The Alpine launch of the Focus Izalco Max this week was an appropriate location for what will be revered as a bike for the climbers.
With the bike’s raison d’etre being lightweight and stiffness, Focus has pretty much nailed it. It’s an impressive 760g frame and 295g fork. While not quite knocking on the door of the Cevelo RCA, it’s certainly in the neighborhood – perhaps unsurprisingly once you know that they’re sister companies using the same production factory that specialises in lightweight carbon technology.
Focus are keeping close to its chest the exact choice of pre-preg carbon used in the model. We know there’s a mix of three different high-modulus carbon used within the Izalco Max monocoque construction, but what exactly, it wasn’t prepared to reveal.
The end result is a balanced looking and aesthetically-pleasing bike. It has classic looks thanks to its slender tubing. The asymmetric chainstays are subtle, as is the additional wave in the head tube shape. Named the ‘Boost Box’, it’s said to aid front-end stiffness.
Even the use of a BB30 doesn’t add additional bulk to the bottom bracket area. The external cabling on the Team version also adds to the more traditional bike visual, added after pro team mechanic feedback.
But it’s the forks that Focus are most proud of, and understandably. It’s one of the narrowest and lightest full carbon sets we’ve seen – it takes some serious composite knowledge to achieve this. Focus also claims some impressive stiffness numbers, but we’ll need to test one before we can verify this.
Five versions of the Izalco Max will be available from early autumn in sizes 48 to 61. Prices start from £4,399 for Izalco Max 3.0 equipped with Sram Red and Fizik Cyrano R3 cockpit.
The range-topping Izalco Max 0.0 comes with Sram Red 22, Fizik Cyrano cockpit, THM Fibular carbon brakes, DT Swiss RCC32 Dicut Carbon T wheelset, weighs an alleged highly UCI illegal 5.4kg and will set you back an eye-wincing £7,899!