LEOGANG – Scott Spark 2022: after a long wait it is finally reality!
With this new custom-built, Scott wanted to mix the cards on the table in the world of Xc, totally changing the way we see racing bikes and eliminating various preconceptions.
Let’s start explaining it to you in this video:
Now let’s move on to the details that distinguish the Scott Spark 2022…
INTEGRATED BUT SIMPLE
Here is the technical detail that most distinguishes Scott’s new full Xc.
This solution, taken up in part by the philosophy of Bold (a brand acquired a few years ago by Scott), is completely new in the world of cross country, so to put it into practice and perfect it required a long process of study and design.
The shock absorber is incorporated inside the frame, just above the bottom bracket shell and is therefore hidden from view.
This allows for several advantages, namely:
– Weight distributed lower for better stability and operation of the shock itself
– Futuristic look and better aesthetic cleaning
– Shock absorber less exposed to dirt, water and mud, resulting in reduced maintenance
– Possibility of mount a second bottle cage in the main triangle
– More space to mount large section tires (up to 2.6 “) e larger anterior crowns (up to 40 teeth).
The integrated shock absorber might suggest setup and maintenance operations more complicated than usual, but in reality this is not the case.
To access the rear suspension just remove (even by hand) a small door positioned in the lower part of the frame and there are the rebound, air valve and compression registers.
To check the shock absorber limit switch, you can remove a small rubber plug located on the steering column (photo below), near theSag indicator, which is clearly visible around the upper joint of the suspension.
Finally, the mechanics can always disassemble everything by accessing from the lower compartment or from the eyelet of the end stop, inserting the keys in a fairly simple way.
Scott has also paid a lot of attention to the integration of the cables in the frame, working in symbiosis with Syncros and presenting a “semi integrated” passage: the cables run under the handlebar (with the possibility of being guided by adhesive rivets, as seen in the photos below) and are inserted laterally in the headset.
Obviously the latter is specific and designed for a passage of 4 cables.
Here the new integrated Syncros cockpit also comes into play, designed specifically for this solution but compatible, if desired, with other bikes.
The new Fraser IC SL will be produced in two versions, XC e DC, in different inclinations / attachment lengths.
There is also one WC version with more pronounced inclinations, designed in collaboration with the Scott-Sram team: in this case the lengths are 80, 90 and 100 mm with inclinations of -20, -30 and -40 degrees
ONLY 120 MM, WITH REVISITED SCHEME
No more 100mm of travel – all models of the Scott Spark 2022 have a 120 mm rear travel.
The RC version (cross country) is offered with a 120 mm fork, while the models of the serie 900 (for trail riding) mount a 130mm fork.
Also worth mentioning is the fact that the forks with 32 mm diameter stems are reduced to the bone and intended for the cheaper models, while the top and mid-range bike models come as standard. forks with 34 or 35 mm stanchions.
Scott has these considerations in mind and they could leave their mark …
More travel, integrated shock absorber and therefore also a new suspension scheme.
Or rather, a 2.0 version of the famous pivotless scheme already present on the previous Spark.
Basically, we are talking about a chariot without Horst joint with flexible upper stays, connected to two links: an external one that connects the seat stays to the column and an internal one that acts as a bridge between the pin of the first link and the shock absorber.
To optimize the work of this suspension scheme, Scott also had to review the construction and tuning of the shock absorbers, creating specific models in collaboration with Fox, RockShox and X-Fusion.
As always, both the fork and the shock absorber have a 3-Position Compression Tuning: specifically, the shock absorber reduces travel to 80 mm in Trail mode.
Along with the new Spark, Scott also unveiled a new TwinLoc command (photo below), which integrates even better the lever to operate the dropper post, present as standard on all Spark models.
OPTIMIZED AND CUSTOMIZABLE GEOMETRIES
With greater travel it was also necessary to modify the geometries, to maintain (indeed, improve) the pedaling skills of the Spark.
Speaking of numbers, we have an angle of 67.2 degree steering (on the RC version) and of 65.8 degrees (on version 900).
Both, however, they can be changed by turning an eccentric insert present in the headset: by doing so, there is the possibility of having a more “open” or more closed steering (+/- 0.6 degrees) as needed.
But the most important and most influencing change in pedaling behavior concerns the saddle angle, which measures on the new Spark about 76 degrees, with small variations based on size and version.
The very “standing” column allows to compensate for the greater height of the fork and offer a more racing position.
The reach in size M is 44 cm, combined with a 59 cm top tube (size M), therefore not too abundant: as on the old Spark, Scott preferred not to exaggerate the length of the frame to maintain good handling and give everyone the opportunity to take advantage of the geometries.
Below are the complete geometries of all sizes:
HOW MUCH DOES THE SCOTT SPARK 2022 WEIGH?
We know that many of you have this question in mind and want the answer.
Well, the Scott Spark 2022 is made of different materials depending on the price range, with materials that we know well by now.
The frame in the finest HMX-SL version weighs 1870 grams with shock absorber, link and screws included: a respectable weight, calculating the integration and the increased travel.
The weights go up on the versions HMX (1990 grams) e HMF (2150 grammi).
Without forgetting that in the Spark 900 catalog there will also be “hybrid” versions (fiber triangle and aluminum carriage) and all in aluminum, on which obviously the weight goes up, while the price goes down.
Below is a table with all the weights:
The complete bike you see in these photos, in RC World Cup AXS version, weighs 11.3 kg with pedals (360 gram X-Track Race look) and Garmin Edge 530 mounted on the handlebar.
A weight that is not too low, but considering the assembly that is decidedly more “aggressive” compared to the Xc that we are used to seeing, it is not even too high.
To have another parameter as well, we tell you that Nino Schurter’s bike in a “race” configuration weighs 10.6 kg, mounted as you can see in the photo below:
MODELS AND PRICES
The Scott Spark 2022 will be available in many models: 9 for the RC series (all full carbon HMX-SL, HMX or HMF according to the price range) 13 for the 900 series (with full carbon, hybrid or all aluminum frames).
Prices for Italy are not yet final, but indicatively they could go from € 3699 to € 12999 on the RC versions e from € 2399 to € 12999 on the 900 versions.
HOW DOES THE SCOTT SPARK 2022 DO?
We had the pleasure of previewing the Scott Spark 2022 on the trails of Leogang (Austria) by lapping on the Xc World Cup course, but also on other more “flow” trails.
Let’s briefly summarize the first brief sensations …
– Words: the very vertical column is felt immediately.
The riding position is very compact and racing, so even on very steep slopes the bike offers the right attitude.
With blocked suspensions, pedaling responsiveness is maximum and despite the weight of the test bike that is not quite contained, the initial feeling was very good.
The behavior of the suspension in Trail mode (the intermediate one) has been improved (greatly): in fact now the shock absorber is much more sustained than that of the previous Spark and offers a lot of grip without losing energy.
In general, what is striking is the grip on the rear wheel even in the really “hard” sections.
– Descent: if the previous Spark was already great on the descent, this one has improved even more.
With the more aggressive geometry, combined with greater travel, the dropper post and above all the optimized suspension scheme, you get a truly super vehicle both in the extreme sections (at the limit of the enduro), and on the fast, where the center of gravity is very low and ‘longer wheelbase (+3.5 cm in size M) offer a stability that is immediately felt.
It is to be appreciated that this bike does not have too abundant reach value, because this allows anyone to be comfortable in the strait.
The behavior of the suspension is more progressive than in the past, even in landings from jumps and on very rough paths it is almost impossible to feel the bottom.
In short, it is really difficult to take the Scott Spark 2022 downhill to the limit and this is immediately evident.
– Cycled: the sensations are very similar to those mentioned for the climb.
In these situations, the trail mode of the suspension is even more appreciated, the one most used on mixed terrain.
If desired, the Climb mode (completely locked) can only be used on asphalt, because the intermediate is really robust.
The very collected position in the saddle is perfect for nervous and full of rhythm changes, but it can also be optimized for long distances.
With the new Spark, Scott not only presented a new bike, but he wanted to change the cards once again, offering different answers and trying to give a more precise direction to the Xc sector.
We do not know for sure if this will be the absolute direction of world cross country, but we can tell you that the first sensations on the Scott Spark 2022 were excellent and we hope to have it tested on our paths to deepen the discussion.
Soon the price list and images of the complete Spark 2022 range.
For more information Scott-Sports.com
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