2020 Scott Spark 910 or 920?

Hey all,

Total noob to MTB and about to buy a bike. Have it narrowed down to the Spark 910 or 920. Any input on which you would choose would be appreciated. Primary riding will be XC and North Texas trails.

Thank you,
Ron

I’d get the 910 because:

  • It looks better (subjectively)
  • It has a better damper in the fork
  • It has a higher quality dropper post
  • It has slightly better brakes
  • It has slightly better drivetrain
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Thank you stevemz. Those are the same points I was looking at.

Ron

The specs on both are good. I think the 910 is about $800 more than the 920. If you’ve got the cash, then fair enough. But if you get the 920, I’d bet you’ll still love it, and have $800 in your pocket to spend on other stuff. Like the inevitable enduro bike you’ll want to buy after you get hooked on MTB!

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I’m having the same debate right now. The single track trails around me are very loose dirt and can be on the sandy side. Can the Spark handle such conditions?

I’ve been on a 2018 Spark 920 for almost 2 years now and I love it.
The 910 will be better spec’d, so if you can afford it, grab it.

Tires will be the biggest determinant of how a bike handles conditions like that.

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Thats more a question of the tyres on your bike really, but to answer the question yes the Spark can handle a way load more than that…

I have a 2018 Spark RC 900 WC. I ride/race all over Michigan where the trails are sandy and rooty. I just recently finished the Marji Gesick :100: on that bike which is considered one of the hardest MTB 100 in the US. I’ve also taken my bike all over Colorado, Utah and Scotland and threw everything at my Spark 900. So yes, the 900, 910 or the 920 can handle any and all of what you throw at it short of Downhill gnarly specific trails. Handling the conditions will be more reliant on the rider, tires, tire pressure and suspension setup.

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Also a reply to the OP @rhenager

One thing to consider is the wheel set. The spark comes with rims that have 25mm internal width. The recent trend in XC and trail bikes is for wider rims e.g. 30mm to allow bigger tires to be mounted.

I have a Trek Fuel with 24mm rims. I rode this weekend in Moab with a friend who also has a Trek Fuel, but with 30mm rims. I have 2.4” tires mounted on mine, he has 2.6”. The 2.6” tires are noticeably bigger, and probably better for the trails we were riding (I still did fine with the 2.4s). I’d like to have the option to swap between 2.4s and 2.6s with the same wheels. The 30mm rims would allow me to do that. The 24mm rims are too narrow for a 2.6” tire.

Wider tires are often suggested for people new to MTB as they are more forgiving. Wider tires also generally provide more grip, and float more on sandy sections of trail.
Emerging belief/evidence is showing that wider tires are actually faster than narrower also.

If I was buying a new XC/trail bike, the ability to run wider tires is a feature I’d look for. You’ll be able to ride fine on 2.3s and 2.4s, but it’s nice to have the option for wider tires so you can see if they work better for your riding style and conditions.

I don’t know if the Spark can run with 30mm rims and 2.6” tires - worth checking with your shop.

Sorry if this throws a wrench in your buying decision! But figured I’d flag for you to consider before dropping $4k.

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Dave, great info and exactly why I put the post up. Just checked the full specs and Scott says the bike is 2.6 compatible. Looks like I should be covered for that inevitable wheel upgrade in the future. :+1:

Ron

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You may need different (wider) wheels than the stock 25mm to run 2.6” tires. Check with your shop on that.

Update, new bike day and went with the 910. Pics don’t do this bike justice. It’s amazing in person. Hopefully will be able to take it out this weekend.

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I don’t have the technical expertise but I run 21mm inner width rims with 2.3 tires…outdated by today’s standard. But physics says there are consequences of higher rotating mass on force needed to accelerate and I feel my bike is punchier than a typical new bike I tried in the parking lot of a local bike shop. I dont deny the other benefits of wider tires but it feels to me that unless you lose grip or do serious downhill rides that require more rim strength, I find the industry trend to wider tires unconvincing for some types of riders. Welcome opinions on this…

I’m looking at one of these vs the 2020 trek top fuel.

Your bike looks great!

I think it also depends on the kinds of trails you’ll be riding. As the terrain gets more aggressive and variable, wider tires help - due to better grip, and ability to absorb trail features better.

On most of my local trails, my wheels/tires are fine. In somewhere like Moab, I’d like to be able to run beefier tires on the same wheels - hence why I think 30mm wheels are the growing trend. They allow a wider range of tire widths.

It also depends what sort of rider you are. I can’t see many downsides to wider tyres but there’s plenty of advantages unless you’re racing

I think there’s advantages even if you’re racing - but on more technical terrain - which is the trend these days on the pro XC circuit.

I look forward to seeing you out at Northshore, :P. That bike was made for loops 6 and 7.

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Lots of talk in here about a need to run 30mm IW rims, lol. I chose to stick with 25mm IW rims because I prefer a more rounded tire shape. I’ve run a 2.6 up front on that rim for bigger stuff in Arkansas, typically run a 2.35 Barzo or Mezcal.

Don’t base your tire sized for north Texas trails on a test from an English Enduro. For the north Texas area, compound matters more than size and tread pattern (within reason). Right now I run a Barzo up front to bite through the tree-fall, usually run a Mezcal front and rear; a wider Mezcal up front won’t increase grip and I like a positive front tire.

Enjoy the bike, it’s the best time of year for it.