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TECH NEWS

Scott Foil gets lighter, comfier and faster with release of third generation road bike

The 2023 Foil ‘pushes the UCI rules to the limits’ and is claimed to be 20% faster, 9% lighter and 10% more comfortable

The 2023 Scott Foil is claimed to provide a faster and more comfortable ride from a frameset that is also lighter. The third iteration of the Foil has been designed with the rider in mind, Scott say, and is claimed to be significantly faster at race pace.

Faster

2023 Scott Foil RC Pro - riding-4

When it comes to an aero race bike, the main claim is always about how much faster the bike has become after several years of development. Scott claims that, with a rider aboard, you’ll be covering a distance of 40km at 40kph in less time than you would on the old bike. How much less time you ask? A whole 1 minute and 18 seconds.

The designers of the bike told us that their intention with this new bike is to help their pro riders in all fast racing situations, be that a day-long breakaway, chasing down escapees or in a sprint finish. As a result, they have attempted to balance aero tube shapes with compliance and a lower weight.

2023 Scott Foil Tech Image uci

Scott says that the UCI’s relaxation of frame design rules has been key to allowing the improvements that the Foil is claimed to bring. Without getting too deep into the UCI’s fascinating* frame design rules, the changes state that compensation triangles are now allowed on road bikes, where they were once only allowed on time trial bikes. This is, in part, why we’ve seen a fair few bikes landing with absolutely massive bottom brackets and could explain how Trek has got its latest Madone through the UCI approval process.

2023 Scott Foil Tech Image aero

During the explanation of the frame’s aero features, Scott pointed to its work with aerodynamics specialist, Simon Smart. The founder of Drag2Zero explained that the bike features two distinct halves - well, aerodynamically anyway. The front half is tuned for ‘clean’ air, while the rear end has been designed to deal with the ‘dirty’ air that is created as your legs get involved.

2023 Scott Foil RC Pro (Liam Cahill)-22

This consideration, Smart claims, is one of the key features that makes the bike faster than the old Foil when you put a rider on it. The head tube is oversized, which Scott say “acts as a fairing breaking the air and reducing aerodynamic drag.”

Under this, the fork crown is raised and the cross-section of the legs has become deeper which again, according to Scott, increases the bike’s aero credentials.

2023 Scott Foil RC Pro (Liam Cahill)-05

Move back down the bike, however, and Scott claims that faster tube shapes could have been used. Here, however, the rider needs to be considered as a pair of legs makes the flow of air very messy. As a result of this consideration, Scott say that “the downtube and seat tube are a great example of the focus on the complete system.”

The dropped seat stays are aimed in at a 10º angle, supposedly forcing the air into the spinning spokes. This small detail, Scott say, “provides significant gains as the bike moves forwards.”

2023 Scott Foil RC Pro (Liam Cahill)-03

Additionally, the brake callipers are hidden by the seat stays for an extra drag reduction. Meanwhile, the seat tube now wraps around the wheel and this part, Scott say, has been optimised to work with 28mm tyres, though there is plenty of space around 30mm tyres, suggesting that this bike could well see action in cobbled races. Speaking of which…

Comfier

Aero bikes of the past were not what you’d describe as comfortable. The original Foil might have been aero and stiff, but it carried one of the harshest rides on the market. The 2nd generation of the Foil was comfortable enough for Matt Hayman to ride to victory in Paris-Roubaix and with this third generation, Scott say that the Foil has an even plusher ride.

2023 Scott Foil Tech Image seatpost

The most noticeable part contributing to a claimed 10% improvement in comfort is the seat post. Scott has named this Duncan, which is cute, and Duncan is best described as a skinny boi. The actual load-bearing seat post is a very slender D-shaped design while the rear piece is essentially just a fairing that fills the rest of the space.

This fairing does not extend to the top of the seat post, however. There is a cutout to allow the load-bearing piece to flex and when everything is put together, Scott say that on rougher roads you won’t be beaten up and on cobbles “you’ll be able to deliver maximum power through the pedals as you won’t be bucked out of the saddle.”

2023 Scott Foil RC Pro (Markus Greber)-4

The rubber piece that sits in the slot can be swapped out for a neat rear light.

2023 Scott Foil RC Pro (Markus Greber)-1

At the front end, Scott say that further comfort gains have been made through the use of its Creston IC SL Aero one-piece cockpit. The Creston bar was taken into the wind tunnel and the result, Scott claim, is a “slimmed down down bar and stem combo that slices through the wind and ups the overall aero capability of the bike.”

Adaptive compliance has also been added to the front end, which is Scott’s way of saying that there is compliance when you’re riding in the hoods and stiffness when you’re sprinting with your hands in the drops.

While the new cockpit features on the two top models, Scott has chosen to spec a two-piece system on the RC 10, 20 and 30 models, though this design still hides all of the cabling.

Lighter

2023 Scott Foil RC Pro - riding-1

Scott says that the making of this Foil saw 300 designs tested and the frame pieces have been reduced from 6 with 8 joints to just 4 pieces with 5 joints. That, Scott claims, has reduced the frameset’s painted weight with hardware to 915g for the HMX-SL model. This frameset only features on the top-end Foil RC Ultimate model and Scott was remaining tight-lipped on other frameset weights.

The claimed weight saving over the old model, Scott claim, comes courtesy of “a better carbon layup,” the reduction in the number of carbon piece and joints in the frame along with “incredible attention to the smaller details such as seat stays and seat clamp.”

Range Overview

Foil RC Ultimate

2023 Scott Foil RC Pro - riding-6

Frame - RC Disc HMX S
Groupset - SRAM RED eTap AXS
Wheels - Zipp 454 NSW
Tyres - Schwalbe PRO ONE 25/28

Foil RC Pro

2023 Scott Foil RC Pro (Liam Cahill)-29

Frame - RC Disc HMX
Groupset - Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 R9250
Wheels - Shimano Dura-Ace C50
Tyres - Vittoria Corsa Cotton Tubeless 26/28

Foil RC 10

Scott Foil RC 10

Frame - RC Disc HMX
Groupset - Shimano Ultegra Di2 R8150
Wheels - Syncros Capital 1.0 50 Disc
Tyres - Schwalbe ONE Race-Guard 25/28

Foil RC 20

Scott Foil RC 20

Frame - RC Disc HMX
Groupset - SRAM RIVAL eTap AXS
Wheels - Syncros Capital 1.0 50 Disc
Tyres - Schwalbe ONE Race-Guard

Foil RC 30

Frame - RC Disc HMX
Groupset - TBC
Wheels - Syncros RR2.0 Disc
Tyres - Schwalbe ONE Race-Guard 25/28

Weights and prices are TBC

If you’d like our initial impressions, be sure to check out our first ride review. We’ll have the same bike in for full testing so check back for that soon.

scott.com

Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the road.cc staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.

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