Scott Spark Premium Bike Review
As odd as it may sound, the Scott Spark Premium is a full suspension mountain bike that is designed to put the rider in full control. Of course this is arguably the aim of any bike, since they are not autonomous, but once you have tried this model you may find other bikes feeling rather restrictive and limited.
Before I cover why the Scott Spark Premium is better than ever in its 2012 incarnation, it is sensible to look at the features that take top billing in most bike reviews. First there is the carbon frame with its IMP5 moulding technology that delivers tried and tested geometry and is promoted as being the stiffest and strongest of its kind ever created. On the Premium edition you get far more carbon components than on lesser models and the full complement of Shimano XTR kit for the gears and brakes lets you know that this is not a bike to be trifled with.
The main event is the 120mm of travel provided by the full suspension setup. Not only is the new Scott Spark Premium endowed with the smoothest shocks in the business, outdoing previous models, but it also has a new way to adjust your suspension on the fly thanks to the Twinloc remote lever, the Scott DT Nude2 at the rear and the Rockshox SID RLT3 Air fork at the front.
In total there are three different modes to choose from, letting you adjust between 120mm, 85mm and 0mm of travel to achieve very different results while riding. Full travel mode will let you make full use of the suspension for hard-hitting off-road fun. Meanwhile traction mode should be the sweet spot where you have enough give to absorb the bumps but can take advantage of the frame’s stiffness to power uphill or stay planted in slippery conditions. Finally full lock-out will give you the stiffest, most efficient platform for straight-line speed and acceleration.
Adjustable suspension is not a new idea and even doing so mid-ride has been possible before, but the Scott Spark Premium represents the pinnacle of this technology’s evolution. For serious riders it will be a real boon because it means you will have exacting control over how the bike performs.
DT Swiss Tricon S10 CL rims and hubs combine with lightweight DT Swiss Aerolite spokes and tyres from the Rocket Ron Evo range developed by Schwalbe. These components all fit in with the way that this bike strives to shed a few extra grams of weight wherever it can. The design is fun without being flashy, with a black frame being picked out by subtle gold elements. The geometry means that it resembles many of the other models in the Spark range for 2012. It earns its premium price tag and associated title by pulling out all the stops and coming equipped with some of the best components in the business. Being matched with a cutting edge suspension setup is the icing on this particular cake.