Slippery, lightweight race machine for the HTC-Columbia boys

Ever more bike brands are producing aerodynamic road bikes now including Scott who presented their new F01 design at Eurobike. The bike isn’t currently available to the public although Team HTC-Columbia riders, including Britain’s sprint king Mark Cavendish, have been racing aboard the F01 (the only F01 on show was his) and it’ll surely appear in the 2012 line up, we’re guessing, if not before.

The key to the design is the tube shaping. The down tube, seat tube and seatstays are a 3:2 length to width ratio, compared to 3:1 on Scott’s Plasma time trial bike and almost round (ie 1:1) tubes on their lightweight Addict road bikes. The tubes aren’t your standard common or garden aerofoil profile in that the trailing edge has been foreshortened – it’s squared off rather than tapering down at the back, so the overall shape is almost triangular.

This makes us think of the Kammtail Virtual Foil tube design that Trek use on their Speed Concept TT bike. It’s a totally different shape but the concept is broadly similar – the idea is that airflow around the tube mimics that of a larger aerofoil while using far less material. This allows Scott to save grams, increase stiffness and keep within the UCI equipment rules. It’s a design that has been developed with British wind tunnel gurus Drag2Zero.

Scott claim the F01 frame weighs in at 840g (1.8lb) – which is just 5% more than the Addict – with over 20% less drag. They also reckon it’s more aero that Cervélo’s S3 or Felt’s AR bikes, and both lighter and stiffer too. The manufacturers are calling it, “The most versatile bike for the majority of race situations” – aerodynamics becoming particularly important in a breakaway or a sprint, even when Cav is out of the saddle and throwing the bars around.

The F01 comes with fully internal cable routing and the clamp for the 3:2 aspect carbon seatpost hidden away in the top tube/seat tube junction.

Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.