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