Scott Addict R2 road test
Scott Addict R2 £3,499.00
Stiff and light are two very desirable attributes in a racing cycle; light because, obviously, less weight to propel means less energy expended or more speed, stiff because flex soaks up power and does not give it back. Scott’s Addict is unquestionably both; claimed to be the lightest production frame on the market on its release, it is still right up there thanks in no small part to generous use of carbon for parts such as the dropouts and front mech hanger. And stiff? Damn right….
There are a number of reasons for this, chief amongst them being that it practically goes with the territory. To save weight, use less material; to keep the resulting frame, tube, whatever at the required degree of strength, increase external dimensions until you have the classic thin-wall structure typified by the lightest of today’s road frames. Trouble is, increasing tube diameters adds stiffness faster than it adds strength, so you inevitably end up with a super-rigid assembly that, while strong in the usual sense, is prone to crumple failure precisely because the tube walls are so thin. Besides which, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that Scott’s engineers deliberately made the Addict as stiff as they could through the use of their proprietary HMX carbon fibres, which are a claimed 20% stiffer than ‘conventional’ HMF fibres.
The obvious question is, is it worth it? There will be many satisfied owners who will answer with an unequivocal ‘yes’, and it is easy to see why. Kitted out with 10-speed Dura-Ace and Mavic’s Ksyrium Superlight Premium wheelset, this is one featherweight cycle, and it shows on every acceleration and uphill. Around town, the Addict rules the traffic lights Grand Prix, a few hard pedal strokes putting the lucky jockey way in front of impudent commuters; on any gradient, the relative lack of effort in comparison to virtually any other bicycle of similar intent is immediately apparent.
Handling-wise, too, the Addict impresses mightily. The massive torsional stiffness of the one-piece moulded front triangle ensures both high-speed stability and immediate response to handlebar input, while the direct steering geometry and tight wheelbase allow immediate, precise directional changes whenever a pothole appears.
Which is just as well, ‘cos you really don’t want to have to ride over one. Of so-called ‘vertical compliance’ there is none discernible. Even with tyres run at a relatively soft 90psi, every detail of the road surface is transmitted directly to the rider’s seat. The Ksyriums, which are known for their stolid ride sensation, don’t help as proved by a run on springier Dura-Ace hoops, but the real reason is not too hard to find. The integrated seat mast has a nicely flared junction with the tubes that cluster at its base, the whole structure forming a mini Eiffel tower that sends every vibe straight to the Ritchey-sourced saddle clamp. This feature, and the limitations the integrated design puts on saddle positioning once cut to size, represent to the reviewer an unsuperable obstacle to purchase. When David A attempted to set the machine up for a ride, there was not enough seat mast left. Potential buyers, take note.
Anyone familiar with the old CR1 will also recognise another Addict feature in the wide top tube, which is fine for cycling ex-cowboys but a bit of a nuisance for anyone who pedals with a classic ‘knees in’ leg alignment.
What, then, to make of the Addict as a realistic ride proposition? On smooth roads it is a flyer; around billiard table Hillingdon, for example, it is a potential race winner and unquestionably the right ‘kind’ of bike for the conditions. On real roads, which includes those found on most UK sportives, the bike beats its rider up with a direct ride that many will, nevertheless, enjoy for its direct, responsive sensation. Not the reviewer; an hour of this kind of punishment was enough with the CR1, and the Addict is simply more (or less) of the same.
Size sizes: XS to XXL; frame weight 790g