Scott Spark SL 2012 Bike Review

The Scott Spark SL is a mountain bike that is all about making decisions. For 2012 Scott has revamped the full suspension equipment to make sure that the rider is the one in control of the amount of travel that is available. And perhaps most important is the fact that you have instant control over how much of its 120mm of front travel you use.

The Scott Spark SL is a carbon-framed full-sus bike and there has been a lot of emphasis put on how stiff and strong it has become. Scott uses its IMP5 moulding technique to meld a majority of the frame’s key components simultaneously, improving the strength and reducing the amount of flex you might expect to find. This adds up to a refined ride which definitely feels different compared to previous models. Of course the market-leading lightness is also afforded by the carbon frame and associated components, so it will never be a burden over long distances or during climbs.

A single Twinloc lever is used to switch between the three modes offered by the Scott Spark SL suspension. The SL comes with a Scott DT Nude 2 rear shock and the Rockshox SID World Cup RLT3 Air front fork, with 120mm travel, but you can alter this so that either 85mm or 0mm is delivered, enabling full adaptability with remote switching for the rider to enjoy. Much has been made of this setup and it certainly deserves a closer look.

In essence you can choose the standard mode for decent performance across most terrains, then switch to the middle traction-friendly mode if you want the bike to combine stiffness with suppleness and get a greater grip on the ground beneath the tyres. The full lockout mode is there for when you do not want the bike’s suspension to budge so that you can accelerate across flat, smooth surfaces and bring the carbon frame to bear on your opponents.

Scott Spark SL 2012 Bike Components

Scott has not focused all of its efforts on the suspension at the expense of the rest of the Spark SL equipment. You get SRAM XX components for the gearing, Avid XX World Cup disc brakes with lightweight carbon levers and carbon handlebars from Ritchey. DT Swiss XR-SL carbon rims continue the familiar theme of lightness and strength while the Schwalbe Furious Fred Evo tyres can bite into the dirt without slowing you down. Even the saddle has carbon rails and the seatpost is full carbon, which means you will definitely be getting your money’s worth if you invest in the Scott Spark SL for 2012.

For many riders this bike will be overkill, not only in terms of price but also performance. The black and carbon grey finish is unfussy and it actually does a good job of hiding the monster talents possessed by this bike. To make the most of it you will need to be quite a talented rider, because this bike begs to be ridden in very competitive situations.

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