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Scott Foil 10 review

12 Apr 2021
Verdict:

A successful facelift has brought the Scott Foil Disc up to date

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£5,399
For 
Stiffness • Comfort • Speed
Against 
Weight • Design not advanced beyond competition

Scott’s first Foil Disc, released in 2017, was arguably the blueprint for what we now judge to be a modern aero race bike. The platform moved exclusively to disc brakes long before most of its main competitors, and Scott also broke with the aero mantra of ‘speed at all costs’ by making virtues of practicality and comfort.

This latest Scott Foil Disc was released in 2020, three years and a full developmental cycle after its predecessor, but it takes a second glance to realise this isn’t the same bike. Scott’s response is that it got the Foil Disc so right the first time that Foil Disc #2 required only minor refinements. After a few weeks riding around my local roads on it, I’m inclined to agree.

It’s the inside that counts

The main changes are all at the front of the bike. Essentially the brake hoses and gear cables that were exposed between the bars and the frame have now been hidden beneath the surface. This may look like a fairly minor update on paper, but this feat has required some major technical redevelopment.

The Foil’s head tube hasn’t really changed despite having extra gubbins extending through it. To achieve this an entirely new fork and cockpit were required. It was a development first made on Scott’s recent overhaul of its Addict RC and that process helped inform the Foil’s updates.

 

The new model uses the same Creston iC SL cockpit as the Addict, a component manufactured by Scott’s in-house components brand, Syncros, but pairs it with a slimmed-down one-inch fork steerer.

With the narrow steerer threading through a comparatively hefty 1.5in upper bearing, there is space for the cables that run from inside the cockpit to enter the frame through the bearing too. Therefore they can be entirely hidden and the front of the new Foil can present an appreciably clean profile to the wind as well as to the eye of its rider.

Buy the Scott Foil 10 now from Rutland Cycling

I’d be lying if I said the effect of the update was tangible out on the road – even substantial aerodynamic improvements tend to create only subtle differences in ride speed and even then only in certain circumstances – but nonetheless the change is undeniably positive.

Why? Because the new Foil still feels like the old Foil. There’s always a worry that developments undertaken for the sake of improving aerodynamics will harm the ride quality, but in this case the tweaks to the front end have had no perceptible detrimental consequences whatsoever.

 

The Foil still feels as if it’s slicing through the air like a knife, just as it has always done, but now it’s as clean in design as anything else on the market right now.

I’d say the changes have paid off in comfort terms as well. I found the new Creston iC SL cockpit to provide a pleasing balance of torsional stiffness and vertical damping, feeling solid when I was hauling the bars in sprints but also seeming to filter out road buzz under more normal riding conditions.

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Apparently this is enabled by the Creston’s unusual swooping tops, whose transition to the stem follows a gentle curve, which Scott says allows the carbon to work best from a strength and stiffness point of view.

Buy the Scott Foil 10 now from Rutland Cycling

It’s a similarly forgiving story at the rear of the bike. Scott says the seatstays are responsible for the surprisingly plush ride. While they are indeed thin, I’d set just as much store by the compact frame geometry (such a pronounced slope to the top tube is rare on an aero bike) for creating lots of exposed seatpost to flex.

 

Down at the other end, the Foil’s seat tube flares out to join the bottom bracket junction like a tree trunk. Scott even chose the PF86 bottom bracket system specifically to maximise the width on offer in this area. As a result the foundation of the bike is incredibly stiff.

No amount of effort on my part could persuade that rock-solid bottom bracket junction to flex, which meant it felt as if all my energy was translated into forward motion, backing up the bike’s feeling of efficiency at high speed.

In a sensible countermove, though, Scott has specced 28mm tyres. They definitely help temper this lateral stiffness by adding grip and helping to inspire confidence through corners. They may come at the expense of a few extra grams, but the wider tyres are a good move for the Foil’s overall rideability.

Buy the Scott Foil 10 now from Rutland Cycling

If I have any criticism of the new bike, it would be that all these latest updates have only moved the platform on by small steps. It would have been great to see Scott take a bolder approach, like it did with that first Foil Disc, and breathe some much-needed new life into the aero road bike sector.

Maybe that will come with the next Foil. Until then, this latest version is still wicked fun to ride.

Pick of the kit


Assos Mille GT bibtights, £165, assos.com

The simplicity of Assos’s Mille GT tights belies their technical proficiency. The large main panels are made from the Swiss brand’s RX Heavy brushed fleece and have very few seams. However they are pre-shaped in a clever way so they fit neatly when riding and don’t bunch or pull.

Assos has given the tights its DWR-like Eco treatment too, meaning that although they won’t block out downpours, wheel spray and light rain simply beads and rolls off the fabric’s surface. I’ve found them to be ideal for most riding conditions in the British winter.

Buy the Assos Mille GT bibtights now from Wiggle

Alternatively…


Top gun

The Foil 10 is a little portly at 8kg, so for £8,899 you can drop 600g by upgrading to the Foil Pro. The extra cash buys Scott’s more advanced HMX carbon frame as well as a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset.

Buy the Scott Foil Pro now from Rutland Cycling


Foil Lite

At £6,249 the Addict RC 10 is lighter than the Foil 10 for similar money. It trades a bit of speed for more comfort and swaps the Creston iC SL cockpit for a two-piece solution for more adjustability.

Buy the Scott Addict RC 10 now from Rutland Cycling

Spec

Frame Scott Foil 10
Groupset  Sram Force eTap AXS
Brakes Sram Force eTap AXS
Chainset Sram Force eTap AXS
Cassette Sram Force eTap AXS
Bars Syncros Creston iC SL cockpit
Stem Syncros Creston iC SL cockpit
Seatpost Syncros Duncan 1.0 Aero
Saddle Syncros Belcarra V-Concept 2.0
Wheels Syncros Capital 1.0 50, Schwalbe One 28mm tyres
Weight 8.0kg (size large)
Contact scott-sports.com

All reviews are fully independent and no payments have been made by companies featured in reviews

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