For a company that started in the ski industry, Scott sure knows how to shake things up in the triathlon and bike world. In 1989 Scott developed the first aero bar, which Greg Lemond used to ride a miraculous time trial and steal the Tour de France title. In 2005 Scott introduced the first Plasma tri frame, which weighed in at an amazing 980 g, making it the lightest on the market. A few years later Scott introduced the Addict road frame, which weighed just 790 g, to take the lightness lead in that category, too.
As hot as the Plasma looks, it’s hardly alone in the industry when it comes to high-end, awesome-looking race machines. A number of companies offer “super-bikes” – extremely aerodynamic time trial and triathlon-specific machines – that wow us all during the major cycling tours and draw crowds when they are racked in transition areas. The Plasma Premium will do all of that and, as is appropriate with Scott’s race history, manages to offer some innovations that set it apart from the competition, too.
The first thing we all do when we see a new bike is lift it up and, when you do that with the Plasma Premium, you’re likely to utter something like “wow, that’s light” under your breath since the entire bike weighs in at just over 17 pounds.
Scott has become renowned for it’s carbon fibre development and the latest version of the Plasma3 frame certainly continues that tradition. Using Scott’s IMP technology to ensure that there are no “voids or folds” in the material, the top tube, head tube, down tube, seat tube and chain stays are all produced in a single step and optimized for aerodynamic performance.
There has been one down-side to the recent “aerodynamics at all costs” strategy we’re seeing in many tri-bikes these days – some of the integrated stems and hidden brakes can be a challenge to set up and maintain. While that might not necessarily affect you, your bike mechanic has probably yelled a few choice words when you’ve brought your bike in for a brake-adjustment. Bike mechanics seem to be much happier when they see a Plasma coming in – the rear brake is easy to get at and the front end integration involves a regular stem fitting into the top-tube. All you need to do is twist the bars around to make adjustments, which means that as long as you’ve got a bit of experience you’d be able to make adjustments yourself.
The top of the line Premium is specced with SRAM Red components, carbon shifters and a very sleek looking Profile Prosvet/ T2+Cobra handlebar combo. Add to all that Zipp’s super-fast 808/ 1080 tubular wheels and you have little to be desired when it comes to a super-speedy bike. You’re biggest challenge? Doing this bike justice out on the course.
Check out the Triathlon Magazine Canada website (www.triathlonmagazine.ca) for our road-review of the Scott Plasma Premium.
Frame: Scott Plasma3, IMP technology.
Sizes: S, M, L
Weight: 7.80 kg / 17.18 lbs
Fork: Scott Plasma 3, 1″ carbon Integrated
Components: SRAM Red. Profile ABS Carbon Brake Levers
Bars: Profile Prosvet with Profile T2+ Cobra
Wheels: Zipp 808/ 1080 Tubular