There’s nothing like good timing and we have to thank our lucky stars that we were in the right place when the Focus engineer arrived at Milram’s Tour de France base – complete with the new Izalco frame and gave us this world exclusive story.
A completely new frame, Focus engineers have prioritised stiffness at the same time as trying to ensure that the rider has a more comfortable ride – so less shocks are passed on as you ride over poorroad surfaces.
Interesting for a top end race bike that comfort should have been targeted as much as it has, not only are the seatstays designed to allow a little flex when the rider hits a bump but there is ample room to run a 25mm tyre and depending on the brand a 27mm version may be possible. A 27.2mm seatpost will be used and there will be no integrated post option.
Focus has taken an interesting route with the internal cable routing. Rather than simply entering at the headtube and running down the inside of the tube they have placed a cable lining inside the tube wall, this gives the appearance of the tube having veins. The theory being that not only does this stop the cable from being exposed to the elements as with a conventional routing, but also the cable does not need to negotiate any tight corners, as is often the case with other internal designs, so there’s less friction – leading to better shift performance.
Up front, the 3T fork is an exclusive design for Focus, based on the highly respected Funda Pro, the Focus version has a 1-1/4inch lower race tapering to 1-1/8th at the top. Side stiffness was very important but like the rear of the frame, the fork needed to offer a little comfort too.
Certainly the new Izalco has been designed with the pros in mind as the top tube width has been kept to a minimum to try and ensure that their potentially large thighs don’t hit. Also the massive bottom bracket is designed for BB30 with every last millimetre used to make a broad and stiff platform for the rider to transmit power. The headtube is said to be 10 per cent stiffer than the previous Izalco.