Where's the shock? Scott gives the 2022 Spark range a radical look with hidden suspension.
When Scott acquired fellow Swiss mountain bike frame brand, Bold Cycles, many thought it was simply a defensive stagey.
Few could have imagined that a legacy mountain bike company of Scott’s size, would use Bold’s unique frame design on arguably its most important bike range: the Spark. But this is exactly what has transpired.
Benefits of shielding the shock – completely
The new Spark RC/900 range is immense, with 21 derivatives, and they all feature a dramatic new appearance. If you did a double-take at the attached images, wondering if something went awry in Photoshop, don’t be alarmed.
Bold Cycles developed a rear-suspension linkage which places the shock inside the frame. This results in an aesthetically clean frame appearance, which Scott has now applied to the Spark.
What are the mechanical advantages of Spark’s radical new shock placement? There’s no risk of stanchion damage from trail debris. Seal durability should improve, too, as the Spark’s internal shock is shielded from environmental contaminants.
Engineers at Scott have also been freed from adding material to an external mounting area, making for a lighter frame. It might sound like a stretch, and perhaps has little applicability to mountain biking, but the internal shock configuration is also more aerodynamic, compared to a conventional rear-suspension linkage.
Hydration and bike storage also benefits from the absence of a shock in the front triangle. You can fit two huge water bottles in the frame, in a low orientation, improving the realm world riding centre of gravity on these new Sparks.
Lots of control(s)
What about rebound adjust? Or configuring your TwinLoc system? There’s a single bolt hatch, which opens at the bottom of your new Spark’s downtube, allowing access to the shock’s adjustment dials and levers.
As with all Sparks, there is an entire neighbourhood of levers living on the handlebars.
To prevent kinking issues with routing so many cables, Scott designed a new 760mm width Syncros Fraser integrated cockpit, allowing for less cable manipulation and straighter guiding under the handlebar.
Spark XC or trail bike options
Although the new Spark range features a uniform 120mm rear-suspension configuration, there is differentiation in geometry and fork travel, between RC and 900 versions.
If you want to XC racing, the RC bikes are for you. They feature 120mm forks and a 67.2° head angle, whilst rolling Maxxis Rekon Race 29×2.4” tyres.
Do you even downcountry? Well, if you do, the Spark 900s are configured for trail riding, with 130mm forks and a slacker 65.8° head angle. Sacrificing a bit of rolling efficiency for traction, the new Scott Spark 900 series bikes all roll Schwalbe Wicked Will tyres, sized 29×2.4”.
Interestingly, the difference in reach between these new Spark RC and 900 frames, are minimal, On a size large, you get 471mm of reach on the RC and only 1mm less on a 900. The Spark 900 bikes also have larger 180mm rear brake rotors at the rear.
Scott has priced its new Spark from £2199, for an alloy 970, to £11999 for the premium Spark RC SL EVO AXS and Spark 900 Ultimate EVO AXS variants.