Scott’s entry level Foil looks identical to its more expensive siblings, with internal cabling and carbon dropouts, but the frame has HMF carbon rather than the lighter, stiffer and more costly HMX used on the Foil 10 upwards.
- Highs: Willing performance and decent ride quality with no aero drawbacks
- Lows: Sluggish wheelset truncates performance
- Buy if: You want a cutting edge, sharp handling, power hungry frame
The tube shaping is the same as on the bikes that Orica GreenEdge pro Matt Goss propels to sprint finishes and teammate Cameron Meyer uses to conquer the high mountains; intending it to be aero efficient, Scott haven’t made the Foil so extreme as to only suit big, strong rouleurs – it’s an all-rounder whose drag-cheating truncated foil design is a bonus.
Our 56cm machine is relatively heavy, the little extra mass of the frame, groupset, wheels and finishing kit not being collectively kind on the scales. The Shimano R500 wheels aren’t the most sprightly and don’t do the Foil justice, though its efficiency and superior feel mean it gains and holds onto speed better than some with the same wheelset. The Continental tyres feel fairly light, too, and give fantastic cornering grip.
Some find the Foil a hard ride, but while it is definitely firm it’s no worse than plenty of race bikes out there. It’s very composed over sustained rough sections, not skipping and rattling across them, and always maintains perfect steering control.
The triangular aero Ritchey Pro carbon seatpost is more forgiving than it looks, and the Syncros RP2.5 saddle is a good shape and very comfortable. Scott’s in-house brand Syncros also provide the aluminium bar and stem, which are well shaped, well finished and quite rigid enough.
Shimano 105 is fitted throughout and is functionally excellent. The compact chainset makes sense at this level – the 34x28 lowest gear should cope with anything – although it’s frustrating to see a BB30 shell adapted for a less stiff 24mm axle, increasing weight over a BB30 unit.
Scott Foil 40
On the flat or downhill the Scott is quick, with great balance and poise making it fun through the twisty stuff, and the frame’s stiffness gives outstanding drive out of tight corners. It’s a keen climber too, but those wheels soon sap your strength and speed, confirmed by fitting a lighter wheelset. This unlocked the Scott’s true abilities, increasing performance by a considerable margin.
We enjoyed riding the Foil 40. It has very accessible performance, offering something for everyone on all types of terrain, from plains to bergs or mountains, with unflappable handling and a decent spec, but, as is so often the case, it needs some better hoops.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.