Alternative Options for MTB

Marvinman Posts: 126
edited August 2019 in MTB buying advice
Hi, I’m thinking of buying a Scott Spark RC 900 SL, 2019, which is detailed here: ... =269745006

Im in the lucky position where I can get a good quality bike, with the aim being something light as I’m a small guy.

I’m fairly new to MTB and was wondering if anyone had any other suggestions of comparable options to consider?



  • steve_sordy
    steve_sordy Posts: 2,446
    Wow! That is an absolute shedload of money to lay out on a bike for someone who is "fairly new to MTB". Yes, its a great looking bike, lightweight and with top components, but as you are new to MTB, there is no way that you will extract the value from that bike. It will be wayyyyyyyy more competent than you will be.

    Also what you are not allowing for is the strong probability that as you develop as a biker, your ambitions will develop too. The bike is a top spec lightweight 100mm travel XC bike, and no matter how brilliant it will be at XC, it won't be as good as a good trail bike on rough trails or an enduro bike on even rougher ones, let alone anything downhilly.

    What sort of riding are you planning to do, because that looks like an XC racing bike. It looks like the sort of a bike a road biker would buy, being lightweight and so forth.

    You could buy two outstanding MTBs*, each one very different to each other for that sort of money and still have change left over for a trail helmet, knee and elbow guards, backpack, MTB shoes and so on.

    Note* Merely for example the two following carbon fibre framed bikes:

    No 1 Whyte T120C RS 2019 120mm travel 27.5 £2975 (down from £3500) 120mm travel ... lsrc=aw.ds

    No 2 YT Jeffsy 27 CF Pro 150mm travel 27.5 £3500 ... tegory/509

    These are both outstanding bikes from companies with a good record and with top rated bikes.

    I strongly recommend that you go to trail centres and hire some different bikes. or go to demo days and ride them for free. Ride as many different bikes as you can, not just different brands, but different types of bike. It would be a shame to discover that after a year, your XC bike did not float your boat may more.
  • robertpb
    robertpb Posts: 1,866
    My thoughts entirely Steve.

    Plus the people in Scott's marketing department sat around a table and said how much can we get for this £5.5k bike.
    Now where's that "Get Out of Crash Free Card"
  • Marvinman
    Marvinman Posts: 126
    Thanks I’ll take a look at the options outlined.

    I don’t really want x2 mtbs and I’ve been down the path of picking a middle of the road mtb in the past, so I’m not too worried if something is thought to be ‘above my level’ as it gives me something to develop on.

    Any other options gratefully rec’d
  • steve_sordy
    steve_sordy Posts: 2,446
    Marvinman wrote:
    Thanks I’ll take a look at the options outlined.

    I don’t really want x2 mtbs and I’ve been down the path of picking a middle of the road mtb in the past, so I’m not too worried if something is thought to be ‘above my level’ as it gives me something to develop on.

    Any other options gratefully rec’d

    Sorry for any confusion my post may have caused. I wasn't actually suggesting that you buy two bikes (although I'm now down to one after many years of having two different ones). What I was trying to get across was that for less money than you were contemplating spending on one bike, you could get a wider range of options with two.

    I stick to my closing recco on my previous post. But for only one bike, I would suggest a lightweight trail bike with 130-140 travel. Google "best trail bike" or ask for suggestions on here, then go ride some. PS: you can get a brilliant HT trail bike for £1500 and a equally brilliant FS for £2000. Spend a year on either of those and take some mtb skills courses and then you will be better informed to choose, and better prepared to ride your next bike.

    Many people would suggest that someone starting out on mtb should get a hardtail because it teaches you more valuable skills than does a full suss. It is too easy to pick up bad habits on a FS. You don't say how old you are, but one thing's for sure, a full suss helps when you have dodgy knees!
  • tom_howard
    tom_howard Posts: 789
    If you want to spend £7k+ on a bike, by all means go for it. it will be an incredible machine.

    The trouble with bikes in that price bracket, is they do very specific jobs, so you need to be absolutely sure that it will do what you want it to do. That scott will get from A to B, across fairly tame terrain, faster than pretty well anything. It won't necessarily be particularly comfy, and will get out of its depth pretty quickly when the terrain goes much into red trail centre territory, esp in the hands of someone who is new to the game. it will be incredible on the flat and climbing, and will 'get through' descents, just about. if you plan on being at the sharp end of an XC race, this is the bike for you.

    For just "mountain biking' As mentioned above, a trail bike is nearer to what you want, will do everything really well, without being super focused on anything. IIRC thats the Genius in scotts range. At that money, these are incredible bikes, and will do everything really well, up down along, all day long.

    If you want to pedal to the top of the hill, just for the descents, and enduro bike may be better, the Ransom in Scotts range, these will take everything you can throw a them, and then some, you will run out of bottle before it does, but is still light enough not to feel like an anchor riding up, at your budget.

    See if you can get on a demo day, once you have decided the riding you want to do, and ride loads of expensive bikes, pick the one you like the best, as I say, at that money, there aren't bad bikes now.
    Santa Cruz 5010C
    Deviate Guide
    Specialized Sequoia Elite
    Pivot Mach 429SL
    Trek Madone 5.2 Di2
    Salsa Mukluk Carbon
    Specialized Turbo Levo Expert 29er
  • I ride a mid-range Spark (a 710 Plus fitted with 29'r wheels - in effect the "long travel" model but still only 130F/120R) I would agree with the comments here that it's worth trying any brands full range before you buy and it's important to be honest with what you mainly ride. I ride on the South Coast so the Genius is more travel than I need and feels overbiked to me for trail centre riding. I have entered several enduro's on my Spark and often ride natural technical trails further afield and it's only ever my ability holding it back - just look at what the pro XC guys handle on the bike you are looking at- it just doesn't have that margin some people like as a get out of jail free. But like you I am light build so losing 2 or 3 Kg of bike weight is a real advantage on long rides with a lot of climbing. My bike is now about 12Kg with the upgrades it's had and I really notice the difference either way if I demo an XC bike (around 10Kg) or an enduro bike (around 14/15Kg)