If there is one rider who can single handedly make cross-country racing cool, it’s Nino Schurter. The Swiss World Champion is a huge personality, with an ever-present smile and a huge presence on the bike. He puts everything into his riding and racing, and is just as frequently in the air, crossed up, as he is drifting fast through corners or dropping into an A-line. He’s the guy everyone wants to be like on the bike – he has style, ability – and he wins a lot.
We visited the Scott-Odlo team penthouse at Trinity Beach, to take a closer look at Nino Schurters Scott Spark 700. A bike with 5 cables/hoses has never looked so clean, and well finished. It’s a striking look with matte carbon, matched with a custom paint job including the Swiss flag and ‘Nino’, plus the fluorescent yellow accents on the Ritchey parts, such as the saddle, seat post, bars and stem.
It’s hard to pick one thing that is immediately obvious – but the gold SRAM Eagle 10-50 12 speed cassette, with a matching gold chain is hard to miss. The huge range offered by Eagle may well mark the end of the front derailleur for SRAM in their mid to high end mountain bike group sets. Our concerns are based around ground clearance for the rear mech – but we’re certain this will have been tested thoroughly.
Given the huge range, Schurter runs a 38t chainring on his 27.5″ wheeled Scott, and will only go to bigger sizes for other courses this year.
Schurter runs a small single-sided chain guide to prevent the chain dropping inwards onto the bottom bracket shell.
Power is applied via pretty small (and light) Ritchey clipless pedals.
You’ve no doubt seen that Schurter and his Scott-Odlo team run tubular tyres – but they’re pretty amazing to see up close. While the DT-Swiss Carbon tubular wheels haven’t seen much change, they’re still amazing to look at. They’re taller than they are wide, and Scott haven’t moved to Boost spacing for their XC bikes, sticking to a 142×12 rear and 100×15 front hub. The Dugast tubulars are custom, and at 50mm aren’t overly wide.
Suspension is also from DT-Swiss, with a custom tuned rear shock, and custom seals on the fork. The fork’s carbon crown looks fantastic, and DT still push the reverse arch.
The cockpit on Schurter’s Scott
Scott’s TwinLoc lever is the best mechanical lock-out lever on the market, with a light action to activate the traction control, or fully locked out setting – for both the fork and rear shock.
With SRAM sponsoring the team, it’s no surprise to see The SRAM Ultimate brakes aboard the bike, with 160mm rotors front and rear. The Ritchey foam grips look to be a newer shape – but that’s not confirmed.
Schurter is backed by Garmin and GoPro, and races with a Hero4 Session on board. He’s got a great little integrated face plate for his Ritchey WCS stem – one of the neatest mounts we have seen.
Even with a Garmin and GoPro, the bike isn’t heavy, at about 9.8kg when weighed.
While the Spark frame hasn’t seen a major update in a while – they’re clearly on a winning formula for riders like Schurter. The overall feel of his Scott Spark is of a bike that is completely dialled.
The Spark looks fast when standing still, and given the intense focus that Nino Schurter has had in his preparation, it’s likely to be going very fast in round one of the UCI World Cup in Cairns this Sunday.