Scott’s Solace Range Maybe Features the Freshest Gravel/Road E-Bikes on the Market
Now, to wrap things up neatly, I want you to imagine a bicycle that’s designed as a sort of all-arounder. This is because the Solace is a family of bikes that are built for gravel AND road riding. By the looks of it, all you have to do is change your drivetrains, handlebars, and tires. But there’s a bit more to this trinket than meets the eye, so let’s see what’s in store for those that really take cycling seriously, more so than me.
First, let me start off with the base for all this magic, the frame. Whenever you’re being asked to drop at least $6,100 (€5,800 at current exchange rates) on a bicycle, you can bet this thing is crafted from carbon fiber. Well, it is, and the geometry is based on another of Scott’s machines, the Addict Gravel frameset. However, in crafting the tubing, Scott had to work together with the motor and battery manufacturer supplying the gear to make you go fast and climb hills with ease. Cue the powers of Technologie in Qualität, or TQ for short.
Oh, you’ve heard of this crew before? From us, you say? Of course, you have. Ever since last year, this German motor manufacturer has been sweeping up contracts left and right, often pushing Bosch aside and taking their place with the HPR50. The HPR stands for Harmonic Pin Ring, a motor design similar to a rotary engine.
Photo: Scott Sports
As to why it’s such a big deal, that’s a whole different story that requires its own dedicated article. However, I can sum things up pretty quickly. One, it’s a motor that weighs no more than 1.8 kg (4 lbs). Two, it cranks out a respectable 50 Nm (37 ft-lb) of torque. And three, well, it’s quiet. So quiet that it won this motor awards and recognitions over the course of last year. Just take Trek, BMC, and now Scott’s decision to use TQ motors as proof of its performance. Regarding the sort of speed you can get out of this puppy, it depends on your local laws and regulations.
Motor aside, there needs to be power to feed the little machine. Integrated into the downtube of your future Solace, a battery array with 360 Wh of juice is hidden. How much range that equals really depends on the terrain you encounter. For this price, I better get at least 60 mi (97 km) of range on a full charge. Need a tad more spinach? Drop a range extender on and access another 160 Wh.
But what makes this bugger so dang dynamic? One of the features that Scott has incorporated into the frameset of the Solace is a fork that can support up to a 50c cross-section. The gravel version uses this large a tire, while the road versions sport around 38c rubbers.
As for the rest of the bikes, it depends on what you’re using them for, how much money you have, and what drivetrain manufacturer you prefer. Yes, bikes are priced “as low” as $6,100, but some versions climb to $12,000 (€11,300). That’s more expensive than some new cars. But your money is going toward something, a bike you can literally hang on your wall.
Photo: Scott Sports
Gravel versions are often tuned with SRAM drivetrains, ranging from PG1130 cassettes and Rival derailleur all the way up to the good stuff, wireless eTap AXS brakes, and shifters. As for the road versions, they’re all about that Shimano, from Ultegra to Dura-Ace. Personally, I think Scott made the right choices in terms of where each manufacturing powerhouse fares best.
If you’re the sort of rider that want to take things a bit further, Scott also offers a wide range of extra gear to throw onto your Solace and ride even further. I’m talking about lights, fenders, water bottles, and that range extender I mentioned. Heck, why not grab a few cargo bags and really take bikepacking to the next level? Considering the lightest bikes in the lineup weigh as little as 12.5 kg (27.5 lbs), there’s plenty of wiggle room for the former idea.
I know it’s hard to understand precisely what this bike offers from wherever you’re sitting. So, you can find a local dealership with one of these lying around, drop a phone call, bring your car’s pink slip as collateral, and take a test ride. Just be warned, you could very well end up leaving your car to counterbalance the cost of your subsequent purchase.