a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: November 20, 2010
Strengths: This is a update from a eraler review i did. This bike climes and desends perfectly, it handles liuke a dream..just amazing...
Weaknesses: the rear shock....its rubbish..my advice..put it on Ebay and get a fox Rp23, with a low velocity tune..medium rebound...just transforms a already good bike..the shock it comes with is junk...so alow for this if buying one..but dont let it put you off buying one..its worth the effort!!!
secondly a small crack appeared around the main pivot bearing on the frame..scott replace this and it took less than a week so not really a issue,
This bike is amazing, but the shock is junk...if scott supplied it with a fox shock it would be perfect...but they dont so be aware of that...i would buy it again!
Bike Setup: lots of purple bits, to many changes to list
a Cross Country Rider
from Spokane, WA USA
Date Reviewed: September 27, 2010
Weaknesses: Very dissappointed in the full lockout mode. Bike "yo-yo"s dramtically when riding in full lockout. Scott replaced shock and it still does it. I don't think it will ever work with the Scott shock. I have used other bikes with full lockout and they work great. Big bummer for $7K plus bike.
I busted the link on my shock and Scott did warrant it even though it had been 13 months.
My next bike will be a Kona Hei-Hei for +/- $2K and the lockout will work and I will be a happier rider.
Strengths: Supremely light. Agile. Stiff. Lockout rear suspension is great for climbing. I bought it strictly to climb, but descending is sooo easy on this frame...and that is my weakness!
Weaknesses: Scratches too easily on surface. Bolts holding linkage can "pop" (break) too easily.
I didn't loose a race all season. I'm fairly strong and very competitive. But I must admit, it was the bike that inspired me to literally "fly." I sent a record up a 25 mile hill "mt" climb in my neck of the woods on this bike. In the racing world one always hears that ultimately it's the "engine" that determines how one will do. I beg to defer. In my case this amazing bike just took off and all I could do was hang on. It's pure Bliss to ride. I love it every time I go out on it. That's why I just purchased another frame. The Spark Team Edition. If I was 20 years younger I would beg Scott to sponsor me because riding this frame is heavenly! So there! ;-0
Other than the price, I don't know why anyone (who races competitively) would give this frame anything less than 5 flamin' Red Hot Chilis!
Bike Setup: DT Swiss XRC 1250 Carbon Wheelset.
DT Swiss XRC 100 forks.
FSA Light K Force 2x9
Magura Marta SL MAG brakes
Sram x.o rear der.
Shimano XTR Fr. Der.
Ritchey WCS stem
Tires (various) depending on terrain...Continental usually
Just below 20lbs.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: February 8, 2009
Strengths: i love this bike i have the woman's version. its so light and it climes so well...and it goes down hill ok to. The frame is nice and stiff... and best of all its got pink stripes on it.
Weaknesses: this bike only has to problems with it firstly the head set is junk, no sealing at all, the bearings have had it already.
secondly, the rear shock that is very good when working has blown again, this is the second one in 3 months, warranty really good but expect more from a bike that cost this much.
also the finish on the frame is a bit poor as it marks very easy.
this bike is really quite good, dont use it for any thing other than xc because u ant meant to jump it,it will brake if u treat it wrong, but that's the riders fault,this is not a bike for big people. but for me it is perfect. nice and light.
Weaknesses: Carbon Fiber, Scott will not honor warranty
If you want to spend $7,000 once a year to replace a great performing but fragile carbon frame buy it. Expect Scott to not stand behind their claimed 5 year warranty and leave you twisting in the wind with no bike for over a month. I loved the bike until I discovered a soft spot in the bottom bracket shell, probably from rocks being picked up by the front tire. This part of the frame had always worried me because there didn't appear to be any type of protection or beefing up of the carbon fibre, and rocks always get picked up and dinged off this area of every bike I've ever owned. Poor design, terrible customer service and warranty, they would SELL me another frame but not going to spend another dime with Scott, they fooled me once, not again.
Bike Setup: As came out of box, switched to grip shift for front der.
from Boulder, CO
Date Reviewed: January 30, 2008
Strengths: light weight, the geometry is spot on for what I'm looking for. it's actually pretty stiff for how light it is.
Weaknesses: The spec is a little weak for the retail price of this thing. 100RL should have been an RLC. it also should have come with a liitle racier wheelset. Tubeless would have been nice. the only other thing that maybe i would have liked is for the suspension to be designed using a larger stroke shock(maybe 2" instead of 1.5"...see merida's new ninety-six). That would have lowered the leverage ratio making platform shocks work better. oh, and be carefull how you back it for shipping.
It could be all summed up by the fact that i already recieved my 2008 Spark. This bike isn't perfect, but it's probably as close as you're going to get right now.
I raced/rode this bike a bunch around CO and really liked it. I'm more of a set it and forget it sort of a person, so i swapped out the rear shock for a progressive 5th element air. the bike pedalled really well after that....no lockout needed.
After swapping out all the parts, the bike came in a little over 23.5 lbs with shimano xtr pedals. Not bad for a bike with 4.5" of travel. It's definitely light enough were it's not the bike's fault if somebody beats me up a climb.
Comparing this bike to my bike from last year (2006 trek top fuel 100) is like night and day. The Scott is about a pound lighter, WAY stiffer and with more travel. The main suspension pivot in the Scott is super stout. I was definitely suprised as to the difference between the two bikes, the Scott tracking a tremendous amount better.
One thing to be careful of is packing the bike for shipping. My brother has the same bike and packed it for a race with something rubbing on the seat stay. Arrived at the race with a newly worn hole where some carbon used to be. Needless to say, he wasn't to please with that. Scott was very helpful in getting him a replacement though.
Similar Products Used: trek top fuel, titus racer x
Bike Setup: stock, except for bontrager race-x lite wheels, rock shox reba world cup, wtb rocket v saddle, bontrager tubless ready tires, xtr pedals. Swapped out the rear shock for a progressive 5th element air. ..And i used the scott lockout lever on the Reba. It was more ergonomic that the RS lever.
from Ketchum, Idaho, USA
Date Reviewed: January 8, 2008
Strengths: The Scott spark 10 is the best full suspension Cross country bike i have ever ridden. the bike weighs less then most hard tail race bikes. and the bike has 4.5 inches of fully adjustable travel on the fly. If u like casual rides or Intense racing this bike fits in all XC catagorys. I love this bike so much i am ordering another one this year
Weaknesses: the only thing that disappointed me about the bike is there were no cool improvements i could make
the most aggressive long distance race bike ever. fast+fast fast+Plush+ good looks= the spark
If you need a new top of the line XC race bike this is the one for you. or if you want your normal XC rides to be easier and more fun this will defenitly help out
Similar Products Used: Rockey Mountain Element, Iron Horse Azure, Santa Cruz blur 4X, LT, XC, Gary Fisher HiFi, Sugar, Titus Racer X, Scott Scale, Genius, Cannondale Scalpel, Rush , the scale was the best
Bike Setup: full Sram XO drivetrain, Mavic SlR Wheels, And Richey WCS Everywhere else
from Atlanta, GA, USA
Date Reviewed: January 1, 2008
Strengths: Very Stiff, Lightweight, Rear-suspension lockout lever
Weaknesses: None yet
This bike should have won best FS bike for 2007. The rear shock w/ remote lockout is the most innovative design in FS in years. The combination of the super lightweight and stiff carbon frame with that lockout essentially combines the best of a hardtail with a 110mm travel fs. It takes a little getting used to the remote lever lockout, but once you do it's amazing. You get three settings: full 4 inch travel, half that, and full lockout. When it is fully locked out you can stand up out of the saddle on a climb and just stomp on the pedals and power up just like on a hardtail. When you crest a hill just flick the switch and you get all the advantages of a 110mm travel fs. If you race or just like to ride hard this bike offers a super lightweight, stiff, responsive ride with unrivaled rear suspension control. Get it on ebay and you won't go bankrupt getting it, but this bike is fairly priced at the high end. Scott's innovation in the Spark is truly remarkable. Caveat: I'm 5'10" 158 lbs. However, I ride fs bikes hard. I have cracked the rear triangle on my ellsworth Truth twice. I will update this review for reliability in a few months after I have properly abused this bike all over the North Georgia mtns.
Bike Setup: Magura Odur fork, Spinergy Xyclone Disc, Sram X.0, XTR cranks, Avid Juicy 7's
a Cross Country Rider
from south australia
Date Reviewed: October 21, 2007
Ridden by a 50+ y.o. sedate light weight male, my new Spark 20 cracked its carbon frame at the rear hanger. Scott will not replace under warranty, the bike shop doesnt care, have been without my bike for 25 days while the part is available and I agreed to pay for it just to get mobile again. Total dissapointment with Scott and the bike shop. Carbon fibre....never again!
a Cross Country Rider
from London, UK
Date Reviewed: September 16, 2007
Strengths: Light frame, good shock, Tracloc lever, XTR components, Avid Ultimate brakes. 2008 frame is black/red (my favourite colours ... and we all know red does go faster).
Weaknesses: Tyres (will upgrade to Conti Mountain Kings), not sure of Ritchey riser handlebars (as I prefer flats) ... but will stick with them.
I have had this since June 2007. Great bike and makes for fun riding. As fast as hardtail. Took a litle while to get used to suspension and not so direct feel of hardtail, but am enjoying it know. Does make rides a lot easier and don't feel so much pain after a long ride. As this was a major upgrade from my previous hardtail I am going to have to say that I love this bike. Did look at Titus X-racer, Trek Top Fuel and Storck Adrenaline, but Spark 10 was still best in terms of looks, components and value.
Similar Products Used: First FS bike, but have looked at Giant Anthem and Specialised Epic. Other bike is Stumpjumper HT (so this is a major upgrade) and I still love Specialised bikes.
Bike Setup: 2008 frame, XTR fd and rd, XTR shifters, XTR cranks, Avid Ultimate 160 back and 180 front discs, Ritchey WCS Carbon handlebars, Thomson 4x stem, Ritchey WCS seatpost, Fizik Gobi saddle, DT Swiss 240 hubs, DT Swiss 455 rims.
a Weekend Warrior
from Katowice (Silesia) Poland
Date Reviewed: August 25, 2007
Strengths: according to importance: extra light, perfectly climbing, very good work of the rear shock (which I cannot say about the rear derailleur – works heavily)
Weaknesses: with my weight of 80-84kg the back of the bike is too soft (not stiff enough), espacially at the sharp bends and with 100mm travel. If you didn’t ride a carbon frame before you have to get used to the loudness of every crash of a stone or a stick – you’ve got a feeling that the frame will just crack.
When I say that the rear shock works very good don’t think it means also: comfortable – absolutely not!!! This bike, even with the full travel is very little comfortable – I think that the good comparison is driving a golf V and Porsche 911. If you want a comfortable bike – don’t buy SPARK. If you want to ride much faster offroad and you don't care too much about the comfort - this is a bike for you! Spark is perfectly effective while climbing and very good when you ride down, however remember it is neither allmountain nor downhill bike, so don't loose your concentration here. DT Swiss rear shock (Scott Nude DT)– maybe I just had a bad luck – it stopped working few days after purchase. If I was to buy a new bike I would definitely choose Spark again (however the price could be lower...)!
Similar Products Used: before I had Scott racing comp, scott racing team, scott scale 20 and at the same time Giant NRS 2 and Trek 1500 SLR (steel)
Bike Setup: the bike was assembled from my parts in an authorized outlet : Frame Spark 10 & Scott Nude DT, wheels XTR & homogenous drive XTR 2007, Fox Fork 100RLT 2006, handlebars, seatpost and barends ritchey WCS carbon, seat Selle Italia SLR Kit Carbomio.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: July 21, 2007
Strengths: Super tight and super light. Climbs like a monkey on steroids
Extremely fast and agile. Great climber and very respectable downhill capabilities. Would even make my friend John a better rider.
Bike Setup: Stock Spark 10, all carbon DT Swiss wheels, Truvativ crank, Sram transmission, Avid Juicy brakes
Date Reviewed: April 1, 2007
Strengths: Extremely Light for the kind of travel it has. Super stiff side to side. This is the best climbing bike I have ever rode thanks to its rear shock remote switch. Smooth climb? Simply lock it to hardtail. Technical Climb? Reduce the shock to 70mm and keep the traction while minimizing bob. This is probably the best feature of this bike. The geometry is very neutral. Not to agresive so you can simply adjust the geometry by putting the right length and angle stem. Last but not least, the best looking bike in the market. Also, somehow it performs extremely well against cable rub! I guess is the high quality gloss on it.
Weaknesses: You need to ride this bike and concentrate on the many switches which may lead to poor concentration on the trails. ( I also have the lock out remote switch on the fork) After you master it, you will appreciate all of the remote options. For those with less experience riding, and not wanting to play with switches, get an Specialized Epic, rub some Bengay in your lowerback and ride. I like to have the control on the bike suspension and therefore, will not ride an Epic. Also, Epics give me a sharp lower back pain. Don't know why!
For over $6000, there are a lot of great bikes out there. My favorites are S-Work Epics, SCalpel Team Rep, Titus Racer X and Blurs Xc. Too bad they all weight over 24.0 lbs in their lightest configuration. I had a Scalpel Team Rep. that weight 22.8 lbs but had too much flex in the rear swingarm which was causing miss-shifting on high torque situations. I also owned a Blur XC which is extremely comfortable but had really crappy bearings and had flex in rear triangle. The S-Works Epic I rode several times was very fast but painfull after 1hour riding and the Titus was heavy for the kind of money they cost(excellent bike though). The Spark is the one bike that personally suits me the best. I like the fact that I can pay big bucks for possibly one of the lightest full suspension bikes in the market (110mmtravel) and that I can make it climb faster than any bike I have ridden, not to mention the speed I get when I sprint and lock the rear and front suspension in flat straighaways!!!! I also have 110mm travel which is great for extremely technical drops. This is also a bike that does not give me any back pain unless I ride hard more than 3 hours. If you are into racing, this is a great choice. --the best choice for my type of riding.
Similar Products Used: Cannondale Scalpel Team Rep., Santa Cruz Blur XC, Titus Racer X, Specialized S-Works Epic.
Bike Setup: Got the full bike and upgraded to full XTR drivetrain, Formula Oro Puro Disc brakes with Stan's Rotors, Wheelset: King hubs, DTSwiss Aerolite spokes, Mavic X819rim, RockShox WC Reba w/remote lockout. WTB Rocket V Stl saddle, RaceFace Deus SL Handlebar and Time Atac Carbon pedals. Bike weighs: 23.30 lbs!!!!!!! Get Eggbeaters 4ti , Easton EC90SL flat HB and swap saddle to Selle Italia SLR XC and drop the bike to 22lbs!
Julien De Braekeleer
from Temse, Belgium
Date Reviewed: March 4, 2007
Strengths: Ultra-light, stiff, incredible good working suspension, nice mixing of components and suberb looks!!!
Weaknesses: One little detail; the stock wheels are not the same quality-level (top-end) as the rest of the bike; especially the DT-Swiss 455 rim and the nameless front hub. I have nog the DT-Swiss XR1540 wheels for the XC-races.
Probabely one of the first to ride my own Spark... And I like it!!! Trying to find the right pressure for the damper is allways the hard part, but once I got the perfect pressure (140Psi for 70kg), the beast was released. The bike seems to be perfectly balanced. You can take every corner on the edge. A lot of fun for example in dry sand :p The remote-lock on the handlebar is a bit big, but works well even after a lot of mud. I prefer a big, good-working remote than a little "pain-in-the-***" crap on the handlebar. Once all the locks or on, there is no big difference. Why? The suspension doesn't bounce! No Brain, no fancy stuff, just good work from the engeneers. When you get off your saddle, the suspension still doesn't bounce. Now it's scary... Never thought is was possible! It's just a pleasure to go out for a ride on the Scott Spark. I think this is finally the dreambike I allways wanted. Only the colors could have been different. But if that is the only thing... For the moment I can't tell anything bad about the bike. Everything goes for the best. Let's hope is will for a long time. To all who are thinking to buy a top-end XC-full suspension; this is THE one! Costs a lot, but it is surely worth it.
a Cross Country Rider
from San Jaun Capistrano, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: January 2, 2007
Strengths: Very stiff and light frame. When I say stiff, I am talking stiff like an aluminum frame, but without the harshness. The workmanship quality is very high and the rear shock is nicely designed and manufactured. The rear shock has a remote lock-out lever on the bars, which I personally do not like, but I think most rides will. The rear shock works well and has a decent range of adjustment. The frame pivots and frame reinforcements around the pivots are well thought-out and are a work of art.
Weaknesses: No real weaknesses we found. I do not mean to imply that the bike is perfect, since there is not such thing, but it is by far the best combination of desirable attributes that I have ever seen in a full suspension bike. I am a little concerned about how well the carbon down tube will handle the inevitable dings and chips that come from front tire debris spray that you get when riding in dry and rocky areas. I am not overly concerned about this as I am impressed enough with the way Scott has done other things on this bike that I am confident that they have taken this into account. Especially when you realize that their warranty is very strong for a frame of this type. I assume that they have tested all of this pretty extensively and that they are sure that they are not going to loose a lot of profit on warranty issues.
I got a chance to keep this bike for 3 days. This was one of 4 demo bikes in the USA, and it did have a prototype component or two on it. I rode it 3 times in challenging terrain that allowed me to see how well the bike worked on typical Southern California climbing and technical descending. Since I have been riding a fairly light Ti hardtail for the last 10 years, I wanted something that did not compromise the great attributes of a hardtail that I like so much and find to be non-negotiable: stiffness, efficiency and light weight, but I did want the benefits of full suspension. In my search for a bike I would really like, I have ridden several other full suspension bikes recently, and frankly I was disappointed by them all for one or more reasons. Sometimes really dissapointed (Treks, Specialized), sometimes the bike was really nice but I felt that it was just not quite right for me (Blur, Yeti). The Spark did not disappoint me in any way. It had all of the benefits of a hardtail with the added features of a nicely designed full suspension. My downhill times were faster, and my confidence and control were much better. Climbing was about the same speed, but was more comfortable and controlled. I am impressed with this bike and am looking forward to owning one when the become available. This is obviously an expensive bike, but there are several technology improvements and firsts on this bike that warrant it being priced as it is. Compared to other bikes in this price range, I fell that the Spark is the most bang for the buck that you can get. The light weight and stiffness of this bike are worth the price alone.
Similar Products Used: Various full suspension bikes such as: Blur, Superlight, Epic, Yeti ASR-SL, Treks of different types, etc.
Bike Setup: This bike comes with an 'XO/XTR/Nice stuff' compliment of components. I rode a medium, but I think that I will buy a large. I am 5'10 1/2", 167 lbs, and I like my cockpit to be a little more open than some.