2022 Scott Spark

Really? Take my money? You realize that we’re talking about a $10k+ race bike right? I appreciate bike-tech as much as the next rider but for someone to blindly sign up for a purchase of this size even before a test ride is i.n.s.a.n.e

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Good perspective!

I’ve been racing xc for years and never encountered a situation where I needed to “protect” my rear shock.

Seems like a solution searching for a problem.

That said, I’m sure they will sell a ton, if the response in this thread is my indication.

There’s a “gotta have it” sucker borne every minute it seems.

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I’m not sure that being excited about a new bike that’s providing something different makes someone a sucker.

Everyone is entitled to an opinion, and it’s a good thing for people to have different interests. Just look at the people excited about the new Blur. People were really excited about what Santa Cruz would do, and whether they’d bring back an old bike or whatever. It’s nice, but doesn’t move the needle (IMHO), that doesn’t mean someone who likes it is a sucker.

Each to their own.


I’m thinking the encapsulated rear shock is a strategy to maintain frame stiffness with less weight. The bike achieves a rare balance of weight vs suspension travel (rear and front). So just picking out the rear shock “housing” as basis for describing the whole bike feels wrong. There are things about it I don’t like and things I do like. But in aggregate it ticks more boxes for me on paper than any other XC bike I know.


why mention the 10k+ bike? every brand has an outrages top model.:
supercaliber 9.9 xx1 axs
Scalpel Hi-MOD Ultimate
Blur xx1 axs CC

harder to find a brand without a topmodel XC race fully under 10k

So you have to look if there is something at a price point you can afford. For me that would probably be the RC TEAM XT build with some lighter wheels. (it’s not on the us site)


A benefit to buying the cheaper versions (RC Team AXS and lower) is they don’t get the one piece carbon bar/stem combo but a stem with seperate normal round alu bar. That makes it way easier to rotate the bar to your preferred fit, change/upgrade it and fit your cycling computer without needing some proprietary stuff. This actually makes me happy I didn’t go for a more expensive version.

I already have XX1 AXS and carbon wheels that I’ll be moving to the new bike, so I don’t need to buy the $10k version. I’m 6’1, at the top of the size Large and currently own a Large 2018 Spark RC, so not concerned about sizing. Lastly, I’ve been waiting for the Spark refresh and wanted these things in the new Spark:

  • A bit more travel
  • Double water bottle capacity
  • Slacker HTA
  • Fit wider tires
  • Better/subdued paint scheme

The new Spark literally hit every want/need of mine.


That’s what was posted about. The top end model. That’s why I mentioned it.

Email response directly from Scott (in the US):

We do not have any estimated dates for when bikes will be available or when they will be arriving at dealerships. Please keep in contact with your local dealer as we will relay information to them as it becomes available. Please let me know if you have any further questions. Thank you!

What does your LBS know that Scott isn’t telling?

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Protecting this shock like this also creates an issue that no one here has considered, shock cooling…

According to Scott that’s not an issue. They tested it on a 1000m downhill run and measured no significant difference between shock temperatures in the old and new config. Apparently it has something to do with there being enough air in the frame and airflow to have that not be an issue.


I know on the bold frame this was modeled after, Bold had air vents on the down tube to help circulate air to the rear shock to help with cooling.

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How warm a shock get will be a sum of a lot of factors, among them leverage rate and how the internal oil-flow is working. Heat management has probably been a design factor, and Scott with their quite big R&D department combined with Bold’s real life experiences of the design philsophy might mean that it is under control.

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I really think Scott are being credited with far to much. I’m convinced this is a purely aesthetic move and will sell bucket loads as it looks different to other fs bikes.
Everything else has been compromised by the design requiring workarounds.
Even the slacker headtube angle is a red herring in my opinion. None of us are racing on World Cup courses, we’re racing on comparatively tame tracks where a fast handling bike is a real asset.

Here’s the full vid:

I wish there were more english vids, cuz this is just jibber jabber to me.


There’s real world capability differences between this and almost any other XC bike. Hard to say they are aesthetic only.

As for XC racing not needing a 67° HTA, I’d counter to say it very much depends where you live. Most of my racing is faster on a slacker bike. Other parts of the world don’t race up and down and that’s fine. Many riders will benefit from having a more capable bike when they go exploring other regions, or do trail riding on more technical terrain than their XC loops.

  • What is compromised and why?

Heavier*, more expensive to manufacture, harder to work on, more proprietary parts, more links and bearings to go wrong, overheating maybe?
It’s like the supercalibre. Everyone went nuts when it was released as it looked so clean and promised so much. Not so much love for it now though.
I’m not anti the design so much, it looks nice, but I don’t understand why people are saying it’s so great. Does the rear linkage actually improve the dynamics of the bike or does it just solve the problem of how to hide the shock inside the downtube?
In fact why are people saying it’s redefined the xc bike when no one has ridden one? It’s like it must be amazing because it looks awesome and the bike company says it’s awsome.
Or am I just cynical?

*I actually don’t care about bike weight that much. I think people over obsess about that. My priorities are functionality, reliability and ability to replace parts if caught out in a stage race for example. Simple is good. Training makes you fast.