Scott Foil 10 £5999

Aero super bike

BikeRadar score 4/5

Scott’s Foil frame was one of our favourite bikes of last year, delivering excellent handling and all-angle aero benefits while still keeping stiff power delivery and lightweight responsiveness. This year it gets kitted out from Scott’s newly acquired Syncros component range – so how does this affect the overall package? 

Ride & handling: Excellent aerodynamics but sweet handling

While poseurs might be disappointed, the performance isn’t altered much. The rear wheel is 40g heavier than the 404 but even testers couldn’t notice that and the overall feel is still buoyant and responsive. They are fractionally more gusty and tramline prone than last year’s wheels but the difference is minimal. 

The Foil is still excellent at descending, with a very calm and composed feel on straight-line drops or corkscrew descents. The fact that it’s so good at descending, despite a short wheelbase and steep angles that would normally make it nervous, supports the stability enhancing claims for the cutting-edge aerodynamics. 

What makes the new Foil 10 worth buying is the new SRAM Red. The front shift has been transformed by the new Yaw derailleur movement. Rear shifts are crisper and more punchy and the chainset is stiffer. The new groupset certainly gained SRAM a few fans during the test. 

This all works superbly with the power delivery from the frame and low overall bike weight to make it a proper dragster that feels super-positive from the shifters right through to the soles of your feet. 

The aerodynamics help to carry its speed further up the scale and sustain it for longer but, because of the weight advantage, it actually gets to those speeds quicker. Little touches like being able to push against the grippy logo finish on the Syncros saddle all make a minimal-gains difference when it comes to nudging the speed of the Scott higher than normal.

The aero gains don’t come at the expense of increased weight either and, at under 6.8kg (15lb) the Foil 10 is more than happy to take the fight to the hills. The increased crankset stiffness is particularly clear when you’re kicking hard towards a summit and completes the true all-round superbike performance that the Scott brings to every situation. 

The slight trade in comfort to get the precise, punchy feel isn’t anywhere near as harsh as rides from other aero super bikes, so you get to enjoy the performance all day long.

Scott’s Foil rolled into the test as one of our benchmark bikes and its combination of aerodynamic gain, super surefooted handling and effortless climbing means its still an outstanding all rounder. SRAM’s new Red groupset adds even more punch and precision to this year’s bike and the Syncros wheels are decent enough.

New front mech and chainset mean SRAM’s new Red is far sharper at shifting power

Frame & equipment: Zipp kit replaced with SRAM Red as a highlight

An ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ attitude – plus the fact that Scott rightly want to recoup their investment of the multi-year F01 (as it was originally called) development process, means the frame and fork of the Foil are unchanged for 2013. 

That means a full carbon tapered top fork and comfortably sub-kilo frame based around chopped teardrop tail aerodynamics. By creating a virtual tail using the naturally occurring vortices behind the flat rear edge, it creates a much deeper effective teardrop shape than the 3:1 ratio the UCI legally allow for road race use. 

Because the tail shifts its shape and angle depending on the direction of airflow, it also reduces drag in a much wider range of wind angles. It also avoids deep shapes that get shoved about by side-winds or create stubborn steering and it lets Scott use big fat frame tubes for maximum stiffness at minimum weight. 

Internal cable routing tucked neatly into the shoulders of the big boat-shaped down tube and a flush fit clamping wedge for the aero Ritchey seatpost minimise detail drag too. The Foil 10 also gets Scott’s premium quality HMX Net fibre mix rather than the HMF Net fibre of cheaper Foils, which saves a few grams but obviously impacts cost.

The asking price of £6,000 is certainly a serious amount to pay for a bike, but at least that gets you an almost complete collection of SRAM’s new tighter feeling and cleaner shifting Red groupset. The only exception is the substitution of a Shimano Dura-Ace chain and rear cassette for ultra-quiet running and increased durability at the expense of a few grams gained compared to the hollow Red cog set.

While the Foil 10 price is a full £500 lower than last year’s Red equipped Foil Team, that does come at the expense of a pair of Zipp 404 wheels and Ritchey finishing kit. 

Instead, you’re getting similar depth and almost identical weight carbon/alloy DT Swiss hubbed wheels from Syncros. The saddle is also from Syncros replacing the carbon-railed Fizik of last year. You still get a lightweight Ritchey carbon cockpit.

This article was originally published in Triathlon Plus magazine, available on Zinio.

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