This is the 4th generation Spark and is now a 120mm rear wheel travel bike. The bike runs a single pivot suspension layout with a flex-stay. There are 21 models split across the Spark RC, Spark 900 and Contessa platforms. It’s an entirely new cross-country package with revised kinematics, geometry, and a design that focuses on integration. The shock is completely hidden inside the frame (think low C-of-G) and accessed by easily removable panels. Here are the details as released by the Swiss gurus, today.
The all-new Scott Spark RC and Spark 900
Introducing the all-new, completely redesigned Spark product range. Featuring non-compromising XC Race models and short-travel trail rippers, the all-new Spark platform is ready for some fun.
For years, the Spark family of bikes here at SCOTT has been a cornerstone of our success in the mountain bike industry. From World Cup win to World Cup win, to riding singletrack kingdom’s and everything in between, the Spark RC and Spark 900 line of bikes have been constant go-to’s for riders of all abilities all over the world. For 2022, the all-new Spark is set to continue this heritage on race tracks and trails for years to come.
Building on Success
Now in it’s fourth generation, the Spark made it’s way into our lives back in 2008. Since then, it’s given us the highest of highs on and off the race track. Several World Championships, dozens of World Cup Wins, some special shiny medals and countless good times on the trails later, the newest Spark platform is something else. How do you improve upon the best? Let’s find out.
Integrated Suspension Technology
Now, a more noticeable change is that we’ve moved to a frame platform with an integrated shock. If we take a deeper look, this approach allows us to refine suspension characteristics without sacrificing weight. Often, when working with bikes at this level, the concept of marginal gains becomes an ever important one. For the optimal performance of a suspension shock, power transfer must be the most direct possible. What we want to avoid are any inefficient directional movements, in other words, lateral movements (sideways to the direction of travel) as the shock goes through its compression. Having an integrated shock allows us to improve this in several ways. Firstly, the frame construction around the shock and with the trunnion mount can be designed to be much more rigid, reducing movement and fostering more efficient power transfer. We can also add much larger bearings to the seat tube pivot, further reinforcing this area and reducing any unnecessary motion. Our Integrated Suspension Technology also helps us to engineer frames with a lower shock placement which lowers the center of gravity. As a result, the bike benefits from better handling, and a more stable, confidence-inspiring ride for the end-user.
Suspension Layout and Kinematic
A full-suspension bike will never have success without, well, good suspension design. From the first time we rode the Spark’s single-pivot layout we fell in love. Years later, we still believe that for technical cross-country racing and fast, punchy singletrack it is the best approach. The Spark’s suspension layout has a very specific and proven kinematic and less unsprung mass. Using a flex pivot in the seat stay is an ideal solution for bikes in this travel range. This allows us to keep a very lightweight system while still ensuring optimal suspension performance.
Geometry and frame design
When deciding on the Geometry for the Spark Platform, we decided to look towards Science rather than trends. We worked closely with SWISS BIOMECHANICS to do so, particularly in collaboration with the SCOTT-SRAM MTB Racing Team. We aimed to have one frame platform that could be the world’s fastest and most capable XC race bike and an ultra-dynamic trail bike all in one. One thing we wanted to achieve was to have a similar pedaling position for both the RC and the 900. Both of the bikes are meant to be punchy, quick accelerators when stood up or sat down. With the built in ability to modify the head angle, we can run a longer, trail oriented fork on the 900, or a fork with slightly less travel on the RC that can easily be used for a more aggressive position on the bike for racing. The result? An XC bike that has the ability to descend like a trail bike without sacrificing anything when you need to put the hammer down, and a trail bike that can fly up the hill, and excel even more on the way back down.
SYNCROS Fraser iC Combo
The New Spark features an all-new Fraser iC combo from Syncros. Integrating the cables presents a number of unique problems and the Fraser was designed in part to address this. Syncros’s designers worked on the shape to allow the cables to flow under the bar and around the sides of the stem before disappearing into the headset with integrated plastic parts to keep it clean and efficient. This avoids bends or kinks in the cables and provides a minimalist front end. All our bars and stems feature multiple options for computer, light and camera mounts both on top or under the bar.
“It’s safe to say that I’ve had a lot of success in recent years with the Spark. From the first moment I stepped on this new version, I knew that I have every chance to continue that success for years to come. From the geometry to the integration, the all-new Spark RC takes everything I loved about the previous version and makes it so much better.” – Nino Schurter, 8x World Champion, European Champion and Olympic Champion
Contessa Spark RC & Spark 900
Completing the roster of the all-new SCOTT Spark, a dedicated range of Contessa models will be available. There are 4 women’s specific models on offer of the all-new Spark – and RC model, and three 900 models. Each of these have women’s specific touchpoints, and custom fork and shock tunes for lighter riders.
“The new SCOTT Spark RC represents a huge step forward in the design and functionality of cross country race bikes. Aesthetically, the design is cleaner and sleeker than ever before, but from experience, I can say it rides even better than it looks.” – Kate Courtney, 2019 World Cup Champion
Spark RC vs. Spark 900
There are 21 Spark models to choose from. The range is split into two categories, the XC-race-oriented RC, and the short-travel, trail-oriented Spark 900. While both categories of Spark utilize the same frame with 120mm rear travel, the bikes have many differences. Compared to the Spark RC, the 900 comes with a more trail-oriented spec: a larger shock, a longer travel fork, wider bars, trail-focused tires and so on.
Geometry: Spark RC – The XC race bike
Geometry: Spark 900 – Light trail / Downcountry
But that’s not all(oy)
It’s one thing to have these levels of technology and integration on carbon bikes, but we wanted to make sure to offer the same benefits throughout the range, including the alloy models. The Spark 950, 960 and 970 all have the same great features as their carbon siblings, but at a fraction of the price.