Scott Plasma 20 Triathlon Bike Review
The Scott Plasma 20 is a triathlon bike that sits at the relatively affordable end of this highly specialised range. It has all of the assets you could want from a capable triathlon bike, namely speed, fluidity and a low overall weight to help maximise the effectiveness of your energy expenditure.
Some triathlon bikes can be a little bit difficult to get up to speed, fighting with you as you attempt to get your power down. This is not the case with the Scott Plasma 20, because although it is light and comfortable, it is also setup to provide you with direct power over the Shimano rims and Continental Triathlon tyres, resulting in a set up that makes the whole bike leap to do your bidding from the first pedal push. Acceleration is smooth and while you will be getting feedback from the road surface, it will not be so jarring as to compromise your ability to perform. This is thanks in part to the carbon frame and fork, but can also be attributed to the Fizik Arione Tri 2 saddle which does its fair share of the work to reduce the impact of road rumble. On an even surface and in a straight line this is a bike that will be difficult to beat.
Of course not every triathlon will feature pure, flat road surfaces, so when the going gets tough and the climbs approach, you will be happy with the rigidity of the Scott Plasma 20. You can feel confident enough to stand and start heaving your way upwards without the back end going out of joint. When you start to descend down the other side, you will be doubly impressed with the way that the frame geometry and components help to round off the rough edges of the road and keep you focused on going faster, rather than clinging on for dear life as you are shaken about.
For the 2011 version of the Scott Plasma 20 there have been some serious improvements made to the quality of the components, which does mean that the total price of the bike has risen over previous years. However, it will be an investment worth making if you care about a fine tuned triathlon cycling experience. Shimano Ultegra components for the gears and brakes are a welcome sight, ousting the slightly cheaper Shimano 105 alternatives that were featured in the past. The brakes in particular add to the surprising solidity of the bike’s feel, allowing you to compensate for any mistakes you make in the approach to a corner and helping you tease the bike back under control, rather than having to slam them on imprecisely and hope for the best.
So the Scott Plasma 20 is something of an evolutionary step for this range, taking the best bits from the previous models, ditching the aspects which received criticism and becoming all the more stronger for it. Few triathlon bikes in this price bracket can stack up to it.