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Eurobike 2013: Focus Izalco Max disc brake prototype

By:
Sam Dansie
The Focus Izalco Max disc brake prototype with double bolt-thru axles

The Focus Izalco Max disc brake prototype with double bolt-thru axles

  • The Focus Izalco Max disc brake prototype with double bolt-thru axles
  • The disc brake Focus Izalco Max prototype is equipped with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 and AX-Lightness wheels
  • Focus have opted for bolt-thru axles on both wheels, for the extra rigidity they provide
  • The Focus Izalco Max prototype is fitted with 140mm discs

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This article originally published on BikeRadar

Parked in a corner of the Focus tent at the Eurobike 2013 Demo Day was this fine-looking Izalco Max disc prototype, claimed to weigh an extraordinarily light 6.2kg (13.7lb). Look closely, though – the Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 road bike has bolt-thru axles front and rear.

Disc brakes on road bikes were a strong trend at Eurobike, with a number of top brands augmenting their ranges with them. Front and rear bolt-thru axles, however, are still a rarity. For the Izalco Max, Focus have used a 100x15mm front axle, a 142x12mm model at the back, 140mm discs and an AX-Lightness Stream 55 wheelset.

"With this concept we are one of the first," said a Focus rep, who was keen to emphasise that the bike is a statement of intent and direction rather than a finished article. However, a disc-ready Izalco Max could make Focus' 2015 lineup, BikeRadar were told.

A bolt-thru axle – almost ubiquitous on longer travel mountain bikes – should cause a major improvement in the alignment consistency of the disc in the caliper. It should also help avoid watt-haemorrhaging friction between the disc and caliper, and provide strength to withstand more powerful braking forces and prevent the disc pulling the wheel out of the dropouts. The drawback is that you can't remove the wheel quickly to fix a puncture or mechanical.

Danish company Principia released a Revolution frame with double bolt-thru axles over the summer.

For more information on Focus bikes see www.focus-bikes.com.

emacdo More than 1 year ago
I need this bike for a gravel/chip seal road ride I'm doing this weekend. Please overnight me a size large. Thank you.
crankitup More than 1 year ago
Performance-wise the bolt-thru axle will be fine if they pair it with wheels designed for tubeless tyres, then tubeless goo will take care of most punctures. I'm not sure about the comment on pulling the wheel out of the drop-outs, isn't that why the UCI mandated lawyer tabs? If they're not strong enough, then beef them up!
Dr_Stav More than 1 year ago
The braking force of the disc is closer to the axle than normal rim callipers, so in the case of brakes binding, the leverage distance from the contact patch to the brake is much higher than the contact patch to the rim calliper. This additional leverage means that if a QR is loose it is far easier to rotate around the binding point, hence jumping out of the drop out. Lawyer tabs may be sufficient in normal rim callipers, but for discs they may need additional security. I can speak from seeing the new wave of disc bikes, but from the bikes I've owned, anything with discs has had additional engineering - MTB has had wells around the drop out, but wheel changing time hasn't been a constraint, while my commute/cross bike has hex keys on the QR to prevent theft/ensure sufficient tightening behind the lawyer tabs.
harvster More than 1 year ago
how do change a flat when you are out on the road? carry extra tools?
rider1000 More than 1 year ago
Not shown in the pics, but most thru-axles still have a quick release lever and then you just screw it out. Slower, but no extra tools required. This seems like a brilliant idea for pro CX racers that have a chance twice a lap to switch bikes. No need to worry about the speed of swapping a wheel, with all the benefit of a more sturdy ride.
climb4fun More than 1 year ago
142mm rear spacing.What does that chainline look like?

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