Scott Plasma 20

Scott Time Trial bikes are known for their smooth handling and balanced, lightweight frames.

The Scott Plasma 20 certainly holds up this stereotype, delivering a well-rounded and good quality ride.

A drop down from the top-of-the-line Plasma Ltd (which will set you back about $12,000), riders will be pleased to learn that the Plasma 20 does not lose as much performance or value as it might have.

Off the mark, the Plasma 20 relishes flat and open road spaces and has very good vibration damping measures in place.

This means you can pick up pace very quickly and will not be distracted by irritating vibrations.

One point to note here, though, is that the stock Shimano R500 wheels are a little on the heavy side and do not quite allow the bike to perform at its peak.

If you want to race with this bike, you will need to replace them.

When it comes to climbing, the Plasma 20 remains very good but is not quite as capable as it is on the flat areas.

The back end of the bike stays firm and the Profile T2 Wing bars stay pretty stiff when you get out of the saddle.

The plus side of the heavier wheels here is that they keep you well grounded when descending rapidly or taking tight corners.

One thing worth mentioning about this bike is that, for the most part, it is very comfortable. A big part of this can be put down to the Profile arm pads, which fit the contours of your arms fantastically.

Secondly, the Scott tri seat does a great job of sponging up any excess vibration and keeps your rear end in great comfort through the hard parts of the ride.

When it comes to the spec for the bike, the quality level falls from high to medium, and a potential weakness for the overall unit is found.

On the back end you are well served by Ultegra components, and at the front you do OK with Shimano 105 parts.

The alloy cockpit from Profile is a little too tall and should ideally come out of the box a bit shorter, and the Truvativ Elita cranks are not top-of-the-line either.

As we already mentioned, the R500 wheelset is not the greatest ever made and could be replaced in order to get the best out of this ride.

As a total package, however, the Scott Plasma 20 is a very good time trial bike that could very easily be raced or simply used as a quality complimentary training unit.

If you want to get the absolute best out of its excellent carbon fibre frame, upgrade a few of the weaker components mentioned here.

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