Low-cost sportive machine with promising looks

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 7

Scott Speedster 50

Pros:

  • Solid alloy frame will last a lifetime
  • Smooth gear transmission

Cons:

  • Carbon fork and Shimano brakes would set this above its peers

Product:

Scott Speedster 50

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£599.00

This Scott Speedster 50’s design and paint job belie 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.

However, the ride doesn’t quite match the looks.

Frameset

Scott Speedster 50 - 5

It looks better than it rides

The frame itself is made from double-butted alloy, as you’d expect in this price bracket. The frame is stiff and responsive, but there’s a compromise for that low price: it’s quite heavy.


>>> The Scott Speedster 50 is featured in – The best cheap bikes: ridden and rated


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.

Other brands offer, for a similar price, bikes with a carbon fork; this tweak — and even a minor price increase to facilitate it — would improve this build a great deal.

Components

Scott Speedster 50 - 3 brake

The brakes could be better

On the whole, the groupset suits the price, and the gear transmission is 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 32t sprocket helps when hauling this bike’s 10kg 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.

>>> Road bike groupsets: A complete buyer’s guide (video)

Moving on to the Tektro brakes — the second disappointment to mention — they felt unresponsive and did not instil much confidence on steeper descents. The inclusion of Shimano brakes would noticeably improve the spec.


What to expect on a budget 


Wheels

The Speedster’s wheelset felt spot-on for the price and in relation to the rest of the build. Stiff and strong, and able to bounce off some questionable road surfaces, these low-cost wheels do what’s expected of them.

>>> Road bike wheels buyer’s guide (videos)

They have an aero profiling, which is a good touch for entry-level hoops, and they work well with the aesthetic of the bike.

Riding

Scott Speedster 50 - 4 Kenda tyre

25mm tyres would help ride quality

With some very minor tweaks, the Speedster could be a formidable entry-level sportive machine. Unfortunately, the manufacturer has missed the mark in a few places, which has had a serious impact on the ride as a whole.

>>> Common sense rules for modern road riding

As mentioned, the alloy fork sends all the road buzz into the rider’s wrists, something that could be dampened with a carbon fork. This could also be alleviated with 25mm tyres, which are now the common option on most road bikes.

>>> Buyer’s guide to road bike tyres (video)

The rest of the bike actually rode very well. The frame is stiff and the power transfer is efficient, as you would expect from Shimano.

Conclusion

Scott Speedster 50 - 2 handlebar

The harsh front end takes its toll on longer rides

This is a good-looking bike competing in a competitive beginner market. On first sight and first sit, you might think you’ve landed a bargain.

However, with a bit of market research to see what other manufacturers supply for a similar amount of money, and a couple of miles on some rough road surfaces, it becomes clear that the Speedster doesn’t quite hit the mark.

Verdict

So close, yet so far. Some minor tweaks would make this bike so much better

Details

Miles ridden:180
Size range::56cm
Size tested::49, 52, 54, 56, 58cm
Weight:10kg / 22lb
Frameset:Speedster Aero, double butted 6061 alloy
Gears:Shimano Sora RD-3500 8-speed with Shimano Claris FD 2403 front mech, Shimano HG50-8 11-30t cassette
Chainset:Shimano Claris FC2450, compact 50/34t
Brakes:Tektro Comp SCBR 312
Wheels:Syncros Race 27 Aero Profile with Formula Comp hubs
Tyres:Kenda Kriterium, 700×23c
Bars:Syncros RR2.0, Anatomic 31.8mm
Stem:JD ST57 alloy
Saddle:Syncros Road Endurance
Seatpost:Syncros RR2.5 31.6/300mm
Contact:www.scott-sports.com
  • Bryan Jamieson

    “The breaks could be better”

    and so too could the spelling – “some minor tweaks would make this … so much better.”