Scott CR1 Comp CD review£1,499.00

Comfortable yet sporty ride

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The CR1 used to be Scott’s seriously stiff race range, but it’s been relaunched this year with all-new frames as their Performance Comfort choice. The Comp shares its impressively light C1 Pro frame with all the CR models except the top-line SL bikes, giving it serious upgrade investment points.

Ride & handling: Comfortable yet responsive and sporty ride

Scott have always placed a premium on seriously stiff but lightweight bikes designed for the smooth roads of their main European market. That means even this new ‘softer’ Scott is still a tight and alert ride that we’d definitely describe as sporty, rather than steady.

While it’s still relatively chattery at slower speeds, the SDS stays and fork become noticeably smoother the faster you go. It certainly glides over rough surfaces and shrugs off potholes well enough to keep the pace high on off-piste roads rather than being terrified of the next dodgy stretch of tarmac.

It feels reassuringly surefooted and anchored on descents too, even when there’s so much water around you can’t see the surface for the surf. The long stem keeps it steady in gusty wind conditions or high speed situations, when the discernible flex in the lightweight, untapered fork could otherwise become unsettling.

Combined with the slightly more upright ‘Comfort geometry’, the overall effect is a safe and confidence-inspiring ride that all our testers relaxed into and started to really enjoy very quickly.

While safe isn’t the most sexy way to describe a bike, it’s certainly not a dull ride either. The combination of light wheels and low overall weight means it accelerates particularly well.

The oversized bottom bracket keeps it feeling direct underfoot despite the thin chainstays, only starting to bounce and feel soft when you’re really grinding a heavy gear. That shouldn’t happen too often though, as the combination of the compact chainset and close-ratio rear gearing helps you find your ideal tempo and hold your speed up climbs.

Wherever you ride it, you’d never know you were on a £1,499 bike and its well-balanced ride character and serious investment potential make it a very smart purchase.

Scott cr1 comp cd: scott cr1 comp cd
Scott cr1 comp cd: scott cr1 comp cd

Chassis: Superlight frame and fork with a comfortable, yet sporty ride

While a lot of distance or comfort frames are lardier than the race equivalents, the new CR1 Pro frame and fork set weighs just 2.99lb, and it costs £1,199 on its own.

The slightly kinked fork is a superlight, full-carbon piece from dropouts to top cap. The top and down tubes use a curved geometric section with a broad junction wrapping round the outside of the seat tube.

The driveside chainstay gets a metal plate to protect against dropped chains, and the chainstays use Scott's Shock Damping System (SDS), which means a broad flat section rather than the normal deep oval or rectangle shape. The dropouts are carbon rather than alloy.

The SDS concept is most obvious on the seatstays which morph from rectangular-to-triangular, then a super-thin section level with the wheel. Seven different frame sizes should cater for most riders, although Scott bikes typically come up slightly small compared to other brands.

Equipment: Well-chosen kit maintains the weight advantage

Only the rear mech is Shimano 105 and the rest of the gear is from the ‘one level down’ Tiagra groupset. Apart from soft, non-cartridge pad brakes it’s impossible to tell in terms of function though.

Several less-experienced testers liked seeing where they were among the ratios thanks to the gear indicator windows on the shifters. The compact gearing on the cranks is a bonus for less-beefy legs and steeper hills, but there are standard and triple chainset versions of the same bike. Scott also fit shorter cranks to the smaller bikes.

The Shimano wheels are a good weight (6.72lb), and the mix of Scott and Ritchey Comp finishing kit all does its job fine without adding excess heft. The Continental Ultra Sport tyres were confident through rain-lashed corners and greasy climbs.

Only the rear mech is shimano 105, while the rest of the gear is from the 'one level down' tiagra groupset – but it's no problem: only the rear mech is shimano 105, while the rest of the gear is from the 'one level down' tiagra groupset – but it's no problem
Only the rear mech is shimano 105, while the rest of the gear is from the 'one level down' tiagra groupset – but it's no problem: only the rear mech is shimano 105, while the rest of the gear is from the 'one level down' tiagra groupset – but it's no problem

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 44
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster tfhan the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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