The 2014 Spark 700 & 900 Series were reviewed by the most important Mountain Bike Magazines in the business. Check out what the editors wrote.
MountainBIKE GER: "The geometry of the Spark 720 is exceptionally good: Sportive, slightly stretched but still comfortable enough for long rides on the trails. With a full carbon frame the Spark 720 only weighs 12 kilos which turns every uphill into pure pleasure. Also with 27.5" wheels the Spark 720 is made for racing, fun and what lies in between."
"The Spark 700 SL is more versatile than ever before but it doesn't stop there: The Spark 700 SL offers unprecedent riding comfort and turns even the most challenging trails into pure pleasure. Simply a dream bike!"
"Tremendously efficient in uphill sections and surprisingly quick in the downhills. The lively Spark 740 is a great bike for marathon and tour riders."
World of MTB GER: "The SCOTT Spark 700 SL comes pretty close to what we would call the perfect full suspension bike. The full carbon frame is not only super light and stiff but simply looks great! Visually and with regard to riding performance the Spark 700 SL is amongst the best in this category."
Bike Mag US: "Scott also spruced up its Spark 700, 120-millimeter travel bike. The new 27.5-wheel option includes a revised downtube for better bottle clearance, redesigned seatstay bridge to improve clearance, a 5 percent stiffer headtube and a 5 percent stiffer bottom bracket. It’s spec’d with SRAM XX1, Fox 32 Float Fork and Fox Nude rear shock. It’s a sweet ride, but it’ll cost you. The top-end 700 SL and 900 SL (29er version) both retail for $9,200. Gulp. But, you can get onto a Spark 29er or 27.5 for as low as $1,900 with seven pricepoints and spec packages in between."
Source: Bike Mag US
Feed the habit: "The 700 SL is the top-of-the-line Spark 27.5 model. It comes equipped with the finest components available on the planet. I can’t think of anything more anyone could ever want in a 120mm XC race machine that’s capable enough to be a daily driver. (…) Giving the 700 SL a thorough inspection, I was in awe of the sheer beauty of this stealth black machine. Donned in Syncros carbon from the cockpit to the wheels and topped off with the superb SRAM XX1 drivetrain, there’s little wonder if the 21.12 lb stated weight is a reality or not. This bike is light. Much of that weight reduction is due to the HMX NET carbon fiber frame. (...) The most impressive feature of 27.5 bikes and this one especially is the quickness throughout tricky, off-camber switchback ascents.(...)the Spark simply whipped around them like it was on rails. (...) The Good:120mm front/rear is an awesome sweet spot for 27.5′sThis full-carbon beauty is lights-out fastCan fit a full-size water bottle in there21 lbs with tubed tires!TwinLoc remote is useful on long climbsFox shocks front and rear offer smooth, reliable performanceLateral stiffness is phenomenalHooks up well and feels comfortable in all terrainLoves to climb — especially those off-camber uphill switchbacks
If I were to ditch my 29er ways, this would certainly be the type of bike to do it. It hooks up well, has a ton of traction and rolls over stuff. In this ultralight package, there’s little to quibble about."
Source: Feed the habit
Flow Mountain Bike "Our time aboard the bike was a real pleasure. Of course a bike so light is an advantage, but the low weight didn’t come with any negative traits, at all. The balanced suspension feel is superb, and when the trails became unpredictable and rough, we held our confidence high and pushed the limits without any problem. Hitting the Twinloc lever constantly, we climbed with the upmost efficiency and would be able to quickly engage the mode to suit the terrain without any effort; the thumb actuation of the lever is so easy."
Source: Flow Mountain Bike
Bicycling "Spark 900: With the vastly improved damping of the Fox Nude shock, there’s a huge difference in the suspension performance in Trail mode (the middle setting), and in turn, pedalling efficiency seems to have improved.
Spark 700: The 650b ‘felt just right’. Despite the initial sensations, it didn’t take long to get use to, especially since the bike seemed to have just a little extra turbo boost when accelerating – helped by the lighter, stiffer (and smaller) wheels. Handling-wise, it did indeed feel nippier and lighter.
Riders now have a straight choice between the two, spurring on the fierce debate as to what’s best. Some liked the 650b version’s nimble handling; others enjoyed the 29er’s superior stability, grip, and frankly, speed. The 650b may feel faster, but this is often just perception – the 29er insulates the rider better from the feedback of a rugged trail surface. Let’s face it, the Spark is intended for marathon racing, which most often involves a steady grind over rough terrain, with only a few hard accelerations and even fewer of the tight switchbacks that are said to hinder the larger-wheeled bikes. Granted, the 700 series is a little lighter, but in long-haul racing, that should be less of a concern than rolling resistance and forgiving handling when the rider is fatigued. It’s all about putting each attribute into perspective. Weight plays a role on the lower-end models, with the specced wheels on the larger-wheeled 29er being noticeably heavier (taking rotational mass into consideration). At this end of the range, an equivalent 650b might be a savvier choice. Chiefly though, the bike must fit; and many shorter riders prefer the lower front end of a 650b."
Dirt Rag Spark 700: "Designed for light trail and marathon racing, it could also make for a good general-purpose XC bike. The Spark 700 SL was the first bike I rode at Deer Valley and though the stock Schwalbe Thunder Burt tires were a bit mismatched for the loose-over-hard and rocky Utah trails, it still showed that it can get up and move. This is the shortest travel 27.5 bike I’ve yet ridden—hell it was the shortest travel bike of any kind I’ve ridden in a while— and it is incredibly quick and aggressive. (...)"
Source: Dirt Rag Mag
Bike GER: "If Jackie Chan had to choose a bike he would take the Spark 700 SL. It's light, fast and a winner. A bike for the capable and fearless!"