Is this Nino Schurter’s new Scott Spark?

Could this be the bike that wins gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics?

27.5 29er Cross Country
Is this the bike that will win gold at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro?

Is this the bike that will win gold at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro?

Nino Schurter will be a medal favorite no matter which bike he rides at the upcoming Summer Olympics in Rio. But exactly what bike that will be is still a matter of great debate. Already this year, the reigning world champion has been spotted on a prototype Scott full suspension 29er race bike. He also jumps on the hardtail Scale from time to time.

Now in the lead-in to Scott’s annual Scott Week media event in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, the Swiss bike maker is showing off a “spy shot” 27.5 rig that is very likely an updated version of the Schurter’s dual suspension Spark. At least we assume that’s the case since it has his name on it — and it’s unlikely Scott would totally abandon the Spark line in favor of another short travel XC racer.

Whatever the case, the new bike is significantly different than the current Spark, eschewing the top-tube mounted shock with one that’s mounted vertically and pivots on a yoke near the bottom bracket. Also gone is the swing link, replaced with a rocker that’s mounted on the seat tube. Scroll through the images below for more speculation on this new bike. [Answers to all these questions have been revealed. Check out our first look of the new Scott Spark here.]

As you can see from this photo and the one below of Schurter's "old" full suspension racer, the primary differences are the linkage and shock mounting. Instead of the slender swing link, the "spy shot" bike utilizes a rocker mounted on the seat tube.

As you can see from this photo and the one below of Schurter’s “old” full suspension racer, the primary differences are the linkage and shock mounting. Instead of the slender swing link, the “spy shot” bike utilizes a rocker mounted on the seat tube.

This 27.5 model year 2016 Scott Spark had been Schurter's race bike of choice. But this year he's been spotted on a 29er.

This 27.5 model year 2016 Scott Spark had been Schurter’s race bike of choice. But this year he’s been spotted on a 29er.

The bottom bracket area appears to have gained quite a bit of girth, while the chainstays are larger and straighter, all of which adds up to improved power transfer.

The bottom bracket area appears to have gained quite a bit of girth, while the chainstays are larger and straighter, all of which adds up to improved power transfer.

The seat tube mounted rocker is made of carbon.

The seat tube mounted rocker is made of carbon.

The new bike has a slender, curving top tube that's a big departure from the more flat shape of the presumed predecessor.

The new bike has a slender, curving top tube that’s a big departure from the more flat shape of the presumed predecessor.

The paint scheme is similar to what auto makers use to disguise prototype cars. Says here Scott ought to offer it as an option in the line. It's looks cool.

The paint scheme is similar to what auto makers use to disguise prototype cars. Says here Scott ought to offer it as an option in the line. It’s looks cool.

Also on display in Scott's "spy shot" showroom is this helmet. It looks more road than MTB, but it has Schurter's name on it, so perhaps they're targeting the XC racer crowd as well.

Also on display in Scott’s “spy shot” showroom is this helmet. It looks more road than MTB, but it has Schurter’s name on it, so perhaps they’re targeting the XC racer crowd as well.

Nino's name. Nino's sponsors. Must be Nino's new bike.

Nino’s name. Nino’s sponsors. Must be Nino’s new bike.

Continue to page 2 for more photos of what could be the new Scott Spark


About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Olympics, Tour de France, MTB world champs, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying life with his wife Lisa and kids Cora and Tommy in and around their home in the MTB Mecca of Crested Butte.


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  • Jeremy says:

    This “proto” frame showed up before the last race in 29″ guise.

    Not surprised to see the 27.5 version of this frame. Nino had terrible luck last race with the 29″ wheel/frame that he probably told Scott that the new frame comes in 27.5 or he’s going back to the old bike the he was winning on.

    However, this won’t be Nino’s race bike. Likely a display replica. Nino rolls on Dugast tubulars.

  • dddd says:

    OK, so pivot-LES means just no pivot out back at the dropout area. I gather that there is a big main pivot behind the bottom bracket(?).
    I wonder what size cassette that is on there? The EAGLE ratios don’t seem to racey to me.

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