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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Fellas.

I've got about 80 miles on my new Scott Spark 750 so far. The 27.5" wheel size is incredible compared to the 29" for my riding style. I "graduated" from my Scale 960 to FS about a month ago. My buddies assured me that FS was the way to go. I'm now having serious doubts about the FS. I have been a hardtail junkie since my beginnings in MTB.

1) I am having low back pain. I got the tape measure out and almost exactly duplicated the crank to seat distance, headtube/bar to seat distance, seat position, etc from my Scale on the Spark when I got it. Do you think I just need to tweak position of the saddle, or could the moving rear suspension be causing this?

2) I feel like I'm wasting energy "pogoing" when climbing. It has the "Twinlock" system on it, but I normally don't climb in full lockout (I use the "trail" middle setting) because western PA is rock/root hell and having the fork locked out a lot of times isn't practical. Do I not have my rear shock tuned to where it should be, or is this typical on FS bikes?

3) I don't feel as connected to the trail as I did on the HT. Hard to explain, but I don't feel like I'm getting the power to the ground as efficiently. Also seems like as above, it takes way more energy to climb.

I have scoured tons of posts on here about HT vs FS and I'm left feeling in between like most other things, there's not clear cut rules and most people have their opinions both ways. I'm struggling with maybe this is in my head? I rode a HT for so long and am so used to it maybe I don't want to change. Or do I just need to try and fine tune the FS and maybe I will grow to love it? Cuz right now I'm close to looking at the Scale 700's.

Thoughts/opinions/suggestions very much appreciated.
 

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Congrats on the new ride! In regards to #2:

The bouncing could be the rebound set too fast. It should be the red knob on your shock. Turn it all the way in one direction until it bottoms out then count the clicks as you turn it all the way in the opposite direction. Set it in the middle. Now go ride. Still feel bouncy? Slow it down a bit. Loose a bit of pop or liveliness in the handling? Turn it up.

Second could be pedaling technique. I climb differently on my hardtail than I do on my FS. For full suspension, you can stay seated more often and spin a lower gear. Let the suspension do its thing as you sit and spin. I think with some practice you'll find you can claw your way up things you never thought possible.
 

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For full suspension, you can stay seated more often and spin a lower gear. Let the suspension do its thing as you sit and spin. I think with some practice you'll find you can claw your way up things you never thought possible.
^^^ What he said.

Claw up is a good description of what I get with my suspension bike set up right vs my hard tail bike.

I enjoy owning both types of bike but they are different. I suggest looking at your bike's setup instructions, get sag right, work with damping settings, and same for riding style before you think you made a mistake. For me suspension bike is the opposite of your complaints where I have less pain and can do bigger rides. If any bobbing up and down takes something away it's not hurting the experience.

Good luck and enjoy that new bike in good health!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the advice guys. I'll keep tweaking and see if I can get it figured out. I have only minimally worked with the rear shock so I need to ride and tune as you've said.

I went to the 27.5 over the 29 and the wheel size is night and day for how I ride. I maybe should've been more firm with my buddies when I was insistent on the Scale 740 and they coerced me into the Spark....... lesson learned, BUT, hopefully I can convince myself this is the way to go!!!!!!!
 

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It sounds like your shop should have helped you with your bike suspension settings. I am not a fan of Scott bikes. Maybe a bit of research on the bikes themselves would have made your suspension intro more satisfying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There aren't many choices around here, but between Gary Fisher, Trek, Cannondale and Scott I'll take the Scott. They've been great bikes so far for all the people I know that have 'em.

I did find something strange though, on the Fox CTD rear shock, it seems like the + and - are backwards for the rebound. In my mind (and on things like motocross bikes) + means faster and - means slower. With the Fox CTD that is not the case. I'm not sure about the Fox NUDE CTD on the higher end ones, I'll check those out tomorrow when we ride.

FWIW, adjust the saddle and shock and give it another try!!
 

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I have a Scott Scale hardtail and a Trek Superfly full suspension. I love riding both but enjoy the FS on longer, rougher rides as the FS soaks up the bumps and I feel less beat up and fatigued at the end of a 3 hour ride then I do on the hardtail. I really like Scott bikes but one thing that put me off the Spark is the twinloc. Whilst the remote control should be a good thing I often like to have the fork and the shock in different settings but with the twinloc you have to have both in the same setting. If I'm climbing a reasonably smooth trail I like to lock out the rear shock but leave the front fork in trail setting. For undulating trail riding I have the rear shock in trail mode but fully open the front fork.

As others have mentioned you are probably better off staying seated and spinning in a lower gear when climbing. I rarely get out of the saddle pedaling on the fs.
 

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give it some time, although you may still need to get it setup, it is a different riding style on full suss, hardtails don't require you pedal smoothly, although I still think it helps to...you just don;t get told off for not.
 

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1) I am having low back pain. I got the tape measure out and almost exactly duplicated the crank to seat distance, headtube/bar to seat distance, seat position, etc from my Scale on the Spark when I got it. Do you think I just need to tweak position of the saddle, or could the moving rear suspension be causing this?
When you duplicated crank to seat distance, did you account for suspension sag or did you just duplicate it using an unloaded rear suspension?
 

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When you duplicated crank to seat distance, did you account for suspension sag or did you just duplicate it using an unloaded rear suspension?
Wouldn't the distance be the same no matter what? When the BB sags, so does the seat, the suspension has no effect on the front triangle measurements.
 

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Wouldn't the distance be the same no matter what? When the BB sags, so does the seat, the suspension has no effect on the front triangle measurements.
yes and no.. the "distance" stay the same,.. but your body shifts back when it compresses changing the angle to the pedal and also the reach to the bars. you may just need to shift your seat a bit forward..?


really, I'd say move the seat around till your comfortable.. also try locking the shock up.. if you feel "more connected to the trail" again then maybe sell it and go back to hard tail.. :confused:
 

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You could bypass the fork lockout cable and put a stock cap on it to have some independence front to rear. Or have separate lockouts.
 

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Think of the + and - with respect to more or less rebound dampening. More (+) dampening means slower rebound speed. Less (-) dampening means faster rebound speed. I also typically think of screwing in the knob (tighty righty) is closing off the rebound valving meaning less oil flow, more dampening, slower rebound. Opposite obviously for loosening (lefty loose) the rebound knob. Open valving, more oil flow, faster rebound.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
All awesome info. I was really surprised that the +/- was backwards to my thinking, but that was just from one of my former lives(motocross). Maybe those guys are so dense they only understand + = faster, - = slower. :) Now, I get it!! I did a lot of messing around Sunday on our ride. I adjusted the seat before the ride, it felt some better. I did try to see if the BB to seat meausurement changed when compressed, it didn't look like it but it's hard to tell unless someone is sitting on it. I locked it out, rode it in the middle, wide open. Climbed, flat descended, rocks, roots, trees, hardpack dirt. In all seriousness it felt better climbing completely locked out even if it beat the h*ll outta my arse.

I will swear that when it's either in full float or trail mode when climbing it feels like it spins harder, like there is more chain tension or something as it "suspends". Lock it out and spinning is easier. Maybe it's all in my head.

Funny thing was one of my buddies from work wanted to ride my Scale 960; he was thinking of upgrading from his 26er homegrown. He heard about the FS Scotts with the Twinloc. We did 12+ and I told him to take it for a spin after that. He did another 3 on it and tomorrow he is bringing me a check. Loved the FS and the 650B wheel size compared to the 29er. As soon as I can get to the bank and get the green in my hand, I've got a just out of the box Scale 740 lined up and ready to go.

I thank you all for the info you have provided it has been extremely helpful. I must just be set in my ways and I can't wait to get on the new Scale 740. With the feel of the 29er Scale and the climb and acceleration of the 750 Spark, I think I'll be happy as a pig (mtb'er) in mud!
 

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Interesting I'm looking for a spark 27.5 and ride the western PA chunk a bit. All my best times are on a hardtail, seated climbing I just can't get use too. I figure with the twinloc the Spark becomes like a hardtail maybe I should demo one first before I lay the cash down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Interesting I'm looking for a spark 27.5 and ride the western PA chunk a bit. All my best times are on a hardtail, seated climbing I just can't get use too. I figure with the twinloc the Spark becomes like a hardtail maybe I should demo one first before I lay the cash down.
I would recommend it just to see what you think. The Spark is an awesome bike, a lot of my buddies have super success with them and nothing but praise. I just couldn't wrap my head around the FS. Plus I'm kind of a weight weenie so that 3# I could lose by being on a HT was mentally incapacitating........:eek: No fault of the bike itself.

"This fog's as thick as peanut butter!"
"Don't you mean pea soup?"
"You eat what you like, I eat what I like!"
Hermie the Dentist and Yukon Cornelius in Rudolph.
 

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My last full suspension was a Cannondale Prophet that I sold in 2008. I sold it because after riding a 29er hardtail I felt like I had been duped into full suspension. 29" wheels let me ride the bike with the confidence of a full suspension but the efficiency of a hardtail. I've been riding that 29er for nearly 6 years.

Now, every time I've ridden a new hardtail against a new full suspension I realize how dramatically my riding style has changed and how my new riding style "jives" with modern full suspension bikes.

Get momentum, plow through stuff, sit your ass down and pedal to the top.

I think back in 2007/2008 I still thought standing to climb was the only way to do it. I also assumed that I should be able to roll quickly with huge 26x2.3 mud tires. I also didn't have the confidence going downhill to really maintain that momentum.

Maybe too I've stopped blaming the bike for my inadequacies. I realize that 27.5 does not roll like 29, but I can live with it when I'm having fun. I realize 150mm rear travel will not pedal like a hardtail, but when I can launch off stuff without worrying about the abuse on my body, I can live it.
 

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On the other hand, it could just be that the Spark isn't a good bike for you.

Before building my new bike in early 2013, I demo'd a ton of bikes. Yeti's, Santa Cruz, Niner, Scott, and a few others. I demo'd them all on singletrack that is part of my local network. Of all the bikes, with all three wheel sizes, the Scott Spark 650b was the worst of the bunch. Two bikes were great: The Yeti ASR-5 and Niner Air RDO. A bunch were good. But only one bike really felt bad: the Scott.

I'm sure it's a fine bike for others but it was so clearly not a good bike for me that I had to re-ride some of the others to ensure I was giving it a fair chance. It was bad. It may just not be a good one for you.
 
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