Bike Check: Kate Courtney's 2022 Scott Contessa Spark RC 23
This weekend, cross-country and downhill athletes take to Lenzerheide to compete in the 2022 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup. Those in the know will be fully aware that teams love to get special bikes built up for such an event and already some are breaking cover. Here, we've got Kate Courtney's very purple Scott Contessa Spark RC 23. Let's get down to the details.
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As a former XCO World Champion, a title she won at Lenzerheide of all places back in 2018, Kate Courtney will be looking to reverse her mediorce start to the 2022 season with a special performance. To help get her ready to roll, Scott has given Kate's Contessa Spark RC 23 a complete visual overhaul and it looks absolutely sensational.
The special colour combines metallic paint with a raw carbon finish that matches the balance of the build.
When it was launched last year, the all-new Scott Spark rocked the cycling world with its integrated shock which boasts the highest level of overall integration yet to be seen on a mountain bike. The Contessa isn't any different with integration and hidden cables taking central stage here, too.
The RockShox SID Ultimate RD3 Air/ Blackbox Race Day fork rustles up 120mm of travel while a RockShox Nude 5 RLC handles 120mm of single-pivot-actuated squish at the rear. Both of those are cabled up to the brand's tried-and-tested, cable-actuated TwinLoc system, allowing riders to lock out their suspension on the fly.
It's not just the colourway that's extra special but the build, too. The Contessa Spark RC is built around SRAM's wireless XX1 Eagle AXS drivetrain in a matchy-matchy oil-slick finish. At the crank, there's SRAM's XX1 Eagle DUB Power Meter replete with 170mm arms driving a 32T chainring. Those cranks are home to a pair of HT Components M2T pedals.
On the subject of wireless actuation, Kate's Contessa Spark RC utilises a RockShox Reverb AXS dropper with 100mm of travel, a nod to how gnarly XC tracks are getting these days. Of course, the fact that there aren't any cables involved, sheds extra weight, too. Oh, and perched atop that dropper is a special Syncros Tofino V-Concept SL Cut Out saddle which is 50g lighter than her original seat.
On this bike, Kate's running a 680mm Syncros Fraser IC SL WC bar with Syncros Pro Clip-On grips, matched too negative rise -20-degree 90mm stem.
Slowing the Syncros Silverton SL2-30mm 29-inch carbon wheels is a pair fo SRAM Level Ultimates and those tyres are wrapped with a pair of mega low-profile Maxxis Rekon Races in 2.4in widths and 170tpi EXO casings.
To further bolster the weight-saving measures, there are purple, anodised titanium bolts used throughout the build, including plugging the holes of bottle cage bosses right through to the mech's limit screws.
"This bike performs incredibly well on the Lenzerheide track. With the TwinLock suspension, I am able to lock out completely on the pavement climb, use traction mode for the rooty pedaling sections and, of course, get the full 120 mm of travel on the technical descents and jumps. Can’t wait to race fast and have fun on the new bike this weekend,” says Kate.
Tech Specs: Kate Courtney's Scott Contessa Spark RC 23
Frame: Scott Spark RC Carbon HMX SL Custom
Fork: Rockshox SID Ultimate RD3 Air / Blackbox Race Day Damper 3-mode, 120mm
Rear Shock: Rockshox Nude 5 RLC3
Remote: Scott TwinLoc 2, 3-mode
Handlebar: Syncros Fraser IC SL WC -20° / 90mm / 680mm
Seatpost: Rockshox Reverb AXS 100mm, TItanium bolts
Saddle: Syncros Tofino V-Cconcept SL cut out
Grip: Syncros Pro Clip-On
Pedals: HT Components M2T
Rear Derailleur: SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS / 12-speed
Shifter: SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS
Crank Set: SRAM XX1 Eagle DUB power meter, 170mm / 32T chainring
Chain: SRAM XX1 Eagle
Cassette: SRAM XG-1299 Eagle / 10-50T
Brakes: SRAM Level Ultimate
Wheels: Syncros Silverton SL2-30MM, 29"
Tires: Maxxis Recon Race 29x2.40WT 170tpi EXO