Focus Izalco Pro 3.0 voted Bike of the Year by Cycling Plus
It has always been a Bike Co-op mission to bring the best of bicycling to our customers.
In autumn 2011, we introduced Focus Bikes to our range.
In April 2012, Cycling Plus awarded the Focus Izalco Pro 3.0 their coveted Bike of the Year award.
Prescient or what?
Cycling Plus rated the Focus Izalco Pro 3.0 the best of 25 bikes tested because “for the price, you are getting exactly the same frame as the £5,799 team bike, so the Izalco can be upgraded to your heart’s content. Trek, Cannondale and Giant all offer lower grade carbon versions of their flagship designs, while Focus offer its best, making its value for money soar.”
Focus Izalco Pro Review, Cycling Plus
Download a PDF of the review (600KB).
“The Izalco has been around for a couple of seasons and has seen action at the highest levels of the sport, the Team model being ridden by the Katusha team and Acqua & Sapone.
Impressively, the Pro tested here shares the same frame as the Team, with a weight that hits the magical 1kg mark and has all the features you’d expect of a pro-level frame. Up front the tapered head tube flows into a trapezoid-shaped down tube; not only does this look suitably high tech, but it cleverly uses the internal cable routing as structural spines through the tubing’s edges.
The bottom bracket shell is hugely oversized and the chainstays significantly beefy, while the dropouts are full carbon and angle backwards, meeting the super skinny seatstays behind the axle centre. Giving the seatstays additional length allows for more flex to aid comfort without affecting the stiffness of the chainstays. The major difference is the fork: the Pro is fitted with the 3T Rigida while the Team boasts the lighter 3T Funda.
Brakes and gears are SRAM Force, the equivalent of Shimano Ultegra. It’s lighter and performs just as well – and it has better braking performance.
Rounding off the 3.0’s package is a quality DT Swiss wheelset in the form of the RR1850s. You can buy lighter for the same money but you’d be pushed to find anything put together significantly better. It’s good to see Focus hasn’t skimped on the tyres either: Continental Grand Prix treads offer reasonably low weight but a great feel, with plenty of comfort from their 24mm width.
On paper the Izalco certainly looks impressive, as it does on the scales, at 7.78kg for a 58cm frame. But that won’t win tests – it’s how it behaves on the road that counts, and here the Pro 3.0 really doesn’t disappoint. With a compact drivetrain and wide cassette married to the the bike’s overall lightness, the Izalco is truly exceptional on long hilly rides. That’s not to say that when you want to stomp on the pedals and thrash it doesn’t follow suit – if anything, the Pro 3.0 is at its best when you’re going as hard as you can. The Izalco is not only composed and rigid under power, it handles with a confident swiftness, too.
Cannondale’s Super Six Apex might have the edge in the ultimate handling stakes, while the Trek 3.5 Madone sneaks it for comfort and Canyon’s Ultimate offers unparalleled equipment levels, but the Izalco is the perfect all-rounder. We’re seriously impressed.
Highs: Combines great kit, light weight and superlative ride quality.
Lows: We can’t find much to fault with the impeccable Izalco.
Verdict: A superlative all-rounder that’s hugely impressive however you ride it. 5/5.”
Cycling Plus: April 2012.
Cycling Plus Bike of the Year 2012
Focus Izalco Pro 3.0
Download a PDF of the review (600KB).
“The Focus Izalco slid into victory not because of the specification and not because of its price, but simply because of its all-round capabilities. It shares the same frame as the Team editions, as ridden in last year’s Grand Tours by Katusha, and it’s this heart of the bike that’s a step above anything else. The fluid tube shapes aren’t just for aesthetics: the carbon lay-up and profiles are engineered to balance light weight and resistance to forces that can lead to twisting and flex, while the rear stays’ configuration and lightweight carbon dropouts add comfort and unparalleled smoothness.
When you want to step up and push hard, the Izalco responds instantly, but sit back and cruise and it’s couch comfortable. On climbs, it’s even more impressive still; its light response and smooth riding making it one that we kept coming back to, to ride more and more.
Creating a bike that’s able to match you whether you want to ride hard or cruise along in comfort is a superb trick and one we’ve only really encountered on bikes at twice the price. And that’s really the crux of the Izalco’s triumph. For the price, you are getting exactly the same frame as the £5,799 team bike, so the Izalco can be upgraded to your heart’s content. Trek, Cannondale and Giant all offer lower grade carbon versions of their flagship designs, while Focus offer its best, making its value for money soar.”