Focus Cayo 7.0 review

Much loved carbon steed gets a refresh

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
GBP £1,299.00 RRP | AUD $2,399.00 | USD $2,050.00

Our review

The Cayo is joy to ride and fantastic value for money
Skip to view product specifications

The first generation Cayo launched in 2005 and quickly established itself as a benchmark for affordable carbon road bikes. For 2015, Focus has released an all new variant that’s available with and without discs. The 7.0 is the cheapest model, with a claimed frame weight in the region of 860g (plus just 350g for the fork).

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  • Highs: An incredibly nice frame for the money that’s stiff yet comfy; great shifting from the 105 groupset
  • Lows: No mudguard mounts despite ample clearance; wheels are quite heavy
  • Buy if: You want a quality frame that’s specced for maximum value

Although it sits at the bottom of the range, the Cayo 7.0 shares a frameset with its costlier brethren, and there’s nothing budget about it. It’s got neat internal cable routing, a full carbon tapered fork, and carbon dropouts. Thanks to the interchangeable ‘Cable Routing Plate’ head tube insert, it’ll take an electronic groupset without unsightly bodges, a boon if you want the option of upgrading down the line.

No new bike would be complete without an impressive/vacuous sounding marketing acronym; the Cayo gets ‘SSPS’ (Stable Stiffness Per Size), which means carbon layups are adjusted across the sizes to reflect the stiffness requirements of different rider weights. Of course, this may not help if you’re short and fat, or unusually skinny for your height.

The frame also sports an immense PF30 bottom bracket shell (which necessitates adaptor cups for the Shimano chainset) and a top tube that flares dramatically to sharp points, before blending into the head tube, all in the interests of targeting stiffness where it’s needed most. We don’t know if that actually makes sense from an engineering perspective, but it certainly looks good.

Smooth shifting 105 provides 11-speed cadence control
Smooth shifting 105 provides 11-speed cadence control:
Robert Smith

Smooth shifting 105 provides 11-speed cadence control

Focus has been intelligent with its choice of components. A non-series Shimano chainset and off-brand brakes (which work just fine) keep costs down, but they’ve given you the parts of the latest 11-speed 105 groupset that matter – the shifters, the derailleurs, and the fancy polymer-coated cables that ensure buttery shifting.

The wheels are relatively chunky OEM Fulcrum offerings, but feature cartridge bearings and brass spoke nipples, and it’s gratifying to see 25mm tyres fitted as standard. Speaking of tyres, it’s worth mentioning that the Cayo has clearance for at least 28mm of rubber front and rear, which should also make fitting mudguards easier, although Focus has missed a trick by not providing any mounts.

The finishing kit is from Focus’ in-house Concept brand and while it’s not flashy, it fits in well with the aesthetic of the bike. We very much liked the bars, which flare outwards quite significantly at the comfy, ergo shaped drops, offering a lot of confidence on descents.

Flared drops inspire confidence on descents
Flared drops inspire confidence on descents:
Robert Smith

Flared drops inspire confidence on descents

In fact, the whole riding experience is one of composure: it’s not a cobble eater, but the frame does an admirable job of absorbing road buzz, succeeding in preserving a great sense of willingness when the urge to hurt oneself strikes. Reasonably, but not excessively aggressive geometry (our 51cm frame had a 537mm top tube, 130mm head tube and a 72 degree head angle) lets you get low if you want to, and 52/36 gearing up front occupies a satisfying middle ground between a standard chainset and a compact, matched to an 11-28 cassette that should satisfy most.

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The Cayo is a hell of a lot of bike for your money. If you’re desperate to shed weight, there’s a fair saving to be made in the wheels, but it’s nice enough in its stock form that we wouldn’t bother.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Focus Cayo 7.0 (15)
Brand Focus

Available Sizes XS S M L XL
Year 2015
Seatpost Concept EX 27.2mm
Shifters Shimano 105 5800 11-speed
Stem Concept EX 31.8 clamp 10cm
Trail 6.5
Weight (kg) 8.25
Wheelset Fulcrum WH-CEX 7.0
Weight (lb) 18.19
Saddle Concept EX
Bottom Bracket Height (cm) 28
Chainstays (cm) 40
Seat Tube (cm) 44
Standover Height (cm) 75.5
Top Tube (cm) 52
Wheelbase (cm) 98.5
Seat Angle 74
Rear Wheel Weight 1860
Bottom Bracket Shimano Hollowtech2
Frame Material Cayo P2T carbon
Brakes Concept R540
Cassette Shimano 105 5800, 11-28, 11-speed
Chain Shimano HG 600, 11-speed
Cranks Shimano RS500, 52/36, 170mm
Fork Cayo P2T carbon T4
Fork Offset 4
Front Derailleur Shimano 105
Rear Tyre Schwalbe Lugano 25mm
Front Tyre Schwalbe Lugano 25mm
Front Wheel Weight 1300
Handlebar Concept EX 40cm
Head Angle 72.5
Headset Type FSA sealed integrated cartridge bearings
Rear Derailleur Shimano 105
Frame size tested S