It's not been long since we last reviewed the Scott Addict, which relaunched in 2014 with an updated frame. For 2015, the line-up continues near unchanged from the past year – good news, since we got along so well with the sub-900g frame and its refined ride quality.
Ride and handling: precise handling and subtle comfort
The Addict is a purpose-built race bike and has a long history of success with it. With this, the geometry is aggressive and makes for an extremely responsive ride.
The short head tube is matched with a fair number of headset spacers to allow for height adjustment
Out front is a stout head tube that enables you to set the stem low, though the generous fork steerer length offers a fair range of spacer adjustment. Make no mistake, this will never be an upright ride, but that’s not its intention.
Acceleration is respectably fast with the torsionally stiff frame wasting no energy, although price-point restraints dictate that the weight at the wheels stops the Addict from shooting forward like the rocket it could be.
Thanks to the thin seatstays and skinny 27.2mm carbon seatpost, seated comfort is good. Hit a hole or a visible bump and you’ll feel it, but irregularities in the road are muted, saving you energy and giving the bike a secure connection to the tarmac when riding at speed. This ride quality is extremely pleasant for a race bike, providing plenty of feedback without the harshness or fatigue-inducing beatdown that more rigid frames often dish out.
Wide rims help to give the Addict a well-controlled ride
Part of this ride quality is certainly attributed to the wide-set rims, which along with generous 23c Continental Grand Sport tyres help to soak up the road’s imperfections while keeping the bike well planted through turns.
That said, the comfort out of the saddle isn’t as good – stand up and you’ll feel the road through the pedals. It’s still a stable bike when pushed hard on descents and holds its line well, but it’s at this point that you’ll likely experience your most fatigue.
Frame and equipment: race-ready frameset with a reliable setup
The frame featured on the 20 shares the same external aesthetic as Scott’s 5.86kg Addict SL superbike, but under the paint lies a cheaper ’HMF’ carbon. Nevertheless, claimed frame and fork weight is a still impressive 1261g (54cm), compared with the sub-1kg delivered by the top-end offering.
Important Achtung Attention – do not squeeze the frame or Bad Things may happen
With a frame so light the tube wall-thicknesses are minimal and a word of warning comes stuck to the frame – don’t squeeze it.
Borrowing from Scott’s aero Foil, the Addict’s delicate tube shapes feature ‘virtual airfoils’ for claimed improved aerodynamics of generations past, although it'd be wrong to call the Addict an aero road bike.
Despite those aero claims, the mainframe tubes are rather wide and flat for torsional stiffness. The down tube flows from the stout tapered head tube and uses the full width of the BB86, as does the seat tube, which widens at the bottom.
Simple and effective cable routing on the Addict
The internal cable routing is cleanly executed, with an example at the rear derailleur where the cable exits at the very back of the chainstay, creating a neat loop of housing.
Looking over the Addict as a whole, it’s a smart bike but with a fairly traditional look, and perhaps it’s this lack of futuristic shapes that makes it so aesthetically appealing.
Despite a near-obsessive approach in reducing grams from the frame and fork, other tiny details in the build have arguably been overlooked. We’ve seen comparably priced bikes use titanium bolts in the stem and titanium railed seats to reduce weight relatively cheaply, yet this frame shows none of those details and even has large steel bidon cage bolts as stock. (OK – now we’re being the obsessive ones.)
The full Shimano Ultegra drivetrain (bar a heavier 105 cassette) performs flawlessly. Mechanical Ultegra at this price doesn’t scream value, but given its performance and durability, we’d pick a full Shimano Ultegra drivetrain any day over a mixed group set with lesser cranks and brakes.
Plenty of gearing for when the road turns toward the sky
Out front, the 52/36 gearing is well suited to a variety of riding situations. It offers enough for fast sprints, yet when combined with the 11-28T cassette out back, the gearing is easily low enough to lightly spin the climbs without busting a lung on rest days.
DT Swiss hubs and spokes are quality items – we especially like the 'RWS' skewers, which once tightened can be tucked away into any position
The Syncros-branded, DT-Swiss manufactured wheels are a quality item with a wide rim profile (18mm internal) providing a more comfortable ride and greater steering precision. Bladed spokes and lightweight three-pawl sealed-bearing hubs add a further touch of class. The 18-hole front and 24-hole rear may prove a little lacking for heavier riders though, while those serious about racing will want to invest in a lighter aero wheelset for race day.
Continuing with Scott-owned Syncros components, the alloy compact handlebar is comfortable, with easy reach to the brake levers, and complements the alloy stem well.
This one was a bit too narrow and sharp for our liking
The Syncros saddle is perhaps the only piece we’d replace if it were our own bike. It’s ultra-narrow width will suit few and the plastic trim out back sits wider than the rest of saddle, just enough to rub your shorts.
We’ll admit to thinking the Addict 20 was overpriced when it first came out of its box. However, having now spent some serious time on it, there’s no doubting the quality of the frame and it shines through in every aspect of this bike. This is one bike we were very happy to take our time testing.