Beautiful, lightweight, stable, super-fast! I could just as well line up on a cyclocross world cup race start line riding it. On the other hand, it’s also my favorite vehicle of transport. I got this fantastic rig from the K2 Bicycle Store two years back, so it’s high time to give you a run-down on all the experience I gathered with the Scott Addict CX RC. This is the bike which accumulated the most kilometers in my stable; equally on asphalt, dirt and city streets; running in winter, summer, autumn and spring.
Let’s start with the theory behind this bike! Being a classic cyclocross bike, the Scott Addict CX RC is a special piece of equipment: it’s designed and made especially for cyclocross racing. As such, it should not be confused with the currently so trendy gravel bikes. The frame geometry of the Addict CX would be considered fast, agile and responsive even among the present crop of road bikes. The 54cm frame paired with a 140 mm head tube means it offers a sporty, low-down body position, and the weight of the Addict CX is only slightly higher than its road bike version, the Addict. The carbon frame construction is based on the road model variant, so it also offers sublime stability and frame stiffness. The 27.2 mm seat post size and the comfortable Syncros saddle are the only concession in terms of comfort, and of course it rolls on low-pressure 32-35 mm of rubber, which offers some extra cushioning.
As a comparison, a gravel bike has a completely different frame geometry and design goals. The two may look similar, but in essence they are completely different beasts: the now popular gravel bike offers more relaxed tube angles and longer wheelbase for extra stability even when it’s fully loaded with bags, hence it’s slower in turns. On the other hand, fast cornering is the essence of cyclocross. The gravel bike has provisions for extra-wide tires or transporting touring bags. So the modern gravel bike is not a descendant of the similar shaped and equipped cyclocross brethren, but one specially developed for bike touring and leisure riding. 10-20 years ago neither bikes could exist, since disc brakes and tubeless tires are their main features. This allows such a light bike to be ridden on dirt with great speed, efficiency and comfort. Thanks to the road drop handlebars, on paved roads both the cyclocross and the gravel bike can easily reach 40 km/h and offers the appropriate gearing for such speeds.
Harking back to the Scott Addict CX RC, it’s undoubtable a full-blooded cross racing machine. This is important information to the potential customer, since unlike gravel bikes, the focus of a race-oriented cyclocross is much narrower, and not many will ride many miles on cross courses. It has a sporty, aggressive frame geometry, the steering is agile, uncompromising. Yes, this also entails that the bike makes very little concession in drive efficiency, but at the expense comfort, which is especially apparent when it’s directly compared to a gravel bike. Riding the Addict CX RC, you often feel being on a road bike equipped with disc brakes and just enough space for slightly wider knobby tires. Otherwise your body position and riding comfort is very much like on the road bike. And since you are supposed to rove cyclocross courses, natural or build tracks, you don’t need a wide gear ratio, instead of 2×11 shifting a 42T single front chainring is sufficient. All in all, this bike is a wicked toy which will grow on you, just like a fierce sports car. Since you love riding it, you are inclined to try it on different terrain and situations, and this results in even more affection. So you’re down the rabbit hole… just like me. Initially the Addict CX RC was supposed to be my new cyclocross race bike, but later became my tour bike, my favorite urban “rocket ship”, and I kept trying in on all kinds of tough terrain to experience to joy of its nippy handling and outright quickness.
The cyclocross race bike:
In the previous two seasons I had the chance to take part in some races with the Addict CX RC. My fellow competitors often remarked that finally I have a dream bike under my legs, a machine that is far more advanced than what I’m capable on the race courses. And this is true. This bike has never been the weak link in the chain, it never prevented me from reaching my potential, finishing a race, not even in the toughest mud – and I never had a spare bike available. At Scott, they pay close attention to the smallest of details. Like the chain stays being shaped to cut through the accumulated mud in order to self-clean the rear end. The rest of the stays are flattened in the other plane to allow a small amount of vibration damping. Another brilliant detail is the factory-made chain-retainer, which guaranteed that my chain would never fall, no matter how bad the ride conditions. Not once in two years of riding and racing on all kinds of terrain! The SRAM Force shift system needs a little more attention than the Shimano equipment, it demands frequent maintenance, fine-tuning to keep it running smooth and reliable. On the other hand – despite the slender construction -, the disc brakes keep working flawlessly, I merely had to change the pads a few times. For cross I used a custom-built wheel tubular set instead of the factory wheels. There is nothing wrong with the original set, but a nice tubular tire provides a little extra grip and comfort. The complete bike is quite light, a monster in the corners, perfect in every sense when it comes to cross racing!
The gravel bike:
The road biker’s gravel bike is a cyclocross bike! If you love road bike frame geometry, you”ll certainly have an affection for the Addict CX RC when it comes to gravel and asphalt roads – or the combination of the two. This bike inspires to be ridden at higher tempo, it feels like a rocket on any terrain, especially on uphill sections. You can go much faster on it than riding a mountain bike. If ridden on mixed terrain, the Syncros RP 2.0 tubeless wheel set is a superb choice. The 35mm tires pumped to 2 bar or little harder will provide excellent traction, once filled with tire sealant fluid, the chance of getting a flat is quite slim.
I also used the Scott Addict CX RC for longer bike touring and day trips, for which I usually installed Continental GP 4 Season tires in the 32mm width. This makes the bike super comfortable, yet it rolls just as fast as a proper road bike. I should mention that from 2019 all Scott Addict’s road bikes accept 32 mm tires, so one could now reach the same result from another direction. Thanks to its special frame geometry, the robust fork, and 12 mm through axes front and back, the Addict CX RC is significantly more stable than an average road bike on downhill sections. Not surprisingly, this bike is lightning-fast in the city, the fastest man-powered vehicle on the busy roads, while the hydraulic disc brakes and wide tires provide a clear advantage when it comes to safety.
Beyond the inevitable subjectivity, we have some clear cut facts to report on. Despite the super-light frame construction manufactured from Scott’s premium (HMF) carbon fiber, the Addict CX RC has proven to be very durable. Obviously I’m not talking about the frame breaking or cracking, rather than all frame parts have withstood this long period of use: there is no sign of noise, creaking, and once polished, it looks almost new. This is a characteristic that only frames from premium manufacturers exhibit. The SRAM Force group also stood the test of time, it still performs well, and even the chainring shows limited wear after two years of riding. There was some inconvenience when the crank arm bolt loosened on two occasions, but I can’t recall any other problems. The tubeless compatible Syncros wheels also faired well the long term use, it proved to be quite robust, which is not surprising, since it could just as well bear a DT Swiss logo! Quality stuff, just as all the other components carrying the Syncros name: I found the handlebar and the saddle are especially comfortable.
What other proof is there concerning the quality and performance of the Addict CX RC than the fact that it is still featured in the Scott lineup! Only the tires have been substituted in the specs – Continental rubber instead of the Schwalbe X-One CX Performance. Click here for more information about the Scott Addict CX RC!
If you are not approaching the world of off road and gravel as the road rider, Scott offers a more comfortable and better equipped bikes with 20-30mm longer head tube in the shape of the Speedster Gravel series.
It may also be interesting for many, that Scott has recently repositioned its Addict family of road bikes to the road endurance segment of the market. They feature longer head tube similar to the above-mentioned gravel series, can accommodate 32 mm wide tires, and disc brake versions are also available. (For performance-oriented road riders the Addict RC series provides the “rocket ship” experience.)
FRAME: Addict CX HMF Disc / IMP Carbon technology / CX Race geometry
FORK: Addict CX HMF Disc, 1 1/8″ – 1 1/4″ tapered Carbon steerer, Alloy Dropout
HANDLEBAR: Syncros Creston 2.0 compact, alloy 31.8mm
HEADSET: Syncros Integrated Cartridge
STEM: Syncros RR2.0, 1 1/8″
FRONT BRAKE: SRAM Force 1 Hydraulic Disc, 160mm Centerline Rotor
REAR BRAKE: SRAM Force 1 Hydraulic Disc, 160mm Centerline Rotor
REAR DERAILLEUR: SRAM Force 1, 11-speed mid cage
SHIFT LEVERS: SRAM Force 1 Hydraulic Disc, 11-speed
CASSETTE: SRAM PG 1170, 11-36
CHAIN: SRAM PC 1170
CHAINSET: SRAM Force 1, 42T
BOTTOM BRACKET: SRAM PF86 GXP
WHEELSET: Syncros RP2.0 Disc, Syncros RWS
TYRES: Schwalbe X-One CX Performance 35-622, 700x35mm
SADDLE: Syncros FL2.0
SEATPOST: Syncros Carbon FL1.0, 27.2/350mm
WEIGHT: 8 kg