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  1. #1
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    2014 scott spark 920

    Hi all, I'm new to the forum but I picked up this beast last week and I thought it was about time I signed up here on the forums. I've yet to get it on the dirt due to work commitments but I hope to hit some of the local trails in the next fortnight. It sure is a different ride to my trust old '11 Aspect 20.

    I almost caved on a 2013, 920 a month back but I'm glad I decided to wait for the fox rear on the '14, very happy! Anyhow, enjoy the pretty snaps, I'll be back to post a more detailed review soon enough with a dirtier bike.

    Cheers,

    2014 scott spark 920-920-10_zps649077a8.jpg
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  2. #2
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    Very nice bike!!!
    2013 C-Dale Scalpel
    2013 Scott Genius 930

  3. #3
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    Reputation: StuntmanMike's Avatar
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    Man, those Scotts are some sexy looking bikes!

    I just rode a '13 940 today and would almost buy it on looks alone.
    '13 Salsa Horsethief 2
    '12 Trek 6000
    '11 Ridley X-Ride

  4. #4
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    Reputation: dpastore22's Avatar
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    how the heck does it ride???

  5. #5
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    Alright, Iíve been riding the Spark 920 for a couple of weeks now but Iíve still yet to get it into the dirt. Iíve probably put 250 Ė 300km or so on it, mostly beach trails and bike paths so I have yet to really put it through itís paces. Therefore these are early impressions, a few things to note however, overall, I love this bike and Iím beyond impressed!

    Wanting something completely different from my beloved 2011 SCOTT Aspect 20 alloy hardtail 26íer, Iíve been taking my riding a lot more seriously lately and it was time for an upgrade. Itís my first carbon frame, my first twin suspension Iíve owned in approx. 10 years and my first 29íer, so bear with me.

    Firstly, wow, what a well-balanced setup. Iíve spent time tinkering with the suspension and adjusting the basics so I can feel comfortable and really dial it in. Iím 174cm tall on a Medium frame so I had to bring the seat forward slightly and adjust the rebound, seatpost etc. but nothing complicated before I felt at home. My 26íer is definitely more agile in the narrows however the greater footprint, roll and top speed are fantastic. With the Rocket Ronís as stock fitted, there is an unexpected amount of Ďroad noiseí for lack of a better term with which I didnít expect. I attribute to the larger footprint of the 29íer on the road, I love it!

    After riding and almost purchasing a 2013 Spark 920 with the DT Swiss rear shock that was so heavily criticized only a month before I got a call about the 2014, I knew I had made the right choice to wait. The Fox CTD setup is outstanding and I was really impressed with the full lockout. The stiffness can be felt through the entire frame and Iím using it far more than I expected (mainly due to type of riding Iíve been doing recently). The climb feature takes the edge off the harshness of the trail surface and you do lose a lot of pedal response in Ďbogí compared to full lockout however I find myself using this mode the most at the moment. Mainly on the flatter surfaces that are uneven. Open (or downhill) is far better than I expected. There is little to no rebound, roll or surge when recovering from full compression which gives you a great confidence in the seat. Even the occasional unintentional divit or hole in full open mode at speed, is gentle through the tail of the bike in the saddle.

    The CTD is only allowed to truly shine however through the SCOTT Twinloc feature. It is a simple thumb click that can be shot up or down, almost as quickly as the gears. The ability to change riding modes in the blink of an eye without altering your riding style or position is a blessing and I canít wait to see how it fears on the trails. This is the best feature on the bike hands down in my opinion.

    Having an axle through the front wheel as opposed to the old clip off front release is quick, easy and a far superior mechanism to what I have had previously. To be honest, there was always that 1% of doubt in myself after re-clipping my old front fork wondering, have I over-tightened it? Have I under-tightened it? This leaves you with no doubt. The axle itself is an impressive piece of machinery.

    Itís only a little thing but the sticker pack that came with the manual is a nice touch. My old Aspect frame has suffered paint rash from brake & gear cables. Luckily on the Spark, many of the cables run internally so there are only a few places that risk the rash. There are torque marking on many of the rotational parts which may seem a little corny to some but I feel that it just adds to the seriousness and functionality of the machine. If nothing else, my father who is a long time retired engineer was impressed.

    The bike is ready for tubeless tyres but comes setup with tubes. In my haste to just ride the damn thing, I stupidly forgot (in truth I did realise but was enjoying myself too much) to release some of the tire pressure and relax the wheels from itís showroom, lets test the outer limits of recommended inflation rating. On day 2 of riding, I scored a nasty tear right through the front tyre that blew out the inner in a pretty explosive way. I replaced it in a hurry, with far less tyre pressure and I havenít had any issues since however itís frustrating to know Iíve got a nasty gash in the front rubber. Silly operator error.

    Whilst debating clips or pedals, I decided to stick with what I know, pedals. The shop recommended me some ABD Sniperís which Iím really happy with. Theyíre light weight and they have an amazingly surprising amount of grab, even though they use a series of small bolt heads surrounding the frame of the pedal. They just seem to tuck into the shoe tread snugly every time.

    On the downside, while highly functional, the few external cables that are mounted to the frames eyelets, connect via plastic cable ties. Whilst highly practical for service and maintenance work, they look cheap and Iíve already snapped 3 of them. At least they are easy to replace, they just appear out of place on a top end bike where some of the cables run internally. This was an initial observation and I donít really care now.

    The stock chainstay guard is cheap hard plastic and will be replaced in a few weeks when it goes in for itís first service. The superior running gear has far reduced the amount of chain slap compared to my í11 Aspect 20. The shop where I bought it have a few good replacement options that Iíll look into however Iím tempted to use my busted tube.

    The frame stance allows for great stand over riding and step forward stopping. From memory I also believe that the geometry allows for more space for a bottle cage in the Ď14 compared to í13 series if youíre not backpack inclined. One thing that no-one I know mentioned to me when jumping to a 29íer is that you have to lift the front wheel a lot higher when jumping up / forward in a lift. Little things I would fly over on my 26íer made me think more. Ha, I felt like a beginner again but I think Iíve adjusted now.

    As I said at the beginning, these are my first impressions with what was initially quite a foreign bike, design, quality, setup and geometry wise. Iím very, very happy with my decision and Iíll be back with another write up after I finally get to put it through the ringer.

    Happy riding.

    Cheers.

  6. #6
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    Nice score...and I'm not telling you anything you don't already know, but you REALLY need to get that thing on the trails.

    Enjoy!

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