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review

Scott Addict RC 15 2021

8
£5,499.00

VERDICT:

8
10
Very fast feeling bike with a great ride quality, although it's up against some tough competition on price
Smooth, clean looks
Good spec list
Balanced handling
Up against some well-priced competition
Weight: 
7,770g

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Scott Addict RC 15 is one of those bikes that does a great job of marrying performance with comfort, giving you the get up and go of a full race bike without the associated twitchy handling or the buzzy nature of an overly stiff frame and fork. It looks super clean too, with all of the cables and hoses neatly hidden.

The bike on test is a 2021 model and comes with a Shimano Di2 groupset based on the previous Ultegra R8000 iteration; the 2022 model, which has the same RRP, gets the latest 12-speed R8100 version. Getting hold of either is the issue, with online retailers listing the 2021 model as out of stock, and the 2022 model expected in February.

Ride

With an all-up weight of 7.77kg this Addict RC feels nimble as soon as you spin the pedals, actually seeming even lighter than the scales suggest.

There is a sense of urgency about it. If you like a bike that feels alive underneath you, and constantly begs for you to just hammer your legs around then the Scott is for you.

> Find your nearest dealer here

With huge amounts of stiffness through the lower half of the frame and front end, riding hard in the saddle or sprinting standing up feels efficient and an absolute blast.

The Addict RC feels massively responsive, and I just love the way it behaves.

Handling-wise, the geometry has been knocked back a touch to a slightly more 'endurance' sort of style, its 72.5-degree head angle (medium/54cm) being a little slacker than I'd expect to see, though it does mean the Scott never feels a handful even in the tightest of high-speed bends.

2021 Scott Addict RC 15 Prism - bike size.jpg

With its low 135mm head tube mated to a 555mm top tube, you can still get a low, aero position, while the 73.6-degree seat angle puts you into a forward position to really get the power out of your legs.

2021 Scott Addict RC 15 Prism - front.jpg

All this allows you to ride the Scott hard and fast without requiring the handling skills of a seasoned racer. If you are a confident and skilled descender, which I consider myself to be, you won't find the slightly relaxed front end takes the shine off.

2021 Scott Addict RC 15 Prism - bars 1.jpg

I found the Addict to give plenty of confidence in the bends, helped by the relatively short 992mm wheelbase making it feel nimble.

The fork also offers huge amounts of stiffness, which sees no understeer under heavy steering or braking loads; it gives a very direct feel to the handling.

2021 Scott Addict RC 15 Prism - fork.jpg

On the other hand, Scott has still managed to make the Addict RC relatively comfortable – considering it's a very stiff road bike.

There is still a small amount of road buzz that gets through on rougher roads, but it isn't a frameset that is going to rattle your bones.

2021 Scott Addict RC 15 Prism - seat stays.jpg

The rear end brings a notable amount of vibration damping, and there is a decent amount of seatpost showing which induces a bit of flex and therefore comfort. This stops you getting battered about on longer rides or when you don't feel like riding flat out.

2021 Scott Addict RC 15 Prism - rear.jpg

Frame and fork

We've seen lots of bikes over the last year with completely clean front ends, and the Addict RC is no different. Scott has its own in-house component brand, Syncros, which means it's been able to create a fully integrated solution between frame, fork, stem and handlebar to run all of the hoses, wires and cables internally.

2021 Scott Addict RC 15 Prism - stem.jpg

It's a neat solution, not only from an aesthetics point of view but also an aerodynamic one.

2021 Scott Addict RC 15 Prism - bars 3.jpg

As you'd expect, the Addict RC Disc HMX frame and fork are made from high-modulus carbon fibre, with every tube shape and wall thickness optimised for performance and comfort.

2021 Scott Addict RC 15 Prism - top tube.jpg

Scott says it uses Evo-Lap technology which dictates where and how the carbon fibres are laid to get the best out of them, using countless calculations from FEA (finite element analysis) software to simulate forces on the frame and fork, alongside real world testing.

2021 Scott Addict RC 15 Prism - frame detail.jpg

As I've said, the balance of stiffness and comfort is impressive, so Scott's designers and engineers clearly know what they're doing.

Aerodynamics is key in the design of the Addict, and you can see small details throughout the bike like the flap covering the brake calliper bolts… 

2021 Scott Addict RC 15 Prism - rear dsic brake.jpg

…and a very minimal seat clamp.

2021 Scott Addict RC 15 Prism - seat post collar.jpg

I really wasn't expecting this small clamping device to hold the seatpost in position, but there was no slippage anywhere.

The front end gets a tapered head tube and fork steerer, which allows a smooth transition to the huge D-section down tube, which itself increases in size until it meets the bottom bracket shell where you'll find a couple of press-fit bearing cups.

2021 Scott Addict RC 15 Prism - head tube badge.jpg

The BB shell leads to some oversized and chunky chainstays, which, when all of this is added together, is what delivers all of the stiffness.

2021 Scott Addict RC 15 Prism - bottom bracket.jpg

The seat tube, top tube and seatstays take on a much more slender profile for comfort.

2021 Scott Addict RC 15 Prism - seat tube junction.jpg

Overall, the quality of the Addict RC is very good indeed. Shining a torch down inside shows a high level of finish.

Finishing kit

As I said up top, the bike on test is a 2021 model and comes with a groupset based on Shimano's R8000 Ultegra Di2; the 2022 model gets the latest 12-speed R8100.

Our bike has a semi-compact chainset running 52/36T chainrings paired to an 11-30T cassette. We're all different, some of us liking larger gears to grind or smaller ones to spin, but I'd say this is a good setup for the type of bike. The 52x11 gives you a high top gear if you like to keep pedalling downhill, and the 30T sprocket gives you an extra climbing ratio over the 28T often specced.

2021 Scott Addict RC 15 Prism - drivetrain.jpg

The shifting from the Di2 groupset is fast and very precise, although the main thing I like is that, with none of the mechanical internals, the hood size is similar to that found on the rim-braked STI levers.

2021 Scott Addict RC 15 Prism - lever.jpg

Braking is taken care of by 160mm rotors front and rear which provides all of the stopping power you'll need, and I'm a big fan of the feeling of modulation that Shimano has throughout their hydraulic road and gravel brake systems.

2021 Scott Addict RC 15 Prism - front disc brake.jpg

I mentioned the Syncros component brand earlier, and it accounts for not only the aluminium Creston iC 1.5 Compact handlebar and RR iC stem, but also the carbon fibre Duncan 1.0 Aero seatpost and the Belcarra Regular 2.0 saddle.

2021 Scott Addict RC 15 Prism - saddle and post.jpg

It's all good quality kit and doesn't look out of place on a five-and-a-half-grand bike, although some brands would be offering a carbon front end for that sort of money.

2021 Scott Addict RC 15 Prism - bars 2.jpg

The wheelset is also from Syncros – the Capital 1.0 35 Disc.

2021 Scott Addict RC 15 Prism - tyre.jpg

This 35mm-deep carbon fibre wheelset is also good quality, taking plenty of abuse with a 24-spoke build front and rear. Throughout testing I was far from gentle with these wheels, and they haven't shown any major issues, and while not exactly superlight they don't blunt the acceleration or when climbing.

2021 Scott Addict RC 15 Prism - rim.jpg

Wrapped around them is a set of Schwalbe One tyres in a 28mm width.

2021 Scott Addict RC 15 Prism - clearance.jpg

They are a top notch set of tyres, offering loads of grip and a lovely ride feel from their supple compound. Wear rates can be a little quicker than some tyres on the market, but I'd sacrifice that for the performance.

Value

This version of the Addict RC costs £5,499 which makes it a fair old investment, but compared with other big brands it's about right. Specialized's Tarmac SL7 Expert comes with Ultegra Di2 but alloy wheels for £5,250, while Trek's Emonda SL 7 with Ultegra Di2 and carbon rims is £5,350.

There is some tough competition out there from smaller brands, though.

The Orro Venturi STC Tailor Made model with an Ultegra Di2 groupset, full carbon fibre front end and deep-section carbon wheels from Fulcrum is a bit more aero focused than the Addict RC, but it's a lot of bike for the money – and £1,000 less than the Addict RC. (I tested the Venturi STC with SRAM Force eTap model at the end of last year.)

I was also very impressed recently with the Vitus Vitesse Evo CR, and a Di2 Ultegra model is just £3,699.99; it also comes with a set of Reynolds AR29 carbon wheels and a carbon fibre handlebar. The ride quality and performance are very similar to the Addict RC, with a focus on speed and stiffness without neglecting comfort.

> Buyer’s Guide: 25 of the best and fastest 2021 aero road bikes 

Another bike I liked is the BMC Teammachine SLR Two. It had a bit of a firm ride, but that suited me; but while it's £4,500 with the Ultegra Di2 kit, you only get alloy DT Swiss wheels. The endurance-based Roadmachine 01 Four in BMC's line-up is probably a closer match to the Addict RC 15; with Ultegra Di2 and carbon wheels, plus a similarly stealth front end, it comes in at £6,200.

Conclusion

Overall, I love the road feel and stiffness of the Addict's frameset. It just makes you want to ride it hard and fast, and if you do you get so much reward. It feels lighter than it is, and while there is some tough competition out there, the Addict RC 15 is well built and worth the money.

Verdict

Very fast feeling bike with a great ride quality, although it's up against some tough competition on price

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Scott Addict RC 15

Size tested: Medium, 55cm

About the bike

List the components used to build up the bike.

Scott lists:

WHEELSET

Syncros Capital 1.0 35 Disc

24 Front / 24 Rear

Syncros thru-axle plugin

HEADSET Syncros Addict RC Integrated

REAR DERAILLEUR Shimano Ultegra Di2 RD-R8050-SS

22 Speed Electronic Shift System

FRONT DERAILLEUR Shimano Ultegra Di2 FD-R8050

Electronic Shift System

SHIFTERS Shimano Ultegra ST-R8070

22 Speed Electronic Shift System

CRANKSET Shimano Ultegra FC-R8000

Hollowtech II 52x36 T

BB SET Shimano SM-BB72-41B

HANDLEBAR

Syncros Creston iC 1.5 Compact

Alloy

SEATPOST Syncros Duncan 1.0 Aero

CHAIN

Shimano Ultegra CN-HG701-11

CASSETTE Shimano Ultegra CS-R8000

11-30

SADDLE Syncros Belcarra Regular 2.0

STEM Syncros RR iC

1 1/4in

TYRES Front: Schwalbe ONE Race-Guard Fold

700x28C - Rear: Schwalbe ONE Race-Guard Fold

700x28C

Tell us what the bike is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?

Scott says, "Light, fast, and ready to turn heads. The Addict RC 15 provides you with all of the competitive advantage you've ever dreamed of. Fully integrated cables and race-ready spec combine to give you the tool to sprint to a mountain top finish or win your local criterium."

It is a high performance road bike that also offers plenty of comfort.

Where does this model sit in the range? Tell us briefly about the cheaper options and the more expensive options

The RC 15 sits midway in a seven-bike line-up starting with the RC 40 at £3,399 all the way up to the £11,999 Ultimate.

Frame and fork

Overall rating for frame and fork
 
9/10

Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?

The build quality has a very high finish too it throughout.

Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?

Both the frame and fork use Scott's HMX grade high modulus carbon fibre.

Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?

The geometry is performance orientated overall, although the head angle is a little slacker than many bikes of this style, which just tames the handling a little bit.

How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?

This medium 54cm model has a stack of 548mm, and a reach of 390mm. Nothing massively out of the ordiinary there.

Riding the bike

Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.

Overall, yes. It has a firm, stiff ride but without any harshness coming through.

Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?

Stiffness is impressive, especially around the lower half of the frame.

How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?

Due to the stiffness, efficiency is high.

Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so was it a problem?

No, none.

How would you describe the steering? Was it lively neutral or unresponsive? Neutral.

Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?

The handling isn't as quick as a dedicated race machine, but it's still fun, and very capable at high speed.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?

I got on fine with the saddle, and the amount of seatpost you can run promotes some flex.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's stiffness? would you recommend any changes?

The alloy handlebar provides plenty of stiffness for out of the saddle efforts.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's efficiency? would you recommend any changes?

The Addict RC 15 has a good spread of gears for all kinds of terrain.

Rate the bike for efficiency of power transfer:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for acceleration:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for sprinting:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for high speed stability:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for cruising speed stability:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for low speed stability:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for flat cornering:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for cornering on descents:
 
10/10
Rate the bike for climbing:
 
8/10

The drivetrain

Rate the drivetrain for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the drivetrain for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for value:
 
7/10

Tell us some more about the drivetrain. Anything you particularly did or didn't like? Any components which didn't work well together?

Shimano Ultegra Di2 is a quality gear system that offers very quick shifts and quality hydraulic brakes. I think Scott has specced a sensible gear range for all types of fast road riding.

Wheels and tyres

Rate the wheels for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the wheels for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the wheels for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the wheels for comfort:
 
7/10
Rate the wheels for value:
 
7/10

Tell us some more about the wheels.Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the wheels? If so what for?

A capable set of wheels that feel durable and offer a bit of an aero advantage.

Rate the tyres for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the tyres for durability:
 
7/10
Rate the tyres for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the tyres for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the tyres for value:
 
6/10

Tell us some more about the tyres. Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the tyres? If so what for?

Not the most robust or long lasting, but they make up for that with excellent grip levels and low rolling resistance.

Controls

Rate the controls for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the controls for comfort:
 
7/10
Rate the controls for value:
 
7/10

Tell us some more about the controls. Any particularly good or bad components? How would the controls work for larger or smaller riders?

It's a decent collection of components that do the job. The stem hides the cables/hoses/wires.

Your summary

Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes

Would you consider buying the bike? Yes

Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes

How does the price compare to that of similar bikes in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

It's around the same price as similar bikes from Specialized and Trek, and is a bit more competitive against the BMC Roadmachine 01 Four, but is pushed hard on value by the likes of Vitus and Orro.

Rate the bike overall for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the bike overall for value:
 
5/10

Use this box to explain your overall score

The Addict RC 15 does a great job of balancing comfort alongside performance, making it a very fun and rewarding bike to ride. The spec list is impressive, although some of the opposition offer similar setups for less money.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,

With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!

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