Opinions on the Focus Izalco Team Replica ?

anyone ride one ? anyone have any feedback ? I'm contemplating this , along with a Ridley Damocles for 2011. They seem to be about the price range in my neck of the woods.

thanks
 
Nov 14, 2009
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Hi I ride a 2010 Focus Izalco Pro. I have had it since July and done about 1300kms road racing and crits on it. (My other bikes for reference are a 2005 Specialized SWORKS E5 and a Terry Dolan Steel frame for training/commuting).

On the Izalco I am running D-Ace7900 complete, Mavic Ksyrium ES wheels and Deda newton/Zero bars, stem, seatpost, Conti GP4000 tyres.

Enough reference points ......

I stepped off my SWORKS race bike to the Izalco. I settled on the Izalco after looking at a lot of others such as Trek, Look, Wilier, Cube. My criteria was I wanted a bike that was built in the same postcode as the brand name by a company that understands how bikes are ridden and hence built. And it had to be <7kg. The Izalco I have is 7kg on the dot.

In short I would describe the Izalco as a no fuss bike that does the job. I don't mean this in a negative way. It has a degree of stealth that lets your legs do the talking, rather than a fancy paint job. The internal cable routing looks like veins running down the tubes which looks cool.

The Izalco is stiffer than the alloy SWORKS at the BB and so I feel my leg power is better used. The ride is less compliant than the SWORKS so on rough, coarse country roads I prefer to run hand built wheels(Mavic Open Pro, DT Swiss spokes,White Industry hubs, Vittoria Open Corsa tyres) to absorb some of the road vibe. Descending is very stable, superb and direct. I am able to pick the line through corners and stick to it much better than the SWORKS. I am not a climber so basically all bikes feel pretty much the same to me going up hill. The Izalco feels efficient. In Crits I find the bike responsive and again very good in corners particularly with stiff wheels like the Mavic ESs. After riding the Izalco the SWORKS now feels soft and springy.

I think that for 2011 the higher level 2010 frames and 3T forks have migrated down the range so you get a better frame for the same money now.

If you are in Australia and can track it down the Izalco was reviewed in RIDE Cycling Review magazine JUL/AUG/SEP 2010.

Have fun getting a new bike!
 
Oct 8, 2010
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I couldn't resist but to comment on this thread...

As a German bike mechanic knowing the "quality" of Focus bikes I'd just like to add that not everything "Made in Germany" deserves this title. Focus bikes are most certainly part of this category. Although their warranty procedures are reasonable and uncomplicated it's a shame that they have to be employed so often.

Especially the high-end carbon fibre models are failing left, right and center. Just last month saw a "Raven" cracked in three different places. Admittedly the "Raven" is a mountain bike, however, the third time (!!!!) the frame was replaced for the same customer.

Word of advice - Stay away from anything Focus!!!

Cheers,
Mad
 
mad,
I stand corrected in that it is the izalco extreme that I'm thinking about. My final decision will be down to past years models of Pinarello, and 2011 Focus, and maybe, just maybe a slight chance of Specialized. It all depends on pricing and availability come March/April 2011. :D
 
Nov 14, 2009
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Hi Mad,

Whilst the Focus Izalco bike has sticker saying "Made in Germany" I will believe it to be so. I am not completely niave with such things, afterall Orbea's "Made in Spain" bikes are made in the far east, but the Spanish laws enable them to label them as "Made in Spain". As for Pinarello and Colnago you have to buy the mega bucks top of the line frame to get it truly Made In Italy.

Some of my reasoning for thinking my Focus Izalco is not made in the far east is that I have not seen the same frame design sold by any other brand. If you do a quick compare of a few carbon frame brands you will quickly see they have exactly the same frame design but with different paint and stickers. ie they come from the same far east factories.

Interesting comment about the Focus frames cracking. But then again I have heard of many other brands of carbon frames failing, including the biggies like Specialized. I look after my bikes and because I bought it in my country from an authorised dealer I have a warranty.

Ride safe!

Purpletezza.
 
Jul 27, 2009
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Focus frames are manufactured in Asia. It doesn't say that exactly on the Focus website but if you read between the lines of the marketing speak it's quite obvious they aren't manufactured in Germany. They get away with saying they are made in Germany because they are designed there, assembled there and most probably painted and finished there.

Btw, I'm not saying that's a bad thing. In my opinion the same standard of carbon frame should come out of Asia as Europe, it's the quality control that probably sets them apart. So, if the Focus frame is produced in Taiwan and not China then there should be no issues.

On the WW site (weight weenies geeks) someone put together a good list of where each manufacturer has their frames made, even down to which models.

On the original topic I quite like the look of the Izalco Team. I would buy it before a Ridley any day of the week.
 
purpletezza said:
But then again I have heard of many other brands of carbon frames failing, including the biggies like Specialized. I look after my bikes and because I bought it in my country from an authorised dealer I have a warranty....
I've heard the same thing from my shop contacts. They get those high-end suckers sold and then they come back in for warranty repair under varying degrees of failure, mostly by guys with more money than legs. It's an awkward situation sometimes too because the sale is made as "this is the best, super strong, super whatever..." And then it's broken. $5000 broken by guys who won't miss the money but dislike discovering they've been 'sold' when they believe they are smarter than that.

Common alloys are *much* simpler to work with. Not a huge weight penalty, fail elegantly, and durable. Titanium under the right care is as good. But it's **hard** to work/weld/etc.
 
Nov 14, 2009
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Ah so I see on the Focus website:
"We are proud of our production location Germany. FOCUS – bikes made in Germany. This stands for quality and German Engineering skill. All FOCUS frames and technologies are developed in our Cloppenburg local region. According to the here developed specifications and the control of our staff, selected partners produce raw frames – which becomes a platform for the new FOCUS bike. A variety of small work steps is necessary for production, distribution and marketing. All of these are accomplished by our almost 500 employees in Germany."

So "selected partners produce raw frames" could mean they are made anywhere. Doesn't matter. I like my Focus Izalco and it is different from any other brand out there, and in Australia I have only seen about another 10 on the road, unlike the 1000's of Giant, Specialized, Trek etc.

Ride safe!
 
Jan 18, 2010
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"Focus, bikes made in Taiwan" doesnt have the same ring about it does it. !? :)

Go for a Pinnarello.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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sublimit said:
"Focus, bikes made in Taiwan" doesnt have the same ring about it does it. !? :)

Go for a Pinnarello.
Pinarello also made in Taiwan. You guys have to get over the "made in...." thing. FYI, the Taiwanese plant that makes Pinarello and others has arguably the most experience laying up carbon in the entire world. Just sayin' ;)
 
Jan 18, 2010
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RDV4ROUBAIX said:
Pinarello also made in Taiwan. You guys have to get over the "made in...." thing. FYI, the Taiwanese plant that makes Pinarello and others has arguably the most experience laying up carbon in the entire world. Just sayin' ;)

At least Pinnarello dont go around blabbering on about about being made in Italy or whatever. The Focus add is misleading but I dont have have a problem with Taiwan bikes its just the lack of clarity from from companies like Focus about where they source their bike frames and components.

I'm thinking of picking up a Specialized or a Merida as a training bike for next year so dont worry I'm not anti Taiwan at all.
 
Nov 14, 2009
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Check out the Dec2010 USA magazine Road Bike Action for a review. http://www.roadbikeaction.com/.

By the way my Izalco just went into the shop as the BB30 bearings are stuffed, they feel like they are full of dirt. After only about 700km of dry riding that is disappointing. They are gonna put some better bearings in now.
 

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