The new 2012 Scott Spark

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It wasn't all Avantis at Sheppard's range release. There was also a bunch of Scotts on display and just days before the show started a couple of Sparks showed up, fresh from their international media release in Tuscany. There's not much about the 2012 Spark that resembles its previous 110 mm travel incarnation. Almost everything has been redesigned, from the BB to the brakes to the shock. So the big thing about the new Spark is the fact that it's not lighter than the old one. Scott went back to the drawing board to make a stiffer, more compliant bike rather than a lighter one, and this new Spark is the result. As well as being stiffer it features an increase from 110 mm to 120 mm of travel.

So as you can see in the top photo, the linkages and pivots (both up front and out back) are new, and the shock is also a revised version of DT swiss's Nude shock, now called the Nude 2. The whole deal was to make a stiffer frame and this arch support on the rear seat stays is a new addition not found on the old Sparks. This, combined with the beefy press fit 92 mm BB and DT Swiss 12 mm rear axle, creates a solid platform for the 2012 Spark.

Just in case you forget how wide your bottom bracket is, Scott wrote it on the side... 92 mm. Coming from the all carbon 1.5 tapered head tube town to the massive surface point of the 92 mm BB allowed Scott again to add stiffness without adding weight.

And it seems Fox have been shown the exit and RockShox welcomed in with their DNA3 dampened Sid fork. Even with the svelte new Nude 2 shock Scott's traction control is still in the house via the one lever. Unengaged gives you 120 mm of travel front and rear, push the lever half way and you get 85 mm travel front and rear, and full engagement gets you locked out front and rear.

As well as that Scott has also introduced a little removable flip chip style bottom linkage on the shock (like on the Genuis LT); flipping lowers the BB by 8 mm and slackens the head angle by half a degree.

Scott shifted the Genuis LT and Spark hardtail rear brakes to chainstay post mounts last year and the Spark full suss gets that love this year along with a revised rear linkage to accommodate the 12 mm DT Swiss rear axle.

Almost forgot, there is a 29" version with 100 mm of travel as well. This is an aluminium model but there is a carbon one.