Scott have a penchant for producing stunningly light and fast cross-country race bikes, utilising the very latest in carbon fibre technology, and no where is this more evident than in the brand new 2012 Scott Spark.
Available in both 26er and 29er wheel sizes, the new Spark arguably raises the benchmark by which all other bikes should be measured, and much of it due to the advances we saw on the 899g Scale hardtail frame launched this time last year.
Frame gets lighter and stiffer
The redesigned Spark gets a frame is manufactured using IMP5 carbon technology. This is a process whereby the five main parts of the frame; the tapered head tube, top tube, seat tube, down tube, and bottom bracket, are produced and joined in one single step. Both HMX and HMF carbon fibres are used in the process.
While the carbon structure of the frame has been further evolved this year to reduce weight, Scott has also improved the Spark’s stiffness by increasing the size of all the pivots. Borrowed from the Genius LT, the larger pivots dramatically increase the frames lateral stiffness.
New features include the update Mono-U link which saves a little weight, carbon direct post mounts for the rear disc brake, internal cable routing and a moulded carbon bottom bracket with Press Fit BB 92 bearings. IDS-SL interchangeable dropouts will work with 142x12mm, 135x12mm and 135x9mm QR rear axle standards.
Frame weight is impressive, though with claimed weights we’ll have to take their word for it. The 26er is claimed to be just 1,790g, while the 29er knocks that only up to 1,890g.
Improved suspension performance
The suspension improves with a second evolution of the Nude2 rear shock. The new shock is more sensitive to smaller bumps with a more linear shock rate in the early stage of suspension travel, and becomes more progressive towards the end of the stroke.
Separate damping settings can be applied to the two travel settings so you can set the bike up quite differently in both modes, depending on your style of riding and the terrain you’re covering.
TwinLoc still features and allows the rider to choose between Lockout, Traction mode and Full mode options from flicking the handlebar-mounted switch.
The Spark 26er gets 85-120mm of travel and the 29er 70-100mm. Additionally, RockShox has developed the DNA3 fork exclusively for Scott, which features the same functions as the Nude2 shock,
Adjustable geometry is now possible with a shock mount chip in the linkage. Flipping this mount chip can adjust the bottom bracket by 7mm and lops 0.5 degrees of the head angle.