Heading to ScottWeek, I was most anxious to ride the new Foil and my first ride was aboard the top-shelf Premium model. This no-compromise aero road bike was spec’d to the hilt, but does come at a premium price — of course.
2016 Scott Foil Premium Features:
- HMX SL carbon fiber frameset
- Entirely new design for improved comfort and aerodynamics
- Single-entry cable port for all internal cables
- Undermounted rear brake for added comfort
- Zipp 404 Firecrest clincher wheelset
- Shimano Dura-ace Di2 groupset
- Integrated Syncros RR1.0 Aero cockpit
- Weight: 945 grams (frame) and 335 grams (fork)
- Price: $11,999 USD
All-new, aggressive aero road bike from Scott
As one of the first to introduce an “aero road bike”, Scott had a headstart in building a bike that was tour-capable but still slippery in the wind. I personally rode the Foil 40 for the better part of two seasons and found it to be a great all-rounder, but, as expected, a bit harsh on long rides. The 2016 Scott Foil aims to change that by implementing a completely new design that’s not only slippery in the wind, but also comfortable on long rides.
With the top-shelf Foil Premium ($11,999 USD) at my disposal, I wet out for some quick laps around Deer Valley and it didn’t take me long to notice the improvements in ride quality. I’ll dive in a little more. As mentioned, the previous Foil was stiff and fast, but most certainly harsh. The new Foil is no comfort bike, but does exhibit a ride quality not typical of aero road bikes. Thanks to the rear brake placement, the seat stays are free to perform chatter-reduction duty without the need of being overly stiff for braking purposes. It’s a design that others have employed — including Scott with the Solace (which is switching to disc only for 2016).
Yes, placing the brakes under the chainstay is cumbersome and awkward to maintain, but braking was powerful in my testing with the full Dura-Ace Di2 group employed here. I’ll say that the performance of Shimano’s Dura-Ace Di2 was superbly smooth and responsive. Electronic shifting is really nice to have, but I’m still fine with a fine-tuned mechanical groupset.
Premium Zipp wheelset and top-shelf Di2 group
The deep Zipp 404 Firecrest wheelset is extra smooth on the road. It’s almost as if you can feel the wheels propelling you forward at speed. Even on extended climbs, the 404’s were quick and responsive. I did experience some gnarly crosswinds on a few descents which quickly reminded me that I’m not a professional and am typically well-served by a shallower wheelset, like the Zipp 202 Firecrest. Since this is the Premium build, I’d expect nothing less than the 404’s and Shimano Dura-Ace Di2.
Another great aspect of the new Foil is the fully-integrated Syncros RR1.0 bar/stem combo. This does demand an aggressive riding position, but that’s exactly what this bike is meant for. I loved the feel of the bars and especially the wide tops. With such an integrated design, bike fitting will be critical with the proper amount of aero spacers installed prior to cutting the steerer.
All cable routing is neat and tidy and the overall look of this bike is nothing short of superb.
What surprised me most about this bike was its ability to climb. I wasn’t feeling well on this particular day (had a bit of a lingering head cold), yet I was able to nab a climbing PR by a significant margin on this bike. It does feel fast, and exhibits a very refined ride quality that’s a great mix of comfort and road feel.
The Foil handles and responds well, but keep in mind that this bike is meant for the fastest of the fast. As such, the 404’s may be overkill if you are constantly riding in crosswinds and don’t have bike handling skills of a pro (I guess that’s me).
Again, this is a quick ride review, not a long termer, but I think I’ve captured the soul of this bike. If you are an aggressive rider who ekes out every watt, this is just your bike.
- Feels slippery and fast
- Dura-Ace Di2 was responsive and smooth
- Zipp 404’s are killer on undulating terrain at speed
- Wider rubber by default — 25mm are standard
- Very light for an aero road bike
- Syncros cockpit is very comfortable with wide tops
- Climbs with efficiency — it’s a great climber
- Crosswinds will have their way with you — particularly on windy mountain descents
- Slipping seatpost clamp (a little carbon paste does wonders)
- Only the most elite of riders will get the most out of this bike
The Bottom Line: 2016 Scott Foil Premium
It’s definitely got a premium price tag, but this is a no-holds-barred initiative, so that comes with the program. Compared to the old Foil, the overall ride quality is much smoother and the bike just feels fast. Only the most elite of riders will be able to get the most out of this bike, but everyone will appreciate the measurable performance gains it provides.
More Info: Visit Scott-Sports.com