Scott Foil 20 Disc review$3,599.00

Is Scott’s softer, fatter Foil still fast?

BikeRadar score4/5

Scott was one of the first to adopt large volume, hacked tail aero tubes, and the FO1 principle that gives the Foil its name is still in evidence here.

The designers have gone deep with aero and disc integration, starting with the thru-axle fork tips, which include a short tail tab on the driveside but a bigger fin sitting mostly below the caliper on the brake side.

The head tube has cutouts top and bottom to sync with the extended tail stem and fork crown. There’s enough room for oversized 1.25in top and 1.5in bottom fork bearings, which helps increase front end stiffness by 13 percent compared to the previous Foil.

The carbon aero seatpost matches the F01 tube shapes, and the minimalist saddle is a lot more comfortable than it looks

The flat-backed boat-shaped down tube takes the concept of chopped teardrop aerodynamics to the extreme. The chainstays that extend from the bottom bracket box are equally huge, making what’s still a large asymmetric seat tube look relatively small. It does shrink down to more conventional dimensions above the fastback seat tubes, which meet the stays at the back instead of the side of the tube, and the D-shaped seatpost is relatively demure. Seatstays are comparatively skinny, with a very narrow stance that only just clears the tyres.

Downsizing diameters and changes in the composite layup mean Scott claims a vast 86 percent increase in vertical compliance, essentially comfort. Both wheels use 12mm thru-axles with removable levers and shaped internal dropout shoulders for easy wheel installation. There’s even an optional direct-mount Shimano rear derailleur mount for faster wheel removal.

Scott sub-brand Syncros provides the compact bar and stem
Scott sub-brand Syncros provides the compact bar and stem

Scott Foil 20 Disc kit

The Foil 20 is Ultegra-equipped and gets a full set of Shimano’s latest disc groupset including the chain, wider-range-than-average 11-30 cassette and radical RT800 rotors designed to improve cooling and prevent ‘chop’ injuries in crashes.

Otherwise kit is all from Scott sub-brand, Syncros. That includes an aero profiled, extended stem that’s oversized to match the fork top and syncs with the top tube cutout.

The carbon aero seatpost matches the F01 tube shapes, and the minimalist saddle is a lot more comfortable than it looks. The DT-based, shallow aero Syncros wheels complete a very coherent package that connects to the ground with high-volume Continental tyres that are listed as 28mm but actually measure over 30mm, even at 80psi.

The combination of fat tyres and frame sucks up road buzz in a distinctively damped way
The combination of fat tyres and frame sucks up road buzz in a distinctively damped way

Scott Foil 20 Disc ride impressions

While fatter tyres potentially add aero drag, they’re a shrewd move for a bike that’s previously had a reputation for a punishing, take no prisoners ride. Add the increase in compliance and the Foil feels more welcoming and smooth than it ever has before.

It’s still no softie and you’ll want to avoid big lumps, but the combination of fat tyres and frame sucks up road buzz in a distinctively damped way.

The F01 aerodynamics are assured and predictable at all speeds and wind angles. The whole bike delivers a calmness that could be mistaken for being slow, until the road or pace rises and you put the power down. At that point the bike wakes up and those big tubes conduct every watt from the bar through the bottom bracket and down the chainstays to the back wheel, and you’re travelling through the landscape a lot quicker.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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