Does an aero bike have to be a “race” bike?
Scott’s Foil 10 Disc comes from good racing stock — one of its siblings was even ridden to victory at Paris-Roubaix. It is certainly a bike you can race, and yet Scott found ways to make it something you’d be happy to ride on the regular.
The frame’s geometry doesn’t stray from conventional, proven road geometry. With a tidy 987-millimeter wheelbase, 66 millimeters of bottom bracket drop, and a 72.5-degree head angle, there aren’t any surprises while cornering, descending, or negotiating a peloton. In fact, that head tube angle is a bit relaxed by most standards, which helps the Foil feel sure-footed.
When it comes to aerodynamic touches, Scott doesn’t stray too far into the realm of radical. That said, saddle-height adjustment isn’t as simple as it can be on a bike with a normal seat clamp. You need to first remove the aero cap to access the binder bolt. The stem’s aero spacers also have to be aligned just so to make sure it all fits together.
Fortunately for most riders, those adjustments happen rarely. If you’re in the market for an aero bike, you know what you’re getting into.
Scott also went to great lengths to make the frame and fork themselves more slippery. The head tube is cleanly integrated with the fork, and Scott says it is tuned for low-yaw angles. The fork itself has clever little fairings at the axle that help wind flow smoothly around the disc caliper.
Shimano’s new Ultegra Di2 R8050 group is a great choice for a sub-$5,000 bike. As is usually the case with Shimano, this second-tier group nearly matches Dura-Ace in terms of shifting. Now, hydraulic disc brake performance is markedly better with dedicated road calipers and fine-tuned levers.
Plus, Scott built this bike with a 52/36t crankset and an 11-30t cassette. That’s generous gearing for an aero bike.
The Syncros RP2.0 disc wheels do seem to hold the Foil back a little. The alloy rims seem to make handling a bit duller and surely add to the overall bike weight, which isn’t superlight by any stretch.
However, if you don’t want a pure race bike, these wheels might afford the long-term durability you want. Plus, the stainless, butted spokes should be easy to replace. That, and they are shod with 28-millimeter tires, which also expand the scope of this bike’s capabilities.
If you have a hankering for aerodynamic efficiency but aren’t ready (or able to afford) a full-blown superbike, the Foil 10 is a nice compromise.
Plus, if you can finagle some carbon wheels as a birthday present, the Foil 10 could quickly transform into a purebred speedster.
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