Our Bikes Category Manager Alex headed out to Gstaad to attend the launch of Swiss brand SCOTT Bikes' 2014 range, and test rode the brand-new SCOTT Solace road bike. �Fast...compliant...very comfortable...perfect sportive companion...� Read his full review and verdict below.
The Swiss ski resort of Gstaad played host to the SCOTT Bikes 2014 launch. A popular haunt for high society with its chocolate-box scenery and wide array of boutique stores, Gstaad is also a great location to test some of the latest developments from the Swiss manufacturer.
With the expo centre sitting at over 1000 metres above sea level, some people were already feeling the effects of trying to ride at altitude. The upside of this was the fantastic views - climbing up the Col du Pillon, you forget about the effort required as the panoramic views of snow-capped mountains take your breath away.
SCOTT Solace 2014 - Alex's review
Back to the bikes and my partner for the day is SCOTT's new Solace road bike. Pitched as the comfort model within their range, the Solace has key areas within the frame that are designed with either comfort or power in mind. This unique take on what is one of the most competitive segments of the market have allowed SCOTT to maintain what are undeniably some of the finest aesthetics in the business, whilst still allowing them to tick the comfort box.
FRAME, FORKS AND KIT
Road vibration is dealt with through a combination of seat stay placement, a slimline 27.2 seatpost and 25mm Schwalbe tyres. Placement of the rear brake down near the bottom bracket has allowed SCOTT to take advantage of building a degree of compliance into the seatstays, without having to sacrifice the braking performance. This approach to understanding what areas of the frame perform a certain duty - whether it be providing a stiff and efficient pedalling platform or vertical compliance for comfort - mean that SCOTT has designed a very comfortable but at the same time fast bike.
After a morning's ride tackling some tough climbs through the roads surrounding Gstaad and a 10 minute descent through the fast, swooping turns of the Swiss mountains, it became clear who this bike was for. Whilst not as quick to respond to inputs as the new SCOTT Addict, it still encourages you to have fun and it handled both the 45mph descents and subsequent chaingang back to base with ease. More importantly, it also made you want to turn back around and do the same thing all over again.
IS THIS THE BIKE FOR YOU?
Alex's verdict: If you are after a race bike and want to ride at full speed all the time, the SCOTT Solace is probably not for you. If, however, you are looking for a bike that will give you ninety per cent of the thrills of a race bike but that lets you sit up and enjoy the scenery, then this is the bike for you. (Swiss scenery isn't included, I'm afraid.) The perfect sportive or gran fondo companion.
WHICH MODELS ARE AVAILABLE?
There are four models in the SCOTT Solace range; prices range from £1999 through to £6999. The pick of the bunch is the SCOTT Solace 10, featuring a full Dura-Ace groupset and Syncros finishing kit for £3599.
SCOTT Solace Premium - 890g frame, 330g fork, Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset
SCOTT Solace 10 - 950g frame, 380g fork, Shimano Dura-Ace mechanical - total weight 7.05kg for a 54cm
SCOTT Solace 20 - 950g frame, 380g fork, Shimano Ultegra 11-speed
SCOTT Solace 30 - 950g frame, 380g fork, Shimano 105
WHEN ARE THEY AVAILABLE TO BUY?
As you'd expect, Rutland Cycling will be among the first bike shops in the country to take stock of the new Solace. Bikes will be landing with us at the end of September, so call into one of our stores to register your interest now, or give us a bell on 01780 460 705 (open 7 days).