Scott has something of a reputation for pushing the envelope, particularly in terms of weight. Its carbon fibre Scale, Genius and Ransom bikes are all very svelte devices indeed. But the all-new Scott Spark moves things on yet another level.
This is the bike that Thomas Frischknecht will be using to defend his World Marathon Champion, which tells you all you need to know about what sort of bike the Spark is – an ultralight, short-travel full suspension bike. Although this being 2006, “short travel” means 110mm.
Scott has been refining and developing its carbon fibre manufacturing processes for a long time, and the Spark is built using a new technology called the Integrated Moulding Process about which we know nothing beyond its name. And the fact that it results in a very light frame indeed – the claimed weight for the Spark frame is 1.55kg (3.41lb). That doesn’t include the shock, but that only weighs 240g (0.53lb), bringing the frame/shock package in at a startling 1.8kg, or a whisker under 4lb. That’s a fairly respectable weight for a hardtail, let alone a 110mm suspension frame.
To aid in the pursuit of low mass, the Spark features what Scott calls HMX fibres in high-stress areas alongside the same HMF material found in the Scale and other Scott carbon bikes. Even the dropouts and cable stops are carbon fibre.
Of course, there are two essential ingredients to any new Scott bike – a super-light carbon frame and a funky adjustable shock. And the Spark doesn’t disappoint. Scott has teamed up with DT Swiss (which knows a thing or two about making really light rear shocks) to produce the strangely-named Nude shock. As with other Scott FS bikes, the new shock provides All Travel (110mm) and Traction Mode (a slightly stiffer 70mm) settings, along with a full lock out, all operated from a bar-mounted lever. Impressively, it packs all that into a 240g shock.
Obviously with a sub-4lb frame, there’s plenty of scope for a very light complete bike. Frischknecht’s race bike runs a Fox F100X fork, SRAM X.0 transmission, Avid Ultimate brakes and a host of Ritchey parts including the carbon fibre wheels. The whole lot is said to weigh 9.93kg, or just under 22lb in old money. Not too shabby…