a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: June 16, 2011
Strengths: An absolute rocket, this bike flies. It is very light and climbs like a mountain goat. Remote lockout works great and can be easily adjusted. Rear shock issue has also been fixed for the 2010/2011 models.
Weaknesses: Could have better components but you get what you pay for. Sizing was an issue (I'm 5'10") had to get a shorter stem for the Large frame size.
This is a great bike that is an absolute pleasure to ride. I was initially worried about the bike not being solid and stiff enough, but I was wrong. There is plenty enough rigidity and the bike is not too light. The suspension is plush and love the 120mm travel in the front. Great bike all in all and would thoroughly recommend it to any trail and cross country rider. Yes it is classified as a race bike, but this bike is as comfortable on a technical single track as on a XC race track.
Similar Products Used: First full suspension bike.
Bike Setup: Scott Spark 50 85mm stem otherwise stock.
a Weekend Warrior
from Epping NH
Date Reviewed: December 1, 2010
Strengths: Light and fast, great look and a great compromise for hard tail lovers. Lock out option is great but...
Weaknesses: Lock out for both suspensions is great but seems fragile and not very handy. You cannot swap position and put it between the brake lever and the shifter so the lever is kinda in the way. Hard to decide the right size if you're 5'10"; factory set up for the large frame has a 100mm stem and a seatpost with 30 mm offset so I had to replace both. Last only 5 years on frame warranty but crash warranty with discount on purchase of a new Scott.
This bike is a rocket! I demo one and after a while a bought it. The lock out gets you two bikes in one and for an old hard-tailer like me it is the excellent choice. The rear suspension makes bumpy trails smooth and does not effect climbing at all (one of my concern on a dual suspension); the front shock is fine probably too soft for how the the rider balance is located so needs little bit more pressure. Even if I overpaid a model from last year it is worth the money. Why buy it: best alternative to hard tail (price included!), high quality product from an established brand like Scott; great entry level mountain bike for ex road bikers. Why not: downhill fanatics, your girlfriend left you for a guy named Scott
a Weekend Warrior
from Highland Vlg.,TX
Date Reviewed: February 24, 2010
Strengths: This bike is agressive in hill climbs and has excellent downhill braking.The shock lock on the handlebars is super once you get use to it.Gears are smooth and quick. Sparky will do more than I can. Reliable equipment for the real bikeguy.
Jonesing for good weather to "get it" on the Spark!
I wish I would have bought this bike sooner.
a Cross Country Rider
from Blackheath, NSW, Australia
Date Reviewed: December 10, 2009
Strengths: Successfully combines light-weight cross-country performance with ability to smooth out the rough stuff. Twinloc remote lockout works like a charm.
Weaknesses: Haven't found many yet. It's not the cheapest bike for the spec, and I suspect the white grips and seat are not going to look so flash after a couple of months of abuse.
After riding hardtails for many years I was convinced that I was only going to get a dual-suspension bike if:
a) It was light;
b) It could climb as well as my old hardtail; and
c) It still felt like a cross-country bike.
Well, one test ride on the Spark sold me on all those points. My only concern was, was the frame TOO light? Was I better off with something stronger (i.e. a Trail/All Mountain bike instead of a Race bike)?
When I bought the bike, I just happened to be going to Thredbo the following weekend, and after a bit of umming and ahhing, I decided I may as well give it a proper initiation. So the bike's first taste of dirt was five runs of the Cannonball downhill course. It's obviously not a downhill bike, so I took it easy, but the bike performed well enough, and came through unscathed. It was seriously good at the fast switchbacks, and held its line through the corners well. I had to slow right down through the rock gardens, though.
My next ride was on fast singletrack, with several technical rocky sections and small dropoffs, and the Spark handled this all superbly. The 120mm suspension makes me twice as fast over the rough stuff than I was on my hardtail, but without sacrificing anything on the smoother terrain. And when climbing the steep hills, or on the blacktop, I lockout the suspension and it's even better than the hardtail.
I didn't want a carbon frame, so the Spark 50 is a great place to start from, and if I want to upgrade parts later on, it will continue to get better. I just hope the frame comes through the inevitable crashes without breaking.
Similar Products Used: Only ridden hard-tails til now. First dual-suspension bike.
Bike Setup: Standard 2010 Model: Rock Shox Recon SL Solo Air, DT Swiss M210, XT / Deore, Avid Elixir 5, Alex XC-44, Schwalbe Rocket Ron
a Cross Country Rider
from Calgary, AB Canada
Date Reviewed: September 10, 2009
Strengths: Super light, climbs like a goat on roids, remote lockout, very manuverable. Fast, Fast, and Faster.
Weaknesses: Parts spec is ok, but you get what you pay for at this price. Rear lockout sometimes sticks and is reversed.. this is not the bikes fault, but with Rockshox themselves. Not too big of an issue tho.
Out of the box this bike is decent. Mine weighed in at 28.9lbs, a little more than what is advertised on the Scott website. I went into the bike shop to buy a Santacruz Blur, Specialized FSR Stumpjumper or Cannondale Rush/Rize. I ended up spotting this bike in the corner and figured I'd take it for a spin. First impression was obviously amazing. I bought the bike on the spot without thinking twice about any other ones I rode.
As you can see in my Bike Setup, my Scott Spark 50, is more like the top of the line Spark RC just without the carbon frame and DT Swiss Nude TC rear shock.
My bike weighs 25.0lbs, and I will be around 24.0 lbs after I install some new cranks and XTR components. Pretty light compared to most other bikes out there.
I think the best part about this bike is, if you want a great bike for xc/trail riding this is perfect out of the box, not to heavy, remote lockout and its fast. And if you want to upgrade it later on without spending a ton of money for the carbon models, you can make the Spark 50 really light as well.
Bike Setup: 09 Scott Spark, RockShox SID World Cup, Fulcrum Red Metal 1 Wheelset, 09 XT groupset, Schwalbe Rocket Ron UST tires, Easton Monkeylite Carbon bar, Easton EA70 Carbon seatpost, Easton EA70 Forged stem, Crank Brothers Egg Beater Ti pedals, Nokon gear cables, Ritchey WCS Carbon headset, KMC X9SL chain, Foam grips.
from Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. USA
Date Reviewed: July 23, 2009
Strengths: Stiff, climbs like crazy, light.
Weaknesses: The Rock Shox Ario rear shock.
This bike is really fantastic. The only reason I have a negative review for the rear shock is not the action of the shock but the lockout lever was designed for a front fork. When Scott put the Ario on this bike, Rock shox told them they were not going to redesign the lockout lever so when you push for lockout, your actually in full action and vise versa. The shock works fine. The lever is spring loaded though so if you hit the release by mistake, you go into lockout. I'm going to put a Fox RP23 on it and just take the lever out of the equation. The bike is great though, especially with the upgraded components I have on it. If the less than 2 lbs between the alum. and the carbon models are going to bother your average amatuer racer then you probably weren't going to win anyway. I'm impressed with the way they have the bike built for total tear down maintenance and repair (if needed). This bike was built to go fast on the flats and climbing. I wouldn't be totally confident in bombing any downhills though. Bottom line on the bike is "FAST".
Strengths: I am just getting back into mountain biking after a dry spell from riding a personal full suspension and patrol bikes for the local police department. I am amazed at the advances in technology in just a few years. This is a good soild all around bike for us weekend warriors. I have riden it through rough hills, rutted roads and through creek beds and it preforms great. The Avid juicy 3.5 hydraulic disc brakes have great stopping power and do not feel spongy or weak like other hydraulics. The remote rear shock lockout is very handy while riding in areas of fast changing terrain. The Shimano XT RD-M772 SGS rear derailer's shifting is smooth and engages well. The front Shimano Deore FC-M531 isn't quit as smooth but does the job (future upgrade). The suspension on this bike is great! The front Rock Shox Recon 335 Solo Air and rear Rock Shox Ario have taken a beating without beating me. With the rebound control, both front and rear, the bike preforms very well moving fast over rough rutted trails, roads and washouts. The Continental Mountain King tires are currently doing the job with good traction. I did upgrade to slim tubes and torn liners before it took the bike out the door. The weight and handling are great on this bike. It is nimble and tracks very well.
Weaknesses: I replaced the saddle and grips after just a few rides, more for comfort. There is a slight bob in the rear shock while it is locked out.
For the price and just out the door this bike is a very good investment for the weekend warrior wanting to hit a variety of trails. If you get a chance see the guys at Two Wheel Jones. They will advise you, are honest, up front and won't sell you what you don't need (unless you really just want to buy it).