The Scapin Eys is a fast and competent handling bike that is as at home being ridden in a competitive environment as it is taking in the views on a lazy Sunday morning ride to your favourite coffee establishment.
Frame: Smart carbon looker
Italian company Scapin have been building unique and individual road bikes with a reputation for flair and lavish attention to detail since Stefano Scapin first put his name to a bike in 1957.
The Eys isn't as wild or extrovert as some of their road bikes of the past, but it's still a classy frame and fork with a smart paint job. Each Scapin frame spends countless hours in the paint shop, it's something the company takes very seriously. And that shows in the quality of the finish, it's substantially better than you'd usually expect on a bike at this price.
Under the paint is a carbon frame made using a fluid moulding process. This involves forcing fluid at high pressure through a core inside the fibres when they're laid in the mould, the idea to produce a consistent wall thickness, to keep the weight down, and reduce any wrinkles in the carbon, to ensure there's no weaknesses in the carbon structure. Scapin use a mixture of ultra high modulus and T700 unidirectional carbon fibre in the frame to achieve the desired ride characteristic.
The frame follows the trend in modern carbon frame design for oversized lower sections to ensure adequate stiffness, while the top half of the frame is a collection of smaller profile tubes. The bottom bracket, housing a PressFit 85.6mm shell, is hugely oversized. This forms a large contact area for the tall chainstays and massive downtube. Substantial is the key word here. The oversizing continues with the seat tube, with a 31.6mm seatpost held in place with the twin-bolt clamp.
Up front the head tube is tapered with 1 1/8in to 1 1/2in bearings, with a straight blade carbon fork slotted into place. Scapin have taken the decision to future proof the cable routing on this frame. With a mechanical groupset fitted, as is the case on our test bike, the gear cables are routed externally, with a neat little bracket fixed to the underside of the downtube.
If you decide to fit an electronic groupset at a later date, this small bracket is removed and the internal routing utilised, with the colour matched bungs that currently fill the entry and exit ports making way for the wiring. The rear brake cable meanwhile is passed through the top tube.
Frame weight is a claimed 1,190g for a medium, which is on the money for a carbon frame at this price. It's certainly a good platform to build a reasonably light bike from.
Build: Dependable Shimano 105 and Mavic wheels
For a little over two grand you get a Shimano 105 groupset, with a compact 50/34 chainset and 11-28 cassette. This is a smart choice, it means someone taking a serious step up the bike ladder won't be left struggling on the climbs, and a 50-11 is still a big enough gear to push on the flats for most.
Mavic's Aksium wheels and tyres make for a solid and reliable wheelset. They're dependable rather than featherweight, but throughout the test period they remained straight and true. The tyres offer generous levels of grip and proved to be durable.
The contact points consist of a Selle Italia X-Feel saddle and FSA Omega compact handlebar, with a OS150 11cm stem and Gossamer seatpost. It's nice to see branded, rather than in-house kit here, and it's all high quality stuff. The saddle I didn't get on with, so I swapped it for a Prologo Scratch. Saddles are such personal things, some may get on fine with the stock saddle, it's worth trying it before you decide.
Ride: Fast and stable, ideal for beginners and experienced cyclists
It's one of the better looking road bikes to pass through the office in a good while, and it also puts a smile on your face every time you pull it out of the shed/garage/bedroom before a ride. That smile only broadens the more you pedal it along the road, the way it handles with fluidity really leaves a lasting impression. It might not be the fastest, lightest and stiffest, it's just a really nice bike to ride.
At 8.2kg (18lb) it's not lightweight, but nor should it be considered portly. It whips along the road authoritatively, and while the wheels might suck some of the momentum on steeper inclines, it more than makes up for it on the descents. It's on the downhills that road bikes can demonstrate their handling, the Eys does nothing but impress and flatter the rider in such situations. The ride is predictable, it feels a very safe bike to handle at high speeds.
It takes corners with good poise. It encourages you to carry just a bit more speed than you would normally do through the apex. The geometry gives the bike a settled stance at all speeds, from slow tight corners to high speed sweeping curves. That little extra weight only serves to give the Eys a planted feeling when the going gets frisky.
The 73 parallel seat and head tube angles, combined with a short 14.2cm head tube and 54.5cm effective top tube on this medium test bike are reasonably regular numbers. It's really low at the front, typical for an Italian manufacturer with an eye on the past, compared to largely US manufacturers that have been lengthening head tubes over the past ten years. That's the way I like my road bikes, the height does ensure a good aerodynamic position, ideal for anyone who intends to make rapid progress, whether for racing or sportives or regular long rides in the country.
It's far from the smoothest-riding carbon bike though. The large diameter seat post transmits too much road buzz to the bum and the front end is noticeably stiff in some situations, it's a bike that is definitely more at home on silky smooth roads. Like they probably have in Italy. On the flip side the stiffness ensures a very direct frame with good feedback, with a high level of communication. It certainly keeps you engaged.
The £2,000 market is a hotly competitive one, with most manufacturers fielding a carbon road bike at, or very close, to this price. There are better specced bikes for the money, but few offer the exciting ride nor the glamorous looks of the Scapin Eys.
An excitingly fast road bike with excellent handling manners and impeccable style.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Scapin Eys
Size tested: medium. red, white and black
About the bike
State the frame and fork material and method of construction. List the components used to build up the bike.
If you're looking for a good all-round bike that also stands out from the crowd the Scapin Eys could be it. This is the Italian company's entry-level offering, combining a full carbon frame and fork with a Shimano 105 groupset and Mavic wheels for £2,299.
Tell us what the bike is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?
UD Carbon Fiber monocoque frame, unbeatable price, contained weight: the correct mix between budget and top performance for the one who approaches to the competitive practice and chooses carbon fiber.
Frame and fork
Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?
Finish of the highest quality, nice at any price let alone £2K
Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?
They use a mixture of ultra high modulus and T700 unidirectional carbon fibre in the frame to achieve the desired ride characteristic.
Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?
73/73 head/seat angles offer a neutral and predictable handling, it's the low front end that gives the bike its agility and desire to be ridden hard and fast
How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?
I swapped to a longer stem and it was fine
Riding the bike
Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.
On most rides yes, but on really rough surfaces there's a fair amount of vibration felt particularly through the saddle. A 27.2mm seatpost would help. A easy upgrade would be a carbon seatpost and handlebar, to absorb some of the vibration
Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?
Yes, certainly was stiff when you stepped on the gas.
How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?
The bike was fantastic at going forwards very fast, and was good in sprints too, very solid and stable.
Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so, was it a problem?
How would you describe the steering? Was it lively, neutral or unresponsive? Neutral.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?
Carbon post and bars would contribute to the comfort a little.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's stiffness? would you recommend any changes?
The wheels are reasonably stiff, a lighter and more refined wheelset would improve the ride.
The weight does hold it back.
Typical Shimano quality.
Wheels and tyres
Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes.
Would you consider buying the bike? Possibly.
Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
Age: 31 Height: 180 Weight: 67
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb,
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.