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There is no longer any question that the endurance road bike category is diving headlong into the realm of disc brakes. Category-defining models like the Specialized Roubaix and Trek Domane already have disc versions available, Giant has removed the rim-brake option from its high end bikes, and now Scott’s excellent endurance frame, the Solace, has a disc version as well.
Scott unveiled the new model, the Solace Disc, along with a women’s Contessa version at its annual media and dealer event in Park City, Utah last week.
The Solace Disc frame is built around the same features of the Solace. Geometry is tweaked for comfort, with a slightly taller (1cm) head tube and shorter top tube (again, 1cm) relative to Scott’s race-oriented models, the Addict and Foil. Solace is offered in seven sizes, as well as five sizes in the women’s Contessa line.
In addition to a large selection of sizes, the Solace has size-specific carbon layups, a feature touted by Specialized in its introduction of the new Tarmac. So a small frame offers a softer ride relative to a large frame, presumably accounting for rider weight.
The Solace Disc uses a traditional post disc mount on the fork and takes advantage of Shimano’s brand new Flat Mount standard on the rear chainstay. The new mount, which we expect to see adopted by quite a few bike brands in the next year or two, tightens up bolt spacing for a more compact, lighter, and less visually obtrusive package.
The rub, at least for now, is that Shimano hasn’t released a brake caliper that is designed to fit with its new mounting standard. Scott uses an adapter to attach Shimano’s current hydraulic road caliper, which is based on a XT mountain bike caliper, to the new mount. The Solace is compatible with both 140mm and 160mm rotors.
The Solace Disc features internal cable routing, making for a clean finish. While the stock build comes with mechanical Shimano Ultegra, the frame is fully compatible with electronic shift systems.
The Solace Disc utilizes thru-axles. Major brands seem to be split on the thru-axle versus traditional quick release issue — there is no doubt that thru-axles provide accurate wheel positioning every time the wheel is put on, and are guaranteed to remain tight, and improve tracking under brake load, but with the rapidly changing disc landscape, many brands, like Giant and Specialized, are still taking a wait-and-see approach. They are likely hoping for a new, lighter, faster, and more road-friendly thru-axle system in the future.
Scott has decided to jump on a current mountain bike axle standard, using a 15mm thru-axle up front and a 12mm rear axle in the rear.
With discs gaining popularity in the road, it’s good to see another bike join the line-up. The Solace is already an excellent choice for an endurance road bike, replacing Scott’s CR1. The Solace Disc frame weighs 1,380 grams, just 50 grams heavier than the standard frame+fork (including the mounting bracket for the rear brake), and while the stock build kit is mechanical Shimano Ultegra, it comes complete with everything needed for electronic shifting. The Solace is already something of a known quantity, and an excellent endurance frame. Add disc brakes and good gets even better.
Editor’s note: Scott covered travel expenses and accommodation for media attending the event in Park City.