Scott Spark 900 - Review

May 8, 2017
by Mike Levy  

There's a confusing amount of variations of the Spark platform in Scott's catalog, including the purebred cross-country race whippet RC models, plus-sized monsters, and women-specific Sparks, but it's the standard Spark that's probably the most well-rounded in the family. The 29'' wheeled Spark 900 employs Scott's Twin Loc remote system that, with the help of a few extra cables, allows the rider to adjust the bike's travel between 85 and 120mm, or lock it out, all while simultaneously controlling the 120mm-travel Fox fork.
Spark 900 Details

• Intended use: cross-country / trail
• Rear wheel travel: 85 - 120mm
• Wheel size: 29''
• Carbon front triangle, alloy rear
• Twin Loc fork/shock suspension control
• SRAM X01 Eagle 12spd drivetrain
• Weight: 27lb 1oz (size large)
• MSRP: $5,599.99 USD

If you really feel the need to define the gray Scott, its travel and geometry numbers put the $5,599.99 USD Spark somewhere in an ambiguous middle ground that a lot of us call trail riding, AKA mountain biking. Sure, you could slip into your Lycra and test yourself on the 27lb 1oz Spark 900 at a cross-country race, but it also looks like the kinda rig that would make a good all-day steed. This versatility is further underlined by the bike's proper tires, dropper post, and wide-range Eagle drivetrain.

Scott Spark 900
Cables enter here, with the Twin Loc remote line exiting invisibly right below the Fox shock.
Scott Spark 900
While the front of the bike has a few too many cables for my liking, Scott has done a very good job of hiding them everywhere else.

Frame Details

The Spark range received a complete redesign for 2017, going from the top tube-mounted shock and rocker link to what you see here, a bike with a vertically mounted shock and rocker that certainly looks more contemporary next to its predecessor. The redesign wasn't done solely for appearances, though, with the fresh model featuring new geometry that's longer up front, shorter out back, and slacker to boot. Scott also claims that the new frame is lighter than the old Spark.

The Spark 900's front triangle is carbon fiber, and it's a pretty sharp and clean looking thing despite all that's going on with it. Cable routing is internal and nearly invisible, with the suspension control line exiting the downtube directly below the trunion-mounted shock. There are no ISCG tabs, which is acceptable on a 120mm-travel bike, but the 900 does come stock with a tiny and very light guide that shares its mount with the main pivot hardware. There's also room for a large bottle inside the front triangle (that's the sole bottle mount location), which I always harp on about to the point of ad nauseam.

Scott Spark 900
No pivot required. The rear end is designed to flex, saving the weight of bearings and pivot hardware.
Scott Spark 900
The brake mount is a bolted to the chainstay up front and the axle runs through it at the back, thereby keeping it from hindering suspension action.

The back of the Spark 900 is aluminum, but it features the same lack of pivots at the dropout as the carbon rear end used on the higher-end models. This built-in flex design, which has been used for many years, required Scott to come up with a different brake mount that wouldn't prevent the flex-pivot from, er, flexing. The forward section of the brake mount bolts directly to the chainstay, while the 12mm wheel axle runs through the back of the mount, thereby keeping it from inhibiting the suspension action.

Scott Spark 900
The 120mm-travel rear end is all-new for Scott, but it's still a single-pivot, rocker link controlled layout.

Suspension Design

The Spark's suspension layout has changed drastically for 2017, but it's still a relatively simple looking single-pivot design that uses a rocker link to compress the now vertically-mounted Fox shock. The new design is said to offer more support, increased sensitivity, and a more consistent leverage ratio throughout the travel, all while being lighter than the previous version. ''Construction processes have matured so we could easily save some weight compared to the old bikes,'' Joe Higgins, Chief of MTB Engineering at Scott Sports, explained at the new bike's launch in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. ''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,'' he said of the old bike and how it defined the goals for the 2017 model.

Instead of a pivot at the axle, the alloy rear end is designed to flex at the dropout, an approach that's not specific to Scott but one that should yield a lighter package given the lack of bearings and pivot hardware.

The alloy seatstays drive a short link to deliver between 85mm and 120mm of suspension travel via a trunion-mounted, proprietary Fox Nude shock with three modes: Lockout, Traction Control (85mm), and Descend (120mm). This is controlled via the bike's Twin Loc dual-lever remote the adjusts both the damping and the air volume of the shock while simultaneously adjusting the compression damping of the 120mm-travel Fox 34 fork.
Scott Spark 900
The special Fox shock has three modes: 120mm, 85mm, and nearly locked out. These are controlled by the bike's Twin Loc remote.

I'm generally not a big fan of remotes or different travel modes, but Scott's Twin Loc system does offer loads of tuning at the tip of your thumb for on-the-go adjustability, and I can see why that's going to make sense to some riders. And, aside from a bit of a rat's nest of cables in front of the handlebar, Scott has managed to do a relatively clean job in the design department thanks to the Spark's internal cable routing and combo dropper post/Twin Loc handlebar mount.

Scott Spark 900
The Twin Loc remote shares the same perch as the Fox dropper's thumb lever.
Scott Spark 900
All this thing needs is a front shifter...

Scott Spark 900

Release Date 2017
Price $5599.99
Travel 85 - 120mm
Rear Shock Fox Nude Trunnion Scott custom
Fork Fox 34 Float Performance Elite Air FIT4
Headset Syncros FL2.0 Drop in
Cassette Sram X01 Eagle
Crankarms Sram X1
Chainguide Scott Chainguide
Bottom Bracket Sram GXP PF
Rear Derailleur Sram X01 Eagle
Chain Sram PCX01 Eagle
Shifter Pods Sram X01
Handlebar Syncros FL1.5 T-Bar, 740mm
Stem Syncros FL1.5
Grips Syncros Pro lock-on
Brakes Shimano XT
Wheelset Syncros XR2.0 CL
Hubs Syncros XR2.0 CL
Spokes DT Swiss Competition
Rim Syncros XR2.0
Tires Maxxis Forekaster
Seat Syncros XR1.5
Seatpost Fox Transfer

Scott Spark 900


With just 120mm of travel when left fully open, I expected a lot of the Spark 900 as far as climbing manners go, and it impressed in some areas but left me a bit perplexed in another. First, the good news, which is that the mostly gray Scott is an efficient little package that doesn't need the Twin Loc remote to feel sporty. The bike is like a two-wheeled pep rally when you're feeling energetic; no, it's not quite as lively feeling as a Ripley of the same travel, but it's only a hair's width behind in this department.

That's one of the reasons why a bike like the Spark is often chosen: because it's fast and nimble. Well, more on the nimble part later, but the Scott is fast, anyway.

Scott Spark 900
A 120mm-travel trail bike needs to have plenty of pep, and the Spark 900 doesn't disappoint.

Yes, pushing the Twin Loc remote one stop to switch to the firmer, 85mm-travel setting does make a difference, of course, but it's a silly thing to do when you're on singletrack - it seemed to matter little on proper trails, and I preferred the more forgiving but still sporty full-travel mode. Gravel roads, sure, but give me all the suspension when I'm doing my thing, please. The firmest setting, which requires a fair bit of lever throw at the remote, is a lot firmer but not a lockout.

While the Spark's efficiency is good enough to light a fire under anyone's ass (sorry, I had to), I didn't gel with the bike's handling on technical, tight, twisting climbs. A 120mm-travel trail bike should feel like you can weave through any and all vertical agility courses, but I struggled with steering that often felt a bit too calm for my liking.

Now, I know the 67.2-degree head angle isn't anything out of the norm these days for a bike like the new Spark, but the geometry as a whole didn't make life easier on climbs that are technical struggles, and I feel like a 120mm-travel trail bike needs to do exactly that. The Spark isn't a handful, mind you, and the Maxxis rubber and shorter rear end deliver loads of traction, but the handlebar requires a surprisingly heavy hand given the 900's travel and intentions. My butt also kept telling me that the bike's 73.8-degree seat angle felt slacker than that number, which isn't great for a guy like me who tends to stay planted in the saddle for the large majority of climbs.

bigquotesWith cross-country-like efficiency but more relaxed trail bike handling, the Spark 900 isn't an out-and-out whiz on technical climbs. But what it does do is gobble up singletrack efficiently when its pilot is on the gas. If that sounds like it matches your needs, then you're in luck.

Scott Spark 900
While it may be more steak knife than scalpel, the Spark can still get through a set of tight corners quickly.


There are many different interpretations of the contemporary trail bike, but I think that most riders would agree that it has to let you get after it on the descents once the climbing is finished. If it doesn't, what's the point? Well, the Spark 900 is definitely one of those ''get after it'' kind of bikes that only gets better the harder you push, which is something that can't be said of some bikes in the same travel bracket. The ride is stable and surefooted at speed, with a riding position that feels like you're down in between the wheels rather than high up above them, and that's a virtual "you got this" when you're in the midst of high-speed moments on the trail.

A short-travel trail bike can be a surprising thing sometimes; with relatively small amounts of suspension, an exciting moment can quickly go south if you're not on top of things, but this never happened when I was on the Spark. The bike never felt like it was against me, and while the Scott could be a handful on truly steep and scary terrain (it is a 120mm-travel trail bike, after all), there's not much that I'd shy away from when riding the gray 900. Again, I have to give kudos to Maxxis and their new Forekaster tires that felt predictable and don't need to be within 2 or 3 psi of their ideal pressure to work well.

Scott Spark 900
At speed, the Spark makes a few much longer-travel bikes feel nervous in comparison.

The price for that sure-footedness and stability is a ride that's not exactly playful; it'll do what you ask of it, but this isn't a bike that's eager for long manuals or to be cutting up and down the trail as you jump from line to line. The Spark is more about speed and covering ground than making the most out of that ground, and there's nothing wrong with that - a skilled rider will still be able to get the 900 into some interesting places on the trail, while a rider with less confidence will probably benefit from the Spark's stable, autopilot-like handling.

Great suspension should do its job nearly invisibly, and the Spark's rear end does pretty much exactly that. The Fox 34 fork required some volume spacers - that's rider and terrain-specific, of course - but never felt fussed as far as damping goes. The FIT4 damper is as dialed as it gets, so that's not really a surprise, and the fork is a good fit for how the Spark is meant to be ridden. The bike's rear end also went about its job quietly, although it's worth noting that the top of the stroke felt more supple than expected, which never hurts things. Besides that, I never felt like I was sitting too deep into the travel, and bottoming moments were a no fuss, no bang kind of thing.

bigquotesDon't buy the Spark 900 expecting a toy that loves to be thrown around like a BMX bike; it's not an agile, playful thing, even for a 29er. But what the Spark does do well is allow its pilot to let go of the binders and carry some serious speed. It's a bike that, while not being overly frisky, loves to pretend that it has an extra 30mm of suspension travel on both ends.

Scott Spark 900
The Spark has traction and composure for days, but it's not nearly as eager to play as it is to simply go fast as hell.

Component Check

• Twin Loc Remote: If you're a button-pusher, you'll love the Spark 900's cockpit; if you're not, you won't. The dual-lever Twin Loc remote works as intended, and it's relatively clean, but Scott and Fox tag teaming the remote to create a single unit limits setup options.

The three levers (including the Transfer post) all seem a bit cluttered when you're in the heat of battle on the trail, and the seatpost's trigger actually makes contact with the gray Twin Loc release lever. Extra cables aside, the packaging of the combination remote is clever, but the ergos aren't quite right.
Views: 4,688    Faves: 2    Comments: 1

• Maxxis Forekaster Tires: I had never used the Forekaster before getting on the Spark 900, but they ended up being surprisingly good performers, and a great choice on a bike like the Spark that is essentially a very capable cross-country machine. The 2.35'' Maxxis rubber felt extremely predictable, and especially well-suited to the seemingly never ending wet and loose conditions that have persisted for the last few months. With a tubeless setup and a 21/23 psi combo (I'm 160lbs), I had all the traction I could hope for and suffered from precisely zero flat tires.

Scott Spark 900
The Forekaster tires seem well-suited to wet or loose conditions, and they're reliable to boot.
Scott Spark 900
The Eagle drivetrain was flawless, but that eight-tooth jump is never going to feel right to my legs. It's also neat to see Scott spec a chain guide on their 120mm-travel bike.

• Fox Transfer Dropper Post: I don't care how heavy it was, the sometimes annoying rattle, or even the monstrous remote: Fox's old D.O.S.S. dropper post was a favorite of mine simply because it seemed indestructible during a time when everyone else's droppers were anything but. Its replacement, the Transfer, is lighter and simpler, but it's quickly earning the same reliable rep in my books for being trouble-free. And I don't just mean the one that came stock on the Spark 900; I mean every single Transfer that I've ever used.

• X01 Eagle Drivetrain: SRAM's 12-speed drivetrain feels like it shifts as quick as a dual-clutch transmission on a high-end sports car, and it also offers a 500% gear range that should be enough for any rider, regardless of abilities and fitness, just so long as they pick the appropriately sized chain ring. That's all fine and dandy, but I'm still going to bitch about the eight-tooth jump between the two largest cogs. The shift is actually fine and decently quick, but man, that eight-tooth difference is a cadence killer that has never felt right to my legs. I'd choose the standard X01 11-speed drivetrain if I had the choice, but maybe I'm too nitpicky - most other reviewers seem more than fine with it.

Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesThe Spark 900 is an interesting thing; it certainly has a bit of cross-country thoroughbred in it, but it's far more confidence inspiring at speed than any feathery race whippet could ever dream of being. And while it might not be a technical trail specialist, many riders will surely find the Scott's surefootedness to be well worth the tradeoff. Mike Levy

About the Reviewer
Stats: Age: 36 • Height: 5'10” • Inseam: 33" • Weight: 165lb • Industry affiliations / sponsors: None • Instagram: killed_by_death
Mike Levy spent most of the 90s and early 2000s racing downhill bikes and building ill-considered jumps in the woods of British Columbia before realizing that bikes could also be pedaled for hours on end to get to some pretty cool places. These days he spends most of his time doing exactly that, preferring to ride test bikes way out in the local hills rather than any bike park. Over ten years as a professional mechanic before making the move to Pinkbike means that his enthusiasm for two wheels extends beyond simply riding on them, and his appreciation for all things technical is an attribute that meshes nicely with his role of Technical Editor at Pinkbike.


  • 67 2
 If ever a need for electronic wizardry wireless it is.
  • 41 4
 The main reason those cables look so awful is because the bike build was done terribly. clock the fork lockout all the way to the left, trim the cables, and heat shrink some of them together and it will be looking cleaner in no time.
  • 45 5
 Freedom for lockouts anymore. Amen
  • 21 3
 One big ugly cable cluttered mess
  • 9 1
 I seriously thought the cable layout photo was a joke.
  • 9 4
 @sevensixtwo: I seriously think it is a joke that a manufacturer would expect people to pay this price point for this rat nest of cabling. Another cable related issues that the majority of the manufacture slack on is anti- rub devices on high-dollar stock offerings. So sad the bike industry think that's acceptable to sell at 3000 to $12,000 bike and the cables rub and wear a hole through the paint or the frame.
  • 4 11
flag McNubbin (May 8, 2017 at 12:17) (Below Threshold)
 I think the cables look so aweful is because there are so many of them.
  • 6 0
 I actually modified an old v-brake noodle for the lockout on my Scott. Makes all the difference when trying to clean up the front end. Also makes it a much cleaner angle for the cable.
  • 4 2
 I also quit using the lockout on my trail bike. I barely miss it, and it feels great to see it go. I still love lockout on my XC race bike since there's so few cables.
  • 2 6
flag romkaind (May 8, 2017 at 14:24) (Below Threshold)
 I hate that Scotts bikes always come with a mess of gear cables and you have to work it out from the begining, instead of adjusting the bike and giving it to customer.
  • 4 1
 @properp: Scott bikes include a sticker sheet with 10 clear adhesives to be placed in areas where cable rub might occur. It comes in the little box with the reflectors that the send with it, so maybe some people overlook them.. but I install most of them on the frame before the bike goes onto the floor anyways.
  • 1 4
 @Skurploosh: that's exactly what I'm talking about those cheap little stickers that the bike industry expects you to accept. I say those are cheap crap that belong on Walmart bikes give me some proper cable restraints and some thick rubber protectors
  • 32 0
 Overpriced (what isn't today?). But I think Pinkbike puts (again) a reviewer with more downhill/enduro/jumps background than a XC oriented biker to review a XC bike. Big mistake. Don't like Twinlock? But XC racers love lockout suspensions and shocks. Don't like the extra cables? But XC racers don't look at them after the first 50km ride. Think XC racers don''t speed up on trails to use full 120mm travel? But modern XC racing is more dynamic than ever. One weekend is a XCM race, in the other you are into XCO rocky gardens. And, ugly colors...
  • 6 0
 Well said. I am most often in the 85mm mode when riding XC singletrack. Works perfectly. Sure I don't live at Whistler, but for where I live the Spark is an excellent quiver killer.
  • 7 1
 @iamamodel: I do live in Whistler and I have owned 5 spark 900sl's(not the new 120mm one as of yet) and 5 Genius over the past 5 years. I also disagree with the review saying it is not playful. For a pinner XC bike I think it rides very responsively. It is always a trade off for speed and comfort when choosing between the Spark and the Genius for the day. Whistler's, and a lot of BC, trails are pretty tech if you choose the right ones. Most are ridable on the spark with a dropper post but it is not as comfy or as fun on the genius. My New 120mm spark arrives next week and I cannot wait to see how it rides.
  • 6 1
 But the Pinkbike community is mainly based around the gravity side of things, just as I am. I prefer reading the review from a reviewer with a similar riding style because he will more likely give me a proper impression of how I personally would enjoy the bike. Downhill/Enduro riders buy cross country bikes too. There are plenty of reviews on the Spark series from "normal" XC riders.
  • 3 4
 @mirskeinereingefalln: Exactly - if you want lycra clad XC reviewers head off to Bikeradar. This bike breaks the mould a bit anyway. Most full on marathon and XC types will run away from the dropper equipped version and opt for lighter weight...
  • 2 0
 @mirskeinereingefalln: Fair enough. I don't think a full on extreme xc race weight weenie would be a good reviewer either though. Somebody who can be middle of the road though and test the best for its application. I would be like testing a demo 8 for an xc race and saying it was sloppy.
  • 34 2
 Ok, I get that it's grey.
  • 12 0
 While I do think that you're right, he actually called it gray.
  • 59 3
 All things are grey in my world as I am a dog and we do not see color. I cannot discern between ripe and unripe tomatoes but it does not really matter because i do not like tomatoes.
  • 14 9
 It's not grey, it is at least 50 shades darker.
  • 5 1
 @IamTheDogEzra: you've probably just never had a good ripe tomato
  • 26 1
 This is probably the first PB review of I bike I've actually ridden (albeit in a slightly lower spec). My experience however was quite different. I found it REALLY playful. It felt quite similar to my friends SC 5010 v2, but not quite so poppy, to me the Spark did seem like it wanted to hop off every little rise and move around the trail rather than just being about raw speed. I mentioned to my friend that it was so playful if you'd of told me it was a 26" I would of probably believed it. Good review and nice to be able to compare to a professionals opinion.
  • 9 1
 I was going to respond with the same experience. I have the 930 and I feel it to stable and poppy/lively. I have owned many bikes and honestly the Spark is one of my all time favorites to ride. I have a Nomad 3 and an older Blur TRc. The Spark is an incredible climber and descends pretty damn good for 120mm. It's poppy and I can put the bike anywhere I want and it tracks very well. I am overall impressed with the bikes all around performance.
  • 2 0
 @sofarider1: just bought on last week. What can you tell me about set up or anything that helps the bike max out on performance. Thx for your thoughts.
  • 12 2
 "My butt also kept telling me that the bike's 73.8-degree seat angle felt slacker than that number". I don't believe I have just read that. It it OBVIOUS that it is slacker, since a.) the seat post is not straight and b.) the effective (virtual) STA is typically measured to the stack height. Since every normal human being has seatpost extended past this point, so yeah, it is slacker. However, from such a reputable site like Pinkbike I would expect that the reviewer knows it and could even ask the manufacturer at what seat height the effective STA has been measured.
  • 1 0
 yeah but this dude rides different bikes all the time. He has a frame of reference for what a bike with a 73-74 degree seat angle feels like and he's saying this one feels slacker than that.
  • 1 0
 Just like not commenting on the BB height.
  • 13 2
 Nice bike, couple shrink tubes or some tape would go a long way to clean up the cockpit, otherwise tidy looking.
  • 8 0
 Also some cable trimming (& a longer one, in one case.) wouldn't look so terrible if some of the cables were describing the same arc. Incidentally, seems like forks with handlebar remotes should move the damper to the left side: that way, you could keep the brake & remote lines together for better looks.
  • 21 13
 The rear stays flex like a spring.
A spring made out Aluminum is a bad idea.
Carbon fiber, steel or Titanium yes.
But Aluminum?
Also a suspention will react better to small stuff if it has real pivots.
The old Spark wasnt sensitve or supportive enuf?
Increase the "support" and you will have even less sensitivity.
The stays are over simplified the suspension is overly complex.
BTW when did mountainbikers start screaming for internal cable routing?
Never .just more bs shoved in our face untill we think we need it.
  • 5 4
 Aluminium bars are springy.
  • 7 2
 Yes, and Scott has had prior versions of the Spark rear triangle recalled/warrantied for cracking. You think they'd learn their lessons...
  • 8 1
 My thoughts exactly on the rear stays. Flex and aluminum don't go together at all. It'll be interesting to see how these bikes fare over time. I suspect lots of cracked seat stays.
  • 5 4
 @JasonALap: I have a Yeti 575 with the same design, although MUCH more flex occurs throughout the travel. 4 years of abuse under heavy (and at least moderately competent) riding and they show no cracks as a result of the flexing. They do, unfortunately, flex laterally much more than I would like. Aluminum can be designed to flex without fatiguing, but you sacrifice some of the great stiffness-strength-weight characteristics that make Al a great material to build bikes out of.
  • 5 1
 To quote Austin Powers "It's not just me then?" When I saw "aluminum triangle" and "flex instead of pivots" I thought it had to be a mistake. I realize it's a very small amount of flex, and hopefully the materials engineering types will jump in and correct me; but I've had a number of experiences with aluminum bike bits and flex, and the outcome was never good.
  • 2 0
 @JasonALap: I am curious to know what kind of warranty or life expectancy is offered with a pivot-less system like this. The Castellano Fango was/is aluminum but with an engineered plate providing the flex...whereas this design seems to be very similar to a tube-construction rear end.

Hey - if the warranty is good for 12 months, then buyer-beware, right?
  • 8 5
 @Sshredder = I ride an alloy spring on my CCDB Coil Smile
  • 10 0
 @WAKIdesigns: alloy is any metal that has trace elements added to it.
Like steel alloy.
  • 9 2
 @shredteds: Mech. Engineering student here. If aluminum is experiencing stress it's fatiguing, if its experiencing strain (flex) it's definitely fatiguing. Unlike steel, aluminum does not have a fatigue limit. Not saying aluminum is bad but it is worth noting.
  • 16 1
 Ok all you engineering "experts". Airplane wings flex,'and they're made out of aluminum too.
  • 9 0
 @McNubbin: Yup, designed to flex, and the ultimate bend tests are amazing/scary to watch. Nobody asks about warrantees on airplane wings...obviously they are tested to several times more scariness than anyone might see in a flight.
Maybe this is a message for PB bike reviewers - it might not be obvious to all of the product managers in a bike industry, but people want VALUE for their money these days, value and transparency. Can you include warranty info with bike reviews? Because its a major part of what you are paying for.
  • 13 15
 my gawd, does that mean that since I've been riding mainly aluminium bikes through the last 15 years I was close to death by flex fatigue? If only it meant a financial death?

Oh my gawd engineering student is here too. Are you thorough in the... you know... are you thorugh in the... art? The science, have you mastered the science, I mean The Science!!! Have you performed the experiments? Do you know, I mean do-you-know the answers?

I shall step aside to the shadow of my ignorance now, and silent I shall remain... for the noble masters of metallurgy and alchemy have entered the rooms of this great council. Blessed we are indeed... let the wise speak!!!
  • 3 0
 @McNubbin: and they crack (planes in general). When a crack is found in a part of the plane, it is monitored na D the part (a truss for example) gets replaced.

As mentioned before, aluminium doesn't have a fatigue limit, that is to say there is no stress/strain small enough, where it will survive indefinitely. It will crack at some point. Carbon will as well if i'm not mistaken. Steel has a point where it will survive. Look up fatigue limit and woehler's curve to find out more about it.

This is also the reason you can have steel and titanium bikes "forever", but aluminium bikes tend to develop cracks when they get older, if they are used and abused enough.
  • 3 0
 @shredteds: Aluminum can be designed to flex without fatiguing as fast. It will fatigue no matter what though. Now I'm sure that Scott put plenty of engineering behind their rear triangle, forcing the longer tubes to flex slightly, as opposed to one particular area providing the flex, however, eventually something WILL give. I understand that technology and standards are making bikes obsolete at an ever quickening pace, but this kind of designed fail-point in the FRAME just bothers me.
  • 1 0
 @JasonALap: I'm sure Scott has a good engineering staff and a dedicated test division...its reasonable to ask for the 'numbers' on what those tests and fatigue cycles were, and how that translates to frame suspension components. If the bike has a rear triangle warranty of 1 year then buyers should know that.
  • 3 7
flag WAKIdesigns (May 8, 2017 at 22:48) (Below Threshold)
 @allballz: I just find it funny how some people here wave their diploma. There are about 20 civil engineers in the office I work at, including structural engineers (if it mattered more) have engineering degree myself and nobody goes around saying "you are wrong and I am an engineer, accept my scientific supremacy" - do you do that at your work place?!. Oooh you finished higher education - like millions of people around the world, congratulations! Or is it mechanical engineers who are the better sort of humans? Do you have secret societies? Clubs? Oh you can't say, I know

Now flex swingarms are shit. Every sensible person with a basic knowledge of history of bike design knows that. Someone who heard of Yeti 575 or AsR. Put a pivot in there or GTFO. However all sorts of frames fail so I really don't know what is the point of elaborating this discussion in that manner.
  • 5 0
 I have 3k kms on a 2017 Spark. No cracks in the swingarm yet, which means it has already outlasted non-flexing aluminium and carbon parts on six out of my last seven non-Scott frames. I made the right choice.
  • 6 6
 @iamamodel: impossible, The science says otherwise! I mean The Science, real science. They were taught about it and had to learn theories, pass exams, take sht from middle aged men, who knew better, people majority of whom were losers who never got any job and stayed at the university, damn it! Don't pee on their trauma with your real life experience
  • 6 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Sorry, I totally forgot that assumptions > anecdotal > empirical. I'll have to get a new bike that will conform!
  • 5 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Jeezus, overreact much? Up until here this was a pretty reasonable discussion, as online banter goes.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: you cry to much this world is tuff deal with it
  • 1 4
 so you turn it this way. Interesting
  • 6 0
 @Deadskittles: ME here as well. FYI, strain and stress are proportional and related through Hooke's law - if there is stress there is also strain. I should have been more clear - a properly designed aluminum swingarm can flex over and over for billions of cycles without failing due to fatigue. Reference airplane wings (as someone else mentioned in here) for an example of an aluminum structure with a very high cycle design life. A 100MPa critical stress point can be cycled almost infinitely without breakage. I'm not defending this as the best design ever, but if the swingarm is properly designed there is no reason to be any more concerned about the seatstays breaking than you are about any other area.
  • 1 0
 @JasonALap: I agree, see my post in response to @Deadskittles . I don't think this is a designed fail point, there is probably a stress concentration located elsewhere that is just as likely to break, as it likely didn't see the same level of attention as the flex zone.
  • 1 1
 @WAKIdesigns: in workplaces it's generally known who the engineers are without them throwing their diplomas around. And when it comes to technical matters, other people, usually, listen. Or they start listening very quickly.

On the internet you never know who the engineer is. Unless you know it's like, dunno, Dave Weagle. Then you listen to what the man has to say. Usually, but not always (i still find it dubious that the R3ACT suspension needs almost no damping, that just does not compute).
  • 1 0
 @shredteds: That's the catch, there is no stress that aluminium will survive for 1 billion cycles. There is for steel but not for aluminium. So yeah, it WILL crack. The wings in airplanes will as well. And apparently cracked sections in airplanes (don't know about wings, but i've read it for hulls) are monitored and when the crack gets too big, the section is replaced.

There have been many aerospace accidents due to fatigue in aluminium parts, in many cases also due to short flights these airplanes made, which meant a lot of pressurization cycles and take-offs and landings, which, of course, means loading cycles.

EDIT: this will be a better picture:

Of course i'm not saying that you can't dimension for high cycle amounts, MatWeb says the 5*10^8 fatigue limit for 7005 T6 is 150 MPa which is still quite high and that's half a billion cycles. Which is loads. My point is merely that, given the data i have (anyone can prove me otherwise, since i've never been completely 100 % certain in this) aluminium will at some break, no matter how small the loads are.
  • 1 0
 Well, color me impressed and throw away that edit from my previous comment, apparently even steels don't have a fatigue limit! Granted, it's Wikipedia, but hey, i passed my college with gratuitous helping from Wikipedia Smile

"The concept of endurance limit was introduced in 1870 by August Wöhler.[9] However, recent research suggests that endurance limits do not exist for metallic materials, that if enough stress cycles are performed, even the smallest stress will eventually produce fatigue failure.[5][10]"
  • 1 0
 good thing i dont ride hardtails then
  • 1 0
 @davidccoleman: I have owned 10 Scotts and I have 3 friends who have all owned mor than me over the last 5 years. I have not heard of one issue on the rear triangles.
  • 1 0
 @michaelrobinson: I've raced three and cracked all three. Granted, all three were from external hits, with one being from the shifter on the top tube (aluminium), but the other two carbon bikes LITERALLY fell over and had the seat stay very visibly crack from the impact. Not to mention quite a few issues with the Ransom series and the current issue of Genius LT rocker links cracking.

But that doesn't mean other brands don't crack, i had the 2008 Commencal Meta 5.5, which notoriously cracked in the top tube-seat tube joint (thoughonly on S and M models if i'm not mistaken), which survived for 7 years under my ass (with a seat post extended over the minimum insertion mark) until it cracked on a weld on the swing arm. With a new swingarm it's now ridden by a friend.

Intense's 951s rear swingarms were another failure in design (there was a 90° edge on the bottom yoke around the rear tire, where the pivot mount was extruded, and that edge just got opened - a stress riser by design).


These things are definitely a YMMV type of thing, but some brands still err a bit more towards he side of increased cracking or no problems. But there ar eno brands where none of the frames crack or all of the frames crack.
  • 1 0
 @Primoz: I've worked in shops where carbon frames have cracked before they've even left the shop (I can think of at least 4 immediately) due to falling over. If you want a bike that is impervious to rider error, maybe pick up an old Chromag TRL.
  • 1 0
 @wallheater: i believe notch failure is the term used to descripe a scratch becoming the weak point.
All materials suffer from notch failure steel being the most resistant.
All materials that need to be very stiff strong and light will have a failure point .
Aluminum frames are going through huge amounts of flex and stress.
But making an aluminum tube into a pivot junction would create much higher levels of stress.
Thus the Aluminum would have to be thicker.
My point is :
Here is a bike with a carbon fiber front triangle.
You can use individual layers to orient the way the stress is carried in the tubes.
You could perfecly shape the stays to handle the extra loads .

BTW Waki as a stone mason i work with structural engineers. They are human .They make mistakes.
  • 1 0
 @Primoz: the fatigue limit listed at 150MPa for 7005 (5E8 cycles) is listed as such because that is the highest cycle count carried out in lab tests. 7005 will survive 1 billion cycles of 100MPa stress, as I noted earlier.

Some good reading on fatigue provided by ASME:
  • 3 0
 @Sshredder: composites are actually much more resistant to the notch effect and crack growth. Composites can actually stop a crack from growing, while it WILL grow in metals with load cycles.

As for the Scott, i too was MAJORLY surprised that they made a carbon front end and an aluminium rear end and not the other way around with this design.

@shredteds: my point was that there is no stress, where aluminium would survive 'indefinitely'. There appears to be that limit for steel.

Of course it survives a billion cycles, it will survive 2 billion or 10 billion cycles. But the stress to achieve that is lower every time. Which is not true for steel.

But thanks for the article, will read it.
  • 2 0
 @Primoz: the only relevant thing here is that Scott Sparks do not crack any more often than comparable bikes. Top fuels and Epics used get fkd by the weld at the chainstay between the tyre and the chainring. This Scott genius will die due to worn out shock shaft much sooner than due to flex stay fatigue. Yes material theory is fascinating, the reality is even more though
  • 2 0
 For what it's worth, I disconnected my Spark's shock and felt how much force is needed to move the swingarm. For the majority of the travel, it was surprisingly easy, even to bottom it out. It definitely is 'self centering'. Note too that the chain stay and seat stay are not welded together, so there's no weld or gusset that acts as a weak point. I could not see where the flex is, so it must be negligible. And you can see that little flex is needed as the distance of the top and bottom pivots at the seat tube barely change distance. I should have measured it.
  • 1 0
 @Primoz: You make some good points, but I don't think that you can say external hits counts as a fail in the frame. It would depend on so much. I was referring to more non-accident failure.
Good thread though.
On another note I just got my 900 ultimate and it is amazing. the extra 20mm of travel and fox 34's make it ride so nicely. I love it
  • 1 0
 @michaelrobinson: Were they XC frames or endurbro bikes? The failures I've seen were with the Spark series around 2008-2012, driveside chainstay right at the weld every time. Almost as predictable as a Cannondale Scalpel failure...
  • 2 0
 @michaelrobinson: non-accident failures are a pure speculation unless you see a repetitve pattern (like with Spec&Trek bikes at the chainstay weld near BB which is through nearly all their models from Top Fuel to Session, Epic to SX Trail). I haven't heard of Sparks cracking much. Yeti 575 on the other hand had evidently more movement in the drop out area, where pivot should be located, and they indeed have cracked around there. Also XC folks are a very weird bunch when it comes to frame damage. My wife used to ride a Czech coke can called Author Egoist. XC riders swore about it cracking under the head tube, just behind the gusset. Weeelll, I rode the sht out of that frame as my hardtail aside of FS, with various forks up to 150mm of travel. I dirt jumped it, I hucked it, I rode it countless times into our local most famour rock garden, often going totally off brakes, and to put it into perspective few dare to do it on Enduro competitions here. A dozen of times with fkng 100mm fork. I cased 10ft double with it. Still alive since 2001.

@davidccoleman - yes lots of frames crack around there, with pivot around the drop out and without it. Spesh was a master at it and no wonder - They used to have a 5mm thin(ck) plate between lower pivot bearing and the chainstay, The weld was short and the plate was concentrating lots of stress in weld area. Majority of failures of SX trails were in that spot. So there is no case to make that sparks flex stay has impact of any signinficance on failure rate. There is no case here.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Thats the part of the equation that that cant be quantified.
How you ride the bike.
That coke can hard tail ridden by someone with limited skills will kill the frame with chunky riding.
Go big but ride smooth and the frame will see much less stress.
Then you have people that love to catch air but land on the reaf wheel with the wheel on an angle. Tweek the bar and kick your feet out a bit when you jump and wou will land the rear wheel with huge amounts of side loading.
I dont think bike testing machines simmulate this type of load on a frame.
I have seen quite talented riders that land ugly when they jump.

Also i own that spesh frame that is notoriously famous for cracking at the weld near the pivot on the disk brake side.
Yet some how my frame has survived two years of constant free riding enduro whatever.
The frame is that one off silicone matrix stuff . its basically 7000 series tubing. Which cant be heat treated after its welded.
So the weld can become the weak point.
Who knows if the weders always got the amperage correct to get proper penetration of the weld.
Maybe some welders got it right and some did not.
The quality controll on bikes is quite bad.
QC cost money. You have to hire skilled people and purchase or build expensive testing equipment.
There are many factors that can cause one to unfortunately own a defective bike part.
For me it boils down to feed back from people who have used the part or bike in question.
Then there is the warranty. Will the manufacturers back the product they sell.
  • 2 0
 Totally agree. A friend of mine had his Trek Remedy Factory limited broken. He put his bike on the ground next to a drop. One dude panicked before the drop, went over the edge at a weird angle and hit the side of the top tube of friendsä remedy with his head. He had a full face on... he got lucky, frame didn't... My Blur TRc failed after 2 years. 2-3 months after I bought it, I hit the rock with the bottom of the down sticking bit of the swingarm. After 2 years the cracked developed. FUnny enough I cased the sht out of that frame in Hafjell on the famous Rollercoaster... this 2.2kg frame survived more than many downhill bikes Big Grin but it was the rock on the climb that killed it.
  • 7 1
 For those who are posting negative comments about the rear suspension: this suspension design isn't new and it's been tested and proven on many different bikes for many years now.

I've seen bikes of all different kinds of suspension kinematics that end up breaking. There's a lot of different variables that has to be considered for every frame that breaks.

The geometry and suspension is so similar to the one Nino rode to victory in the Olympics. Sure he's in shape and he'sexcellent when it comes to handling his bike but the bike does play a certain role in contributing to his victories.

All in all the Scott Spark is proven to be a fast and incredible bike for its intended use: XC/TRAIL.
  • 1 0
  • 5 0
 I've ran the Forekasters (front and rear) on the past 2 XC/Trail bikes I've owned (Yeti SB4.5 and Ripley). I can't recommend them enough. I've ran them on every trail type and condition and I think they're light years ahead of the Ardent.. which that's not saying a lot IMO but for XC and lighter trail it doesn't get better than the Forekaster!
  • 3 0
 "...light years ahead of the Ardent.. which that's not saying a lot" I second that--the Ardent is utter garbage. I have yet to understand just exactly what it's intended use is, aside from wiping one's arse with. I'd rather ride some wide Ikons F/R, at least then you have some measure of predictability!

Good to hear that the Forekaster is a worthy alternative!
  • 3 0
 @mikealive: Forekaster is an excellent alternative. I've been using it as a front tire for the sandy, loose conditions where faster rolling XC tires just couldn't cut it. Putting a forekaster on the front seems to have increased my ability to hold speed while cornering without a noticeable trade-off in rolling resistance.
  • 2 1
 Ardent is awesome on the rear, so much fun!
  • 1 0
I'm not convinced about the neg view on the ardent....I got some as standard on a honzo, a 2.4F / 2.25R....I though I would have to change them but they seem to do all I ask even when pushing the limits....

@vernonfelton seems to like them
  • 1 0
 @Travel66: don't get me wrong, i use the 2.4 ardent on the front of my singlespeed, but i think with the ardent its critical that its mated to a 30mm id+ wheel. On wide wheels the profile gets squared off and makes the transition to the side knobs less sketchy. The ardent is fine on my singlespeed and its nice amd high volume, but for true aggressive XC riding i much prefer the Forekaster. I just wish it had the volume of the ardent!
  • 1 0
 @Travel66: The idea that you are riding these in the UK and not hating your life kind of blows my mind a bit! But I'm happy to hear that they work for someone at least.
In terms of a neg review, I'm convinced, unfortunately. I came over the tiniest of rollers on a downward slope... couldn't have been in the air more than 6 inches and went from on the bike to on my back in the blink of an eye. That was my *last* let down by that tire (on a steel Honzo, coincidentally). If I was absolutely forced to give the Ardent some praise it would be in agreement with @joebunn -- as a rear tire (in the right conditions) it's an ok tire.
But putting the Ardent aside for a moment, has anyone had time atop its cousin, the Ardent Race? I've noticed that the side lugs on that version are more continuous instead of alternating...and that would alleviate about 90% of the issues I have with the original Ardent. Curious to see how that one rides..
  • 3 0
 @mikealive: I've been using Ardent Race 3C TR almost exclusively since they came out. It is an extremely popular tyre and is under some unbelievably good riders. But please note Canberra is mainly an XC area. Hardpack or loose gravel over hardpack. We don't have loamy soil except in some areas after rain.
  • 1 0
 @iamamodel: Thanks for the feedback. In parts of the PNW here in the states, by mid summer things are usually pretty dry. Minions can be a year round tire if you only want one model.. but I'm a fan of a Shorty up front for the wet months, and I've been looking for lighter/faster options when things dry out and get rolling fast. I've been eyeing the Minion SS for out back, but may have to give a set of the Ardent Races a shot!
  • 1 0
 @mikealive: I think your dry is the same as our moist. I'd try someone who is in your neck of the woods, literally.
  • 1 0
: its dry here (at the moment) and tbh the places I use it are predominately rock/hard pack and not mud. I did buy an ardent race for my Capra as I was impressed with the tread pattern, but sold the bike before I could use it, largely because it was so muddy at the time!
I need to buy some proper tubeless tyres for my honzo so maybe I wil pop an ardent race on.
The 2.4 ardent has quite a different shape compared to the 2.25" imo and that's on measly 23mm ID. Would you use a forecaster both ends?
  • 1 0
 I've never even heard of this tire until today!
  • 5 0
 I love my 2013 Spark 930! These bikes are XC crushing machines, and the twin-loc is amazing. All the reviews of these bikes downplay how useful the twin-loc is, and in my opinion fail to do the mechanism justice. I use the options the twin-loc affords me constantly during my rides, and can't imagine XC riding/racing without it.
  • 5 1
 I have a Spark 910 29er and love it. Most of my trails around here range from Hardpack Single track to Rocky enduro type. I only have 1 bike ( my son took over my santa Cruz Heckler) and my Spark is amazing. I love the twin-lok levers to adjust travel, becasue some of my rides include pavement for miles to get to other trails. being able to lock this bike out and then quickly get back to a full 100mm of travel in my opinion is great. Even on the DH type trails I ride, I can keep up on this. I cant bomb like i would on my Heckler but It will still do the job and its still fun.
  • 12 8
 Looks like an outdated xc bike with the upper shockbracket welded 10mm forward to get more travel. Also...using alu as a spring is not a sound design decision, will not improve the ride, nor a good USP but probably a cost cutter in the region of 3-5$. Deathflex recall scenario looks expensive. And I have seen xc-bikes designed like this explode their chain stays on their first serious descent.
  • 4 0
 I was concerned too, but now I've thrashed mine over 3000kms, no problems.
  • 3 1
 @iamamodel: It will kill you anyminute now ;-)
  • 3 0
 total dork mode:ON

you got a bit of redundancy going on with the latin lingo there. the "ad" in "ad nauseam" translates roughly to "to the point of", so you could just go with: "...harp on about ad nauseam." or: "...harp on about to the point of nauseam." i think...

think i'll leave dork mode on, feels kinda cool...

  • 4 2
 Interesting read if you've ridden a Spark 700 series. Had one from 2015 and found it was an XC crusher and more than nimble enough on the downs. 29" certainly ain't everything (although reports from Lourdes may be indicating differently!)
  • 5 0
 The new Spark is nothing like the old Spark.
  • 11 5
 Eagle looks so wrong on a bike ...
  • 2 0
 Gotta admit it looks better on a 29" wheel though. Looks awkward as hell on a 27.5. Imagine it on a 26" wheel!
  • 2 9
flag WAKIdesigns (May 8, 2017 at 14:17) (Below Threshold)
 @seraph: i think people are doing it wrong. They are stacking larger and larger cogs on the freehub body while they should be stacking weights on the bar bell... oh sorry, I forgot it's too much to ask. It's better to spend 4k extra on a 11kg 6k xc bike to get it below 10kgs than lift 10kg dumb bells each morning for 20 minutes. And on top of that they are all so competitive...
  • 4 1
 @WAKIdesigns: again with this nonsense. We've been over this, not all of us live in flat parts of the world. Some of us have steep and long climbs to climb. And also have flat asphalt access roads. Eagle is a must on my next bike.
  • 5 3
 There are other XC race fullies about which has been said recently that they're more stable than other bikes in the same category. Is this bike even more capable of taking on rough and steep terrain than the Kona HeiHei and Cannodale Scalpel, or is it comparable? Cool to see this. After watching the excellent PB coverage of the WC XC races last year, I suppose this is definitely the way to go Smile .
  • 8 2
 Well, it's not really in the same category as the Scalpel or HeiHei Race. It's a 120/120mm bike, as opposed to a 100/100mm bike. If you were talking about the Spark RC (100/100mm bike), yes, that would be a valid comparison. But the Spark RC was not reviewed here.
  • 1 0
 @LeDuke: Ah sorry, I wasn't that aware of the Scott catalog. I thought it was their XC race fully which happens to be properly capable. But apparently they've got an even lighter full susser.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: The Hei Hei Race and Trail are the same frame; one has a 120mm fork, one a 100. FWIW, the Kona XC endurance pro guys are running a MRP Ribbon at 120mm for rougher races like Pisgah Stage Race, and were 1st and 3rd in the enduro competition there (along with being 2nd and 3rd in the overall, though in reverse order).

Point being, some of these 100mm rear travel bikes are super-capable, and with a longer fork (the Hei Hei in particular has a really steep STA so it's actually better with the 120mm fork, from personal experience) are really good trail bikes that pedal and climb excellently.

The categories are being blurred, and it's a great thing. I raced a Ripley LS at Stage Race and hit the podium; raced it in a pro XC race 2 days ago and the same. Light trail bikes and capable XC rigs are very similar now in weight, pedaling ability, and handling.
  • 4 2
 Even with the cables up front (which could be fixed very quickly with some tape) I think this bike is one of the most beautiful ones in this travel range. I'm not exactly the target audience, but it's good to read it delivers on the trail aswell
  • 5 3
 With a 1x drivetrain, how in the heck did they get three levers on the left hand side of the handlebar???

1. Twin loc (which is supposed to control the front fork as well)
2. Fox dropper
  • 4 0
 Twinloc controls the front and rear suspension simultaneously, hence the "twin" in twinloc. So from left to right...

1. Dropper Post,
2. Engage Twinloc
3. Release Twinloc
  • 4 5
 It's an old gnome scheme:
1.Install more levers
  • 1 0
 Twinlock needs a release. It's not just one lever. So you've got 2x levers on the lockout, and then one for the dropper.
  • 3 3
 @seraph: Wow, that's a pretty inane execution. Guess whoever buys that bike should be grateful it doesn't have a 2x11 drivetrain...
  • 4 4
 By the way, thanks for the downvotes on a simple question...
  • 3 0
 @streetfighter848: It's a fine execution. It's a bit busy on a 2x drivetrain but it works great.
  • 1 2
 They also sell this with 2x drivetrain. Imagine how screwed up cockpit must be on that one Smile
  • 1 0
 The 10-50 Eagle cassette is identical to the 10-42 cassettes, but with a 50t cog added on. And the 42-50 jump (19%) is only slightly larger than the 36-42 jump (17%). They're both big-ish jumps, but definitely not a reason to pick 1x11 over 1x12.

And if you don't like that jump, what about the massive 37-46 (24%) that Shimano gives you on the 11-46?
  • 4 0
 A dhf-front, forkaster-rear has been such a fast combo.
  • 1 0
 That does sound fast. For XC/trail riding I've been getting by with a forekaster front with fast trak 2.3 in the rear. Makes an XC bike a bit more aggressive without feeling sluggish.
  • 7 2
 Looks like my next bike!
  • 5 1
 Has more cables than time warner.
  • 3 3
 For the same price you can get a Trek Top Fuel 9.8 SL and put a Dropper on it, but it weighs 5# less. And it comes with the X01 11 speed as mentioned in desires for components by Levy. Is an extra 20mm of travel worth 5#? Not to me.
  • 3 0
 That is such a different bike, in travel, geometry and purpose (Top Fuel is pure XC). Also, it's closer to a 4# difference, which would be closer to 3# with the dropper swap. A more apt comparison would be the Spark RC.
  • 2 0
 Seriously, no one is going to sey anything about the price of this bike? We are looking for nearly 6k aluminium bike! For christ sake!!
  • 4 0
 Only aluminum is the rear. Mainframe is All carbon. Plus who pays full price for a bike? That $6k asking price will be discounted at Christmas for $3500-4K.
  • 1 0
 @Three6ty: Just to throw out a comparison, specialized has done the split frame materials for a while. The prices on those bikes are also pretty high.
  • 2 0
 What the hell is wrong with brands like Scott and Spec? 5,6 grand, full of self-branded crap and you don't get full carbon frame?
  • 2 0
 Not to mention the main triangle is from cheaper carbon anyway (HMF on 900 vs. HMX on 900 Premium, whatever those letters mean...)
  • 2 0
 I wonder if since Levy is so fond of the Ripley, and the OG one at that, which runs quite small, if he should be riding a medium or small spark...
  • 1 0
 Great review ,even on the the specs like the fox dropper (and yes it's a little better then the doss ,more smoth when sitting ,with all your weigh on the saddle ,it's impressive )and yes that eagle cassette jump.
  • 3 1
 Mr Levy needs to try the 27.5 version of the Spark. From my experience it will remedy the issues he percieved with the lack of nimbleness on the wagon wheeler.
  • 1 0
 I've owned my 2018 Spark 720 for just over a month now and it's the best all around bike I've ever owned. It's fast and fun and with some attention to detail the cables look fine (I never even look at them anyway). I walked into the shop dead set on a Genius but after demoing them both the Spark was just more comfortable and suitable for the majority of riding I'll be doing. With the plus tires and deep feeling travel I feel completely comfortable on technical DH segments. It's so damn fast in DH corners. I would absolutely use the word "nimble" in describing the 7XX series. I suffer on climbs to get to the fun part, the Spark 720 makes the entire ride fun.
  • 1 0
 It's not about the number of teeth on the cog jump.... It's the percentage. Only different in your mind because the cog looks so big.

Going from 42 to 50 cog is a 15% jump. Most other jumps are 13%.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy could the levers running into each other be a feature? When you want to drop your post, it automatically unlocks the suspension. They could've planning it that way. Probably not, but maybe?
  • 3 0
 wish there were more comparisions between this and the ripley ls
  • 4 3
 I haven't ridden the Scott, but the Ripley LS is a ripper. It can do the XC tango and climbs exceptionally well, but it handles and descends like a much more burly bike. Furthermore, the DW-link and Ibis' execution of it is possibly the best out there.
  • 5 4
 Do you think it's possible to string some more cables and put some more crap on the handlebars? I don't think you have quite enough on there yet.
  • 4 4
 Just get the E-bike version:
  • 2 0
 @paulaston: That's actually only 6 cables/hoses. My 710 Plus came stock with 6 cables/hoses because it was XT 2x11.
  • 2 0
 @seraph: thats 5 to many
  • 1 0
 @properp: My dirt jumper agrees.
  • 1 1
 The jump to 50 is a 19 % increase/decrease in the gear ratio. The 36 to 42 jump is 16.7 %. And Sram's drive train includes jumps of over 20 %. How exactly can this jump to 50 be such an issue??
  • 1 0
 So, I don't know what to think of this bike, but this was a pretty glowing review for the Fox Transfer post. Will have to take a look at that
  • 1 0
 Just note that not all hubs will fit that brake mount without minor modification. Ie. I9s or onyx didnt fit due to their end cap sizing vs the ridge on the brake mount.
  • 1 0
 Me thinks someone who writes for PB spent time in the ink chair over the winter season!
  • 2 0
 Finally a review with no mention of handlebar width!
  • 1 0
 Scott Spark meet Kona Hei Hei, Kona Hei Hei meet Scott Spark. Now fight to the death!!!
  • 1 0
 I'm looking for something very similar to this bike but at half the price any suggestions ??
  • 1 0
 Buying it in a few months, if you are in no rush.
  • 1 0
 Would love to see a shootout with Giant's Anthem. Rode the Anthem and loved it, such a funny (and capable) bike!
  • 3 2
 The bend in the top tube makes it look like it's missing something
  • 1 0
 No component check on the new fox suspension?
  • 2 4
 Fux Sux
  • 2 0
 It goes up and down. Feels nice. Black stanchions are shiny.
  • 1 0
 @seraph: guess they didnt pay as much as sram..
  • 4 5
 Snaggletooth snagfest with those cables under the bottom bracket. That crap freaks me out. So many builders are going that route. Super lame.
  • 4 0
 I have cables pop out on my bottom bracket and then tuck back into the chain stay on my bike and I've yet to have them get caught on anything. It has not been an issue for me at all.
  • 2 0
 *sighs* so overblown and that kind of routing has been on other bikes with no probs.
  • 2 0
  • 1 0
 Hey @mikelevy: when used the you're using it, it's "jell," not "gel."
  • 2 1
 Scott no rear end pivots, what bright spark came up with that.
  • 1 0
 that dam thing should have a winch mounted for all that cable.
  • 1 0
 No RC review and comparison?
  • 6 5
 Too much spaghetti...
  • 4 2
 My thoughts exactly bro. I hate a cluttered up handlebar. Totally makes any bike look like crap. Simple is better less is more.
  • 3 4
 More like angel hair...full blown snagfest.
  • 5 2
 I have a Spark 710 and I don't look at the cables when I ride. And they are worth it.
  • 4 5
 That's one hell of a cable nest. Add in a couple more and you'll have some bird eggs in no time.
  • 3 3
 All those cables....
  • 1 2
 What? Flex rear?? No thx!
  • 1 4
 Just started riding DH again so i have no interest in this!!!!!!!!!
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