One of the coolest things about living in Salt Lake City (and Utah for that matter) is the ease of accessing quality trails for mountain biking. What makes many of these trails unique compared to the east and west coast is the sheer amount of climbing necessary to get to the breathtaking descents. With that said, everyone has had the experience of biting of a little more than they could chew, having had to hop off the bike due to sheer grade of the trails or the number of features in the way that blocked momentum. Imagine now doing those same trails, with just a little bit extra help to get up the rootiest parts; that’s what the Scott E-Spark 710 mountain bike is all about.
The Scott E-Spark 710 bears a close family resemblance to the standard Scott Spark mountain bike, a bike that has won not only accolades, but has titles, gold medals, and championships to its name. The E-Spark uses the same trunnion-mount rear shock as other Spark models, which not only increases stroke, but also allows for a stiffer and lighter pedaling platform. Increased stroke in the rear suspension allows for greater small-bump compliance to smoothen out small ruts and bumps. It also keeps basic geometry as close as possible to the standard Spark, with chainstays that are just 10cm longer, and stack and reach numbers that are even more comparable.
They’ve also matched this design to their TwinLoc remote suspension lever, which allows changes in suspension travel and compression at the flip of a switch, adapting the bike for fast singletrack sweepers, or for tight, technical switchbacks.
For the uninitiated, the Shimano E8000 STEPS 250 Watt Motor is punchy and delivers power quickly. When pedaling lightly, the motor is smooth as the riders inputs. Push hard on the pedals though, and the motor reciprocates accordingly to get through steep, rocky stuff that a normal bike wouldn’t usually be able to. It is to be said that some motors might feel a bit smoother in how they apply power, but the Shimano STEPS electric motor responds as efficiently as they come to pedaling inputs, either smooth or with urgency.
How does it compare to riding the standard Spark? Well, an extra 30 lbs or so does make a difference, regardless of whether it has a motor assist climbing steep trails. That kind of weight needs an adjustment in how quickly to turn in, when to brake, and all other inputs. With that said, the weight of the motor and battery is low enough that the center of gravity doesn’t change much, and as such on descents it doesn’t really require any more effort to negotiate the kinds of trails that a normal 27.5” plus bike would succeed in. But it’s that motor that makes all the difference, and makes covering ground and getting to the sweet spot of the trail – the descent – all the more decadent.
The Scott E-Spark 710 e-mountain bike is a bike that we here at Contender Bicycles have been waiting for. For those that don’t feel the need to suffer more than necessary to get to the descents, or for those that just want to cover more ground than usually possible on a bike, E-Spark is a great choice. The electric motor only adds to the fun of riding bikes, and makes cycling that much more exciting.