The em­pha­sis on smooth­ness hasn’t dulled the Foil’s rapid edge. This is one fast bike

Cyclist - - Bikes -

Remy pointed me to­wards Tour’s re­cent wind-tun­nel test, which pit­ted the Foil along­side the lat­est aero road bikes from Trek, Felt, Cervélo, Canyon, BMC, Spe­cial­ized, Gi­ant, Look, Rose, BH, Merida, Fuji, Storck and Ri­d­ley. The Foil came sev­enth, sep­a­rated by 7 watts of drag from the first-placed Trek Madone 9.9 and Spe­cial­ized Venge VIAS. This rep­re­sents a 3% dif­fer­ence be­tween the bikes, but over­looks two cru­cial fac­tors – weight and ride feel.

Win­dows to the soul

If there were such a thing as a blind test for a bike (be­lieve me, Cy­clist is work­ing around the clock to re­alise this dream, but so far, so many ac­ci­dents), I’d say if I could ride this bike blind­folded I wouldn’t be able to tell it apart from a nor­mal road bike, save for the added speed.

This Team Is­sue bike weighs just 7.26kg for a size large, nearly half a kilo lighter than an S-works VIAS at its claimed 7.7kg. Ad­mit­tedly that’s 426g heav­ier than a Madone 9.9, but in con­text the 9.9 is Trek’s flag­ship model, and the com­pa­ra­ble top-of-the-tree Foil Pre­mium matches it at a claimed 6.8kg – the pri­mary dif­fer­ence be­tween those bikes be­ing the Zipp 404 wheels on the Pre­mium and the Zipp 60s on the Team Is­sue. That’s in­cred­i­bly good go­ing for an aero bike, and it’s part of what gives the Foil its lithe road bike feel. No part of it feels chunky or clumsy, and there is ex­cel­lent weight dis­tri­bu­tion be­tween the front and rear, cou­pled with a light-feel­ing top half that swings al­most ef­fort­lessly from side to side when sprint­ing and climb­ing.

Another fac­tor, which might sound a bit silly but can be very an­noy­ing when it’s not right, is the sound. The Zipp 60s pro­duce a sat­is­fy­ing whoompf when sprint­ing, but oth­er­wise the Foil is a quiet ride, not be­set with the clunks, rat­tles and pings many aero

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