Scott Spark 30 Review
The Scott Spark 30 mountain bike is a carbon framed, full suspension beast, but it manages to keep things to a more affordable budget than many of its contemporaries, resulting in a ride and experience which are more accessible to off-road riders than you might think. It is hardly a bargain basement machine, but it does give you the option of keeping a bit more of your cash while still enjoying a quality bike that offers weekend fun or full on racing performance.
The Scott Spark 30 is endowed with a carbon frame featuring IMP5 technology, which is basically this manufacturer’s take on the materials that other firms have been developing in recent years for off-road bikes.
A mountain bike needs a bit more sturdiness and durability in its core than road bikes, so the carbon needs to be tougher as a result. However, with the IMP5 frame you still get the excellent lightness that is associated with this material, allowing the whole thing to be less of a drain on your energy reserves when you are racing uphill or sprinting across open spaces.
The full sus set-up of the bike is made up of a RockShox Reba RL3 Air fork at the front and the Scott DT Nude2 shock at the rear. There are three individual travel modes, which can be switched as necessary in order to change the way the bike responds. You can have the full 120mm of travel open when you need to head downhill, choose the standard traction mode for responsive quick rolling or opt for the full lockout mode for when you want to climb efficiently. This kind of malleability is what makes investing in a more competent model like the Scott Spark 30 mountain bike worth the extra cash when compared to its cheaper siblings.
For the transmission Scott has chosen components from the Shimano SLX and XT families, which means you get reduced weight and the same consistency of performance during shifts for efficient pedalling. Avid Elixir 5S hydraulic disc brakes are another welcome sight, with a large 180mm rotor equipped at the front for control that is both precise and forceful when it is needed.
DT Swiss XR30 Disc IT hubs and rims are paired with Schwalbe Rocket Ron EVO tyres for a wheelset that matches the light yet strong set-up of the frame itself. The tyres in particular have been chosen because the integrated Kevlar bead means that they will keep on resisting damage and soaking up impacts for longer than less sturdy alternatives.
For marathon riders the Scott Spark 30 mountain bike will be particularly appealing, because all of the efforts to reduce its weight really pay off when experienced over long distances. While a few grams here and there may not look like much on paper, this adds up when experienced out in the field and means that you can go further and faster for longer.
Meanwhile, the frame and suspension set-up is designed to complement a variety of situations, with the handlebar-mounted TwinLoc shock control allowing for on the fly alterations to be made so that you can flow from one type of terrain to the next without having to stop, dismount and alter the set-up. The Selle Italia Team Edition saddle and the Scott RC seat post work together well, giving you a position of stability during your racing exploits. You also get the Scott Pilot 15 Pro handlebars to give you a direct access point for the responsive handling, which means that the bike manages to be less compromised in this respect than some other dual shock models.
Scott Spark 30 Specifications
- Front Fork: Rockshox Reba RL3 Air, DNA3 Custom damper with 3 modes, rebound, 120mm travel
- Rear Shock: Scott DT Nude2 with 3 modes – Lockout/Traction/All Terrain, rebound adjustable
- Front Derailleur: Shimano XT
- Rear Derailleur: Shimano XT
- Gears: 30
- Chainring: Shimano XT 42/32/24T
- Cassette: Shimano SLX HG81 11-36T
- Shifters: Shimano SLX Rapidfire Plus
- Brakes: Avid Elixir 5S, 180mm HS1 rotor (front), 160mm (rear)
- Wheels: DT Swiss XR30 Disc
- Tyres: Schwalbe Rocket Ron Evo, 26×2.25