Scott Addict 20 and Team Issue review

by Matt Wikstrom


After a short hiatus, the Addict returned to Scott’s road range in 2014. The frameset was re-designed to offer more compliance than the original Addict while continuing as a lightweight chassis. In this review, CTech editor Matt Wikstrom rides the 2015 Addict and compares the mid-priced Addict 20 with the high-end Team Issue bike.

Scott first released the Addict in 2007. The design was a follow up to the CR-1 that utilised tube-to-tube construction to create a sub-1kg frame that could also withstand 100,000 cycles of fatigue testing (as performed by EFBe). The Addict improved upon the weight of the CR-1 (helping it to the title of world’s lightest frame at the time), featured more aggressive geometry, and offered a substantial increase in stiffness.

The Addict served Scott from 2007-11 before making way for the Foil in 2012. The retirement of the Addict allowed Scott time to re-design the frameset with a fresh set of intentions for 2014. The re-released Addict picked up where it left off as Scott’s lightest road chassis and while it inherited some of the aerodynamics developed for the Foil, the frame was refined to offer a ride that was distinct from that of the Foil. There was no need for another stiff bike in the company’s road bike catalogue.

The Addict is offered in three versions that vary only in the weight and strength of the carbon fibre used for construction. The Addict SL uses Scott’s lightest carbon fibre, HMX-SL, to yield a frame that weighs 710g and forks 280g. At the other end of the spectrum, the Addict built from HMF carbon fibre is over 20% heavier (frame, 860g; fork, 360g). The third version of the Addict is constructed from Scott’s HMX carbon fibre with a comparative weight of 775g for the frame and 305g for the forks. Like all of Scott’s other road bikes, the Addict has passed EFBe’s most demanding test protocol.

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There are seven models in Scott’s Addict range for 2015. The Addict 10, 15, 20 and 30 all use the HMF frameset; the HMX frameset is used for two Team Issue models; and the HMX-SL frameset is reserved for the Addict SL bike at the top of the range. Shimano supplies its groupsets for every model except the SL, which uses SRAM RED22.

For this review, Scott’s Australian distributor gave me the opportunity not only to experience the Addict but to compare the performance of a Team Issue bike (and the HMX frameset) with that of the mid-range alternative, the Addict 20 (which uses the heavier HMF frameset).

Before the Ride

The Addict is a full carbon frame and fork (except for the replaceable rear derailleur hanger, which is alloy) with a PressFit BB86 bottom bracket and a tapered fork steerer (1.125/1.25 inch upper and lower bearings). The frame has a 27.2mm seatpost and internal routing for the gear and rear brake cables.

As mentioned above, Scott introduced some aerodynamic elements to the Addict based on its experience developing the Foil. Scott’s truncated foil design is incorporated into the front triangle of the frame (head, top, and downtubes) and the seatstays. Independent testing by Tour magazine determined that the design is “measurably faster than your typical frame with round tubing.”

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The seattube is round, though it flattens and flares at the junction with the bottom bracket shell to provide extra rigidity. The smaller 27.2mm seatpost standard is less rigid than larger diameters, and Scott employs the extra flex to provide some comfort for the rider. To this end, Scott specifies a carbon seatpost for every Addict.

The Addict 20 is constructed from Scott’s HMF carbon fibre while the Team Issue utilises HMX fibre. HMX fibres are stronger and finer than HMF, so the Team Issue frameset can be built with tubing that is 20% thinner without sacrificing any strength. The result is 10-15% weight savings for the frame and fork, as detailed above.

The Addict is available in seven frame sizes, as detailed in the chart below:

Frame Geometry

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The geometry of the Addict tends towards an aggressive race fit though the forks have a generous axle-to-crown length, adding a little extra to the stack of the bike. It is worth noting that the Addict and Foil have near-identical geometry for all frame sizes.

The Addict 20 is finished in black and white with red highlights, while the Team Issue adopts its colours from Team IAM, deep blue and white with red highlights. The finish of each bike is exquisite, typical of Scott’s bikes, while the clean lines of the bike are very pleasing.

The Addict 20 is built to appeal to mid-range shoppers with an Ultegra groupset and an asking price of $4,100.
The Addict 20 is built to appeal to mid-range shoppers with an Ultegra groupset and an asking price of $4,100.

The Addict 20 is built with a full mechanical 11-speed Ultegra groupset (52/36T crankset and 11-28T cassette) and a suite of Syncros parts: RP2.0 alloy wheelset, FL2.0 alloy stem and RR2.0 alloys bars, FL1.0 carbon seatpost, and RR2.0 saddle. Continental provides its Gatorskin tyres (23mm) for the wheels. Weight for size M/54 is 7.29kg sans pedals and cages. Recommended retail price for the Addict 20 is $4,100.

The Addict Team Issue serves as a substantial upgrade to the Addict 20 with a full mechanical 11-speed Dura Ace groupset (53/39T crankset and 11-28T cassette) and a suite of carbon parts from Syncros parts—RL1.1 carbon clincher wheelset, RR1.1 carbon bars, FL1.0 carbon stem and carbon post. There is also a Prologo Zero II saddle (titanium rails) and Continental GP4000s II tyres. The result is a bike that offers a total of 800g in weight savings (M/54 weighs 6.49kg sans pedals and cages) at more than twice the price. Recommended retail price for the Addict Team Issue is $10,000.

There are two versions of the Addict Team Issue bike: one gets Orica-GreenEdge's colours and a Dura Ace Di2 groupset; the other, team IAM's colourway and mechanical Dura Ace, as shown above.
There are two versions of the Addict Team Issue bike: one gets Orica-GreenEdge’s colours and a Dura Ace Di2 groupset; the other, team IAM’s colourway and mechanical Dura Ace, as shown above.

Where are the weight savings in the Team Issue bike? The HMX carbon fibre promises 140g, the Dura Ace groupset (excluding the cassette) is around 200g lighter than Ultegra, while the wheelset (including tyres, tubes and cassette) was 340g lighter, leaving ~100g to be shared by the bars, stem and saddle.

Scott provides a five-year warranty for the frame and two years for the forks. For more information, visit Scott.

After the Ride

The Addict is an understated bike. Its styling is simple, even traditional, and so it goes for the quality of the ride too. Rather than striving to impress the rider with a single strength, the Addict does everything well.

Scott places a lot of emphasis on the weight of the Addict. While the SL frameset can be counted as a featherweight like BH’s Ultralight EVO, the Team Issue gives up a little ground (~150g on the total weight of the bike) and the Addict 20 is almost 1kg heavier.

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Both Addicts performed well on the slopes but neither was as nimble as the BH Ultralight EVO. A heavier wheelset was the biggest handicap for the Addict 20 while the Team Issue lagged a little because it wasn’t quite as stiff and responsive. Side-by-side, there was little to separate the Team Issue from the Addict 20. The lighter wheelset helped the acceleration Team Issue otherwise the extra 800g wasn’t really noticeable for the Addict 20.

The strongest suit of the Addict proved to be its combination of comfort with impeccable balance. It didn’t matter which model I was on, the Addict was an easy bike to ride. The bike soaked up a lot of road buzz while its poise was always assured and confidence-inspiring. It’s a combination that really shone on long rides. Scott doesn’t categorise the Addict as an endurance or fondo bike, but it is perfect for epic rides for those riders that prefer more aggressive race-oriented geometry.

The seatpost provided a lot of the Addict’s compliance. I was aware of it flexing during hard seated surges though I couldn’t tell if it was damping my effort. Up front, there was some minor road buzz balanced with plenty of road feel. The tyres hummed nicely and I was never left guessing about the surface I was travelling on. This sensation was most obvious on the Team Issue, and while I could detect much of the same on the Addict 20, it was as if the volume was turned down a notch or two.

Large, powerful riders are likely to find the Addict too compliant. The bike is reasonably stiff and efficient—more so for the Team Issue than the Addict 20—but it sits at the other end of the spectrum when compared to the Foil, which is well known for its stiff chassis. It’s a difference that clearly distinguishes the Addict from Scott’s other race while providing appeal for a different class of rider.

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A large part of Addict’s balance and poise can be attributed to its near perfect steering and handling. It’s so good that it ceases to be noticeable (which applies equally to many of the Addict’s other traits). Indeed, the Addict is so well mannered that it borders on chivalry.

Directly comparing the Addict 20 with the Team Issue yields a list of differences that are perhaps best described as refinements. The Team Issue is thus more refined and race-sharpened than the Addict 20. The carbon RL1.1 wheelset is lighter and stiffer than the alloy clinchers on the Addict 20; the Dura Ace groupset offers marginally lighter shifting and braking that is also more precise; and as noted above, the HMX frameset is a little stiffer and more responsive than the HMF version.

While I have catalogued some of the differences between the two Addicts, I must stress that they are minor. At no point did I ever feel like I was riding vastly different bikes. For those shoppers with a modest budget, they need not worry about what they might be missing out on.

Final Thoughts and Summary

Just like the proverbial glass of milk, there are two ways of looking at how the Addict 20 compares with the Team Issue. I see it as a bike that manages around 90% of what the Team Issue has to offer at less than half the price. That doesn’t mean the Team Issue deserves to be criticised for its price; indeed, I think it lives up to current market expectations. Instead, it provides a simple metric for what a buyer must be prepared to pay for that extra edge in performance.

Throughout the course of this review, I asked myself if I would be able to tell the difference between the bikes if I was blindfolded. There were times when the differences were plain and distinct, but at other times, they weren’t so obvious. I had great days on both bikes when it seemed they were helping me fly; and I had harder days too. On those days, the amount of money spent, or saved, made no difference to my performance.

I’m confident that buyers opting for either bike will be satisfied, even pleased, with what the Addict has to offer. Quite simply, it’s a rider’s bike, built to serve them all day long.

Addict 20 Gallery

Addict Team Issue Gallery

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