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I have also posted this in the Scott forum.

I have been looking at both the Spark and the Anthem. Am 38, a reasonably conservative rider doing marathon and enduro. Dont want to have to upgrade for another 7 years. Price range AU$3500 (approx US$2000 - exchange rate is not that bad, but bikes are more expensive here).

Anthem is well spec'ed on components and seems to be an almost comparable ride but well ahead on price and warranty.

Spark 40 was smooth as, I liked it a lot, but a few cheap bits and pieces - not sure of their longevity. In particular the Avid Juicy 3.5's, Rock Shox Ario 2.R air shock and the Rox Shox Recon forks?

Am not sure about the Scott warranty? I want to shop around for my servicing and (shock horror) do some myself. I also don't want to be tied into replacing bearings (amongst other things) in order to satisfy the warranty if they are not worn out, or is it a given that they will wear out, even if I don't ride that hard?

The Spark was a really nice bike and I am trying to find an excuse to buy it, but will it last and will Scott help me out when something goes wrong or is it the bike for someone with the bucks to pay for regular shop servicing?
 

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Spark 40

I've also been thinking about the spark 40, but haven't found one to test ride yet. I know according to the rear shock lockout and racing geometry that it must climb well, but how does it descend? For how much it cost's, I haven't found anything else comparable in weight to the spark 40. Any other suggestions for a sub 28lb 4" travel bike for under $2500?
 

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I don't have any personal experience with scott warrenties (I'm a carbon sceptic, and all their best bikes are CF), but theres a particular horror story relating to failures that comes to mind from the forums.

Basically, a guy broke 3 different ransoms under relatively normal riding conditions - however, if I remember rightly, in that case the warrenty issues were dealt with admirably..

<searches for link>

Here we go:
http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=244081

Another (perhaps better?) option is to shop around a little and see if anyone has any of the old anthems left around...
Although the new one has more travel, the old was a very good (very sharp and quick feeling) bike that would be ideal for the applications you name. Also, ontop of the normal "last years model" discount you get as a closeout deal, you'd be getting even more off for it being a discontinued frame.
With the size of Giant and the numbers they'll have sold - I would be truly stunned if spares would be any problem at all.

Despite intending to spend a considerable amount of money - if you can find the old Anthem, the price difference could nicely be put into uprating the spec straight off.

But - from the two you ask about... Neither would be a bad bike - theyre both definately well suited to the applications you want them for.

Good luck.
 
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