Scott Foil 20 Bike Review

Scott Foil 20 Bike Review – So its been probably about 7 years since i wrote a review on a bicycle… back then it was the days of external cables, 9/10speed and a titanium bike I was riding. Namely a Litespeed Icon.. which unfortunately hasn’t been produced anymore.. I have ridden god knows how many bikes in my life, some felt like you just belonged on it and was beautiful to ride like the Colnago C40 or the Cannondale system six, and well others.. lets just say a wet noodle was stiffer than some of the older carbon models. Here you get an insight to both an ex riders review and that of a mechanic as well..

scott foil 20 review

2016 Scott Foil

Scott Foil 20 Bike Review – I have been riding the scott foil since the beginning of June, replacing the Lapierre Aircode that a customer decided to take off my hands.

The Foil was redesigned for 2016, Scott’s claim is that it would  be more aerodynamic and more comfortable than their older model, while still retaining incredible lateral stiffness. Although the Scott Foil 20 is well below team-issue bike ridden by Orica-Greenedge and IAM Cycling the Geometry is the same. The new Scott Foil frame weighs in at 945g in a medium with a 360g aero carbon fork, this puts it in a league of its own amongst aero road bikes.

Scott Foil 20 Bike Review – One thing that stood out for me, was the price and simplicity of the build. First of all, most if not every Aero bike on the market costs an arm and a leg, and to be honest most entry level riders can’t justify the price tag versus benefit of an aero frame. When we decided to go for an aero model at Sportson, the foil fell right into my lap.. Low priced aero frame, high modulus tubing, easy access to cables (ease of travel) and a full complete ultegra build for under 35 000:-

scott-foil-20

Built with Shimano Ultegra 6800 11 speed, and dual pivot brakes. Shifting i couldn’t really complain about and as i have said to many customers.. I still believe the 11 speed Shimano groupsets are by far the best groupset released from them. Excluding the messy front derailleur, but thats a whole different story.

The dual pivot brakes worked faultless, easy to adjust, less of a need to constantly recenter the caliper and overall a quite big increase in power from the single pivot model. I was much impressed with the new rear brake from shimano after spending countless hours fixing the old tektro dual pivot brakes. Which in all honestly is completely rubbish.

Now the question we get the most is why mount the rear brake under the frame? Mounting a brake in the traditional position can require more material in that area to support the weight of and force from the brake. More material leads to a stiffer frame which reduces comfort. Reducing the amount of material in the area allows greater flex from the frame and, therefore, a smoother ride.

Scott Foil 20 Bike Review – The scott foil runs the cables external down into the down tube, which in a mechanics view.. is like christmas has come early. Easy to adjust and replace cable outer and makes both travelling and bikefitting a very simple task. The one thing that didn’t make me so happy was the over sized fork steerer which mean’t the long 130mm stem i had planned to put on wouldn’t fit. So i ended up running the bike a few cm on the short side.. which isnt a bad thing for this old fella.

Syncros Handlebar
The syncros handlebar had an inwards turn, actually nothing i have seen or used in the 20years of riding bikes, but after a few months riding it, i can see why it wasn’t such a bad idea. Shortening the reach to the hoods, yet giving you some more clearance when your hands are closer to the stem. It grew on me pretty quickly after dialing in the fit a little better to adjust for the inward sweeping bars. Now lets get into the black and white bar tape…. the person whom pushed for this, should be shot.. end of story. It took away too much from the beautiful frame and the eyes would be drawn to this split colour of the handlebar tape. But it seems in 2016 a lot of bike companies are starting to follow this trend.

Geometry wise the foil i didnt think was reasonably aggressive, the size 54cm I was running had a headtube height of 150m and a toptube length of 55cm. The headtube height seemed to work well with the sweeping sycros handlebars, allowing the back to rotate when sitting on the hoods.

First ride 

My first ride out the door, my eyes lit up. I havent ridden a bike that felt so direct in a long time. The last 3 bikes i rode was a Kuota KOM, Fondriest TF2 (super record) and a Lapierre Aircode. It blew all three of these bikes out of the water in a space of 3 minutes and as you can see I am more of a niche branded kinda guy. But maybe this bike has changed my mind..

The Bike felt solid, it felt direct and snappy.. Comfortable? well after a few months of riding it, i can’t honestly say its more comfortable as the older foil model but it was a while ago since i rode one, but more direct and responsive.. for sure.

Scott Foil 20 Bike Review – The Scott Foil was a pleasure to ride, i don’t have that motivation to ride a bike much anymore…i’ve suffered way too much on a bike over the years, but i can honestly say the foil brought back some enthusiasm in me, and I constantly wanted to push the pedals harder and harder..unfortunately for this old guy the lungs couldn’t keep up and the lack of gearing was a disappointment, a 52/36T and a 11-28t but i can understand why scott did this, and its much more suited to the “weekend warrior”.

Seat tube

scott-foil-20-1-2016“Scott claims that reducing the distance between the seat tube and seat stays reduces the amount of turbulence near the rear wheel”

I cant really comment much on that quote from Scott but the seatstays being noticeably thinner helps with compliance and giving a slight more comfortable ride, similar to what the Cr1 design was about many years ago. This helped the bike to “stick” better into the corners, allowing some movement to soak up the vibrations in the road coming in and out of the corners on the rough tarmac. It didn’t match the fondriest in terms of descending and handling at high speed, but again i didn’t have a chance to take it down any mountain passes, just the little bergs here in Sundsvall.
The syncros wheels, were nothing special.. To this day i haven’t needed to straighten them, the spokes have held tension well and no issues with the body or hub. So overall a pretty solid wheelset for everyday riding, but you cant expect much more on a bike of this value.

Overall

Scott Foil 20 Bike Review – Overall I am extremely pleased with the Scott Foil 20, a reasonably well priced aero bike. Without too much intergration in the front end. Comfortable yet wanting and willing to push the boundary of your own fitness, when you want to open up the throttle.. But please Scott fix that split coloured bar tape!