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RCUK100 - Focus Izalco Max Disc road bike

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Focus Izalco Max Disc

World's lightest disc brake road bike launched for new year

Last year saw the semi-legalisation of disc brakes in the pro peloton and that, in turn, meant plenty of big name brands launched disc-equipped bikes.

Focus were among those who threw their hat in the ring and, as sponsors of French team Ag2r-La Mondiale, you’ll likely see this disc-equipped version of their top-line road bike in the pro peloton some time this season.

But to simply call the Focus Izalco Max a disc brake road bike is doing a disservice since, tipping the scales bang on the UCI weight limit of 6.8kg, it’s the lightest disc brake road bike in the world. Lighter, in fact, than many non-disc-brake bikes.

To simply call the Focus Izalco Max a disc brake road bike is doing a disservice since, tipping the scales bang on the UCI weight limit of 6.8kg, it’s the lightest disc brake road bike in the world.

The frame itself weighs in at 790g and the fork at 325g, meaning this could form the basis of a very light build indeed – and is just about as future-proof as it gets in the road bike market right now.

Apart from being super light, there’s much more to the Izalco too as it manages to retain the stiffness of the rim brake model ridden in the pro peloton. It also has identical stack and reach figures, using Focus’ ‘stable stiffness per size’ concept whereby they vary carbon layups across the size range to make sure bigger frames perform just as well as the smaller ones.

This bike is, to all intents and purposes, the same machine on which Romain Bardet and Alexis Vuillermoz won Tour de France stages last year, with a few marginal adjustments to cater for the demands of disc brakes.

There’s been marginal reinforcement of the fork and chainstays in order to cope with the asymmetric torque of discs, and thru axles have been added to help with that as well. Those changes are hardly noticable, though, as the fork has been strengthened internally and the chainstays are marginally longer than before.

RCUK100 - Focus Izalco Max Disc road bike
RCUK100 - Focus Izalco Max Disc road bike
RCUK100 - Focus Izalco Max Disc road bike

Innovation and progress aren’t lacking when it comes to Focus’s flagship model, which is arguably the flagship model for disc-equipped road bikes of any kind

And just in case you’re wondering, those thru axles don’t mean added difficulty when changing wheels either – Focus’s own Rapid Axle Technology makes it just as easy to remove as a quick release skewer. It also keeps the external cabling from the rim brake model as well, at the request of Ag2r’s mechanics.

The Concept CPX Plus seatpost is similar in style to the Canyon VCLS 2.0, and features a slim shaft (27.2mm to be exact) and a cut-out which allows for flex and is built to dampen road vibrations without compromising the stiffness of the bike.

And obviously, there’s no need for a bridge between the seat stays to mount a brake, allowing them more freedom of movement and that, in conjunction with longer 415mm chainstays, make the back end significantly more comfortable. On top of that, the bike will also accept up to 28mm tyres if you’re after another way to improve ride quality.

RCUK100 - Focus Izalco Max Disc road bike
RCUK100 - Focus Izalco Max Disc road bike
RCUK100 - Focus Izalco Max Disc road bike

Focus may have already had a disc brake road bike on the market with the mid-range Cayo Disc, but the Izalco Max Disc takes things to a whole new level. Innovation and progress aren’t lacking when it comes to Focus’ flagship model, which is arguably the flagship model for disc-equipped road bikes of any kind.

Plus, while previously you wouldn’t have chosen disc brakes for climbing due to weight, the Izalco Max Disc has taken the game to a whole new level. Focus offer this bike with Shimano Dura-Ace and R785 hydraulic brakes, but the model we have here is decked out in SRAM Red 22 and the brand’s latest HRD flat mount disc brakes. Fizik provide the finishing kit, in the form of the Cyrano R3 handlebar and matching stem and Antares K:ium saddle.

DT Swiss RC38 Carbon C Disc tubeless-ready wheels, shod in Schwalble One tyres completes the get-up, which will cost £4,699 all in.

For unashamed weight weenies, swap all that out for some super-light carbon tech and Focus managed to get the weight down to below the 6kg mark – now that’s light by any standards, discs or not.

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