Components: primarily Tiagra, with some Truvativ and Scott branded items,
Wheelset: Tiagra rear hub, Scott Comp front hub, Alex R-500 rims(32h)
The bike in question is equipped with the triple(52x42x30), double is available.
Price paid: normally, just below $900, paid $760, this was the last of the 2006 stock, so a nice little discount.
See details here: http://www.scottusa.com/product.php?UID=9818
although the webpage now points to the 2007 edition.
My current ride(s):
Road: 1991 Kestrel 200ems, D/A 8spd-50/38-12/25(non-STI),
Paragon Ti bb, Korso wheels/Michelin pro2race 23, Shimano Ultegra Pedals(pd-6610),
Flite TT saddle, Profile Airwing/Airstryke - frame is at Calfee for repairs
Mountain: Yeti Kokopelli, stock f/r susp., fullXT,
bontrager wheels, mostly stock except for easton
monkey lite sl bars/ec-90 stem, profile carbon bar ends
The Speedster in question actually belongs to my ride buddy. We ride every weekday
for about 13 miles except Thursday(Tennis! and I am for lack of a better term, a 'hack').
The route is strictly street, from the Walt Disney Studios on Riverside Drive in Burbank
into Griffith Park. There is a nice hill that takes about 10 minutes to climb depending
on how energetic we're feeling. The remainder of the route is mostly flat with a couple of
good rollers. We stop for lights and stop signs when there is traffic, which at lunchtime
means roughly a 90% stop/go ratio. We finish the 13 miles in about 50-60 minutes.
The Speedster is nicely light at 20.2 pounds, as light as my old-school Kestrel, so climbing
our usual hill would be a good comparison. The frame is quite stiff and power is
transmitted with little losses to the wheels. Road feel is good, although bumps and
road seams are felt directly in the seat and handlebars. While the fork is carbon with a steel
steerer, the bit of harshness you feel does not detract from steady handling when descending.
Rapid descents into turns go where you point the bars with no slop or laziness. The Scott
branded brake calipers worked well - I had issues with the levers, see below.
Out of the saddle climbing and starts from traffic lights were rewarded with
quick acceleration. My impression of the frame is of good efficiency, decent geometry
(74.5/72), with some harshness; what I would call Muted Aluminum feel. The carbon
fork takes some of the edge off, but there was enough 'buzz' to make my wrists ache when
I was done. I don't race, so I won't make any comments about its racing ability, I will say
however, that the frame is probably a good candidate for carefully selected component
upgrades when the time comes. The Tiagra shifting was pretty good; the rear banged off
shifts up and down with ease, both single and multiple, while the front was a bit rough,
downshifts were quick and definite with a solid feel - upshifts were greeted with noise
and grinding followed by a pause and then shift completion. The up-level models that
are equipped with 105 and Ultegra will likely shift better. I was not happy with the shape
of the STI shifters; the hoods seemed too small and the brake levers were hard to reach
and operate from the drops. If this was my bike, I'd have adjusted the position; lower on
the bars might help my complaint.
Was it worth $760? For the money, it's a very capable, fast bike, albeit lacking a bit
of refinement. Climbing is good, the overall weight is relatively light, and the wheels were
nicer than I expected. I wouldn't hesitate to upgrade a few things right away: swap 25mm tires
for the stock 23's, thicker/better damped bar tape. The drivetrain worked acceptably well;
when the shifters go, i'd probably go 105 or Ultegra(this will be a 9spd-to-10spd upgrade.)
The saddle feels a lot like my favorite Selle Italia Flite(both the classic and the TT) so it
worked for me. No pedals were included, so my buddy is riding with clips/straps until
he decides whether he wants to invest in shoes/pedals. He normally rides a mountainbike
in running shoes on platform pedals(!).
Bottom line: possibly for the beginning racer, definately for a fast fitness rider, a bit too harsh in ride
quality for centuries. For me, being the bike geek that I am, would probably have gone with at least
the 105 equipped model, if only for 10 speeds, and likely better shifting/durability.
Other bikes to look at in this competitive price range($800-999) are the Schwinn
Fastback and Felt Z80.
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