2017 Scapin LTD SL ultralight carbon road bike

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…

2017 Scapin LTD SL ultralight carbon road bike

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.

2017 Scapin LTD SL ultralight carbon road bike

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.

2017 Scapin LTD SL ultralight carbon road bike

2017 Scapin LTD SL ultralight carbon road bike

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.

2017 Scapin LTD SL ultralight carbon road bike

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.

2017 Scapin LTD SL ultralight carbon road bike

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).

2017 Scapin LTD SL ultralight carbon road bike

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.

2017 Scapin LTD SL ultralight carbon road bike

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.

Stage-Race.com and Scapin.com


  1. the real question is: Is 780g really considered ‘ultralight’ for a road bike these days? I don’t really think so.
    Also, that ripple in the carbon on the top tube is fugly. What’s up there?

  2. $4400 is relatively affordable, most likely a 105 build. Tyler doesn’t mention, and he ought to, where these are made. Asian-made frames can be excellent quality – I’m not going to be a snob about it – but a good reviewer should let their readers know. To some it makes a difference.

  3. @boom, regarding the rippling in the carbon fiber surface of the top tube: it looks pretty similar to how some carbon fiber suppliers keep unidirectional carbon fiber all heading in the same direction (I think it should be called monodirectional) and keep the fibers from fraying apart during handling. Basically they drizzle a slightly molten plastic binder at a very small concentration. It has the side benefit of speeding the removal of trapped air bubbles from epoxy during the curing process. It just looks goofy. There are other ways to do it that subjectively look less goofy.

    Short answer, the drizzled donut glaze appearance is not necessarily a defect.

  4. Hey Guys,

    This is Mike from Scapin USA / Stage-Race Distribution.
    @boom – we were aiming for a light bike that also had a phenomenal ride quality. While we could have gone lighter, we were thrilled with this combination. Also note that this is an ACTUAL production weight, not some silly claimed weight that is not close to reality.

    @mudrock – actually, the $4400 build is an Ultegra complete bike!! And yes, this frameset is indeed made in our Taiwanese facility. For Italian-made choices please see our Scapin Ivor full custom carbon model, which is handbuilt near Venice, or the Scapin Etika which is handpainted in Italy.

    Finally, for more info, just ask here or check out http://www.scapinusa.com

    Mike Yakubowicz
    President – Scapin USA

  5. i dunno i mmean. BH ultralight EVO looks better and is lighter. and half the price. whats the value? T1000?

  6. “Asian-made frames can be excellent quality…”

    I think you need to be a bit more granular as to where exactly in Asia you’re referring to. Taiwan is usually spot-on. Mainland China is where most of the faux factories live.

    • Faux doesn’t mean bad. Warranties happen far more often with American made carbon from Trek and especially from Cannondale when they still made bikes in the US. All the other builders are custom with very low quantities and high QC.

      • @Veganpotter, “Warranties happen far more often with American made carbon from Trek and especially from Cannondale when they still made bikes in the US.” I’d like to see the statistics to back this up please. And don’t just say you work in the industry or something like that, because so do I.

    • Actually, pretty much everybody has moved manufacturing to mainland China while keeping offices in Taiwan. Not much actual carbon component production in Taiwan anymore.

  7. So how much does the whole bike weigh? If it still weighs 6.8kg then why call it ultralight? As long as that UCI minimum remains then all this effort to reduce frame weight is wasted.

  8. I’m waiting for eTap to trickle down and even go through a second generation before buying another bike. I don’t want to buy a bike that takes plugs where phantom wires could go. We’re in a technological transitional shift and I don’t want to get caught wrong in it. Just saying.

    • if the 780 included the fork, that means the frame would weigh 465. It doesn’t weigh that, or else it would make significantly bigger headlines. If the main title lists it as being ‘ultralight’ then it better be lighter than 780g

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