Although the Scott Speedster S40 offers good geometry that should suit most types of riders, the weak brakes prevent us from giving an all-out endorsement of this bike.
Ride and handling: Predictable if uninspiring
Of the eight bikes in our “Best Road Bikes Under $1,000” test, the Scott Speedster S40 had a middle-of-the-road ride. None of our testers raved about it, but none griped too much, either.
The wheels were a little soft (we like stiff wheels), and the tire casings were a little hard (we like soft rubber), but all in all, the bike still handled fine.
Frame: Perfectly adequate build and geometry
As with all the bikes in our “Best Road Bikes Under $1,000” test, the Scott Speedster features an aluminum frame with a carbon fiber fork. The middle-of-the-road geometry made for a good fit for all five of our test riders. On a 56cm bike, the 170mm head tube worked for those that prefer a more aggressive position, and also those that prefer a more upright position.
Equipment: Good gear range, but weak brakes
Like six of the eight bikes in our “Best Road Bikes Under $1,000” test, the Scott Speedster features a 9-speed Shimano Sora group. The crankset is a compact 50/34 meaning that it’s smaller and easier than a crankset with the standard 53/39 chain rings. And the cassette is a generous 11-28, which means you have a good range of gears for going up and down hills.
The primary drawback we found, however, was the brakes. The brake calipers are house brand “Scott Pro,” and while they work okay on flat ground, we found them disconcertingly weak when coming down steep hills.
Also, the two test bikes we received suffered from poor assembly: both had extremely long shifter housing, the 56cm model had abnormally short cranks for its size (and incorrectly so, the company said) and one bike had a rear wheel that wasn’t true. All of these issues could and should be resolved at a bike shop — hopefully before you would even see the bike as a consumer.