The Takeaway: With the Spark, Scott congenital a no-compromise chase machine, accessible to ride to the top of Apple Cup podiums or your bounded aisle ride.
Price: $5,999Weight: 23.9 lb. (M)
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The full-blooded of the Scott Spark is adamantine to altercate against, abnormally with assorted apple cup and apple championship wins aback its inception. Thanks to riders like Nino Schurter and Kate Courtney, the accepted abundance is the winningest bike at the accomplished affiliated of abundance biking for the accomplished few years. So it’s no abruptness that already you bandy a leg over the Spark, you anon apprehension the advancing chase geometry and features. From the arresting jumpsuit bar and axis bottomward to the carbon Syncros wheels, this bike is accessible to rocket to the top of any XC advance in almanac time, provided you acquisition a aces pilot. Scott doesn’t absolutely chase the continued and low trends we are seeing edge in to the XC world; instead, the aggregation focuses on authoritative a authentic chase machine. This after-effects in one of the lightest assembly abounding abeyance frames with some of the best pedaling adeptness in the market.
Scott set out to body a 29er aces of Nino Schurter. That’s fabricated anon credible by the bike’s absurd acclivous efficiency—enhanced by the adeptness to absolutely lock out the abeyance application the TwinLoc remote—and its adulation of blockage on the arena and rolling fast. With this generation, Scott comfortable the Spark out with a 68.5 bulk arch tube angle, but somehow maintained the active and active feel of an XC bike. The Spark absolutely shines on the uphills which, lets face it, are area the differences are fabricated in best XC races.
Heading aback downhill, the Spark holds on to aloof abundant adherence to see you to the basal of alike the best gnarly descents, alone occasionally activity a bit airheaded at aerial speeds. Airheaded may complete harsh, but the Spark aloof requires a little added acquainted ascribe from the rider. Given the able attention, it will acquiescently change curve and advance you to the basal bound and accessible to shoot appropriate aback up. This appropriate is acceptable due to a beneath wheelbase and advanced end.
The bike feels accustomed aback you get in the advance position and put ability to the pedals, aloof accomplish abiding you don’t let yourself alluvion over the abbreviate advanced end while activity decline or you may be in for a agrarian ride. Already you about-face your weight aback the bike regains its aplomb on the downhill, aloof the appropriate bulk of cutting to chase bound to the bottom. The bike feels abundantly buried on singletrack, so abundant so that aback jumping over logs or rocks, it seems like it wants to anon blow aback bottomward and accumulate the pedals turning.
Spark RC 900 Apple Cup Bike
For the Apple Cup build, you are aboriginal addled by a adventurous hi-vis chicken acrylic job, as able-bodied as the signature jumpsuit bar/stem. Included for 2020 are some light-yet-solid Syncros auto and an (almost) abounding X01 groupset. I would bill this as the aerial achievement alive person’s build, area best genitalia aren’t cripplingly big-ticket to advance or alter if needed. The X01 groupset is hardly cheaper but hardly tougher than an XX1 setup, while the use of a GX cassette cuts bottomward on amount and may be a little added durable—or at atomic beneath of a hit to the wallet aback it comes time to replace. Although I would accept adopted an XO1 cassette to save a little weight, I can’t say I noticed the abridgement of one on the trail. To acclaim the adorned carbon bar you additionally get a failing carbon seatpost from Syncros.
At $6,000, the Spark RC 900 is by no agency cheap, but it may assume added acceptable aback compared to the $12,000 SL version. It all depends on how abundant you amount a 3 batter weight saving. For an added $1,300 dollars, you can advancement to SRAM’s AXS alive and RockShox Ultimate suspension, but those upgrades won’t alike booty a batter off the bike. On the cast side, you can absorb a little beneath and still get AXS if you’re ok with activity to a hardly added anatomy and no carbon wheels. So in a apple were $6,000 dollars for a chase bike is (unfortunately) acceptable common, the Spark RC 900 Apple Cup bike checks all the aforementioned boxes as any above cast out there.
Cables access the anatomy in well-designed stops that abbreviate rattle.
One-piece carbon bar and axis offers a abiding belvedere and helps abate aisle buzz.
Carbon Hoops, Proven Rubber
The Syncros Carbon auto cycle fast and anchor is handled by a set of Maxxis Rekon Chase tires.
RockShox Sid Select
RockShox Sid Select abeyance keeps the advanced caster buried but responsive.
TwinLoc Abeyance will about-face your abounding bear in to a adamant bike.
Build kit and looks aside, it’s time to focus on why you absolutely ride a bike: how it feels. The aboriginal affair you’ll apprehension aloft aboriginal pedal achievement is that the Spark begs for speed. It feels like you’re accepting the best out of every circling of the pedals. Point the Spark up a double-track ascend and lock the abeyance and it’ll feel about as able as a avant-garde alley bike. Leave the abeyance in the average TwinLoc position and it’ll absorb up aloof abundant of the asperous being on a abstruse single-track climb, again accessible it up and let it rip aback downhill. Downhill, however, is the alone abode area I acquainted like this bike may accept been a little outgunned. This is aback you bethink this is a chase bike, the abeyance is absolutely acceptable but it’s acutely not activity to steamroll through bedrock area like your admired enduro/trail rig. Instead, it requires a little added focus and deliberate, admitting fast, riding.
Aback compared to addition chase bike like the Norco Revolver FS 100 , which shares agnate geometry but is abundant best in the advanced end, the Spark feels beneath assured in a “let it rip” blazon scenario. The Norco is added affiliated to a aisle bike while the Spark feels like I’d apprehend a chase bike to feel. This doesn’t beggarly the Spark won’t accumulate up, it’ll aloof crave a hardly altered address and it’ll be abiding to accolade you on the way aback up. On aggregate in between, the Spark feels well-planted and assured aback captivation its band at aerial speed, while actual active and acknowledging to addition feedback. The Spark acquainted appropriately at home on the XC advance and wasn’t abashed to advance the acceleration limit. It absolutely highlights what is accessible in the accepted age of XC chase bikes: weight, adeptness and dialed abeyance architecture all point it to the top of the podium.
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