Scott Spark 940

SCOTT SPARK 940 There has been a com­plete overhaul by the Swiss bi­cy­cle com­pany Scott of its Spark and Scale moun­tain-bike lines. With an im­pres­sive 25 dif­fer­ent mod­els us­ing dif­fer­ent frame ma­te­ri­als, ge­ome­tries, wheel sizes and com­po­nen­try, the choice c

Pedal Magazine - - Contents - by Tim Le­feb­vre

Pedal Mag­a­zine chose to test the Scott Spark 940, an All-Moun­tain full-sus­pen­sion top-spec’ed alu­minum model, giv­ing an av­er­age moun­tain biker a closer look. Avail­able in ei­ther a 27.5” wheel or 29” wheel, this op­tion is cer­tainly a plea­sure upon pur­chase.

Let’s be­gin with its frame ge­om­e­try, which boasts a steeper seat an­gle, slacker head an­gle, shorter chain­stays and a longer frame for 2017. All of this has a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on one’s ride, as Scott’s en­gi­neers have been busy re­defin­ing this frame. Other ma­jor changes in­clude the place­ment of the rear shock. In past mod­els, Scott used a ver­ti­cal shock, but have now cho­sen a hor­i­zon­tal shock mounted to the bot­tom bracket. Us­ing a Fox Nude CTD shock, the new sin­gle-pivot link­age pro­vides in­creased stiff­ness, a longer stroke and bet­ter sus­pen­sion than the old de­sign, as well as a lower cen­ter of over­all grav­ity to the bike.

No longer does the frame have seat­stay piv­ots, as the new de­sign re­lies on the nat­u­ral flex of the stays. Here, a new brake mount has been de­signed that is an­chored di­rectly to the chain­stay and wheel axle, pro­vid­ing great brak­ing force.

The new Scott Spark 940 also in­cor­po­rates Boost 148 axle spac­ing into its frame de­sign, with the forks sport­ing the Boost 110 axle spac­ing. This cre­ates a stiffer wheel, in­creased clear­ance for big tires and the abil­ity to ad­just the wheel po­si­tion to shorten the chain­stay length.

The frame’s sus­pen­sion pro­vides 120mm travel both front and rear. The Fox 34 Float Fit front fork can be pro­grammed from the cock­pit. The han­dle­bar lever now sits on the left side where you can switch from de­scend, trac­tion and fully locked-out mode. On the right is the lever that con­trols the 125mm Fox trans­fer drop-post. All ca­bles are run in­ter­nally, which re­duces the num­ber of cable stops and other hard­ware to save weight and im­prove aes­thet­ics.

There is more im­prove­ment with the DT Swiss thru-axle and re­mov­able Torx 25 han­dle for trail-side ad­just­ments. A cus­tom chain­guide and a Syn­cros SL seat (XR 2.0), bar (740mm) and stem (70mm) com­bi­na­tion look great on this frame.

Dressed in a Shi­mano De­ore XT 2X 11-speed driv­e­train (with the ex­cep­tion of a SLX cas­sette 11-42), the bike is avail­able in a 1X or 2X sys­tem. Sit­ting be­neath this ma­chine is a fine pair of 29” wheels with De­ore hubs and Syn­cros X-23 rims on a Maxxis Fore­caster tire, which is tube­less-ready.

I hauled my Scott Spark 940 across the bor­der and down to Al­le­gany State Park to test this ride in an ap­pro­pri­ate set­ting of switch­back de­scents and rooty sin­gle­track. Dialling in the sus­pen­sion and tire pres­sure is a must for this kind of ride, and Glen at Front Row Sports in Thorold, Ont. was more than happy to make that hap­pen.

Straight away, the Spark 940 is a com­fort­able ride, with one’s arms out wide on the 740mm bars, but tightly po­si­tioned in the cock­pit and bal­anced nicely. Sit­ting and climb­ing are a joy, as the bike tracks nicely and its shift­ing is crisp and tight, even tighter when one switches to “lock-out” po­si­tion – it’s so nice to do this on the fly. When one stands on the ped­als, the frame’s rigid­ity and strength are ev­i­dent.

On the way down, there were big smiles. The 120mm of travel soaks up the

29” dif­fer­en­tial and then some. There is a su­perb feel­ing of con­trol and bal­ance as the bike whips in and out of turns. Be­ing able to use the drop-post is a rare oc­cur­rence in these parts, but it comes in handy on steep sec­tions.

Brak­ing was out­stand­ing at the worst of times, and I was thank­ful for that. With this ride, it is easy to run faster on trick­ier sec­tions, as it in­spires con­fi­dence and begs you to bury the front end into turns to see if the rear can re­spond.

Over­all, for an All-Moun­tain clas­si­fi­ca­tion, the bike has a plush feel­ing of sta­bil­ity and con­trol. The com­po­nen­try, ge­om­e­try and de­sign all con­trib­ute nicely to this sen­sa­tion with a flow to get up and down any ter­rain in style.

The Scott Spark 940 is a won­der­fully spec’ed All-Moun­tain ma­chine ready for the abuse be­stowed on it by the week­end war­rior, 24-Hour par­tic­i­pant or plea­sure-seeker. If a lighter, more ag­gres­sive race frame is de­sired, the RC mod­els are the way to go. With a num­ber of mod­els to con­sider in both the Spark and Scale ranges, de­cid­ing on one may be more en­joy­able than you think.

The Scott Spark 940 is a won­der­fully spec’ed Al­lMoun­tain ma­chine ready for the abuse be­stowed on it by the week­end war­rior, 24-Hour par­tic­i­pant or plea­sure-seeker.

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