While Focus has all but disappeared from these shores, the German brand continues to remain vibrant in other countries, as evidenced by a refreshed Izalco Max for 2024, touting greater stiffness and improved aerodynamics that doesn’t carry any weight penalty.
However, Focus concedes that these new accolades come with a trade-off, as the revamped Izalco Max’s frame is said to be 48% less comfortable than its predecessor, while the fork is 29% less compliant as well, an odd admission to say the least, especially since the competition is usually touting the complete opposite with their bikes.
In any case, despite surrendering comfort, buyers can take solace knowing that the new bike is claimed two save 6.6 watts of energy at 45 km/h (28 miles per hour).
Additionally, a 500ml water bottle is almost completely concealed by a wider down tube, which according to Focus results in only 0.3 watts of drag
Elsewhere, the Izalco Max moves away from Focus’ finicky RAT thru axle system to a more straightforward set-up, while the bike is treated to fully internal cable routing (regardless of mechanical or electronic shifting), an independent handlebar and stem, a proprietary carbon seat post and a press-fit PF86 bottom bracket.
The Izalco Max is available in six guises, across seven sizes. The 9 series feature Focus’ premium carbon layup, while the three lower 8 series models are almost 200 g heavier, albeit with the same stiffness. With the exception of the 9.7 model, all bikes are equipped with Shimano. They also all sport carbon rims except for the entry-level model, the 8.7. Moreover, the rim width is 21mm across the range, as all models are optimized for 28mm tires.
The top model, the Izalco Max 9.9 is equipped with Shimano DURA-ACE and a DT Swiss ERC 1400 DICUT wheelset for € 8,999. The 9.8 and 9.7 models come fitted Shimano ULTEGRA Di2 or SRAM Rival AXS eTap respectively, coupled with a DT Swiss ERC 1600 DICUT wheelset. The series 8 models are all equipped with Shimano 105 drivetrains, while the Izalco Max 8.9 comes with 105 Di2, with the remaining two have mechanical shifting.
All in, the frame for the upper-tier models tips the scales at a claimed 856 grams in a size medium, while the lower-grade carbon variants weigh in at 1,050g.
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