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First look review: Scott launches new disc-equipped Foil

30 Aug 2017
Verdict:

The Swiss brand adds disc brakes to its aero race machine

Price: 
$11,999, UK pricing tbc
For 
Disc brakes with only 40g weight penalty
Against 
Expensive compared to its competitors

Scott has been a huge proponent of disc brakes on road bikes for a while now so its latest move – to redesign its popular Foil frame to accommodate disc brakes – is a clear statement that the Swiss brand only sees the future of road bike braking going one way.

Scott’s head of design for the Foil Disc project, Benoit Grelier, explains that now the Foil is the complete race bike, adding control to the aerodynamics, stiffness and comfort attributes already achieved by the rim-brake Foil.

It was not a simple case of bolting on different brakes to the same frame, however. Scott saw the change to disc brakes as an opportunity for a thorough redesign, so there are some marked differences both visibly and under the surface.

‘Disc-brake bikes suffer a 3-watt aerodynamic disadvantage on average compared to rim-brake bikes,’ says Grelier. ‘So we made incremental changes to the new Foil Disc frame to claw this back.’

The fork is markedly different compared to previous generations of the Foil. Disc-side the fork profile bulges to shield the disc brake from the wind, and Scott exploits the UCI’s decision to relax the 3:1 ratio rule by building in fairings around the thru-axles.

A removable skewer lever further improves aerodynamics, as does the allowance for wider tyres – the new Foil can take up to 30mm wide tyres.

The front triangle of the Foil is much the same as the rim-brake design but the shaping of the rear triangle has been changed – partially with respect to aerodynamics but mostly to cope with the asymmetric braking force of discs. The non-drive side chainstay is beefier and both have been lengthened to 410mm to preserve the drivetrain’s chainline.

Comfort is taken care of via Scott’s tried-and-true (the Foil remains the only aero bike to win Paris-Roubaix after all) ‘Comfort Zone’ construction – the seatstays are slender and dropped and the seat tube is flat-backed, in an attempt to encourage some vertical flex over rough ground.

Despite all the changes to account for the discs, the HMX Foil frameset (Scott’s premium tier design) only gains 40g over its rim-brake counterpart to ensure that Grelier’s impressive statement that ‘all Scott frames weigh under 1kg’ remains true.

We look forward to spending some time aboard the frameset in a proper review because the new Foil Disc seems an exciting prospect. 

Yet perhaps Scott has made the frame a little too good – Grelier mentioned that pro team Orica-Scott’s Addict frames were gathering dust because the riders use the Foil in almost every race situation.

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