Focus 2014 road bikes – first look
By Warren Rossiter | Monday, August 12, 2013 12.11pm
The new Focus Izalco Chrono Max time trial/triathlon bike, here in Ag2r team replica spec Warren Rossiter/Future Publishing
2014 looks set to be a big year for German giants Focus, especially in terms of road bikes. Two new platforms – the Izalco Max and Izalco Chrono – were announced in the French Alps back in July, and BikeRadar are currently in Cloppenburg, Germany, for the manufacturer’s main launch and more details on the upcoming ranges.
Click through our image gallery, right, for photos of all the road bike highlights, and watch the video below.
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Video: Focus 2014 road bikes at Eurobike 2013
Izalco Max range details
The Focus Izalco Max range begins with the 22-speed, SRAM Red-equipped 3.0 at £4,399. The superlight 795g (56cm) frame is a constant throughout the range, and the 3.0 is completed with Fulcrum Racing Zero wheels shod with Schwalbe’s latest One tyres.
Focus have also put together an exclusive deal with Fi’zi:k – all bikes in the Max range sport their saddles, and the 3.0 features Cyrano components including the R3 handlebar and R1 seatpost. Max bikes can be specced with a 50/34 compact and 11-28 cassette, or a racy 53/39, 11-26 trim.
Next in line is the 2.0, at £5,799. It shares the same wheelset as the 3.0 but gets a full Campagnolo Record 11 groupset and Fi’zi:k carbon R1 components. The Max 2.0 is also one of the first complete bikes to feature Campagnolo’s new internal seat tube battery.
Priced at the same level is the 1.0 – spec-wise, it differs by running Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 11-speed (with an internal seatpost battery) and DT Swiss DICUT RR 21 wheels.
The Focus Izalco Max 3.0 offers the same 725g frame as the astonishingly light 0.0
For £5,999 you get the Max Team Edition – or, to give it its full name, the Max Team Ag2r. The bikes come in full team livery, including a colour-coded Fi’zi:k saddle and carbon Fulcrum Racing Speed tubular wheels, plus a mechanical Campagnolo Super Record group and carbon Fi’zi:k components.
At the very top of the range is the UCI weight limit-smashing Max 0.0. It’s priced at £7,899 and comes with a raft of lightweight components contributing to its 5.5kg overall weight. It should be a climber’s dream, as it features a DT Swiss RRC 32 DICUT carbon tubular wheelset that tips the scales at a frighteningly svelte 1,090g.
From the top of Fi’zi:k’s range come the all-new 00 carbon handlebar and carbon braided rail 00 version of the evergreen Arione. The drivetrain is SRAM’s lightweight 22-speed Red, and braking is handled by ultralight THM Fibula brakes.
Izalco Chrono Max details
The Izalco Chrono Max time trial/triathlon platform uses knowledge gained from the development of the Izalco Max road bikes, enabling Focus to pare the weight down on the wind tunnel-optimised frameset.
The integrated cockpit handles the full internal routing, keeping lines clean and wind-cheating properties at the fore. A modified TRP brake system has been used, with the fork reshaped to allow the brakes to sit flush with it. The Trespas fork has deep (but UCI compliant) blades that broaden and deepen at the crown. Focus claim that this shape helps direct the turbulent air from the front wheel cleanly down the down tube.
The rear brake is mounted at the bottom bracket, keeping things clean out back too. The rear dropouts are horizontal, with internal adjusters allowing you to tune the wheelbase and giving you a wider choice of tyres. Focus told us they’re seeing more and more top riders switching to a 25c tyred over standard 23c options.
They also understand that a large percentage of the Chrono Max bikes will end up being raced by triathletes, so the bike will be shipped with a tri-specific stem, raising the front end by 30mm. The inline pro-spec stems we saw on display bikes will be aftermarket options. Another feature that will appeal to triathletes is the adjustable (75-79 degree) seatpost.
The front brake on the Izalco Chrono is heavily modified to fit within the fork profile
The Chrono Max range starts with the 105-equipped 3.0, running on semi-deep Fulcrum CPX 1700 wheels for £2,499. The 2.0 switches up to Ultegra Di2 (11-speed and with an internal battery) with the same CPX 1700 wheels, for £3,499.
The 1.0 retains Di2 (this time Dura-Ace) and gains Fulcrum’s 50mm-deep Racing Speed carbon wheels and Profile’s Svet carbon cockpit. It comes in a pound shy of £6,000.
The Chrono Max Team Ag2r (£7,799) completes Focus’ Ag2r replica lineup. It runs the same 50mm Fulcrums as the 1.0 but switches to Italy for its electronic Record EPS group. It also gains the super-aero, super-trick Bora Ultra carbon crankset.
Izalco Team SL changes
The launch of the Focus Izalco Max platform has signalled the end for the second-tier, pro-level standard Izalco, but that’s meant the lighter Team SL frameset has moved down the price scale. The SL 4.0 is now priced at £2,499 with SRAM’s new Force 22 group, Fi’zi:k components and Fulcrum CX 2.5 wheels.
Focus Izalco Team SL 4.0
At £3,099 the Team SL 2.0 looks to be the bargain of the bunch, as it sports the latest 11-speed mechanical Dura-Ace, Fi’zi:k components and Fulcrum wheels. The Team SL 2.0 is £3,499 with SRAM Red 22, Fulcrum CPX 1700 wheels, and a Fi’zi:k concept carbon stem and seatpost and R3 Cyrano bar.
Topping the Team SL range is a full Dura-Ace Di2 bike with an internal seatpost battery, a Fi’zi:k bar and stem and Fulcrum CX 4.5 wheels. At £4,399 it’s not exactly cheap but is one of the most keenly priced Dura-Ace Di2 bikes we’ve seen so far.
Cayo Evo alterations
The Cayo Evo frame was only introduced within the last couple of seasons, so it remains unchanged for 2014. However, Focus have restructured the range, topped with the 11-speed, Ultegra Di2-equipped 1.0 – with the cost set at £2,899 it promises to be another price-buster.
The Cayo Evo also gets its own team edition model. The Ag2r Team Replica boasts a Campagnolo Chorus drivetrain and Fi’zi:k R5 components, and carries a price tag of £2,499.
The new £1,999 Focus Cayo Evo 2.0 looks great in this matte red-and-black finish
Both the new 2.0 (£1,999) and 3.0 (£1599) boast the latest version of mechanical Ultegra (11-speed) – the price difference is due to the 3.0 getting a lesser wheelset and a Focus-branded FSA Gossamer chainset, as opposed to the 2.0’s Fulcrum 6.5 wheels and FSA Energy chainset.
The Cayo Evo range is finished off with the £1,399, 105-equipped 4.0. It looks set to be a great value bike, and certainly one to watch at the sub-£1,500 price point.
Izalco Ergoride sportive bikes
The Focus Izalco Ergoride range is aimed directly at the sportive rider and, in our opinion, is often criminally overlooked. The series consists of three models, plus three women’s specific Donna versions.
The Ergoride 3.0 comes with a 105 drivetrain and Fulcrum CX 6.5 wheels for £1,549. Next in line, the 2.0 steps up to new Ultegra for an extra £400. The range is topped with a Campagnolo Chorus-equipped model – the 1.0 retains the same Fulcrum wheels as both the 3.0 and the 2.0.
The Focus Izalco Ergoride 3.0 has Shimano 105 and is priced at £1,549
The Donna 1.0 women’s specific bike comes with Ultegra at £1,999; the 2.0 gets 105 at £1,599, and there’s a Tiagra model at £1,299.
Entry level bikes
Entry into the Focus road range starts with the Culebro – the base model 4.0 comes with Shimano Sora and retains the double-butted frame of the previous SL, for £649. The rest of the range comes with a fully redesigned frame and an almost-unheard-of-at-under-a-grand full carbon monocoque fork.
The standard Focus Culebro is still around, but only as the entry level 4.0
The Culebro SL frame now features a tapered head tube and shares its geometry with the new Izalco Max. The SL range is topped by the Ultegra 11-speed 1.0 at a very keenly priced £1,099. The 2.0 gets you 105 for £899, and there’s a new Tiagra-equipped 3.0 at £799.
The popular Focus Mares carbon cyclocross bikes get a significant overhaul for 2014, with the disc models making the switch to full hydraulics courtesy of SRAM.
The range-topping CX 1.0 comes in Rapha team colours and now has SRAM Red 22 with hydraulic disc brakes for £4,299. It’s running on Vision’s new disc-specific T40 carbon tubular wheelset.
The CX 2.0 has Shimano’s new Ultegra Di2 (with a mud-safe internal battery) and, more importantly, new BR-R785 hydraulic road brakes. Disc-specific aluminium clincher wheels – DT’s R1900s – complete the build, which is priced at £3,199.
The Mares CX 3.0 uses SRAM’s S-700 hydraulic disc brakes and Rival gearing for £2,299. We’ve already got the bike in for a test, so look out for a first ride review on BikeRadar soon.
Focus Mares CX 3.0 cyclocross bike
For those who still prefer their muddy kicks with cantilever brakes, Focus have the Ultegra-equipped CX 4.0 (£1,899) and 105-equipped CX 5.0 (£1,599).
The Mares can also be purchased in a lighter aluminium form for 2014. The new frame gains a tapered head tube and full internal routing, so looks significantly slicker than the previous model.
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At the top of the aluminium tree is the AX 1.0, with a SRAM Rival group and S-700 hydraulic disc brakes. We love the Team Rapha-inspired paintwork but are more impressed by its £1,399 price tag.
The AX 2.0 has a higher-level group, in the form of Ultegra, but features canti brakes rather than discs. At £1,199 it looks to be a promising first race bike. If you really must have discs there’s the 3.0, with Shimano 105 and CX75 mechanical brakes, at the same price. For less than a grand, Focus offer the Tiagra- and cantilever-equipped AX 4.0 at £899.
And if it’s a cyclocross-style commuter you’re looking for then the new version of the AX 5.0 (£999) comes with Deore discs, Tiagra, super-fat Continental slicks, mudguards, and a very neat front hub dynamo driving an AXA Pico 30 front light. A rear guard-mounted reflector and Fi’zi:k clip-in rear light handle visibility.
For more information on Focus bikes see www.focus-bikes.com.
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