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.

Riccardo Riccò
Following the pattern Scott have set with the Addict and the Spark, the Plasma2 is very very light: the medium frame weighs only 1340g and the fork 400g. Note the front wheel cutaway on the downtube too.

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.

Riccardo Riccò
The Plasma2 uses super-narrow tube profiles – the chainstays for example are only 11mm wide, and the seat tube is only 25.9mm (the equivalent Cervelo is 28.8 and my own Kuota is 32.2mm!).

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.

Riccardo Riccò
Integrated and very neat fork / head interface.

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.

Riccardo Riccò
Scott’s most complicated and sophisticated carbon structure ever. Top tube, down tube, head tube, seat and chain stays all use the new IMP (integrated moulding process) process.

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.

Riccardo Riccò
The down-fin channels wind around the rear wheel, and allows for a narrower downtube construction. There’s total internal cable routing as well.

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.

Riccardo Riccò
Seamless wheel coverage: 80 deg on the rear and 47 deg on the front = 127 deg of wind cheating aerodynamics. Even the water cage bosses are aero!

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.

Riccardo Riccò
The twin-turbo aero carbon chain stays. The alloy hangars are replaceable, and the rear brake position is adjustable to suit the wheel and tyre in use.

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!

Riccardo Riccò
All the cables route through the frame, with rubber seals preventing grime and dirt from entering the frame.

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.