Scott Foil Team Issue review

An aero road bike that's a class-leader in every aspect

This article originally appeared on BikeRadar

If you jumped on the new Foil without looking at it, you’d assume you were riding a high-class road bike, and the only sensory clues to its aero billing would be the feel of the integrated carbon aero bar and the bike’s unbridled speed.

  • Highs: Ride quality, speed, all-weather braking
  • Lows: Front end fit needs dealer assistance
  • Buy if: You want a true aero all-rounder that wants for nothing and has performance to spare

Path-breaking versatility

The original Foil was possibly the most versatile of the first wave of road aero bikes, finding success in a wide variety of disparate races. But it was an uncompromising ride, and with comfort increasingly seen as every bit as important as speed, this was an area that needed addressing.

Launched just before the 2015 Tour de France, the new Foil already has Grand Tour stage wins under its belt. This model is a complete rethinking of the platform, most obviously with its semi-compact sloping top tube, dropped short seatstays and beefy down tube.

This is key to the bike’s ride, handling and airflow, as its lower position melds with the fork crown to close the gap between tube and front wheel. It also creates a stout, smooth head tube and a large connection with the oversize bottom bracket shell.

Subtle aero styling

The aerodynamic shaping is mostly quite subtle, with Kamm tail profiles for the down tube, head tube, seat tube and seatpost, plus that one-piece bar. Custom spacers are available for the stem, but with none fitted, as here, the stem resides in a scalloped recess that is covered by fairings behind and below to smooth airflow.

The very short seatstays are slim and offer sectional Kamm tail profiles to the oncoming air, but the chainstays are all business – deep, rectangular and asymmetric, they keep that tight rear end brutally efficient.

Get it out on the road and the Foil’s compact dimensions help it to take off like a scalded cat, and it just keeps going from there. Once you’re up to speed, finding an aero tuck and maintaining speed feels the most natural thing in the world. The bar is surprisingly ergonomic and its depth makes it more useful than some similar options.

Long-ride comfort

Fitting a GPS is always tricky on an aero bar, but Scott offers an integrated out-front clamp that bolts to the underside of the bar. The Prologo Zero II TR saddle has more nose padding than the version fitted to the Argon 18's Nitrogen, which we think makes a world of difference, really improving long-ride comfort.

Helping the Foil spin up to speed are Zipp’s 60 clinchers – the renamed version of its pre-Firecrest profile 404 wheelset. They have a toroidal structural carbon fairing and alloy rim bed and braking track, which adds a few grams but isn’t a hindrance given the all-round performance benefit.

Despite the deep rims – and not Zipp’s most modern Firecrest shape either – they’re still great to ride and reassuringly stable at 24mm wide. Best of all they stop effectively in all conditions, and having 25mm Continentals is the icing on a very nourishing cake, allowing the bike to flow through bends like a four-man bobsleigh.

As good as Dura-Ace Di2 is, I’d plump for the mechanical version, which adds physical satisfaction to shifting perfection. Scott seems to agree, with this race-ready 53/39 chainring setup. Direct-mount brake calipers offer additional power and great feel, and if we had to choose one are bike for every-ride, everyday use, there’s no contest.

Full Specifications

Name: Foil Team Issue (16)
Built by: Scott
Price: £5,999.00 / US$8,000.00 / AU$9,200.00
Available Sizes: XXS XS S M L XL XXL
Bottom Bracket: BB92 Pressfit with adaptor
Brakes: Dura-Ace dual-pivot front, Dura-Ace direct-mount rear
Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace 11-28t
Chain: Shimano
Cranks: Shimano Dura-Ace 172.5mm, 53/39t
Fork: Foil HMX1 Carbon
Fork Offset: 4.5
Frame Material: Foil HMXIMP, F01 Aero carbon
Front Tyre: Continental Grand Prix 4000s 700x25
Front Wheel Weight: 1200
Handlebar: Syncros Foil integrated 410mm
Head Angle: 71.5
Headset Type: Syncros integrated
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace
Rear Tyre: Continental Grand Prix 4000s 700x25
Rear Wheel Weight: 1580
Saddle: Prologo Zero II TR
Seat Angle: 74
Seatpost: Syncros Foil aero Carbon
Shifters: Shimano Dura-Ace
Stem: Syncros Foil integrated 115mm
Trail: 6.6
Weight (kg): 7.28
Wheelset: Zipp 60 clincher
Bottom Bracket Height (cm): 28
Chainstays (cm): 40
Seat Tube (cm): 47
Standover Height (cm): 79
Top Tube (cm): 47
Wheelbase (cm): 98
Frame size tested: M 

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