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Story of innovation – Charley French

Charley French, a restless innovator with countless engineering contributions to SCOTT and the sports industry as a whole. Fueled by his own passion for the mountains, French never ceased to evolve and better the gear he created and used. A Story of Innovation explains the origin for some of the most iconic SCOTT products from the man himself.


Revolution of Ski Poles : Birth of SCOTT

The sport of skiing was revolutionized with a technical innovation from Ed SCOTT, a talented engineer and ski racer living in Sun Valley, Idaho. Ed SCOTT's invention of the first tapered aluminium ski pole immediately replaced the sport's existing use of bamboo and steel.

That revolutionary invention launched a new brand, SCOTT, and fundamentally positioned SCOTT as a technical product leader in the skiing market. Ed SCOTT's initial vision of technical innovation would serve as the cornerstone company philosophy as the brand matured and expanded to new markets.

  1. Motocross Market Entry

    In 1970, SCOTT entered the motocross goggle market with the first ever motocross specific goggle and later introduced motocross boots, grips and accessories.

  2. Lightest Ski Boot and First Foam Ventilated Goggle

    In 1971, the Company produced the world's lightest ski boot and introduced one of the first ski goggles utilizing foam ventilation.

  3. European Headquarters

    In 1978, the Company opened its European headquarters in Givisiez near Fribourg/CH.

  4. Most Sophisticated Ski Pole Factory and First Mountain Bike

    In 1986, the Company opened the world's most sophisticated ski pole factory in Italy and became the global leader in ski pole production. That same year, it introduced its first mountain bike.


First Aero Bar

In 1989, SCOTT introduced one of the most significant product innovations in the history of cycling - the aerodynamic handlebar. This handlebar, shaped by Charley French, was strategically utilized by American Greg Lemond in his 1989 Tour de France win.

  1. Unishock Suspension

    In 1991, the Company entered into the production of mountain bike suspension with Unishock.

  2. First Full-Suspension Mountain Bikes

    In 1992, SCOTT shipped its first full-suspension mountain bikes and later introduced cycling shoes and helmets.

  3. Expansion Financing through an External Investor

    To fund its acquisition strategy, the Company sold 55% of its shares to Zell Chillmark Chicago’s Investment Fund.

  4. Gloves

    In 1994, a winter sport glove line was introduced.


Endorphin, the First Carbon MTB

SCOTT introduced its first Carbon mountain bike. Thanks to many victories in the World Cup and at the Olympic Games, as well as great coverage in the media, the bike and the name, Endorphin, became a true legend.

  1. Outerwear and Skis

    In 1997, the Company introduced a technical winter sport apparel line. One year later, it was producing skis.

  2. G-Zero: the Lightest Full-Suspension Bike Worldwide

    SCOTT presented the lightest full-suspension mountain bike worldwide. The name "G-Zero" became a milestone in the development of the bike industry.

  3. Management Buy-Out

    Beat Zaugg, Tom Stendhal (Group Chairman) and SCOTT's management bought back the Group from Zell through a management buy-out. Simultaneously, the holding company was transferred to Switzerland.

  4. Ski Accessory Innovations

    The Group rolled out a global launch of patented goggle innovations: the RAM Air ventilation system and the revolutionary Amplifier lens. It also released another ski pole innovation: the adjustable LeverLock ski pole strap system.

  5. New Records for Lightness

    In 2001, SCOTT presented the road-bike Team Issue with the lightest frame worldwide (lighter than 1 kg), topped in 2003 by the CR1, the lightest frame on the market (895 gr).

  6. Second Management Buy-out

    In 2002, the Company's ownership structure changed again. In a second management buy-out, Beat Zaugg increased his shareholdings to 51.5%. Tom Stendahl and other shareholders retained a substantial stake in the Company.


Arrival of the Genius : Revolutionary Mountain Bike

In the same year, SCOTT presented the Genius, a new concept of a full-suspension bike with a shock-adjustable into three different modes (lock-out mode, all-travel mode, and traction mode.) Pretty soon magazines were filled with reports on the new Genius. The success of the Genius bike was highlighted by Thomas Frischknecht's victory in the marathon event at the World Championships.

  1. SCOTT wins European Ski Award with the Biomex® Helmet

    Created in cooperation with Biomex® Protection, this helmet was a big step forward for head safety in wintersports. The Biomex featured a Dual Band Roll Cage (rectangular shape), which reduced the swing weight and made it more comfortable to wear.

  2. Take-over of Yoko and Reima

    These purchases opened new doors into the street bike and snowmobile clothing markets

  3. Lightest Triathlon Bike on the Market

    Utilizing its proprietary CR1 technology, the Company developed a state-of-the-art triathlon frame; the PLASMA, which was 980 grams light. Add the integrated aero seat post at 300 grams and the result was the world’s lightest aero Carbon frame with triathlon-specific geometry.

  4. Third Management Buy-out

    In 2005, Beat Zaugg acquired the remaining 48.5% of the Company in another management buy-out transaction, thereby taking over 100% of the Company.


Running Shoe Collection

The Company contracted a research and development lab in Portland, Oregon, to create a full line of high performance running shoes for both male and female athletes.

  1. Introduction of the Addict Frame

    The new Addict is the lightest road frame available, just 790 grams with integrated seat post (165 grams). When combined with SCOTT's new, slimmer Carbon IMP™ fork that weighs just 330 grams, the new Addict bike weighs an amazing 5.9 kg.

  2. Spark marks the lightest frame/shock combination in the World

    By applying its revolutionary new Integrated Molding Process (IMP™) to its already proven CR1 technology and new Nude TC™ shock, SCOTT produced the lightest full suspension bike available.

  3. SCOTT 50 Years Anniversary

    SCOTT celebrates the golden anniversary, marking 50 years of commitment to progressive sport. Times have changed and SCOTT has developed into a worldwide powerhouse in Bike, Wintersport, Motosport and Running. But the vision has always remained the same from the humble beginnings 50 years ago in Ed SCOTT’s one man ski tuning business: INNOVATION - TECHNOLOGY – DESIGN.

    The same year, SCOTT opened a new US Headquarter in Sun Valley, Idaho.

  4. Solar Blocker lens technology

    The new lens technologies that will unquestionable improve your mountain experience - the Solar Blocker Technology. The lens blocks most of the blue light to protect the eyes and is recommended for glacier Skiing and sunny days.

  5. Genius bike generation 2 is born

    Same name – new frame, revised geometry and new Equalizer2 shock with Oil Transfer System.


New Carbon Ski – the Crusair

The new Crusair is quickly becoming the benchmark ski for the freeride mountaineering market. The combination of Carbon frame with sandwich wood air channels delivers an extremly lightweight, stable and reactive ski.

  1. New Twin Loc suspension technology for bikes

    The all new Twin Loc lever allows the rider to keep both hands on the handlebars while selecting the desired travel settings or fully locking the suspension. Riders can switch between, full travel, Traction mode, and now complete lock out of both fork and Equalizer 2 TC shock.

  2. eRide Technology

    In response to need of runners for an efficient running platform SCOTT presents eRIDE a unique rocker shape midsole technology that reduces heel strike impacts and improves running efficiency for all running styles.

  3. The new SCOTT Scale sets the benchmark

    Weighting less than 899 grams, the Scale is the lightest MTB Carbon frame ever produced. World Champion Nino Schurter wins with the new Scale 899 the Overall MTB World Cup.

  4. Genius LT redefines All Mountain again

    LT stands for Long travel, necessary in All Mountain situations where the descents are nasty but you plan to climb to the top. No problem when you have the lightest All Mountain Carbon frame with 185mm and the 110mm of travel available and thanks to Twin Loc you can lock it out.


SCOTT offers an E-Bike line

In close collaboration with the electronic giant Bosch, SCOTT is the first company who offer a stylistically oriented and easy to operate E-Bike system.

  1. SCOTT gets the ball rolling for 27.5”

    SCOTT is the first brand to realize a successful 27.5” wheel size line with the Scale 700 and Genius 700. World Champion Nino Schurter conquers race tracks aboard his game changing Scale 700 RC.

  2. Ski Boots for mountain and freeski

    With the introduction of a ski boot collection for mountain and freeski, SCOTT Sports completed the head-to-toe product range for skiers.

  3. E-Spark revolutionizes trail experience

    The E-Spark – on 27.5” wheels – integrates a Bosch engine with one of the most modern full suspension bikes and opens up the energized trail experience era.

  4. SCOTT introduces 1st Road kit under 1 kg

    The all new SCOTT Addict SL is the 1st in-line road bike frame set under 1 kg. The secret of its lightness: HMX-SL, the best Carbon fiber on the market. It utilizes Nano-technology, which incorporates a Carbon nanotube reinforced epoxy resin - super-light, super-stiff and still comfortable.


New Versatility thanks to the LCG goggle

SCOTT introduces the new lens change goggle (LCG) featuring SCOTT’s lens change slider system. Simple and reliable, the multiple award winning LCG enables users to quickly change lenses without having to touch the surface of the lens.

  1. New ITD ProTec Softgoods Line

    In cooperation with schoeller®, SCOTT developed ITD ProTec Technology, providing a significantly higher abrasion resistance than regular fabrics. The combination of single knit carbon yarns and ceramic printing on the fabric leads to high robustness and durability even in crashes on asphalt at high speed.

  2. New Plasma 5

    The new SCOTT Plasma 5 constitutes the latest development of modern Triathlon and TT bikes. It combines an aerodynamic frame design with innovative storage systems and wide range adjustability - The ultimate solution for demanding endurance athletes.

  3. An entire line of Plus-Bikes

    As the first brand in the bike industry, SCOTT sports introduced an entire line of Plus-Bikes. Thanks to its wider tires, 27.5“Plus bikes enable more fun and aggressive handling but also more forgiveness due to an unmatched level of control.

  4. The new Prospect Goggle

    The new Prospect Goggle starts a new chapter in a decorated goggle history at SCOTT. Capitalizing on 45 years of experience, the SCOTT Prospect pushes the limits of field of vision, comfort and lens retention. The goggle is compatible with the WFS50, a system invented by SCOTT. The WFS50 is a larger and more fine-tuned roll off system to once again define the standard for this market.

2016 : Olympic and World Champions

Winning both the Olympic Gold Medal and the XCO World Championships in their categories in the same year, SCOTT-Odlo MTB Racing’s Nino Schurter and Jenny Rissveds not only marked a milestone in the sport of Mountain Biking, but also marked the most successful year in the history of SCOTT.

  1. Lightest aero road bike with disc brakes

    The FOIL DISC was introduced becoming the lightest Aero road bike with disc brakes on the market. It combines light weight, aerodynamics, compliance and control like no other road bike on the market.

  2. Radial Traction

    Athlete lead design aided the creation of the award winning Supertrac RC with a unique outsole pattern, `RADIAL TRACTION’ was born. This innovation in mountain running footwear enabled the runner to gain traction in 360 degrees on the most technical and challenging of terrains.

  3. All new Genius

    At 2249g, the all new Genius is introduced as the lightest frame of its class (including shock and hardware.) SCOTT continues to set the standard for lightweight, capable trail bikes.

  4. E-Genius

    The E-Genius establishes a new milestone in the e-bike industry. Thanks to advanced technologies, SCOTT pushed the standards of the integration to limit the impact of the drive unit and improve design and handling.


Nino Schurter : perfect season

After achieving the biggest goal of his career, winning Gold at the Olympics in Rio in 2016, Nino Schurter went even further in 2017 by winning everything an XC mountain bike athlete can win- every World Cup race, the legendary Cape Epic stage race and the World Championships.

  1. SCOTT 60 Years Anniversary

    60 years ago, we changed the ski pole. This would be the catalyst for decades of innovation, technology and design to follow. For 60 years we have taken a NO SHORTCUTS approach to product development, racing, climbing, descending and everything in between. For 60 years, we have put nothing but passion behind every stride, pedal stroke and carve. After 60 years, we have come to realize one thing – we can’t wait for 60 more.

  2. Introducing the new Ransom

    When the Ransom was originally launched in 2006, it probably came as a bit of a surprise for the mtb industry. It was unusual to have a bike with 160mm of travel front and rear with great descending capability and that pedaled so well. At the time, the equalizer shock was leading the pack. Now, almost 13 years later, the Ransom is back, and again hopes to shake the tree. 170mm of travel front and rear, up mountains, down them even faster, and as light as can be, the Ransom is ready to turn heads once more.

  3. Ruth Croft wins Golden Trail Series

    In 2018 New Zealander RUTH CROFT beat the world’s best trail runners to be crowned GOLDEN TRAIL SERIES champion, a true milestone for both Ruth and SCOTT RUNNING.

  4. SCOTT is back on the DH World Stage

    In 2019, SCOTT introduces its first ever full carbon downhill bike, the Gambler. The SCOTT DH factory wins three world cups and several fastest team honors in just its first year on the UCI MTB World Cup circuit. Brendan Fairclough rides the Gambler to a stellar 4th place finish at the 2019 Red Bull Rampage in Utah, USA.

  5. Introducing the new Addict RC

    Since its introduction back in 2008, the Addict RC has been one of the most successful competitive road bikes on the market. Several stage wins, podiums at classics as well as grand tour triumphs have written the Addict RC into road bike history. With the introduction of the new Addict RC in 2019, SCOTT introduces its new flagship road bike model. Built from scratch the bike is more than just a successor of the previous version and therefore a true benchmark when it comes to racing. Extremely lightweight, the strongest and most advanced carbon structure to date as well as completely integrated cable routing means the Addict RC raises the bar once again.


SCOTT Sports Opens New HQ

Situated in Givisiez, Switzerland, the new global headquarters are the home for all of SCOTT's divisions including Bike, Winter, Moto and Running and serve as the organizational center for SCOTT's other brands. SCOTT Sports is known for being an innovation leader in the sports industry.
INNOVATION - TECHNOLOGY – DESIGN, the company’s very own mission statement can be found at the core of every product. This is a benchmark that has been applied to the new HQ as well. State-of-the-art technology, integration and a strong focus on sustainable use of resources functionally wrapped in an outstanding design represents SCOTT's mission statement to its core.