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Scott has long been known for pushing the boundaries of lightweight on production bikes, and with the new 2017 Scott Spark and Scott Scale mountain bikes, they’ve done it again.

Taking full advantage of recently introduced standards like Boost and Metric Shock sizing, the full suspension Spark RC bikes come in as light as 1,749g… with ALL hardware AND the shock. Considering most full suspension bikes’ frames hit that number without the shock, that’s a very impressive number. And the hardtail Scale measures as low as 849g. Both use a 1x specific design to shave extra grams, but the rest of the bike’s details are where the major weight savings come from and show off the Swiss brand’s talents for making wicked light race bikes…

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Both the Spark and Scale are part of Scott’s RC lineup, meaning Racing Concept, which tells you what their intended use is. Both are 100mm travel (front and rear for the Spark), and both use Boost axle spacing to create a stiffer frame and bike. At the RC frame and trim levels, the bikes are designed specifically for 1x drivetrains, too. But, the new designs trickle down to non-RC models that get 2x compatibility…and bump travel to 120mm on the Spark for both the 700 (27.5″ wheels) and 900 (29er) versions.

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Starting with the Spark, the most drastic visual difference from years past is the vertical shock. Until now, the rear end had driven a horizontal shock mounted to the top tube. Now, a carbon fiber rocker arm (that weighs half what the old one did) drives an upside down shock parallel to the seat tube. Boost axle spacing opened up room for a wider shock mount, letting them use a trunion-style mount. That gave Fox two extra millimeters stroke length compared to the 2016 model (40mm, versus 38mm) for the 100mm travel RC bikes, and 45mm stroke length on the 120mm travel bikes. That may not sound like much, but small gains in the shock translate to big improvements at the rear axle.

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The shock’s placement still allows for large or small water bottles to fit inside the front triangle, with multiple mounts to suit your preference for placement. Carbon fibers like to stay straight (or, at least, avoid sharp corners), so they offset the shock to the non-drive side to maintain a smooth, continuous fiber structure from the downtube through the lower shock mount.

The new single-pivot Spark uses a solid rear triangle, relying on seatstay flex to compensate for the lack of a pivot near the rear axle. The design has been reduced from 18 parts (in 2016) to three, molding the left and right halves as single pieces, plus the brake mount…more on that in a sec.

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Like before, higher end Spark models use their TwinLoc travel adjust system with a custom Fox Nude shock to cut travel from 100mm to 70mm, then on down 0mm at lockout (120mm travel bikes reduce to 85mm). Full travel is called “descend”, and the reduced travel is called “traction” mode. Each mode gets it’s own spring rate thanks to the unique method of changing travel. In “descend”, the shock has both a primary and secondary air chamber open for business, creating a larger air volume shock with a little more sag and full travel. In “traction”, the shock is using only the primary air chamber, which reduces air volume and effectively limits the travel. Because it’s not a mechanical adjustment of the linkages, “traction” mode keeps you sitting higher in the travel and uses a little less sag, which makes the bike feel a bit peppier up the climbs. In either mode, the shock rate was designed to keep it supple at the beginning of the stroke, then firm up a bit beyond sag before taking advantage of an air shock’s natural ramp to avoid bottom out.

All cables are run internally from the front of the bike all the way to their destination, which reduces the number of cable stops and other hardware to save weight…and keep it looking very clean.

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Furthering the clean look are the integrated brake mounts…

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…and dropout/derailleur hanger combo. Both designs use the component mount as the axle support, which minimizes the amount of material used and simplifies the construction process dramatically. The brake mount, which comes in versions for 160mm or 180mm rotors, combines with the simplified rear triangle construction to save 130g. And because it’s anchored at the axle and chainstay, it allows the seatstays to flex as needed.

On the driveside, click that image to enlarge and you’ll see that the threaded thru-axle insert is one with the derailleur hanger. That part simply slides into the carbon frame to support the axle without having to be bonded in or overwrapped, yet is supposedly more durable. The part is available for Shimano direct-mount or SRAM rear derailleurs.

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More integration comes from the DT Swiss thru axle with removable Torx 25 handle, custom chain guide and lots of new Syncros SL parts that both look good and drop weight from the high end bikes.

All of those changes come together with geometry updates to create a bike that’s modernized with the “long and low” trend. Compared to the 2016 model, it has a 17mm longer reach and a short 70mm stem, 17mm lower stack, 28mm lower standover, 13mm shorter chainstays and a 1.3º slacker head angle (68.5º). The seat tube, however, gets 1º steeper (73.8º) to put you over the pedals.

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The Spark’s range tops out with the SL, which gets their new HMX-SL carbon fiber along with some new layup tricks to have the lightest frame. A basic spec highlight and frame material chart follows a visual run down of the upper half of the spec. There are a lot of bikes, women’s included, with a wide variety of carbon fiber spec, carbon/alloy mixes and full alloy bikes.

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Next down is the Spark RC World Cup…

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Then the Spark RC Ultimate…

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The Spark RC Pro…

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The non-RC Spark Ultimate…

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The Spark 900…

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and from there, the models use Scott’s numbering system, where 700 equals 27.5 wheels, and the 900 means 29er wheels. Lower numbers are higher spec, so the 700 is better than the 710. Shown directly above is the women’s Spark Contessa 710 Plus. The “plus” refers to the 27.5+ wheels and tires, which also comes with a slight bump in front travel to 130mm, keeping 120mm in the rear.

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2017-Scott-Spark-spec-frame-material-comparisons

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Lots and lots of options for most any budget. Check their website for full specs and prices.

2017 Scott Scale

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2017 Scott Scale RC SL hardtail race mountain bike.

Like the Spark, the new Scale is a blend of fibers that create a stiff yet comfortable frame. They also save weight. The new fiber types used on the HMX-SL model create the most drastic weight savings for an 849g frame (27.5).

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The HMX and HMF frames also drop weight from the improved layup, saving 82g (966g frame) and 166g (1,099g frame) respectively. The HMX-SL also gets weight savings from using only a clear coat and ultralight decals rather than painted logos (the Spark uses the same paint strategy, both yielding about 50% savings over a standard painted frame).

2017 Scott Scale RC World Cup
2017 Scott Scale RC World Cup

Without the benefit of suspension, the frame has to take up the hits. But to be a race bike, it’s gotta remain laterally stiff and transfer power effectively. So the bottom half of the frame is stiffer than the top, and the top half allows seat tube-to-seat post flex, so the rider is slightly suspended.  The seatstays also provide a bit of flex, helping keep the rear wheel planted. Overall, they claim a 47% improvement in rider comfort.

Shared features include the brake mounts, rear derailleur/axle mount insert, stealth rear axle lever tool, internal full length cable housing, Boost wheel spacing and 1x-only frames for the RC level bikes. They also use a lot of the same Syncros SL cockpit parts to streamline the look and save more weight. The Scale is compatible with stealth dropper posts, too.

2017 Scott Scale RC Ultimate
2017 Scott Scale RC Ultimate

Geometry changes are similar, with the chainstay getting shorter by 13mm on the 29er and 2mm on the 27.5. Reach is 17mm longer, with shorter stems to keep the riding position similar, and stack height is slightly reduced. The seat tube gets 1.1º steeper.

The lineup runs virtually lockstep with the Spark, running from top end carbon down to alloy frames, offered in both 900 (29er) and 700 (27.5), and Contessa and Plus bikes, too. The addition is an e-Scale electric motor assist version. Full specs and geometry charts on their website.

Scott-Sports.com

36 COMMENTS

  1. After the crap CS Scott provided years back I just can’t see them making a rebound. People don’t forget when you screw them over

    • Well, the last versions of these bikes sold pretty well considering Scott is tiny compared to Trek, Specialized, Cannonade and Giant. No rebound necessary

      • Yeah, their mountain line sells well everywhere. They’ve been killing it these past few years. Everyone has a rough go at some point or another. Name a brand and I promise there is something they’ve totally screwed up in the past decade.

      • I see far less Scott bikes in SoCal then I did in years past. I am in the upper Midwest on vacation at the moment and haven’t seen a single Scott. So maybe in some places they made decent comback, maybe the EU had better CS than the US…. Who knows…. I do know when you get screwed by a shop or company you generally never go back.

        • So some people got screwed over in your one area and you think nobody is buying the bikes? I bet that Cafe Roubaix thing hurt Specialized where that bike shop is located but do you think people aren’t buying Specialized bikes now?
          I live in Salt Lake…bikers are everywhere. I work at a small shop. We aren’t a Scott dealer but we get plenty of newer Scott bikes coming in for regular maintenance and I see them all over the road and on the trails.

        • @vegan did I say that? Salt Lake is not everywhere. And there is no way to know how well their bikes sell beyond where you live and such is all you can represent. Which is a fraction of reality because maybe other shops don’t service as many as yours.

    • I own a Scale and had a warrantee claim because the bottom bracket shell was a bit oval when manufactured. Scott didn’t have any “910” frames available at the time so they offered me their “RC” frame instead. The whole process was as fast as id expect it to be. No complaints from me.

      • I had a creaky PFBB on my Foil. They repaired it no questions asked and paid for one-day shipping both ways. Whole process took 4 days. I for one was really impressed with their customer service, especially for a smaller company.

    • Sure. If I look at races (non-pro) here in Switzerland, half of the bunch use Scott bikes. A little less BMC. Specialized? Trek? No one.

    • myke you may not see many Scott bikes in So Cal but ride in Europe or New Zealand/Australia and you will see plenty. Their bikes are well made, have great technology and are well priced. Yeah like the guys below say, brands have issues from time to time, but Scott has put heaps into RnD and made huge progress. Like a lot of product, Americans take a while to catch on and dwelling on the past is negative thinking. Ride a demo bike and will see the difference. Ive been Specialized since 1986 and still rate them but bought a ’16 Scott Genius and what a ride!

  2. Is Scott really much smaller than Cannondale? I know Cannondale would be more popular in the USA but surely in Europe Scott would be a more popular brand?

    Just checked out their website but I think it still shows 2016 bikes. Keen to see the full geometry of the new bikes.

    • YES!!! Scott is much smaller than Cannondale. I love their bikes but they don’t have a ton of big dealers in the US. You can find them though. Even though Cannondale is sorta a US company, you can always find them in Europe. In my years of racing in Asia, the only Scott bikes I’ve seen are under the legs of people that got them in the US. Cannondales aren’t abundant but in the Philippines and Thailand, you’re sure to see them pretty much every day you go out for a ride and there are plenty of shops that carry them.

  3. myke, I’ve owned a few Sparks and always thought very highly of them. Scott gives you a ton of bike for the money compared to some other offerings IMO. These look awesome to me as well. I would have liked to see prices, and how big of a tire will they accept? Seems as though we rarely get both of those details.

    • People like to knock e-bikes and I don’t get it. I bought a Scott e-Sub this year and it is amazing! It has no issue climbing the steep hills of West Austin, including the climb up to our house that pitches up to %20. I load it up with full panniers and tow a trailer with my kid inside. I drop her off at day care, head to work and pick her up on the way back home. I don’t have to drive my truck or worry about parking downtown and I’m not a sweaty mess from riding 30 miles in the 100 degree Texas heat. Hate them if you want, but they serve a purpose and can get more people on bikes that would otherwise commute by car. Just my .02

  4. Hardtails still use 30.9 post? How it became 47% more comfortable is amazing. And by that I mean amazing marketing. I own a Scale, Scott cx and Addict di2 but their xc fs bikes have always been light and too expensive for the suspension shortcomings. Fingers crossed this new design works brilliantly to justify the cost.

  5. I have the 2017 euro pricelist. Scale SL frame (no fork) = 3999 euro. Spark SL frame and Fox SC fork = 5999 euro. For the price of the Scale, you have a complete Canyon Exceed, and still money left. Frame weight is approximately the same.

  6. @ U1 – are you actually having a whinge because they’re using BB86/92?
    It’s still much more common than PF30, and means they get more width from the shell for that big single pivot. The bigger shell for a PF30 would probably force the pivot higher too.
    I find GXP as frustrating as the next mechanic, but you can’t deny 24mm is far closer to a ‘drop in’ option for most crank manufacturers.
    If it’s such a big deal to you put an RF Next SL in and save even more weenies.

    • It’s a pricey bike so what’s common and what’s not is rather irrelevant. BB shell for 30mm axle would be better choice in my opinion. You can always use adapters for cranks with narrow axle if there is a need.

  7. scotts one of those companies that looks good on paper and everyone kind of thinks “yeah that would be a nice choice”. then they get the bike and sell it withing 5mo and go buy a specialized. Seriously. I’ve never known anyone to ever have kept their scott XC race bike for longer than 6mo.

    • That’s a ridiculous statement. I have owned 3 Sparks that I purchased new from my LBS over the last 5 years and this year I pulled the trigger on a Genius Plus 710. Their bikes are every bit as great as Specialized or Trek and offer a great value for your dollar. I see their bikes all over Texas and people who ride them for longer than 5 months.

    • Wat?
      I’ve owned by Scale for about 3 years and still love it.
      Scott are a great mtbing brand. They offer some of the best frames but don’t overly brag about it Specialized style with fake technology acronyms.

  8. From the comments to this post you can tell RIGHT AWAY who understands there’s a life outside US and who does not. Scott is the Number One selling brand in Europe right now, US market was out of reach due to some deals made in the past when the brand moved to Switzerland and since they came back had been steadily growing the numbers year by year. World Champs with Nino, killing it with Jenny Risveds, 2 World Tour teams, Sebastian Kienle in the Ironman. Small brand?, don’t think so

  9. Good day guys. I was wondering for Scott Spark 760 (2017) model, can the dropper be converted to 142×12. Currently on 141×5 set up which i find odd for a fullsus bike. And the upgrading would likely be an issue especially here in SEA were the 141×5 is a never heard set up?

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