Scott Addict 30 review£2,099.00

Designed to race hard and play hard

BikeRadar score3.5/5

The Scott Addict 30 is a shadowy-looking beast – it’s finished in a very dark matte grey with black highlights for a bit of variety, but the result is no more colourful than a stealth fighter.

Previous iterations of the Addict were ridden to multiple Tour de France stage victories beneath British sprinter Mark Cavendish in his HTC-Columbia days. Today, it’s Orica-Scott’s riders – the Yates twins among them – that are looking to make their mark in the world's biggest races aboard Addict HMX bikes.

This Addict, however, is just under 8kg and built around a carbon frame with the carbon drop outs and a tapered head tube. Shimano supplies the groupset and, given the bike’s price, we’d have appreciated an Ultegra one instead of the predominantly 105 kit that’s been specced.

The two groupsets are very similar, but given that bikes in this price range from the likes of Cube and Cannondale come with Ultegra kit, it leaves the Scott at something of a disadvantage.

Its brakes have been further down-specced to non-series Shimano BR-R561 calipers, which aren’t as powerful as 105 or Ultegra, and the wheels are Shimano’s durable entry-level RS11s.

Shimano 105 is specced although similarly priced rivals get Ultegra
Shimano 105 is specced although similarly priced rivals get Ultegra

The advantage of speccing lower-level kit means Scott can provide a top-of-the-line frame with a claimed 860g weight and a 360g fork. Scott was one of the first manufacturers to construct bikes using carbon fibre and its HMF high-modulus carbon is the result of all this experience. It’s light, stiff and you can see how the Manx Missile got so much out of it. 

Even when powered by much more modest thighs, the Addict takes off like a rocket ship. It also climbs very well considering its modest wheels and descends with equal prowess.

The geometry is pretty much race bike standard with near-73° angles, a short head-tube and a sub-metre wheelbase. Although it’s not quite as comfortable as its rivals from Giant or Cube, the Addict lets you get down low, power away and carry on accelerating.

It climbs very well considering its modest wheels and descends with equal prowess
It climbs very well considering its modest wheels and descends with equal prowess

In-the-saddle comfort would be greatly improved by a more forgiving saddle. We often let saddles go without comment as they’re so subjective, but when we first saw it we were reminded of the ‘it’ll be like sitting on a razor blade’ Yellow Pages ad from the 1980s (under 40? YouTube it). It’s a skinny thing with sharp-looking features and isn’t especially forgiving.

There are a few unusual features. The stem, bar and seatpost all use T25 Torx bolts, so make sure you’ve got a Torx key in your tool kit and on your multi-tool. And though we love the frame and the fast, aggressive ride, the Addict 30 can’t compete on value with similar bikes from Giant and Cube. But look around and get an upgraded wheelset at little extra cost and this would gain at least half a star, with the frame most certainly a ‘keeper’.

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Simon has been cycling for as long as he can remember, and more seriously since his time at university in the Dark Ages (the 1980s). This has taken in time trialling, duathlon and triathlon and he has toured extensively in Asia and Australasia, including riding solo 2900km from Cairns to Melbourne. He now mainly rides as a long-distance commuter and leisure/fitness rider. He has been testing bikes and working for Cycling Plus in various capacities for nearly 20 years.
  • Age: 53
  • Height: 175cm / 5'9
  • Weight: 75kg /165lb
  • Waist: 33in
  • Discipline: Road, touring, commuting
  • Current Bikes: Rose SL3000, Hewitt steel tourer
  • Beer of Choice: Samuel Adams Boston Lager
  • Location: Bath, UK

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