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Tour tech: Scott Project F01 aero road bike

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Scott's new Project F01 aero road bike combines performance attributes of both its Addict and Plasma 3 platforms.

Scott's new Project F01 aero road bike combines performance attributes of both its Addict and Plasma 3 platforms.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The seatpost binder is neatly integrated into the frame.

The seatpost binder is neatly integrated into the frame.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The very tall and fairly narrow chain stays are tilted outwards.

The very tall and fairly narrow chain stays are tilted outwards.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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A replaceable hanger is secured to the carbon dropout.

A replaceable hanger is secured to the carbon dropout.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Scott equips the new Project F01 with a tapered 1 1/8"-to-1 1/4" all-carbon fork.

Scott equips the new Project F01 with a tapered 1 1/8"-to-1 1/4" all-carbon fork.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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For the test mule, Scott designers marked all of the 'cut lines' in red to indicate where airfoil trailing edges had been removed.

For the test mule, Scott designers marked all of the 'cut lines' in red to indicate where airfoil trailing edges had been removed.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Scott team equipment manager says the new Project F01 development process took six months longer than typical due to the extensive aerodynamic testing.

Scott team equipment manager says the new Project F01 development process took six months longer than typical due to the extensive aerodynamic testing.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Cables are plugged neatly into the head tube area for a cleaner appearance.

Cables are plugged neatly into the head tube area for a cleaner appearance.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The hourglass-profile head tube design is new for Scott's road line but has already seen regular use on the company's other aero products.

The hourglass-profile head tube design is new for Scott's road line but has already seen regular use on the company's other aero products.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Unlike many aero machines, the rear end sports rather sizeable stays, which suggests good drivetrain rigidity.

Unlike many aero machines, the rear end sports rather sizeable stays, which suggests good drivetrain rigidity.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The shapes don't look aerodynamic but Scott insists it's roughly a 20 percent improvement over its current Addict.

The shapes don't look aerodynamic but Scott insists it's roughly a 20 percent improvement over its current Addict.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The integrated bridge requires a standard brake mounting nut for easier servicing.

The integrated bridge requires a standard brake mounting nut for easier servicing.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Scott will offer the Project F01 with two seatpost offset options.

Scott will offer the Project F01 with two seatpost offset options.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Derailleur cables enter the down tube just aft of the head tube, and the plugs are sized for Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 wires.

Derailleur cables enter the down tube just aft of the head tube, and the plugs are sized for Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 wires.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Shift cables are directed around the bottom bracket shell with this tidy guide.

Shift cables are directed around the bottom bracket shell with this tidy guide.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Unlike on the current Addict SL, Scott takes full advantage of the press-fit bottom bracket bearing cups with the more dramatically flared down tube and more widely spaced chain stays.

Unlike on the current Addict SL, Scott takes full advantage of the press-fit bottom bracket bearing cups with the more dramatically flared down tube and more widely spaced chain stays.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Scott says absolute stiffness on its new Project F01 is actually higher than that of the Addict.

Scott says absolute stiffness on its new Project F01 is actually higher than that of the Addict.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The PRO Vibe Sprint stem isn't exactly part of the frame but its shape complements the Project F01 nicely.

The PRO Vibe Sprint stem isn't exactly part of the frame but its shape complements the Project F01 nicely.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Testing of the new Project F01 was done with real riders and mannequins at the Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix wind tunnel.

Testing of the new Project F01 was done with real riders and mannequins at the Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix wind tunnel.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The head tube is noticeably shapelier than on the Addict.

The head tube is noticeably shapelier than on the Addict.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Scott hasn't received confirmation that any of the HTC-Columbia riders will use the new bikes but given its claimed performance advantages (along with Mark Cavendish's already-stated approval) it seems likely that at least some of the team will race on them at this year's Tour de France.

Scott hasn't received confirmation that any of the HTC-Columbia riders will use the new bikes but given its claimed performance advantages (along with Mark Cavendish's already-stated approval) it seems likely that at least some of the team will race on them at this year's Tour de France.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Some Scott-issued images suggest the new Project F01 incorporates a tapered head tube but samples shown at the Tour de France prior to the start in Rotterdam arrived with straight steerers.

Some Scott-issued images suggest the new Project F01 incorporates a tapered head tube but samples shown at the Tour de France prior to the start in Rotterdam arrived with straight steerers.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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There's no dedicated Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 battery mount at the moment, though the team is likely to use the trick under-seat mount developed by TechDev manager Lars Teutenberg.

There's no dedicated Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 battery mount at the moment, though the team is likely to use the trick under-seat mount developed by TechDev manager Lars Teutenberg.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Internal cable routing is Shimano Dura-Ace Di2-friendly.

Internal cable routing is Shimano Dura-Ace Di2-friendly.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The hidden seatpost binder yields a clean, integrated look.

The hidden seatpost binder yields a clean, integrated look.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The new Project F01 was a specific development requirement outlined by the HTC-Columbia team when Scott signed on as a sponsor.

The new Project F01 was a specific development requirement outlined by the HTC-Columbia team when Scott signed on as a sponsor.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Scott claims the new Project F01 will require a rider to put out roughly 4-5 percent less power to maintain the same speed.

Scott claims the new Project F01 will require a rider to put out roughly 4-5 percent less power to maintain the same speed.
(Image credit: James Huang)

HTC-Columbia bike sponsor Scott will supply team riders with a new aero road bike in their quest for glory at this year's Tour de France.

Scott says the new frame – codenamed 'Project F01' for now – combines the best attributes of its current Addict road and Plasma 3 TT/Tri bikes, presumably making for a potent breakaway or sprint weapon where speeds are typically higher than average and riders are wholly exposed to the wind. According to Scott, the Project F01 weighs just 5 percent more than an Addict (while retaining the same stiffness) and yet reduces frame drag by 20-30 percent.

That equates to an impressive 840g bare frame weight (or a 1,277g fuselage weight with frame, fork, seatpost and clamp) that should satisfy even finicky climbers but also a significant 20W power savings at speed (based on a 300W output). According to Scott, this means the Project F01 is not only faster and more aerodynamic than either the Cervélo S3 or Felt AR but also substantially lighter and more efficient under power.

Interestingly, Scott's new machine doesn't actually look all that slippery at first glance. Rather than use conventional airfoil profiles on the Project F01 – which can often be heavy and poor-riding – Scott is using a truncated teardrop shape with roughly a 3:2 aspect ratio that it says offers a better compromise between stiffness-to-weight and aerodynamics.

Though similar in theory to the Kamm tail concept that Trek successfully put to use recently on its Speed Concept, Scott's Project F01 removes more trailing edge material and also uses a more rounded 'cut line' that is specifically shaped for each tube.

In addition to using far less material than a typical airfoil, Scott's 3:2 profile can also be made far wider than typical airfoils without breaking UCI guidelines for section depth and makes fewer sacrifices in rigidity. Scott also says the less aggressive shape yields better drag numbers at higher yaw angles and produces a far better ride quality, too.

Additional features include Shimano Dura-Ace Di2-compatible internal cable routing (with no additional weight or friction versus a conventional external setup), a proprietary 3:2-profile carbon post with a Ritchey 1-Bolt head and neatly integrated binder mechanism, PF-BB86 press-fit bottom bracket cups (and finally correspondingly wider down tube dimensions and chain stay spacing), carbon dropouts, and an all-new carbon fork with a tapered 1 1/8"-to-1 1/4" steerer tube.

That new fork also directly incorporates the lower bearing seat into the mold for smoother – and thus stronger – fiber paths, and the lower bearing also presses directly into the head tube with no additional cup required. The upper 1 1/8" bearing still uses a conventional internal-type aluminum cup, though.

For now, Scott says the Project F01 is still a work in progress and there's no firm release date or target price just yet. Scott team equipment manager Hermann Pacal says it'll almost be a 2012 model year product, though, and the company may even offer a very limited release as a '11 bike.

Scott marketing and PR director Adrian Montgomery says that the development of an aero road bike (along with a new time trial bike, which has already been done with the Plasma 3) was a specific contract demand of team owner Bob Stapleton, who has historically been an outspoken proponent of providing his riders with the best possible tools.

Montgomery wasn't clear on exactly which riders would definitely be using the new bike in this year's Tour, though one key rider is a virtual certainty – star sprinter Mark Cavendish has already given the Project F01 his stamp of approval and the team has even prepared a specially painted model that it was unveil at Stage 1 – stay tuned.

Regardless of the team's decision (we'll know soon enough), consumer market demands will likely win out and based on Scott's previous Plasma 3 project, we're guessing the Project F01 will make its way into the company catalog – almost certainly with a catchier name – as a 2012 model year product.