Scott has been receiving a lot of fanfare in recent years for cutting-edge carbon frames like the Addict and, more recently, the Addict Cross. But let’s not forget Scott’s comprehensive range of well designed and well priced aluminium bikes, which includes two cyclo-cross specific machines. The CX Team here, which is the second-pegged model, is perfect for those riders new to the world of ‘cross bike who want something that won’t hold them back.
It’s made of 7005 double-butted aluminium around a sloping geometry with a heavily hydroformed top tube that, along with the sharp decals, gives the Scott a very smart look in keeping with its road sibling Addict.
Paramount to ‘cross bikes is mud clearance and the Scott has plenty, courtesy of a cast chainstay bridge with reinforcing ‘struts’ between the chainstays and seat tube. Similar amounts of clearance are afforded by a carbon CX straight blade fork up front.
Scott has built the bike with some of Shimano’s Ultegra bits, extending to front and rear derailleurs and shift and brake levers. Chainset is a Truvativ Elita CX with a 34×48 chainring setup, a nice middle ground which for most ‘cross courses will be perfect and, along with the Shimano 105 12-25 cassette gives a good spread of gears. There’s a smattering of Ritchey and Scott-branded finishing kit along with Textro CX Pro brake calipers, which supplied good stopping force in all conditions. Importantly, the cartridge brake pads are easily replaceable. The Scott saddle was a pleasant surprise, its wide, well padded design being very comfortable.
We were also pleasantly surprised with the wheels. We’re used to seeing off-the-shelf factory built wheels so to see that Scott had gone to the trouble of building a set of sturdy hoops reassured us of the bike’s racing credentials. Shimano Ultegra hubs are laced to Mavic CXP 22 rims with 32 DT Swiss 2.0/1.8mm spokes front and rear.
Tyres are the obvious visual difference between ‘cross bikes and road bikes and, while Continental Speedking Cross 35mm tyres cut a good path through country lanes and dry-ish bridleways, they weren’t aggressive enough for some of the severely muddy races we ventured into – a spare pair of tyres if you’re wanting to do some racing will be a wise investment.
Out on the trail and in the frantic mix of some local cyclo cross races, the Scott CX Team performed superbly. It’s light enough for the aspiring/semi-serious ‘cross racer and certainly didn’t hold us back on some of the more challenging courses, and it’s only the pointy hydroformed underside of the top tube that prevented us from shouldering the bike with ease. The aluminum frame gives a great responsive ride, the steering was direct and quick and turns of speed were quickly turned. The frame does transmit a lot of the bumpy surfaces through to the saddle, but for an hour’s blast around a typical ‘cross course, this was of little concern.
The CX Team costs just under £1400, pitching it somewhere in the middle of the ‘cross bike ladder. It’s faster but not as versatile as a bike like Specialized’s Tricross, which can take mudguards, nor is it quite as race-specific as some – there are two bottle cage mounts for instance opening up its possible uses. It’s reasonably light at a claimed 20.93lbs (9.50kg) for those taking their ‘cross racing pretty seriously, for which the Scott looks the right tool for the job.