Highly anticipated, the 2012 Scott Spark 29 RC was tops on my list to ride at DealerCamp. So, I arrived and went straight to the Scott tent and got dialed in and hit the great singletrack at Deer Valley.
Scott Spark 29 RC Features:
- Frame: Spark 29 carbon, HMX-Net fibers
- Fork: Rock Shox SID 29 RLT3, DNA3 custom damper, 100mm
- Shock: Scott Nude2 , lockout-70-100mm
- Group set: SRAM XX
- Brakes: Avid XX World Cup carbon disc
- Parts: Ritchey WCS carbon
- Wheels: DT Swiss XR-RS29
2012 Scott Spark 29 RC Review
Scott has done a great job with their 29er hardtails, so it’s natural that the market has been anticipating their first full-suspension 29ers for quite some time. Well, for 2012, Scott introduces the Spark 29 in both aluminum and carbon versions. I hit the trails on the flagship Spark 29 RC complete with its SRAM XX drivetrain, Scott Nude2 shock (DT Swiss) and Rockshox SID 29 RLT3 fork. The lift test in the booth resulted in a “holy crap, this is light!” response from me. I couldn’t get a definitive answer, but I’m guessing sub 25 lbs for sure.
One of the greatest advancements with this bike is that it doesn’t have the Scott Equalizer shock. While the Equalizer does work well, it’s somewhat challenging to set up. Instead of an Equalizer shock, Scott has worked with DT Swiss to deliver an all-new Nude2 shock that sports a single valve for easy setup.
Off I went to explore some singletrack, but first I goofed around a bit on the pavement to see how maneuverable this bike would be. Steering is sharp and precise and handling is ultra-responsive.
Hitting the dirt, the Spark 29 RC felt smooth and fast on the climb. I played around with Scott’s awesome Twinloc system to see how the bike handled. Mounted on the left side of the bars, this system allows you to drop the travel to 70mm in the rear and change the dampening on-the-fly or lock out the front and rear completely. I’m a fan of the Twinloc for extended pavement or fire road climbs, but honestly, I left it wide open for most of the climb. For most climbs, this bike is so efficient and smooth that, in my opinion, it’s not necessary.
Once I decided to turn around and descend, I was quickly reminded that this bike is really a purebred XC racing machine. The suspension is efficient and tuned for ultra-efficient singletrack assaults. I felt that the whole package was like descending in a sports car. All that efficiency does reduce its “point it” ability, but man is this bike fast. Pick your lines and enjoy the ride… this bike will never be at fault for your inability to lead the pack on your next group ride.
Good Spark 29
- Wow is it light
- This thing nearly climbs on its own
- Very sexy carbon lines from one of the leaders in carbon fiber technology
- Race-tuned to give you an edge over your competition
- 142mm rear axle adds stiffness
- New Scott Nude2 shock simplifies setup
Bad Spark 29
- You can’t “point it” on the downhill
- Unless you’ve got the coin, this one will be drool material only
Bottom Line: 2012 Scott Spark 29 RC
Without a doubt, this bike is an XC racing machine. Look for the 2012 Scott Spark 29 RC to go toe-to-toe with bikes like the Gary Fisher Superfly 100 and hold its own. Scott knows a ton about building carbon fiber frames and it shows on this beautiful bike.
More Info: Visit Scott-Sports.com
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Be interested in your review of the Scott RC 29er with their slacker head angles. The steep HA of the Niner allows for throwing through tight turns and is still stable on the descents (as you no doubt know from your time on Niners). Some reviewrs call the Niner’s angles ‘old school’ but I think that it works really well for an xc orientated bike, even in our UK singletrack.
I didn’t notice the bike feeling slack in any way, shape or form… this bike is an XC weapon and it ascended smoothly and efficiently and descended like an XC bike should.
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