Scott CR1 SL review

Super-stiff lightweight

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £4,699.99 RRP | USD $6,049.99

Our review

Combines proper handling with a smooth ride over rough tarmac, but it'll disappoint riders looking for an ultra-cushy feel
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Scott’s CR1 has been revamped for 2010, with trick new tube shaping that’s designed to take the edge off the bumps without overly diluting the bike’s racy feel. This shaping actually works, and quite well – though not entirely the way we expected it to.


Ride & handling: Light and stiff enough to race, but with a bit of give over bigger bumps

On smoother roads the so-called SDS (Shock Damping System) – basically, the stays have been flattened in key areas so they flex under big impacts – is essentially inactive and the CR1 rides similarly to the company’s Addict flagship, leaving us wondering what all the fuss was about. It’s notably firm with excellent road feedback and, as is typical for higher-quality carbon frames, has just enough inherent vibration damping to smooth out road buzz without killing the ride.

SDS kicks in on bigger impacts such as potholes and frost heave – right when it’s needed most – where the Addict and others tend to violently crash through. It’s no magic carpet, mind you, and even Scott claim just 0.6mm of vertical movement – a seemingly insignificant amount though it feels like more beneath you.  On the road, the movement is surprisingly tangible and supposedly 2.5 times greater than the previous CR1. You still feel the bump but it’s significantly less harsh or jarring and even rock-hard, frozen washboard on dirt roads is notably smoothed over to the point where it’s nearly tolerable. 

Scott add the SDS feature to the matching all-carbon fork too, though here the shaping is much less radical and, not surprisingly, offers a more subtle ride improvement. In either case, keep in mind that SDS isn’t really ‘damping’ per se, regardless of the nomenclature – it’s more like a very short-travel leaf spring.  Regardless, it works as intended and is definitely more suitable as a long-distance machine than the Addict, especially if your local road conditions are less than ideal.

Scott’s ‘shock dampering system’ (and no, that’s not a typo – at least not on our part) doesn’t so much damp vibration as it does flex under load regardless, it’s quite effective at taking the edge off of especially rough roads: scott’s ‘shock dampering system’ (and no, that’s not a typo – at least not on our part) doesn’t so much damp vibration as it does flex under load regardless, it’s quite effective at taking the edge off of especially rough roads
James Huang

Drivetrain and overall torsional rigidity feels little changed from before and is still admirably high with just a hint of dullness to the back end when you really lay it down. In spite of the added comfort, there’s still plenty of get-up-and-go left in the chassis and the CR1 remains quite race-worthy. In fact, the CR1 may even offer a traction benefit for competitive riders who regularly have to corner hard on broken tarmac. However, those looking for ultimate performance will still want to look towards the Addict instead, which offers slightly snappier reflexes and a livelier ride quality.

As part of Scott’s retasking of the CR1 as more of an all-rounder, frame geometry has been slightly modified from the usual racer layout to accommodate a more upright riding position. Thankfully, though, the changes are decidedly modest: our 52cm tester has just 5mm taken out of the effective top tube length (but a steeper seat tube angle so the reach is virtually unchanged) and a reasonable 20mm added to the head tube, compared to the same size Addict. Simply slam the stem down to the headset to produce a more aggressive position – as we did – or take advantage of the generous steerer tube length to save your back as needed.

Handling prowess doesn’t take a hit, as is often the case with many ‘endurance’ chassis, and the CR1 carves turns as ably and neutrally as its Addict big brother. This means that the CR1 isn’t a sit-up-and-watch-the-birds cruiser, so if that’s what you’re after, look elsewhere. Think of it more as a racecar with softer suspension settings.

Chain stays are radically flattened to lend more vertical flex to the rear end: chain stays are radically flattened to lend more vertical flex to the rear end
James Huang

Frame: Clever frame engineering means stiffness isn’t sacrificed for comfort

Not surprisingly, the new CR1 frame layout is similar to the Addict with a one-piece moulded IMP (Integrated Molding Process) front end connected to separate seat tube and stay assemblies via Scott’s long-standing tube-to-tube construction. Carbon is again used for the housing stops but is now also subbed in for the new dropouts, and the extra-wide bottom bracket surrounds newly press-fit composite cups.

Our top-end SL version uses Scott’s highest-quality HMX carbon fibre blend as well, but even with the upgrades and material substitutions, the 2010 CR1 gains a few grams relative to last year’s version in order to reinforce the frame against the newly added flex patterns (adding frame flex is easy; controlling its direction and engineering where it stops isn’t). While both the chainstays and seatstays are very thin top-to-bottom, they’re also very wide – and probably a tad thicker-walled than usual – to keep unwanted torsional flex at bay. In addition, the anchor points for the chainstays are decidedly stout at the bottom bracket.

Still, actual weight for our bare 52cm frame is an impressive 893g (1.97lb) and well in-keeping with other high-end platforms. Even with alloy clinchers fitted and a heavier-than-stock saddle (consumer bikes are supposed to come with a carbon-railed Fizik Arione CX), total weight for our complete tester was just 6.59kg (14.53lb) without pedals – hardly a boat anchor.

The new cr1 features press-fit bottom bracket cups across the board for lighter weight but also a little more room for the adjoining chain stays: the new cr1 features press-fit bottom bracket cups across the board for lighter weight but also a little more room for the adjoining chain stays
James Huang

Equipment: Smart parts kit, including full Dura-Ace and Mavic Ksyrium clinchers

The corresponding build kit is wisely chosen across the board with light weight kept in mind but not at the expense of durability. Shimano’s latest Dura-Ace badge is found on the entire transmission (which Scott offer in either compact or standard) and brake callipers and the result is predictably smooth and precise shifting matched with best-in-class stopping performance.

Our tester came fitted with slippery Gore sealed cables, too, effectively cancelling out the extra line friction from the newly concealed derailleur routing. Stock bikes won’t come from the factory that way but the improvement in shifter feel is significant enough that we’d recommend the upgrade. Rolling stock comes courtesy of Mavic’s Ksyrium SL Premium alloy clinchers and Continental Grand Prix 4000 rubber. Both are well-proven items with an excellent balance of performance, durability and versatility – no complaints there.


Finishing kit is supplied by Ritchey in the form of a SuperLogic Carbon Evolution handlebar and one-bolt seatpost, and WCS Carbon 4-Axis stem. We’ve had good luck with the seatpost design and stem in the past but the handlebar is a decidedly love-or-hate-it item with its hyper-ergonomic bend. Bigger handed riders will likely find the flat sections of the drops too short, too.

Our top-end sl model includes high-zoot carbon cockpit components from ritchey: our top-end sl model includes high-zoot carbon cockpit components from ritchey
James Huang

Product Specifications


Name CR1 SL(10)
Brand Scott

Description Weights: size 52cm, without pedals; 893g (bare 52cm frame); 340g (fork with 225mm steerer)
Headset Type Ritchey Pro Press-Fit
Weight (kg) 6.59
Stem Ritchey WCS Carbon 4-Axis
Shifters Shimano Dura-Ace STI Dual Control ST-7900
Seatpost Ritchey SuperLogic Carbon
Saddle fi'zi:k Arione CX
Rims Ksyrium SL Premium clincher
Rear Tyre Size 700x23C
Rear Tyre Grand Prix 4000
Rear Hub Mavic
Rear Derailleur Shimano Dura-Ace RD-7900-SS
Handlebar Ritchey SuperLogic Evolution
Available Sizes 47 49 52 54 56 58 61cm
Front Tyre Size 700x23C
Front Tyre Grand Prix 4000
Front Hub Mavic
Front Derailleur Shimano Dura-Ace FD-7900-F
Frame Material Scott CR1 SL HMX NET
Fork Scott CR1 HMF NET
Cranks Shimano Dura-Ace FC-7950, 50/34T
Cassette Shimano Dura-Ace CS-7900, 11-28T
Brakes Shimano Dura-Ace BR-7900
Bottom Bracket Shimano Dura-Ace press-fit SMI-FC7900
Weight (lb) 14.53