Silently Powerful - Scott Solace eRide Gravel
The term “Expand Your Horizons” may feel a bit played out in the current day and age. Information and accessibility have truly made the world a better, smaller place and mostly in good ways. But now that the advent of the eBike and the evolution of the gravel bike have arrived at the same proverbial crossroads, we may want to reel this classic term back into our collective lexicon. Electric assist gravel bikes are definitely opening doors to adventures that were previously limited, and bikes like the SCOTT Solace eRide Gravel are leading the charge (pun somewhat intended). The Solace eRide Gravel aims to be more than simply a gravel bike with electric assist. SCOTT’s aim with this bike is to deliver a riding experience that compares to riding their Addict Gravel machine, just requiring less effort. This is a tall ask, given how well the Addict Gravel performs, what it weighs (or doesn’t weigh) and not least importantly how the bike looks. As amazing as eBikes are, the motors and girth required for the battery system can definitely disrupt the attractive lines of a bike like the Addict. Enter the TQ drive system…
One look at the Solace eRide, as well as most TQ-equipped bikes will tell you why the system is getting so much bike world buzz, and why SCOTT chose to incorporate it into the Solace line. A passing glance would not tell you the Solace is an e-assist bike and it takes a good, hard look to actually notice the svelte, low-profile motor unit at the bottom bracket area of the bike. The 360wh battery follows suit, only requiring a slightly more spacious downtube than an Addict. From outward appearances, you really might miss that this is an eBike.
The clandestine characteristics of the Solace don’t stop there however, as the other main eBike trait we don’t entirely love is also virtually eliminated: the sound. The TQHRP50 motor unit is also making silent waves throughout the industry due to its virtual lack of noise. Especially out on the gravel, you’ll be hard pressed to have any sort of auditory indicator that you (or someone near you) is riding an eBike. It’s *that* quiet (the author spent the morning next to a cohort who was riding a TQ-equipped bike and even on the road, the sound is virtually unnoticeable).
TQ also offers an external range extender battery for the Solace, which uses the seat tube water bottle cage mounts. When mounted and plugged in, the range extender provides an additional 160wh of juice, which can translate into an extra 20-ish miles of riding, depending of course on how hard you’re going and what drive modes you’re selecting throughout the ride. Using the range extender does take the place of a water bottle mount, but if you’re going out that long a hydration pack might be a good idea anyway.
In keeping with the mission to make the Solace Gravel eRide appear and ride as much as possible like its Addict Gravel sibling, the integrated brake lines keep the font of the bike clean and aero, and SCOTT left the geometry essentially unchanged from the Addict Gravel. An extra millimeter of stack, and one centimeter of chainstay length are the only differences, the latter necessary to help fit the motor and spacious tire clearance. SCOTT also feels the slightly longer wheelbase helps balance the center of gravity better with the added weight of the motor and battery. Added stability also comes along with the longer chainstays.
In regards to the added weight of the drive system, it’s impressively not much. In addition to the battery and motor being very slim, they’re also considerably light. Set up and ready to ride, including mtb pedals, the range-topping Solace Gravel eRide10 weighs in right around 28lbs.
The frame itself also plays a large part in this small number, with the HMX carbon frame and fork weighing in at only 2.7 lbs. The same HMX frame is used for the full range of the Solace eRide gravel, as well as the Solace eRide Road setup, thus all of the Solace eRide models share the same geometry, 50mm tire clearance and mounts for racks, fenders and a proprietary Syncros kickstand.
Aboard the bike and on the gravel is where it all comes together. The likeness to a non-assisted bike is still priority one for the Solace, as is evidenced by the natural feel provided by the TQ drive system. More than just an aesthetic endeavor, the system is designed to deliver smooth, predictable, but low-key input and assistance. More than just a “push” felt on some eBikes, the TQ system wants to keep you feeling rewarded for your own efforts. The system assists well into the mid--twenty mph range, but meters the power based on your own contribution. The Solace comes stock with a motor tune suggested by SCOTT, but you can easily customize your setup via the TQ-eBike app. Pedal response, display information, etc can all be set to your liking.
Aside from the motorized aspects of the Solace Gravel eRide, the overall on-bike experience is again designed to be as much like the Addict Gravel as possible. Similar to the Addict, the personality of the bike is more “sporty” than comfort/endurance oriented, delivering quick, sharp handling. The TQ motor design also affords a narrower Q-factor (or width at the crank) than some eBikes, keeping your riding position like what you’re used to and adding to the feel that you’re on a standard setup.
The Solace line features the familiar and high quality Syncros components found on the Addicts, and the Solace eRide Gravel comes set up with SRAM 1x gearing, but features an integrated mount for a front derailleur should you choose to go that route down the line. Also worthy of note is that the Solace frame uses the new UDH rear derailleur mount so the bike can be set up with SRAM's Transmission component group. The Solace eRide Gravel10 featured here also employs an innovative touch, whereby the SRAM Force AXS rear derailleur is powered by the bike’s internal battery rather than the regular AXS battery. Along those same lines, the Solace line is compatible with a range of Syncros lighting products that use the Smartbox in the top tube to connect directly to the bike’s battery. This “centralization” theme helps keep the Solace eRide clean looking and minimally complicated.
Technology and innovation are moving at a feverish pace, but thanks to the Solace eRide Gravel, so can you. No matter the terrain! Come visit us at the shop or online and check out the lineup, as well as whatever eBike you might need to find your perfect ride!