Wednesday, October 27, 2010

New Gear - Scott Spark 40


I got my Spark 40 in June of this last summer and figured I would write up a quick review for anyone interested.  While the bike rides great there are a few improvements that could happen to make it even better.  For the price point this ride is in, it fits perfectly and accomplishes everything a bike for this money is meant to do.  I got in the saddle probably 25+ times this summer in all sorts of terrain; 20 mile XC, switchbacks, rock gardens, mud, sand, fast single track and bumpy fire roads.  The overall feel of the bike is great and I have kept everything stock on the bike so far.  The drive train is a combination of SLX and XT components and would be the first thing I would change to make a significant improvement to the bike.  However, shifting is super fluid and crisp when cranking or cruising.  The brakes are Avid Elixir 5 and they work brilliantly for the size of the bike.  They have great stopping power and even better regulation for tapping before a switchback or technical section. Speaking or regulation, the suspension is top notch.  There aren't any huge names here, because of the pricepoint, but Scott did good by the Spark 40.  The front fork is a Rock Shox Recon SL with 120mm of travel, plenty for an XC workhorse and the rear travel is a DT Swiss M210.  Both have adjustable air chambers for rebound adjustment.  They both also allow the rider to lockout "on the fly" with Scott's Twinloc system.  The included cables allow you to connect the Twinloc mechanism so that you have lockout on your handlebar right next to the brake.  Flip the switch and the rear suspension and the fork both lockout for a rigid ride.  This helps mostly with climbing and flat sections when speed is of the utmost importance.
For customization, this bike does it all.  The last great feature to mention are the wheels and tires.  Scott pimped out the Spark 40 with DT Swiss wheels and Schwalbe Rocket Ron tires which, when combined, make a super light weight full aluminum rig.  Shimano SPD clipless pedals round out the components and I have to say that I love riding this bike!  It flies up the steeps and swims through rolling singletrack.  The tires keep the roll resistance down and the speed up while the suspension helps out with technical efficiency.
Final Say:
This is a full XC rig with mid to high end components.  Light weight for the up and just enough for the down.  It won't take any huge hits, but it can hold its own out here in Colorado!

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