Scott (Switzerland) - Press Release: The ALL NEW Spark RC is the perfect blend of top-notch carbon engineering, never before seen levels of integration and just the right amount of secret sauce. We wanted to make this platform faster than ever before both up and down the hill. Increasing travel, perfecting geometry, and applying input from the world's best athletes, we've created the cross country race bike of all cross country race bikes. If you think fast is fun, then you're going to love this ride.
A full suspension bike will never have success without, well, good suspension design. From the first time we rode the Spark’s single pivot layout we fell in love. Years later, we still believe that for the high-pace and technical aspect of modern cross-country racing, it is the best approach.
The Spark’s suspension layout has a very specific and proven kinematic and less unsprung mass. Using a flex pivot in the seat stay is an ideal solution for bikes in this travel range. This allows us to keep a very lightweight system while still ensuring optimal suspension performance.
Integrated Suspension Technology:
Now, a more noticeable change is that we’ve moved to a frame platform with an integrated shock.
Why you ask? Well for one, we think it looks fantastic. But if we take a deeper look, this approach allows us to refine suspension characteristics without sacrificing weight. Often, when working with bikes at this level, the concept of marginal gains becomes an ever important one.
For the optimal performance of a suspension shock, power transfer must be the most direct possible. What we want to avoid are any inefficient directional movements, in other words, lateral movements (sideways to the direction of travel) as the shock goes through its compression.
Having an integrated shock allows us to improve this in several ways. Firstly, the frame construction around the shock and with the trunnion mount can be designed to be much more rigid, reducing movement and fostering more efficient power transfer. We can also add much larger bearings to the seat tube pivot, further reinforcing this area and reducing any unnecessary motion. Our integrated Suspension technology also helps us to engineer frames with a lower shock placement which lowers center of gravity. As a result, the bike benefits from better handling, and a more stable, confidence inspiring ride for the end user.
While these may seem like minor improvements individually, the sum of their parts results in more efficient shock performance.
Additionally, the shock is fully protected from any foreign elements. Rainy race? No problem, your shock will continue to perform at its best regardless.
This single pivot suspension layout is based on our patented integrated suspension technology.
Looking through to the frame we see that as the rear wheel goes through the motions, our patented internal link compresses the shock.
Accessing the shock via the bottom bracket area is facilitated through a hatch. This makes it easy to adjust rebound, compression, shock pressure, and for installing or replacing the cable for our TwinLoc Suspension System.
Setting sag is also easy, as you can see what sag you’re running via an indicator on one of the pivots. Want to know if you’re using full suspension travel? Have a look through a port in the seat tube where you can see where your O-ring sits. You can easily move it back down to reset it.
Shock bolts are easily accessible from the outside. The Spark RC comes with either a Fox Nude or a RockShox Nude shock, both giving 120mm of rear wheel travel and in combination with our TwinLoc Suspension System.
TwinLoc Suspension System:
The Spark features our Twinloc Suspension System. The TwinLoc Suspension System is a proprietary SCOTT Suspension System that works by connecting the shock, fork, and ultimately the frame via a handlebar remote. With the remote, the user has the ability to choose from three ride modes, Descend, Traction Control and Lockout, effectively changing the bikes geometry, suspension damping and spring curve simultaneously.
With TwinLoc, you can have three bikes in one.
This is particularly important for technical cross-country racing. Need the most efficient bike for the sprint out of the gate? Lockout mode is perfect for that. Technical single track, or punchy climbs where traction and power transfer are key? Switch to Traction Control mode and off you go. When you get to the top and it’s time to give it your all on the descents, open up the suspension in downhill mode to take advantage of everything the Spark has to offer.
Our new lever also features the dropper post actuation below the bar. This ergonomic solution puts all of the bike’s controls in one place making them easily accessible on the fly.
“Not only did I know that this bike was something else when I saw it for the first time, but when I rode it for the first time I knew that SCOTT Sports had created another winner. Light, fast, capable - everything I want from a modern XC race bike and so much more.” - Nino Schurter, 8x World Champion & 7x World Cup Champion.
Geometry / Frame Design:
Looking at the frame layout in general, we took years of feedback from the world’s fastest athletes to develop the new Spark RC’s Geometry. One of the main goals for the bike was to have a platform designed around 120mm of suspension travel front and rear. Having more suspension travel for the increasingly technical racetracks was a priority. The result is the most capable XC race bike ever, and the lightest on the market with 120mm of suspension front and rear coming in at just 1870g with shock.
Working with athletes like Nino Schurter, Kate Courtney and the rest of the SCOTT Sram, we were able to pinpoint exactly what we wanted in terms of Geometry. We wanted the most dynamic of XC bikes, so we aimed to have a geometry solution that sacrificed nothing in terms of efficiency when you need to put the power down or fly up technical climbs, while giving athletes a safe, confidence inspiring ride on the way down. From what we’re told, we’ve hit that nail squarely on the head.
Another goal of ours was to keep things light. We engineered the Spark to have two main construction zones – a stiffness zone and a lightweight zone. Through strategic carbon reinforcement in the stiffness zone, we can afford to really shave weight in the lightweight zone. Some areas of the frame have less thickness than a credit card!
Integrating a shock presents a few constraints for weight, but our team managed to develop our lightest full suspension carbon front and rear triangles to date for this project, achieving something that we always want with our carbon mountain bikes, a ride that doesn’t weigh you down while pushing you to go harder and harder.
The all-new Spark platform is Designed around a 55mm chain line - this allows us to do a few interesting things. Firstly, we can guarantee great tire clearance while not sacrificing stiffness – which is key when it comes to power transfer. Additionally, and this is great for the XC racers, we can easily fit 40t chain rings.
By popular demand, we also made sure that there was room for two water bottles in the frame, for those, you know, two bottle days.
All bearings on the frame come with an extra seal to fight against the elements and to foster better performance for longer.
Syncros Fraser iC Combo:
The New Spark features an all-new Fraser iC combo from Syncros. Integrating the cables presents a number of unique problems and the Fraser was designed in part to address this. Syncros’s designers worked on the shape to allow the cables to flow under the bar and around the sides of the stem before disappearing into the headset with integrated plastic parts to keep it clean and efficient. This avoids bends or kinks in the cables and provides a minimalist front end. All our bars and stems feature multiple options for computer, light and camera mounts both on top or under the bar.
With the new Spark, you can also adjust the head angle by .6 degrees slacker or steeper. This can be done without cutting cables or bleeding brakes. All you must do is disassemble the bar, rotate the headset cups 180 degrees, and reassemble.
Devil in the Details:
The bike also features clever chainstay protection to protect your bike and keep things nice and quiet.
Our rear axle tool has been a staple on our bikes for years, it is now better than ever. It features a T25, T30 and a 6 allen key all in one. With these three options you can adjust all pivot hardware and nearly everything else there is to adjust on the bicycle.