New ultralight Focus Izalco Max spotted in Italy

Sub-800g frame likely to debut at the Tour de France

Focus will likely be coming out with a new top-end road bike soon. Spotted by an intrepid reader during a vacation to Lake Garda, Italy, this ultralight Focus Izalco Max road model has an alleged frame weight of less than 800g, firmly establishing the German company as a bona fide player in the weight wars.

The new Izalco Max is a visual departure from the current Izalco Pro with predominantly round-profile and very oversized tubing, external cable routing (at least on the early sample we've seen) with molded-in housing stops, a carbon fiber front derailleur mount, and very compact carbon fiber rear dropouts instead of the looped setup used on the current model – all of which signals a predominantly engineering-centric approach to the frame's design that we also expect to yield excellent overall stiffness.

Internal cable routing is foregone for light and heavily tapered stays

Up front is a new '6th Element' carbon fork with a tapered steerer and legs that very abruptly taper down in size from the crown and gently arc forward before reaching back at the dropouts. Trek and Cannondale have used similar dropout treatments in the past so it's possible that Focus has done so to help soften the ride of what we otherwise anticipate will be a pretty firm feel.

Down below is a PF30 bottom bracket shell while up above is an oversized seatpost – we're guessing 30.9mm.

Official details are scant at the moment, as Focus may launch the bike around the Tour de France. But even just judging by appearances, this new model looks very promising.

Spotted in lake garda, italy was the new izalco max from focus - an ultralight model built around a new carbon fiber frame that supposedly weighs less than 800g: spotted in lake garda, italy was the new izalco max from focus - an ultralight model built around a new carbon fiber frame that supposedly weighs less than 800g

James Huang

Technical Editor, US
James started as a roadie in 1990 with his high school team but switched to dirt in 1994 and has enjoyed both ever since. Anything that comes through his hands is bound to be taken apart, and those hands still sometimes smell like fork oil even though he retired from shop life in 2007. He prefers manual over automatic, fizzy over still, and the right way over the easy way.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: Up in the Colorado high-country where the singletrack is still single, the dirt is still brown, and the aspens are in full bloom. Also, those perfect stretches of pavement where the road snakes across the mountainside like an artist's paintbrush.
  • Beer of Choice: Mexican Coke
  • Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA

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