Scott Foil 10 review – Road Bikes – Bikes

Updated for 2021 with fully hidden cables, the 8.075kg Scott Foil 10 looks to balance aerodynamics with weight to create a fast, all-round road bike suitable for all terrain.

Aside from the integration of the cables and hydraulic disc brakes, this appears much the same bike as Mat Hayman famously rode to victory in Paris-Roubaix in 2016, so is there enough here to justify the £5K outlay?

Scott Foil 10 frameset

Scott Foil 10

When Scott released the second-generation Foil in 2015, it looked to tilt the balance more toward comfort without compromising efficiency. It’s this redesign that still forms the heart of the latest Foil, with changes to the frameset made purely to accommodate the addition of hydraulic disc brakes and internal cable routing. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?

In many ways, yes, this is still a bike that performs admirably on a variety of terrain. Those looking for the latest, most optimised aero race bike in the world might feel short-changed, but those wanting a comfortable all-rounder that doesn’t sacrifice efficiency will feel right at home.

Scott doesn’t claim the Foil is the fastest bike in the world, instead its says that it’s sculpted to minimise aerodynamic drag without adding weight. That chimes with the Foil’s looks; the Kammtail tube shapes are aero optimised but they aren’t the deepest in the game.

The slender, dropped seatstays also promise plenty of compliance. It’s not markedly lighter on the scales, though, weighing 8.075kg for a size 58cm/XL. Nevertheless, a hundred grams or so has a negligible effect on your riding speed, so it’s a moot point in this category.

Cockpit of the Scott Foil 10 road bike

The Syncros Creston iC SL bar is kinked for gentle cable routing.
David Caudery / Immediate Media

The Syncros Creston iC SL integrated handlebar uses a kinked design that allows for gentler cable routing, which is important for mechanical gear cables. Scott also confirmed dealers can swap the stock size for a different stem length/handlebar width combination at no extra cost.

Scott Foil 10 geometry

Stack and reach is slightly higher and shorter than some in this category, at 588.5mm and 400mm, respectively on my size XL/58cm. The 73-degree seat-tube angle is typical, but a slightly steeper 73.3 head-tube angle keeps the front end feeling agile.

Scott Foil 10 ride impressions

Those impressions play out on the road too, where the Foil feels sprightly and efficient without ever blowing your mind in terms of raw speed.

The front end feels accurate and pedalling stiffness is excellent, but it has a smoother character than other, more aggressively shaped aero bikes. It should come as no surprise to racing fans that a Paris-Roubaix-winning frameset offers plenty of comfort.

Scott Foil 10

The Scott Foil 10 is specced with 25mm tyres but there’s room for 30mm (and possibly more) if you need it.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

In a further nod to this, Scott has specced 28mm tyres across the range for 2021. It’s an unusual choice for an aero bike, but the 50mm deep Syncros rims have an external width of almost 30mm at their widest, so aero performance isn’t overly affected.

Their 21mm internal width also gives the tyres a more rounded profile with plenty of sidewall support. Officially the Foil can take tyres up to 30mm wide, but there’s space for more if you want to push things.

This helps you glide over rough roads, but the combination doesn’t feel quite as rapid on good roads as the more aggressive wheel and tyre combos found on bikes such as the SystemSix.

Part of this can be attributed to the Schwalbe One TLE tyres, which are middling in terms of rolling resistance. Swapping to something faster would close the performance gap considerably.

SRAM Force eTap AXS gears on the Scott Foil 10 road bike

The Foil 10 comes armed with SRAM Force eTap AXS.
David Caudery / Immediate Media

SRAM’s Force eTap AXS groupset offers reliable and accurate shifting with heaps of gear range. Front shifts are marginally slower than Shimano’s Ultegra Di2, and cross-chaining is noisier, but otherwise there’s little to complain about. The lever ergonomics are great and the brakes have plenty of power and control.

The Foil’s slender proportions will appeal to those who feel the most focused aero bikes can look ungainly, but they also make it easier to live with. The seatpost and handlebar diameters are, for example, small enough that they don’t overly restrict the use of standard accessories, such as lights. There’s likely some small trade-off in aerodynamic efficiency, but the convenience is welcome outside of competition.

Scott Foil 10 bottom line

Male cyclist in blue top riding the Scott Foil 10 road bike

The front end feels accurate. Pedalling stiffness is excellent and it has a smooth character.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

Overall, while the Scott Foil doesn’t match the most aggressive aero bikes for pure speed on perfect tarmac, what you give up there you do gain in other areas.

This is most notable on broken surfaces, where the Foil performs at its best. The larger tyres clearly help here, and given many dedicated aero bikes now have clearance for larger rubber, the Foil stands out less than it used to.

Regardless, the Foil remains a competent all-rounder, even if it’s not the most exciting aero road bike available. Its blend of relatively normal looks, aero-optimised features and comfort will make it the right match for some.

How we tested

We tested four of the latest aero race bikes to find out if speed means less comfort and usability. Do the deep-section wheels make it a handful on windy days? How does it perform on our broken back roads? And do you need an engineering degree to maintain it?

They are a range of price points (although none are exactly cheap) to see whether spending more money does actually buy you more speed, and if more integration is always better.

Also on test

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