Scott Foil Premium
New take on successful bike looks fast standing still
When you take something that’s already great and try to make it better, there’s always a risk. And with that comes pressure, because a bike launch from a big company comes with a certain level of expectation, especially when that bike’s predecessor had won Classics and Grand Tour stages and more.
But even with that level of expectation, jaws dropped when Scott unveiled the latest incarnation of the Foil. It’s no exaggeration to say the bike looks fast even when standing still, and if you won points for style then there are few machines out there that would be able to hold the Foil’s wheel.
Looks aren’t everything, though, and if the bike doesn't perform better on the road than one that racked up 115 World Tour wins over the course of its lifetime, even the most ardent fan won’t be convinced.
If you won points for style then there are few machines out there that would be able to hold the Foil’s wheel.
So what are Scott saying about the new bike? Well for starters it’s faster in the wind tunnel than its predecessor. In testing, the new Foil saved six watts over the old bike which equates to 27secs over a 40km course.
The reason the bike has managed to decrease drag like that is obvious just from looking at it – the design is much slicker and the tube shapes have changed. Scott use what they call F01 technology, an airfoil that consists of three sections that can be modified according to the airflow conditions.
They say that although the original Foil was praised for its performance, some riders wanted more comfort in the mix and the new bike should deliver that
Up front, Scott have designed their own integrated bar/stem system (don’t be fooled by the Syncros branding, that’s just Scott’s in-house brand). The one-piece bar and stem unit is a very similar idea to the one found on a couple of the other bikes in the 100 – the Trek Madone 9-Series and Canyon Ultimate CF SLX – a very slick design bringing down the frontal surface area of the bike.
Even though the stem looks complex, it’s not quite as bad as first glance would suggest. The section that fills in behind the stem is actually composed of spacers you can add to or take away from depending on your preferred stem height. It also means there’s a better choice of stack heights for the bike, as opposed to some of the latest integrated aero bikes where the stem position is fixed giving you very little adjustment for the front end.
Scott haven’t focused all their tech on aerodynamics, though, they’ve also cast an eye over the comfort aspects of the ride. They say, although the original Foil was praised for its performance, some riders wanted more comfort in the mix and the new bike should deliver on that front with the back end apparently offering 86 per cent more compliance in the seat tube area and 11 per cent in the fork.
Whether or not you buy into the stats manufacturers drop with new launches, the fact is Scott have made a concerted effort to add comfort to the performance of the new Foil and that should be noticeable out on the road.
- Price: £8,999
- Website: Scott Sports
What might surprise you is the frame weight for the Foil dips under the 1kg mark. While that might not be impressive in the grand scheme of super light bikes, the Foil isn’t a super light bike – it’s an aero bike. The larger, more exaggerated tube profiles on aero bikes mean their framesets tend to be heavier, but that’s the point.
On the flat, aerodynamics are far more important than weight so small weight sacrifice is more than worth it. Anyway, the point is the Foil isn’t heavy by the standards of aero bikes partly because the tube profiles aren’t anywhere near as extreme as other aero bikes on the market.
The premium model here, with Zipp 404s and Dura-Ace Di2, weighs in at 6.82kg - just 200g higher than the UCI weight limit. Given the pros will be riding tubs, not clinchers, the bikes Orica-GreenEDGE will roll on this season should dip even closer to the limit.