By Eric McKeegan
Prep Time For Trans-Sylvania Epic is almost over. I’m still debating clothing choices, getting nutrition squared away and deciding on using bottles versus a hydration pack. I’ve been fortunate not to worry too much about bike choice though: Scott was kind enough to send me a Spark 29 RC to ride and race.
The Spark has been here long enough for me to dial it in, which so far has entailed me flipping the stem and adjusting the seat height. I will probably swap the tires depending on conditions, and perhaps score a set of race wheels for the week. The bike I’m using is an early sample built up for Interbike—the wheelset has rims that say “all-mountain” which isn’t at all what this bike is about.
This bike is about XC racing, with an emphasis on longer events. Geoff Kabush already has a few ticks in win column this year aboard the Spark 29, and while I have no illusions of winning TSE, I won’t be able to use the bike as an excuse.
The geometry is an interesting blend of XC and trail bike, with two adjustable shock settings, a slacker and lower (69.5º head angle/12.5” BB) and steeper (70.1º/12.8). The parts pick is all XC race, with a full SRAM XX group, plus a carbon bar and seat post.
After about a month of training rides aboard the Spark, I’m going into this race confident I’ll be able to go and hard as I’m able.
Watch for more updates from the Trans-Sylvania Epic presented by Dirt Rag.