Any Scott RC900 racers or did you consider it before moving on?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Any Scott RC900 racers or did you consider it before moving on?

    Looking for opinions on the Scott Spark RC900 as a race bike and all-day training tool. Local shop is offering a sponsorship, but I'm hesitant. Are there any current or former owners of the latest gen RC900 who can give me real-world opinions?

    I'm not a fan of the lockout. I also feel Scott's rear suspension design is not efficient (hence the lockout). Again, these are my unsubstantiated opinions.

    Did you consider the Scott Spark RC lineup before choosing another?
    Was it the lockout and suspension platform?
    The 100/100 not enough?
    Scott's durability?
    Or was it simply a case of fit and price?

    The shop doesn't have any other race bike options. And I don't think a quick demo would give me enough time to set it up, plus it's winter here and none of my power or HR or strava times would be a realistic judge.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    I have never ridden one but they are considered the gold standard for XC bikes right now.

    Every single XC bike comes with a lockout. Doesn't mean they don't pedal efficiently when open, it is just that lockouts feel pretty good when you are attacking a steep climb out of the saddle.

    Other than the frames being vulnerable to impact fractures (all super light frames are) I have not heard of any durability issues.
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  3. #3
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    My friend Ben Goyette loves his Spark (also has an XC Youtube channel). Also has another Scott, whatever the enduro version us (forgot the name) that replaced his Bronson.

    Another friend broke his Scott frame (the enduro model) and Scott has been SUPER slow about a warranty replacement. Enough so that I would never consider them as an option (Specialized had my new bike in a couple of weeks, or less, and that was just a rattling noise in the frame).

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    ...Scott has been SUPER slow about a warranty replacement....
    Were they being reluctant and contesting the issue or was there a supply problem? I've seen situations where manufactures who are very good about warranty replacements simply did not have a frame available.
    Do the math.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    Were they being reluctant and contesting the issue or was there a supply problem? I've seen situations where manufactures who are very good about warranty replacements simply did not have a frame available.
    Isn't that one and the same thing? If a manufacturer doesn't plan their supply properly to have sufficient frames on hand for warranty purposes, then then aren't really "very good about warranty replacements", are they? I can appreciate what you are saying about some manufacturers being more willing, and quicker to provide replacements, but good intentions that aren't backed up aren't worth much.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotEricHoney View Post
    Looking for opinions on the Scott Spark RC900 as a race bike and all-day training tool. Local shop is offering a sponsorship, but I'm hesitant. Are there any current or former owners of the latest gen RC900 who can give me real-world opinions?

    I'm not a fan of the lockout. I also feel Scott's rear suspension design is not efficient (hence the lockout). Again, these are my unsubstantiated opinions.

    Did you consider the Scott Spark RC lineup before choosing another?
    Was it the lockout and suspension platform?
    The 100/100 not enough?
    Scott's durability?
    Or was it simply a case of fit and price?

    The shop doesn't have any other race bike options. And I don't think a quick demo would give me enough time to set it up, plus it's winter here and none of my power or HR or strava times would be a realistic judge.

    Thanks in advance.
    Sponsorship as in EP?

    Why is this even a question?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    Isn't that one and the same thing? ....
    Not in my opinion. Most manufacturers plan to order just enough product so that they don't wind up with surplus old stock in inventory. They'll often replace a warrantied frame with the current year's model rather than hang on to old stock. Supply and demand can vary, so sometimes the get caught short of product, especially when switching model years on products that have proven more popular than expected. I've seen this happen with Trek, Specialized, Santa Cruz and others.

    I think that's preferable to a manufacturer that has plenty of frames in stock but is very stingy with warranty replacement.

    At least with the former, you know you'll eventually get the replacement frame.
    Do the math.

  8. #8
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    I don't know what the holdup is. I haven't asked or pressed the issue. I will follow up with him though.

    It's hard for me to be unbiased, as I got a complete warranty bike with a very fast turnaround. But it was also a last model year (2018, left unchanged in 2019, replaced in 2020) close out model, so getting it off the books was probably beneficial for the big S.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    I think that's preferable to a manufacturer that has plenty of frames in stock but is very stingy with warranty replacement.
    Point taken. I agree, although I'll split hairs and say that in my books for a manufacturer to get a rating of very good for warranty claims, they have to be willing and also have frames readily available. If they run short on supply of frames, it essentially means they are choosing to maximize their profitability at the consumer's expense in terms of timely warranty performance.
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  10. #10
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    Bike broke on November 10th (found it on Strava). As of today...still no replacement.

    I think 3 months is a ridiculously long wait on a warranty replacement.

  11. #11
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    These are my bikes.
    2018 Spark RC900 Pro and a 2019 S-Works HT.
    I came from a 2015 Specialized Epic. The local Scott dealer offered me a better price than the Spec dealer therefor....I bought the Scott. I am happy with everything but the stock Syncros XR2.0 wheelset. It weighed a piggish 1800 grams. I put a set of Roval Control SLs at 1400 grams and there was a noticeable difference. It's a quick snappy bike. I don't mind the lock out. The Spark is a little plusher than the Epic. The only thing that will slow you down on a Spark will be you. But the S-Works HT IS faster. And three pounds lighter.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Any Scott RC900 racers or did you consider it before moving on?-phpgaqdxoam.jpg  


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    Quote Originally Posted by Lickety Split View Post
    These are my bikes.
    2018 Spark RC900 Pro and a 2019 S-Works HT.
    I came from a 2015 Specialized Epic. The local Scott dealer offered me a better price than the Spec dealer therefor....I bought the Scott. I am happy with everything but the stock Syncros XR2.0 wheelset. It weighed a piggish 1800 grams. I put a set of Roval Control SLs at 1400 grams and there was a noticeable difference. It's a quick snappy bike. I don't mind the lock out. The Spark is a little plusher than the Epic. The only thing that will slow you down on a Spark will be you. But the S-Works HT IS faster. And three pounds lighter.
    How is a bike faster?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    My friend Ben Goyette loves his Spark (also has an XC Youtube channel). Also has another Scott, whatever the enduro version us (forgot the name) that replaced his Bronson.

    Another friend broke his Scott frame (the enduro model) and Scott has been SUPER slow about a warranty replacement. Enough so that I would never consider them as an option (Specialized had my new bike in a couple of weeks, or less, and that was just a rattling noise in the frame).
    What's the reason for the holdup? Is Scott leaving him out to dry, is he particular about color, there has to be a reason.

  14. #14
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    The S-Works is 3.5 pounds lighter than the Scott.
    It's faster.
    It's a hard tail.
    It's faster.
    The HT goes uphill quicker.
    It's faster.
    I don't know how to explain it to you better than that.
    Hope this helps.
    LS

  15. #15
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    I recently decided on a Spark RC World Cup. I was comparing against the Blur XC, Orbea Oiz, and Cannondale Scalpel. But had no chance to ride any of them. It was a toss up between the Spark RC and the Blur, but I found a great deal on a Spark I can't pass up, and the build is right in line with my preferences. The Scalpel has an upcoming redesign, so resale will be not great. The Oiz has shorter reach than I prefer. (Spark may also have a redesign coming for the Olympic year).

    The only complaints I've heard about the Spark is the low bottom bracket and a traditional seat tube angle (vs. the steeper angles on bikes now).

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lickety Split View Post
    The S-Works is 3.5 pounds lighter than the Scott.
    It's faster.
    It's a hard tail.
    It's faster.
    The HT goes uphill quicker.
    It's faster.
    I don't know how to explain it to you better than that.
    Hope this helps.
    LS
    Pretty much the dumbest thing I've read in a while.

  17. #17
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    I was keeping it simple because I thought the same of your comment.

  18. #18
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    Lets keep this on topic for the OP.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    What's the reason for the holdup? Is Scott leaving him out to dry, is he particular about color, there has to be a reason.
    I didn't really see a need to drill him for answers. He is a very laid back person with two college age daughters (one of which is a former 24 Hour World Champion), I really doubt frame color matters to him.

    Maybe the reason is he rides at a bike park a lot (Skypark) and Scott doesn't want to replace it "for abuse" or some such bull. But any 150mm MTB that can't handle being cased occasionally by a relatively tame middle aged man is junk anyway.

    I do feel like questionable warranty service is useful information to the OP though.

  20. #20
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    Truth is, manufacturers already know their warranty numbers. That is a reason why some manufacturers can offer lifetime warranty on their models as their prices already includes such costs (usually higher than the norm).


    Don't quote me on this, but in recent times I think manufacturers realized they are better off using lesser grade carbon/epoxy and cheaper manufacturing processes and just deal with replacements and still come off ahead as opposed to high grade carbon/resin and high quality manufacturing processes.

    Hence why hardcore riders trash some components continuously (Pinkbike Enve's wheels comes to mind) while the majority of average riders are fine with them the entire life cycle of the product. Still, Scott being a major brand and taking months for a replacement is not ideal, this is when it pays to pay a premium for stellar warranty (Santa Cruz, Trek?)





    Off topic,

    Quote Originally Posted by driver bob View Post
    Lets keep this on topic for the OP.
    Since you are around moderating, could you unstick the old 2019 World Cup XC thread and sticky the new one "2020 World Cup Xc"? Mods have not paid attention to the XC racing forum on quite a few months. Thanks

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    I didn't really see a need to drill him for answers. He is a very laid back person with two college age daughters (one of which is a former 24 Hour World Champion), I really doubt frame color matters to him.

    Maybe the reason is he rides at a bike park a lot (Skypark) and Scott doesn't want to replace it "for abuse" or some such bull. But any 150mm MTB that can't handle being cased occasionally by a relatively tame middle aged man is junk anyway.

    I do feel like questionable warranty service is useful information to the OP though.
    Well if you're going to drag the company it helps to have the full story. The warranty service is only "questionable" if it's actually questionable....at this point all we have is a butthurt owner who won't tell the whole story.

    It's not good information

  22. #22
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    I've got an RC and love it.

    My other bike is a Pivot Mach 4C, and I was concerned about the suspension design coming from a pretty efficient DW link. I was pleasantly surprised. I climb with the suspension unlocked way more than I thought I would on the Scott, and have also fallen in love with the full lockout more than I thought I would - probably wouldn't buy a bike without one moving forward.

    I've got a hardtail that weighs 2 lbs less than my RC, but on most of my local courses I'm faster on the RC, so I'll probably sell my hardtail now.

    I've ridden the Scott in Moab and wished for a bit more travel at the end of a 42 mile day at Mag 7. Otherwise, happy with 100mm.

  23. #23
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    I've got a 2018 Spark 920. It comes with 120mm travel instead of 100mm. I've been racing it for 2 years now and to me it's been the perfect bike. A lot of people talk crap about needing a lockout cause it's inefficient without it, but that simply isn't true. My bike is 2 years old now and if I had to replace it, I'd buy the same bike.

    I've never tried the RC cause it was out of my price range at the time, but I would imagine it's the same thing only quicker and maybe a little harsher.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by brentos View Post
    I recently decided on a Spark RC World Cup. I was comparing against the Blur XC, Orbea Oiz, and Cannondale Scalpel. But had no chance to ride any of them. It was a toss up between the Spark RC and the Blur, but I found a great deal on a Spark I can't pass up, and the build is right in line with my preferences. The Scalpel has an upcoming redesign, so resale will be not great. The Oiz has shorter reach than I prefer. (Spark may also have a redesign coming for the Olympic year).

    The only complaints I've heard about the Spark is the low bottom bracket and a traditional seat tube angle (vs. the steeper angles on bikes now).
    As usual, great input. Mind me asking why you went to the short travel Scott; this is one of my fave posts you mentioning travel in race bikes: https://forums.mtbr.com/29er-bikes/h...l#post13496043

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    I have never ridden one but they are considered the gold standard for XC bikes right now.

    Every single XC bike comes with a lockout. Doesn't mean they don't pedal efficiently when open, it is just that lockouts feel pretty good when you are attacking a steep climb out of the saddle.

    Other than the frames being vulnerable to impact fractures (all super light frames are) I have not heard of any durability issues.

    I've never been impressed by any Scott bike, although like you say, they seem to be the "gold standard" for a lot of XC racers, they also don't seem to be the kind of bike that lasts season after season, the quality seems to be more like one to two seasons and then the bike is trash, usually the pivots ovalize or some structural issue. I could never justify spending a lot of money on one...

    IME, all XC race bikes need a lockout. At the highest levels of competition it's critical. Just to be able to stop body weight from activating the suspension when you are throwing the bike around and pedaling wildly to make a pass...
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotEricHoney View Post
    Looking for opinions on the Scott Spark RC900 as a race bike and all-day training tool. Local shop is offering a sponsorship, but I'm hesitant. Are there any current or former owners of the latest gen RC900 who can give me real-world opinions?

    I'm not a fan of the lockout. I also feel Scott's rear suspension design is not efficient (hence the lockout). Again, these are my unsubstantiated opinions.

    Did you consider the Scott Spark RC lineup before choosing another?
    Was it the lockout and suspension platform?
    The 100/100 not enough?
    Scott's durability?
    Or was it simply a case of fit and price?

    The shop doesn't have any other race bike options. And I don't think a quick demo would give me enough time to set it up, plus it's winter here and none of my power or HR or strava times would be a realistic judge.

    Thanks in advance.
    I have the 2018 Scott Spark RC 900 WC for the past 2 years. I love it and have no complaints. It's my only MTB so I race it as a Expert XCO racer and use it for MTB 100s (Marji Gesick 100). I've also taken it to Colorado, Utah and Scotland and the bike has never held me back as an all mountain bike. I've never had an issue with the performance or durability and it's had countless crashes.

    The lockout was odd in the beginning but now that I'm used to it I couldn't live without a lockout. Since it's bike choice for the #1 XCO racer in the world and has also been used to win the Cape Epic, I'm sure the bike will not be holding you back.
    2018 Scott Spark RC 900 World Cup | “If you’re not first you’re last”

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    Well if you're going to drag the company it helps to have the full story. The warranty service is only "questionable" if it's actually questionable....at this point all we have is a butthurt owner who won't tell the whole story.

    It's not good information
    Actually, he hasn't complained at all, that I have noticed. I am complaining for him. He is a nice guy. A bike shop has been loaning him a bike this whole time. He isn't telling the whole story because I am not ASKING for the whole story.

    I really don't feel the need to get every detail of someone's business to get a rough idea that he isn't being treated fairly. I know how he rides his bikes (harder than average, but not abusive, and nowhere as hard as I do), is a high school team coach, father of a well liked former World Champion, constantly volunteer his time to trail work, and has a bike shop loaning him a bike for months on end (which I know because he is grateful for, not whining about), and never complain, I seem to just take the opinion that Scott is ****ing up, not my friend.

    But, if you REALLY need to find out EVERY DETAIL, tough, I'm not digging further.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by westin View Post
    As usual, great input. Mind me asking why you went to the short travel Scott; this is one of my fave posts you mentioning travel in race bikes: https://forums.mtbr.com/29er-bikes/h...l#post13496043
    It boiled down to what I had the opportunity to buy. A great deal on a used one came up from from a friend. If I had an opportunity for the same price and build on a 120mm Spark, I would have gone that route instead. While Marquette, MI has some pretty technical trails, they don't have the sustained high speed & rough trails that are found in the mountain areas, so I can get by with 100mm/120mm.

    From the referenced post:
    "I came to realize that with decent tires and fit, the bike isn't going to make a difference. So I choose the bike that is the most fun to ride for the area that I live. I will say that I happen to be on an XC bike now...with a dropper and 120 mm fork, but I have no delusions that it's any faster than the 120/130 travel bike I was on last year. It's just more fun for where I live now."

    Between the bike referenced in the quote (Revolver 100) and now, I had a Sight 130/140 mm with F36 that I even raced (and placed) in 200 mi on, but I'm raring to get after it on the XC circuit this year, and having invested in a bike that feels quick will help me stay motivated for those high intensity training rides.

  29. #29
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    Late to the party...I have a 2020 pro, and I like it. It's definitely a xc bike, fast uphill, holds well downhill, efficient, light. Scott had better build options a better price so I went with it. Only complaints I have are heavy wheels (easily changeable with your own) and every part has to go through the dealer. I waited two months for a cable guide so I could add a dropper.

    IMO the suspension isn't that different from every other xc bike. It's single pivot flexstay just like the scalpel, oiz, epic, etc. The difference is instead of using a linear shock tune and compression to firm the rear shock, Scott used a very progressive shock with two chambers. The open mode sits deep in the travel which is great downhill. Traction mode closes a chamber off, letting the bike sit higher but also reducing travel and ramping up the stroke. Both modes pedal the same though, one just has less travel.

    I've found that instead of thinking if I want lockout or not, I have to think of what type of terrain I'm on. It's different, I can't say if it's better or not as I haven't raced yet. I don't think it will be revolutionary, is just nice to have.

    All in all, it is an xc race bike and it's not drastically different from other offerings from big brands. If you're getting sponsored, why not?

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