Scott Spark 900 Review
The Spark 900 series of endurance mountain bikes from Scott utilise a full suspension setup along with 29er wheels and geometry for performance that is suitable for competition as well as for casual fun on the trails, it just depends on which model you choose.
Scott Spark 960
The Spark 960 is the entry model in the series and it comes with a 6061 custom butted alloy frame with hydroformed tubing and an adjustable bottom bracket. You get 100mm of travel thanks to the RockShox XC 30 TK fork, along with an X-Fusion O2 RL shock at the back end which makes for manageable compliance that will not be shaken by serious impacts.
Shimano SLX derailleurs and Alivio rapidfire shifters combine with an Octalink crankset to keep shifting consistent and fast, while Shimano BR-M395 disc brakes make it easier to keep the bike under control at speed.
The 960 comes with three chainrings, 44/32/22, and a 11-34T cassette. Weight is 13.75kg so not the lightest bike. At £1500 I think this is over-priced.
Scott Spark 950
Scott sticks with the alloy frame for the Spark 950, but equips it with a Fox 32 Float Evolution fork with CTD damper technology that lets you switch between 3 different settings to adjust the bike for climbs, trail courses and descents. A Fox Float CTD shock sits at the back of the bike and you get Syncros XC rims and the awesome Schwalbe Rocket Ron tyres to make up the 29 inch wheelset for fast-rolling, momentum-maintaining action.
Triple chainrings again but this time 40/32/22, plus a slight change to 11-36T cassette. Weight drops to 12.85kg and price increases to £2,000 so we maintain our 3.5/5 rating.
Scott Spark 940
The light alloy frame of the Spark 940 comes with a Fox Nude shock at the rear, offering the same variable damper modes but this time coming with custom Scott tuning which makes it well suited to the setup of the rest of the bike. Shimano SLX and XT components are harnessed for the drivetrain and BL-M615 disc brakes from this venerable manufacturer are also included.
Rims and tyres are the same as for the 960 & 950 models but the price jumps to a whopping £2,500, remeber that this is still an aluminium bike.
Scott Spark 930
The Spark 930 is the most affordable model in this range to take advantage of a carbon fibre frame, using IMP and HMF technology to keep the weight low (12.6kg) while still ensuring that there is a lot of strength and rigidity on offer. The Fox 32 Float Evolution fork and Nude shock are back in action, along with an SRAM X7 & X9 drivetrain, a Syncros FL2.0 seatpost and an XR2.0 saddle on Cr-Mo rails from the same manufacturer.
The 930 is just £200 more than the 940 and as it’s a carbon frame, why would you go for the 940?
Scott Spark 920
The combination of a carbon frame and alloy swingarm instils the Spark 920 with value for riders who are serious about endurance racing and still conscious of their budget. The full-sus Fox arrangement is carried over from the 940 and 930, but you get lighter and more responsive Shimano SLX BL-M675-B disc brakes and the Shimano XT FC-M782 crankset with hollowtech 2 for additional reduction in weight.
Syncros XC rims and DT Swiss Competition 2.0 spokes mingle with Schwalbe Rocket Ron EVO tyres to act as the durable foundation of this mountain bike.
Scott Spark 910
The Fox suspension affixed to the carbon frame of the Spark 910 benefits from the TwinLoc technology that is exclusive to Scott bikes, allowing you to manage both fork and rear shock with a single lever for ease of use.
A Shimano XT drivetrain and disc brake setup is onboard, along with the Syncros XR1.5 saddle that sites on titanium rails. Syncros XR2.0 rims are also added to the bike this far up the range.
Scott Spark 900 RC
The HMX carbon frame on the Spark 900 RC is a step up from the HMF material found on the cheaper bikes, giving riders a stiffer and lighter bike that is still as durable and good looking as its siblings. SRAM XX and XO components bring their own carbon features to the drivetrain and you get reliable Shimano XTR M987 disc brakes and levers as well.
A Ritchey Carbon WCS 2X handlebar continues the carbon theme, while Syncros XR RC rims and DT Swiss Aero Comp spokes ensure that the wheelset is not a burden.
Scott Spark 900 Premium
The Spark 900 Premium makes the most of the lightweight HMX carbon frame and swingarm setup, with 100mm of travel at the front and rear thanks to the Fox 32 Float Factory CTD Air fork and Nude shock, both of which have a Kashima coating to improve their operation.
Shimano XTR drivetrain components and brakes are used on this model, with Syncros XR1.5 rims forming an important part of the package.
Scott Spark 900 SL
With plenty of adjustments to be made to the frame and suspension, both in between races and in real time out on the trail, the carbon Spark 900 SL is surprisingly sensitive to the needs of the rider. It’s also the only bike in the range to be less than 10kg, specifically, 9.7kg.
Kashima-coated Fox suspension at the front and rear is on offer, along with SRAM XX1 drivetrain components, Shimano XTR M987 disc brakes, a Syncros FL1.0 Carbon seatpost and XR1.0 saddle with carbon rails attached. Carbon rims and Schwalbe Thunder Burt EVO tyres are the icing on the cake of this mountain bike.