Scott’s Solace is designed to be a sportive machine, with a more upright riding position than its racier Addict, Foil and CR1, but a wheelbase that’s short enough to counter a potentially sedate feel.
Highs: Light and lively ride with fine handling and great gearing for climbs
Lows: Stiff alloy bar means vibration from the front end
Buy If: You want a bike with a relaxed riding position that can still handle well at speed, with easy hillclimbing gears
The frameset is light for any bike – 950g for the frame and 380g for the fork – and a major contributor to the bike’s overall low weight of 7.66kg.
Scott-owned Syncros provides the RP2.0 wheelset – all-alloy clinchers with a new wider rim design, minimal spoking (18 front, 24 rear) and DT Swiss hubs. Their light weight is especially appreciated on the climbs, and alongside the compact chainset and super-low 11-32 cassette make this a bike built for hills.
One of the big factors that marks out a great sportive bike is comfort. Scott has this licked in the position stakes, but has also done some work on the frame. The almost-pencil-thin seatstays are not only very flexible (you can squeeze them together by hand by around a centimetre), they are also brake- and brake bridge-less. The rear brake sits under the chainstays behind the bottom bracket shell, freeing up the rear end and allowing it to feel supremely smooth, helped by the slim carbon seatpost and 25mm rubber.
…so the thin seatstays are free to flex for your riding comfort: Robert Smith
The thin seatstays are free to flex for your riding comfort
Unfortunately, the front end doesn’t cosset you in the same fashion. The steep 73.3-degree head angle keeps the steering quick, and the head-tube is rock solid, making for great handling but also giving road noise a direct line to the stiff alloy bar and your hands.
The groupset has no deviations from Ultegra, with its slick and precise shifting and new brakes that have feel and power in spades – the direct-mount rear brake is one of the best of its type, sitting straight and staying aligned. When out of the saddle sprinting we could induce a little brake scrape from the rear rim, but that’s down to flex in the light wheels.
We like the Solace a lot. The handling is sportier than we expected from its riding position, but although it feels nimble and assured at speed, the contrast between the front and rear in terms of smoothness surprised us. The back end is as good as the best on the market, but the front is too noisy, with too much vibration getting through. A quality carbon bar would cure this – or certainly reduce it – and then Scott might have a winner on its hands.