The Foil hap­pily flings it­self around cor­ners more like a racer than an aero bike

Cyclist - - Bikes -

bikes ex­hibit due to nat­tily en­gi­neered flaps, in­ter­nal ca­ble rout­ing and cav­ernous, echo­ing tubes.

The key thing, how­ever, is the com­fort fac­tor. Com­fort stems from com­pli­ance, com­pli­ance equals smooth­ness, and smooth­ness means good sur­face track­ing and grip. Here, Scott has got it spot on. The Foil feels taut and stiff with­out feel­ing over­built or awk­ward. It hap­pily flings it­self around cor­ners and down twist­ing de­scents, again more like an all-round racer than a highly strung aero bike, and it pro­vides a stead­fast pedalling plat­form with se­ri­ous punch tem­pered by de­cent feed­back.

The Foil isn’t with­out its nig­gles, how­ever – one of which is that un­der-stay rear brake. Un­like some bikes with brakes in this po­si­tion, I didn’t de­tect rear brake rub un­der big ef­forts, but the lever feel was spongy com­pared to the ex­cel­lent di­rect-mount front brake. No amount of fet­tling could change this, and ad­just­ments were awk­ward to carry out. The big prob­lem is lack of lever­age. The crank needs to clear the cal­liper, mean­ing the

In­te­grated bar and stem com­bos are all the rage these days on aero bikes, and with good rea­son – the front end ac­counts for around 40% of a (rid­er­less) bike’s over­all drag, so shap­ing the bars and stem to slice wind is an easy win for engi­neers. Here, that en­sem­ble is T-shaped, and while stack height can be ad­justed, bar an­gle can­not – a com­mon draw­back with such set-ups. Scott of­fers a va­ri­ety of size and an­gle com­bi­na­tions that can be swapped at source, how­ever if you de­vi­ate from the stock steerer length and spacer ar­range­ment, it takes some care­ful mea­sur­ing and saw­ing or a visit to a Scott dealer to get the head­set cor­rectly pre­loaded and the top cap flush. As it was, Cy­clist found the bars com­fort­able enough for de­sired hand po­si­tions, al­though we would have liked to have slammed that stem (not an op­tion for a test bike).

REAR END Scott has repo­si­tioned the rear brake un­der the chain­stays, al­low­ing it to lose the brake bridge and lower the height at which the seat­stays and seat tube in­ter­sect. Scott reck­ons this helps make the Foil 86% more com­pli­ant than be­fore. Good news for der­rières.

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