Scott Plasma 6 triathlon bike speeds into a weekend at home with UCI-illegal design

Tips & Reviews

Scott’s all-new Plasma 6 triathlon bike is ready to fight for Ironman Worlds glory. But since this year’s Kona race was cancelled for the first time in over forty years, you’ll have to settle for going fast on the bike leg at home this year. Much like we’ve seen in modern aero road and other recent tri bikes, the new Plasma takes integration to a new level, without losing the fit adjustability that will make sure riders are fresh enough after 180km on the bike to run a marathon…

All-new 2021 Scott Plasma 6 carbon triathlon bike

2021 Scott Plasma 6 integrated aero carbon triathlon bike, 1x complete
c. Scott, photos by Pushing Limits

All-out aerodynamics is the name of the game in tri bikes, without the UCI looking over your shoulder. So Scott says their four-year Plasma update project set out to “simply build the fastest bike the triathlon world has ever seen”. The result of more wind tunnel time was deeper integration, expanded on-bike aero storage, and maximized cockpit adjustability to dial in each rider’s position on the bike.

Aerodynamic testing & optimization

2021 Scott Plasma 6 integrated aero carbon triathlon bike, Alistar Brownlee wind tunnel
photo by Gee Milnar

The triathlete them self makes up much of the aero drag of the rider+bike, but also changes how the wind actually flows over the bike. So more than just using CFD or wind tunnel testing of the bike itself, the Scott Plasma 6 was developed from the absolute beginning with a rider aboard for real world aero performance.

By now we all have a sense for what is aero. Keeping the front end aero is tricky, but it seems the wisdom is either to have the downtube almost touching the front tire, or kept far away from front wheel turbulence.

2021 Scott Plasma 6 integrated aero carbon triathlon bike, riding

The Plasma 6 chooses the latter, since even slightly turning the wheel induces big turbulence losses. Extending the frame horizontally back from the deep fork crown, the narrow & deep downtube is said to minimize drag better, even while turning or in varying wind conditions.

2021 Scott Plasma 6 integrated aero carbon triathlon bike, adjustable dropouts

Rear wheel cutouts with the tire tucked in close are a sure way to decrease drag over the rear end of the bike, but with varying wheel & tire setups, it’s hard to be so precise without risking tire rub. So Scott gives the bike a 6-position adjustable rear dropout to dial that tire in close.

Integrated Storage & Adjustability

2021 Scott Plasma 6 integrated aero carbon triathlon bike, hydration

The UCI-friendly Scott Plasma 5 TT bike was already big on storage integration, but now the tri-only 6 takes it to the next level – taking advantage of deeper hollow frame sections and an add-on tail storage trunk. Inside the junction behind the headtube, a 575ml or 620ml hydration pocket means racers can drink without leaving their aero tuck or impacting crucial front-end aerodynamics, while a box between the aero bars keeps snacks at easy reach too.

2021 Scott Plasma 6 integrated aero carbon triathlon bike, storage

Then, a bottom bracket storage box is actually a removable 400ml squeezable polypropylene gel bottle that you can fuel from on the go. And the tail fin trunk extends storage space out back for spares or tools, both conveniently smoothing airflow over otherwise turbulent areas of the bike.

The seatpost head of course offers tons of fit position adjustability, sliding on long rails. But it also incorporates a rear mounted bottle (or two) on a telescoping post that can be slid closer or further away from the rider’s body for an optimized aero position, close to the butt.

2021 Scott Plasma 6 integrated aero carbon triathlon bike, Syncros cockpit

Developed from the Syncros component side of Scott, a widely adjustable Creston iC TRI base bar & E1 Carbon extensions setup insures a wide range of possible positions – from elite pros to age-groupers. 2x Olympic Champion Alistair Brownlee describes the new Plasma 6’s fit & integration as making, “no compromises when it comes to nutrition or storage. Being able to stay on the aero bars during fueling makes the system even faster… In short, yes it is faster!

Scott Plasma 6 Tri – Tech details

2021 Scott Plasma 6 integrated aero carbon triathlon bike, front

Beyond aero & fit optimization, the new carbon Scott Plasma 6 uses top-spec HMX carbon to keep weight in check with all that surface area. Total claimed weight for the top-spec build is just 9.6kg. The 1.25-1.5″ deep aero fork with its aero fork tips and shrouded brake also get ultra hi-mod HMX carbon construction.

2021 Scott Plasma 6 integrated aero carbon triathlon bike, angled

All cable routing is fully internal. The bike only seems to support electronic drivetrains, but can be run with or without a front derailleur. The flat mount, disc brake only tri bike gets  12mm thru-axles and a PF86.5 bottom bracket

2021 Scott Plasma 6 – Pricing & availability

2021 Scott Plasma 6 integrated aero carbon triathlon bike, Premium complete
Scott Plasma 6 Premium

Only two complete triathlon build versions are available of the new Scott Plasma 6 bike for now. The top 15,000€ green Plasma 6 Premium gets a SRAM Red AXS build with Zipp 808 NSW wheels.

2021 Scott Plasma 6 integrated aero carbon triathlon bike, RC build
Scott Plasma 6 RC

And I guess you could call it more accessible, the 9000€ Plasma 6 RC opts for Ultegra Di2 & Syncros Capital 50mm deep carbon wheels. Both are available for pre-order through your Scott dealer, with delivery slated for the start of December 2020.

2021 Scott Plasma 6 integrated aero carbon triathlon bike, frameset
Scott Plasma 6 frameset

A 7000€ Plasma 6 frameset should also be available, in the same full five size range (XS-XL.)

2021 Scott Plasma 6 integrated aero carbon triathlon bike, Sebastian Kienle
photo by Pushing Limits

Scott-Sports.com

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