairly short legs. I have long legs and long arms, I run about this same drop but I sit much more straight.
  • 5 0
 Those wheels are crazy, molded in carbon spokes?
$5k but think of all the money you would save on wheel truing/tensioning?
  • 9 1
 Think of the money you lose if you broke just one of those spokes...
  • 1 0
 @bman33: They're apparently repairable, but I don't know how much that costs
  • 5 0
 Such a hot bike. Go Nino!
  • 5 0
 Hide your wife, hide your shock, that thing is fire.
  • 3 0
 Even Nino, sponsored rider, decided to stick with an older AXS shifter instead or running new ugly one. @SramMedia can you comment on this.
  • 1 0
 The new Spark platform is designed around a 55mm chain line - so Nino can use his 40T chainrings. I'm pretty sure he's the only beast that uses big rings, apart from Mvdp. I remember his mechanic saying once that he prefers low cadence, and that these rings have an advantage in the short track sprints.
  • 1 0
 55mm chainline + British Mud = bad
  • 5 0
 N1N0 is a nice touch.
  • 6 0
 Oh thanks; I kept thinking, "ONIN? ONIN? Why?"
  • 4 0
 I want to know how much this sexy beast weighs!? 21lbs?
  • 2 0
 4pot brakes, 2.4tyres, axs dropper post, none of those are really lightweight. 22.5lb the older scott spark frame was lighter too..
  • 1 0
 @scantregard: Weren't some of his old bikes sub 20lb? Back in the day when he was riding with tubular tires, DTswiss suspension, etc?
  • 5 0
 @jsnfschr: I remember those days. I also remember him getting flats in seemingly every race with those dugast tires or whatever they were.
  • 2 0
 @corposello: Did you see his flat tire woes in the Cape Epic? A pound or two of weight makes about 1% difference, while fast tires boost efficiency several times as much - if they survive the race!

Nino and several other Maxxis athletes have been on the 170 TPI casings since at least the 2016 Rio Olympics, and have surely been testing candidate compounds for the new MaxxSpeed for a portion of that time. Must make quite a difference if he was willing to stick with them through day after day of flats.
  • 2 0
 @corposello: I had the opportunity to work with Nino and the Scott team at Windham WC a few years back. Yes, they were Dugast tubulars, but made specifically for Nino. They were a combination of their Rhino outside treads with a semi-slick middle tread. From my conversations with the mec at the time they only made a handful of these a season for Nino. And the hardtails with the 27.5 wheels were sub 19lbs with pedals. About the same weight without pedals for the 29er hardtails when they went with them.
Was quite eyeopening watching Frishi testing tire pressures in the parking lot and swapping wheels out after every rollout test. Must have been there for 2 hours letting out a quick tap of air and setting up little rocks to judge the distance of the pressures. Next level and very swiss in percision.
  • 1 0
 @Scottiewils: cool!

What was Frishi looking for with the distance testing? Would he check the distance it would travel while it hits the rocks and etc?
  • 1 0
 @bblaney372: Looking to see how far each set of tires would go with different pressures in it. We would start with exact pressures in each wheelset and he would sprint up to a certain point and let the bike come to a stop at which point we would grab a rock and mark the spot where it stopped. He would go back and do it over & over with different pressures. Lots of rocks in the parking lot. And this was at night after everyone went to bed.
Basically a rollout test.....
  • 5 0
 These go to 11
  • 4 1
 Not much of an XC fan but that's a gorgeous looking bike (minus the drop handlebar)
  • 3 0
 38t is great for a small ring on the road bike. On dirt-that’s some brutal gearing!!!
  • 4 0
 So how many you gotta win to get the tires lined up?
  • 1 0
 He's looking strong so far this season. And they wouldn't expose this bike if Nino's power numbers weren't good. Looking forward to his duels this year with Carod, Gaze, Braidot.. and of course Mathias. Can't wait! Go Nino!
  • 1 0
 They would expose his mike no matter his power numbers, he is the world champion ‍♂️
  • 4 0
 hot! what's it weigh
  • 4 0
 10 obviously
  • 3 0
 more interesting to me that he chooses to run 4 pot's on an xc bike ...
  • 1 0
 an optical illusion (likely b/c of the slammed stem) but the photo makes it look like a reverse mullet...larger wheel in the rear.
  • 4 1
 XC Champ's bike check and no weight?
  • 3 0
 Only 4300$ for the wheels. Hmmm
  • 2 0
 couldn't see on the info, what's the rear travel?
  • 1 0
 @Sardine-Vladu: thank you!
  • 2 0
 " Instagram: @nschurter
Instagram: @nschurter "

Dats Tuff... L☻L !
  • 2 0
 The years on the chain is a cool touch
  • 3 0
 ONIN
  • 2 0
 The bars/stem should mount below the head tube
  • 2 0
 38 chainring… holy smokes!!!
  • 3 5
 someone explain to me why that stem is necessary? Is the geometry so bad on this bike that you need that insane stem just to keep weight on the front? Having all that weight on the front just unloads the rear tire and makes it easier to lose traction on steep climbs.

This seems like a bandaid for shitty geometry. I'll die on this hill.
  • 7 0
 The headtube is about as short as it could be. The only other way to lower the front end would be to reduce the fork travel. Most of us don't have the flexibility to ride that bent over, nor ride crazy steep climbs like nino, so that stem is an outlier.
  • 8 1
 It has more to do with engaging the more powerful posterior muscles than weight distribution. Funny thing to die on a hill for when you clearly have no experience in this realm.
  • 6 0
 Surprisingly the geometry on the spark is actually very good, it allows it to be very versatile both racing and on trails. What you’re seeing here is someone at the top level, requiring something very unique for his fit and how he rides. Largely you’ll see this sort of thing in every discipline from downhill to road (obviously you won’t find such negative stems in downhill) but there’s some very weird or trick things going on at the top.

This specifically I’d guess is done to lower the front end to where he likes it, given the longer travel forks on modern xc bikes. It wasn’t that long ago that 80mm was the norm, we’ve progressed through the 100 and now 120mm because this is what a modern World Cup or world champs course rides best with. Plus they’re getting the weight down on these longer travel xc race bikes so he can race with a 120mm fork, but now runs a silly looking drop stem to achieve his fit.

But to sum up, the new spark rides well. It doesn’t need this stem to do so.
  • 2 0
 38 tooth front ring..... man is an animal
  • 1 0
 They should have put the gold cassette, gold chain, and gold chainring on for the bling factor. Missed opportunity.
  • 2 0
 That doesn’t exist with the new seam transmission
  • 2 0
 I thought SRAM said new transmission wouldn’t work with old axs stuff?
  • 3 0
 The old controller is the only thing that’s compatible with the new stuff
  • 2 0
 @laupe: thank you. Not a fan of the new controller. Like hitting the back paddle on the old type
  • 1 0
 @bakewell: Same, i also don't like the look of the new controller
  • 8 7
 Handlebar is way too low, needs one of these 10cm high stems for sure
  • 2 0
 I'm shocked Jack Moir hasn't started running one yet. And he'd still probably put spacers underneath lol
  • 5 0
 @bashhard: "That cockpit is all wrong."

10-time all-world mtb xc champion: "Yeah, hold my powerade. I'll fix it after I finish making brass knuckles from all my championship rings. Go spin this 42t ring in the meantime."
  • 4 1
 @iammarkstewart: It was sarcasm, probably should have made it clearer
  • 1 0
 @bashhard: It's all good, we've all stepped in that puddle. I didn't have to pile on. As we were.
  • 1 0
 That crystal paint job is unreal.
  • 1 0
 No pics of the twin lock..hmm
  • 2 0
 World Cup Cable Tourism.
  • 2 1
 Put some minions on this and a normal stem please
  • 1 0
 I feel like he could win the world champs on a Huffy Rocket.
  • 1 0
 I didn't oil my half link BMX chain and it broke. Lol
  • 1 0
 Anyone know what chain guide he is using?
  • 1 0
 It’s a Scott chain guide made specifically for the Spark. The team has been running almost since they started riding the new version of the Spark. They’ll be available as an upgrade to previously purchased Sparks in the fall.
  • 1 1
 That flared down single piece cockpit actually destroys the look of the bike for me...

Looks abit like a sad emoji :-(
  • 1 0
 Just came here for the table top !
  • 1 0
 Those brake levers look horrible
  • 2 0
 Can whip
  • 1 0
 This guy isn't listed anywhere on the EWS rankings. Is he new?
  • 1 0
 With that animal on board... its a motorcycle.
  • 1 0
 Anyone know how to watch the series in Canada?
  • 1 1
 such a small chainring, maybe he should eat more carbs
  • 1 0
 Looks like a session...
  • 2 5
 Oof, obviously SRAM isn't making gearbox cassettes without that stupid 52 tooth or Nino would have one.
  • 2 0
 transmission, gearbox, whatever, lol
  • 1 0
 He runs a big ring because of chain friction, it has nothing to do with gear ratio.
  • 1 0
 Something a bit messy with the software here, I seem to have quadruple posted in the wrong place...
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