One of the most successful bikes in the pro peloton, Scott’s R1 combines gravity cheating frame weight with an addictively aggressive on-road persona. Outstanding performance doesn’t mean unbearable punishment though, except from a wallet point of view.
The Addict R1 is for flat-out racing, with a long, low position that drops you straight into a head down, arse-up hunting position. While the dynamic is aggressive, ride character balances smoothness, precise handling and blistering sprint acceleration to make it a great all-rounder.
Ride & handling: Precise and superbly balanced
As much as the Fi’zi:k saddle is so good it never merited a comment from any of our test team and as plush and velvety as the handlebar tape is, the immediate, overwhelming first impression of the Addict is total speed focus. The slight extra stretch to the bars means dropped elbows, a flatter back and somewhere in your head a tilt switch automatically tips from cruise to combat. It felt equally ‘right’ to our racehoned testers in and out of the saddle too, with the same predatory urge surging through them all as soon as they started sneaking quietly up through the gears.
Despite its minimal weight the whole chassis from fork tip to carbon rear dropouts immediately feels precise and tightly connected. Any road surface change or cornering tyre slip is communicated in exactly the same way front to rear for an outstandingly tactile and involving ride experience. The natural attack position it puts you in and the stiff Mavic Ksyrium SL wheels make it a very confident and exhilarating descender and corner taker in most conditions too.
Having as clear and precise a picture of what’s happening does magnify even the slightest issue though. For example, while we’ve not noticed it before, the sidewind catching effect of the broad bladed spokes on the Ksyrium wheels was noticed by several of our testers on gustier days. To double check this wasn’t in some way a flaw in the handling we subbed in some 50mm wheels for part of the test but to our relief the Addict handled them fine, so it’s more of a princess and pea issue with the wheels. While the clarity of what you’re feeling is super high and any significant lumps or potholes will properly clout you – particularly at lower speeds – it’s not a brutally fatiguing ride. Keep the speed up and it’ll skim over the worst stuff and, while it’s no casual comfort option, it certainly won’t leave you broken after a long day out.
As you’d expect for a 14lb bike, acceleration and altitude-gain performance is easy, with the Scott happy grunting a big gear or sitting pretty and tapping out tempo. The frame length also helps with breathing space and full body engagement when you’re determined to drive over the summit in the saddle without dropping a gear. It does suck up slightly more muscle power than expected in terms of snap acceleration. At first we attributed this to the slightly heavier wheels, compared with those of the Scott's peers but, even when we swapped them round, the Addict felt fractionally less urgent underfoot for the first few pedal strokes when we went eyeballs out. That said, Mark Cavendish never seemed to suffer when he was picking up Tour de France sprint wins on it.
Ultra precise and responsive without being restrictively punishing, the Addict is a true state-of-the-art road race bike. It’s not the stiffest in terms of sprint punch and the wheels need watching in gusty conditions but its ego-boosting balance and ultralight potential make it a true superbike for the few who can afford it.
Frame & forks: Long stretch, low front end attitude
With the CR series bikes designed around a shorter, more upright frame fit, the Addict is all about long stretch, low front end attitude. A full seven-size range means you’re not compromising on fit to go faster though. Scott’s IMP process uses a single-piece construction for the head tube and chunky top and down tube, which saves weight and potential flex in the front junctions. The carbon loses its cross-weave outer layer in favour of full structural unidirectional fibre.
Front and rear gear hangers and cable stops are carbon-fibre too, helping make this one of the lightest mainstream frames available. The seatstays are reasonably thick in section with a broad-spaced A-frame top lining up with the equally broad top tube. The chainstays are mid sized too, with a broad connection to the press fit bottom bracket shell. An integrated headset handles the slightly tapered fork steerer with curved aero section legs locking the wheel in place.
Equipment: Full Dura-Ace kit plus top-quality Fi’zi:k and Ritchey highlights
The broad bladed spoke Mavic Ksyrium SL wheels are a great aesthetic match with the stealth black and gunmetal paintwork and the front hub gets a carbon centre to save a few grams. It’s the Dura-Ace groupset with its mix of grey anodised and bare metal panels that really syncs style wise though. Credit to Scott for fitting a full DA suite including chain and cassette, rather than smuggling cheaper consumables into the mix, although that does mean you’ll need better credit to afford it.
Scott have always worked closely with Ritchey to complete their super light builds and the R1 is no exception, with full WCS carbon stem and bar and ultralight Super Logic seatpost. Fi’zi:k saddle and suede effect bar wrap complete the contact points in luxurious style.
This article was originally published in Triathlon Plus magazine.