US based Scott are one of the biggest bike manufacturers in the world and, whether in the Tour de France with the GreenEDGE Team or on the Ironman stage supporting über-biker Marino Vanhoenacker, they’re always up in the mix for a podium spot. Stuart Hayes didn’t vie for the podium but his ability to ride fast helped to make the difference between a GB triumph or not.
As you’d expect from such a big brand, research and development has been thrown at the Foil’s aero frame. This includes significant time in the Drag2Zero’s wind tunnel at Mercedes F1, which gives it an aggressive look. It’s not pretty but you know it’ll be fast. A massive downtube joins tapered stays for the obligatory oversized bottom bracket, so power transfer should be good. We like the internal seatpost clamp.
Profiled carbon forks take care of slicing the air upfront, and the rolling stock is Zipp 404 clinchers. On the upside, paired with Continental GP tyres, they’re more robust than their tubular equivalent, the alloy braking track will deliver more reliable stopping and they’re a more versatile set.
On the downside they weigh in at 1,662g, costing you an additional 382g of rotating mass. The groupset’s largely composed of the older, but still excellent 2012 SRAM Red. The only deviation is a Dura-Ace 11-25t cassette, which represents no dropping in standards.
Our test bike incorporated a climbing friendly 50/34t compact chainset, though on retail models it’s replaced by a standard 53/39t (the RRP remains the same). Finishing kit is high-end Ritchey carbon, and a Fizik Arione CX tops off an impressively light 6.74kg build.
The geometry is unashamedly racy and, right from the moment you throw your leg over the top tube, the Foil goads you to ride fast. Fortunately it has the muscle to back this up and the super-stiff frame is more than a match for the burliest sprinter.
There’s no flex when kicking hard and with a big gear dig it gives a neck-snapping lunge. On flats and slight downhills, its aero characteristics kick in. The 404s roll outstandingly well and, being deep-section wheels, aren’t a handful even in big sidewinds.
The whole aerodynamic package really makes you, the rider, feel like the weak link letting the whole system down. This gets you hunkering down on the drops, making yourself as small as possible and squeezing out every last drop of speed. Amazingly, considering the ride position and stiffness, long rides aren’t a back-breaking pain and it soaks up road buzz brilliantly.
The handling on descents and through bends is exhilarating, precise and, carrying speed through bends and then accelerating out, is joyfully rewarding. Braking on alloy rims is always more predictable than carbon and means you can leave scrubbing speed just a bit later. However, if you over-egg things a little, the Foil is incredibly responsive to corrections even once committed to a turn.
Heading uphill, the Foil doesn’t disappoint, but the heavier clincher wheels do mean it lacks a little, well, zip. It’s not at all draggy and, for tapping out steady climbing tempo, the difference is barely discernible. It’s just when you try to jump on a steep section that a willing spring is missing.
Contact : www.scott-sports.com