Scott CR1 Team £1899

Sportive special

BikeRadar score 4/5

Scott’s CR1 wowed the public, pros and press alike on its launch in 2007, its phenomenally low weight and pro-ready ride triggering huge interest. But when Scott launched the even lighter Addict, the CR1 languished until they made it over into a sportive special. 

That involved adding some height to the head tube and redesigning the rear end with a carbon layup that introduces shock absorbing qualities, in a design that Scott call SDS. The frame is still remarkably light despite the comfort makeover, at just over 1,035g for our 194mm head tubed XL size (around 58cm). It’s one of, if not the, lightest in the 2012 Cycling Plus Bikes Of The Year round-up. It’s aided in the weight loss by using full-carbon dropouts front and rear –a quality touch on a bike at this price.

The ride is confident, composed, long and a little more upright than most bikes at this price. This position makes the Scott one of the best choices for arduous in-the-saddle climbs; the wide bar and straighter back opens up your diaphragm and makes breathing easier than it has any right to be. Out-of-the-saddle climbs take a little getting used to, the increased height up front making for a pendulum effect when you’re swinging on the bars. 

Get into a rhythm and it’s a great feeling; lose your composure and you’ll want to get back in the saddle sharpish. The tall front makes leisurely rides a blissfully comfortable experience. When you want to get busy and throw down the hammer, the hoods isn't the place to be. Get in the drops and it’s a hoot – the handling tightens and the lightness encourages speed.

Previously, we’ve seen Scott compromise on specification in order to get this frameset under the £2,000 mark. But as the weakness of the pound and euro has had a dramatic effect, the CR1 now has a comparable finish to its competitors. It’s equipped with Shimano 105 which is every bit as competent as Ultegra – true, Ultegra shaves weight and ultimately has a crisper shift, but it’s a small difference. Mavic’s Aksium Races are some of the best mid-level wheels around and Continental Ultra Sport tyres are an old favourite.

If you ride to get up the biggest climbs, then the CR1 should be on your shortlist. We’d prefer a little less head tube height for more of an all-rounder, rather than a sportive special. But for the vast majority of riding, the CR1 makes a lot of sense.

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This bike was tested as part of Cycling Plus magazine’s 2012 Bike Of The Year feature – read the full results in issue 260, on sale Friday 2 March.

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