Scott Spark 960 Review
- Price: $3,499
- Frame: Aluminum
- Tires: 29″Aluminum
- Gear: 1×12
What we like about it: Apart from its ability to ride quickly, smoothly, and powerfully on various terrains, it also has an appealing appearance.
What we don’t like about it: The design lacks a built-in chain stabilizer, which requires self-installation at a later stage.
The Scott Spark 960 is a lightweight full-suspension mountain bike. With excellent geometry and carefully chosen reliable components, it delivers strong riding performance.
Next, we will analyze the riding experience, main features, components, specifications, and other versions of the Scott Spark 960. In the latter part of this article, we will also compare it with several other top bike models. If you want to learn more about bike reviews, you can follow us.
The Scott Spark 960 boasts impressive climbing and descending capabilities, offering outstanding overall performance. It’s a full-suspension mountain bike that I found comfortable for long rides.
For this, I decided to take my Scott Spark 960 to Wayne National Forest (Ohio) and booked a nearby hotel through IHG in advance. The forest features a network of intricate trails, as well as natural drop-offs and steep ascents and descents.
When it comes to climbing, the Scott Spark 960’s excellent geometry distributes my weight effectively between the front and rear of the bike, providing stronger pedaling power and increased speed.
The outstanding integrated suspension system minimizes pedal bob, making the bike feel like a cohesive unit and allowing for direct power transfer during climbs.
As the gradients became steeper, I appreciated the Shimano 1×12 drivetrain’s gear range. Shifting to larger rear freewheel gears made pedaling significantly easier and helped conserve energy.
In summary, I was quite satisfied with the climbing performance of the Scott Spark 960. Its excellent geometry, unique suspension design, and reliable components deliver unparalleled climbing capabilities.
The Scott Spark 960 also performs admirably on descents. With a RockShox Judy Silver TK suspension fork and X-Fusion NUDE 5 RLX rear shock, offering 130mm of front travel and 120mm of rear travel, I could confidently tackle descents without extreme drops. The aluminum frame and suspension system absorbed all the impacts, providing stability upon landing.
When navigating rapid descents on rough terrain, the 29-inch wheels and Schwalbe Wicked Will / 29×2.4 knobby tires demonstrated excellent traction. Proper tire pressure allowed the tires to absorb some surface vibrations, maintaining stability throughout the high-speed descents.
Lastly, the Scott Spark 960 handled well on the trails. The grippy Schwalbe tires allowed me to firmly grip the ground during cornering without slipping. Coupled with Shimano MT501 hydraulic disc brakes and 180mm front and rear brake rotors, the bike provided excellent braking power. The responsive braking made for swift and agile riding on the trails.
The Scott Spark 960 is available in four sizes (S to XL) with aluminum alloy frames to choose from. These sizes cater to riders ranging from 5’2″ to 6’7″ in height, offering wide applicability to suit almost anyone’s riding needs.
Additionally, the inclusion of a dropper post design ensures that riders can adjust their center of gravity on the fly during climbs and descents, allowing them to maintain a consistent and comfortable riding rhythm.
The Shimano drivetrain components provide smooth gear-shifting operations and excellent transmission efficiency. With Shimano MT501 hydraulic disc brakes, this bike offers reliable braking performance in even the harshest conditions, making it a trustworthy choice.
The frame is equipped with two mounting points, supporting full-size water bottle installations, and enhancing its loading capacity. The internal cable routing design and concealed rear shock make the overall appearance of the bike more streamlined and daily cleaning more convenient.
What do we like about it?
- Dropper post design ensures riders maintain the right position between climbs and descents for continuous riding.
- Quiet cable routing design reduces internal cable noise, creating a quieter riding experience.
- Aluminum alloy frame with internal cable routing looks clean and simplifies daily cleaning.
- Shimano drivetrain components provide smooth shifting and high transmission efficiency.
- Hydraulic disc brakes offer reliable performance in challenging conditions.
- Excellent suspension system delivers reliable shock absorption for tackling complex terrain.
What don’t we like about it?
- It doesn’t come with a chain stabilizer; you need to install one separately.
- What is the weight of this bike?
It weighs 32 pounds 15.3 ounces (14,950 grams).
- What wheelsets does this bike use?
The front wheelset is Formula CL-811 / 15x110mm, and the rear wheelset is Formula CL-3248M / 12x148mm / Micro Spline.
- How do I choose the right size?
These sizes are general guidelines, and the best way to find your perfect size may vary from person to person. The easiest way to determine your size is to go for a test ride.
|5’2″ – 5’8″
|5’6″ – 5’11”
|5’10” – 6’3″
|6’1″ – 6’7″
Scott Spark 960 Specs
|Spark Alloy SL 6011 Integrated Suspension Technology Flex Pivot / Adjustable head angle Syncros Cable Integration System BB92 / UDH Interface / 12x148mm with 55mm Chainline
BB Standard: BB86/BB92, Press Fit
Hanger Standard: UDH
|RockShox Judy Silver TK Solo Air 15x110mm QR axle / 42mm offset / Tapered Steerer 2-Modes / Reb. Adj. / Lockout / 130mm travel
|X-Fusion NUDE 5 RLX Trunnion SCOTT custom w. travel / geo adj. 3 modes: Lockout-Traction Control-Descend Reb. Adj. Travel 120-80-Lockout / T165X45mm
|Shimano BB-MT500 / shell 41x92mm
|Syncros – Acros Angle adjust & Cable Routing HS System +-0.6° head angle adjustment ZS56/28.6 – ZS56/40 MTB
|Syncros DC 3.0 Syncros Cable Integration System 0° rise / 6061 Alloy / 31.8mm / 1 1/8″
|Syncros Fraser 2.0 DC Alloy 6061 D.B. mini Rise / back sweep 8° / 760mm Syncros Performance XC lock-on grips
|Syncros Tofino 2.5 Regular
|Syncros Duncan Dropper Post 2.5 31.6mm / S size 100mm / M size 125mm / L size 150mm / XL size 170mm
|Shimano XT RD-M8100 SGS Shadow Plus / 12 Speed
|Shimano FC-MT512-1 55mm CL / 32T
|Shimano Deore SL-M6100-R / Rapidfire Plus
|Shimano Deore CS-M6100-12 / 10-51 T
|Shimano MT501 Disc
|Syncros X-30SE / 32H / 30mm
|Stainless Black 15G / 1.8mm
|Formula CL-811 / 15x110mm
|Formula CL-3248M / 12x148mm / Micro Spline
|Schwalbe Wicked Will / 29×2.4″ Performance / TLR / Foldable / Addix
|Shimano SM-RT54 CL / F&R 180mm
|Canyon Neuron CF 8
|1 × 12
|Shimano SLX M7120
|130mm rear, 130mm front
|Cannondale Habit Carbon 2
|1 × 12
|130mm rear, 140mm front
|Diamondback Release 4C
|1 × 12
|SRAM G2 R
|130mm rear, 150mm front
|Orbea OIZ H30
|1 × 12
|120mm rear, 120mm front
Scott Spark 960 vs. Canyon Neuron CF 8
Both of these bikes are excellent full-suspension mountain bikes.
In terms of suspension, they both offer similar suspension travel. However, the first one equipped with RockShox suspension provides better initial sensitivity, while the second one with Fox suspension offers better support.
Regarding frame materials, the second one featuring a carbon fiber frame is lighter, and its suspension design results in lower pedal-bob during climbs. On the other hand, the first one with an aluminum alloy frame offers greater durability.
Both bikes use Shimano braking components, but the second one has a higher-grade braking system, which means better braking performance.
So, between these two bikes, the Canyon Neuron CF 8 delivers superior performance, but it does come at a higher price.
Scott Spark 960 vs. Cannondale Habit Carbon 2
Comparing these two bikes, the latter’s carbon fiber frame results in a lighter weight. However, in terms of geometry, the former’s design makes it easier for riders during climbs, offering better overall riding capabilities.
In the drivetrain department, both bikes use a mix of Shimano components. However, the latter has higher-grade components, delivering better transmission efficiency. When it comes to braking components, the latter’s Shimano brakes have slightly better performance.
In summary, when comparing these two bikes, the Cannondale Habit Carbon 2 offers superior components and frame quality. If your budget allows for it, it’s a great choice. On the other hand, the Scott Spark 960 offers better value for the price.
Scott Spark 960 vs. Diamondback Release 4C
Comparing these two bikes, in terms of suspension components, the former equipped with RockShox suspension offers better initial sensitivity, effectively handling continuous bumps. The latter, with its Fox suspension system, provides better support, longer suspension travel, and superior performance on more aggressive riding terrains, making it excel in downhill riding.
Regarding the drivetrain components, the former with the Shimano drivetrain delivers a smoother shifting experience. The latter, equipped with an SRAM drivetrain, offers more direct and precise shifting.
In conclusion, between these two bikes, the Scott Spark 960 performs better in climbing, while the Diamondback Release 4C excels in downhill riding.
Scott Spark 960 vs. Orbea OIZ H30
They share the same aluminum alloy frame and have similar suspension travel.
Regarding the drivetrain components, the former is equipped with Shimano drivetrain components and the higher-level Shimano XT rear derailleur, offering quicker gear response and stronger tension. Similarly, in the braking department, the former also features Shimano MT501 hydraulic disc brakes, providing more powerful braking capabilities.
In summary, between these two bikes, the Scott Spark 960 offers superior performance. Its aesthetics are also more appealing, making it a recommended choice.
Above is my riding review of the Scott Spark 960. In our opinion, it is an aesthetically pleasing, reasonably priced, and high-performance full-suspension mountain bike. That’s why we gave it a rating of 4.8.
Of course, if you want to explore other full-suspension mountain bikes, we also review a variety of bikes at different price points, and it’s an exciting world to delve into. Feel free to check out our other reviews.
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