Already at first glance, the Spark 900 Tuned AXS exudes innovation spirit and a zest for bold design language. Moreover, the extra travel should provide better downhill qualities and ensure maximum riding fun. However, a badass downcountry rig is a lot more than a few extra centimetres of travel and a flashy frame. Can the Spark 900 impress on the trail and secure Best in Test in our 2022 downcountry group test?

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best downcountry bike of 2022 – 6 models in review

SCOTT Spark 900 Tuned AXS | 130/120 mm (f/r)
11.5 kg in size L | € 9,499 | Manufacturer’s website

The SCOTT Spark 900 Tuned AXS is a true eye-catcher! We’re not referring to the flashy colour but the crazy shock integration. While at first glance our test bike looks a lot like Nino Schurter’s workhorse, the 900 model is the beefier trail version of SCOTT’s XC classic. The 900 series rolls on 29″ wheels and generates 130/120 mm travel, at the front and rear, respectively. A special feature is the linkage-driven single pivot with flex seat stays. The shock is accessible through a small opening in the down tube while an additional peephole and SAG indicator facilitate suspension setup. A thin seat and chainstay protector is meant to prevent chain slap and paint chips, but the chain still rattles loudly against the frame on rough trail sections. The special frame design leaves room for up to two bottle cages, allowing you to carry plenty of water on long rides. A practical multitool is integrated in the rear wheel thru-axle and includes most tools for essential trailside repairs (T25, T30 and 6 mm Allen key).

The spec of the SCOTT Spark 900 Tuned AXS

The 11.5 kg Spark 900 AXS comes equipped with a FOX Factory suspension with a few special features, including SCOTT’s in-house TwinLoc system. Unfortunately, the FOX 34 fork has to make do with the basic FIT4 damper because the GRIP 2 model isn’t compatible with the TwinLoc system. We’d happily trade the lockout feature for the far superior GRIP2 damper, which is available with most non-Step-Cast (read lightweight) FOX models. The rear suspension is controlled by a FOX Nude 5T shock developed specifically for the Spark. Like the fork, this is connected to the TwiLoc system, which allows you to adjust the suspension in three stages switching between Lockout, Traction Control and Descend modes. However, the many levers on the handlebars can be confusing and take some getting used to on the trail – and there’s also the remote for the 150 mm FOX Transfer dropper post!
As the name suggests, the Spark 900 Tuned AXS relies on wireless SRAM AXS components. The Swiss combine an X01 rear derailleur with cassette and chain and GX AXS rocker paddle, which is marginally heavier than its X01 counterpart (6 g) but shifts gears just as smoothly. Moreover, the SCOTT employs a UDH mech hanger, which should be easy to find in pretty much all bike shops around the world. Four-piston Shimano XTR brakes with big 180 mm IceTech rotors front and rear ensure powerful and reliable deceleration – no other bike in this test can match the Spark’s braking performance.

Carbon plough
Ben’s having a whale of a time! The suspension of the Spark generates huge amounts of traction, swallowing up brake bumps and root carpets almost unnoticed.

Another integration highlight is SCOTT’s one-piece Syncros Fraser iC SL carbon cockpit, which takes an on-board computer and ensures a super clean cockpit: all cables are neatly routed under the handlebars and disappear into the frame through the stem. Moreover, the shifter, brake levers, TwinLoc and dropper remotes are attached to the 760 mm handlebars with just two clamps. However, the many cables still make for a crowded cockpit. For the wheels, SCOTT rely on an in-house Syncros Silverton 1.0-30 CL carbon wheelset and 2.4″ Schwalbe Wicked Will tires. Both tires come in the super-light EVO Super Race casing, which was developed specifically for XC/marathon racing. Unfortunately, the lighter weight comes at the expense of puncture protection and traction. Schwalbe’s Speed soft rubber compound improves traction at the front while a QUARK Tyre Wiz pressure sensor ensures quick and easy pressure readings, connecting to your smartphone via Bluetooth.

Not the wrong one again?!
SCOTT’s in-house TwinLoc system allows you to switch between Locked, Traction Control and Descend modes and has a great influence on suspension performance. However, the many levers of the TwinLoc and dropper post make for a crowded cockpit and can create confusion on the trail.
Peeping for nudes!
The Nude 5T shock can be accessed and set up through the opening in the down tube.
Weird flex mate!
Due to the linkage-driven single pivot with flex stays, the Shimano XTR four-piston rear brake caliper is attached to a separate mount.

SCOTT Spark 900 Tuned AXS

€ 9,499


Fork FOX 34 Factory FIT4 130 mm
Rear Shock FOX Nude Factory 120 mm
Seatpost FOX Transfer Factory 150 mm
Brakes Shimano XTR 180/180 mm
Drivetrain SRAM X01/GX Eagle AXS 1x12
Stem Syncros Fraser iC SL DC 70 mm
Handlebar Syncros Fraser iC SL DC 760 mm
Wheelset Syncros Silverton 1.0 29
Tires Schwalbe Wicked Will Super Race Evo ADDIX Soft/Schwalbe Wicked Will Super Race Evo ADDIX Speedgrip 2.4

Technical Data

Size S M L XL
Weight 11.5 kg

Specific Features

adjustable head angle
(or angleset)

Blinking away
The integrated QUARK TyreWiz sensors allow you to check the air pressure directly from your smartphone. While this may not be essential on the trail, it’s a nice thing to have!
Tool = cool
SCOTT integrate a minitool with a T25, T30 and 6 mm Allen key in the rear wheel thru-axle of the Spark. However, we recommend carrying a more complete multitool with a 4 mm Allen key, which comes in handy for other components such as the brake levers.
The super-thin seat stay and chainstay protector causes an annoying rattling noise on the trail. However, a little bit of mastic tape will do the trick!

The geometry of the SCOTT Spark 900 Tuned AXS

The SCOTT Spark 900 is available in four sizes, S to XL, offering a suitable option for riders between 162 cm and 198 cm. Our test bike in size L has 470 mm reach and 618 mm stack height. At 490 mm, the seat tube is rather long, restricting freedom of movement when riding in the attack position and making it hard to choose the size based on your desired reach. Head angle is 65.8° in the slacker setting, but this can be steepened up by 0.6° simply by turning the headset. The Spark 900 rolls out of the factory in the slacker setting, which is the one we’d recommend for trail riding.

The FOX suspension of the SCOTT Spark 900 Tuned AXS generates plenty of traction and offers excellent small bump compliance. Nevertheless, we would like a little more support to pump through rollers and berms.

Size S M L XL
Seat tube 415 mm 440 mm 490 mm 540 mm
Top tube 561 mm 589 mm 613 mm 641 mm
Head tube 90 mm 90 mm 105 mm 115 mm
Head angle 65.8° 65.8° 65.8° 65.8°
Seat angle 75.7° 75.9° 76.4° 76.7°
Chainstays 438 mm 438 mm 438 mm 438 mm
BB Drop 44 mm 44 mm 44 mm 44 mm
Wheelbase 1,145 mm 1,174 mm 1,205 mm 1,236 mm
Reach 410 mm 440 mm 470 mm 500 mm
Stack 608 mm 608 mm 618 mm 627 mm
Helmet Rapha x Smith Forefront 2 Trail | Glasses Rapha Pro Team Full Frame | Hippack USWE Zulo 2
Jersey Second Hand Lumberjack | Shorts Specialized Trail 3XDRY | Shoes Five Ten Maltese Falcon
Socks Trigema Sportsocken | Watch Casio A168WA

The SCOTT Spark 900 Tuned AXS on the trail

On level ground, the sporty and slightly hand-heavy pedalling position gives away the strong XC DNA of the SCOTT Spark 900. With the TwinLoc system in Descend mode, the rear suspension wallows noticeably and tends to bob when you pedal. On tarmac and gravel paths, we prefer using Lockout mode, which locks out the fork and shock completely, ensuring excellent propulsion. If you wind your way up the mountain and onto the trails, Traction Control mode is your best option: this stiffens up the compression of the fork and makes the shock so progressive that the rear suspension generates only 80 mm travel. At the same time it changes the dynamic geometry of the Spark, which results in a higher bottom bracket and steeper seat and head angle. Nevertheless, the rear suspension generates enough traction, even on loose terrain, keeping the rear wheel planted on smaller roots and ledges. That being said, the rear suspension of the Trek and YT feels equally firm without reaching for the locking lever.

The TwinLoc system of the SCOTT Spark 900 Tuned AXS may take some getting used to but brings a clear advantage to the trail, particularly on technical climbs.

Power hour
Switch and go! Traction Control changes the dynamic geometry of the Spark, allowing you to negotiate technical climbs without breaking a sweat.

Before shredding your way back into the valley, it’s worth switching the TwinLoc into Descend mode to unleash the full potential of the FOX suspension. If you do so, the suspension works sensitively and generates plenty of traction, swallowing up small brake bumps and root carpets almost unnoticed. However, sporty riders won’t have enough support to pump through rollers and berms – here the Top Fuel has a clear advantage with its firm suspension. On tight trails, the Spark demands an active riding style and requires good riding skills to generate an equal amount of grip on both wheels. Tires with a more aggressive tread pattern would really help and allow you to fly through the forest even faster.

Tuning tip: more robust tires for better downhill performance

Riding Characteristics



  1. sluggish
  2. efficient


  1. cumbersome
  2. playful


  1. nervous
  2. confident


  1. demanding
  2. balanced


  1. harsh
  2. plush

Fun Factor

  1. planted
  2. poppy

Value for money

  1. terrible
  2. very good

Intended Use










With its innovative design and well-thought-out frame details, the SCOTT Spark 900 Tuned AXS is a true eye-catcher, both on and off the trail. Although the many levers on the handlebars take some getting used to, SCOTT’s in-house TwinLoc system brings great advantages to the trail. The Spark delivers an impressive performance, both up and downhill, appealing primarily to riders who like to keep the wheels on the ground while ploughing their way into the valley with plenty of traction.


  • simple frame design, smart integration and clever detail solutions
  • cool features such as the built-in mini tool and QUARK TyreWiz
  • suspension generates excellent traction


  • long seat tube restricts freedom of movement on the bike

You can find out more about at

The test field

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best downcountry bike of 2022 – 6 models in review

All bikes in test: BMC Fourstroke 01 LT ONE (Click for review) | SCOTT Spark 900 Tuned AXS | SIMPLON Cirex SL 120 (Click for review) | Specialized Epic EVO Expert (Click for review) | Trek Top Fuel 9.9 XX1 AXS (Click for review) | YT IZZO UNCAGED 7 (Click for review)

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Words & Photos: Peter Walker

About the author

Peter Walker

As editor-in-chief, Peter is as much a man of action as he is of words. This expert, screw-driver-flexing two wheeled-whizz has many envy-inducing characteristics, including a background in motocross, several EWS race plates to his name, and more than 150 recorded days at Whistler Bike Park. However complex the bike and however steep the trail, he’s probably already nailed it, twice. Oh, and he can do it all on skinny tyres too. When it comes to guiding consumers, Peter cut his teeth at Vancouver’s oldest bike shop and now puts pen to paper on the daily translating this know-how into our editorial plan. When not tearing up Stuttgart’s local trails while testing bikes, he loves nothing more than loading up his self-renovated VW T5 and hitting the road. The fact that he’s a trained paramedic gives his colleagues reassurance out on the trails. So far we haven’t had to call him by his alias ‘Sani Peter’, so here’s hoping he keeps it right side up for the rest of his time here!