It costs the best part of seven grand and weighs under 6kg. That’s the key info you need to know when you hit the road aboard Scott’s stunning Addict Ltd, because you can pretty much guarantee what the first two questions from everyone you meet will be.
The Addict is one of the lightest road frames in the world, and the flagship Ltd version, which comes with a Campagnolo Record components and Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimate wheels for 2008, is the lightest of the lot. Our large (56cm) model hit the scales at 13.1lb (5.95kg) – add on the pedals and it’s still way below the 14.96lb (6.8kg) legal minimum for UCI-sanctioned races.
If you don’t have £7,000 to spend, you could always save cash and add a few grams by going for one of the other four builds, the cheapest of them being the Shimano Ultegra-equipped Addict R4 that’ll set you back £2,239.
Ride & handling: superb all-round performance; stunning acceleration and climbing
From the first pedal stroke, the Addict is quick – astonishingly quick. The combination of its superlight weight and the impressive frame stiffness means you rocket up to full speed. Whether you’re chasing down other riders, trying to break away, or just wanting to stick with the bunch when coming out of tight turns, the Addict’s lightning acceleration just makes things easier. An 18lb bike is light; a 13lb bike makes you feel like you’re riding with a constant tailwind.
The frame geometry puts you in a low and efficient ride position while the Mavic wheels really cut through the air to keep you bowling along fast on the flats; and at that price they should, too. The ride quality errs towards the firm side but it’s not at all jarring. We found it comfortable enough even for sportive-length stints, once we’d strapped on a different saddle from the supplied fizik Arione K:1.
Hit the hills and the Addict takes control, calmly getting on with the job without any huffing and puffing. You’ll never have climbed so fast, and your ride mates will hate you for it. You regularly find yourself in a higher gear than usual and, when the going gets tough, you always have those low ratios to bail you out. Plus, even our biggest test riders were getting virtually no frame flex during those out of the saddle stomps.
Down the other side and the Scott is perfectly well behaved. The braking is its least impressive feature, though. The carbon rims rob the brakes of their usual modulation and punch, particularly in the wet. The deep section wheels can catch strong sidewinds, but it’s a stable and balanced bike and it goes exactly where you point it without the need for readjustment. What else could you ask for?
Frame: beautifully made, ultra-light and stiff with it
The Addict is built around a super-lightweight frame where everything is made from high modulus carbon fibre including the dropouts, cable stops – even the front mech mount.
The geometry is typical road race stuff for a low and stretched ride position; there’s no sportive-style lengthened head-tube here although we did get 4cm of headset spacers. The broad top, head and down-tubes are made in a single ‘top secret’ process – who knows, maybe Scott adds helium and feathers to get that weight down – flowing into one another to form a deep, strong front end junction.
The down-tube extends across the full width of the bottom bracket to fix it firmly in place while the seat-tube keeps going beyond the top-tube intersection so there’s no seatpost as such. Instead, you cut the tube to the right length and get a little adjustment – enough to take account of changes in saddle stack height – through Ritchey’s stubby integrated seatpost clamp.
The stays are dead straight – wiggles cost grams – while up front the 330g forks are all-carbon too, naturally. Speaking of ‘naturally’, Scott leaves the carbon naked on both frame and forks rather than adding a cosmetic ‘weave’ layer on the outside, to save a bit more weight.
The restrained graphics give the Addict a stealthy, classy look; it’s the sort of bike that you’ll want to keep in the living room rather than the garage.
Equipment: top end kit from Campagnolo and Ritchey
Campagnolo’s top-level Record range provides the groupset equipment and it works as faultlessly as we’ve come to expect, the quick and crisp shifting across the cassette being particularly impressive.
Scott specs a 50/34 compact crankset matched up to a 12-25 cassette to provide a sportive-friendly spread of gears. Compared to a more standard set-up, you get easier climbing options but you’ll spin out sooner on the descents – although that only really becomes an issue when you hit over 40mph.
Ritchey’s WCS carbon cockpit components flex enough to cushion road irregularities but not so much that they get on your nerves, while the fizik Arione K:1 looks uncomfortable, and is. It’s light (149g), but not that light. Factor in the weight of the extra pair of shorts we had to wear and you might as well have a padded perch to start with. But, hey, you might like it.
Wheels: aero, stiff and super-light
Mavic’s super-fast Cosmic Carbone Ultimate wheels suit the Addict’s character well. Complete with Hutchinson’s Carbon Comp tubs fitted, they weigh a piffling 1805g and they’re super-stiff and aero too. They’d set you back over £1900 if you bought them separately so you’d expect something special – and the Mavics are certainly that.
Verdict: stunning, but sadly out of reach
Many sportive riders would probably prefer a less aggressive and more back-friendly geometry than the Scott offers, but that's a matter of personal taste. Many road racers will also want a standard crankset rather than the compact version fitted. Again, that's down to individual choice – and it's simple enough to make the switch.
Everyone, though, will love the weightless performance. The Addict Ltd is one super-fast bike, and its acceleration and climbing will stun you – and everyone who rides with you. If you have a real need for speed and money is no object, then it's amazing. Sadly, the monster price tag puts it out of reach for most of us – though the cheaper models in the Addict range are a (slightly) more viable option.
The people at Scott want it back? They'll have to catch us first.