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Scott Solace 20 Disc review

23 Feb 2017
Verdict:

Quick handling and indisputably comfortable, the Solace is almost the ideal sportive machine

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£2,199.99

Buy the Scott Solace 20 Disc from Tredz here

Scott designed the Solace 20 Disc to take on the harshest road conditions without affecting rider comfort.

Combining clever frame technology with hydraulic disc brakes and high-volume tyres, all the ingredients are in place for a cracking endurance machine, built to take on long-distance rides without a hitch.

At a penny under £2,200, it’s competitively priced too, which should enhance its appeal to anyone planning to undertake a big sportive or two in 2017!

Frameset

Scott’s high-modulus carbon frame has been designed with two distinct zones – one for power, the other for comfort.

Areas kept stiff for efficiency of power transfer include the tapered head tube, oversized down tube, bottom bracket shell and asymmetrical chainstays. An oversized BB86 bottom bracket should also help.

The elements comprising the ‘comfort zone’ are the top tube, seatstays and seat tube – the seatstays bypass the seat tube to connect to the top tube, offering better deflection over bumps.

Scott also claims the aerospace-inspired tube shapes, especially the asymmetric chainstays, allow riders to maintain the same average speed for fewer watts.

There are inline barrel adjusters for both front and rear mechs, while cables and hoses are internally routed (the front brake hose runs neatly through the fork, rather than zip-tied to the outside).

Special mention goes to the neatest internal cable entry system we’ve ever seen.

Groupset

The Solace 20 boasts a full complement of Shimano 105, including the 50/34 chainset, wide-ratio 11-32 cassette, plus front and rear derailleurs.

The BR-505 hydraulic brake-specific shifters are equivalent to 105 level, too, with the hydraulics contained in elongated brake hoods.

The combination of a compact chainset and a biggest cog of 32 teeth on the cassette more than hints to this bike’s intended function as a decent climber, and one which just about any rider would be able to gel with.

Finishing kit

Syncros is owned by Scott, so it’s no surprise to see Syncros kit festooned over the Solace 20.

A carbon seatpost extends from the seat tube, which itself projects 60mm above its junction with the top tube.

Swept-back 400mm compact alloy bars are suspended by a 100mm alloy stem, which offers 50mm of height adjustment on the already fairly high head tube, by way of five separate spacers.

The Syncros FL2.5 saddle isn’t the most comfortable we’ve tested, but is perfectly adequate for grinding out a few hours in the saddle without a break.

Wheels

For a bike that’s designed to tackle your typical hilly sportive, the Syncros Road Disc wheelset is letting it down a little.

Its bulk does impair the attacking of climbs at speed, but isn’t enough to hold you back fully.

They reflect the whole package, really, in that you’ll reach the summit in good time and relative comfort, if not at KOM-bothering rapidity.

Continental’s Grand Sport Race rubber is a good choice, especially in the 28c size that allows you to run them at lower pressure for increased bump absorption.

The ride

The Solace feels instantly more rangy in its fit than the more race-oriented Specialized Tarmac Comp, offering not only a more stretched out riding position but also a slightly more relaxed geometry.

This doesn’t translate to a feeling of slow steering, more one of increased stability, which it retains in all riding conditions.

The smoothness of the Solace’s ride is apparent within 10 minutes of our first outing, the most obvious reason for this being the 28c Continental tyres that we’ve taken down to 85psi for the test ride.

Very little jars the Scott, but during winter riding when conditions are at their worst there’s a fair amount of chattering felt through the front end, which is much stiffer than the rear.

A fairly upright riding position allows us to stay comfortable throughout, but not at the expense of a few moments of excitement.

The bike responds well to inputs of eff ort, helping us to sprint to the top of easy rises and maintain a high average speed on well-surfaced, mildly undulating roads.

Bolt-thru axles help to minimise flex at either end when getting the power down.

This might be an endurance bike, but it still has the capacity to thrill, and it’s at times like these that we’re glad of the stiffer front end.

Attacking the biggest climb of our test loop isn’t as much fun as pounding pedals on rolling roads, however, and we’re grateful for the 11-32 cassette.

At nearly 9kg, the Solace isn’t the lightest that weight is only noticeable on longer, steeper climbs.

Despite the Solace’s weight, a wheelbase well below 1,000mm lends it some agility, even in tighter downhill corners.

It will track a line with precision, aided by a direct feeling at the front end, though it does feel a little vaguer at the rear end – a trade-off for how effectively it cossets you.

The 28c Continental tyres perform as well in the corners as you could hope in deep winter, with a larger footprint giving an assured connection with tarmac, and mid-corner surface imperfections shrugged off with ease.

Although the 72-degree head angle is slacker than that of the Specialized, for instance, the 74-degree seat angle positions your body relatively further forward, ensuring arms connect aggressively with compact handlebars to provide leverage when required.

In all, the quick-handling and indisputably comfortable Solace would present you with a near-ideal sportive machine if the overall package could retain this prowess whilst dropping a few extra grammes for quicker progress uphill.

Ratings

Frame: The high-tech design guarantees comfort. 8/10
Components: A full complement of the impressive Shimano 105. 8/10 
Wheels: The bulky Syncros Road Discs do an OK job. 7/10 
The Ride: Comfortable for sure, but still spinkled with thrills. 8/10

VERDICT

Quick handling and indisputably comfortable, the Solace is almost the ideal sportive machine.

Buy the Scott Solace 20 from Tredz here

Geometry

Claimed Measured
Top Tube (TT) 530mm 532mm
Seat Tube (ST) 460mm 460mm
Down Tube (DT) N/A 608mm
Fork Length (FL) N/A 380mm
Head Tube (HT) 145mm 145mm
Head Angle (HA) 72 72
Seat Angle (SA) 74.5 74
Wheelbase (WB) 981mm 981mm
BB drop (BB) 67mm 68mm

Spec

Scott Solace 20 Disc
Frame Solace Disc HMF frame and fork
Groupset Shimano 105
Brakes Shimano BR-505 hydraulic disc
Chainset Shimano 105, 50/34
Cassette Shimano 105, 11-32
Bars Syncros RR2.0, alloy
Stem Syncros RR2.0, alloy
Seatpost Syncros RR1.2, carbon, 27.2mm
Wheels Syncros Road Disc
Saddle Synros FL2.5
Weight 8.74kg (size S)
Contact scott-sports.com

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