Nino Schurter's Scott Spark 900 Bike Check - Vallnord XC World Cup 2016

Sep 3, 2016
by Vernon Felton  
Nino Schurter Scott Spark 900


Nino Schurter is fast, though that is a bit like saying water is wet and breathing air is good for you. These things are self evident. And, if watching Schurter grind opponents down, lap after lap, didn't somehow convey the man's ability to put down the hammer, there is that gold medal he picked up at the Olympics in Rio the other day, as well as the silver medal he got in the London and the bronze he picked up in Beijing. And then there's the World Championship he won this year, which he also won in 2015 and 2013 and 2012 and 2010. Plus there are those four Overall World Cup titles.... We could keep going on and on like this--the Swiss rider has been a beast for years now--but this is supposed to be a bike check, so let's just all nod and agree: Yes, Nino is fast as hell.

And so is Schurter's Scott Spark 900. According to his own website, Nino's 100-millimeter travel 29er weighs in at 9.4 kilograms (20.7 pounds), which makes it, scientifically speaking, ridiculously light. In fact, Schurter's 29er dualie weighs just 1.3 kilos (2.8 pounds) more than the 27.5 Scott Scale 700 that used to be his main ride. Impressive. Here's what's hanging on the full-carbon machine...

Nino Schurter Scott Spark 900
Schurter's Spark 900 is outfitted with DT Swiss' new R414 rear shock. The high-volume shock is designed to work on longer-travel bikes (insert the "E" word if you are so inclined), but clearly gets on just fine bikes of a less radical nature. The R414 features new damping circuitry and increased oil volume over past DT Swiss units. It also comes in Metric and, yes, that looks like the trunnion mount version.

Up front, Schurter is running the latest DT Swiss OPM O.D.L. Race suspension fork. Nino's fork reportedly weighs in at 1485 grams (3.27 pounds) and features both a carbon crown and steerer.




Nino Schurter Scott Spark 900
You know how you can tell if you're fast? That is, aside from winning World Cup races, which is always a decent barometer of such things... You can tell you're fast when you wake up and find someone has given your frame a custom Eagle paint job. The team truck and the person who keeps rubbing down your legs whenever you stop pedaling are also dead giveaways.
Nino Schurter Scott Spark 900
Continuing with the whole Eagle motif, Schurter's bike is equipped with the full SRAM XX1 Eagle kit. Schurter typically pairs a 38 or 40-tooth chainring with his 10-50 cassette.

Nino Schurter Scott Spark 900
Schurter's bike gets a healthy dose of Ritchey components sprinkled throughout. In addition to Ritchey WCS V6 pedals, Schurter runs a Ritchey WCS Carbon bar, WCS 4-Axis stem, SuperLogic Carbon headset and WCS carbon Seatpost and a WCS Vetor Evo saddle. All of it featherweight stuff. What's not a Ritchey product? The 1,495-gram DT Swiss XMC 1200 Spline carbon wheelset (visible in the first image). As for the blacked-out tires...well, that's anyone's guess.

Nino Schurter Scott Spark 900
Stopping duties are handled by SRAM Level Ultimate brakes.
Nino Schurter Scott Spark 900
160-millimeter rotors are more than enough for cross-country duty.


Nino Schurter Scott Spark 900
Hammer time. The negative rise on Schurter's stem sorta says it all.





MENTIONS: @SCOTT-Sports / @SramMedia / @irmokeizer / @vernonfelton /




84 Comments

  • + 53
 29ers are so fun. They mellow out climbs so much and make the descending a little better too. I don't understand the hate they get. (I race DH)
  • + 53
 29ers are trash. I've never even bothered trying them cuase I know I'll hate it as soon step on the bike. 24" for life!
  • + 10
 @bridgermurray: I never hate shit but i know i wouldn't like it! OK i'm trolling too...
  • + 2
 I know its cool to say you like 29rs on Pinkbike, but I've tried a few, the best being a 120mm travel Trek xc bike, also tried a 29r gt hardtail... After hearing so much about their benefits I was expecting to feel them roll quicker etc, but I found for steep technical climbs, if you stall on a root or lose traction etc, the bigger wheels are much harder to accelerate with and get moving again, I put my foot down more often on climbs riding through the tropical forests we have here. Also found on dh, the increased grip is noticeable on flat corners but the larger wheels are harder to flick around and hop/manual over obstacles and I kept missing my lines by a fraction because of the decreased manoeuvrability... I'm sure the benefits would shine on more open terrain with more gradual inclines, but I really was a fair bit slower on all the ones ive tried... Not sold!
  • + 58
 2006 called. It wants its bullshit wheel size debates back.
  • + 7
 @unconvinced: I was never convinced by the 2006 debate, I think it had been lingering since almost the early days of mountain bike riding. But in 2009, when the debate really took hold, then I was becoming more convinced that a new wheel size was called for, that a larger diameter was required. If only there had been a stronger debate in 2007, particularly by halfway through the year, then who knows, we might by now have truly settled on a single wheel size
  • + 6
 @ctd07: with all due respect there's more difference between riding a 26" DH bike and 26" 160 bike than between 29 Stumpy and 27,5 Stumpy. What 29ers are you talking about? Spark 29? Process 111? Niner JET? Wreckoning? Camber? Manouverability of a 29er? Seriously? Enduro 29 is more nimble than any 26" DH bike, it's fkng basic physics. The wheelbase, the overall weight, the rotational mass everything is bigger and more sluggish. You need to feed it with so much speed and gravity induced acceleration to make it work. Aren't we supposed to be beyond this? Pinkbikers - the masters of geo numbers, tyre patterns and compression clicks?
  • + 5
 @WAKIdesigns: Well trail bikes obviously, all similar in intended use, and it was in comparison to 26 & 650b
  • + 12
 @WAKIdesigns: Why on earth did u feel the need to even mention dh bikes waki? This I about a wc xc bike, my references were to trail and xc bikes, I don't remember what models they were and cbf to look it up.... all very well making a point if it bears no relevance to the argument, hell astronaut's cant breath in space when the take their helmets off, boom I win the argument cos I raised a completely irrelevant point!? Is that how it works?
  • + 1
 @ctd07: i saw no specification on kind of bike in this thread. Anyways, then I totally don't get why someone who is 170cm or taller wouldn't ride XC on a 29er. Manouverability problems, at XC speeds? Manualing? Can you actually manual? Because 500m after I started rolling a rental Trek Stache twenty-fricking-plus-niner I was popping wheelies and manuals like a boss. It just requires a bit more hip action. And the biggest problem with lifting the front (for whichever purpose) is the low cockpit and that has nothing to do with the wheelsize, in fact 29ers obviously have it higher. And yes 29ers do require a different riding technique since you need to turn a tad earlier and you got to keep them rolling since they do stall worse than smaller wheels but that's ONLY with comparative tyres/rims. If I ride 950g Minions on my trail bike then I am not really in position to whine about "stalling" of a 550g rocket ron vs 500g rocket ron on a smaller rim Blank Stare Let's leave it in "irrational" preference category, everyone has plenty of these. For instance I like coil springs for no logical reason at all.
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: Errr, its a post about a wc xc bike, that kinda makes xc relevant to it eh? Do you even read the post before you come and troll? As I said waki, I'm aware its not cool to say you don't like 29rs on pb now that's its an enduro fan-boy site, I fully expected some kind of skewed bizarre flaming argument, completely illogical and irrelevant as well, its always the same, pick up on one keyword of someone's comment, ignore the rest, and have a rant, accuse the other person of not being able to ride and generally be a complete dick bag.... Thanks for fulfilling that role, you're always dependable waki - keep ruining this website!
  • + 2
 @ctd07: i'm sorry if you feel I flamed it up, didn't mean to do so. And IMHO Pinkbike is not a Enduro website by any means, it's a shame word in here, like mentioning clitoris in church. Everyone's kind of shy about it.
  • - 1
 @ctd07: people that can't ride a 29er just suck that's all
  • + 1
 My main two bikes are 29ers (Spark and Scale) but I really want a 27.5 Spark too. Why? Because I like it, small wheels are different and fun.
  • + 3
 @ctd07: at 30 something yrs of age,waki has learnt how to manual.he'll just snore you to death with it..oh yeah and the hyper bike.zzzzzSmile
  • - 1
 I don't hate them I just don't ride them...)) And newer will))) Also it is very funny to see how a really good riders after riding 29ers on the race and after falling from them because of total incompatibility of rider's tall and wheel size (everyone says tall and wheel size are unconnected but I don't think so) and in the and of the race they stands still near their sponsors and with total clarity say something like: "29ers are the best choice! With the help of it's big wheels I have such a good results!" )))) It is so funny)))
But anyway it is up to everyone personal choice what wheel size to ride... I just don't understand why 29ers are promoted so aggressive and so annoying. 29ers here 29ers there it is like all the other wheel standards shouldn't be mentioned at all in the bike news or something. So as for me this aggressive promotion is really annoying...
  • + 1
 @ctd07: I've had my '17 Fuel 9 (29) for 5 weeks. My first 2 weeks I had more pedal and bb strikes than I normally do on my '11 Fuel (26), but that isn't the case anymore. The biggest difference is the climbing traction and speed, it's unreal. I think I'm faster everywhere and really getting the hang of popping out of corners which has been awkward, I think, because of the bigger wheels, but it could be not knowing the right air pressure in the tires yet.
  • + 1
 @ctd07: This is typical stuff I used to hear from people 10 years ago when 29ers were all shitty. I'm guessing the GT you rode had whack geometry. 29ers in the last 4 years have shorter chainstay lengths and better geo that has solved most of the issues you speak of. I would get your legs on one of the newer specialized XC bikes.
  • + 2
 @ctd07: That's the idea, you're not supposed to stall on a root or rock. My 29plus wheels feel unstoppable.

But I reckon I'd like to try a 36er.
  • + 1
 @Earthmotherfu: how exactly should I become a victim of my own forthcomings? I just found it weird for someone to say that some bike is hard to manual, when I see a dude on XC29er with saddle up his arse manualing the sht of our tiny pumptrack? My other buddy bunnyhopping the sht out of his Stumpy 29 Evo with 456 stays? I wish I could jump my DJ bike as much as he can flip a 29er up in the air? Yea I went over the edge to shovel a 29er up CTD07 arse. I deeply apologize for assuming his preference is not evidence based. Why would I do it on this site, full of perfect human beings, where perfection is measured in how little they comment and how anonymous they are. More anonymity, less comments - the more real the bro is. Yea I'm really sick of commenting here, and let's say it's because I drowned in my own bullcrap.

Faithfully yours: The worst of all, sheep, industry supporter with own agenda, Spec fanboi, that just got butthurt.

WAKi

(throws the mic)
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: it is harder on a bigger bike,I can still wheelie down the the street on my haro freestyler(ok granted 175 cranks on a bmx and a kashimax slung right over the back wheel helps)but struggle on my 27.5 and I'll be fecked if I could do much at all on my 5 29.evidence based by me on my bikes.but then again I am fecked physically from a life of hedonism in the 90/00's
Finally,can I send you the renderings I've done for your antidote paint job??lots of lime candy and crazy flake gold with just a peppering of ice dust and 10 coats of diamond Matt clear?let me know if you want your helmet doing too (blows *ag ash off keyboard,breaks seal on 5ltr white ace cider,carves another line of chisel)
Relax,bro in,blow outSalute
  • + 1
 @dirtdiggler: Well now you're hearing the argument this year, and none of the bikes were more than 3 years old and all respectable brands..... I never said it isn't possible on 29s and I never said I wasn't capable of riding them at all @markar , that's a bit of a ridiculous exaggeration, again, picking a keyword and ignoring the rest. It is however more difficult as @earthmotherfu said, which was my point - they make technical riding more difficult, i guess maybe if you're a pro, or actually just not very technically able, or riding more simple trails, you could benefit from the aspects of riding they improve. But every argument must have balance, mine did, hell I even gave a benefit to balance my comment; if you want to unconditionally decree 29rs are the be all and end all ultimate performance gain in mountain biking, by all means go ahead... Just remember its your opinion and you're wrong in my eyes! :-P
  • + 21
 I'm not the biggest xc fan but I did watch the Olympics and Nino destroyed everyone (Very well deserved win and congratulations should he read this!).

I'd love a go on something like this, only with a dropper post as it would simply be too light otherwise! ;-)
  • + 1
 I can't even watch XC if Nino isn't racing. Don't know why but he just seems to make it way more exciting
  • + 14
 Perfect bike. Perfect course. Perfect form of cycling. Perfectly written article. For once, I'm a perfectly happy member of the PB peanut gallery.
  • + 9
 Seeing XC race bikes always make me saddle sore even though I'm sitting in a comfy chair reading PB. Another bike I'd love to ride once but don't need to own.
  • + 9
 Tires I believe are Maxxis "prototype"
  • + 2
 If they are the same tires that he has been using, they are probably prototype Maxxis Aspens. I could not really tell from these pictures though.
  • + 0
 In some pictures elsewhere they looked a lot like Maxxis Aspens. Not sure if it's a new version though.
  • + 1
 What everyone else said... Every other pic I've seen of the tires they are definitely Aspens.
  • + 1
 @PAmtbiker: At the olympics tires had full sized maxxis logos.
  • + 1
 It had the logo's blacked out while on stand at Eurobike.
  • + 2
 Interesting bike. As a taller rider I often wonder what is optimum for bar height vs. saddle height (mainly for climbing).
Nino's bike still seems to have the seat only slightly higher than the bars even with that 45 degree neg rise stem.
Conversely, when I have my seat jacked it's substantially higher than my bars are with no spacers and a -5 degree (50mm) stem.
I understand some of it would be preference and riding style, but surely there must be some data kicking around.
Any links or speculation, friends?
  • + 2
 Whats interesting is that the negative rise stems have come and gone through the years, even though the stem lengths have gotten shorter, top tubes longer, and wheels bigger. Notably though is the negative rise is more aggressive for shorter riders on big wheels, but we dont see it on taller riders. What we know is that the stack of a 29er 100mm front end can only be so short, so like you said, is there an optimal angle for power output and climbing balance between shoulders, back, hips and legs? Perhaps taller riders already meet those angles with normal stems.
  • + 0
 @PHeller: At 1.63m I need a slammed, upside-down stem to ride a 29er comfortably. Stack heights have gotten smaller over the years, but every single big wheeler I've tried felt better with a flat bar and inverted stem. For me it's not about power output, I'm not a racer, more for front wheel traction and dynamic steering (vs feeling like a passenger). And that's for 100mm forked 29ers, I can't imagine how I'd be able to find a comfortable position on a 160mm one.

XC racers tend to prefer the low bar, high seat combo for power output reasons, regardless of their own height I believe. Jaroslav Kulhavy is tall, but his riding position is an extreme example of the above. It's like he's trying to mimic a TT rider's stance. Seems to work for him.
  • + 3
 There's only one problem with that drop stem, how is he supposed to see his cycling computer? It's kind of facing away from the riders pov
  • + 1
 My guess is that it's not that far down, I'm sure if the thing was reflecting the sky then he wouldn't use it that way
  • + 2
 Hang about......DT XMC1200 wheels?....Am I missing something?....Don't they stick those on Capra and some other AM/Enduro bikes??? Are they overkill for XC or not man enough for Enduro?
  • + 2
 They're a far bit stronger than the XRC version and only weigh 50g more than the xrc at like 1495g. My guess is as hard as he hit the decents he wants the extra strength. They're really just strong XC wheels. Wouldn't race Enduro on them.
  • + 1
 @zutroy: worthy of note, cheers
  • + 1
 Already been wondering about his new rear axle as seen on the picture above, because I've never realized it before. Was wondering how long it takes until I can read an article about it - but then nino caught his flat tire and i saw it in action already! well, thank's for that, even tho I didn't hope he's going for a flat....
  • + 1
 When nino went 27.5 / 650b or what ever the reaction was 'oh my god all other wheel sizes are obsolete' wheres the reaction now hes gone to 29? Or have i just missed it in an earlier article or could it just be all a load of bollocks.....the whole which wheel size is the greatest that is.....ride what you want and just enjoy.
  • + 2
 I don't understand how his bike is so light! My top fuel 9.9 is 10.1kg with the same spec except I have lighter suspension and wheels
  • + 8
 i'm guessing the scott frame is lighter than the top fuel
  • + 1
 @JMBMTB: not 700 grams though
  • + 0
 @rrsport: have you weighed them?
  • + 2
 @JMBMTB: no full carbon, top of the range frames would be 700 grams different across any brand
  • + 1
 @rrsport: I'd agree with you but take in consideration they are not mass production frames but fully customized.

PB's weight is off though, Nino's bike is 9.79 as stated
  • + 2
 thats one sick xc steed... scott bikes, why no fantasy contest? sup with that?

hope its gonna be a near fall off the chair race later on! good luck to the participants.
  • + 3
 More interesting than the stem is the head angle. Get a clinometer Pinkbike and compare these bikes.
  • + 2
 "As for the blacked-out tires...well, that's anyone's guess." - Are they Tioga Farmer Johns?
  • + 2
 I think they might be a Panaracer Dart front Smoke rear combo....
  • + 1
 @oneplanka: probably fire XCs. Or Nevegals.
  • + 1
 My guess is Panaracer XC Fire Pro 26 x 1.95
  • + 3
 Looks like he's not going to use a dropper post in Vallnord.
  • + 1
 I think he would be the last racer on the circuit to use one.
  • + 0
 Frame size is not mentioned... certainly looks like a medium to me (usually on small frames the top tube comes very close to the shock). That's another reason for the radically angled stem?
  • + 2
 i think XC riders are due a lot more credit. i sure as shit wouldn't ride they stuff they do on the bike they have.
  • + 3
 Was expecting far more tire speculation.
  • - 1
 Is there still a 9kg weight limit on the tour? This bike is light like a road bike. Is there any reason he couldn't run some zipp wheels and cyclocross tyres with 100mm of suspension they might just survive one race?
  • + 1
 6.8kg minimum weight limit. Zipp wheels wouldn't be any advantage over what he is running and cx tyres wouldn't be capable enough for xc racing
  • + 1
 There is a 6.8kg weight limit for road (to include TT), CX and track. There is no weight limit for MTBs. Running CX tires is a terrible idea. Weight savings won't help you when you destroy a wheel going through the first rock garden.
  • + 1
 I don't see many races won in the rock gardens. They are won on the climbs. I've cased a mavic road wheel on a square edge parking barrier with a cyclocross tyre on a hard tail full weight bunny hop fail. Rode away. Then took the same wheel to a local all mountain trail to try to find its breaking point. Never broke never went out of true. Decided to have a disc brake wheel built before cyclocross had disc brakes based on that test. If it worked on a hardtail surely a four inch travel frame would be more forgiving.
  • + 2
 Sorry 6.8kg weight limit.
  • + 2
 love the rear wheel quick release
  • + 1
 Yeah nice one.
  • + 1
 He didn't race on the wheelset pictured.. looked to be a much skinnier tire.
  • + 1
 Beautiful bike but I just can't get over the goofy look of a negative rise stem.
  • + 1
 looks much slacker compared Absalone's BMC
  • + 1
 Because it is. The Spark has an 68.5 HA. Slack by today's XC standards but I hope this will become the norm
  • + 2
 nino rulez
  • + 1
 negative rise
  • - 2
 > The negative rise on Schurter's stem sorta says it all.

It says "someone will give me a new frame if I smash my brake levers into the top tube".
  • + 2
 You know you're fast when someone does that for you
  • - 1
 That stem looks like a flaccid penis.
  • + 2
 Its way to thick to be flaccid.
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