Placebo effect or not, the Cadence Plus feels fast when aero matters - it also has a superbly comfortable fit
- Excellent fit
- Aero feeling at speed
- Low-speed ventilation isn’t great
- Loud Scott decals
Scott is well known for its range of performance road and mountain bikes but it also produces a wide range of clothing and accessories. The Cadence Plus sits at the top of Scott's road bike helmet range sandwiched between the semi-aero Centric Plus and the uncompromising TT/Tri Split Plus helmets.
Design and aesthetics
There is no hiding the fact that the Cadence Plus is an aero helmet. The EPS construction creates an elongated tail and its ventless dome gives the helmet a sleek wind cutting appearance. Scott has in-moulded all edges other than inside of the vents to help protect vulnerable areas of the helmet from unnecessary damage.
Scott includes some aero bungs if you want to make the helmet more streamlined or offer some added warmth in cold weather. These are simply full-thickness sections of soft EPS with topped with a section of polycarbonate shell that push into the vents. A simple addition but you do need to decide pre-ride whether you will need them as they would be annoying to carry around.
Scott has specced the Cadence Plus with an integrated MIPS liner to offer protection from rotational forces in the event of a crash. The MIPS liner has been worked around the venting entry- and exit points, and is perforated to try and minimise any negative effects to airflow, Scott claims this results in an improvement of 16% over a non-integrated MIPS liner.
Ventilation is handled by five large and two small front intake vents and three rear exiting vents. The three centre vents channel across the top of the head with the centre vent feeding right over into the centre vent at the rear. X-Static anti-bacterial padding is used sparingly around the front of the helmet to help with comfort and is still fresh despite some hot days on the bike.
Performance and fit
While Scott’s Halo fit system doesn’t offer 360 degrees of security as some of the other helmets on test, it certainly doesn’t suffer terms of comfort and retention. Tightening from mounting points located above the temples, the cradle offers three vertical positions and an easy-to-adjust ratchet dial to control closure tension. The straps are a no-nonsense affair with y-junction guides to keep the straps from flapping and clear of your ears. The junctions don’t have any strap adjustment so if you have unusually positioned ears there is no way to adjust them, I found they gave a lot of clearance and should accommodate for variances in head shape.
The fit comes up true to size, I have roughly a 58cm head measurement and the medium feels spot on. The bottom of the helmet is well shaped giving plenty of clearance and the retention system didn’t interfere with sunglasses or my ears at all.
Those who are partial to storing sunglasses in the front vents of the helmet will see those large vents as good docking real estate. However be warned, while my favourite pair of eyewear seemed to locate securely, they did fall out and hit the deck, a costly mistake and not what you want mid-ride.
The Cadence was never intended as a climbing helmet so it’s no surprise that when labouring at slow speeds heat builds up. However, when working hard on fast sections, the experience is much improved. Ventilation around the brow is especially prominent when turning over a good speed, providing noticeable cooling that helps dissipate heat across the head. There isn’t much in the way of supplement venting around the sides or on top so if you're looking for an aero inspired helmet for hot weather you may be better served by the Scott Centric Plus.
Any aero gains are extremely hard to quantify and all claims should be taken with a pinch of salt. However, the Scott Cadence Plus certainly felt slick at top speeds as if there was less influence from airflow. I would feign from saying that there is a noticeable advantage with this helmet over other aero inspired helmets that I have tested but I can’t deny that there wasn’t a ‘je ne sais quoi’ when wearing the Cadence Plus.
It may just be a placebo effect, my mind being taken by the helmets minimal venting and sleek appearance to trick me into thinking I can feel an aero advantage that isn’t in fact there. In reality, even if there was an aero advantage, it is likely to make very little difference in my everyday riding but its certainly nice to think that the kit your wearing is helping you to be as fast as possible. Beyond the undetermined aero benefits, the Cadence Plus is quite a nice place to be. Ventilation is never going to be a strong point but it’s decent enough as long as you aren’t tackling long climbs in hot weather. The Halo fit system has all-day levels of comfort and the MIPS liner is unnoticeable which is the best compliment I can give without taking a dive onto the tarmac. Just be careful if you are storing sunglasses in the vents as you don’t want them hitting the tarmac either.
- Temperature range: Summer, 12-20 degrees
- Test duration: One month
- Terrain: Road
Tech spec: Scott Cadence Plus
- Price: £169.99 / $229.99 / €239.90
- Rotational safety: Integrated MIPS
- Retention: Scott Halo Fit
- Weight: 285g (actual, medium)
- Aero: Yes
- Sizes: S (51-55), M (55-59), L (59-61)
- Colours: 3
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Graham has been part of the Cyclingnews team since January 2020. He has mountain biking at his core and can mostly be found bikepacking around Scotland or exploring the steep trails around the Tweed Valley. Not afraid of a challenge, Graham has gained a reputation for riding fixed gear bikes both too far and often in inappropriate places.