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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:46 pm 
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Posts: 8
Looking for suggestions/feedback. I am about take a plunge on a new bike and having a tough time deciding between these two...both will be great I'm sure. I ride 4-5 days a week and will be racing in the spring and do faster group rides (generally 25-50 miles). Currently at 195lb. and coming from a 2010 Tarmac Expert with Ult/DA bits. Most rides are flat with rollers or short steep climbs. Caught between going with the SL4 which I think will be an easy transtion/upgrade especially in the climbing area while the Foil will be great on faster rides that get up around the 23 mph average. Thanks --


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Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:46 pm 


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 6:22 pm 
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I've owned a foil for the last year, and it's spectacularly good. I live in the mountains, and the foil climbs as well as anything else I've ever ridden. It's very light and very stiff, so what more could you ask for? Plus you get the added benefits of whatever aero properties are realized as you're riding along.

That's the route I'd go. And did!


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:24 pm 
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Is the Venge a possibility for you?

I own a Tarmac SL4 and a Venge. I've ridden and raced both quite a bit. If push came to shove, you would have to pry the Venge out of my hands. (I've hopped on a Foil but did not have enough time for a meaningful comparison.)

In the same size frame and with a cut fork, my Venge is about 150g heavier than the Tarmac--not enough to make huge differences in climbing. (Note: 23g of this is in the fork, and 18g of this is due to the proprietary Venge seatpost collar vs a stock one for the Tarmac; thus, the frame itself is about 100g heavier.)

For accelerations from slow speeds, I feel like my Tarmac has a slight edge; for everything else, the Venge gets the nod from me.

Just offering this up as sometimes the Venge is presented as a much heavier bike, or that it is 'harsh'. I have raced the Venge 200 miles (a single 9.25h push) -- and I actually found it more comfortable than the SL3 I used the prior year. I alternate between the Tarmac SL4 and Venge quite a bit and find them equal in terms of comfort in the real-world roads I ride. (This is not to say that they are comfort bikes but rather that the claims made about the harshness of the Venge to be overblown.)

Comments and measurements are based on 2012 S-Works models for both bikes.

PS I live at the base of a 5-mile, 8-10% climb, so I am not stranger to performance in the mountains. Just something else for consideration.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:43 pm 
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Thanks for the feedback. There are no big climbs like that around here. Everything is short and steep and if you search you can find a 2mile climb with 5-6% avg.

I think the "harshness" is related to web coverage of both the foil and venge being aero. Unfortunately neither of the shops I support have either bike in stock (in my size).

So what makes you take out the Venge v. The Tarmac?


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:33 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:12 pm
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Location: Bristol
Did my last 12hr TT on my Foil. It was comfy and performed lawlessly throughout. Before I hung it up for winter, I put 3k miles on it in 2.5 months and it's been nothing but spectacular. My area is quite hilly so the stiffness is much appreciated. It also happens to be quite windy and I definitely feel more secure and less affected than on my previous bikes.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 2:57 am 
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Location: Adelaide, Australia
Grill wrote:
Did my last 12hr TT on my Foil. It was comfy and performed lawlessly throughout.

:shock: I wouldn't like to ride a lawless bike :lol:

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:46 am 
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I spent some time on a Foil, Venge, and '13 SL4 over the course of a week and honestly only rode the latter because it was available. The SL4 left more of an impression with me than any other - and I am a sucker for the idea of a Foil. I honestly cant say that I found much difference between the Venge and Foil (don't like the looks of the Venge in person as much as I'd like to) and personally, I feel more speed from wheels than frame - by a good margin. The SL4 rides beautifully.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:46 am 
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Perhaps this review of aero bikes (with the Venge and Foil in) might help http://velonews.competitor.com/2012/10/ ... ted_256023

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:58 am 
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53by11 wrote:
So what makes you take out the Venge v. The Tarmac?


i personally feel the venge is the better all-around bike -- for me, based on my riding and racing. i have the luxury to own both and got the '12 tarmac sl4 first (as an upgrade to an '11 sl3), but honestly had i replaced the sl3 with a venge i never would have gotten the sl4.

by no means am i saying the sl4 is bad -- quite the contrary! it is fantastic. however, i feel like the few things it does a little better than the venge (as noted above, low speed accelerations such as going from 5-8mph on a hill) are outweighed by what the venge does better (accelerations from 25-30mph). the venge isn't far behind at the low-speed, climbing stuff, but it feels quite a bit faster at the high-speed stuff. the aero benefit has, for me, been proven to be real based on riding the same courses many, many times, but even if it is a placebo i wouldn't care.

one reason i did not go for the venge first was that i was scared off by the "all aero bikes are too harsh (vertically) and not stiff enough (laterally)" rhetoric. i confess that this seemed logical based on tube shapes. i didn't have a chance to ride the venge before getting my sl4. early reports also spoke of aero bikes having a substantial weight penalty; i believe it at the time.

if it is harsher than the sl4, i do not notice it. it is plenty stiff for my riding and racing. the handling is every bit the equal of the sl4....in my hands, at least. as for weight, as per my earlier post it wasn't until i personally weighed everything and compared to the same manufacturer's top-level offering in the same size that the weight penalty proved to be pretty paltry. (i know, i know, 100-150g is huge in some ways, but many people made it out to seem like a venge could not be built up light.)

i would happily race either and had i not spent as much time on a venge i would not pine for it, but at this point that is the one bike in my garage that you would literally have to pry away from me.

while i have raced both, at this point i reach for the venge for racing, every time. i set up the tarmac as a training bike (a luxury, again i know), so now i generally have some easier gears on it and different wheels. what bike i reach for for training is more often the tarmac but it has more to do with weather and terrain choices.

hope that answers your question. i tried to give you some insight into my psyche.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:18 am 
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I have a Foil and have never ridden a Venge, so am half qualified to have an opinion. I have also briefly ridden a 2013 7.9 Trek. The foil is now for sale and I have ordered the Trek.

If you buy into to aero advantage thing - and let's suppose we do, then do yourself a favour and try this thing. Riding the Trek is like riding a magic carpet over clouds compared to the ass slapping the Foil gives you over any imperfection.

Is it as stiff? Sure, I guess. As aero? No idea... But it would probably be close. As light? Lighter by all reports. As comfortable? Miles and miles ahead of the Scott.

I am 6'4 race B grade in Aus. Ride on flats fast, up hills slower, and ride anywhere from 1 hour to 5 hours at a time.

If I were you I would at least consider investigating the Trek.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:36 pm 
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Location: London
drewb wrote:
If I were you I would at least consider investigating the Trek.


yes


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 1:06 pm 
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when you sit down and down and do the maths, as i have done, and assuming always that you trust the wind tunnel test data that is available, then the benefits of an aero frame - for racing or simply riding faster - are so compelling as to make the decision easy.

have a look at the following page (select "Evaluate Component Type" = Frame)... there is no Scott Foil data but the time savings for a typical aero road frame versus a standard road frame are 1-2 minutes+ over 40k or else a chunk of watts that would take a lot of training to find some other way.

http://www.cyclingpowermodels.com/Compo ... amics.aspx

if it's a simple case of Foil versus SL4 I'd go for the foil every time.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:15 pm 
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You all offer great feedback, but not making this easier :)

I guess if I submit to the aero argument my decision leads me directly to the foil. Even if I give up some comfort...which some of the Foil owners here seem to be doing just fine with.

So, that brings up the Venge. Going back to the aero debate, the Venge appears to test out at the least aero benefit so if I sway from Tarmac SL4 to go aero, I'm going to go aero.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:07 pm 
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overgeared wrote:
when you sit down and down and do the maths, as i have done, and assuming always that you trust the wind tunnel test data that is available, then the benefits of an aero frame - for racing or simply riding faster - are so compelling as to make the decision easy.

have a look at the following page (select "Evaluate Component Type" = Frame)... there is no Scott Foil data but the time savings for a typical aero road frame versus a standard road frame are 1-2 minutes+ over 40k or else a chunk of watts that would take a lot of training to find some other way.

http://www.cyclingpowermodels.com/Compo ... amics.aspx" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

if it's a simple case of Foil versus SL4 I'd go for the foil every time.


The only aero road frames I see in that data save 34 seconds (AR1) and 55 seconds (S3). I have NEVER seen a test claim an aero road frame would save 1-2 minutes. That is quite the exaggeration.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:26 pm 
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the foil is my team bike this year ( we are partially sponsored ) so me and my temamates have the option of getting foils on the cheap. I declined to buy one in the end ( mainly because my bianchi infinito was only 2 years old at the start of the year, and i really love it) but most of my team mates are on scott foils ( various versions- the 20, mostly, but some have the premium and team issue) .

comments and feedback from most of them say the foil IS STIFF. the general feeling is that the foil is a great crit bike and hammerfest bike, and suits sprinters well. it's also good for time trials if you set it up properly for that purpose. handling is in line with most american style geometry, which I find is better optimised for crit style racing. whether it's good for tour racing? not so sure as I havent had the oppotunity to ask.

something you might want to be aware off is that the foil is rather thin walled- i.e. the carbon is really thin cos we cut one up that got ruined in a crash. this may/may not mean that it may be more susceptible to damage in a crash. ( heck, a colnago M10 and a canyon got ruined in the same crash that took out the foil), but I'm aware that scott frames have tradtionally used very thin layers, which lets them get very light frames. so it may be something for you to take note off.


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Posted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:26 pm 


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