How is the Contessa Speedster 15 for a woman's first bike?
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  1. #1
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    How is the Contessa Speedster 15 for a woman's first bike?

    http://www.scott-sports.com/us_en/pr...a_speedster_15

    How is this for a woman's first bike? It will be used to exercise and get some miles and maybe some tours around NYC.

    What is the weakest component (lowest end) that would bottleneck the bike?

  2. #2
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    If you could afford to move up to a Contessa CR1 Pro with a compact crank (rather than the triple in the front) you will probably have a happier rider. Lighter weight and easier shifting will make it a lot more fun to ride. Alternatively, you could replace the crank on your first choice with a compact version if your rider is not happy.

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    So there's no crank option for a double or a compact when buying the bike new?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LOUISSSSS
    So there's no crank option for a double or a compact when buying the bike new?
    True, at least not from the manufacturer, unless it is listed as an option. I did not see that choice on the Scott web site. Perhaps I missed it, so check yourself.

    This is why your choice of a local bicycle shop is important. Not only will they help you get properly fitted, but my local shop will work with most of their customers, routinely selling them a replacement part at a discount, installing it, and then selling the "take off" part to some other grateful customer at a nice savings. If you don't find a bicycle that is perfect for you as it comes from the manufacturer, this is very helpful.

    My local folks are a very good shop and have provided my wife and me with some amazing bargains. But, with the relatively small number of new bicycles we have purchased from them in the few years we have lived in Tucson, we have never needed to change a major component. As a result, I do not know how much a crank change would cost.

    With most dealers, small changes, like a stem or cassette are often at little or no cost to the customer, since the dealer's cost for the process does not erode his profit too badly. I'd suggest that you ask up front while you are shopping. They are likely to work with you and may even suggest another, possibly better, choice.

    A good bicycle shop is the key to success.

  5. #5
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    i see, my lbs doesnt sell Scott, so i'll be exploring to another LBS which IS a Scott authorized Reseller. It'll be my first experience there so i'll be looking to make a good relationship.

    and you're also right about switching to a double (maybe a compact)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by LOUISSSSS
    and you're also right about switching to a double (maybe a compact)
    Compact cranks rock! Especially for new riders who will benefit from the lower gearing available. We have long, often steep, grades here in Arizona. Even my wife can push a 34x28 combination up the steepest. It gives her confidence and makes riding with her more fun.

  7. #7
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    now i'm starting to think to fork out the extra money for the CR1 Pro, Is Scott known for their carbon fiber more and not their aluminum? Is the extra $1500 worth it?

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    Test ride them both, if possible.

    Insist on starting with the carbon bike and then switching to the aluminum. That will eliminate the "wow, new bikes are great" effect and tell you very quickly if the aluminum frame takes anything away from your experience on the bike.

    There's no other way to make a truly informed decision.

  9. #9
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    Scott Contessa

    Hey whaddup!
    My thoughts are that you would most likely be just fine with the Contessa. It is a reasonable price point bike that is loaded with features. First of all look at the frame. It uses 7005 series aluminum that is made using the latest technology in tubing called Hydroforming.
    What all that means is that compared to other aluminum frames the 7005 series is lighter and more easy for the company to work in making it lighter. The Hydroforming is helpful because instead of a traditional butted tube, you are getting a tube that has been extruded with high pressure water. This is easily evident just by flicking your finger on the top tube of a hydroformed bike and then on a butted tube. The hydroformed bike will have a more hollow sound...
    Other cool things about the Scott are the geometry. They do really well taking in to account women's geometry, but in taking it a step farther they actually spec their bikes to be more in tune with a woman. The bars are shallow and have a little drop, this makes it easier for womens hands to switch from the drops to the hoods and back again. The stem they ship with is, depending on size, a 90 to 100 but any good bike shop should put you on a trainer and do FREE stem swaps to get you to the proper size. Another thing that I am really impressed with is the zero setback seatpost that they ship their smaller bikes with. This can be especially helpful to many women who have issues with reach as it starts the seat post farther forward and you are less likely to bend your seatrails if the fitting process takes you farther forward.
    The actual shape, if you will, of the bike is very efficient. The tubes are all straight with no wishbones in the seat, or chainstays. Sometime this can be associated with a uncomfortable ride, but it translates to a very snappy bike. If this is your first bike you will not know the difference, so dont worry about it.
    Well I should get back to my job... hope this helps. I dont know that you should upgrade anything on it or look at carbon, Remember to factor in the cost of pedals, shoes, and shorts. Other than that get out and ride! Enjoy TR

  10. #10
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    been calling bike shops for the past 2 hours, not many people have the CR1 Pro. Scott even stopped producing them until 2011. Having a tough time locating one atm...

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    Quote Originally Posted by LOUISSSSS
    been calling bike shops for the past 2 hours, not many people have the CR1 Pro. Scott even stopped producing them until 2011. Having a tough time locating one atm...
    Last year, I think the economic downturn surprised Scott. They had many left over bikes. My local bike shop owner helped me score a distributor demo Addict R4 at distributor cost. It was a win - win deal. The distributor is his personal friend and needed help moving three demonstrator Addicts. One was my size.

    Suffice to say that I have not seen an Addict, even used, offered as low as mine since that golden opportunity. Better still, mine has full dealer support and Scott's first owner only warranty. Yes, I did buy my dealer dinner a few weeks later!

    I am guessing Scott may have over corrected this year, making some models scarce by comparison. Bummer . . . but, it makes your decision easier. Go with what you can get. Life is too short to wait for the perfect bike.

    Besides, everyone I know of who has a Speedster is absolutely delighted.

  12. #12
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    Ended up Getting the contessa cr 1 pro. I'm going to pick it up next week. Didn't think i was going to be this hard findingthis bike. I called about 10 dealerships in my area and had the them all calling scott distributor. It probably drove him crazy lol.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by LOUISSSSS
    Ended up Getting the contessa cr 1 pro. I'm going to pick it up next week. Didn't think i was going to be this hard findingthis bike. I called about 10 dealerships in my area and had the them all calling scott distributor. It probably drove him crazy lol.
    Congratulations! It does not get any better than this.



    We will hope for a real picture once you take delivery. Feel free to include a smiling lady.

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    lol will get a pic up next week when i get it. The Scott distributor got many phone calls today, haha.

    Anyway, i'm deciding on some pedals now, any good looking ones that you'd recommend? (preferable light)

    Can these http://www.amazon.com/Origin8-Track-...ef=pd_sim_sg_2 be used without toe clips/straps? Will slippage be an issue?

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    My girlfriend loves her 15... i told her I'd pay for the cr pro, but she didnt know if she would like road cycling! Congrats on the purchase!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by LOUISSSSS
    lol will get a pic up next week when i get it. The Scott distributor got many phone calls today, haha.

    Anyway, i'm deciding on some pedals now, any good looking ones that you'd recommend? (preferable light)

    Can these https://www.amazon.com/Origin8-Track...ef=pd_sim_sg_2 be used without toe clips/straps? Will slippage be an issue?

    That design pretty much requires toe clips and straps. They would be pretty slippery if you tried to get off the saddle crossing a bump.

    Most people who ride any distance end up with dedicated cycling shoes. Mountain biking shoes are easy to walk in compared to slippery road shoes. SPD cleats do not contact the ground when you walk making the off-the-bike experience more pleasant. As a bonus, there are even mountain bike sandals that accept SPD cleats.

    SPD pedals for the road look stylish, but have an attachment on one side only, like most road pedals, making them more difficult to acquire when you start off from a stop. So, in our family we use the same style of double sided pedals on both our mountain bikes and our road bikes.


    https://www.treefortbikes.com/produc...-Titanium.html They are not inexpensive, but they are light and work well for us with either shoes or sandals.


    https://www.performancebike.com/bike..._400009_400034


    https://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Produc...5_10000_200383

    Shoes are definitely something you need to buy at a dealer where you can try them on and see how they work with your bike and your choice of pedals mounted in a trainer, preferably with the help of a FIT coach. Most really good bike shops offer that service and it can be really helpful.

    If you don't plan of specific shoes for cycling, look at the platform pedals that the down hill riders sometimes use. They will look a little clunky, but they are relatively secure and dead easy to use.


    https://www.performancebike.com/bike...6_20000_400048

    Or consider this combo pedal with an SPD on one side and platform on the other.

    https://www.performancebike.com/bike...1511000_400048

    I have a feeling that offering all these choice is not helping . . . so talk to the FIT person too. Oh, and I completely ignored all the great, road-only, somewhat-more-difficult-to-walk-in choices of shoes and pedals that "real" road cyclists prefer. They are much easier to acquire when starting out, usually lighter, just a bit harder to walk in the shoes. Your bike shop will almost certainly lead with several choices in that area.


    https://www.performancebike.com/bike...1518500_400048 These are the pedals you will find on many of the professional racer's bikes. They just plain work!

  17. #17
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    Thanks for the replies guys!
    Last edited by LOUISSSSS; 05-08-2010 at 09:46 PM.

  18. #18
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    Oh, and in case you are wondering about road shoe soles, here's a good look.


    SIDI Genius 5 Pro Carbon Women's shoes are well regarded because they fit most ladies well. Like any shoes, unless you know your European size from wearing other shoes from the same manufacturer, it's worth finding someone who has them in stock to try on before you buy.
    Last edited by TucsonMTB; 05-08-2010 at 10:09 PM. Reason: Request from a dis-interested reader.

  19. #19
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    Where is the Scott Contessa CR1 Pro frame made and is it handmade?
    Last edited by skyliner1004; 05-09-2010 at 12:20 AM.

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    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=270590427513

    just picked up 2 of these to put on the Contessa CR1 for the GF. I'll prob just put 1 of them on her bike and use the other as backup or on mine.

  21. #21
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    Nice! That looks like an excellent solution to the clearance issues created by a short seat tube and more graceful than most side entry cages.



    So . . . when can we expect to see a picture of the bicycle?

  22. #22
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    yea i love ebay's cheap carbon fiber cages. 2 for $24, can't beat that even if i break 3 of them i still win out. I'm looking for an "other side loader" that i haven't seen for cheap other than Arundel's for $50. I need asia to pump on out fast so we can have bottles coming out from the same side of the bike from down/seat tube.

    Woops forgot to post the pic in here, i posted it in another thread already:


  23. #23
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    Quite elegant!

    The "pictures" on the Scott web site don't do it justice. Thanks for sharing.

  24. #24
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    no problem & thanks, its great seeing the smile on my gf's face every time she rides this bike. its not generic like every other specialized or trek road bike in NYC.

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