Frequently, Scott bikes like to conjure up a connection to the championship-winning pedigree of the Spark when possible; two Olympic Gold medals, two World Championship titles, and a World Cup win alone in 2016 are nothing to scoff at. When profiling the Scott Spark 700 Ultimate, that lineage is less obvious. While Nino Schurter dominates the cross country circuit on a Spark, the 2018 Scott Spark 700 Ultimate is much more capable than that, ready to conquer just about any trail that’s in front of it.
The Scott Spark 700 Ultimate starts with a similar blueprint to its siblings. This means it features a redesigned rear suspension, starting with the trunnion-mount rear shock. There are a number of benefits to this shock, but the most obvious is how much smoother the Ultimate is over terrain. Small-bump compliance is drastically improved, while suspension effort ramps up deeper into suspension travel, making the bike feel like it has much more than just 120mm rear travel. Further, the shock’s placement allowed Scott to beef up the bottom bracket area while cutting weight along the downtube, for better out-of-saddle stiffness. Other benefits to this include a newly-simplified pivotless rear swingarm. Less hardware and a single-piece design make the whole bike lighter, stiffer, and easier to maintain than before. Scott also use their TwinLoc suspension remote lever on this bike; flip between three unique spring compression and travel settings (Open, Traction with 85mm travel, Lockout), for superior adaptability for all kinds of terrain.
Scott never uses the Ultimate name without a reason, and this version brings out the best of the Spark DNA. The Spark platform in general is a go-to for anyone looking for free speed, and this bike amps that up to eleven. A slack headtube (66.9 degrees across the range), longer reach across the range, a steeper seat tube, and shorter chainstays make the bike less twitchy than other comparable mountain bikes, without sacrificing climbing efficiency. 27.5 x 2.8” plus tires offer a phenomenal 21% increase in grip compared to a standard mountain bike tire, not to mention greater compliance and over small bumps. The plus tires transmit less vibrations, leaving riders with less fatigue, greater grip, and an overall greater sense of confidence in the bike’s abilities.
If there is one way to describe the Scott Spark 700 Ultimate, it’s a hard-charger. It embarasses bikes with more travel on descents in how it tackles corners and technical terrain, but it doesn’t lose the hallmark climbing efficiency that every Spark model has. The harder the bike is pushed, the greater the rewards are. Take it on just about any trail, and the bike excels. Simple as that.
The 2018 Scott Spark 700 Ultimate is differentiated by its top-end HMX-level carbon fiber frame and rear swingarm, and a DT Swiss M1825 Spline CL wheelset. Suspension is provided by Fox 34 Performance Float Factory front fork with Kashima coating, a Fox NUDE EVOL Kashima rear suspension, and a Fox Transfer Kashima seatpost work effortlessly and reliably. The bike finishes with SRAM X01 Eagle drivetrain throughout. The Spark Ultimate is available in four sizes (S-XL), in a flat black with skinwall tires.
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