Strengths: Very light and nimble. SLX/XT level components. Rapidfire shifters. 3-way lockout is effective and one-finger operation. Scott marks every fitting on the bike with torque ratings so everything can be set perfectly.
Weaknesses: Issues are common with the rear suspension; when the bike shop I got mine from first got the bike they tested it out and found it needed to be fixed out of the box. It only took a couple days for them to get the part from Scott and get it fixed and it has worked great since then.
I was just calling a local bike shop inquiring into their pricing, and wasn't even really looking to buy anything at the time, but they offered me such a good deal that I had to go for it. I actually had to call them back after I applied for a $500 Capitol One card online so I could swing it, but I got the bike very cheap so it was worth it. The bike is extremely solid. I have done a few steep descents and dropped a couple little 3-4' ledges and small stairs with no problems. It loves to climb. Crank is nice and stiff with wide bottom bracket, press-fit bearings, and XT Hollowtech II crankset. The lockout is easy to operate on the fly. Overall weight is very low and frame stiffness is high, which makes the bike easy to control. And the brakes as they come are great; rain or shine, steep descent or suicidal squirrels, these beauties can handle them all. All-in-all it's a blast to ride and I couldn't be much happier with it. Some people complain the wheels are too heavy but I am a little over 200 so I like 'em to be nice and solid, and these have held up to some serious roots and rocks so far.
Similar Products Used: GT Zaskar Sport 29er, Specialized Rockhopper, Scott Spark 60
Bike Setup: Stock. Came with pretty good pedals (dual spd/platform Shimano pedals with adjustable release tension)
a Cross Country Rider
from enschede, netherlands
Date Reviewed: January 23, 2011
Strengths: fast, light, comfortable
Weaknesses: rear shock is funerable
I have the bike in use for over two months now, and the rear shock dts swiss nude lock out is broken allready. A couple of deep holes were enough. A friend of mine has experienced the same. For a product that's meantime over two years on the market - with enough time to have it re-egineered on the bases of userfeedback - that's no achievement Scott can be proud of.
But when everything functione scott spark 20 is a great bike to ride
I can't comment on the reliability as I have only been out a few times with this bike but in terms of speed and comfort it is sensational but I thought best to give cold hard facts. Same trail ridden three times, each two weeks apart. 1. time 1hr05min (Av HR 113, Max HR 156, old bike pretty fit). 2. time 1hr08min (Av HR 135, Max HR 176, old bike after a week sick) 3. time 48min (Av HR 146, Max HR 170, new bike not ridden since previous ride and been sick for two weeks). The old bike is a Specialized Rock Hopper with only front susp. Difference is unbelievable up hill and downhill. Tired of being sick, just want to be fit and get on this bike more.
a Cross Country Rider
from Adelaide, SA, Australia
Date Reviewed: March 8, 2010
Strengths: Same frame is used between the 20 and 10, looks sexy, decent components and 180mm front rotor (for those who like to brake late)
Weaknesses: Love this bike too much to complain about it
I had a choice between this bike and an Anthem (Spark was more expensive). After umming and arring for a few days, I went with the spark and haven't looked back since. I've converted six people over to Scott due to this bike and love every minute I spend on it.
I'm a light rider and am known for my 'lets ride it first then have look at the danger' attitude and the Spark has handled everything I've thrown at it.
The biggest cry was when I got my first scratch on the Carbon frame from an airline whilst in transit....
Scott's warranty service is excellent as well - the frame cracked in the second month I had it (after doing the Otway Oddeysey) and I had a new frame within 3 weeks.
Recommend to - people who want to race but are not quite elite yet as the compontry can be upgraded to add a better ride experience.
Similar Products Used: Hardtails - second MTB and first full sus
Bike Setup: Factory for now (XT with XTR rear D), but about to swap over to full SRAM X.0, new wheels (XM819 rims, Hope pro 2 hubs) and Avid CR brakes
from Naples,Fl USA
Date Reviewed: August 30, 2009
Strengths: Bullitproof components. Very stiff frame yet the suspention technology makes the bike melt under you like butter. Can't get a better race bike off the shelf for the money you will pay. Buy this product if you want to take your riding or racing to the next level.
I loved my Santa Cruz. I started racing a year ago and noticed that the technology that I needed to invest in the bike was so much that I could possibly afford a whole new bike. I found a bike that had been raced for a couple of weeks and the guy quickly upgraded to the limited. He wanted to recoup the money in this bike and sold it at his cost. I was a little nervous at first and felt it was hard to justify the buy. After taking the bike to its element and really hammering it, the difference was quickly apparent. I can ride in the highest of gears with minimal effort on or off the trail. I am even going to ride this bike in a road triathlon on next month. The lockout feature makes this bike stiff and efficient. I have had the bike up to 29 mph downhill and it is super steady and as poised as it is on the trail. I feel this bike is one that I will not outgrow as I did the santa cruz. I can also easily get the bike to be lighter just by upgrading the wheels. But it really does not need it. I have tons of stories of how this bike has made me a better more confident rider but don't want to bore you.
Similar Products Used: Trek 4300, santa cruz superlight, stumpjumper
Bike Setup: Scott spark 20. With all the spec it comes with. Upgrades are XTR cranks and WTB stealth seat. Ceramic bearings in certain areas
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: February 23, 2009
Strengths: solid build, poplock
Weaknesses: Heavy wheels
After about a year I swapped the heavy DT xr1 rims for Specialized Rovals, tubeless conversion and Revelation U-turn fork. The fork is adjustable 100-130mm w/lockout and weighs 3.5lbs. This is more travel than the stocked Fox fork, weighs about the same, is more versatile and makes the bike suitable for bigger drops. The bike is at 24lbs flat from 26lbs before the wheel swap. I've had the bike for 2 years and everything has held up great. As someone previous mentioned, the wheels are what really separate this bike from the $5,500 Spark 10. I've seen Rovals on ebay for $600 new. You can scoop a Spark 20 at year end blowout for $2,700-$3,700. Add $600 for wheel upgrade and you've basically got a Spark 10 give or take a few minor specs.
a Cross Country Rider
from Southampton, UK
Date Reviewed: January 11, 2009
Strengths: Light and fast, the geometry is spot on you feel in total control, the trac lock is stunning I'm in 80mm 90% of the time wind her open for the tricky downs or when you need some extra traction on the ups
IMHO its the best FS xc bike avaible unless you go up the spark range
Strengths: Light weight, race geometry, lock-out rear, carbon everything, freaky fast, head angle adapts with rear shock Tracloc lever changes. Not everyone has them.
Weaknesses: Not everyone has one. Clear coat already chipping after a few pebble thrashings. The 34.9 seatpost makes your choices limited unless you opt for a 31.6-34.9 shim, which according to Scott voids the warranty, but they have a shim in the Ransom Limited to accommodate a Joplin ..go figure. Do as I say don't do as I do. Proprietary rear shock.
Out of the gates..this one is made for racing XC, marathon/12hr or the Xterra circuit. Can handle much of the AM duties I put it through too. Component mix is great off the shelf, I just couldn't stand the XT brakes, no fault of Scott.
It can be a little twitchy at first until you get used to a different level of feedback from inputs....it's way faster on single track. Tracloc, I was suspect of at first, but it works flawlessly, the handlebar lever is easy to operate but in and area it could take a whack if you biff. I wouldn't suggest lock-out unless riding on pavement or a smooth steady climb as there's no release adjustment if you exceed any stress points. 80mm(middle) handles most of the XC stuff and the 110mm (full open) drops the BB and slackens the head angle for more AM aspects. Spark has a tendency to push a bit more than my previous bikes on the loose stuff. You'll get plenty of questions from fellow riders and everyone wants to give it a flick with the finger to see what's carbon. Thoroughly stoked so far.
Similar Products Used: Years of my GF Sug 1 disc with all XT, Marin Quad Mt Vision Pro, IBIS Mojo, SC Blur XC
Bike Setup: Stock Spark 20, but jettisoned the XT disc brakes for Juicy 7s. The rest is XT, F100 RL, Dt Swiss Nude and DT Swiss X455 wheels. Tossed the Kenda Nevegals and small block for Panaracer XC Fire Pro 127tpi. Look Quartz carbon and Joplin lever seatpost w/U.S.E. 31.6-34.9 shim.
a Cross Country Rider
from Calgary, AB, CANADA
Date Reviewed: May 7, 2008
Strengths: Super light. Loves to climb. Solid components. The rear suspension lockout is simple and works well. Set it in the middle on climbs and wide open on descents. Maybe use the full lockout on your way to the trail?
Weaknesses: With the rear suspension control on the handlebar, there is a lot of cable hanging off the bars. It has a tendency to slap around when the terrain gets rough.
The water bottle mounts double as cable guides. Trying to put a cage on is more complicated than it needs to be.
If you like a XC geometry, I haven't seen anything better/lighter for the price.
Puts a smile on my face every time I ride it. Heck, it puts a smile on my face every time I walk by it when I am not riding it.
Similar Products Used: Specialized Epic Marathon Carbon
Bike Setup: Factory setup.
from Omaha, NE.
Date Reviewed: November 30, 2007
Strengths: Light, looks the part, rides like said part, way fast & climbs as well as most hardtails. Lots of travel for the weight.
Weaknesses: I'm not as good as the bike, but that's a me problem
Only one bottle mount.
I've only had it a couple weeks, but I've ridden the piss out of it on every trail in our area & it worked great everywhere. I really wish it had 2 bottle mounts, & for $4200 it should. But I'd buy it again in a heartbeat.
a Cross Country Rider
from Park City, UT, USA
Date Reviewed: October 25, 2007
Strengths: Versatility (due to rear suspension adjustment), weight, efficiency.
Weaknesses: Requires quite a bit of maintenance to keep it running quiet. Don't know if it's due to the carbon resonating sound or pivot design.
After a couple months of tweaks and adjustments I am really starting to enjoy this bike. At first it seemed a hair uncomfortable and very stiff. Now after adding a touch of rise with a new stem and basing my rear shock pressure off of sag (highly recommended) instead of the recommended pressure given by the manufacturer, this bike is impressive. Like many of the other reviews have mentioned, the rear suspension adjustment at the handlebar makes this bike incredibly versatile and efficient. Due to the frame weight, it is a great platform for a light weight full suspension XC bike. I am primarily an XC rider with a focus on endurance length rides and races and this bike suits me perfectly.
Bike Setup: Stock except for Thomson stem and Time ATAC pedals. Soon to upgrade wheels and might try some eggbeaters.
from Santa Fe,NM,USA
Date Reviewed: September 30, 2007
Strengths: Fast, responsive, rear poplock
Weaknesses: Poplock switches can become sticky on longer rides.
My last bike (my first bike) was a Jamis Dakar XC Comp. It was a great first bike but it felt a little heavy on longer uphill rides. I weigh 155lbs so it made a big difference having a bike that's 6lbs lighter. The bike weighs an accurate 26lbs. Having a poplock on the rear shock is a handy feature. I will ride the rear rigid uphill if the trail isn't too rugged, at 50% if it is, and at 100% downhill. It's crazy being able to do all of that with the flick of a switch. When the rear is totally locked it doesn't budge at all. I usually ride two 12-20 mile singletrack rides a week. I could't picture a bike being any better than this.
Bike Setup: All stock exept for fork which I swaped for a rockshox revelation 426 100mm-130mm and a tubeless conversion.
a Cross Country Rider
from Lake Hawea, New Zealand
Date Reviewed: June 14, 2007
Strengths: super light weight, looks, geometry for racing, lockout shock via lever on bar
Weaknesses: DT Swiss Rear shock lockout mech (dont ever try and do maintenance on it without getting the workshop manual. Its a nightmare!). My shock leaked and had to be returned. Fox Float RP23 works well as a standin, but despite being a better shock, I will swap back because the bar lockout is such a good feature of the DT Swiss. Scott should have got Fox to build them a bar lockout.
Fantastic bike. On the first weekend I got it, I won a 45km race nearly 8mins clear of the next competitor averaging near road bike speed. On the second weekend I stuck in a challenging 6 hour epic into the mountains. Fast dirt trails, lots of long fast down sections, plenty of medium size rocks, riverbeds, etc. Gave the bike a real hammering. Worked perfectly. Smooth, fast, taught. Not for major hucks / downhills. But lockout shock on bar a major plus because you can race up hills like the hard tail boys, then click-click, and you fly past them on the downs.
a Cross Country Rider
from Marietta, GA
Date Reviewed: June 1, 2007
Strengths: 4" travel, fairly plush for a XC race bike, good geometry, solid components. Lightest 4" travel frame made and surprisingly stiff.
Weaknesses: Giant seatpost size, warranty only 3 years w/o annual dealer checkup, heavy DT Swiss wheels, no platform shock, proprietary shock, new design so no long term durability info.
My large came in at 25lb even which is the same as my old HT setup. More active and lighter than the Epic despite costing over 2k less. Great race/enduro bike if you're a finess rider and not too likely to crash.
Also a great platform for weight weenies since few frames are as light. Still fairly expensive for a 25lb bike but ultra light 4lb frame/shock gives a lot of leeway for a 20lb FS race bike.
Bike Setup: Stock XT, DT Swiss Wheels, Fox F100 RL, Ritchey Pro Carbon bar/seatpost
a Cross Country Rider
from St Albans, UK
Date Reviewed: March 26, 2007
Strengths: I had always been a hardtail hard liner ... up until now. Finally a full susser that becomes a hardtail at the flick of a neat little switch. Amazingly though, you rarely need to bother locking it out. This is such little bob out of the saddle that you rarely need it. Ride is amazingly smooth yet the bike still accelerates like my Scott Scale 10.
Weaknesses: Scott had to keep the cost down somehow ($2,000 cheaper than the 10?!)and I would point at the wheels as not being up to the rest of the bike. No UST and they are heavy. I changed them for Crossmax SLs with a Dura Ace 12-27 cassette but the bike still feels a tad heavy. Assuming the frame weight claims are accurate that really only leaves the forks (Fox F100RL) as the culprit. Pace RC39 XCs already on my xmas list.
Got to be the ultimate XC full susser. Considering the spec (2007 XT + XTR rear mech) it is also very good value compared to it's rivals. For me it really is the best of both worlds: A full susser that becomes a quality hard tail at the flick of a switch - and with very little weight penalty. But as mentioned above, you rarely need to lock it out because it works SO well out of the saddle anyway.
I have been trying to build a usefull 5 inch travel bike under 20 pounds. I see some of the ones on here but find it impossible to actually get it that low. maybe my scales busted.
i have some R1's that i will put on this week with jaqwire hoses, there gold so figure they must weigh less ;), that s ... Read More »
So which do you think is the better bike?
Never tried 29er. I prefer cross country and long routes on the road. And of course fast driving.
Originally planned to buy Epic Expert Carbon 29, but I don't like the colourRead More »
I just bought my 8 year old daughter a 20" Scott Spark for a good price at a LBS.
It is a really great bike as it is, however, I am interested in lightening it a bit and making it more user friendly without breaking the bank.
I have read the other thread about the 20" Scott build and lik ... Read More »
Pardon the interruption but we are taking best offers on this 20lb XC race bike. Take a look if you are in the market for a race bike. There is a video walk thru of the bike
[url=http://classifieds.mtbr.com/showproduct.php?product=71368&title=scott-spark-limited-large-carbon-ultra-light-20-5-lbs& ... Read More »
Sorry for the interruption
Weight Weenie Shop owners bike is up for sale
[url=http://classifieds.mtbr.com/showproduct.php?product=71368&cat=]SCOTT SPARK LIMITED LARGE CARBON ULTRA-LIGHT 20.5 LBS - Buy and Sell and Review Mountain Bikes and Accessories[/url]Read More »