First Look: 2016 Scott Foil Aero Road Bike

By Zap

In a busy week of travel involving planes, trains, buses, taxis, and a few frantic airport terminal sprints, I landed in Salzburg, Austria between weekend stints with Canyon Bikes in Spain and Cannondale to attend a mid-week launch with Scott Bikes.  The Scott launch included a pre-ride show at the famous Red Bull-owned Hangar 7, followed by an amazing ride day that included a quasi-intramural individual time trial between the collected journos… Oh, and included team IAM Cycling rider and current Australian National road champ Heinrich Haussler who thought it best to warm-up for the upcoming Tour de France by whacking a handful of media scrubs on the scenic  Salzburgring race course located over hill and dale about an hour outside of town.

red bull 3
As for the newly re-designed Scott Foil, to borrow a phrase I had just learned during a tour of both Hangar 7 and the normally off-limits Hangar 8 referring to the resurrection of old aircraft, it’s been just over a two-year “TBO – time before overhaul” for the race-winning aero road bike.

The 2016 Scott Foil line will consist of five different models and two framesets. Although prices were not revealed at the press launch, the five models represent the standard component spec  hierarchy with a Shimano 105 bike acting as the entry-level bike followed by a Shimano Ultegra and Ultegra Di2 bike, and then a Shimano Dura-Ace and Dura-Ace Di2 model on the high-end.


foil 7
The bikes we rode at the launch were pulled from the high-end stable with a parts spec that included Zipp 404 wheels and Shimano Di2 Dura-Ace drivetrain.

According to Scott, in the time since the brand first introduced their Foil F01 aero road bike to the pro peloton 3 years ago, it has clinched 115 WorldTour Wins, 16 Grand Tour Stage wins and 3 Classics wins. Of course, among a who’s-who list of riders who took some of those wins, Mark Cavendish is perhaps the most famous when he rode the bike under the HTC banner. At 945 grams, the new Foil frame is claimed to be 70 grams lighter than its predecessor. We were told that the 2016 model has a 13% increase in bottom bracket stiffness, a 13.5% increase in head tube stiffness and a 6% bump in the fork’s lateral stiffness.

Thanks largely to the dropped and thinned seatstays, a flatter top tube and the repositioned rear brake, the frame is now also 89% more compliant. With the aid of its aero optimized front end (new fork and headtube design), the claim is that the bike can increase a rider’s power outage by six watts for a 20 second faster time over a 40k effort.

Foil 18
The Scott features unique internal cable routing through the top of the downtube to help maintain the structural integrity of the carbon lay-up. Like a growing number of aero road bikes on the market, the Scott Foil uses an integrated stem with specific spacers. More common still is the one-piece bar stem combo that apparently is the latest trend to hit the market…and no, it’s not a new concept at all.

The one-piece Syncros bar stem combo will be available  in nine different width/length configurations with a standard six degree rise. The three entry-level bikes will sport an integrated aluminum stem with traditional bolt-on handlebars. Team riders are apparently going to have access to a custom stem with negative 17 degree drop.

Scott is also making available two different Garmin mounts that mount on the underside of the handlebar. The mount seemed flimsy at first glance and vibrated with a Garmin 1000 unit mounted….by rides end one had in fact broken – something to keep an eye on.

Although under-the-chainstay mounted rear brakes seem to be losing favor, Scott stuck with the design, interestingly not for reasons of aero-ness, but to instead help maximize the compliance of the seatstays to provide additional rider comfort.
foil 8
The Foil has a beautifully crafted rear triangle with new dropped seatstays for added compliance and wheel clearance with enough room for a 28mm tire…although it looked pretty tight down there.
Foil 12
Situated inside Hangar 7 in front of a restored DC-6, the five model Foil lineup includes the Premium, Team Issue, Foil 10, 20 and 30. Both the Premium and Team issue use the higher spec HMX carbon with a slightly heavier HML carbon used for the other three models.


foil ride 1
On a day that could only be described as miraculously beautiful, Scott assembled a group of over 20 journos to test ride the new Foil in the outskirts of Salzburg.
foil ride 3
When good is good, really good is even better…this day on the bike was better still.
foil ride 4
Tucked up into the mountains where you’d least expect to find it, the Salzburgring course was the final proving grounds of the test ride.


foil ride 5
Just days away from his start in the Tour de France, team IAM rider Heinrich Haussler was a good sport and rode alongside the wobbly journos without a hint of fear.
Foil action
As is the Euro way, the tires were over-inflated, but the Foil nonetheless exhibited a less harsh ride than its predecessor.
Scott Foil old
For the sake of comparison, here’s what the original Scott Foil looked like.

Yes,  both old and new Foils sport internal seat tube binders, but the new model has moved from the side-positioned location to just in front of the seatpost on the top  tube. The dropped seatstays are undoubtedly one of the biggest visual changes.

Below are some of the new Scott Foil models to consider…

Foil 6

Foil 1

Old-timers might well remember that the Scott Bicycles brand was originally conceived as a new business venture for the Scott USA brand that was located in Sun Valley, Idaho. First popularized for their winter sport products, the brand took on a new life when they entered the realm of motocross with their goggles and revolutionary plastic boots (both in use by Bob Hannah below).

Eventually the company’s Swiss office took over the bicycle business and grew it into the world famous cycling brand it has become thanks to plenty of new technologies and rider/team sponsorships with the likes of World Mountain Bike Champion Nino Schurter and two Pro Tour road teams: IAM and GreenEdge Orica.

With his Scott goggles and plastic boots, Bob “Hurricane” Hannah helped put Scott on the map in the late 70’s as one of the world’s great motocross riders.

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