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Endurance Disk: Scott Solace

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Mar 16, 2016 – When Scott launched its new endurance bike two years ago we were a bit skeptical, to say the least. This was the brand famous for making some of the stiffest and, yes, harshest-riding bikes on the planet. Supermodel lightweight? Sure. Norse-God-like power transfer? Check. Magic carpet ride? Not exactly…

peloton

The Solace quickly blew us away. Scott designed the bike with a dual personality. A Comfort Zone (the seat stays, seat cluster, fork blades) meets a Power Zone (head tube, down tube, fork crown, bottom bracket and chain stays). It then sprinkled in a bit of endurance geometry— not the same mile-high, super-relaxed f it of some endurance platforms, but just enough to put a bit more weight in the saddle, take a bit of the strain off the neck and shoulders, without betraying a nimble and precise feel at the bars. The result is the liveliest endurance bike we have ever ridden that is truly comfortable.

This is a potent package that Scott has now graced with disc brakes across the range for 2016. The Foil raced in 60-minute crits may not scream disc, but the all-day, all-conditions Solace is the prefect platform. Of course, disc brakes increase braking loads in new places and this requires reinforcing fork blades and chain stays, which could undermine comfort.

Scott revamped the Solace’s carbon lay up in these areas beyond simply reinforcing them and they found the secret to doing this correctly was through-axles. The stiffness through-axles added enabled Scott to retain a supple ride for comfort, yet deliver the robust platform needed to get all the benefits of disc brakes.

On a recent ride of the new Solace 10 Disc, an Ultegra-level hydraulic-braking build, we descended off Empire Pass outside of Park City, Utah, along Pine Canyon Drive after a morning rainstorm. The pass is a steep and twisting 7 miles, averaging over 8 percent, on incredibly nasty road surface. It’s technical and dangerous in the best conditions—descending as the road began to dry was absolutely diabolical. On almost any other bike, the ride would be about survival, but on the Solace it was pure, confidence-inspiring fun.

The bike’s compliance kept us comfortable and the wheels firmly planted, the geometry allowed for aggressive lines and the disc brakes saved the day more than once as a tight corner revealed itself to be slick with water and dirt. Disc brakes have a place in endurance road and no better place than the forks and stays of the Scott Solace Disc.

$3,500; scott-sports.com