The Scott company has come a long way since Ed Scott reinvented the bamboo ski pole in tapered aluminium in the late 1950s. Evolving via skiing and motocross, Scott introduced their first mountain bike in 1986. In 1989 Scott’s clip-on aero-bars assisted Greg Lemond to his Tour de France victory when he used them in the time trial and started a trend. Pioneering the use of carbon fibre for bicycle frames, Scott has been producing quality lightweight carbon road bikes for well over a decade and the brand is well represented in the ProTour peloton.
The CR1 Premium is at the top of the CR1 line within Scott’s road bike range. The CR1 is labelled ‘performance’ rather than ‘race’ but don’t think that makes it second best. While the Foil line are the pure race bikes (and choice of the Orica GreenEDGE pro-tour team) the CR1 frame is equally capable and GreenEDGE have picked the CR1 frame specifically to contest this year’s Paris-Roubaix. Climbing aboard, it is soon obvious why.
I always like to ride review bikes a bit before doing the research on them. That way I can have a think about the ride without the marketing blurb going through my head. The CR1 created a strong first impression. It’s light and lively but the standout feature is the ability of the frame to absorb vibration and the bumps and imperfections of the road. The key to this is the Shock Damping System (SDS) technology within the seat stays, chainstays and the front fork. It’s always good when a plan comes together, and the Scott designers seem to have nailed this requirement without compromising the frame’s ability to climb and sprint without flex.
Another feature of the frame is the slightly shorter top tube than most pure race bikes. This was apparent when jumping off my own bike (Malvern Star C7 Team, nominally the same size) and onto the Scott. Consequently the riding position is slightly more relaxed, although that’s a relative term – this is still a performance road bicycle but with some design features that should broaden its appeal in the market. Scott engineers call it Road Comfort Geometry.
The CR1 Premium frame and fork is built from Scott’s HMF NET carbon, with a carbon steerer tube. To look at it’s a beautiful frame, right down to the wheel drop-outs. There is a replaceable derailleur hanger and an integrated Ritchey Pro headset up front. A neat bracket for the Shimano Ultegra Di2 system sits just below the bottle cage mounts on the down tube, and the integrated BB is a Dura-Ace item – no cost-cutting there.
The CR1 Premium comes in a ‘stealth-mode’ grey with red and black graphics, and componentry is similarly coloured, predominantly grey and black anodised with the strategically-placed red – very smart.
As you’d expect on a bike at carrying the ‘premium’ tag, components are all top-notch. Some time ago, Scott acquired Syncros, a company which made its name manufacturing innovative, high-quality mountain bike parts. Wheels, handlebars and stem, seatpost and seat are all Syncros branded and appear to have carried on the tradition for quality.
The Syncros wheels (RP1.5 hubs, aero spokes and rims) are marked “by DT Swiss”. They’re light, run smoothly at the bearings and stayed tight and true over the month I used them. Hub internals are pure DT Swiss, with stainless steel bearings throughout. They come with a Syncros ‘screw-to-tighten’ QR skewer rather than the lever style – I liked them.
The Syncros R1.2 carbon seatpost is a neat two-bolt affair with height markings on the back. Looks nice, seat stayed tight and it no doubt contributed to the comfort factor of the bike. I wasn’t expecting to like the RR1.5 seat but I did. I found it comfortable and the Ti rails and carbon-injected base make it lightweight.
The Syncros bar and stem (both aluminium) maintain the theme, with the stem being reversible to gain/lose a bit of height if required. Incidentally, the steerer tube was left long with plenty of spacers; always a good thing for fine-tuning your ride position.
Brakes, shifters and transmission are all the latest Shimano Ultegra. The crankset is a 50/34 compact model (despite what it says on the Scott website) and, coupled with the 11-28 10-speed rear cassette, it enables the CR1 to climb pretty well anything you’ll come across. Thanks to the perfectly set up gear shifters on the test bike I am now a fan of Di2, although I still think it’s a step backwards in the looks department.
The brakes were phenomenal in the dry. Unfortunately, my time with the Scott coincided with some very wet weather and I was less impressed by the braking performance in the rain, although this could be just new pads wearing-in.
The amount of wet weather riding I did on the Scott threw up a couple of issues. The rear brake cable became sticky and notchy, presumably due to less than optimal lubrication. The rear brake cable runs externally, MTB-style, and this may have contributed to water ingress. With the upper cable wrapped in bar tape, however, it’s fiddly to re-lube. On the plus side, I have proved to myself that Di2 appears to be waterproof!
Other niggles? A slight ‘click’ from what I suspect was the headset when climbing out-of-the-saddle; probably just bedding in and nothing that a first service wouldn’t sort out.
Tyres on the CR1 are my favourite, Continental GP4000s. I’ve found these to be fast and durable on my own bikes and they grip well, too.
The CR1 Premium is, indeed, a premium package. The frame lives up to its design brief in terms of comfort with performance and with electronic shifting, Shimano Ultegra and the Syncros parts kit there is a lot to like.
The CR1 Premium lives up to its name–great frame and fork package, beautifully finished, flawless electronic shifting, and the Syncros wheels and parts package complement it perfectly. Who needs Dura-Ace with Ultegra this good?
Smooth. Sophisticated frame design and materials produce a ride that takes the buzz out of less-than-perfect tarmac without sacrificing stability or the ability to respond to maximum effort from the rider. Light weight and compact gearing will have you climbing like a pro.
At $4,999 you’ll expect some bang for your buck, and you’ll get it with the Scott. The CR1 Premium delivers. It’s a race-capable bicycle that you’ll want to ride home afterwards, just to round off the day.
Top quality kit and performance with a degree of comfort means this is a bike for the long haul in more ways than one. It shines on long days out and with nothing to upgrade and electronic shifting, it’s a case of ‘ride away, no more to pay’.
Sizes: 47, 49, 52, 54, 56, 58, 61
Frame: SCOTT CR1 HMF NET IMP Carbon technology Road Comfort geometry INT BB
Fork: Scott CR1 HMF NET 1 1/8 Carbon steerer Integrated Carbon dropout
Handlebars: Syncros RR1.5 Anatomic 31.8 mm
Stem: Syncros FL1.5 1-1/8
Seatpost: Syncros Carbon R 1.2 31.6/300 mm
Seat: SYNCROS RR1.5 Titanium
Headset: Ritchey PRO Int. Cartridge
Shifters: Shimano Ultegra ST-6770 20 Speed Di2
Front Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra FD-6770 Di2
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra RD-6770 20 Speed Di2
Brakes: Shimano Ultegra BR-6700 GREY Super SLR Dual pivot
Cassette: Shimano Ultegra CS-6700 11-28T
Chain: Shimano Ultegra CN-6700
Crank: Shimano Ultegra FC-6700 GREY Hollowtech II 34/50 T
Rims: Syncros RP1.5 18 Front / 24 Rear
Hub (Rear): Syncros RP1.5
Hub (Front): SYNCROS RP1.5
Spokes: Syncros RP1.5
Tyres: Continental Grand Prix 4000 700 x 23
Weight 7.2kg / 15,87312lbs
Distributor: Sheppard Cycles