The Scott Foil gives a good balance of speed and comfort
The Scott Foil is the Swiss brand’s aero machine and in the last couple of years has been ridden to victories in Paris-Roubaix, the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia.
Top of the line is the Premium, decked out with Zipp 303 Firecrest wheels and Dura-Ace Di2, but the Scott Foil RC runs it a close second, with just swa- outs for Zipp 30 Course alloy wheels and mechanical Dura-Ace.
There are three other Foils in Scott’s range, equipped with Ultegra Di2, mechanical Ultegra and 105. You get the same frame and prices down to £2,500.
Scott says it’s worked to add comfort to the latest iteration of the Foil’s frame. To this end bike has skinny, lowered seatstays and a sloping top tube, which Scott says has improved vertical compliance in the seat tube by 86 per cent compared to its predecessor. Scott says it’s also added more compliance to the fork.
The Foil’s tube profiles have truncated aerofoil sections. This is particularly noticeable on the down tube, but there are also pronounced aero sections to the seat tube and seatpost, the head tube and the fork. Scott has also built an integrated seatpost clamp into the skinny top tube. Both this and the headset are a bit fiddly to adjust, though.
Cables run internally, with the rear brake direct-mounted under the bottom bracket. Scott says that the Foil’s frame weighs under a kilo and the complete bike tips the scales at exactly 7kg in size M/54.
The RC in the Scott Foil RC’s name stands for Racing Concept and Scott has given this bike a top-drawer component set, starting with mechanical Shimano Dura-Ace R9100.
The semi-compact 52/36 chainset is combined with an 11-28 cassette and gives enough range for uphills as well as plenty of higher end gearing for the flat and descents. It’s useful, as the Foil feels noticeably lively and I found I was making full use of the top-end ratios.
Zipp says its 30 Course alloy wheels have a similar rim profile to its 202 Firecrest carbon clinchers. They are also tubeless ready with a wide 21mm internal rim. Although a step down from Zipp’s carbon models, the 30 Course wheels nevertheless roll well and match the Foil’s aero credentials without being temperamental in a crosswind and provide better wet-weather braking than carbon rims, too.
Tyres are Continental’s top GP4000 S II in 25mm width. These are Conti’s premium road tyres, although not tubeless ready, and on Zipp’s wide rims they spread to around 28mm, giving lots of air volume and adding to ride comfort.
Scott’s Syncros carbon integrated bar/stem doesn’t give you the adjustability of a separate bar and stem, but is nevertheless comfortable. The wide tops distribute hand pressure well, the bar’s shallow profile makes riding in the drops easy and Scott uses quality shock-absorbing tape. There’s a bespoke out-front Garmin mount available for a computer.
Scott specs a Syncros carbon saddle. It’s minimally padded, making it a bit firm for longer rides. I swapped it out for something a bit plusher.
Scott introduced the updated Foil in 2016 and worked hard to make it more comfortable than its predecessor. It has definitely achieved this, with the bike being just as comfortable as the best non-aero machines, as attested by Matthew Hayman’s Paris-Roubaix win on the bike in 2016.
Power transfer through the chunky bottom bracket and chainstays is excellent and the Foil’s aero benefits are also obvious. It feels rapid on the flat and stable when descending fast. This isn’t bought at the expense of crosswind stability, either.
It’s not a bike that leaves you feeling unduly stretched out, with a relatively short reach and long head tube, so it’s comfortable to ride in the drops even with the stem slammed. This allows you to adopt a lower frontal profile and take full advantage of the aero features.
But I did find that the rear brake was prone to rub. This is a drawback of bottom bracket mounting, leading some manufacturers to move away from this type of placement. Even in the dry in summer the pivots needed lubricating to keep the brake working well and it’s likely to be even more of an issue on damp roads, when it will catch muck from the front wheel.
At £5,799, the Scott Foil RC is a pricy machine. But it does come with a set of high-end components to match its racing palmarès. It also undercuts the £9,899 Scott Foil Premium by a significant margin.
Apart from the saddle, you’re unlikely to have to make any significant changes to get a race-ready machine, or a comfortable fast road bike.
The Scott Foil RC gives you the benefits of an aero bike with a top specification without sacrificing ride comfort. It’s enjoyable to ride fast and has the versatility to tackle a range of terrains with confidence.