Scott Spark 70 Bike Review
The Scott Spark 70 is a mountain bike which wants to bridge the gap between high end performance and low end pricing, a feat which it achieves with more than a little success. Its full suspension setup is geared towards a hard-core crowd that wants to take more punishment than a hardtail might normally manage. Meanwhile its aluminium frame and comprehensive selection of Shimano components have been chosen with budget in mind without hampering its ability to provide a great fun ride in the great outdoors.
The hydroformed alloy frame is sturdy and quite light – total bike weight is 13.6kg – with geometry that is suitable for the type of conditions intermediate trail riders are likely to face on a regular basis. The rear suspension is the X-Fusion E1 RL shock which you can adjust to deliver varying levels of rebound, although unlike the Spark models higher in the range there is no way to do this on the fly. Rockshox provides the front fork, a XC 32 TK with 120mm travel, which has a coil spring shock and alloy steerer. This front and rear combination works well and helps to give the rider an even balance which will serve them well until such time as they move onto higher spec’d bikes.
Scott Spark 70 Bike Specifications
Shimano is responsible for a majority of the stock SLX components, including the M446 disc brakes, which means you can be sure to experience smooth operation and long-lasting consistency. Of course the good thing about the Scott Spark 70 is that you can easily replace the standard kit to give it a bit of an upgrade when things start to come to the end of their useful life, so it is quite an adaptable choice. You might want to start by upgrading the Shimano Alivio Rapidfire shifters to SLX.
Alex XC-44 rims and Schwalbe’s Rocket Ron Active tyres are paired to give you traction and speed and while the bike is arguably set up for cross country races it is perhaps best suited to trail conditions. The alloy frame means that it cannot hope to be as light or agile as the carbon-framed alternatives. However, to its credit you are able to get a more planted, reliable experience behind the handlebars and the handling is one of its assets. This is in line with the fact that the Scott Spark 70 is aimed at enthusiastic amateurs rather than race-winning professionals.
The Scott Spark 70 is a good looking mountain bike, with its frame blending a prevalence of black with some deliciously lurid yellow-green sweeps that are echoed by detailing on the rims and front fork. If you are coming straight from a hardtail mountain bike then the Spark 70 may feel a little loser and more flexible, which is not a problem since that is its intention. The flexibility means you can get into a grove when making progress across the flat or attacking a climb and it also means you can start to judge just how the bike will handle if you start to drift in the corners. Overall, it is a very well made and well equipped bike, which sits comfortably at this price point.