TESTED: Scott E-Spark 730
PRICE: R84 990
GET IT NOW: scott-sports.com
It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find fault with any of the models in Scott’s extensive bike portfolio – even the e-bike range. This E-Spark 730 is based on the normal Spark, but adds an electric motor to spice up proceedings. It also gets 650b wheels and tyres, 130mm front and 120mm rear suspension complete with Scott’s Twinlock system, and an alloy frame and dropper post.
These specifications point more towards a trail-skewed machine, but you can bet your bottom dollar it’s appreciably capable on any terrain.
The Scott employs a Shimano STEPS E-8000 motor, and claims a range of up to 100km, as long as you keep the speed at 25km/h or less. It looks pretty intriguing, too – Scott has incorporated a selection of integrated covers for the motor, including skid plates and the like, which offer a combination of protection and beefy-looking aesthetics.
From a dynamic perspective the E-Spark follows the design cues of the Olympic-winning Spark, with uprated single-pivot rocker suspension kinematics to boot. A significant reduction in pivots means a longer stroke, as well as less maintenance.
Other notable highlights include Boost hub spacing, a slacker head angle and shorter chainstays. It’s a real trail toy – a machine that’s just as much at home full tilt down a trail as it is cruising on the cycle lanes and greenbelts.
E-bike motors produce high torque, which accelerates wear on consumable parts such as tyres and chains – these items need to be monitored. And the bikes are built with heavy-duty components such as thick tyres, stronger rims, and larger brakes to handle the added force and weight.
It’s important that when you need to, you purchase appropriate replacements. You can also replace battery packs yourself. What you can’t do, however, is work on the motor, replace individual battery cells, or fix the controller electronics (at least, not without voiding the warranty).
For issues with the power system itself it’s best you take it to an approved dealer. Like cars, most e-bikes today use a diagnostic system, so it’s a lot easier to troubleshoot any issues that may arise.
The systems are largely waterproof; you can wash an e-bike, as long as you avoid spraying water directly at the motor, battery housing, or controller.