Scott Speedster 40 review

A redesign sees big benefits for beginners

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £699.00 RRP | AUD $1,100.00 | USD $749.00

Our review

Successful redesign updates an already popular and successful machine
Buy if, You want a very good all-round road bike with modern wider tyres and ‘sensible’ gearing
Pros: Wider gear range, wider tyres, loads of clearance for mudguards and a fine all-round ride
Cons: Average brakes, plus it’s a pity Scott can’t manage a carbon fork
Skip to view product specifications

Scott hasn’t always excelled at this price, but seeing as most bikes sold in Britain come in at well under £1000, get the product right and the customer will always keep coming back for more.

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My hopes were raised when I saw that Scott’s entry-level Speedster 40 had been redesigned for 2018. Not only does it come in lighter than its predecessor, but it also has some neat features that are unusual on a bike at such a modest price.

Internal cable routing keeps the frame looking neat
Internal cable routing keeps the frame looking neat
David Caudery/Immediate Media

True, a couple of the usual cost-cutting measures are evident when it comes to kitting out this bike, most notably the all-aluminium fork and budget non-cartridge Tektro brakes. But you can upgrade the brakes’ performance easily and inexpensively by swapping for cartridge blocks.

Scott has also taken measures to counteract the potential harshness of the all-metal fork by speccing 28mm Schwalbe tyres compared with last year’s 25mm Kendas. Yep, it looks like 28mm could be the new 25mm, which was of course the new 23mm…

Scott Speedster 40 kit

The Luganos are decent enough training tyres, but get the Vernier callipers out and they measure 29mm on the Syncros rims. Remember, the wider the tyre the lower the pressure you can run it at without risking extra punctures.

The difference in running pressures between a 23mm and 28mm tyre isn’t marginal either, as Schwalbe recommends 115psi for an 85kg rider on a 23mm tyre but just 94psi for 28mm rubber and a mere 80psi for a 60kg rider. This means you really can run the Speedster’s tyres at a lower pressure, for extra cushioned softness in the Scott’s firmish ride.

Wide 28mm tyres are a welcome sight on the Scott
Wide 28mm tyres are a welcome sight on the Scott
David Caudery/Immediate Media

Another plus are the mudguard fittings — even with 28mm tyres there’s clearance for proper full-length mudguards, not just aftermarket blades. Mudguard fittings aren’t expensive to manufacture, but they increase a bike’s practicality on our notoriously wet island. I would have appreciated rear rack mounts, which Specialized manages on its Allez, but you can still attach rack fittings or use seatpost-mounted systems.

Another welcome change for 2018 is the move to a 32-tooth sprocket compared with last year’s 30. The real-world difference on my 16-mile commute, between a 32- and the 28-tooth sprocket on many entry-level road bikes, is being able to stay in the saddle on double-digit inclines, standing on the pedals or weaving about in a painfully slow zigzag. It could easily be the difference between riding and walking. The only penalty is bigger jumps between gears.

I would have liked a carbon fork, but have no qualms about the handling
I would have liked a carbon fork, but have no qualms about the handling
Robert Smith

While Scott describes the geometry as ‘endurance’, the wheelbase is a touch shorter than last year’s, but I reckon the resulting geometry is pretty much spot on —it makes the Speedster sharp enough for speedier riders, and relaxed enough for the more leisurely minded.

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I would have liked a carbon fork, but have no qualms about the handling. You can fly down hills and change direction rapidly, and the move to wider tyres and a wide-ranging cassette is a very sensible one by Scott, and one that’s designed to appeal to newer riders.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Speedster 40
Brand Scott

Available Sizes 47cm 49cm 52cm 54cm 56cm 58cm 61cm
Seat Tube (cm) 50
Shifters Shimano Claris
Stem JD ST123A alloy
Trail 5.8
Weight (kg) 10.43
Wheelset Syncros Race 22 rims, Formula Comp hub
Chainstays (cm) 42
Top Tube (cm) 55
Seat Angle 74
Wheelbase (cm) 100
Frame size tested 56cm
Head Tube (cm) 18.1
Stack (cm) 59.23
Reach (cm) 38.46
All measurements for frame size tested 56cm
Seatpost Syncros RR2.5
Saddle Syncros FL2.5
Bottom Bracket Shimano BB-UN26
Frame Material Speedster doublebutted aluminium
Brakes Tektro Comp SCBR-313
Cassette Shimano CS-HG50, 11-32
Chain KMC X8
Cranks Shimano Claris 50/34
Fork Speedster aluminium
Fork Offset 4.75
Front Derailleur Shimano Claris
Rear Wheel Weight 2030
Front Tyre Schwalbe Lugano, 28mm
Front Wheel Weight 1430
Handlebar Syncros RR2.0 Comfort
Head Angle 72.5
Headset Type Integrated
Rear Derailleur Shimano Claris
Rear Tyre Schwalbe Lugano, 28mm
Bottom-bracket drop (cm) 6.7