Scott's Solace 10 Disc blends bright looks, 28c rubber and flat-mount brakes

Hands on with Swiss brand's 2016 sporty endurance bike

Having teased the 2016 Scott Solace 10 Disc in our most recent 11spd roundup, we’re back to take a closer look at this bike – which we'll be posting a full review of in due course.

The Solace is pitched as a sporty endurance bike. Where the term endurance typically carries connotations of being relaxed and upright; the Solace clearly holds onto a little of the Swiss brand’s race pedigree.

The disc version was released in the 2015 season, and for 2016 carries over with a few minor refinements, such as a thinner 12mm front thru-axle.

Related reading: Scott Solace 15 Disc 2015 review

The full carbon frame is made with what Scott dubs ‘Bi-Zone construction’. With this, the tapered head tube, oversized down tube, bottom bracket shell, and asymmetric chainstays are used to form the ‘Power Zone’ for high pedalling efficiency.

The solace disc offers clean lines with its internal cable routing :
The solace disc offers clean lines with its internal cable routing :

The Solace claims to do what just about every other endurance road frame does. Stiff under power, comfortable over the rough

A key part in the ‘Powerzone’ is the tapering down tube that uses the full width of the PF86 bottom bracket shell. This down tube isn’t exactly oversized, but its semi-circular shape should be efficient at resisting twist.

Higher up, the seatstays, seat tube and top tube are designed as a ‘Comfort Zone’ in order to maximise frame compliance. Helping this along, the fork legs feature a bowed design, also there to aid in vertical compliance without sacrificing steering precision.

No rim brake caliper means uninterupted seat stays from drop-out to seat tube : no rim brake caliper means uninterupted seat stays from drop-out to seat tube
No rim brake caliper means uninterupted seat stays from drop-out to seat tube : no rim brake caliper means uninterupted seat stays from drop-out to seat tube

Disc brakes mean no rim brake-dictating frame cross joints

The lack of a brake bridge for a rim brake makes for long and uninterrupted seat stays that are clearly quite flexible. Just putting them carefully between your hands shows an uncommon amount of give (careful, don’t squeeze too hard!).

Fit-wise, the Solace Disc is just 5mm shorter in the top tube length than the racier Scott Addict (medium size). The 72.5 head angle is the same between the two, but the Solace has 25mm stack height to the head tube and an ever so slightly steeper seat angle. With this, the position is that little more upright.

Related: Scott Addict 20 review

However, underlining the Solace's racy inspiration, it shares the Addict's bottom bracket height, chainstay length and wheelbase measurement (give or take 1mm).

Given this, it’s not too surprising to hear that Scott would supply its two WorldTour teams with the Solace Disc frame if decide to to trial disc brakes in the coming season.

Flat mount disc calipers are now given on the solace disc : flat mount disc calipers are now given on the solace disc
Flat mount disc calipers are now given on the solace disc : flat mount disc calipers are now given on the solace disc

Rear flat-mount brakes use bolts from beneath that thread through and into the caliper

Last year, before flat-mount discs were even a thing, the Solace Disc had the mounts. This carries over, but now the Shimano brake calipers are matched to the frame capabilities without the need for ugly adaptor brackets.

Axle-wise, the frame uses 12mm DT Swiss RWS thru-axles front and rear. The rear is a wider 142 x 12mm sizing, while the front is the new UCI-compliant 100x12mm.

The interchangeable internal cable routing is rather slick. The rear brake hose enters at the right of the head tube and reveals itself on the inside of the left chainstay just before the brake caliper. The front is done similarly, being guided through the fork leg.

On the left of the head tube, the gear cables both feed into a replaceable plug. Here, the plug could be replaced with a Di2 version.

That's a 28c schwalbe durano tyre in place, and there's plenty of room to grow : that's a 28c schwalbe durano tyre in place, and there's plenty of room to grow
That's a 28c schwalbe durano tyre in place, and there's plenty of room to grow : that's a 28c schwalbe durano tyre in place, and there's plenty of room to grow

Plenty of clearance for large rubber

Out of the box, the Solace 10 Disc rolls on 28c Schwalbe Durano rubber, and there appears to be ample frame and fork clearance to go even bigger.

Holding onto the big-bags tyres are a pair of Syncros RP-2.0 Disc wheels. The wheels, including the three-pawl hub and straight-pull aero spokes are made by DT Swiss and should prove plenty durable. The 18mm internal width rim is said to be tubeless-ready too.

Sitting a peg down from the top Solace Premium Disc, the 2016 Solace 10 Disc (compare to 2015 Solace 15 Disc) features Shimano Ultegra 6800 11-speed shifting linked to Shimano RS805 hydraulic disc brakes. The range on this gearing is enormous, with the compact front crank linked with an Alp-conquering 11-32t cassette.

The shimano rs500 crank is a clear cost saving measure and adds about 120g over an ultegra chainset : the shimano rs500 crank is a clear cost saving measure and adds about 120g over an ultegra chainset
The shimano rs500 crank is a clear cost saving measure and adds about 120g over an ultegra chainset : the shimano rs500 crank is a clear cost saving measure and adds about 120g over an ultegra chainset

A few dollars saved here...

It’s worth noting the few sneaky price-cuttings done in the drivetrain. Here, a Shimano non-series RS500 crank is given, which sits one lower than a 105 model. While the shifting and durability is fine, such a cost saving comes with a 120g weight penalty over an equivalent Ultegra unit. And it’s a cheaper (heavier) 105 cassette used in order to get that extended range too.

For those thinking the wide tyres, confident disc brakes and generous gearing sounds ideal for long commutes or loaded touring, then think again. In a clear effort to keep this a road-focused machine, Scott has provided absolutely no provisions for fenders (mudguards, if you're reading in the UK) or panniers. And given just how flexible those seatstays are, we wouldn't suggest strapping anything with weight to them either.

We weighed our small sample at 8.15kg. That weight is close to a kilo more than an equivalently priced rim-brake road bike, but is still quite reasonable given the versatility the Solace is designed to offer. That said, we’re eager to see if the additional versatility and braking control is worth the weight penalty.

The Scott Solace 10 Disc retails for £2,599 / $3,500 / AU$4,500.

We’ll be taking this ride with us to the often dead-feeling roads of the Tour Down Under. In the meantime, have a scroll through the photo gallery up top for a closer look.

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