$3k Endurance Bike Shootout: Scott Solace 20 Assessment


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The Scott Solace 20 was a steady, however not overly aggressive descender.

This text is a part of RoadBikeReview’s $3,000 Endurance Bike Shootout. See an introduction to the take a look at right here and head over to our Shootout Spherical-Up Web page to learn the remainder of the evaluations.

It was like a settee on wheels – in a great way. This was the overriding sentiment from our take a look at crew after spending time pedaling the Scott Solace 20 on the roads (paved and dust) in and round Boulder, Colorado. Launched in mid-2013, the Solace, whose title derives from the definition “to consolation,” was certainly designed to be comfy. That meant splitting the body into two areas, the consolation zone (prime tube, seat tube, seatstays and the decrease half of the fork), and energy zone (chainstays, backside bracket, down tube, head tube, and the higher portion of the fork).

It additionally meant embracing a considerably radical design. In an effort to take the sting out of tough roads, the Solace’s rear brake is positioned beneath the chainstay, which frees the seatstays from having to help a brake bridge, permitting them to be thinner and extra compliant. You’ll be able to really squeeze them along with one hand.

The seatstays higher attachment level can also be decrease than normal, flowing previous the seat tube and melding into the highest tube, creating a motorcycle that is as visually gorgeous as it’s pleasing to trip. Consolation is additional enhanced by a 27.2mm seatpost that has a delicate rearward flex that when mixed with the spindly seatstays yields noticeable bump-absorbing deflection when careening alongside tough pavement or dust.

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Bigger diameter chainstays are a part of the Scott Solace 20’s energy zone.

“It actually is sort of a sofa,” stated one tester after a spin round among the bumpy dust byways north of Boulder, Colorado. “This bike soaks up imperfections of every kind.”

The Solace 20 additionally goes uphill pretty nicely thanks each to an easy-to-spin 11-speed Shimano Ultegra drivetrain with a compact 50-34 crankset and 11-28 cogset, and an total weight of 16.49 kilos (measurement 58cm, no pedals). That is greater than a half pound lighter than every other bike within the take a look at, which included some 56cm frames and one 55.5cm body. (It additionally should be famous that at $3400, the Solace 20 is the costliest bike on this take a look at by as a lot as $450. The Solace 30 retails for $2,550 and comes with a Shimano 105 groupset.) This is a full breakdown of costs and weights for all bikes on this take a look at.

Bike-Comparison-Table

Whereas the premium Solace fashions are constructed up utilizing Scott’s increased finish HMX composite mix, the Solace 20 is strung along with HMF carbon fiber. That is not a serious downgrade by any means, however one tester felt the bike lacked some liveliness when climbing or throughout out-of-the-saddle efforts. “Would possibly the next grade carbon resuscitate the bike some?” he questioned.

All of the Solace fashions make the most of tapered head tubes, and have inside cable routing, Di2 compatibility, asymmetrical seat and chainstays, pressfit BB86 backside brackets, carbon races that improve fork stiffness, and a downtube that’s claimed to be 25 p.c stiffer than the 2013 Scott CR1, the bike the Solace successfully changed within the Scott line-up.

Like each bike on this take a look at, the Solace 20 handed our tire examine take a look at, which meant swapping on a set of 27c Problem Paris Roubaix tires that truly measure nearer to 30c. (The bike comes inventory with 25c Schwalbe Duranos). Nonetheless, getting the broader rear tire to squeeze via the chainstay-mounted brake caliper took a little bit wrangling, which brings us to that rear brake.

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By mounting the rear brake beneath the chainstays, Scott engineers had been capable of drastically cut back the dimensions of the seatstays, creating a motorcycle with higher vertical compliance.

Concession for the sake of development

As we have already made abundantly clear, there was basic consensus amongst our take a look at group that the Scott Solace 20 was arguably essentially the most comfy bike on this take a look at, consuming up tough street chop like a famished bike racer at an all-you-can eat pasta buffet. It is the form of bike that calls for to be ridden all day, its pilot comforted by the data that they’re going to really feel recent – not overwhelmed up – when the solar lastly units on their trip.

However there’s a draw back to all that plush. Any manner you slice it, the chainstay mounted brake isn’t perfect. For starters it is Shimano 105 (not Ultegra). However extra importantly, its bottom-of-the-bike locale makes it trickier to work on than a historically mounted brake, and it is extremely inclined to street gunk build-up, which over time may result in efficiency degradation. That did not occur throughout our take a look at session, however we logged only a couple hundred miles and by no means rode within the rain.

“There may be good engineering concerned as a result of it is a Shimano brake,” stated one tester, who’s additionally a former WorldTour staff mechanic. “However it’s a mode of brake that is extra widespread on time trial and triathlon bikes, they usually typically haven’t got the very best stopping energy. For me, it is a little bit odd that bike on this class, the place using on dust roads is a part of the attraction, went this course. As quickly because it will get soiled there’s going to be a drop in efficiency.”

It is completely no shock then that for mannequin yr 2015, Scott is including a disc brake-equipped model of the Solace that comes inventory with 28c tires. The Scott Solace Disc will retail for $3500 and are available spec’d with a mechanical Shimano Ultegra drivetrain, Syncros elements, and Syncros wheels with a 15mm through axle within the entrance and a 142×12 rear finish.

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The rear brake is launched through this lever beneath the deal with bars. Cable routing is inside — and Di2 appropriate.

One other quibble, as is commonly the case within the endurance bike class, was the dimensions 58cm Solace 20’s entrance finish top. Whereas the extra upright place afforded by an 20.5cm headtube actually enhances all-day trip consolation, bikes of this style won’t ever dive out and in of corners like their race-day brethren. The dimensions 58cm Scott Addict 20’s headtube is 2.5 centimeters decrease. “Steering simply felt a little bit sluggish,” stated one tester. “Flipping the stem and ditching spacers can do away with among the obscure response, however it would by no means really feel like a race bike.”

That is clearly not a problem distinctive to the Solace 20. Each bike on this take a look at is constructed for consolation first, precision dealing with second. This is a comparative take a look at among the key geometry measurements, together with head tube top.

Key-Geometry

Lastly, we weren’t fully impressed with the DT Swiss RWS skewers, which make the most of a ratchet to safe the wheels. The idea is sound (merely twist to tighten) however ours rattled some and took longer to tighten than a standard fast launch.

Backside Line

Within the realm of endurance bikes, the Scott Solace 20 ticks all the proper containers. It is distinctive body design delivers an incredible quantity of all-day consolation, whereas sustaining simply sufficient stiffness for the occasional all-out efforts. Spec is top-shelf at this worth level, and total weight is on par with bikes that price lots of extra. And whereas we’re not large followers of the chainstay mounted rear brake, it is nothing that may’t be solved with a little bit common upkeep. Or simply wait a short time and purchase the disc brake-equipped model.

Proceed to Web page 2 to see an prolonged photograph gallery and full spec of the Scott Solace 20 »

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Tall stem apart, the Scott Solace 20 was probably the greatest wanting bikes on this take a look at.

Scott Solace 20 Key Particulars

  • Value: $3400
  • Body Dimension: 58cm
  • Full Weight: 16.49
  • Entrance wheel with skewer, tire and tube: 1090grams
  • Rear wheel with cassette, skewer, tire and tube: 1540 grams

Scott Solace 20 Full Spec

  • Body: Solace Carbon HMF
  • Coloration: black/purple/white
  • Fork: Scott SDS
  • Shifters: Shimano Ultegra
  • Entrance Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra
  • Cassette: Shimano Ultegra (11-28)
  • Crankset: Shimano Ultegra (50-34)
  • Chain: Shimano
  • Brakes: Shimano 105
  • Seatpost: Syncros
  • Wheels: Syncros RP20
  • Tires: Schwalbe Durano, 25c
  • Bars: Syncros RR2.0
  • Stem: Syncros FL2.0
  • Saddle: Syncros
  • Seat submit: Syncros
  • Headset: Ritchey
  • Cable Routing: Inside
  • Cables/Housing: Jagwire CGX

For extra data go to www.scott-sports.com.

Try the prolonged photograph gallery to see and be taught extra concerning the Scott Solace 20.