If you’re looking for something truly unique without suffering the wait times for a custom build, it’s hard to get much more exclusive than one of just twenty bikes to be offered. And, fortunately, the new Scapin LTD SL is more than just a bike with low serial numbers…it’s a comfortable, fast and darn good looking road bike, too.
North American Scapin importer Stage Race Distribution helped define this project’s parameters and walked it through production with the Italian brand. Then they brought this one down from Canada for us to ride. So, we took them through the rolling hills around Greensboro, NC, for 110+ miles over two days of riding, barbecue, Mexican food and local brews…
Designed as a “climbing” bike, in reality it’s a solid all ’round performer. I led SRD’s crew south to Caraway Mountain, which is a short up and back that crushes quads with it’s almost continuous 16º to 20º pitch. Yes, the new LTD SL climbed wonderfully, as you’d expect a ~800g frame with lightweight carbon wheels to do, but it also rode smoothly and predictably on the 30 miles down and 30 miles home.
Claimed weight is 780g for the XS frame size (+/- 5% for the frameset, which includes a full carbon tapered 315g fork). That’s accomplished by blending Toray T1000/800/700 fibers into a bike with slim top tube and seatstays. Cable routing is all internal, using ported covers for shift cables (unused on this SRAM eTap build) and sleek brake cable ports on the top tube.
It’s built around a 27.2 seatpost, which is included in the $2,999 frameset along with the fork and headset. You’ll also get a Scapin bibshort/jersey along with it. Complete bikes start at $4,399, full option list shown at bottom.
The downtube, BB section and chainstays are all large, with the chainstays coming in at what I’d call “oversized”. It’s running a PF86 BB, so it’ll work with Shimano cranks without adapters, or SRAM GXP cranks.
Shift cables or wires are managed through a port under the BB shell. The boxy downtube and tall chainstays provide plenty of stiffness for the drivetrain. Never once over the two days of riding did the bike feel loose or flexy, even at the headtube. Nor did it feel rough. It’s not a comfort bike, but I never felt like it sacrificed general rider comfort for gram savings or stiffness. Basically, it’s a really well rounded road bike. Even the handling is fairly neutral, despite them calling it “Italian race” geometry (chart below).
It’s a purist’s (classic?) road bike, using standard quick release dropouts and rim brakes. We hear Scapin is working on disc brake models, but they’re not here yet.
As Stage Race likes to do, it was built with top shelf components, including some of the newer Xentis wheels laced to Tune hubs. The complete bike was laughably light (we didn’t get a chance to weigh it), and made some long, hilly miles more than tolerable.
Click any image to enlarge. Shipping is free within North America. Framesets deliver in 4-5 days, complete bikes in 3-4 weeks from date of purchase. They include a two-year manufacturer’s warranty plus crash replacement.