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Scott Bikes, popularly known as Scott Sports are one of the leading bicycle manufacturers in the world right now. Starting off with MTB's, Scott has come a long way in the last 20 odd years by foraying into the Road and Hybrid bicycle markets as well. Scott has been in the fore front of bicycling technology, starting from clip on aero handlebars to building the lightest triathlon bicycle. From the successful Speedster road bicycle range from Scott we got the opportunity to review the Scott Speedster 50 2015 and this is what we thought.
The frame itself is made from double-butted alloy, as you would expect in this price bracket. The frame is stiff and responsive, but there is a compromise for that low price, it's quite heavy. The first disappointment to mention in this review is the alloy fork, which gives a harsh ride and passes every bit of road buzz on to the rider. This alloy fork is a straight steerer speedster alloy, nestled in a fairly traditional head tube. With our mechanic's hat on, certain details of this chassis stand out we appreciate the fuss-free threaded bottom bracket shell which is a boon to those happy to wield their own spanners, but less appealing is the headset which, while being described as an integrated cartridge variety, actually consists of some decidedly low-rent caged ball bearings. They will do the job, but we somehow expected better.
This Scott Speedster 50 which I test rode came in a full white primary colour with shades of black in some places. The design and paint job contradict its low price and make it look like a much higher-spec ride. The slick looks and slight aero profiling to the down tube mean it wouldn't look out of place in a race. The Syncros branded bar tape and the white lining below the saddle are a few attention to details which has increased the aesthetic appeal of the bicycle.
Rather than giving you a complete groupset, Scott has used its component budget to give you a sniff of Shimano Claris (shifters, front derailleur), a dash of Sora (front derailleur, Crankset) and a well supported Shimano Octalink bottom bracket. This groupset suits the price, and during the test ride the gear transmission was smooth and accurate, as is to be expected from Shimano. The mix of Shimano Sora and Shimano Claris runs well, and the inclusion of a 30t sprocket helps when hauling this bicycle's weight up the climbs. The eight-speed cassette means that the gap between the gears can feel a bit clunky, but does not affect the ride quality too severely.
The stopping power in the Scott Speedster 50 2015 is controlled by the Tektro Comp components. The Tektro brake calipers work well on flat ground, however I found their true strength only when coming down steep roads. The integrated brake levers felt responsive and instilled enough confidence while going on fast speeds or steeper descents.
The Syncros RR2.0 Anatomic Handlebar on the Speedster 50 is 31.8mm in length which was perfect for a Small frame sized bicycle which I test rode. The standard handlebar position was inclined towards being a little aggressive and one definitely cannot expect it to be straight backed or even slightly inclined for a ride posture. It is meant to be aggressive and this automatically makes fast riding an easy affair due to the aerodynamic upper body position.
The Speedster's Synrcos Race wheelset with Schwalbe Racepac 700C x 25C tires felt spot-on for the price and in relation to the rest of the bicycle's build. Stiff and strong, and able to bounce off some questionable road surfaces during the test ride, these low-cost wheels does what is expected of them. The Syncros Ergoptimized race saddle is easily the best seat you will get on a road bicycle in this price range. With a perforated centre strip on the saddle and textured sides, it kept me anchored while pumping up sprints. The over-all ride quality felt smooth on flatter roads but the extra weight was felt during climbs.
The Scott Speedster 50 2015 which is priced at Rs.51,300, is thoroughly inoffensive once you throw a leg over it. The riding position lies somewhere between a full-on racer and a 'sportive' setup, and it occupies a middle ground in terms of both stiffness and comfort too. This road bicycle doesn't offer razor-sharp power transfer, but it is not going to hold you back either. Some minor niggles aside, it is hard to fault the Scott Speedster 50 2015, but equally it doesn't mark itself out from the herd. It's a competent, fairly rounded bicycle that does exactly what you would expect at this price point.