Scott says its Foil 10 is a hugely versatile aero bike, and I'd agree. This is no one trick pony that delivers an extra mile an hour or two on the flat, it's quick everywhere thanks to excellent stiffness levels for sprinting and climbing, while the geometry allows you to push this bike into the bends hard without needing pro-level bike handling skills.
At just under 8kg the Foil 10 isn't exactly waiting for an invitation to the 'superlight race bike hall of fame', but I found its weight to give it a very secure, grounded feel.
It always feels planted to the road; rough surfaces or rippled tarmac never unsettle it, even at high speed, and that all gives you huge confidence to ride it as hard as you can.
The steering is direct and feels very precise. It's not the most aggressive geometry I've seen on a bike of this level, but it is very capable of getting you out of trouble very quickly.
Feedback levels are top drawer, and with all of this data coming through to your hands and other contact points, it just drove me on to keep pushing the Foil harder and harder to reap the rewards.
On the 45+mph technical descents I use for testing, I would say that the Foil is one of the most poised and flattering bikes that I've ridden down them.
Near the top of my favourite descent there is a tight chicane, with the second bend being massively off-camber. It highlights any weaknesses in the geometry and/or front-end issues like a fork that lacks stiffness or understeers.
The Foil nailed it each time I gave it the challenge. Scott's designers have done well to create such a balanced bike through the bends, while just backing off the aggressiveness enough that it never feels a twitchy handful.
If you're a little nervous when it comes to high-speed descending, the Foil will give you the boost you need.
Going back to the weight... This bike isn't anywhere near as light as the 6.85kg Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7 I rode last year, but it doesn't really suffer for it. It's still massively responsive from a standing start, under hard acceleration or when climbing.
The Foil 10 is one of those bikes that feels like it's egging you on to get out of the saddle and give a little dig on the pedals. Hills that I would normally drop a couple of gears on, and spin, soon became ones that I'd power up for no other reason than it was fun and felt quite rewarding.
Like the Specialized, the Foil is designed with an aero edge to it. It isn't an aero bike of the type we were seeing a few years back when things were all about cheating the wind on the flat. These latest designs draw on the benefits of some aerodynamic tube profiling and integration, like the new cockpit that hides all of the cables and hoses completely, or the way that the fork blends in seamlessly to the head and down tube junction.
The focus is on weight and geometry, too, which makes these bikes pretty versatile – it's just like riding a standard race bike with a slight advantage once the speed increases north of 20mph.
I've ridden various iterations of Scott's Addict, including the new eRide ebike, and while the geometries are similar to the Foil, the aero tweaks to the Foil just give it the edge out on the open road, especially if you aren't in a bunch – which, let's face it, hasn't really been much of an option lately.
If you are out for a long stint, the only thing I would say is that the Foil has quite a firm ride. It isn't harsh or a tiring bike to ride, and I'm absolutely fine with that – it's a performance road bike after all – but it isn't quite as plush as something like Orro's Venturi STC. So if you value comfort levels over performance, the Foil might not be for you.
It does come with 28mm tyres as standard and will accept 30mm, so you do have a bit of room to fiddle around with tyre pressures and stuff.
This latest Foil uses the same frame as the previous version, with the biggest change coming at the front end. It comes with a new cockpit design which includes the fork, headset and handlebar.
Basically, the new components funnel all the cables and hoses (not so much here, though, with eTap being wireless) from the shifters/brake levers through the handlebar and down into the head tube without seeing the light of day.
Once inside the frame they then travel to whichever component they are needed for, exposing themselves just a few millimetres before. It works on all models, whether they use mechanical shifting or electronic.
The fork and frame are created using high-modulus carbon fibre, and they are each a thing of beauty. I whipped the seatpost out and had a bit of a look around with a torch, and the inside of the frame looks to be neat and tidy, with no rough edges or burrs left lying around.
The paint is really cool. It flips between green and purple depending on the light, but it's not as extreme as some. Classy, I'd say, without being shouty or too bling.
When it comes to the aero details, the head tube has been cinched in at the waist and when the front wheel is pointing straight ahead the fork moulds in seamlessly with the frame.
The large-section down tube finishes this smooth transition and does the same at the bottom bracket area where it flows straight into the beefy chainstays.
The seat tube also mimics the profile of the rear wheel.
Scott has chosen to go down the PF86 route for the bottom bracket and this allows for a wider shell for the same Q-factor (distance between the cranks), as the bearings are pressed into the frame rather than using threaded bearing cups that sit outboard of it. This allows for a wider down tube and chainstays, which all add to the stiffness of the frame.
Scott has also gone for a fully integrated seatpost, which adds to the aero tweaks and gives a smooth transition between it and the frame. The tolerances are tight, and I had no issues with slippage at all.
The Foil is available in seven sizes, which is a couple more than a lot of brands, with top tube lengths ranging from 510mm to 595mm.
For this M/54 size, the geometry numbers are 72.5 degrees for the head angle, 73.6 degrees for the seat angle, and 550mm for the effective top tube.
Head tube height is 150mm, while the wheelbase is 987mm, which keeps the Foil feeling nimble.
The stack and reach figures aren't anything out of the ordinary at 547.5mm and 388.9mm respectively.
The Foil is available in a range of builds and budgets, with the 10 based around a SRAM Force eTap AXS wireless groupset. It's a setup that I absolutely love, mostly down to gear ratio options.
First up, it's 12 speed, which allows it to run a 10-33t cassette without massive jumps – well, okay, there are a few at the top end of the block but they are the climbing gears, and sometimes it's nice to have a big leap there when your legs are screaming to reach the summit.
This allows SRAM to spec a smaller chainset without losing top-end gears, a 48/35t in this case. (I go through all of the inches and so on in this Vitus review.)
From some manufacturers this would be considered a gravel or touring chainset, but here it just works.
On longer rides, being able to spin more on the hills doesn't take such a toll on the legs, but if you are out for a shorter blast, you are never left wanting.
eTap is completely wireless. The shifters use CR2032 batteries and both the front and rear mech have their own batteries which are rechargeable.
If you've not seen it in action, the paddle on the right shifter drops the chain down the cassette, while the left paddle brings it up to the larger sprockets. You want to change the front chainring? Then just push them both together and it switches between the two. This is kind of the default setup, as you can tweak what the paddles do in the app.
It might take a little time to get your head around, but once you have it is so intuitive and easy to use.
The shifting quality is excellent, especially as it is doing it without any wired connection, and it is easy to fettle should it go ever so slightly out of line.
When it comes to the braking, the Force callipers and SRAM rotors can't be faulted. With 160mm rotors front and rear there is loads of stopping power, with plenty of modulation too.
I find SRAM's brakes a little more on/off than Shimano's systems, but once you adapt there is very little in it.
I've touched on the cockpit with its integrated design, but the stem/handlebar is called Syncros (that's Scott's in-house finishing brand) Creston iC SL, while the seatpost is called the Duncan 1.0 Aero.
All of it, as you'd expect on a bike of this price, is made from carbon fibre.
The saddle is also a Syncros product – the Belcarra V-Concept 2.0 – and I really got on with it. It's firm without being harsh, and I liked the shape.
Rather than outsourcing, which a lot of brands do for this sort of money, Scott uses its own wheels.
The Syncros Capital 1.0 50 Disc has a 50mm-deep carbon rim, with 24 spokes front and rear.
It's a very good wheelset – strong, durable and lightweight too – but the best bit about it is that the wheels feel really planted on the road. There is none of that vibration or hollow harshness that can be found with some deep-section wheels.
When riding along they almost feel heavier than they are, but in a good way. It's not a set of wheels you need to wince about when you catch a pothole or rough section of road. They'll take it all in their stride, and when you hit a climb, they transform into something that feels much lighter and responsive.
Scott has opted for Schwalbe One tyres and it's a good choice. These are fast and grippy tyres and add to the good manners that the Foil delivers in the bends. Grip levels are really impressive and wear rates aren't extreme for high-performance tyres.
There are some very good bikes in the versatile aero market and prices vary a lot.
The Foil 10 has an rrp of £5,949 which is pretty good when you consider the ride quality, build quality and finishing kit. It compares well to the equivalent Specialized, for example, the Tarmac SL7 Pro at £7,250.
Trek's latest do-it-all aero bike, the Emonda, comes in an SL 7 Disc build that also uses the Force eTap groupset, and is also well priced at £5,800. It doesn't have the carbon cockpit of the Scott, but that price does include a power meter, which is a bonus.
The Orro Venturi STC I mentioned earlier also comes with a similar build to the Foil, including carbon finishing kit, deep-section wheels and Force eTap, and costs £4,599.99, which is very competitive.
The Foil 10 is a great bike. It manages to bring all the performance traits of a really sorted race bike without the trade-offs like fast, borderline twitchy handling, allowing anyone to really exploit the speed even on technical descents. There are some really competitively priced bikes out there, but the Scott holds its own.
Sweet handling and a super stiff frameset make the Scott an easy-to-ride high-performance machine
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Scott Foil 10 2021
Size tested: Medium
About the bike
List the components used to build up the bike.
REAR DERAILLEUR: SRAM FORCE eTap AXS 24 Speed Electronic Shift System
FRONT DERAILLEUR: SRAM FORCE eTap AXS Electronic Shift System
SHIFTERS: SRAM FORCE eTap AXS HRD Shift-Brake System
CRANKSET: SRAM FORCE Crankset, 48/35T
BB-SET: SRAM DUB PF ROAD 86.5
CHAIN: SRAM FORCE
CASSETTE: SRAM FORCE XG1270, 10-33T
BRAKES: SRAM FORCE eTap AXS HRD Shift-Brake System, Flatmount
ROTOR: SRAM Centerline XR rotor 160/F and 160/R
HANDLEBAR: Syncros Creston iC SL Carbon Combo
SEATPOST: Syncros Duncan 1.0 Aero
SEAT: Syncros Belcarra V-Concept 2.0
HEADSET: Syncros Integrated
WHEELSET: Syncros Capital 1.0 50 Disc, Syncros RWS
FRONT TYRE: Schwalbe ONE Race-Guard Fold, 700x28C
REAR TYRE Schwalbe ONE Race-Guard Fold, 700x28C
Tell us what the bike is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?
Scott says, "Stage wins at all the grand tours, classic victories at Milan San Remo, Liege Bastogne Liege and Paris-Roubaix - we can safely say that the FOIL is the most versatile aero bike on the market. The SCOTT FOIL 10 was designed to help you gain those extra precious seconds. With fully integrated cable routing and a SRAM Force eTap AXS drivetrain, the FOIL 10 is a race-ready machine at a fraction of the cost."
It is a great bike to ride when it comes to performance and handling; it's up against some touch opposition when it comes to the cost, though.
Where does this model sit in the range? Tell us briefly about the cheaper options and the more expensive options
The Pro model sits at the top of the range at £8,899, one above the Foil 10. A Foil 20 and 30 are also available for £5,449 and £3,959 respectively.
Frame and fork
Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?
An excellent quality frame and fork finished off with a cool paintjob.
Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?
Both the frame and fork use high modulus carbon fibre in their construction.
Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?
The geometry isn't as aggressive as some race bikes, especially at the front end, but it gives a great riding position and handling that is precise without being overly twitchy. Full geometry tables can be found on Scott's website.
How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?
Stack and reach measurements on all frame sizes are farily typical of a bike of this ilk.
Riding the bike
Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.
The ride is quite firm, because of the stiffness of the frame, but I wouldn't go so far as to say it is uncomfortable.
Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?
Stiffness levels are excellent, especially when climbing or accelerating.
How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?
Power transfer is excellent, again due to the stiffness levels.
Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so was it a problem?
How would you describe the steering? Was it lively neutral or unresponsive? Lively, but staying on the neutral side of twitchy.
Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?
The handling is one of the Foil's best traits. It feels really balanced, great precision without ever feeling difficult to control.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?
The saddle offers a decent amount of padding and support.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's stiffness? would you recommend any changes?
The SRAM Force crankset gives nothing away in terms of stiffness.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's efficiency? would you recommend any changes?
SRAM's ratios offer usable gears right across the range, and I find the smaller chainrings paired to the 12-speed cassette very efficient.
Tell us some more about the drivetrain. Anything you particularly did or didn't like? Any components which didn't work well together?
SRAM's Force eTap groupset is great on shifting and braking. Battery life for the shifters and mechs is impressive too.
Wheels and tyres
Tell us some more about the wheels.Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the wheels? If so what for?
A quality set of wheels offering both performance gains and durability.
Tell us some more about the tyres. Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the tyres? If so what for?
High-performance tyres that match the handling and speed of the bike.
Tell us some more about the controls. Any particularly good or bad components? How would the controls work for larger or smaller riders?
The handlebar/stem combo offers plenty of hand positions and good levels of comfort.
Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes
Would you consider buying the bike? Yes
Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes
How does the price compare to that of similar bikes in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Some of its main competitors, which I've mentioned in the review, show that the Scott is by no way the most expensive, but some brands do come in a fair bit cheaper.
Use this box to explain your overall score
The way the Foil behaves out on the road makes it a very enjoyable bike to ride fast. It's a really fun bike to be aboard, has an excellent frameset in terms of quality, and the finishing kit is top notch too. It's up against some tough opposition price-wise, though.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!