Scott Plasma 5

Faster, stiffer, lighter… We travelled to the World Cycling Centre in Switzerland to meet Scott's new top-end tri bike

The new Scott Plasma 5 triathlon bike

We had the chance to see the bike for the first time, talk to the engineers and development team behind the technology and see leading Ironman athletes including Luke McKenzie, Sebastian Kienle and Jodie Swallow take to the velodrome to tweak the fit and spec of the bikes they’ll be using for upcoming races.

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First – an overview of the bike. In development Scott had three goals for this bike: to make it faster, to make it stiffer and to make it lighter than its previous incarnation, the Plasma 3.

The first thing you’ll notice when you look at the Plasma 5 is that distinctive nose shape, formulated by the addition of a unique nutrition and storage system. Far from being an add-on that compromises design to accommodate the needs of triathletes, however, Scott were keen with this bike to integrate the system in such a way that it would enhance, not limit aerodynamics.

In total Scott claim for this bike a 7% average reduction in drag compared to the earlier Plasma 3 model (or a 5% reduction in the TT version, without hydration system fitted).

Here Simon Smart, Technical Director at Smart Aero Technology talks to 220’s Helen about the testing and development that went into creating this unique design:

The bike went through extensive wind tunnel testing – at times with a rider, Ironman European champ Sebastian Kienle – to give it the shape and design you see here. Key technologies include:

1. Airfoil innovation. The design of each element of the frame is customised depending on the characteristics of airflow in that area.

2. An integrated stem, with two adaptable options (TT version stays in line with the top tube, while the Tri version is increased to 45 degrees to allow the hydration system to clip on). The new stem design increases stiffness by 47% versus the Plasma 3, which in turn helps power transfer and direct handling. It is also lightweight and more aerodynamic. All cables are internally routed.

3. Aero handlebars developed with Profile design, with three base bars (flat, -30mm drop and +30mm rise) available to allow for different size riders and positions. The bike also features a unique spacer system with covers on the spacers, meaning the height of the bars can be adjusted without dismantling all the internal cabling. It has new extensions and arm rests, designed to maximise aerodynamics and comfort.

4. Integrated brakes front and rear.

Also new to the range is the Scott Plasma 4 (Plasma 10 and Plasma 20 models). The mid-range HMF carbon fibre version, this takes some of the key technologies of the 5 but adapts them to work within a more attractive price point.

As such, elements of the frame design are different (you’ll notice the integrated stem and downtube/seat stay design is slightly different) and components such as the brakes are standardised. Framesets are also available individually.

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The top-end Plasma Team Issue pictured here is expected to retail at €9,999. Expect a full test in the pages of 220 towards the end of 2014. For more images, check out our gallery here.