The CR1 started out as Scott’s super-light, pro-level, race-ready machine. Over recent years, however, it’s gone through a radical sportive makeover, with racy handling and one of the lightest frames in the world.
Frame & equipment: Super-light frame with faultless gearing
The frame’s rear end now features Scott’s SDS – Shock Damp System. It’s a clever layup of the carbon fibre that blends 90-degree woven fibres with layers of unidirectional carbon. That’s allowed the designers to engineer in some vertical flex while making the shaped tubing highly resistant to twisting forces. They claim this helps reduce the shocks coming through the rear triangle and into the seat of your pants.
Up front, they’ve added height to the head tube, raising it to 196mm for our XL test bike, just as you’d expect from a sportive bike. It’s elsewhere that the changes are less defined. Essentially parallel 73-degree angles are more race than leisure, and the wheelbase stays around the metre mark.
The original CR1 held the title of world’s lightest at its launch, and the new frame still only tips the scales at just over a kilo. The low weight is thanks to details such as all-carbon dropouts and a lightweight (390g) all-carbon fork.
The CR1 is adorned with Shimano 105 throughout, paired with Shimano’s RS510 wheels for a unified finish. Scott step away from 105 for the cassette, fitting a hill-busting 12-30T model from the Tiagra group. It works faultlessly with the 105, and riders prepared to tackle serious inclines will welcome its inclusion.
The CR1 Team Carbon is an improvement on last year’s CR1 Comp in terms of spec, a change no doubt helped by Scott’s acquisition of US parts brand Syncros. The carbon post is good quality and welcome at the price, while the nicely finished lightweight stem and compact bar make for a comfortable cockpit.
The only thing we couldn’t get on with was the new Syncros RR2.5 saddle. Its shape is fine but the squishy padding quickly compresses, so after an hour or so on the perch all you can feel are the hard edge ridges. We had plenty of testers try it, with none saying they’d put it on the bike by choice.
Ride & handling: Solid all-rounder
The CR1’s adaptation to a more comfortable design has been reasonably successful, with it smoothing the road better than most.
The race geometry that remains ensures the handling is nippy, but it’s not perfect and the standard 1 1/8in head tube, with its extended length, doesn’t feel as taught as the Giant Defy Advanced 2’s tapered Overdrive 2 system.
The lightweight all-carbon fork tracks admirably and kills road buzz, but we were able to induce a bit of flex into the head tube area and stem – nothing dramatic but when ridden back-to-back with other bikes it was all too noticeable.
This bike was tested as part of Cycling Plus magazine’s 2013 Bike Of The Year feature – read the full results in issue 273, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.