Nino Schurter has already raced on the two new bikes that Scott presented some days ago in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. The new Scale and Spark are basically pure race bikes, developed to give Nino the best gear possible to compete at the Olympic Games in Rio.
The good news for “normal” riders: apart from the RC (Scott’s Race Concept) and other racing models, Scott introduces also the Spark 120 and both Scale/Spark Plus.
Let’s start from the frame weight: 849 grams for size medium, both in 29 and 27.5. A record number, achieved using a particularly light carbon fiber, the HMX SL, used before on the Scott Addict road bike. There are also some other innovations in the frame.
The dropouts are designed to be integrated on the thru-axle system thanks to a hollow tubular design that allows a simple and light weight structure, saving 65 grams. Available for SRAM and Shimano DM derailleurs, this dropout increases the stiffness and avoids damage to the frame in the event of impacts to the rear derailleur. The new carbon layer design of the head tube saves 60 grams, compared to the old Scale, while the minimalistic paint job saves 20 grams.
The HMX carbon fiber frames weigh 966 grams, the HMF weighs 1099 grams.
To get the frame more comfortable, the seat tube has a certain amount of flex when the rider is seated pedaling, as well as the upper chainstays, that flex “towards the outside”. To do this, they have to be independent of the stiffening effect of the brake mount, and that’s the reason why Scott changed the brake mount design. Now the brake mount adapter is anchored directly to the chain stay and thru axle. Thanks to this solution, the carbon structure is cleaner and lighter, the flex of the rear triangle on the brake side is not inhibited, and as a result, the frame offers increased comfort.
The Scale line up has 25 models, 27.5″, 29″, Plus and women specic (Contessa).
The Spark gets a new suspension design that allowed the Scott’s engineers to save weight and to optimise the kinematics. The shock is now anchored on the down tube, giving the opportunity to save weight on the top tube which no longer needs reinforcement, because all the forces from the rear triangle go into the bottom bracket region. The weight of the Spark RC 700 HMX SL frame is 1749 grams, the 29 inches bike stops the scale at 1779 grams, both in size M.
The weight has been saved not only from the new and lighter carbon fiber, but also from the new design of the rear triangle, that now is made out of 3 pieces, instead of the 18 of the old model, mainly due to the absence of the rear pivot (160 grams less). The flexing of the rear triangle is left to the upper chainstays. The linkage is smaller and lighter, and the RC models get a 77 grams carbon version (114 grams the alloy one, the old link was 145 grams).
Just like the Scale, the brake mount has been modified so as not to interfere with the flex of the upper chain stays.
Back to the suspension: the old kinematics had the problem of having a short leverage ratio at the beginning of the stroke, and a long ratio from the middle stroke. That means that it was not very sensitive at the beginning, and it tended to use most of the travel too easily. This has been changed. Now the average leverage ratio is 2.5, and the suspension is sensitive to small bumps, and supportive in the mid stroke.
The shock remains the same: the Fox Nude with variale air chamber, commanded by the Twin Lock remote control. In the Traction position (the middle one) the air chamber is reduced by about the half of its volume. Scott adopts the metric shock system: the Nude is 165mm long and it has 40mm of travel (Spark RC). On the 120 Spark the shock has 45mm of travel.
The shock is well protected by the dirt coming from the rear wheel, and the whole system doesn’t offer many spots where the mud can stick during wet races. That means adding weight to the frame, exactly what Scott doesn’t want.
The RC models don’t have a mount for the front derailleur, so that the right lower chainstay can be more massive and stronger. Another example of why engineers love 1x drivetrains.
The Spark line up
Spark RC 700 SL: 9.8 kg.
Spark RC 900 SL: 9.9 kg.
Spark 700 Plus Tuned 11.6 Kg.
The Spark Plus is the most trail oriented bike in the lineup. Basically the frame is just like the Spark 120, except for the rear triangle being wider. The tires are the new Maxxis Rekon 2.8. Stay tuned for our first riding impressions.
Prices will follow.