The Scott Spark 50 mountain bike is a full suspension model which aims to be as accessible as it is adaptive, giving riders the opportunity to tackle a variety of situations from the everyday to the endurance-oriented challenge.
It may not be as fixated on competitive situations as some other off-road racers, but the degree of flexibility that you get from choosing this model will make it far more appealing for those who expect to use it for more than just one particular purpose. In addition its relative affordability should open it up to an audience beyond the high end enthusiasts.
The Scott Spark 50 mountain bike sits towards the more affordable end of the Spark range, but still comes with a good selection of components that will not leave you disappointed. There is a custom butted 6061 alloy frame with hydroformed tubing that helps keep the bike surprisingly light in spite of its full-sus setup. At the front you get the RockShock Recon Gold RL fork with 120mm of travel, while the rear shock is a DT Swiss M210 unit.
The purpose of having this amount of travel is to give the Scott Spark 50 mountain bike a good deal of prowess in downhill sections where hardtails or full-sus bikes with less forgiving shocks might not make the grade. You might assume that this would translate into a saggy, soft experience when you try to put the power down during ascents, but thankfully this is not the case. Scott has managed to hone the Spark 50 so that it responds nimbly to the commands of the rider while also staying surprisingly stiff and eager when it is not taking the big hits.
This is achieved in part thanks to the remotely activated lockout system which is accessible thanks to a lever mounted within easy reach. You can engage the lockout at both the front and rear simultaneously to increase stiffness and literally take up the slack. Meanwhile the relatively low front end helps to give you the kind of power output that really makes the difference during climbs and sprints while still enabling the bike to bound downhill with ease.
A selection of components from Shimano’s ranges are used in the transmission of this bike, with XT, SLX and Deore groupsets all accountable to the input of the rider. This kit has been carefully selected and operates smoothly and quickly for some efficient riding. There is also enough flexibility in use to encourage you to jump onboard everyday and not just when you are faced with a technical trail or endurance course.
Avid Elixir 3 disc brakes with a 180mm rotor at the front and 160mm rotor at the rear give you the power and reliability to stop the Scott Spark 50 mountain bike effectively. Scott has actually employed a clever weight-saving way of mounting the brakes and combining the post mounts into the chainstay, which keeps things neat and also makes the bike that little bit lighter than its rivals.
The wheelset is made up of Alex XC-44 Disc rims and Schwalbe Rocket Ron tyres, which help to shoulder a little of the punishment during descents while remaining suitable for fast rolling fun on the flats and decent performance during uphill struggles.
If you take a step back from the Scott Spark 50 mountain bike you can see the kind of care that has been paid to its construction. The white paint job with black detailing and unobtrusive decals allows it to look the part, while the carefully implemented frame geometry and slender alloy tubing indicate that this is a light racer with bags of potential.