Scott Speedster S50 £699.00

Scott’s S50 sits one above the S60 in the six-model Speedster range (excluding flat bar bikes), which is based on an aluminium frame with hydro-formed tubes in 7005 alloy and fork with carbon blades and aluminium steerer tube. Not surprisingly, the differences boil down to components, wheels and finishing kit, making the S50 an attractive proposition not just in its own right but for anyone planning regular upgrades to a well-designed, inexpensive, aluminium frame.

The S50 gets Shimano Sora STI levers and rear mech with a Tiagra front mech and Truvativ square-taper crankset, rides on sturdy but unexciting Jalco deep section rims, a Scott-branded front and budget Shimano rear hub and Hutchinson tyres and is finished using Scott’s own-branded brake callipers, bars, saddle and seat post. None of this looks exceptional but it all looks like it will work perfectly well with little attention for a long time.

The crankset boasts three chainrings, which will give the S50 instant appeal for anyone getting into road cycling for the first time. There’s no shortage of low gears and, while verging on the antediluvian, Sora dual control lever shifters ensure they will be easy to find.

It’s the frame, however, that will provide the real draw for potential buyers. It’s a real beauty, and a fine example of the latest breed of aluminium frames. Built using hydro-forming technology to produce exotic tube shapes and finished with sharp graphics and deep, lustrous paint, it has the aesthetic appeal of a high-end carbon frame, backed up by a fork with blades shaped just like those of the top end Addict road bike. Indeed, the fork is called Addict, albeit with Carbon/Alloy as part of the name.

So good-looking is the frame and fork, and in fact the bike as a whole, that it had non-cyclist office personnel cooing over it from the moment it came out of the delivery box. That won’t necessarily count for much with potential buyers, but combined with a wide range of gears, sound construction and geometry based on the respected CR1 it is unlikely to disappoint. We will find out for ourselves and report back…