Perfect frame geomtery.
Lightweight Alloy Rigid Fork.
Smooth and comfortable shifters.
Well balanced and communicative brakes.
Fast rolling 700c tires.
Scott describes this bicycle as a modern urban bicycle designed for commuting, touring, and just getting around town. The Sub series is among the top hybrid bicycle segments for a few years now and has a reputation to live up to. We test rode the Scott Sub Tour 2016 to see what it has to offer for the urban cyclist.
The Scott Sub Tour's foundation is a rock solid 6061 aluminum frame and fork capable of sprinting through traffic as well as carrying luggage on a rear rack. Despite standing up to the daily abuses of city riding including potholes, the Sub Cross Tour 2016 still glided over damaged roads and muted vibrations of cracked, rough pavements with ease. The frame geometry is clean and spaced out with the seat stays shaped wide enough for pannier racks to fulfill the touring duties.
One of the main aspects that sets the Scott Sub Cross Tour 2016 apart from its competition is the curb appeal. And we weren't alone in noticing the appearance. The clean frame lines, fenders and rack mounts, and smart paint turned heads at almost every stoplight during the test ride. At this price range, we did expect internal cable routing which could have made a big difference to the over-all design. The modest black and blue matt finish with the much needed mounts adding to the utility credentials makes the Sub Cross Tour aesthetically pleasing.
Shimano provide most of the kit with the combination of 21 speed Altus and Tourney as derailleurs. The 48/28/38 chainrings and 14-38T cassette offers a good gear range, particularly at the bottom end. Yes, there is a slightly larger gap between gears and a fully Altus equipped drivetrain could have done justice to the gearing performance expected of a hybrid bicycle of this caliber. The transmission is virtually silent mainly due to the commendable Shimano EF-51 EZ-Fire Plus shifters.
The Tektro mechanical disc brakes on the Sub Cross Tour don't have the absolute stopping power of some higher variants, but they easily have enough for urban riding and masses of control. The well balanced and communicative brakes do at least make it easy to tweak this bicycle back under control and keep it where you want on the road. There are always good reasons for running disc brakes on an urban bicycle like the Sub Cross Tour. For a start, you are not grinding grit and road muck into your rims every time you brake, which should make your wheels last longer.
With the Sub Cross Tour flat bars giving it a retro mountain bicycle profile, the Tour may look stylishly minimalist and purposeful but, as mostly used to the stretched out geometry of a touring bicycle, I found the front posture a bit cramped. It felt as if my weight were simply too far forward over the handlebars.
The Scott Sub Cross Tour 2016 comes with 700x38c Kenda K180 tires. While you could ´t slightly wider tires for more comfort, the fork pro´le will limit this slightly. The 700C wheels are a good choice for urban riding though, rolling better over poorer surfaces than the smaller equivalents. These tires have levels of grip that belie their smooth appearance. They will remain puncture-free on a combination of road and tow path riding. I wasn't disappointed by the ride quality after the test ride. Even at higher speeds this bicycle glides smoothly and tracks beautifully over city streets. The same comfort level will exist even after adding on luggage weight and other touring essentials.
In terms of value for money the Scott Sub Cross Tour 2016 seems reasonably pitched rather than a stunning bargain. Cheaper urban bicycles will handle almost similar commuting and touring duties but the Scott does feel like it will stick around for the long haul without looking dated anytime soon. If you buy it purely as an urban commuter with a dash of touring capabilities, then it is unlikely you will be disappointed with this bicycle.
Prices are subject to change by the brand, without due notice
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