Focus have revamped their carbon fibre road bike line for 2012. While the Izalco remains the pro-level choice, it's now been joined by two new variants – the Izalco Ergoride and Donna.
A radically sloping top tube is the first sign of change on the Ergoride, but there's plenty more to see on this all-new frame. All the cable routing has gone internal, complete with channelling to make cable replacement easier. Up front, the previous model's 3T fork has been replaced with a dedicated design with greater integration into the front end.
The real innovation, though, is out back. The top tube thins from its bulky front end to an ovalised diameter of less than an inch at the seat tube junction. This leads into some of the slimmest seatstays we’ve seen. These are flattened to a minimal depth which, Focus claim, allows the full-carbon rear end (including the dropouts) to flex, adding heaps of comfort.
The Izalco Ergoride's all-carbon dropouts are elbowed in, increasing the seatstay length in order to add flex and therefore comfort
Combined with plenty of exposed seatpost, Focus say this results in the most comfortable race bike they’ve ever produced. The chainstays are oversized and deep at the bottom bracket before changing their orientation along their length, which looks very similar to Cannondale’s SAVE design.
Sitting alongside the Ergoride is a women’s specific version – the Donna. The Ergoride range starts at €2,199 for the Shimano Ultegra equipped 4.0 model, rising to €3,999 for the 1.0 with Sram RED Black. The three-model Donna line starts at €1,699 with the 3.0 (Shimano 105) and tops out at €3,299 with the Shimano Dura-Ace equipped 1.0.
Seat stays flatten from the brake bridge on the new Focus Izalco Ergoride
Cayo sharpens up
The Cayo remains for 2012 but is joined by an all-new EVO version. The frame is completely new and now weighs in under the magical 1kg mark. The head tube now has an angular sculpted design, with very neat integrated cable adjusters keeping thing tidy. At the back it has a similar design to the Izalco Ergoride, with flattened seatstays and all-carbon dropouts.
The chainstays are deeper and beefier than on the Ergoride, and the original Cayo. That sets the EVO out as more race bike than sportive machine. The stealthy, angular, muscular EVO looks much more high-end than the original Cayo and it is, with prices ranging from €2,499 for the SRAM Force equipped 3.0 to €3,499 for the Dura-Ace 1.0.
The angular new Focus Cayo EVO has a sub-1kg frame
Focus now have a tough looking urban bike to complement their drop-bar machines. The Planet range is based around mountain bike style geometry and a choice of hub or derailleur gears. Our pick of the bunch is the TR3.0, priced at €999. It features front and rear disc brakes and an eight-speed Shimano Alfine hub. With a neat black finish and understated logos complemented by neon blue Schwalbe Kojak tyres, it looks the business.
The matt black Focus Planet urban bike with electric-blue Schwalbe Kojak tyres
While Europe seems to have gone e-bike crazy, pedelecs have yet to really take off in English speaking countries. Given the choice, we prefer e-bikes that don’t look like mobility aids, and the new Focus Jarifa fits that bill, with a decent alloy hardtail frame, full Shimano XT drivetrain and a 100mm-travel RockShox Recon Gold RL fork. Add to that a BionX 250w rear motor, complete with frame mounted battery and LCD control display.
The Focus Jafira is a well specced hardtail mountain bike with full Shimano XT and a BionX electric assist system