New Scott Foil Disc 2018: 8 things you need to know

Words by Aaron Scott

on 30/08/2017 13:18:23

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Originally introduced way back in 2011, the Scott Foil has a prolific track record of victories in the professional ranks including Grand Tour stages and a smattering or Monument wins. That original Foil was unashamedly race-orientated - light, fast and, with that, astonishingly stiff almost to a fault for the everyday enthusiast. In 2015, the Foil underwent a head to toe makeover with Scott improving not only comfort and compliance to the tune of 89%, but also dropping weight, adding stiffness, and making significant aerodynamic gains to create one of the most complete aero bikes available.

And now, Scott have worked their magic again and introduced the latest version of Foil. So, what do you need to know about the new range?

1. Yup, disc brakes!

Ok, so the name is a giveaway - Scott have introduced a disc brake version of the Foil for 2018, making them the latest of the major bike brands to add discs to an aero bike. Why discs? Scott argue that any gains in speed and performance don't just come from aerodynamics or increased power output, but also from braking performance. With the increased modulation and superior breaking power in all conditions that disc brakes can offer, the rider has more trust in the bike and more confidence to carry speed until the last possible moment in every condition.

2. Brand new fork

To accommodate the addition of disc brakes, Scott have completely redesigned the Foil's fork. Now asymmetric in design to handle the extra braking forces created by disc braking, the fork has been lengthened with the blades narrowed to guarantee perfect airflow around the brakes with the hose tucked inside the fork. You'll also notice the trailing edges added to the ends of the forks to shroud the brakes - more on that in a moment. Beyond the fork, there's concessions to the new braking system elsewhere on the frame with the non-drive side chainstay beefed up and lengthened by 5mm.

3. Equal speed, more control

Those fairings on the new fork? They're part of Scott's mission to match the aerodynamic performance of the Foil Disc to that of the rim brake version. Scott found that simply adding disc brakes to the existing model carried a 3 watt impediment - the trailing edge which shrouds the calipers recoups one of those lost watts. Another watt is saved with the use of thru-axles with removable levers, while the move from rim to disc brakes and a cleaner fork crown area brings the performance of the Foil Disc on a par with the rim brake version, but with all the extra control of disc brakes. The super clean integrated Syncros cockpit continues for 2018.

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4. The complete race bike?

When the facelifted Foil broke cover in 2015, it was pitched as more of an all-round performance road bike than its all-out aero rivals like the Specialized Venge ViAS, and so weight was a key factor and continues to be for the new disc model - this version is incredibly only 40g heavier than the rim brake version, without sacrificing any stiffness. The frame (without the fork) weights just 985g, making it one of the lightest aero bikes available quashing the Canyon Aeroad (1,080g) and Cervelo C3 Disc (1,060g). This low weight has been achieved by using a one-piece moulded design, a first for Scott, and has actually been aided in part by the thru-axle design, with less material overlap required around the dropouts.

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5. Comfort without compromise

What was that we were just saying about the Foil being a complete race bike? The Foil Disc retains all of the comfort and compliance improvements that Scott introduced in 2015, with the low seatstay attachment and thin shaping creating a smooth riding experience and increased vertical compliance without sacrificing the stiffness created by the chunky PF86 bottom bracket. The best endorsement of the Foil's comfort? The Foil became the first aero road bike to be ridden to victory in the notoriously tough Paris-Roubaix in 2016. The move to discs creates clearance for up to 30mm tyres with 28mm rubber specced across the range, adding even more comfort.

6. Even the wheel changes are faster

The Foil is a race bike first and foremost, and Scott have even paid attention to how quickly and easily a wheel can be changed. The thread pitch of the disc thru-axles have been increased which means that for each turn the axles move further, effectively making it 50% faster to unwind. The bike comes with two derailleur hangers - one for traditional derailleurs and one for Shimano's new direct mount derailleurs - with the direct mount option providing more clearance for removing and reinstalling the rear wheel. Scott have even optimized the dropout shape to make it easier to guide the wheel and disc rotor into the tighter brake caliper gap.

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7. Race winning pedigree

Since its introduction in 2011, the Foil has been ridden to 153 World Tour victories, 32 Grand Tour stage wins and 4 Monument wins, including that win at Paris-Roubaix for Mat Hayman. But it's not just for the professionals - with its low weight and plush ride added to its natural speed the Foil is designed to win every ride, from local crits, Strava segments or outsprinting your club mates.

8. It comes with rim brakes too

Fear not, anti-disc brigade - you can still ride the new Foil. The 2018 range comprises seven bikes in total, with four rim brake models. Discs are hydraulic throughout, with shifting from Shimano on all the models (with only mechanical shifting on the lowest-spec Foil 20 Disc). For the rim brake models, the range runs from the pro-level Foil RC with Shimano Dura-Ace down to the Foil 30 which carries Shimano 105.

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Scott Foil Premium Disc Road Bike 2018

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