The Scott Addict has never failed to impress. The original bike was a lightweight trendsetter, while the 2014 update tweaked the blueprint to near perfection, adding comfort and refinement without sacrificing any of the design's racing pedigree.
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We've reviewed various versions of the bike before, so it's no great hardship to climb aboard the 2016 Team Issue, the closest in spec to the machine the pros actually race on apart from its relatively modest wheelset.
Scott makes the Addict in two different grades of carbon: the slightly cheaper and heavier HMF, and the high-zoot HMX that offers a claimed frame weight of 790g (plus 300g for the fork) and boasts just a little more stiffness. Naturally the team bike gets the better stuff, and with a full Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset, matching carbon-laminate low-profile clinchers, and a smattering of good quality in-house finishing kit, you get a bike that weighs in at half a kilo under the UCI's minimum weight for race bikes. Not too shabby...
The Addict certainly doesn't count as a new design any more, but it still looks and feels bang up-to-date in every respect, unless of course you demand disc brakes. Slightly dropped skinny seatstays and a slim seatpost promise comfort (and deliver), while an appropriately muscular bottom bracket junction unites suitably substantial tube sections for that other bike review cliché – lateral stiffness. It's a recipe that's become utterly predictable, but it's popular because it just works so well, especially in the case of this Addict.
Leaving tired debates on braking technology aside, this Scott is a wonderful distillation of the state of the art of road racing bicycles. There's no sense of waste in the engineering, no extraneous gimmickry or fanciful techno-bollocks – it's just a bloody good bike with ride quality to match its indisputably appealing appearance. Granted, black is the least original colour for a carbon machine but hey, weight savings and all that. Anyway, the subtle green highlights and the contrast of glossy decals and matt carbon look rather excellent, and Dura-Ace's spartan beauty complements the whole thing perfectly.
One of the great climbing bikes
So, it's good? Well, yes. While there are (slightly) stiffer bikes on the market, few can challenge the Addict's particular blend of refinement and killer poise. It's one of the great climber's bikes of our times, but its abilities aren't limited to heading uphill – it's a true all-rounder that acquits itself well whether you're carving down technical mountain descents or bumping over potholes on British lanes.
Road vibration is exceptionally well damped despite the narrow-by-current-trends 23mm rubber, a trait that's reinforced by the sublime Dura-Ace wheels. We've said it before, but their unique carbon-laminated alloy construction really does seem to offer something special.
Having said that, while the wheels are among the smoothest on the market and they roll on some of the best hubs, they are comparatively narrow at under 21mm and they aren't the stiffest laterally. We love them dearly, but it's worth noting that heavier riders may prefer something with more rigidity even if that means sacrificing a little comfort. In the pro world these would be training wheels in any case since of course the riders race on deep section carbon tubulars, hardly the most practical choice for most of us.
You do pay a substantial premium for the pro level frame and the wheel spec isn't exactly generous for a bike costing this many thousands, but taken on its own merits the Addict Team Edition is still a perfectly lovely thing. Ride quality, looks and an incredibly low weight make for a compelling package that cannot disappoint.