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Pro bike: Nino Schurter's all-new Scott Spark

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Scott Spark RC

Probably one of the world's most trick Scott Sparks (Image credit: Scott )
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Scott Spark Nino Schurter

The Spark is designed to be piloted by Nino Schurter in the hardest XCO races (Image credit: Scott)
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Scott Spark Nino Schurter

The shock is fully integrated into the frame (Image credit: Scott)
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Scott Spark Nino Schurter

The TwinLoc dial is visible through the hole in the downtube (Image credit: Scott)
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Scott Spark Nino Schurter

There is suspension sag measurements on the frame and a maintenance port for the shock hardwear (Image credit: Scott)
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Scott Spark Nino Schurter

A Blackbox crank-based power meter measures power during racing and training (Image credit: Scott)
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Scott Spark Nino Schurter

The cockpit is incredibly aggressive (Image credit: Scott)
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Scott Spark Nino Schurter

The Syncros Silverton wheels are extremely light and stiff (Image credit: Scott)
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Scott Spark Nino Schurter

Schurter hopes to be piloting the new bike to victory in World Cup and Olympic XCO in 2021 (Image credit: Scott)

You might never have the fitness, power output or technical skills of Scott's World Champion, Nino Squirter, but it is always interesting to get into the details of what he rides.

As part of the campaign around its radical new Spark dual-suspension bike, Scott has revealed the inner workings of Nino Schurter’s factory race bike.

The Swiss company and multiple mountain bike World Champion have been working together for many seasons. Schurter’s numerous XCO World Cup and World Championship victories have been a terrific marketing tool for Scott, helping to boost the profile of its Spark range of mountain bikes.

For the 2021 World Cup season, Nino is on a stellar Scott factory build. Working through the details of his bike, some things might appear relatable – but others most definitely aren’t.

Scott Spark RC

To handle the increasingly rough XCO courses Schurter is running 120mm of travel front and back (Image credit: Scott )

Special damper and tires 

The frame is an HMX SL version of Scott’s Spark RC, with the radical new hidden rear shock configuration. Inside the seat tube is a RockShox Nude RLC3 shock, delivering 120mm of travel and matched at the front, by a 120mm SID Ultimate RD3 fork.

Interestingly, Nino’s fork contains a special Blackbox race day damper, which isn’t available to regular RockShox customers.

Nobody is unimpressed by trick wheels and Nino rolls incredibly special hoops on his Spark RC. They are Scott’s latest Syncros Silverton SL2s. These wheels feature single-piece construction, with the 30mm width rim and spokes, all being a unitary carbon-fiber structure.

Putting down Nino’s power and enabling his daring descending style, are 29x2.4 inch Maxxis Aspen tires.

Nino prefers to run very low tire pressure and the move into a larger 2.4 inch casing has enabled him to retain the Aspen’s low rolling resistance, with a touch more grip. These tires also have a very high 170 TPI rating, making them rather supple and ideal for low-pressure use, on technical terrain.

Aside from the SID fork’s Blackbox internals and that 170 TPI casing on his Maxxis tires, Nino’s Spark is quite relatable to most riders. That is, until you start looking at the drivetrain and touchpoints.

Scott Spark RC

Despite the brutal climbs on race courses, Schurter is turning over a massive 38T chainring (Image credit: Scott )

You need massive watts, to make this drivetrain work

Not many riders would combine a SRAM AXS XX1 Eagle cassette with anything bigger than a 36T chainring. 

Nino shows his power, with the choice of a 38T chainring, driven by 175mm cranks, with German HT lightweight pedals, threaded into the ends.

If the drivetrain configuration is radical, this Scott Spark’s cockpit will leave you completely in awe. And a touch confused.

Scott has invested in the idea of an integrated stem and handlebar, with its Syncros Fraser IC SL component range, but Nino’s set-up is remarkably different from anything you’ll ever consider riding.

Scott Spark RC

The 90mm stem and 700mm handlebars have a huge 40 degrees of negative rise (Image credit: Scott )

A cockpit only Nino could ride 

His integrated carbon handlebar measures to a virtual stem length of 90mm, and 700mm across. If you think that 90mm stem is way too long for a rider only 5’8” tall, the handlebar’s 'stem' shape will completely befuddle you. It has a -40 degree drop.

Nino’s technical descending is renowned, so he clearly does not struggle to keep control of the peculiar dimensions of that handlebar. It also features a trigger for the 100mm Reverb AXS dropper seatpost, with titanium clamp fixtures, and mounts for SRAM Level Ultimate brake levers.

What does it weigh? Scott won’t say, but with the most expensive new Spark RC build being 22.2lb, you can bet that Nino’s new bike is a touch lighter than that.

Nino Schurter's custom Scott Spark World Cup RC

  • Frameset: Scott Spark RC Carbon HMX SL Custom, Medium
  • Fork: RockShox SID Ultimate RD3 Air
  • Rear shock: RockShox Nude 5 RLC3 Trunnion
  • Handlebars/Stem: Syncros Fraser IC SL WC, -40 degrees / 90mm / 700mm 
  • Seatpost: RockShox Reverb AXS 100MM, titanium bolts
  • Brake/shift levers: SRAM XX1 AXS
  • Rear derailleur: SRAM XX1
  • Chain: SRAM XX1
  • Crankset: SRAM XX1 w/ Blackbox power meter, 38T
  • Bottom bracket: SRAM
  • Cassette: SRAM XG-1299 Eagle 10-50T
  • Brakes: SRAM Level Ultimate
  • Pedals: HT Components M2
  • Wheelset: Syncros Silverton SL2-30mm
  • Tires: Maxxis Aspen 2.40WT 170TPI EXO/TR
  • Sealant: Oko Magic MilkHigh Fibre 80ml 
  • Saddle: Syncros Tofino Regular SL Channel
  • Grip: Syncros Foam
  • GPS Computer: Garmin Edge 130 Plus
  • Bottle cages: Topeak Shuttle Cage Carbon
Lance Branquinho
Lance Branquinho is a Namibian-born media professional who graduated to mountain biking after injuries curtailed his fascination with trail running. He has a weakness for British steel hardtails, especially those which only run a single gear. Rides: Morewood Kwela Cotic Simple 26 Pyga 160mm aluminium prototype