Focus homes in on carbon for 2008

New composite bikes right through range

German bike maker Focus had a lot to show at Eurobike, including some striking-looking new road bikes.

Topping Focus's 2008 road range are two versions of the Izalco Extreme. The very pretty Campa which stood out at Eurobike for being one of the few green machines amid a sea of monochrome carbon caught our eye. The heart of the machine is a semi-compact high modulus carbon frame with a claimed weight of 6.6kg (14.5lb) featuring a 'seat cap' arrangement, very similar to that on Scott's Addict. The idea is that it gives the advantages of an integrated post (being able to play with the design of the seat-stays and bottom bracket - to add stiffness) but without loosing too much adjustability. This certainly looks like it will ride plenty stiff - one for the pros possibly.

That top end theme continues with the spec: drivetrain is Campagnolo Record, matched up with Mavic's new RSYS wheels shod with Schwalbe Ultremo tyres. Shimano fans might prefer the Izalco Extreme which is the same frame in black and white built up with a Dura-Ace drivetrain and Lightweight wheels. If you prefer conventional seatposts the Izalco Team might this comes specced with SRAM Red, currently the world's most expensive groupset, and Fulcrum wheels.

In Europe the Extreme Campa will cost you €4999, in the UK £2799.99. UK price for the Extreme is £3499.99 and a Team will set you back £2399.99. All of the Focus range is very aggressively priced - especially in Britain where a set of the Lightweight wheels on the Extreme cost around £2000 on their own.

There are three bikes for time triallists and triathletes, top of the pile being the Izalco Chrono weighing in at a claimed 7.6kg (16.8lb) and decked out with SRAM Red gears, brakes, and SRAM TT levers,with an Oval Carbon Track A900 fork and Easton EC90 Aero wheels.

You can also have the same frame and fork combo built up with DT Swiss wheels, a Focus fork and Ultegra drivetrain. The SRAM Red version will sell for €5499, £3799 in the UK, and the Ultegra model for €2999, £1999.99 in the UK.

Both the Chronos have reversible seat clamps so that the seat angle can be altered for either a more time trial or triathlon specific position, the aluminium framed Izalco Tria is more specifically aimed at triathletes. It's got a claimed weight of 10.05kg (22.2lb) and comes kitted out with a mixture of SRAM Rival front and rear mechs, SRAM TT shifters, FSA brakes, levers, and chainset. The Euro price is €1599, £899.99 in the UK.

Among the other bikes in the new range to catch our eye were the very pretty carbon-framed Cayo Venus, aimed at women riders, but only those living in mainland Europe which is a shame. The spec is pretty much all Shimano with standout items being the Ultegra rear mech, FSA chainset and the Shimano RS20 wheels. Euro price is €1799 and it weighs a claimed 8.25kg (18.2lb).

We really like the look of the Culebro a bike that shows light weight aluminium isn't dead yet with an all up claimed weight of 7.85kg (17.3lb) it will really stick it to pricier carbon rivals in terms of bangs per buck. The main elements of the drivetrain are supplied by SRAM's Rival groupset and although the Mavic Acksium wheels are plenty capable they also give lots of scope for future upgrading and dropping the weight still further. In Euroland you can have one for €1499 if you're in Europe or £899.99 in the UK.

Finally, carbon isn't just for racers. The Silver Haze if a fitness/trekking bike that boasts a carbon frame and fork with a generous smattering of Shimano XT componentry and dynamo hub, lights, rack and mudguards as standard. All that and a claimed weight of 11.7kg (25.8lb). Sadly though it's only available in mainland Europe.

English speaking buyers will be able to get their hands on this though, the Merluza, a similar design although this time in aluminium and with slightly more emphasis on speed: the drivetrain is Shimano 105 front and rear mechs mated to an FSA chainset and Fulcrum Racing 7 wheels, as with the Silver Haze you get a rack and mudguards, and a set of dynamo lights. Claimed weight is 11.3kg (25lb) for a 50cm bike and the price in the UK or for those buying online is £749.99.

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