Australian Michael Matthews took his first-ever Tour de France victory on Stage 10, playing team tactics perfectly and besting an ultra-elite breakaway group that included Peter Sagan (Tinkoff), Greg van Avermaet (BMC), and Samuel Dumoulin (Ag2r-La Mondiale). He also finished fifth on Stage 16. Carrying him to the line was Scott’s recently revamped Scott Foil HMX aero road bike.
Scott revolutionized aero road bikes when it introduced the original Foil back in 2010, ditching the then-typical full airfoil tube shapes for ones with clipped tails. According to Scott, this retained most of a full airfoil’s aerodynamic performance but yielded a balance of weight and stiffness that were more in keeping with what riders desire in a top-flight road racer.
The second-generation Foil that Matthews is using carries on with that truncated airfoil concept, but with a more heavily integrated design. The bespoke cockpit and fork now blend more seamlessly into the frame, the seat tube shaping has more in common with a time trial bike than most road machines, and the rear brake has been relocated underneath the chainstays. Whereas the original Foil had only a modestly sloping top tube, the new model also now angles upward more dramatically, so as to minimize the number of headset spacers required — all in the name of reduced drag.
Scott was an early pioneer in the use of truncated airfoil tube shapes, and this latest Foil carries on with that tradition. According to Scott, the clipped tail retains most of the aerodynamic performance of a full airfoil section but with less weight and better stiffness.
Matthews’ Foil is rather straightforward, built with a complete Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset, 50mm-deep Shimano Dura-Ace carbon tubular wheels, Shimano Dura-Ace pedals, and 25mm-wide Continental Competition ProLtd ALX tires that are now common within the peloton. Two standouts, however, are the saddle and cockpit.
The fi’zi:k Arione 00 is the ultralight flagship of the Arione range, made with a carbon fiber shell and the company’s trademark Mobius carbon fiber rails. These run continuously as a single piece through both the front and rear ends, acting as both the mounting point for the seatpost and structural support for the shell. It’s also wickedly light at just 140g (claimed).
A small ‘2’ behind the seat tube helps the Orica-BikeExchange mechanics keep track of Matthews’ multiple team bikes.
Scott’s component brand, Syncros, also developed a special aero stem integrated for the Foil, which uses the same truncated airfoil profile on the tops as on the frame — but Matthews doesn’t use it. As is common for riders at this level, he rides on a somewhat undersized frame that allows him to get extremely low, and offsets the correspondingly shorter top tube with a stem that’s much longer than usual.
The longest stem Syncros offers for the RR1.0 integrated cockpit is 120mm — 20mm shorter than what Matthews needs — so he instead uses the separate RR2.0 aluminum stem, paired with a PRO Vibe 7S oversized aluminum bar for extra front-end stiffness.
Total weight as pictured is 7.21kg (15.90lb, without bottles or computer head).
Matthews was worried about his sprinting prowess after a high-altitude training camp ended up reducing his top-end speed, not increasing it. Those worries have clearly been for naught, however.
Scott recently redesigned the Foil with a more radically shaped stem and special spacers.
Matthews’ cockpit features sprint shifters mounted just below the main levers.
COMPLETE BIKE SPECIFICATIONS
Frame: Scott Foil HMX, size small
Fork: Scott Foil HMX
Headset: Syncros integrated, 1 1/8-to-1 1/4in integrated
Handlebar: PRO Vibe 7S, 40cm (c-c)
Handlebar tape: PRO
Stem: Syncros Foil, 140mm x -6°
Shift levers: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 STI Dual Control ST-9070
Front derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 FD-9070
Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 RD-9070
Front brake: Shimano Dura-Ace direct mount BR-9010 w/ Shimano carbon-specific pads
Rear brake: Shimano Dura-Ace direct mount BR-9010 w/ Shimano carbon-specific pads
Crankset: Shimano Dura-Ace FC-9000, 172.5mm, 53/39T
Bottom bracket: Shimano Dura-Ace BB92-41B press-fit
Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace CS-9000, 11-28T
Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace CN-9000
Pedals: Shimano Dura-Ace SPD-SL PD-9000
Wheelset: Shimano WH-9000-C50-TU
Tyres: Continental Competition ProLtd ALX, 25mm
Saddle: fi’zi:k Arione 00
Seatpost: Syncros Foil
Accessories: SRM PC8 computer, Elite Custom Race Elite bottle cages (2), number plate holder
The down tube and chainstays make good use of the PF86 bottom bracket shell’s extra width as compared to a conventional threaded setup.
Electronic drivetrains now well outnumber mechanical drivetrains at the top levels of racing.
Rider height: 1.80m (5ft 11in)
Rider weight: 72kg (159lb)
Frame stack: 527mm
Frame reach: 384mm
Saddle height: 709mm
Saddle setback: 43mm
Saddle nose to handlebar centre: 553mm
Saddle-to-handlebar drop: 85mm
Total bike weight: 7.21kg (15.90lb, without bottles or computer head)
50mm-deep Shimano carbon tubular wheels are wrapped with 25mm-wide Continental Competition ProLtd ALX tires.
The Elite Custom Race Plus bottle cages look suitably stealthy against the matte black frameset.
This article is a modified version of that originally published on cyclingtips.com