Scott launched its 05 line of bikes at St. Moritz, Switzerland, to a gathering of US and European journalists.
Thomas Frischknect led the MTB rides and Greg Herbold was on hand to delve into the innards of the latest Boxxer forks from Rock Shox.
Most of the journalists invited were from mountain bike magazines. Riding a Scale hardtail in the morning, Carlton Reid of BikeBiz.com snuck away from the DH drop in the afternoon to ride a CR1 road bike 20kms to the ‘cheese-factory-cum-woodshed’ that was the venue for the evening meal.
The CR1 range consists of Genius XC and ‘marathon’ full-suspension MTBs; the CR1 Scale hardtail cross country MTBs; and the CR1 road bike series.
All are made from carbon-fibre, all are super-lightweight. The top-of-the-range Genius Limited is a meaty full-suspension bike yet the medium weighs just 10.4kg, including forks. In real money this is just 22lbs, repeat 22lbs.
The hardtail Scale, without the four-bar linkage suspension system, is even lighter at 7.7kg all in, justifying the claim from Pascal Ducrot, Scott’s general manager, that "hardtails can now be as light as lightweight road bikes ten years ago."
Scott has been making high-end carbon-fibre bikes since 1992 although it wasn’t until the Endorphin frame, launched in 1996, that Scott had a carbon-fibre product with mass-market potential.
Earlier carbon-fibre frames were ‘whippy’, Scott’s latest line-up benefit from mature R&D and are stiff in all the right places – although it’s tough to define what ‘stiff’ actually means – and yet flexy-comfy in all the right places, too.
The CR1 team issue frame has a Shock Dampening System, SDS, inherent in the frame, made possible by a special lay up technique of the carbon fibres.
"SDS reduces the rider’s s fatigue drastically and enables the rider to control the bike better," said a statement in the Scott press pack, complete with a folder made from carbon-fibre.
"It results in great riding and superior control of the bike without compromising the lateral stiffness which is so important for efficient and powerful pedalling."
Made in China in a high-end factory specialising in carbon-fibre, all of the CR1 frames go through a time-consuming production process. On a Genius frame it takes 17 hours to assemble the carbon tubes, weld-glue them together, sand the frame down and then clean, paint and clear coat the finished frame. It takes 26 hours to produce the Scale and road frames.
They look like streamlined moulded monocoques but are actually assembled from tubes, yet without pig-ugly lugs. 26 hours in production? Yep, looks like it too, the joins are baby-bottom smooth.
Aluminium frames take just two hours to produce, says Scott.
One-piece monocoques are expensive to produce and inflexible in terms of fine-tuning the key properties of differently laid-up carbon-fibre. By using tubes, known stress points can be made beefier; non-stressed parts made with thinner tubes. But adding lugs adds weight.
The Scott CR1 frames are weld-glued together in a proprietary process and then sanded to the sort of finish you’d expect on a custom steel bike of old.
The tubes feature varying weaves and thicknesses and orientations of carbon fibre so the frame flexes one way but not t’other: torsionally stiff yet comfy at the same time.
According to Scott, 8400 miles of carbon fibre strands go into one frame.
The CR1 team issue road bike has an 895gr frame, "the lightest frame of the peleton," claims Scott.
The Genius RC Limited is XTR-equipped and will costs 6300. The XT-equipped Genius RC-20 will cost 4200.
The Scale Limited is XTR-equipped and will cost 5400, with the LX-equipped Scale 30 costing 2700.
The CR1 Limited road bike is equipped with Campag Record, and Campag Bora wheels, and costs 8500. The Dura-Ace equipped CR1 Team Issue will cost 5000 and the 105-equipped CR1 Team, with Mavic Ksyrium Equipe wheels, will cost 2400 for the double chainset version and 2430 for the triple.