On Test | The 2022 Scott Spark adds integration, travel, and weight. Scott bike size chart

The 4th generation 2022 Scott Spark has been unveiled, and with its hidden rear shock and integrated cabling, we reckon this has to be the cleanest full suspension XC bike on the market right now

It’s hard to believe that the current generation Scott Spark was launched all the way back in 2016, just in time for the RIO Olympics. Five years is an amazing run for any model of mountain bike, but especially one that’s designed to consistently perform at the very highest level of the sport. That really goes to show just how how successful the Scott Spark has been both on and off the race track, no doubt due to its competitively low weight, progressive frame design, and clever TwinLoc suspension system.

Despite that success, we’ve been anticipating a redesigned Spark for some time now, especially with all the new XC bikes that have been hitting the market over the past year. Well good news folks, because the new Spark has finally arrived! We’ve had the chance to test it out for the past few weeks, so if you’re keen to know how it rides, check out our Scott Spark review. For all the specs, and details on the full range, read on.

Watch our video review of the Scott Spark here:

What’s new with the 2022 Scott Spark?

Absolutely everything – just look at it!

While it retains its position as the brand’s flagship XC race whippet, the 2022 Scott Spark receives an all-new frame, updated geometry, and a whole bunch of refinements. Joining the current trend amongst full suspension XC bikes, the Spark will now accommodate two water bottles inside the front triangle. And going after the super-clean look, the cables are also routed stealthily through the upper headset, with a new Fraser iC SL XC one-piece carbon handlebar and stem to match on the high-end models.

importantly though, there’s been an increase in travel. The Spark now features 120mm of rear travel, which is delivered by an entirely new suspension platform.

Dude, where’s my shock?

If you’re struggling to spot where the shock is, that’s because it’s actually hidden inside the frame. This design echoes the silhouette of the full suspension bikes produced by Swiss brand Bold Cycles, which is no coincidence. Scott Sports acquired Bold Cycles back in 2019, and since then there’s been a whole lot of speculation around what that would mean for the two brands. With the new Scott Spark, we finally have our answer.

Why hide the shock inside the frame? Well it looks pretty sweet for a start, and it helps to protect the shock from mud, rain and dust. It also means the frame can be massively oversized around this downtube, seat tube and bottom bracket junction, and that bodes well for chassis rigidity. With each side of the rocker link sitting quite far apart, there also appears to be masses of mud clearance too. Scott says the shock placement also lowers the bike’s centre of gravity, though we’re skeptical as to how much of a difference that actually makes.

A removable hatch underneath the downtube allows you to access the shock to adjust the air pressure, rebound and compression damping, or to replace the lockout cable. There’s also an integrated sag guide on the side of the linkage, as well as a small window up on the side of the seat tube for taking a peek at the shock’s O-ring.

Still, it’ll be a more involved process to change air volume spacers in the rear shock, and tracking down a creaky pivot looks like it could take a little longer too.

Scott Spark RC vs Spark 900

As with the previous Spark, Scott has engineered the new model to produce two different bikes in one. Both are built around the same frame, shock and rear suspension travel, but there are some key differences that separate the two platforms;

  • Scott Spark RC – XC race bike with 120/120mm travel
  • Scott Spark 900 – Lightweight trail bike with 130/120mm travel

On top of the different forks, there are several other differences in the spec in order to further differentiate the two bikes from one another. Whereas the Spark RC comes with fast-rolling Maxxis Rekon Race tyres and narrower 740mm wide bars, the Spark 900 gets chunkier Schwalbe Wicked Will tyres and wider 760mm bars.

And while the rear shock size and stroke is the same between the two bikes, the shock’s used on the Spark 900 employ a higher volume air can to improve sensitivity and comfort.

TwinLoc update

Both the Spark RC and Spark 900 retain the TwinLoc system – a heirloom technology for Scott. This system is built around a custom ‘Nude’ rear shock (made by Fox, RockShox or X-Fusion, depending on the model), which along with the fork, is joined via a cable to a remote lever at the handlebar. This 3-position handlebar remote provides the rider with three distinct modes;

  • Descend – Both fork and shock are wide open
  • Traction Control – Rear shock limited to 80mm travel, compression damping increased in both fork and shock
  • Lockout – Both fork and shock are locked out

Descend Lockout are self-explanatory, though it’s the middle Traction Control mode where things get interesting. In this mode, the air volume is actually restricted inside the rear shock to make it significantly more progressive, hence limiting the travel to 80mm. The shock also rides considerably higher, helping to steepen the effective seat tube angle for a more powerful and efficient climbing position.

For this new 2022 Scott Spark, the TwinLoc now has a third lever that activates the dropper post. This lever sits underneath the two suspension paddles, instead of the vertical placement on the old bike. It does look quite busy there with all those cables, but the new dropper lever placement offers a potentially more ergonomic solution.

Adaptable geometry

Helping to achieve the two-bikes-in-one trick, Scott has employed adjustable headset cups for tweaking the head angle independently to the rest of the frame. By switching the cups around 180°, it’s possible to slacken or steepen the head angle in isolation by 0.6°. This differs to the typical geometry flip chips you’d normally find at one of the shock mounts, which also affect the bottom bracket height, reach and seat tube angle.

The Spark RC comes from the factory with the headset cups in the steep position, while the Spark 900 puts them in the slack position. Along with the 10mm difference in fork travel, there’s a greater difference between the two bikes;

  • Spark RC – 67.2° head angle 76.1° seat angle
  • Spark 900 – 65.8° head angle 75.9° seat angle

Scott says the process to flip those headset cups around is a simple process, despite the cables and rear brake hose routing through the upper headset bearing.

Scott Spark weight – it’s actually heavier

Surprisingly, the new Scott Spark isn’t lighter than its predecessor. That’s not a sentence we’re used to typing out in a new bike launch story, but given how much chunkier and raked-out the new frame is, and the fact that it now has 120mm of rear wheel travel, it ought to make sense. And we’ll point out that it’s only 71g heavier, which is a bit more than a Mars bar.

As to how that compares to the competition? Here’s a look at how the claimed weight of the top-end Spark RC HMX SL frame stacks up against some of its competitors;

  • Specialized S-Works Epic EVO – 1,659g
  • Orbea Oiz OMX – 1,740g
  • Scott Spark RC HMX SL (OLD) – 1,799g
  • Specialized S-Works Epic – 1,869g
  • Scott Spark HMX SL (NEW) – 1,870g
  • Cannondale Scalpel Hi-Mod – 1,910g
  • Trek Supercaliber – 1,933g
  • Santa Cruz Blur 4 – 1,933g
  • Giant Anthem Advanced Pro 29 – 1,983g
  • Canyon Lux CF SLX – 1,922g
  • Merida Ninety-Six RC – 2,064g
test, 2022, scott, spark

As always, take those numbers with a grain of salt, as they’re claimed weights from the manufacturers themselves. We understand that all those listed weights are for Medium-sized frames including the rear shock and hardware, but without a standardised set of scales and the frames physically in front of us, it’s impossible to verify them.

Still, it goes without saying that the Spark is still bloody light. And Scott quite rightly points out that it is the lightest option in that list with 120mm of rear travel.

There are five different frame levels

Also worth noting is that the claimed frame weight in the above list is for the top-end Spark HMX SL carbon frame, which is only available on the very top-end Spark RC model. Scott produces the new Spark in two other carbon variants that use identical moulds, but simply employ a cheaper grade of carbon fibre that adds a little weight. There’s also an alloy frame, and there’s even a hybrid model that pairs a carbon mainframe to an alloy swingarm.

Here’s how the frame weight compares between those five different options;

  • Scott Spark HMX SL – 1,870g
  • Scott Spark HMX – 1,999g
  • Scott Spark HMF – 2,150g
  • Scott Spark Hybrid – 2,590g
  • Scott Spark Alloy – 3,290g

Scott Spark price availability

Being a popular model for the Swiss brand, the new Scott Spark will be coming in a huge range of spec options across both the Spark RC and Spark 900 platforms.

Pricing will start at 3,999 AUD for the Scott Spark 970, and will go all the way up to 15,999 AUD for the Scott Spark RC SL EVO AXS.

Additionally, Scott will be producing several women’s specific models under the Contessa label. These bikes use exactly the same chassis as the unisex bikes, albeit with women’s specific touch points. Scott Sports’ Australian distributor, Sheppard Cycles, is expecting complete bikes to arrive later in 2021.

You can read on for an overview of the specs and pricing for the full range below. Keen to know how it actually rides? See our Scott Spark review for our verdict on this futuristic XC bike!

22 Scott Spark RC SL EVO AXS

  • Frame | HMX SL Carbon Fibre, IST FlexPivot Suspension Design, 120mm Travel
  • Fork | Fox 34 Step-Cast, Factory Series, 3-Position FIT4 Damper, 44mm Offset, 120mm Travel
  • Shock | Fox Nude 5, Factory Series, 3-Position DPS Damper, 165x45mm
  • Wheels | Syncros Silverton SL, Carbon Rims, 30mm Inner Width
  • Tyres | Maxxis Rekon Race EXO, 2.4in Wide
  • Drivetrain | SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS 1×12 w/XX1 Carbon 32T Crankset, Power Meter 10-52T Cassette
  • Brakes | Shimano XTR M9100 2-Piston w/180mm Front 160mm Rear Rotors
  • Bar | Syncros Fraser iC SL XC Carbon, 740mm Width
  • Stem | Syncros Fraser iC SL XC Carbon, Length: 50mm (S), 60mm (M), 70mm (L), 80mm (XL)
  • Seatpost | Fox Transfer SL, Factory Series, 31.6mm Diameter, 100mm Travel
  • Saddle | Syncros Belcarra SL, Carbon Rails
  • RRP | 15,999 AUD

22 Scott Spark RC World Cup AXS

  • Frame | HMX Carbon Fibre, IST FlexPivot Suspension Design, 120mm Travel
  • Fork | RockShox SID Select, 3-Position Charger Damper, 44mm Offset, 120mm Travel
  • Shock | RockShox Nude 5, 3-Position RL3 Damper, 165x45mm
  • Wheels | Syncros Silverton 1.0, Carbon Rims, 30mm Inner Width
  • Tyres | Maxxis Rekon Race EXO, 2.4in Wide
  • Drivetrain | SRAM GX/X01 Eagle AXS 1×12 w/X01 Carbon 32T Crankset, 10-52T Cassette
  • Brakes | Shimano XTR M9100 2-Piston w/180mm Front 160mm Rear Rotors
  • Bar | Syncros Fraser iC SL XC Carbon, 740mm Width
  • Stem | Syncros Fraser iC SL XC Carbon, Length: 50mm (S), 60mm (M), 70mm (L), 80mm (XL)
  • Seatpost | Fox Transfer SL, Performance Series, 31.6mm Diameter, 100mm Travel
  • Saddle | Syncros Belcarra SL, Titanium Rails
  • RRP | 11,499 AUD

22 Scott Spark RC Team

  • Frame | HMF Carbon Fibre, IST FlexPivot Suspension Design, 120mm Travel
  • Fork | Fox 34 Step-Cast, Performance Series, 3-Position GRIP Damper, 44mm Offset, 120mm Travel
  • Shock | Fox Nude 5, Performance Series, 3-Position DPS Damper, 165x45mm
  • Wheels | Syncros Silverton 2.5, Alloy Rims, 30mm Inner Width
  • Tyres | Maxxis Rekon Race EXO, 2.4in Wide
  • Drivetrain | Shimano XT 1×12 w/Race Face Next R Carbon 32T Crankset SLX 10-51T Cassette
  • Brakes | Shimano XT M8100 2-Piston w/180mm Front 160mm Rear Rotors
  • Bar | Syncros Fraser 2.0 XC Alloy, 740mm Width
  • Stem | Syncros XC 2.0 Alloy, Length: 50mm (S), 60mm (M), 70mm (L), 80mm (XL)
  • Seatpost | Syncros Duncan 2.0, 31.6mm Diameter
  • Saddle | Syncros Belcarra 2.0, CrMo Rails
  • RRP | 6,699 AUD

22 Scott Spark 900 Tuned AXS

  • Frame | HMX Carbon Fibre, IST FlexPivot Suspension Design, 120mm Travel
  • Fork | Fox 34 Float, Factory Series, 3-Position FIT4 Damper, 44mm Offset, 130mm Travel
  • Shock | Fox Nude 5T Large Air Volume, Factory Series, 3-Position DPS Damper, 165x45mm
  • Wheels | Syncros Silverton 1.0, Carbon Rims, 30mm Inner Width
  • Tyres | Schwalbe Wicked Will, Super Race Casing, 2.4in Wide
  • Drivetrain | SRAM X01 Eagle AXS 1×12 w/X01 Carbon 32T Crankset 10-52T Cassette
  • Brakes | Shimano XTR M9120 4-Piston w/180mm Rotors
  • Bar | Syncros Fraser iC SL DC Carbon, 760mm Width
  • Stem | Syncros Fraser iC SL DC Carbon, Length: 50mm (S), 60mm (M-L), 70mm (XL)
  • Seatpost | Fox Transfer, Factory Series, 31.6mm Diameter, Travel: 125mm (S-M), 150mm (L-XL)
  • Saddle | Syncros Tofino 1.5, Titanium Rails
  • RRP | 13,299 AUD

22 Scott Spark 910

  • Frame | HMF Carbon Fibre, IST FlexPivot Suspension Design, 120mm Travel
  • Fork | Fox 34 Float, Performance Elite, 3-Position FIT4 Damper, 44mm Offset, 130mm Travel
  • Shock | Fox Nude 5T Large Air Volume, Performance Series, 3-Position DPS Damper, 165x45mm
  • Wheels | Syncros Silverton 2.0, Alloy Rims, 30mm Inner Width
  • Tyres | Schwalbe Wicked Will, Super Race Casing, 2.4in Wide
  • Drivetrain | Shimano XT 1×12 w/XT Alloy 32T Crankset 10-51T Cassette
  • Brakes | Shimano XT M8120 4-Piston w/180mm Rotors
  • Bar | Syncros Fraser 1.5 DC Alloy, 760mm Width
  • Stem | Syncros DC 1.5 Alloy, Length: 50mm (S), 60mm (M-L), 70mm (XL)
  • Seatpost | Fox Transfer, Performance Elite, 31.6mm Diameter, Travel: 125mm (S-M), 150mm (L-XL)
  • Saddle | Syncros Tofino 1.5, Titanium Rails
  • RRP | 7,699 AUD

22 Scott Spark 920

  • Frame | HMF Carbon Fibre Mainframe 6011 Alloy Swingarm, IST FlexPivot Suspension Design, 120mm Travel
  • Fork | Fox 34 Float, Performance Series, 3-Position GRIP Damper, 44mm Offset, 130mm Travel
  • Shock | Fox Nude 5T Large Air Volume, Performance Series, 3-Position DPS Damper, 165x45mm
  • Wheels | Syncros Silverton 2.5, Alloy Rims, 30mm Inner Width
  • Tyres | Schwalbe Wicked Will, Super Race Casing, 2.4in Wide
  • Drivetrain | SRAM GX Eagle 1×12 w/GX Alloy 32T Crankset 10-51T Cassette
  • Brakes | Shimano SLX M7120 4-Piston w/180mm Rotors
  • Bar | Syncros Fraser 1.5 DC Alloy, 760mm Width
  • Stem | Syncros DC 1.5 Alloy, Length: 50mm (S), 60mm (M-L), 70mm (XL)
  • Seatpost | Syncros Duncan Dropper 2.0, 31.6mm Diameter, Travel: 125mm (S-M), 150mm (L-XL)
  • Saddle | Syncros Tofino 2.0, Cr-Mo Rails
  • RRP | 7,299 AUD

22 Scott Spark 940

  • Frame | HMF Carbon Fibre Mainframe 6011 Alloy Swingarm, IST FlexPivot Suspension Design, 120mm Travel
  • Fork | RockShox Pike Select, 3-Position Charger RL3 Damper, 44mm Offset, 130mm Travel
  • Shock | RockShox Deluxe Select, 3-Position RL3 Damper, 165x45mm
  • Wheels | Formula Hubs Syncros X-30 SE Alloy Rims, 30mm Inner Width
  • Tyres | Schwalbe Wicked Will, Super Ground Casing, 2.4in Wide
  • Drivetrain | SRAM SX/NX Eagle 1×12 w/X1 Alloy 32T Crankset 11-50T Cassette
  • Brakes | Shimano MT501 2-Piston w/180mm Rotors
  • Bar | Syncros Fraser 2.0 DC Alloy, 760mm Width
  • Stem | Syncros DC 2.5 Alloy, Length: 50mm (S), 60mm (M-L), 70mm (XL)
  • Seatpost | Syncros Duncan Dropper 2.0, 31.6mm Diameter, Travel: 125mm (S-M), 150mm (L-XL)
  • Saddle | Syncros Tofino 2.5, Cr-Mo Rails
  • RRP | 6,099 AUD

22 Scott Spark 950

  • Frame | 6011 SL Alloy, IST FlexPivot Suspension Design, 120mm Travel
  • Fork | RockShox Pike Select, 3-Position Charger RL3 Damper, 44mm Offset, 130mm Travel
  • Shock | RockShox Deluxe Select, 3-Position RL3 Damper, 165x45mm
  • Wheels | Formula Hubs Syncros X-30 SE Alloy Rims, 30mm Inner Width
  • Tyres | Schwalbe Wicked Will, Performance Casing, 2.4in Wide
  • Drivetrain | SRAM NX/GX Eagle 1×12 w/X1 Alloy 32T Crankset 11-50T Cassette
  • Brakes | Shimano MT501 2-Piston w/180mm Rotors
  • Bar | Syncros Fraser 2.0 DC Alloy, 760mm Width
  • Stem | Syncros DC 3.0 Alloy, Length: 50mm (S), 60mm (M-L), 70mm (XL)
  • Seatpost | Syncros Duncan Dropper 2.0, 31.6mm Diameter, Travel: 125mm (S-M), 150mm (L-XL)
  • Saddle | Syncros Tofino 2.5, Cr-Mo Rails
  • RRP | 5,499 AUD

22 Scott Spark 960

  • Frame | 6011 SL Alloy, IST FlexPivot Suspension Design, 120mm Travel
  • Fork | RockShox Judy Silver, 2-Position TurnKey Damper, 42mm Offset, 130mm Travel
  • Shock | X-Fusion Nude 5 RLX, 3-Position Damper, 165x45mm
  • Wheels | Shimano MT410 Hubs Syncros X-30 SE Alloy Rims, 30mm Inner Width
  • Tyres | Schwalbe Wicked Will, Performance Casing, 2.4in Wide
  • Drivetrain | Shimano Deore 1×12 w/MT512 Alloy 32T Crankset 10-51T Cassette
  • Brakes | Shimano MT501 2-Piston w/180mm Rotors
  • Bar | Syncros Fraser 2.0 DC Alloy, 760mm Width
  • Stem | Syncros DC 3.0 Alloy, Length: 50mm (S), 60mm (M-L), 70mm (XL)
  • Seatpost | Syncros Duncan Dropper 2.5, 31.6mm Diameter, Travel: 125mm (S-M), 150mm (L-XL)
  • Saddle | Syncros Tofino 2.5, Cr-Mo Rails
  • RRP | 4,499 AUD

22 Scott Spark 970

  • Frame | 6011 SL Alloy, IST FlexPivot Suspension Design, 120mm Travel
  • Fork | RockShox Judy Silver, 2-Position TurnKey Damper, 42mm Offset, 130mm Travel
  • Shock | X-Fusion Nude 5 RLX, 3-Position Damper, 165x45mm
  • Wheels | Formula Hubs Syncros X-30 SE Alloy Rims, 30mm Inner Width
  • Tyres | Schwalbe Wicked Will, Performance Casing, 2.4in Wide
  • Drivetrain | SRAM NX/SX Eagle 1×12 w/SX Eagle Alloy 32T Crankset 11-50T Cassette
  • Brakes | Shimano MT201 2-Piston w/180mm Rotors
  • Bar | Syncros Fraser 2.0 DC Alloy, 760mm Width
  • Stem | Syncros DC 3.0 Alloy, Length: 50mm (S), 60mm (M-L), 70mm (XL)
  • Seatpost | Syncros Duncan Dropper 2.5, 31.6mm Diameter, Travel: 125mm (S-M), 150mm (L-XL)
  • Saddle | Syncros Tofino 2.5, Cr-Mo Rails
  • RRP | 3,999 AUD

22 Scott Contessa Spark 910

  • Frame | HMF Carbon Fibre Mainframe 6011 Alloy Swingarm, IST FlexPivot Suspension Design, 120mm Travel
  • Fork | Fox 34 Float, Performance Series, 3-Position GRIP Damper, 44mm Offset, 130mm Travel
  • Shock | Fox Nude 5T Large Air Volume, Performance Series, 3-Position DPS Damper, 165x45mm
  • Wheels | Syncros Silverton 2.5, Alloy Rims, 30mm Inner Width
  • Tyres | Schwalbe Wicked Will, Super Race Casing, 2.4in Wide
  • Drivetrain | SRAM GX Eagle 1×12 w/GX Eagle Alloy 30T Crankset 10-52T Cassette
  • Brakes | Shimano SLX M7120 4-Piston w/180mm Rotors
  • Bar | Syncros Fraser 1.5 DC Alloy, 760mm Width
  • Stem | Syncros DC 1.5 Alloy, Length: 50mm (S), 60mm (M-L), 70mm (XL)
  • Seatpost | Syncros Duncan Dropper 2.0, 31.6mm Diameter, Travel: 125mm (S-M), 150mm (L-XL)
  • Saddle | Syncros Celista 2.0, Titanium Rails
  • RRP | 7,299 AUD

22 Scott Contessa Spark 930

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Scott Bikes Review

The company now known as Scott Sports was founded in 1958 by Ed Scott, a keen skier and engineer, who developed the sport’s first aluminum ski pole.

As the brand grew, they began to venture into different sports – in 1970, Scott manufactured motocross-specific goggles, the first of their kind. It wasn’t until the 1980s and Greg LeMond’s era that Scott USA branched out into the cycling market, with an aero bar – used by Greg LeMond in his infamous 1989 Tour de France victory.

They didn’t stop there, and by the 1990s Scott began manufacturing mountain bikes, and mountain bike parts – thus becoming known as Scott Bicycles USA. Although the company’s headquarters are now based out of Switzerland, Scott cycles have continued to innovate and be at the forefront of cycling technology.

After launching their first road cycle in 2007, they have been a prominent brand in the professional peloton as well as sponsoring several professional mountain bike riders and teams.

Scott Sponsorships

Since they first began manufacturing cycling products, Scott has sponsored professional athletes – from Greg LeMond in the 1989 Tour de France, to the present day, Scott is a familiar brand name in the pro ranks.

In MTB racing, they currently title sponsor a team of professionals known as Scott-SRAM MTB Racing. The squad includes professional cross-country racers such as multiple world Champion Nino Schurter, world Champion Kate Courtney, European Champion Lars Forster, and Andri Frischknecht.

Scott also sponsors riders and teams in other mountain biking disciplines. In Enduro racing, Scott sponsors the Scott SR Suntour team which includes riders Remy Absalon, Elliot Trabac and Hugo Pigeon. They all ride the Ransom Tuned. The brand also sponsors Freeriders Kyle Jameson and Vincent Tupin.

In road cycling, Scott sponsored the WorldTour squad Team BikeExchange (formerly Mitchelton-Scott) until the end of the 2020 season. They now sponsor Team DSM who ride their Addict RC for hilly races, Foil for flat/sprint races, and the Plasma for time trials. The team also uses some of Scott’s equipment including their helmets.

The Scott bikes are also used by professional triathletes. Sponsored athletes include the Brownlee brothers, Sebastian Kienle, Luke McKenzie, and Annabel Luxford.

Scott Bikes Model Range

Since the development of their first bike in the 2000s, Scott has gone on to design and develop tens of bikes across different disciplines.

The 2023 Scott bikes range includes bikes from the following categories: mountain, road, gravel/cx, city, kids, and electric. This is on top of all the other sporting equipment they manufacture both in and out of cycling. Scott bike are somewhat in keeping with industry averages. They do, however, offer hierarchies of models for each bike so that you can choose the component level best suited to your budget.

You’ll find their bikes available to purchase from Scott dealers across the globe, as well as from the brand directly on their website.

Scott Mountain Bikes

The brand currently sells a range of Scott MTBs, from cross-country to enduro and downhill bikes – there’s a Scott bike for everyone. With tens of bikes sometimes in each category, we’ve listed a few of the most popular models, but it’s by no means an exhaustive list. For a full representation of what bikes are available in your country, visit the Scott Sports website.

Scott Cross-Country mountain bikes

Spark RC / Scale RC / Scale / Contessa Spark RC / Contessa Scale

Cross-Country bikes usually come with the least amount of suspension travel (bar hardtails) and primarily FOCUS on weight saving.

In previous years professional cross-country mountain bikers have begun using full-suspension on their XC race bikes as components become lighter, and as courses become tougher. Scott currently offers three models of cross-country bike, with two women’s specific versions.

Scott Spark RC/Contessa Spark RC

SCOTT SPARK RC 900 SL AXS BIKE MSRP 12,999

Price Range: 2,999 – 12,999

The Scott Spark RC is the brand’s cross-country race machine.

test, 2022, scott, spark

The Contessa Spark RC is the Scott women’s mountain bike option for cross-country racing, although both male and female specific bikes are full-suspension with 110mm forks and 100mm rear suspension, as well as full carbon frames making them lightweight and race-ready.

There are two configurations for the Contessa Spark RC, that is the 900 WC bike, which has an MSRP of 6,799 and comes with a 12-speed SRAM x01 Eagle groupset and 29″ wheels, and the 900 Comp bike, which has an MSRP of 2,999 and comes equipped with a SRAM NX Eagle 12-speed groupset. The male version comes in several configurations at different price points, starting at 2,999 for the 900 Comp version, and increases to 12,999 for the 900 SL AXS version which comes with a SRAM XX1 AXS Eagle groupset and a power meter.

Scott Scale/Contessa Scale

SCOTT CONTESSA SCALE 930 BIKE MSRP 1,699

Price Range: 1,199 – 2,199

The Scott Scale mountain bike is one of two hardtails the brand produces.

The Scott Scale RS is their ‘race’ cross-country hardtail, whereas the Scale, and Contessa Scale are for more training purposes – however, they are still extremely capable MTB bikes. All variations come with a 100mm front fork suspension and are complemented by either an aluminum or carbon fiber frame depending on the model.

start from 1,199 and increase to 2,199 for the 925 version making this an accessible bike for most budgets. The 925 comes with a carbon frame, FOX 32 Float Rhythm 100mm forks, and a Shimano 12-speed XT-SLX groupset. The colorways are dependent on the model version, from bright red to a more subtle grey.

The wheel sizes are also dependent, available in either 27.5″ or 29″.

Scott Trail mountain bikes

Spark / Genius / Contessa Spark / Contessa Genius

Trail bikes are typically the middle ground between cross-country and enduro bikes.

They are full-suspension bikes but with more travel than cross-country, and less than enduro bikes. Scott currently produces two trail bikes, the Scott Spark mountain bike, and the Scott Genius mountain bike, both with female (Contessa) variations.

Scott Spark/Contessa Spark

SCOTT SPARK 930 BIKE MSRP 3,999

Price Range: 1,999 – 8,999

  • Choice of groupsets
  • Alloy or Carbon Fiber frame
  • 130mm front, 120mm rear suspension

The Scott Spark mountain bike is Scott’s race-ready trail bike.

It’s one of the most successful bikes they make, with their riders taking victories in the world cup. As one of the Scott full suspension bikes, it comes with 130mm of front suspension and 120mm of rear, making it a bike on the cusp of cross-country territory, and a great way to ease into full-suspension riding.

The Scott/Contessa Spark comes in several variations, from the 970 Granite which costs 1,999 and comes with lower-end components, to the 900 Ultimate AXS which costs 8,999 and comes with top-end components. The colorways depend on the model variation.

Scott Enduro mountain bikes

Enduro bikes are the middle ground between trail and downhill.

They’re full-suspension bikes with more travel than a trail bike, usually sitting between 140-160mm, and are often heavier and a bit less fun to ride if you do a lot of climbing. There is one main Scott enduro bike, the Ransom/Contessa Ransom.

Scott Ransom/Contessa Ransom

SCOTT RANSOM 930 BIKE. MSRP 2,999

Price Range: 2,999 – 8,999

The Scott Ransom/Contessa Ransom is one of the Scott 29er mountain bikes aimed at enduro riding.

Each variation comes with 170mm of front and rear suspension meaning it can soak up the lumps and bumps on the trails. The bike comes in several variations for different budgets, so it can appeal to the masses. start at 2,999 for the 930 version, which comes with a SRAM NX Eagle 12-speed groupset, and increases to 8,999 for the 900 Tuned AXS version which comes equipped with a SRAM x01 AXS Eagle 12-speed groupset.

As one of the Scott MTB bikes, it is available in a choice of colorways, from a striking blue and white to a more subdued purple fade, but this is dependent on the model you choose to purchase. This is an exciting enduro machine and will be great company if you’re racing or riding at an uplift park.

Scott Downhill/Dirt mountain bikes

There are two Scott downhill bikes on offer, the Gambler, and the dirt jump bike, Voltage YZ.

Downhill bikes are typically the most sturdy and robust mountain bikes you can buy, with suspension often exceeding 200mm of travel. Dirt Jump bikes on the other than are usually hardtail, steel or metal framed bikes with minimal suspension in the forks.

They are easy to whip around and get up to speed so you can get the most air time possible.

Scott Gambler

SCOTT GAMBLER 900 TUNED BIKE. MSRP 8,499

Price Range: 3,999 – 8,499

  • 7 or 8-speed groupsets
  • Alloy or Carbon Fiber frame
  • 203/200mm front and 200mm rear suspension

The Scott Gambler is the bike that downhill professionals such as Brendon Fairclough and Neko Mulally use in their races.

With 203/200mm (depending on model) of fork travel and 200mm of rear suspension, it’s guaranteed to promote a smooth, fast, and exhilarating ride down the mountains. The higher-end models come with 4-pot brakes for ultimate control and stopping power, allowing you to push your limits on the bike.

start from 3,999 for the 930, which comes with a SRAM X5 8-Speed groupset and a black Digi-camo colorway. The most expensive is the 900 tuned bike, which costs 8,499 and is what the pros use. It comes with a carbon frame and a SRAM XO1 DH 7 Speed groupset.

test, 2022, scott, spark

Scott Sport/Hardtail mountain bikes

Scott hardtail/sports bikes.

The Scott sport bikes are designed for more leisurely riding and training as well as light trail use.

test, 2022, scott, spark

They currently offer two sport bikes, the Aspect, and the women’s Contessa Active. These bikes are designed to be lightweight and agile, for the budget-conscious rider or someone looking to dip their toes into the world of mountain biking – although they are a great option for seasoned riders alike.

Contessa Active

SCOTT CONTESSA ACTIVE 40 PURPLE BIKE. MSRP 599.99

Price Range: 460 – 1,000

The Contessa Active is designed to be a comfortable, affordable, and easy to ride bike for women who want to ride off the beaten path.

Featuring 100mm of front suspension to smooth out any bumps in the road or trail, the bike also features an aluminum frame for strength. The Contessa Active series is a great selection of starter bikes for those who want to cycle to work, or get fit, and allow riders to not have to worry about where they want to ride thanks to the suspension and wide tyres.

start at 459.99 for the 60 version which features a Shimano Tourney 21-speed groupset and increases to 999.99 for the 10 version which comes equipped with a mixed Shimano XT/Deore 22-speed groupset. Each version has its own colorway.

Scott Road bikes

Lightweight/ Aero/ Endurance

From lightweight to endurance, to TT and aero bikes, Scott has been producing road bikes since the early 2000s.

Their current crop of bikes are well-known within the WorldTour and pro ranks of both road cycling and triathlon, so you can be sure they’re top quality machines. There are plenty of Scott carbon road bikes for you to choose from, as well as aluminum.

So whether you’re wanting to fly up the climbs, or win a triathlon in Kona, Scott has got a road bike for you.

Scott Lightweight road bikes

Addict RC / Contessa Addict RC

Scott lightweight road bikes.

Currently, Scott offers one lightweight road bike: Addict RC and the female equivalent, the Contessa Addict RC.

Both are extremely lightweight and Scott utilizes carbon construction methods to produce strong and agile bikes that will fly up the climbs, but also keep you stable on the descents.

They are both disc brake bikes and come in several configurations and colorways, with starting at 3,999 for the 30 Prism Green/Blue model, and rising to 11,999 for the professional spec Ultimate bike.

Scott Aero road bikes

Scott manufactures two aero road bikes currently, the Foil, and the TT/Triathlon bike, the Plasma.

Whether you like to tear it up at your local crit circuit or want to stay fast but comfortable on the club rides, the Foil is an aerodynamic bike that will help you stay happy on the bike mile after mile. Team DSM often use this bike in their flatter races, so you know it has race pedigree. start from 3,999 and rise to 8,999 for the Pro edition.

The Plasma is the brand’s only TT/Triathlon specific bike and is extremely aerodynamically focused. start from 8,999 and rise to 14,999 for the Premium edition, but with its hefty price tag comes a winning pedigree, powering the Brownlee brothers among others to multiple triathlon victories.

Scott Endurance road bikes

Addict / Speedster / Metrix / Contessa Addict / Contessa Speedster

Scott endurance road bikes.

The Scott bikes endurance road bikes are designed for those who love spending long days in the saddle and want the best out of their bikes.

The current lineup includes the Addict, the Speedster, the Metrix, and then the female-specific Contessa Addict and Speedster. The Addict promises a less race-oriented geometry than the Addict RC, promoting a more comfortable ride with less extreme angles to reduce fatigue. The new Speedster includes internal cable routing and a carbon fork with a more race-oriented geometry, but still, endurance-focused. Finally, the Metrix is more of a day-to-day road bike, for those who want to ride a road bike to work, or the shops, as well as on the club run with your friends.

Most are available in several variations to cater for a wide array of budgets, and the colorways match the variation you select.

Scott E-bikes

Scott bikes branched out into manufacturing electric bicycles quite recently.

They currently produce an array of E-Bikes from mountain bikes, to kid’s E-Bikes, there will be one for every member of the family, and for every type of terrain and riding, you want to do.

Whether you want to ride to work and arrive there less sweaty (and quicker) than on an unassisted bike, or you want to shred the trails without wasting energy climbing back up to the top, Scott bike’s wide selection is a great place to start.

Scott Electric Mountain bikes

Strike eRide / Aspect eRide / Contessa Strike eRide / Contessa Active eRide / Ransom eRide / Genius eRide / Contessa Genius eRide

Whether you want to shred the trails or take a leisurely ride off the beaten track, there is a Scott electric mountain bike for you.

The brand produces E-MTBs across trail and sports categories with both male and female-specific bikes. The trail bikes all use Bosch motors and battery systems and are full-suspension so you can take them on just about any trail that allows electric mountain bikes on.

The sport E-MTBs come in both hardtail and full-suspension setups, so you can choose how much suspension you need for the type of riding you want to do. start at 2,599 for an electric mountain bike and increase to 6,599 so there are configurations for most budgets.

Scott Electric Hybrid bikes

Axis eRide / Silence eRide / Sub Sport eRide / Sub Active eRide

The Scott electric hybrid bikes are designed to help you ride through urban and city spaces faster and more comfortably on a bike than ever before.

There are several male and female-specific bikes in this range, including the Axis eRide, the Silence eRide, the Sub Sport eRide, and the Sub Active eRide. The main difference in the male or female-specific bikes is the frame shape, with the female-specific having a more angled top tube, although the unisex Sub Active eRide USX has a completely step-thru frame.

start at 2,399 and increase to 3,599. All the bikes use Bosch motors and batteries, enabling a longer mileage range and lowering the frequency of charging the batteries. All bikes come with front fork suspension so the journey will be smoothed out whether you decide to stay in the city or travel further afield for an adventure.

Scott Electric road bikes

Addict eRide / Contessa Addict eRide

Scott’s foray into electric road bikes includes the Addict eRide and the female-specific Contessa Addict eRide.

With a carbon fiber frame, the Addict eRide is a lightweight road bike, the same as its unassisted namesake. Designed to encourage you to ride the hills you couldn’t before, and keep you riding for longer along more challenging terrain, the Addict eRide is a high-end electric road bike that barely looks like an E-Bike.

Using an almost hidden Mahle motor that can produce up to 40Nm of torque, the bike will get you up to speed quickly and with much less effort than an unassisted bike. start from 4,499 for the 20 version and increase to 9,299 for the Premium edition.

Scott Hybrid bikes

The Scott Hybrid range has one main bike, the Sub Cross.

Each is a flat-bar bicycle with capabilities both on and off-road, designed for the needs of the commuter, the leisure cyclist, or a rider who wants to use the bike for everyday adventures. The Sub Cross 50 comes with rigid forks, where the higher models use suspension forks to soak up and bumps in the road.

There are different frames for female and male-specific bikes. The female-specific bikes have a lower standover height and a more aggressively sloped top tube. All bikes are made using aluminum to keep the overall weight down, but the strength of the bike up. All bikes also use disc brakes for ultimate stopping power even in the wet.

The bikes are priced between 499 and 699 making them affordable and accessible to most.

Scott Gravel/CX bikes

Addict Gravel / Speedster Gravel / Addict CX RC / Contessa Addict Gravel / Contessa Speedster Gravel

Scott gravel and CX bikes.

Gravel and CX bikes have seen somewhat of a resurgence in popularity in recent years, and Scott has capitalized on this by expanding their repertoire of both.

They currently offer several gravel bikes and one CX bike, all at different price points so there is a bike for everyone. The Addict Gravel and Contessa Addict Gravel are high-end go-anywhere bikes. With carbon fiber frames and hydraulic discs, these bikes are made to ride for longer and further than your average gravel bike. start at 2,999 for the Contessa or 20 models and rise to 5,499 for the 10 models.

The Speedster Gravel and Contessa Speedster Gravel is a bike designed to be a bike to do it all but at an affordable price point. It’s constructed with aluminum and range from 1,349 to 2,499.

The only CX bike they make is the Addict CX RC. It’s a race bike made from carbon fiber and is designed to be put to the test by racers on the cyclocross track. It has an MSRP of 3,499 and comes with a Shimano GRX RX810 1×11 Speed groupset.

Scott Kid’s bikes

Scott has a wide selection of children’s bikes on offer, and they split them into two categories: Future Pro, and Junior.

Junior bikes are usually small-wheeled but can often be manufactured to grow with the child, for example with different stem lengths and an adjustable seat post.

Scott’s Junior bikes spare no technology, and lots of the same tech you see on the adult bikes have trickled down into the kid’s bikes.

Scott Future Pro kid’s bikes

Scott Future Pro Kid’s bikes.

Scott currently produces two models of Future Pro kid’s bikes – Ransom, and Scale RC.

The Ransom is a smaller version of the adult’s enduro bike. With 140mm of front travel and 130mm of rear, this bike is more than capable of tackling the rough stuff. The bike comes with 26” wheels but you can change these to 24“. Made with aluminum so it lasts, start at 1,699 for both the 400 and 600 models.

The Scott Scale RC kid’s bike is a rigid fork bike for juniors who want to go fast. It comes with 24” wheels and an aluminum frame so it can handle being thrown about. start at 899 for the 400 models and it comes with an 11-speed Shimano Deore groupset.

Scott Junior kid’s bikes

The Scott Junior kid’s bikes are the first bikes your child will have.

The range includes everything from balance bikes to small mountain bikes for little shredders. start from as low as 159 for the Contessa and Roxter Walker bikes, and several configurations across the range are available.

Scott has included several different colorways for these bikes so your child can truly personalize their riding experience. Sizes go up to 26″ wheels so there is something for every age in the Scott Junior kid’s range.

Scott Bikes Size Chart

Please refer to the Scott sizing chart on their website for details. Scott also has a handy ‘Find your size’ guide to help you find the right size for your height before you purchase a bike.

Scott’s ‘Find your size’ tool.

Conclusion

Since their inception, Scott has been at the forefront of sports technology innovation, from ski poles to aero bars, they’ve made a mark on not only the professional peloton but worldwide cyclists.

Scott bikes can now be purchased across the globe from affiliated Scott bicycle dealers, as well as directly from the brand’s website.

Their are competitive with the market and they offer some of the most successful bikes ridden by professional mountain bikers, road cyclists, and triathletes. Their wide range of bikes goes to show they have the expertise and are loved for a reason.

The 2021 SCOTT MTB Buyer’s Guide Part 1. Spark, Spark RC, Scale

We have only just started to see 2021 SCOTT bikes trickle in, but we have fielded loads of questions about what’s changed for the new year. As such, we have rounded up some of the most important changes to the SCOTT mountain bike line for 2021 to help you figure out what bike is best for you.

Bear in mind that this covers just their cross-country mountain bikes (Spark, Spark RC and Scale).Want to learn more about 2021 SCOTT bikes? Check our our list below, including:

  • 2021 SCOTT Road Bikes and Gravel Bikes Buyer’s Guide HERE
  • 2021 SCOTT Mountain Bikes Buyer’s Guide HERE and HERE
  • 2021 SCOTT Contessa Women’s Bikes Buyer’s Guide HERE
  • 2021 SCOTT eRIDE eBikes Buyer’s Guide HERE

SCOTT Spark

The 2021 SCOTT Spark feels as if it were designed for riding specifically in the Wasatch Range. Its combination of low weight, XC-like climbing ability, and stable descending make the Spark one of the most popular bikes in the shop. The 2021 Spark makes a small leap in build kits that make the bike a touch more trail-worthy, though it still maintains the downcountry fun the Spark is known for. SCOTT’s Twinloc suspension remote remains to help riders adapt to their trails. Spark is available in four sizes.

While previous years Spark models received a 120mm fork paired to a 120mm shock, the 2021 Spark features a new 130mm travel fork paired to a 120mm shock. This slackens out the head tube angle to 66.7 degrees and offers just a bit more grip and confidence on the descents.

Choose the SCOTT Spark as your all-arounder mountain bike. It’s light enough to keep up with your cross country bike friends, but with a bit more suspension to offer confidence when things get chunkier.

Spark 900 AXS The new for 2021 SCOTT Spark 900 AXS isn’t the top of the Spark line, but it still packed with technology. A SRAM GX-X01 AXS wireless drivetrain pairs to a 130mm Fox 34 Performance Elite fork and a 120mm Fox NUDE EVOL shock. A Syncros Silverton 1.0 CL, carbon wheelset offers up snappy acceleration while cutting down rotational weight.

SRAM GX Eagle has become a mainstay in the mountain bike world for its ease of use, ergonomic controls, and general performance. The 2021 SCOTT Spark 920 takes the GX Eagle drivetrain with it’s new 10-52t cassette and pairs it to a HMF carbon frame, Fox 34 Performance 130mm fork, and Syncros components. We’re fans of the new blue frame color, which has just a touch of sparkle to it under light to make it feel special.

The 2021 SCOTT Spark 960 features the new Shimano Deore 12sp drivetrain with a Deore XT rear derailleur for reliable performance on the trail. It uses a lightweight alloy frame, 130mm Rockshox Judy TK Solo fork, and an X-Fusion NUDE shock. Paired to SCOTT’s Twinloc remote, the Spark allows you to tune the bike according to your trail.

SCOTT Spark RC

The 2021 SCOTT Spark RC is the winningest cross country mountain bike around. Part of that is progressive (for XC) geometry, low weight, and attention to detail that makes the Spark RC the Swiss brand’s best cross country mountain yet. park RC is available in four sizes and features the coveted Twinloc suspension system to adjust the suspension at the flip of a switch.

While most cross country bikes have stuck steadfast to 100mm suspension front and rear, the 2021 Spark RC sees a new 110mm fork at just about every model. Further, most models receive the new Rockshox SID fork with its stiff 35mm stanchions to improve cornering performance without adding weight.

Choose the Spark RC if you’re looking for one of the lightest full-suspension mountain bikes around. With a bump in suspension travel, manages to both be responsive to rider feedback while having the chops to tear up the descents.

Spark RC 900 World Cup The 2021 SCOTT Spark RC 900 World Cup is once again offered in two models: one with SRAM X01 and another with SRAM XX1 AXS electronic shifting. SRAM Level TLM brakes offer lightweight and excellent modulation. Lightweight carbon wheels and a Syncros Fraser iC SL integrated bar and stem combo set this bike apart.

Spark RC 900 Pro

Dirty whites never looked as good as they do with the 2021 SCOTT Spark RC 900 Pro. Take a full Shimano XTR M9100 drivetrain, add in lightweight alloy wheels and a carbon frame and swingarm, and you have a bonafide race bike that’s surprisingly fun to shred. The addition of the new Rockshox SID fork means a stiffer fork without any extra weight. It might just be the pick of the bunch for its beautiful white on matte black paint.

SCOTT Spark RC Comp If the Spark RC 900 SL and the World Cup are the dream bikes, the 2021 SCOTT Spark RC 900 Comp is the one that brings their performance to the masses. It uses a full carbon frame and swingarm, and pairs it to a SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain. It features a Fox 32 Rhythm fork with 110mm travel, more than enough for a lightweight ride like the Comp.

SCOTT Scale

Few bikes have proved their mettle on the cross country course better than the SCOTT Scale. And with so much already right with the Scale, SCOTT saw fit to keep the Scale the lightweight, responsive hardtail that it is. 29er wheels, the choice of a lightweight carbon or alloy frame, and sharp handling set the Scale apart from the pack. Scale is available in four sizes.

Choose the SCOTT Scale if you’re looking for a lightweight XC hardtail for your next race or as a responsive option on flowing singletrack.

SCOTT Scale 940 Aspiring racers and weekend warriors alike will appreciate the HMF carbon frame of the 2021 SCOTT Scale 940. The Rockshox Judy TK Silver fork offers smooth performance and great durability, while the Shimano SLX-XT drivetrain offers slick shifting and wide-range gearing, ideal for your next race or singletrack climb.

Have any questions about 2021 SCOTT mountain bikes, or about SCOTT bikes in general? Give us a call during business hours or send us an email any time to info@contenderbicycles.com.

4 Комментарии и мнения владельцев

Russ, As far as I know, SCOTT doesn’t have anything specifically on pressing in bottom brackets. Rule of thumb is to use grease with an alloy frame. You can use grease with a carbon frame and press fit bb to make it slide in more easily. With my SCOTT Spark, we greased the bb cup and frame and pressed each side in slowly. No issues since. You can add a retaining compound applied to the bb shell and the bottom bracket will help keep the bb in place instead of grease, but the PF92 bottom bracket standard has been very reliable without it.

When replacing a PF Bottom Bracket on the Scale, should you use any type of compound /paste etc. Feels like there is much opinion but little definite direction from Scott on this.

Clive, we are just a single bike shop in Utah, but we can help you out a bit to find dealers near you. We hopped on the SCOTT bikes dealer locator and found two shops on Long Island:.Sayville Bike Works.Brands Cycle and Fitness Then there are a few in Brooklyn and lower Manhattan. Best of luck out finding a local SCOTT dealer, Clive!

What size bike do I need? A comprehensive bike size guide

The most crucial factor when buying a bike is to make sure the frame fits. Just like how you might wear a size 10 shoe in Nike and a 10.5 in Adidas, there is no standardisation when it comes to bike frames, and sizing can vary drastically from brand to brand. Worse, trying to decode a geometry chart for some can be as hard as wrapping their heads around quantum physics.

While minor adjustments can be made with stem length and saddle setback, ultimately if a bike frame is too big or small, the amount of available adjustment won’t be great enough, and it will influence the bike’s handling characteristics as well as cause issues when it comes to comfort. This is especially true when riding one of the best road bikes because you will essentially maintain that same position for the duration of the ride, and if it’s wrong, you’re in for many hours of pain — the bad kind, that is.

What makes things even more complicated is that people are built differently; some people have short torsos and long legs, while others have a long torso and short legs. This means two people who are the same height might not fit on the same bike.

While we can’t offer a specific chart that will tell you exactly what size frame will be perfect for the dimensions of your body, what we can do is help to demystify the numbers on the geometry chart and show you how to use them to figure out the right size for you.

Luckily, the components on a bike do allow for a little bit of leeway. Saddles usually have around 7cm of fore-aft adjustability, stems can be swapped for shorter or longer versions with shallower or steeper angles that raise or lower the handlebars, and most of the best road handlebars can be bought in a choice of around five different widths. Cranks can be swapped for shorter or longer lengths, many seatposts are available in a couple of shapes that adjust their bend, known as ‘layback’, and some bikes even come with flip chips that adjust the geometry.

However, don’t think that gives you a free ride when deciding which size bike you need. Just like how a house with poor foundations will fall, if your bike’s foundation. the frame. is incorrect, you’re setting yourself up for a bad time.

Bike geometry

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A geometry chart comprises measurements of almost everything to do with the frame. Some of these numbers are extremely helpful in gauging whether a frame will fit your body or not, while others can be ignored entirely. Here’s a rundown of the important numbers, and what they mean.

Top tube length and effective top tube length

When we request bikes in for review, the first figure we look at is the top tube length or, more often, the effective top tube length. This is the length from the head tube to the seat tube and is the measurement most brands base their sizing around.

The top tube and effective top tube length can differ because of the modern compact or semi-compact geometry bikes. Old school road bikes see a completely horizontal top tube, while the top tube on most modern bikes slopes downward. This can increase the length of the physical section of tubing but does not increase the actual distance between the head- and seat tubes.

The top tube relates directly to your arm and torso length, and it is a figure that doesn’t leave a ton of leeway to be fixed. If you have a bike with a top tube that is too short or too long, small deficits can be remedied with a new stem of different length. Realistically there is about 20mm of leeway shorter or longer than a stock road bike stem, any longer or shorter, and you will drastically change the handling characteristics of your bike.

Reach

Reach is a slightly more difficult measurement to get your head around and refers to the horizontal distance from your bottom bracket to the top of the head tube.

If you were to draw a line from the centre of the bottom bracket straight up through the frame and one from the centre of the head tube back; ‘reach’ is the horizontal distance between the head tube and the vertical line.

Reach is the key measurement for mountain bikes as the majority of your time on the bike will be in a standing position, with your saddle well behind your body, making the length from the head tube to the seat tube somewhat irrelevant — because you’re not actually sitting on the seat.

For road riders, reach tells us exactly how far you have to ‘reach’ to grab the handlebars and is not subject to wonky measuring and sizing practices between brands. Because of this, it is one of the two key figures to determine how one bike compares to another.

For example, a Trek Emonda has a reach of 386mm in a size 54cm frame, a Specialized Tarmac SL7 has a reach of 387mm also in a size 54cm, and a Scott Addict RC has a reach of 389mm in size 54cm. While the difference is only a few millimetres, each one of these race bikes, which are supposed to be the same size, are actually a little bit different.

Stack

Stack is the other key sizing figure which denotes the vertical distance between the bottom bracket and the centre of the head headtube — measured using the same imaginary line that we drew straight up out of the bottom bracket when we measured reach.

The frame stack height measurement tells us how upright or aggressive a rider’s position will be on the bike. Racers tend to prefer a shorter stack because it allows them to get their handlebars low to remain lower, more aerodynamic, and shift more weight over the front wheel for cornering. Endurance and beginner riders are usually better suited to taller stacks because it allows for a more upright, comfortable position.

Small adjustments to the overall stack height can, of course, be made by using angled stems and spacers, but again, this is not unlimited.

For example, Cannondale’s endurance bike, the Synapse, has a frame stack of 570mm in size 54, while the SuperSix Evo race bike measures 554mm in the same size.

Other important measurements

When choosing the right size for you, the measurements above will be the go-to numbers, however, if you find yourself between sizes, or you want to choose between two similar-sized bikes from different manufacturers, the following measurements can help when it comes into the nuanced differences that will affect the ride feel, stability, handling and more.

Seat tube length and standover height

Seat tube length is one of the more simple measurements on a bike and is the distance between the centre of the bottom bracket to the top of the seat tube (excluding the seatpost, which is adjustable, of course).

In the olden days, bikes were sized based on their seat tube length because it was usually the same as the top tube length; this was before the introduction of sloping top tubes and compact frame geometries. While a select few brands, like De Rosa, still size their bikes based on seat tube length, most use the top tube length, if they haven’t opted for t-shirt style small/medium/large sizing.

Seat tube length is still relevant, however, as it provides an insight into a bike’s standover height. Too high a standover height, and your bike may leave you with a bruised undercarriage when you stop and climb off. There really isn’t such a thing as too low a standover height; modern mountain bikes are the perfect example of this. That said, as seat tube length and standover height are proportional to the rest of a bike’s geometry, it may signify the need for a bigger frame.

Head tube angle

The head tube angle of a bike doesn’t actually tell us anything about the size of a bike, but instead provides an insight into its handling characteristics; although as with everything else, it’s not the only determining factor. Fork rake, trail, stem length, handlebar width, chainstay length, and even BB height and drop all affect how a bike handles.

A steeper head angle will be a higher number, offering sharper, more responsive handling, and delicate inputs can illicit mid-corner line changes. With the handling being so light, bikes with steep head angles can sometimes feel nervous at high speed. A slacker head angle (lower number), on the other hand, will be more stable, especially at speed, but will require a bit more gusto to change your line.

Race bikes generally see head tube angle between 72.5 and 73 degrees, endurance bikes are often between 70 and 72 degrees, and cyclocross bikes usually range from 70 to 71 degrees — of course, there are outliers in every category.

Seat tube angle

The seat tube angle is, you guessed it, the angle of the top of the seat tube, relative to the centre of the bottom bracket.

Usually, on smaller bikes, the seat tube angle will be a bit steeper as riders with shorter legs need to be closer to the BB than riders with longer legs.

On mountain bikes, seat tube angles have increased dramatically as the geometries have become more progressive to help riders maintain traction on steep and technical climbs. On the other hand, road bikes have remained relatively stable, clocking in around 74-degrees, give or take a few degrees depending on the size and style of bike.

While the seat angle of a frame is set, adjustments can be made via a setback seat post or the fore and aft on the saddle rails. The position you’re shooting for is to have your knee directly above your pedal axle with the crank when your foot is at the three o’clock position.

Bike geometry comparison

One problem we face when buying a bike is that each brand lays out its geometry charts in a different way, and this makes comparing two bikes from two separate brands difficult. Expand that to five bikes from five brands and you can get lost in the numbers in no time.

Thankfully, we clearly weren’t alone in finding it a headache, as a few clever people have built tools that simplify bike geometry comparison.

Our go-to choice is Geometry Geeks, where you can simply search for the bikes you wish to select, hit compare, and it will bring up a standardised table that allows you to easily see the differences between your chosen frames. Others such as Bike Insights and Velogic Fit provide a similar solution.

So what does this all mean?

We have thrown quite a lot of general information at you here, and hopefully, you’re better equipped to decode the geometry chart of that new bike you’ve been lusting over.

But how do you take this information and figure out what size bike is right for you? Below is a basic size chart based on rider height to get you within the ballpark.

Bike size chart

Centemetres148 to 152cm152 to 160cm160 to168168 to 175175 to 183183 to191191 and up
Feet and inches Effective top tube length
4ft 10in to 5ft 2in 47 to 48cm
5ft 0in to 5ft 3in 49 to 50cm
5ft 3in to 5ft 6in 51 to 53cm
5ft 3in to 5ft 9in 54 to 55cm
5ft 9in to 6ft 0in 56 to 58cm
6ft 0in to 6ft 3in 58 to 60cm
6ft 3in and up 61cm to 63cm

Bike size guides

Remember, that table is only providing a rough ballpark. To get a better idea of what size bike you need to choose, you should consult the size guides provided by the brand you’re looking to buy. Online retailers like Competitive Cyclist, Jenson USA, and Bicycles Online also have pretty good sizing calculators that provide you with a decent starting point. However, even armed with this information, you should still only use it as a guide. The geometry charts are the true determiner of whether or not a bike will fit, and if so, how it will fit.

You will notice that we have only included effective top tube length in the sizing chart above, and have not included the t-shirt style sizing employed by some brands. This is because even among those that use small/medium/large to size their bikes, there is no standardisation. For example, a size M Giant TCR Advanced SL 0 Disc has an effective top tube length of 555mm while size M Ridley Helium SLX disc has a top tube length of 565mm — the size small has an effective top tube of 545mm. If you look at our basic size chart above, these fall into two different height categories. So if you are 5ft 9in tall, like this writer, you would ride a size M Giant and a size S Ridley.

The best way to find out if a bike fits is to go down to your local bike shop to try a few out and see what feels right. If possible, go and get a professional bike fit before you pull the trigger, or at the very least, get your local bike shop to help you choose the right size.

If you want to maximise your comfort and efficiency, our bike fit guide explains all the areas that can be adjusted to improve your comfort. Alternatively, a professional bike fit on your own bike will help you to dial everything from your saddle height to how many spacers you need down to the millimetre.

Now you’ve got the tools at your disposal, check out our guide to the best road bikes and pick the right bike for you.

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