The SCOTT Spark is perhaps the winningest mountain bike ever made. Sure, part of it is that it has been under the legendary Nino Schurter, but SCOTT has put in the work to maintain the bike’s supremacy. The result of their work is this: the Spark Ultimate EVO AXS. This Spark is SCOTT's highest interpretation of the bike. Not only does it utilize an ultralight HMX-SL carbon frameset, but it gets exclusive pieces like the Trickstuff Piccola Carbon brakes that deserve their own highlight. If you’re reading this, you’re likely familiar with the Spark, and you’re likely familiar with the latest iteration of the SCOTT Spark. If not, we recommend you check out the SCOTT Spark Insider’s Guide, where we outline all the build details and specs that make this bike unique.
One look at this Spark and it is clear that this is an industrial design dream. This bike is all straight lines, surprising angles, and exceptionally modern looks. Much of that is thanks to its shock location, which is hidden away in the carbon frame and is only accessible via a hatch in the bottom bracket area. This makes it look almost like a hardtail at first glance, or maybe some sort of flying bike from the future with a bit of electric assist. Really, let your imagination go wild with what this bike looks like. Regardless, it is a captivating, unique mountain bike that doesn’t really look like anything else out there. Of course, its unique looks aren’t only due to the shock being hidden. The brake, dropper, and Twinloc suspension wiring are largely hidden too. Specifically, the Spark Ultimate tucks the cables through the headset using a custom-designed Syncros Fraser iC SL XC handlebar and accompanying headset. Its bar and stem combo are extremely clean visually, with the only visible cables being at the very front of the bike. Then there’s the frame. The Spark Ultimate uses an HMX-SL frame that weighs in at just 1,870 grams. This is about 100g lighter than a Spark HMX frame largely due to the use of Toray T1000G carbon and an ultralight carbon epoxy resin that SCOTT claims is the highest-strength carbon fiber found anywhere. We don't anticipate testing this, so we'll take their word for it.
This Spark frame also features adjustable headset cups to tweak the head angle independently from the frame. Its hidden shock necessitates a sag meter found just above one of the pivots that is exceptionally easy to read. Mounts for two water bottles, impressive frame protection, and the option to use either a 120mm (Spark RC) or 130mm fork separate the Spark as well.
Fox Factory is almost a necessity on a mountain build, and this features a Fox Factory 34 fork, Factory EVOL shock, and Factory Transfer dropper post, all of which are compatible with SCOTT’s exclusive Twinloc three-position suspension remote. Give us a break on this next bit, but we need to talk about the Trickstuff Piccola Carbon HD brakes on this bike. If you’ve ever thought about the idea of choosing two between light, strong, and cheap, the Piccola brakes are firmly focused on the light and strong aspects. With that in mind, Trickstuff claims that these brakes are the lightest four-piston brakes in the world. But there’s much more to them than that. There’s that beautiful polish finish to the brake paired with an equally-beautiful carbon brake lever which Trickstuff says is CNC’d polished, and prepared by a single person in the name of perfection. This process allows Trickstuff to claims their brakes are the strongest, most reliable brakes available in their respective disciplines.
But there is also an obsession with controllability. The brake lever uses four roller bearings in the name of consistent smoothness, but the brake hoses are made of Kevlar to ensure a firm brake feel, time after time. Want a pair for yourself? Ordering your own set of these brakes requires an approximately 18-month weight. Show stoppers, indeed.
Here are the details on this SCOTT Spark Ultimate build: