Bike Check: Lars Forster's European Champion Inspired Scott Spark RC

Feb 11, 2022 at 8:45
by Ed Spratt  



To mark his second European Championships victory in 2021 Lars Forster has a custom painted Scott Spark RC for 2022 to match his EU Champions jersey. Lars' Scott is kitted out in plenty of lightweight gear with SRAM's XX1 AXS drivetrain and Syncros' integrated bar and stem. Check out the details on Lar's custom 2022 race bike.

Lars Foster is about to go down in history.
Lars Forster
Instagram: @larsrace

bigquotesBringing home my second European Championship title was a dream come true. The competition is so fierce at the moment, so it was always going to be a difficult goal to achieve. Lars Forster

Lars Forster EU Champ Scott Spark RC900 2022
Scott Spark RC Details

Frame: Scott Spark RC Carbon HMX SL Custom // Size Medium
Wheels: Syncros Silverton SL2-30MM, 29"
Fork: RockShox Sid Ultimate RD3 Air with Blackbox Race Day Damper// 120MM Travel // 44MM Offset
Shock: RockShox Nuda 5 RLC3
Tyres: Maxxis Aspen 29x2.40WT 170TPI EXO/TR
Pedals: HT Components M2
Drivetrain: SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS 12 speed with Power Meter
Brakes: SRAM Level Ultimate
Seatpost: Rockshox Reverb AXS 100MM, Titanium Bolts
Cockpit: Syncros Fraser IC SL WC / -40° / 90MM / 700MM // Syncros Foam Grips // Syncros Tofino Regular SL Channel Saddle

Lars Forster EU Champ Scott Spark RC900 2022

Lars Forster EU Champ Scott Spark RC900 2022
To help get his power down Lars is running the carbon SRAM XX1 cranks with a Quarq power meter. Paired with this is HT Components' oil slick M2 pedals.

Lars Forster EU Champ Scott Spark RC900 2022

Lars Forster EU Champ Scott Spark RC900 2022

Lars Forster EU Champ Scott Spark RC900 2022
Just like his teammates Lars is running SRAM's blipper control for his dropper post. Interestingly Lars is choosing to run his on the right-hand side of his bike.

Lars Forster EU Champ Scott Spark RC900 2022
Adjustments to the hidden shock can be made through access holes in the frame.

Lars Forster EU Champ Scott Spark RC900 2022
Lars Forster EU Champ Scott Spark RC900 2022
Offering a unique silhouette, the Syncros Fraser does help to keep the weight down at the front of the bike. For his race bike, Lars is running a 90mm stem length and 700mm wide bars.


Author Info:
edspratt avatar

Member since Mar 16, 2017
3,047 articles

90 Comments
  • 51 0
 That looks FANTASTIC! But the bars hurt my shoulders and lower back.
  • 11 5
 Can anyone confirm how much of an advantage having really low bars gives you over the course of an xc race? Unless I go too high, raising my bars always feels like free performance
  • 37 0
 @GumptionZA: can roll hips forward more and get more power down. All about watts.
  • 3 0
 @mm732: ah that's a pretty good reason
  • 23 1
 @GumptionZA: Also lets you get more weight on the front wheel for climbing. Allows the riders to weight the front wheel without shifting their riding position while climbing. Try climbing steep grade with a high stack and you'll get the front wandering frequently, these guys cant have that during a race.
  • 4 0
 @Breeconay: I mean that was the reason I knew, but I figured just bend your arms more. Then at least you don't die on the way down! But I guess people have tried it and got smoked by low bar riders overall
  • 8 0
 @GumptionZA: the point is to have tension in your back to have the power chain from your hands to your feets fully engaged. Otherwise you simply can't put the power down, because you will hurt the weakest link and this will be the lower back... been there done that.
The amount of drop needed depends on the lenght of your arms.

The porblem is not a climbing wheel... for this much less drop is suficent.
  • 2 0
 @mm732: Yes it helps to engage the glutes.
  • 2 1
 Im 6’2 and i ran 670mm bars with a 90mm stem on my top fuel up until last year. Our xc trails are tight.
  • 1 0
 Also lets you weight the front wheel more for ripping turns. This is straight from Nino's setup and he goes SO fast around corners.
  • 2 1
 Don’t look at the bar. Look ta saddle to bar drop. It really isn't that long of a drop.
  • 2 1
 @GumptionZA: aerodynamics. They can average some 35km/h, and any help to lower the power output on that speed and above will benefit the position where they will not put most of the power down, but will get more speed out of the power they can generate.
I can only imagine what are the numbers, since it's a 38 chainring.

Also, I do agree that risen bars are better than lowered bars for overall cyclist, since it's gonna be way better for your back.
  • 1 0
 @nopain-nogain: there are riders at the highest levels that lose that tension in technical terrain, making them unstable.
  • 34 0
 What a time to be alive! 2.4 tyres 30mm rims on pure breed XC .. going wider than Bruni!
  • 9 1
 and 120 mm fork with 35 mm stanchions. Schurter rides the bigger fork also. I'm surprised VdP sticks with the 32 mm stanchion, 100 mm fork, given how much bigger he is.
  • 12 0
 @SJP: VDP uses the SC 34. Not sure about the travel
  • 2 0
 Not going to see a 700mm bar on Bruni's bike though.
  • 8 0
 One has to consider that a stiffer DH casing needs much less support from the rim to stay stable (for te same tire width). These super supple XC tires need all the rim support they can get.

But agree, it's indeed fascinating how far things have come. Just shows you how much of the sport is based mostly on tradition and preconceptions rather than on effective testing
  • 1 0
 that sta tho...
  • 1 0
 @Snowytrail: he also rides like 2.25-2.3" tires
  • 1 0
 @caiocrz: His fork travel is 110 mm i’m pretty sure
  • 2 0
 @caiocrz:
Thanks. These guys riding this gear makes me wonder why anyone would buy, e.g., a Spec. Epic over an Epic EVO, a Canyon Lux over a Lux TR, Intense Sniper over Sniper T, etc. Why are all of these bikes with 32 mm stanchions, 100 mm travel, and 23 mm rims still marketed as the best for XC racing?
  • 1 0
 @Arierep: any of the guys running 25mm rims in dh are probably running inserts with the insert the sidewall is pushed out so 25 vs 30 doesn't matter much, and all the hub bub about tire profile and radius is also silly, at 25-30psi the things squish flat on the ground just the same on a 25mm and 30mm rim
  • 1 0
 @SJP: for marathon the gram counting and capability compromising are probably worth it. but proper XC? i doubt it.
  • 21 5
 Weight left out because I reckon it would suprise you how portly it is. Heavier than last gen spark, 120mm fork, 30mm Id rims, 2.4 tyres, potentially a rear insert, axs dropper. Be surprised if it's much less than 25lbs.
  • 10 0
 I don't think the weight penalty is that bad considering the increase in performance. The wheels have carbon spokes and weigh 1280 grams. I highly doubt they are running inserts. Even if they are, it would be one of the super light inserts that weigh 50 grams or so.
  • 15 0
 Seeing how similarly factory built one weights less than 23lb I am guessing its easily still under 24lbs
  • 6 1
 Best to have a bike is a few grams heavier but it comes with more safety and comfort. You could pedal better more technical sections and go way faster on the downhills. Tracks are very demanding and one mistake could ruin a winner ride,not mentioning a flat tire.
  • 11 0
 Granted, it's slightly heavy as far as XC bikes go. But the frame is also a tank. As with all Scott Mountainbikes, it's very positively overbuilt for its respective use case. I happend to know the numbers they had it tested to and lets just say it's as strong as some other companies' mid-travel, All-Mountain bikes.
  • 3 10
flag JohanG (Feb 12, 2022 at 8:15) (Below Threshold)
 @islandlife98: I could easily have a wheelset built that is 200g lighter than that. Light hubs, Newmen rims, Berd spokes. Everything on that build is heavy except the grips.
  • 3 0
 Considering that the top spec rc bikes come under 23 lbs, I suspect this build would not be far off, also they probably don’t ride consumer spec frames, I would not be surprised if they have frames that weigh less because of various post production tweaks that would be to costly on a mass production
  • 13 0
 @JohanG: Well, those Syncros Silverton SL wheels and Syncros bars worked out pretty good for Tom Pidcock at the olympic games.
  • 3 1
 @mfoga: pretty sure all of the tests I've seen of the xx1 axs wc models are 24.5-25lbs in a medium without sealant or wide tyres.
  • 10 3
 What I love about it is that XC bikes are departing from fire road racing further and further. Back in 2010 XCO bike was near identical to XCM bike. Gravel is catching up too. The death of Down Country I sense as XCO is pretty much almost there.

Also several pros (incl. Kate Courtney I believe) said they use insert(s) depending on a race course/ conditions. While extra weight plays a role when trying to stay in the front group, puncturing definitely drops your chances for a good result by a significant amount. Minimal gains, maximal losses is a thing, especially considering how courses look these days.

@JohanG: Newmen rims weigh 467g per rim, so 940ish, 28 berd spokes 120g, nipples 20g - 1080g, Syncros wheels 1280 for 26internal and 1340 for 30internal. 0-60g hubs? You'd need to get one of those insanely light 300g rims which are virtually disposable, in order to achieve what you are speaking of . Even if you got these German plastic foil rims, your hubs would surely be of a kind with semi disposable ceramic bearings.
  • 3 0
 @calmWAKI:

Newman i30 XC rims are 330 grams
  • 2 2
 @hllclmbr: Exactly. I'd also do i25 on the rear. These pros get paid to race equipment. The amateur gets to choose better equipment as he is not bound by sponsorships.
  • 4 2
 @hllclmbr: ok sorry. Clicked wrong thing on their website. That still barely lands Johan90 200g under Syncros at 1340. Even if Newmen is a much better deal and more practical wheelset in every possible way. Not defending Syncors wheels - do they even have lifetime warranty?
  • 2 1
 @calmWAKI: As a guy who pays for his own wheels I can't see the attraction of the Silverton wheels. There's guys posting 1000g builds in the mtbr Berd thread that cost less and are easier to service (say, from a cracked rim or spoke).
  • 2 0
 Scott-SRAM moved away from the AXS dropper last season, probably because it's so damn heavy. They just show it in publicity photos: www.instagram.com/p/CT5hf6EsBQ9

With a light dropper, this bike will be ~23 lbs.
  • 7 0
 It amazes me that so many people are concerned about weight. Bikes are heavier than before, riders are heavier than before (OK Pidcock/Flückiger are small, but they are powerful!), yet performance levels are higher in both. This goes for road and mtb. Weight matters but it is only one metric.
  • 1 0
 @JohanG: I agree with you. I would still not buy berd spokes. Revs or supercomps on dt240s. Everything else is expensive weight weenieing with not measurable results. Newmen rims are top class though.
  • 14 0
 That is one GORGEOUS xc bike.
  • 11 1
 As ever,let's check out the details and leave out the weight.
  • 7 2
 The ine thing I do like aboot XC.. They haven't lost they're man size chainrings!
  • 3 0
 A 38 tooth chainring. Very impressive! A beautiful bike. I'd love to ride it... but with a stem and handlebar set-up that will not require me to take a trip to a chiropractor.
  • 4 1
 I understand that unless you run special cables there is overall weight savings available with wireless droppers. Aesthetically I can’t stand the way they look. Like a 90s saddlebag. Cool bike otherwise.
  • 4 0
 Reverb AXS is actually heavier
  • 1 0
 @laupe: total system weight including cables are you sure? If that’s true then there’s no excuse for that abomination
  • 1 0
 @Mtmw: @Mtmw: yeup @laupe is correct. Even including cables AXS is heavier.
Granted not by much, but for people who count grams like drug dealers it is a strange choice.
  • 2 0
 It's so funny to see as modern XC geometry changes how much the cockpit has to adapt to get the right fit for these guys. It was so common to see riders with 100-130mm stems with -6 degrees sometimes maybe a -17. Now as the stack heights get taller, the top tubes get longer, and the stems get shorter the angles have to get much more aggressive like -20 to -30 degree. I will say I run a -20 on both of my XC rigs at 70mm and prefer it vs the old school fit.
  • 3 0
 It would be nice to be able to try those tires out. I wonder how they compare to the 120 TPI version that we can actually buy.
  • 1 0
 The 170 TPI tires are lighter and more supple than the heavy 120 TPI tires. I tried the 120 TPI 2.4 Aspens and they were slow when trying to accelerate out of tight turns. If racing a twisty course with lots of accelerations they aren't the best tires to use.
  • 4 0
 Love the one piece upside down bars
  • 4 0
 No more integrated chaing ring/power meter. Not even a DM cr. Wknder why.
  • 2 1
 Errm... It has a Quarq Spider PM. Even states it in the spec list.
  • 2 0
 @handynzl: but not the prototype integrated chainring/power meter the team has run for the last two years
  • 2 0
 @martinaasa: if you look on his instagram, he actually uses the "old" prototype power meter
  • 3 0
 Never imagined that a brand like scott would try to lead the way, But they do/try to inovate.
  • 1 0
 It must be nice having wireless shifting and the wireless dropper post. But the fork and shock lockout puts those to cables right back.
  • 2 0
 It looks like he is running the new HS2 rotors. Never see that on an XC bike before.
  • 1 0
 Yes, why use those when the CenterLine X weighs quite a bit less.
  • 1 1
 @Joecx: Maybe he is not really racing this bike. Maybe it’s just an ad for Scott and they thought no one would notice the rotors ;-)
  • 1 0
 @Joecx: Because better braking performance.

@magnusc Nino is using those rotors so i guess Lars will be using them as well
  • 1 0
 @laupe: He already swapped them out for centerline rotors. Check his Instagram-account.
  • 1 0
 @magnusc: who? Nino or Lars
  • 2 0
 @laupe: Lars swapped them out. He’s also back on the one piece power meter chainring.
  • 2 0
 Curious to know how hot that rear shock gets inside that frame. It's probably a substantial amount.
  • 2 0
 I got the aluminum spark - my hope is the dirt protection overrides the heat issue
  • 2 0
 It doesn't really get any sexier than the Spark RC.
  • 1 0
 Looks awesome, I love how XC bikes are now as capable as a 2012 AM/Enduro bike... Or is XC not XC anymore
  • 2 0
 Those handlebars just look wrong.
  • 2 1
 That stem needs some viagra...
  • 2 0
 Well pukka
  • 1 0
 What’s the chainguide? How does it attach?
  • 1 0
 Intergrated and mounted on the frame
  • 3 2
 He did well considering he had his handle bars on upside down.
  • 1 0
 Do it to it Lars!
  • 3 3
 Straight 1.5 steerer on a World Cup XC bike - bold move.
  • 6 0
 Is it a straight steerer fork, or just an oversize head tube to allow for angle sets?
  • 5 1
 @AyJayDoubleyou: sorry head tube... yes this spark can be downcountried into a donut with an angleset.
  • 4 0
 All bikes or at least all enduro and up should come with 1.5 headtubes, the few grams taper is lighter does not do anything.
  • 7 0
 It takes a regular fork. The headtube is oversized because they designed it with an angle-adjusting headset in mind. The upper cup can be turned around, allowing for a 0,6° HTA adjustment. In the slack setting and with the 130mm fork, the HTA will go down all the way to 65,8°.
  • 1 1
 @optimumnotmaximum: yeah but I’d say with 62 inner diameter. 56 will do but 62 would work with anglesets for 1.8” steerers.
  • 1 0
 @Muscovir: That's true, it takes a regular tapered (1.5 / 1 1/Cool fork. The straight head tube is due to the cable routing though. The cables have to go somewhere, right? At the top it uses a bearing with the same outside dimension like a IS52 but with a bigger bore. Oh, and yes theres an angle set included/integrated and you don't even need tools other than an allen key to open up the stem to change it (similar to the Specialized solution). You just have to turn the upper and lower headtube cups 180° each. I think the headset is made by across, even though it says synchros on them.
  • 1 0
 Yeeeww
  • 1 0
 That’s looks so good!
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