First Ride: Scott Addict RC 20

All-round compliance from a weight-focused frame


With the goal of creating the World’s lightest road bike since 2007, Scott has developed the Addict to meet the criteria of modern road riding while evolving step-by-step with progressive road bike technology. Scott has led the way in recent road bike designs as an early adopter or 28mm tires and disc brakes have given them more time to improve upon designs many larger brands have just begun to use. While the Addict held the frame weight title following its initial release over a decade ago it has since fallen out of the position. However, Scott has maintained its focus on weight savings while continuing to improve upon the latest technology available.


The Addict RC 20 Disc is made with Scott’s HMX carbon layup. Scott offers three different levels for the Addict line, including the HMX SL that is only available in the Addict Ultimate, and HMF, which is used in the entry-level Addict 30. Each offers unique characteristics and strength and directly affects ride quality as well as frame weight and price. Scott is focused on disc brakes and now only offers one version of a rim brake Addict frame, the Shimano Ultegra equipped Addict 10 priced at $2200. 

A gloss black finish distinguishes the distinct lines on the Addict. The downtube and seat stays nearly parallel each other and highlight the compact rear triangle. The compact design improves compliance while saving weight. Many major brands have developed their unique compact designs and Scott was due to fall in line with the increasingly popular trend. Each of the tubes on the Addict uses Scott’s proprietary airfoil shaping to minimize drag.

Scott stiffened up the frontend for the latest iteration of the Addict. The new fork has been beefed up to reduce fork flex and disc brake rub. Scott claims there is room for up to 32mm of rubber. 

The Addict maintains its race-oriented handling with a 99.2cm wheelbase. It continues to maintain many of the same geometry numbers that have proven favorable in past iterations of the Addict.  Our size 54’s aggressive 72.5-degree headtube angle has remained unchanged in a number of years.


SRAM’s Force eTap AXS wireless components are spec’d. They’re a great value option, the derailleurs use an identical motor the top-tier Red group uses for similar performance on the road. The major difference being a total system weight difference of about 350 grams and the matte black and gray finish across most of the Force AXS drivetrain. 48/35 chainrings are paired with the 12-speed 10-33 cassette. This gives the Addict RC relatively easier gearing compared to the 10-28 cassette brands like Trek and Giant opt for on the Emonda and TCR at their respective Force AXS levels. 

Scott’s Syncros alloy cockpit pairs well with SRAM’s wireless technology to efficiently hide and guide the hydraulic brake lines to the frame. Stem adjustment is kept simple by the composite fairing. It covers one-third of the top and rear, popping off quickly when needed. Gated oval composite spacers conceal the lines as well.

A D-shaped Syncros carbon seat post is topped with a Syncros Belcarra snub-nosed saddle. The tan Belcarra visually pops along with the tan wall Schwalbe One tires. We received many comments on the road about the color combo. Most were in disbelief that such a stylish colorway was the original spec. Schwalbe’s 28mm rubber is mounted on a Syncros RP2.0 disc wheelset. The RP2.0 is one of the most progressive wheel offerings we’ve seen from an in-house brand. 28 spokes front and rear add a sense of durability to the 28mm-deep rim. Add an internal width measurement of 24mm for a tubeless-ready wheelset that’s up-to-date with other wheel-focused brands.


Following the trend of increased compliance and 28mm tires offered by many big-name brand’s “climbing” bikes like the BMC Teammachine and Cannondale SuperSix Evo, Scott’s Addict leaves a lasting impression. An early adopter of 28mm tires, Scott has developed a stiff frame that relies on the pneumatic compliance the tires provide. Impressive stiffness at the bottom bracket and the beefed-up frontend combine for exquisite power transfer with each pedal stroke. 

The 28mm tires paired with the wide, tubeless Syncros wheelset creates confidence-inspiring handling characteristics thanks to the added traction. This pairs well with the mid-size wheelbase for overall responsive and quick handling. Cornering at speed is predictable unlike twitchier bikes like the older generation of Cannondale SuperSix Evos. The Addict sticks to the apex and exits corners where you point it.

SRAM’s gearing matched with the high overall compliance of the Addict adds much needed versatility to the market of increasingly compartmentalized road bike designs. It is fully capable of tackling the rigors of modern road riding from minimally maintained gravel roads, to fire roads, as well as buttery smooth asphalt. SRAM’s 48/35 chainrings and 10-33 cassette make tough climbs more accessible for more cyclists. But leaves a bit more desired on the steepest of climbs. The 48-10 gear is about as big as a compact 50/11 drivetrain so there’s not much lost on top-end speed. 


Weight: 17.84 pounds

Sizes: 47, 49, 52, 54 (tested), 56, 58, 61

Price: $4800

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