The big manufacturers always wheel out their new weaponry at the Grand Tours to catch all those eager lenses – and here’s the latest TT machine from Scott, the “Plasma2”. Riccardo Riccò, the young team leader for Saunier Duval—Scott and winner of Stage 1 on Sunday, used the new bike in the opening Team Time Trial last Saturday.
The Plasma2 is an evolution of the original Plasma, and it draws upon the years of R&D conducted since its release. The Scott engineers relied on input from professional cyclists on Team Saunier Duval—Scott, along with data acquired from wind tunnel testing, to improve the design.
Scott has also made dramatic improvements in their carbon processes since inventing the “tube to tube” style construction introduced with the CR1.
Scott has further developed and improved their carbon processes, resulting in an entirely new method of maximizing carbon material called IMPSM (Integrated Molding Process).
The first bikes to feature IMPSM were the Addict and Spark models, both category weight leaders last year.
This process allows Scott engineers to optimize the use of material in critical areas of the frameset using shape, thickness and a unique blend of carbon called HMXSM (High Modulus Xtreme) to save precious weight while maintaining the integrity of each layer of carbon fibre.
The CR1 process was a turning point for carbon bicycle construction as it managed each layer during the process in regards to tension in the fibres, bias of the material and preventing folds and voids in the carbon.
The Plasma2 features IMP5SM; in this new and sophisticated process the individual top, head, down and seat tubes along with a portion of the chain stays are created in one step.
The Twin TurboSM chain stays are tucked away from the turbulent bottom bracket area, resulting in a very clean aero profile and less drag too.
The Plasma2 represents a 20% decrease in overall drag in the wind tunnel, while retaining it’s lightweight competitive edge.
The Plasma2’s Shelter127SM wheel coverage provides an increased area of protection and causes the bike to be more slippery and aero into a headwind.
Another feature of the bike are the SDS seat stays, which are much more compliant than standard aero tubing stays, and result in reduced fatigue over the course of a TT split.
The bike carried Riccò and his teammates to 15th place in Saturday’s Stage 1 TTT, but they were only a few seconds over a minute down on Team Slipstream (acknowledged TTT experts). That means they lost on average around 2 seconds per kilometre – not bad for a bunch a climbers and non-time trial specialists!
Stay tuned though – the individual TT next Tuesday (20/05) from Pesaro to Urbino, will provide a better indication as to the effectiveness of the Plasma2.