We test the Scott Addict RC Ultimate 2021, a fully integrated World Tour bike ready to win everything
The Scott Addict RC Ultimate is Scott's most competitive model for lightweight road bikes and climbers. It is a historic model with which Simon Yates won La Vuelta in 2018 and now it is lighter, stiffer and faster than ever. But there's one more thing, it's also the most integrated and stylish version. All the latest design trends and the most advanced Scott technology have gone into this Scott Addict RC Ultimate, which we've been able to ride for a few weeks.
Scott Addict RC Ultimate. An ally on the most demanding roads
Starting with its construction, Scott reserves for its flagship road frame the exclusive HMX SL fibres. Ultra-high modulus fibres that, with the application of Scott's advanced modelling, reduce the number of attachment points to a minimum so as to minimise unnecessary carbon waste inside the frame. The result is an ultra-lightweight frame that boasts 14.5% greater stiffness than its previous version.
The wiring is also integrated through the handlebars, stem and head tube. Although in this case only the brake hoses are routed, the assembly is prepared to guide even mechanical groupsets internally.
Despite being a climbing bike, an aerodynamic profile has been applied to the main tubes and also the meeting of the seat stays with the seat tube is lower in order to reduce the gap between them and the air retention it generates. This results in a smoother ride on poor road surfaces without affecting pedalling efficiency or stiffness in the bottom bracket area.
There are other interesting details in the frame, such as the shape of its dropouts with a construction in sandwich type that subtracts grams on the scales. Or its saddle clamp which, with an advertised weight of only 12 grams, has a design that goes very well with the carbon of an ultralight seatpost like the one mounted, which weighs 142 grams.
Our attention was drawn to the front brake mount. Instead of threads in the fork, a similar solution to the rear brake is chosen, with screws that thread through the fork into the Direct Mount caliper and then hide with a magnetic cover that leaves the fork line completely clean.
The geometry of the Scott Addict RC Ultimate is clearly race geometry, but without being extremely demanding. In size 54 the distance between seat tube and steering pipe is 55cm. The steering pipe is short at 135mm, which allows the handlebars to be set really low in a very racing position, but as standard, there are plenty of spacers (4cm in total) so it's up to the rider to decide how aggressive their position will be.
We found the 72.5° steering angle to be well balanced and the seat tube angle varies according to size, being 73.6° for size 54.
Elite components for the best Scott bicycle
The assembly of this Scott Addict RC Ultimate is a marvel whichever way you look at it. One of the most striking features is the Syncros Creston iC SL stem and handlebar. The set has been designed to guide the cable routing inside to the stem with smooth lines and no sharp edges, and we found the ergonomics to be simply perfect. Its integration with the frame gives the bike a very attractive aesthetic.
And if there is any component whose performance stands out on this bike, it is undoubtedly the wheels. It has the exclusive Zipp 303 Firecrest, wheels that may look like carbon wheels, but if we look at the rims, we can see that they are wider than normal, specifically 25mm inside (a size in line with MTB trends). The minimum recommended tyre width is 28mm and they are designed to be mounted without tubes.
One of the characteristics of this configuration is that the transition between the rim and tyre is almost straight, which is aerodynamically most effective.
And now comes the most surprising fact. The maximum recommended pressure for these tyres is 5 bar. In fact, there is a table of recommended pressures and for 28 tyres and our weight, the pressure which corresponded to us was 4.2 bars. A figure that has made us rethink what we thought we knew and contrary to what we expected, the set rolls incredibly well. You don't notice any ballast at all and what you do notice is a comfort out of the ordinary, the tyre filters all the imperfections of the road.
Sram Red eTap AXS. Logical solutions with the highest technology
The Scott Addict RC Ultimate is fully equipped with the SRAM Red eTap AXS, Sram's top-of-the-range groupset. A group that, although it seems to be a little more difficult to implement on the road than on the MTB, brings innovations that we think are very practical and facilitate the handling of the bike.
Starting with a very well thought-out range of gear ratios. Its 12-speed cassette is a 10/33, a very wide range that allows the size of the chainrings to be adapted so that instead of the typical 16-tooth jump between chainrings (as for example in a 34/50 or a 36/52), it allows you to mount chainrings with a difference of 13 teeth between them, in this case a 35/48, although Sram offers different combinations.
This has two advantages: firstly, we will change the chainring less, as we will use the 48 chainring more before needing to change to the 35 and vice versa. And on the other hand, the jump is less abrupt, having to compensate less with the sprockets at each chainring change.
This electronic and wireless group is a plus in terms of convenience when it comes to installation, as there is no need to run any type of cable through the frame, and each component has its own battery so that it can be "inserted" in a special box.
But the most interesting detail involves the shifting of the gears. Each lever has only one pushbutton of a sufficient size to find it without any problem from where we are holding on to the handlebars. The button on the left lever raises the sprockets, the one on the right lowers them, and to change the chainring, both are pressed at the same time. Once you get used to the system, it is very intuitive and there is no risk of pressing the wrong button as has sometimes happened with Shimano Di2 groupsets (mainly with long gloves).
On top of that, the groupset comes with the Quarq power meter as standard, something that the rider of this type of bike is sure to appreciate.
Impressions riding the Scott Addict RC Ultimate
As you'd expect, we noticed the Addict RC's extraordinary efficiency from the moment we hopped on. It's a pleasure to see how the bike accelerates with little effort, thanks in part to its lightness, but above all to its extraordinary stiffness. The riding position is demanding, although with the standard spacers under the stem it's not overly racing.
We know it's a cliché to talk about stiffness and lightness when testing this type of bike, but the Scott Addict RC Ultimate really stands out in the stiffness area. Pedalling upright or in sprints the bike feels like a very solid block, and on any hill it invites you to pedal upright as it's an addictive sensation (never better said) to feel every last watt of power from your legs being transmitted to the rear wheel and the bike launches itself forward.
But this stiffness does not turn into discomfort when riding on bad roads. At Scott they have done their homework very well and the rear behaves with some absorption and does not transmit the irregularities in a dry and abrupt way.
In the same respect the wheels play a key role on the Scott Addict RC Ultimate. When it comes to hard pedalling or sprinting they're stiff, but the wide rim and low pressure tyre design make them some of the most comfortable wheels we've tested. And for the rider who likes cores with sound, this one is music to the ears.
When the terrain slopes down, the Addict RC behaves in a docile and reliable manner. It is extremely safe to ride when cornering, thanks once again to its stiffness and also to a well-balanced geometry that combines just the right amount of stiffness and agility with great stability.
The 160mm Sram Red disc brakes on both wheels contribute significantly to this safety. These disc brakes, apart from guaranteeing good performance in all weather conditions, have a very good feel and are easy to apply.
Regarding the Sram Red eTap AXS drivetrain, we have to say that we love the way it works with the combination of both levers to control the shifter and derailleur.
We had read that some riders had problems with chain slippage when changing chainrings, but having followed Sram's instructions for fitting and adjusting the front derailleur, we have to say that we have not been able to make it fail, and we have tried it under all kinds of circumstances.
The derailleur is also faultless in its performance. It has to be said that it's not as quiet and smooth as a Shimano Dura-Ace, but it's very close in this respect and has really convinced us of the advantages offered by this groupset.
And if we have said that the Scott Addict RC Ultimate stands out for its stiffness, when we talk about lightness it doesn't fall short but, being objective and comparing it with its rivals in this price range, it doesn't stand out in the same way. The weight it gave us on our scales was 7,060g without pedals, in size 54. It must be said that it has inner tubes and comes ready to remove them, but even so with pedals it is not even close to the 6,800 grams marked as the limit by the UCI.
Final conclusions on the Scott Addict RC Ultimate 2021
After testing the Scott Addict RC Ultimate for a while we can only say that it is one of the best road bikes that we have ever had in our hands. It is very balanced in all aspects and that makes it the ideal bike for all terrains. It is designed for the demands of the professional cycling, but at the same time it is a great option for the amateur cyclist as it is not uncomfortable at all.
Whether it's for racing or just to get the most out of it, the Scott Addict RC Ultimate is the perfect weapon.
Cyclists who can't afford the top-of-the-range model have different options in the Scott Addict RC collection. In total there are 8 models (some in various finishes), including a Contessa women's model. The entry price of the range is 3.299€.
Scott Addict RC Ultimate: specifications and price
- Frame: Addict RC Disc HMX SL
- Fork: Addict RC HMX SL Flatmount Disc
- Rear derailleur: SRAM RED eTap AXS 24 Speed Electronic Shift System
- Front derailleur: SRAM RED eTap AXS Electronic Shift System
- Shifters: SRAM RED eTap AXS HRD
- Crankset: SRAM RED 48/35 with power meter
- BB-Set: SRAM DUB PF road 86,5
- Chain: SRAM RED
- Cassette: SRAM RED XG1290 10-33
- Brakes: SRAM RED HRD Flatmount
- Handlebar: Syncros Creston IC SL
- Seatpost: Syncros Duncan SL Aero
- Seat: Syncros Belcarra Regular 1.0
- Wheelset: Zipp 303 Firecrest Disc “clincher” Tubeless Ready
- Tires: Schwalbe PRO ONE Microskin, TL-Easy 700x28C
- Price: 11.999€