Scott Spark RC 2012 Bike Review

Scott has refreshed the Spark RC mountain bike for 2012 and it is undoubtedly deserving of some attention thanks to a wide range of tweaked features and some very interesting new additions. If last year’s bike did not catch your attention, this revamped full suspension model should do much more to pique your interest if you are scouting out the options at this premium price point.

The Scott Spark RC is ready for competitive racing conditions, featuring an updated carbon frame which delivers even more strength and stiffness than in previous generations while still ensuring that the bike is light and agile. Carbon handlebars and a carbon seat post from Ritchey’s WCS range continue this theme, as does the titanium saddle and the carbon break levers.

The Scott Spark RC is combined with the full SRAM XX group of components which ensures lightening fast gear changes and professional levels of reliability. Avid XX World Cup disc brakes at the front and rear provide the rider with pinpoint control over the bike whether you are plummeting downhill or approaching a bend at speed. DT Swiss XR-RS rims are paired with Rocket Ron Evo tyres from Schwalbe, which is a good combination that benefits from being light weight and fast yet still capable enough to find traction.

Scott Spark RC 2012 Bike Components

Most of these components will seem like window dressing because Scott has centred its efforts on creating a uniquely malleable full suspension system specifically for the new Spark range. The Spark SL is of course a beneficiary of this work and it is based on a concept bike used by the Scott-Swiss power MTB Racing team, which should give you an idea of the kind of performance you can expect.

The suspension consists of a Scott DT Nude2 shock governing the rear tyre while a Rockshox SID RLT3 Air does the hard work at the front. These two have been individually customised for this bike and are linked by a Scott Twinloc remote lever which allows you to choose one of three modes for the suspension on the fly.

The full suspension setup offers a maximum travel of 120mm, but the rider can use the Twinloc lever to switch lock this at 85mm or 0mm, giving you an intelligent set of options to help you overcome compelling courses which might otherwise be tougher to conquer. Because the frame is stiffer the bike is fundamentally more efficient than its predecessors, but by letting you pick just how the suspension behaves, you are far more responsible for your ultimate performance. This type of immediacy of control may not be for everyone, but it will be difficult to return to a bike which does not offer such adaptability once you have sat astride the Scott Spark RC and taken it for a ride. The simple black and white finish does not overpower you with brash colours and despite its lightness the whole bike feels incredibly solid and composed, which you would hope for at this kind of price point.

Model: Scott Spark RC
4.5 / 5 stars
*****