Scott CR1 Team review£1,899.00

Sub kilo superlight frame

BikeRadar score3/5

Scott's CR1 is cracking value, with an extremely light frame and fork for the price. It's shape is a definite divider though, and it feels soft when you stamp on the pedals so you'll need to be a less powerful rider to get the best from this bike.

Ride & handling: Responsive ride that's superb value for short-course spinners and pack racers

The first thing you’ll notice on the Scott are the proportions of the frame. Basically, the CR1 sizing means that to get a decent stretch you end up with a longer stem, much taller frame and much less seatpost showing than with other sportive-type bikes at this price.

You have to push the saddle right back on its rails too. This left every one of our testers feeling that there was more frame than necessary in every dimension except length. Of course, if you’re after a short but tall bike, you’re going to really like the Scott.

While chassis weight is outstandingly low, the tall frame and long stem gave a top-heavy feel to the bike when we were flicking in and out of corners. It’s something you adjust to rapidly, but the steep angles and short chainstays and wheelbase made the Scott a bit of an attention-seeker in terms of handling.

This is great for short course or combative pack racing, but potentially tiring on a long haul and more thought provoking on fast, twisty descents too. The other potentially tiring aspect of the Scott is that it transmits shocks more readily than other bikes in its class.

Obviously if you pay attention, its agility is an advantage when it comes to flicking round potholes and other problems. If you fail to dodge a rough bit though, you’ll know all about it through the palms of your hands.

The effect of the SDS shock absorbing rear stays becomes more obvious at faster speeds, where the bike skims rather than shudders. This makes it more comfortable than most race-orientated options, although it’s still a firm-feeling ride as far as sportive-style bikes go.

The very low frame and fork weight obviously appeal to more ‘sporting’ riders and the Scott's upgrade potential is obvious. If you’re happy just to sit in the saddle and spin the compact chainset at high revs and low torque, it floats up hills. There's a significant downside to the reduced mass advantages though, and that’s clear when you stamp on the pedals.

There’s enough flex and power sap in the skinny chainstays of the lightweight frame to leave it lagging if you try and tough out a climb in a big gear. There’s a lot of sideways twist and flex in the bars and forks too. Sit down and spin, and the light weight of the Scott is flattering of fitness, but if you tend to rely on torque then this is not your bike.

Frame & equipment: Extremely light chassis plus good value kit selection

This is the second year we’ve tested the CR1 frame and fork set, and it’s still one of the lightest sportive chassis available. This cheaper HMF NET fibre frame is 120g heavier than the HMX NET frame on the top-line CR1 SL bike but it’s still under a kilo in weight. There’s plenty of girth in the frame tubes though and the seatpost has a relatively large diameter (31.6mm), which will keep mainframe responses taut.

The bottom bracket is a conventional screw-in outboard bearing setup though, and the fork is a single diameter 1.125in set up rather than a tapered unit. The back end is noticeably skinnier than the main triangle, with Scott’s flattened tube SDS (Shock Damping System) – this involves stays designed to flex and absorb vibration and impact loads.

The slim tapered fork is a full carbon fibre construction from dropouts to the top, making it extremely light  by any standards, let alone what we’d expect on a sub-£2,000 bike. There’s a fair amount of flex as a result, but if you’re after a super-light chassis to upgrade over time then this is a great place to start.

Stop/go kit is full Shimano 105 with a compact chainset that helps ease the effort on steeper hills. The Mavic Aksium Race wheels are well proven units that’ll take high mileages in their stride and the Continental Ultra Race tyres are equally reliable rubber. The Ritchey carbon seatpost and Scott own-brand cockpit kit help keep the complete bike under 8kg too. The stem is relatively long to restore reach though, and there’s noticeable flex when working hard.

Scott cr1 team: scott cr1 team
Scott cr1 team: scott cr1 team

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: 45
  • 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 than 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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