Scott Speedster 20 review

Carbon Foil aero technology in affordable alloy format

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
GBP £999.00 RRP | USD $1,399.00

Our review

Packs aero tech into a responsive, friendly handling speed machine
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Scott’s light, tight and cutting-edge aero Foil was one of the hit bikes of last year and it’s a credit to Scott’s metalworking skill that there’s so much of its speed- loving character in its £1,000 sibling. 

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  • Highs: Fast, aero efficient and power friendly. Excellent all-speed handling
  • Lows: Firm ride can rattle a bit on rough roads but aero gains are worth it
  • Buy if: You’re looking for a naturally fast and responsive ride with excellent upgrade potential

The same virtual tail technology means blunt-backed, aero-fronted fork blades, down tube, seatstays and heavily shaped chainstays. These create ‘virtual tails’ of turbulence that mimic the airflow of a much bigger aerofoil. The profile also results in a greater range of sidewind efficiency. 

The recessed seat clamp wedge and internal cable routing also keep airflow clean. Fat rather than deep tubes keep weight reasonable and clever component choice brings weight down too. The Shimano 105/Tiagra mix is decent enough for a fancy new frame too. 

Having ridden the Foil a lot over the past year we were apprehensive and excited to ride this but we needn’t have worried. Even with a tall conical washer on top of the headset it’s still naturally aggressive. 

It’s certainly stiff enough to sprint up to speed quickly, and the point where the acceleration of most bikes on test started to fade is where the aerodynamics of the Speedster began to kick in. 

On the road it’s hard to tell how much is airflow advantage and how much placebo, but the Scott always seemed to hold speed better on the flat and pull ahead on descents. The aerodynamics definitely add stability to an otherwise fairly steep angled, short wheelbase bike, making it a great descender. In fact, it’s a very well behaved bike, mixing no-handed, pocket-fumbling forgiveness with quick-witted pothole dodging when needed.

The semi-aero Syncros wheels handle well and help you ease through the air with slightly less effort. We also tried it with genuine deep-section wheels with positive results on timed test circuits, making that an obvious upgrade for racers. 

Small touches such as the perforated centre strip saddle with sticky logo and textured panels, which keep you anchored while you pump a big gear, all make the Speedster name an appropriate one too.

Despite the big alloy tubes it’s not as punishing on rougher sections as we expected, and though it’s not exactly luxurious it’s damped enough to live with even on lumpy backroads.

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This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Speedster 20 (13)
Brand Scott

Available Sizes XL L M S XS XXL M L XXL M L M L M L XXL M S M L S M L S M L XXL S
Headset Type Integrated cartridge
Weight (kg) 9.17
Stem JD ST57 alloy
Shifters Shimano 105 ST-5700 Black, dual control 20-speed
Seatpost Syncros RR2.5
Rims Syncros Race 28 aero profile
Rear Tyre Schwalbe Lugano
Rear Hub Formula Team 24 H
Rear Derailleur Shimano 105 Black, RD-5701A/SS 20-speed
Handlebar Syncros RR2.0, anatomic 31.8 mm
Bottom Bracket Shimano 105 BB - 5700
Front Tyre Schwalbe Lugano
Front Hub Formula Team 20 H
Front Derailleur Shimano 105 FD-5700 Black
Frame Material Scott Speedster double butted 6061 alloy, integrated head tube
Fork Carbon, alloy steerer
Cranks Shimano 105 Compact Black, FC-5750 Hollowtech II 50x34
Chain Shimano Tiagra CN-4600
Cassette Shimano TIAGRA CS-4600, 10-speed 12-30T
Brakes Tektro R539
Weight (lb) 20.22