Nino Schurter's Custom Scott Spark RC- XC World Cup Round 1, Nove Mesto

May 18, 2017
by Vernon Felton  
Nino Schurter s custom Scott Spark Photos by Matthew DeLorme


The Scott Spark has become a workhorse--if you can call a switchblade of a race bike a "workhorse"--for years now. Scott, however, reworked the Spark in time for the Olympics in Rio (you can check out Matt Wragg's behind the scenes story here) with an eye towards modernizing the geometry and improving the bike's suspension. What you see here, however, is a completely custom Spark--Olympic gold medalist, Nino Schurter's Scott Spark RC, to be exact. PB Photographer Matthew DeLorme met up with Schurter and got the skinny on Nino's one-off ride.


Nino Schurter s custom Scott Spark Photos by Matthew DeLorme
The paint job was a present from the Scott factory to Schurter. A smattering of Nino's victories are emblazoned on his frame...you know, in case he needs a reminder of what he's doing at the races.



Nino Schurter s custom Scott Spark Photos by Matthew DeLorme
Mean and low. Schurter runs a Syncros negative rise stem to keep his bar height at a reasonable level, something that's not always easy to achieve on a 29er.

Nino Schurter s custom Scott Spark Photos by Matthew DeLorme
SRAM Level brakes handle braking duties. No tool-less reach-adjust or lever-throw adjusters here. Fiddling, naturally, is not an option.
Nino Schurter s custom Scott Spark Photos by Matthew DeLorme
Cross-country racing has grown more technical in recent years, but 160-millimeter rotors still get the job done on these descents.

Nino Schurter s custom Scott Spark Photos by Matthew DeLorme
If you can see beyond (or beneath) the pimp-style paintwork, you'll notice that Scott radically beefed up the bottom bracket/downtube junction of the Spark frame--adding an extra measure of stiffness to the mix.


Nino Schurter s custom Scott Spark Photos by Matthew DeLorme
A 38-tooth chainring...just another indicator that the owner of this bike isn't like the rest of us. It takes freaky levels of fitness to power that ring in a race.
Nino Schurter s custom Scott Spark Photos by Matthew DeLorme
Eagle up front, Eagle out back..yep, that's a lot of SRAM Eagle.



Nino Schurter s custom Scott Spark Photos by Matthew DeLorme
Scott didn't simply nip and tuck their race frame. They went to a whole new suspension design. The previous Spark utilized a shock mounted horizontally to the top tube. The latest Sparks sport a shock that is oriented vertically, in line with the seat tube. That's one of the reason's Scott beefed up this section of the Spark frame.


Nino Schurter s custom Scott Spark Photos by Matthew DeLorme
The custom details keep piling up. Schurter's Spark even gets a personalized, custom-stitched saddle
Nino Schurter s custom Scott Spark Photos by Matthew DeLorme
Let's see...carbon rails, a stiff base...oh, and Nino's name on the underside of the saddle. The underside too? Really? Who's going to ever see that? Oh, Matthew DeLorme will. And you, of course.


Nino Schurter s custom Scott Spark Photos by Matthew DeLorme
Even Schurter's DT Swiss wheels get the custom nod. Schurter is running rims with a 24-millimeter internal width. Maxxis' new Aspen 2.25s provide the dirt connection. The revised Aspen was developed in the run-up to last Summer/Fall prior to the Olympics.The tire's profile is now optimized for Nino's 24mm internal rims. Maxxis also revised the knob heights. Nino and most of Maxxis' XCO racers are using the brand's 170-TPI casing from Maxxis' road bike line, in this case, with EXO sidewall protection, to further reduce rolling resistance. 29x2.25 Aspens (albeit, with 120-TPI casings) are already out on the market for those of us who aren't riding bikes with our victories memorialized on the top tube.






Must Read This Week

95 Comments

  • + 123
 Sooner or later Nino is going to ride an XL frame with longer top tube to accommodate more achievements.
  • + 17
 Why did Rockshox feel it was a good idea to try and copy Fox with the "orange race lower" styling?
Other than the fork, that is one of the neatest sponsors layout on a bike I've ever seen!! The bike looks trick!!
Low key murdered out fox shock and all, any reason why he's not using the DT Swiss suspension package, or at the very least the R414 on the rear like previous years?
  • + 3
 The team is now SCOTT-SRAM, and as you know RockShox is part of Sram, so they are providing the suspension... DT Swiss still does the wheels.
  • + 17
 That color is special to Nino Schurter only... Jenny Rissveds has a blue one... All production forks are black.
  • + 4
 @billreilly: looks like a fox shock to me too....
  • + 7
 @billreilly: That's a fox rear shock, look at the adjustment dials and aircan design. As he was previously running a DTSwiss R414 on the frame and they're a still a sponsor it makes me curious as to why they're using an off-sponsor major component.
  • + 13
 @billreilly: You can't see the difference there?

Take note of the bevel on the aircan where it meets the shock body, as well as the "lip" where the aircan seals meet the shaft. Rockshox may very well make a shock for that frame, but the bike pictured in this article is clearly equipped with a murdered fox shock.
  • + 6
 @Zaff: probably because he likes it better
  • + 15
 RS had red/orange fork lowers at least a decade before Fox
  • + 17
 burnt sienna at best. Its not fox orange at all. What fox has a patent on orange now? KTM gonna call up and pull that card
  • + 8
 please look better .... the lower of the fork is red ...
  • + 7
 @billreilly:
I am sorry but that is definitely a murdered out Fox DPS Nude rear shock. I run DT Swiss ODL on my bike and the Fox DPS is very similar with 3 settings. I am sure Nino wanted the three settings still and Scott has a damper to drop into the Rockshox forks to have the 3 settings but Rockshox does not currently have a three setting rear shock unless that new Blackbox Deluxe that they are working on is 3 setting but the one in the picture is very clearly the Fox DPS Nude shock. @Zaff is right, you can see the lip of the Fox rear shock.
  • + 0
 Because KTM for life!! I bleed orange.. (motos not their pushys)
  • + 4
 @Zaff:
Prolly why the shock is devoid of any graphics.
If it were a RockShox, it'd have RS graphics all over it.
Begs to be asked, why ISN'T he running a RS?
  • + 3
 @Ron-C: Well spotted!
  • + 1
 @Zaff... look up RockShox Judy DH. At a time when everything was white, silver or black. RockShox came with Red and Yellow. Colors change, styles change, fashion changes.
  • + 1
 @Zaff, that was at a time before Fox was even making mtb suspension.
  • + 1
 @YoKev: The Fox/Scott Nude shock has travel reduction along with firming up the damping. As far as I know, RS's shock that would fit this just firms up the damping (like most shocks). I'd assume that they decided having the travel reduction was worth it to them, so just ran an unbranded Fox shock.
  • + 13
 38/50 is the same as 32/42. I find it interesting that he's still got the same lowest gear as us mortals (using a 32 chainring and a 10-42 cassette). I wonder if he ever actually uses the 50?
  • + 8
 I noticed the same thing! @vernonfelton, it doesn't take "freaky levels" of fitness to push a 38/50. My guess is that a 38t is the biggest ring that will clear the chainstay on the Spark (sad). You can even see where the 38t scratched the chainstay in the picture. I feel pretty happy now about the 34/10-42 on the my XC bike!
  • + 5
 @cacka-lacka: yah majority people i know run 32-10/42. Would doubt anyone needs 38x10 tho? I run a 30-10/42 on my xc bike as i want the range and the 42 is for spinning at exhaustion. Never needed the 30x10 on any of our xc cources.

I would probably run a 34 or 36 with eagle.
  • + 5
 This is actually pretty interesting because you can effectively keep the same climbing gear jumps as you do with a 32 XX1, but with more top end. I would have thought that the difference was more drastic, but I expect a lot of people here could actually turn that gear. Thanks for pointing that out!
  • + 5
 Surprised sram doesn't let their XC riders run something with a tighter range. Doubt he's ever using the last 2 gears.
  • + 2
 @bridgermurray: The mid-range through the top end of the Eagle cassette is the same as XX1 11 speed. If he's not using the lowest couple gears on Eagle, he wouldn't use them on XX1 either. I'm sure Sram would rather he be seen riding Eagle than something old. I just wonder how long until we start seeing an XC version of the 7 speed DH cassette, 10-32 7 speed for added lightness.
  • + 3
 @AVann6: this is the whole reason for eagle. Racers can have more top end, normal people have lower gears for climbing. If a race came down to a sprint at the finish Nino's 38t is going to crush a guy running a 34T Shimano set up.
  • + 2
 @giantguy07: oh yeah for sure, I just hadn't done the math to realize that it's the equivalent of a 32. No contest for high gears compared to Shimano, as you pointed out.
  • + 15
 My back hurts just looking at that stem
  • + 9
 Interesting blacked out Fox shock and Rockshox fork. Good to see that he stuck with Maxxis and finally ditched those glued on skinwall tires.
  • - 25
flag billreilly (May 18, 2017 at 15:44) (Below Threshold)
 That's not a blacked out Fox, it's a RockShox Deluxe Black Box / 100mm.
  • + 9
 @billreilly: its space station
  • + 3
 tubular tires are a dream to ride. If you can have a spare back-up wheel than they are worth it. Can ride them flat without the tire coming off. I have tubulars on my road bike and the feel so much better than any road tubeless. or tubes
  • + 1
 @JonJonM: after seeing someone pop a tubular on a group ride with no way to fix it trailside, I'll stick with tubeless and carry some tire plugs for extra insurance.
  • + 8
 @steve9train: thats no moon.
  • + 2
 @matadorCE: Yeah your right on that for everyday mountaibiking its not worth it but for XC race where you can swap a whole wheel it'd be nice. I actually carry a spare tubular with me on my road bike. not much bigger than 2 tubes and can be put on if needed ( I also carry some sealant and CO2 combined into one)
  • + 7
 But but but....I though the RS1 was the XC gold standard. Maybe it's just the dentist XC marketing fluff gold standard....
  • + 5
 That was 2 years ago!
  • + 8
 The RS1 is a heck of a nice-riding fork--- More supple ride than the Revelation, Reba, Pike, Fox 32, Fox 34 and Fox 36 forks I've used on other bikes and stiff enough. If you haven't ridden one you should give it a shot.
  • + 7
 @Marcencinitas: Don't know why the goons are downvoting you. You're absolutely correct that the RS1 has lower stiction than the forks listed. Reason being the oil and wiper seals have more lubrication. It is heavier than the SID unfortunately.
  • + 3
 @jclnv: I changed from an rs1 to a stepcast this season and the stepcast out performs the rs1 in suppleness and predictability in technical riding
  • + 3
 "Mean and low. Schurter runs a Syncros negative rise stem to keep his bar height at a reasonable level, something that's not always easy to achieve on a 29er."

Why do we still talk about 29ers like they are some anomaly that nobody can set up properly. They are the norm now and the bar height they have is the norm now. Get over it everybody.
  • + 6
 Does Rock Shox & DT not make a rear shock for this bike, hence the reason behind the blacked out Fox?
  • - 20
flag billreilly (May 18, 2017 at 15:42) (Below Threshold)
 That's not a blacked out Fox, it's a RockShox Deluxe Black Box / 100mm.
  • + 2
 @billreilly: I think you're a bit confused. There seems to be multiple bikes Schurter is using. This custom painted variant with Fox shock, then his "SRAM-SCOTT" all Rockshox sponsor ride, then he's also got his 27.5" Olympics bike with DT Swiss suspension. It'll be interesting to see what he actually rides in competition.
  • - 6
flag billreilly (May 18, 2017 at 17:12) (Below Threshold)
 @PHeller: He rode a 29" Spark at the Olympics with all DT-Swiss suspension, back that was before the change of sponsors... This year he's 100% SRAM-SCOTT with Rockshox suspension and DT Swiss wheels.
  • + 5
 If you read the other article about this bike, the shock is custom for this bike with 3-stage lock-out, you can also see the remote on the left side of the handlebar. RS probably doesn't have something similar that would fit, also because of the internal routing...
  • + 7
 Í like this bike a lot the frame design is beautiful
  • + 3
 By far the best XC race bike on the market.
  • + 1
 @jclnv: hahaha, yeah, because difference between Spark and Top Fuel or S-Works Epic is gigantic.
  • + 4
 @WAKIdesigns: Check the head angles, frame weights and main pivot widths then get back to me.
  • + 1
 @jclnv: I was speaking about World Cup XC racing. I did notice a while ago that Spark is basically a trail bike from 2012 with 100mm instead of 120m travel which is admirable considering the conservative XC bike design catering to preservative marathon mob used to super preservative road bike geometry. However having ridden Top Fuel and Epic on my rather technically demanding trails I have grown to an opinion that it matters rather little for XC racing. Much less than having or not having a dropper post for 99.999999999% XC racers on the planet, I guess we can agree that Nino is an absolute outlier and not more than 20 spots down the list, folks could actually benefit a lot from that invention. He is Sagan of XC racing.

Yes, I gladly welcome such geometry in mainstream XC, across all manufactuers - it has a lot to offer for regular folks but little for world's elite racers, which is kind of the opposite what a 29" DH bike is. If i would be after XC racing bike I would go for Pole. Ultimate racing bike - I'd go for UNNO.

So it is the best XC racing bike from a company that sponsors top athletes in the sport, but not by far, there is no "by far" in XC racing bike design anymore. Sorry I am mentally wanking again.
  • + 6
 i dont even like XC, but damn that is a sexy ass bike
  • + 3
 Damn hot. The art direction at Scott is really good, both in concept and execution.
  • + 3
 I love the XC coverage PinkBike. I'll have to keep you in my regular internet surfing rotation. Thanks.
  • + 2
 Curious about the reason, why do they choose blacked out Fox Float rather than Rockshox Monarch,,any reasons?
  • + 3
 Super curious what that thing weights.
  • + 1
 his last race bike was 9.88kg or 21.78lbs. So im sure its at least that light and probably lighter!
  • + 1
 Lightest hardtails are in the 7kg range...
  • + 1
 Gimme that Orbea over this any day!
  • + 2
 That's one sexy bike!
  • + 1
 Anyone know what frame size is Nino using?
  • + 1
 I wonder why he isn't running his usual handmade tires on this setup...
  • + 2
 He had too many flats on Dugast tires, so he's rocking custom 170 tpi Aspens now.

Dear Maxxis: pretty please make 29x2.35 170tpi EXO Aspens optimized for 25-30mm i.d. rims for the general public!
  • + 1
 Damn. They make a 38T single.
  • + 1
 more pictures!!!! thanks!!!
  • + 1
 So, no more DT Swiss for suspension components this year?
  • - 1
 DT Swiss wheels only.
  • + 1
 It almost seems excessive..... but man!!! awesome!
  • + 1
 Vernon or Delorme: is this Nino's race bike or a training bike?
  • + 1
 So sharp eyed viewers. What kind of chain guide is that?
  • + 1
 Think i'd go over the bars just sitting on that! Seriously low front end!
  • + 1
 WOW
  • + 1
 Thats 29er ou 28er?
  • + 1
 So slack for XC....
  • + 0
 Ari Golds wheelset. Time to hug it out.
  • - 2
 I think this is the bike that's going to win everything this year!
  • - 1
 Its not winning any dh world cups
  • + 7
 @Uhlrichl1: Knowing Nino, He might actually win
  • + 8
 @Uhlrichl1: Let's get him to do a course preview with Claudio!
  • + 2
 Let's see any DH racer on an XC bike try and do a lap with him. They would struggle on the descents and get annihilated everywhere else.
  • + 1
 @jclnv: probably as close as we'll get: www.youtube.com/watch?v=4M6qq5jxJ6E
  • + 2
 @aquanut: I'm so glad dropper posts were invented. I don't care if Nino was faster, that looks miserable.
  • + 1
 @jclnv: I think you have grossly underestimate on just how fit a world class DH racer is. Just like many DH racers make same mistake about the technical skill level of world class XC racers.
  • + 1
 @WhatAboutBob: A discussion like this is going nowhere. I mean you don't make fun of a Marathon runner for not running as fast Usain Bolt. And the same goes the other way around
  • + 1
 @WhatAboutBob: Thing is most DH racers get to where they are because they're gifted bike handlers whereas most XC racers are there because of genetic physiology. The top XC racers are simply other worldly fast over an hour and a half. I'm reasonably fit and do okay in races but when I look at the numbers put out by the fast guys it makes zero sense to me.
  • + 1
 @jclnv: Have a look at Jared Graves XC results in the Australian competition from a couple of years ago, he finished second to Dan Mconnell. I think you'd find that most DH racers nowadays compete in the odd off season XC race to keep their fitness up too.
  • + 1
 @jclnv: World class DH racers and world class XC racers are what they are because they work really hard. The sport is in a cool place where the disciplines are actually training together. If you were is southern California this winter you would have seen Gwin, Rude and Pendrel pounding out XC miles together.
  • + 1
 @Blackers: Graves is an anomaly in every sense. He's racing EWS on a Stumpy. That said, he wouldn't get a top 20 in a WC XCO.
  • + 1
 @WhatAboutBob: No Nino and the rest of the top XC racers are there due to inate ability. You can't take the average DH racer (or Gwin) and train him to be top 30 in the World in XCO.

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2017. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.081522
Mobile Version of Website