Scott’s Speedster 60 is the entry-level road bike from a company whose machines compete in the pro peloton at the very highest level – Simon Gerrans and Daryl Impey riding their Scott Foils to stage victory and the yellow jersey early in this year’s Tour de France.
Here though, we’re interested in whether its bikes can be competitive at rather less stratospheric levels.
Highs: Pace-oriented design, big-brand confidence, upgrade spec
Lows: Not much scope for ‘guards, so-so gear setup
Like many of its peers in this price bracket it’s built around an aluminium frame, with a fork made from the same metal and shifting coming courtesy of Shimano’s budget Tourney groupset.
This Scott tries to live up to its Speedster name and revels in racy touches. Its 73-degree head tube and 74-degree seat tube really pushes it towards first-road-bike-for-the-aspiring-fastman territory. True, there are eyelets for a rear mudguard, but in practice clearance would be an issue.
It has a compact double chainset and a seven-speed cassette, so there are fair-sized jumps between gears, especially towards the cassette’s bigger sprockets. Those racy credentials are again apparent in the choice of its 11-tooth sprocket, meaning you can really power it up on the flat and when descending, aided by the aggressive geometry. It has a 28t sprocket for a low-gear climbing – a solid option for bikes at this price.
Unlike Shimano’s more expensive groupsets, Tourney lacks a paddle lever inside the brake lever for changing gear – the right-hand lever has a small thumb-operated shifter on the inside of the brake hoods for changing up to a smaller sprocket/higher gear, while the left-hand thumb shifter moves the front mech to the big ring. Annoyingly that means changing up in the rear derailleur while riding in the drops – as you may want to do while descending – is an extremely tricky task.
Ride-wise things are certainly on the firm side but, even with its 27.2mm seatpost, the Speedster offers a reassuring and purposeful experience that doesn’t become bruising.
In conclusion, this Scott would make a great first road bike. Both frame and wheels are relatively light compared with some of its competitors and, while the seat tube angle is quite steep, the medium height head tube and classic 73-degree head angle stops it from being too aggressive for less experienced riders.
Its minimal mudguard clearance doesn’t do it any favours if you’re thinking of using it for winter riding, but what you do get is the reassurance of riding a road bike from one of the big names without threatening your overdraft.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.