Nino Schurter needs no introduction. The Swiss cross-country mountain biking legend has won pretty much everything, including an Olympic gold, the World and European Championships, the Absa Cape Epic and the Swiss Epic. In fact, all Schurter needs is one more World Cup win to equal - two to usurp - Julien Absalon's 33 victories to go down as the greatest of all time.
That said, Schurter hasn't always had things go his way. The run-up to the 2021 World Championships in Val di Sole was underscored by a slew tepid performances yet he still managed to bag a brace of podiums with his worst performance being a 10th-place finish in Leogang, Austria. Despite critics calling for his head, it was more a case of Schurter peaking at the right time than genuine lack of form. A fourth place at the Tokyo Olympic Games showed glimmers of his former self and then everything aligned a month later where he managed to bring home his ninth World Championship title finishing ahead of in-form compatriot, Mathias Flueckiger.
His ninth title also signified an incredible feat: he now owns the record of being both the youngest (he won his first title in 2009 at 23) and oldest athlete in history to earn the rainbow stripes. To commemorate the occasion Scott Sports has today unveiled a special-edition Scott Spark RC in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
Let's take a closer look at the details...
The Scott Spark RC pictured here is truly special in that it takes the current design blueprint and turns it on its head. As you can see from the pictures, the rainbow theme is a strong point in the design ethos and is carried through the entire build. The frame features a trick paintjob which utilizes a two-tone colorway comprising raw carbon on the top half and gloss-glitter on the bottom half. The top tube is adorned with a Nino graphic with rainbow gradient that connects it to an RC logo near the seatpost. Closer inspection of the inner downtube, toptube and seat tube reveals his nine World Championship wins complete with date and location - a sentimental touch indeed.
There's a metallic-chrome, Scott wordmark logo on the downtube and other sponsor logos across the seatstays and chainstays all have a hologram look about them, and helps balance the glittery flecks that pepper the frame real estate. The glitter gets more pronounced around the chainring and chainstay - the rainbow-band coloring taking centre stage in this instance. It's pure theatre.
This rainbow theme runs deeper still thanks to the SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS drivetrain, replete with oil-slick chain and cassette; and then there's the matching HT Components M2 SPD-style pedals.
Nino uses a -40-degree Syncros Fraser integrated bar and stem (90mm/700mm) that helps with handling and traction thanks to the lower centre of gravity afforded by the setup. The bar also houses a neat grip-mounted button for the 100mm Reverb AXS dropper seatpost and titanium clamp fixtures for SRAM Level Ultimate brakes. Syncros also provides the one-piece Silverton SL carbon wheels with 30mm internal rim architecture. This arrangement allows Nino to run wider 2.4in Maxxis Aspen rubber which in turn means lower tire pressure and improved surface purchase.
This Spark RC also features a RockShox SID Ultimate RD3 Air/BlackBox Race Day fork and matching Trunnion-mounted RockShox Nude 5 RLC3 at the rear, both of which feature 120mm of travel, and can be locked out by TwinLoc remote lock-out system located on the handlebar. The lightweight theme continues at the rear touchpoints where a 100mm RockShox Reverb AXS dropper post and an even lighter version of his Tofino saddle can be found - the combination of this saddle and titanium bolts has saved 50g over his standard saddle.
A 36T, 10-50T SRAM XX1 Eagle chainring and cassette combination is driven by 175mm carbon cranks, though Nino will often call upon a 38T depending on the terrain. The crankset comes with a neat, spindle-mounted Quarq power meter which takes takes care of data harvesting duties together with a Garmin Edge 830 MTB GPS computer.
The balance of the build comprises Syncros Foam grips and a couple of Topeak Shuttle Carbon bottle cages. While there's no claimed weight available, a build as exotic as the one pictured here will easily come in at under 10kg (22lb) all in.
Teaming up Lars Forster, Nino's season gets under way on 19 March at the Absa Cape Epic. The Swiss duo will be looking for win number two after COVID-19 pandemic curtailed the defence of their 2019 title.
Tech Specs: Nino Schurter's 2022 Scott Spark RC Special Edition
- Frame: Scott Spark RC Carbon HMX SL Custom (size medium)
- Fork: RockShox SID Ultimate RD3 Air/ BlackBox Race Day Damper 3 Mode, 120MM Travel, 44MM Offset
- Shock: RockShox Nude 5 RLC3 Trunnion, 120mm travel
- Drivetrain: SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS, 12-speed
- Crankset: SRAM XX1, 175MM, 36T, Quarq power meter
- Brakes: SRAM Level Ultimate
- Wheels: Syncros Silverton SL2-30MM, 29-inch
- Tires: Maxxis Aspen 29 x 2.40in, OKO Magic Milk High Fibre 80ML
- Cockpit: Syncros Fraser IC SL WC -40 degree / 90MM / 700MM bar and stem
- Grips: Syncros foam
- Seatpost: RockShox Reverb AXS 100MM, Titanium bolts
- Saddle: Syncros Tofino Regular SL Channel
- Pedals: HT Components M2
- Accessories: Topeak Shuttle Cage Carbon, Garmin Edge 830