The pics were bouncing around the internet over the last week or so…Nino Schurter’s new whip, or so it seemed. A Scott Spark that looked quite changed over the old version with a new shock placement and a tidy rocker. An overall sexy look IMO.
Now the carbon (or aluminum) cats are out of the bag and one of those cats is a fat one. There is a 27+ version of the Spark now, following a logical progression that began last year with the Genius series, that being Boost and 2.8″ tires. When I rode the Plus version of the Genius, it was a bit ‘more’ bike than I require where I live, but the new Spark Plus is spot on target.
The older Spark 900 was a very good bike and one of our reviewers bought the test bike we had and still rides it. It was an interesting blend of an XC race bike with slacker than normal geometry and the unique Twin Lock feature. All that made for a very versatile bike that was much more than a race day whippet and is a good light trailbike. What would be the biggest limiter in the Spark is suspension travel. 100mms at each end only goes so far.
Now there is a natural progression in the Spark line. RC, the raciest version, remains at 100mm F/R. It has a 32mm fork and evolved geometry to better reflect the trends today: Shorter chainstays, longer top tubes, steeper seat and slacker head angles. Stems get shorter too. Next is the Spark at 120mm F/R (in 27.5 and 29 version, both alloy and carbon blends). This should take the XC speed of the older one and extend the range of it’s upper limit by some good degree with Fox 34s and the extra cush. This makes sense, as last year the gap between the Genius and the Spark was pretty big. I remember thinking that the new Genius was a bit more than I wanted and the Spark a bit less. Well, here you go. Then what I think is the best of all, the 27+ version, Spark Plus, with the slackest angles and 130mm/120mm F/R. Sweet. Spot.
I am very pleased with what Plus is doing for the trailbike world and if I could grab one of these models for a long day of riding, it would be the Plus version.
Interestingly, Nino, who is a pretty short guy, is happy enough with the changes to the Spark RC that he will be racing a 29er version, not a 27.5″ one.
Scott has a dedicated page to the new Spark here.
Oh yeah…Scale. That has been massaged as well. Lighter by a bit and with the same geo tweaks, hardtail race bikes are a hard sell for me these days, as FS bikes can be light and faster nearly everywhere over a hardtail these days. I must be getting old.
Here is a video with more talk from the folks that made it all happen.