Pro bike: Jeremy Powers' Jelly Belly p/b Kenda Focus Izalco Pro
Jeremy Powers – otherwise known as “J-Pow!” – is better known for his exploits on the cyclo-cross racing circuit (not to mention his popular Behind the Barriers video series) but he also cuts his teeth during the road season racing for the Jelly Belly p/b Kenda team.
Despite racing for two different teams, Powers will get to enjoy a bit more stability this season as he’ll be on the same make of bicycle throughout. A switch from the Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com powerhouse to the Rapha-Focus team will put him on a Focus Mares this autumn, and Jelly Belly are again on the German company’s carbon machines this season, upgrading from the Cayo to the more advanced Izalco Pro.
Technically speaking, the Izalco Pro is Focus’s second-tier road racer but in essence, it’s simply last year’s flagship bumped down a notch and renamed to make room for the updated Izalco Team. The overall shape is very similar, including the very broad and slightly squared-off down tube, tapered front end, enormous BB30-compatible bottom bracket area, slim twin seatstays, carbon fiber dropouts and asymmetrical seat tube.
The top tube has just the slightest bit of arc from end to end: the top tube has just the slightest bit of arc from end to endJames Huang/BikeRadar
The Focus Izalco Pro’s top tube has just the slightest bit of arc from end to end
In fact, aside from a more advanced fiber layup, about the only visual cue is the slightly altered internal derailleur cable routing. While the Izalco Pro’s rear derailleur housing pops out at the bottom bracket and then runs atop the chainstay, the Team’s housing re-emerges just ahead of the dropout for a cleaner look.
SRAM provide the team with most of the major hardware, aside from the rear derailleur, but Jelly Belly make do with Force components instead of the top-end Red. It’s not much of a disadvantage since the two packages are virtually identical in terms of functionality and feel, and also very close in weight. There are no punches pulled for the wheels, though, as DT Swiss fit the team with their top-end carbon fiber aero tubulars for racing and alloy clinchers for training. Naturally, team co-title sponsors Kenda supply the tires.
Like many pros, Powers’ 3T cockpit components are all aluminum, including the ARX Pro stem, Rotundo Pro classic-bend bar and Dorico Pro setback seatpost. Remaining bits include an FSA headset, Speedplay Zero Titanium pedals, a Fi’zi:k Arione CX saddle and a Cateye Strada Wireless computer with custom Jelly Belly team graphics.
Powers and company weren’t able to make much of an impact with their Izalco Pros at this month’s Tour of California, netting just one top-10 stage finish and a 50th place finish on GC – Powers was 92nd. However, sponsoring a team isn’t necessarily about winning but rather exposure.
While you never saw any of the Jelly Belly crew up on the podium, their colorful bus and amiable roster of riders were always ready to engage with ever-present groups of eager fans (who undoubtedly wanted some free jelly beans). By that measure, it looks like Jelly Belly are doing just fine.
The enormous bb30-compatible bottom bracket shell dwarfs the sram force bb30 crankarms: the enormous bb30-compatible bottom bracket shell dwarfs the sram force bb30 crankarmsJames Huang/BikeRadar
The enormous BB30-compatible bottom bracket shell dwarfs the SRAM Force BB30 crankarms