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Focus Izalco Max Disc 9.6 2021

This week Fast Bike Friday is looking at the 2021 Focus Izalco Max Disc 8.8 carbon aero road bike and straight off it has to be said it looks absolutely stunning! This German designed, race-ready road bike is super-aero and catches the eye thanks to its minimal, clean lines and aerodynamic silhouette which is somewhat enhanced by Focus’ simple but elegant gloss-burgundy paintjob.

No gimmicks, just a simple, clean and elegant design…

Focus Izalco Max Disc 8.8 2021

The Focus Izalco Max frameset goes well beyond eye-pleasing aesthetics though with some serious science and German engineering behind its development. Focus have struck that magic balance between lightweight and aero with all of the frame’s tube profiles designed and refined after many hours in the wind tunnel. The use of Kamm tail profiles have allowed the engineers to create an aero frame while cutting overall weight.

Tube profiling has been refined to give greater aerodynamic performance…

Focus Izalco Max Disc 8.8 2021

The Izalco Max Disc 8.8 is constructed from super-rigid high-modulus carbon fibre which has helped to create a stiff and responsive frame while keeping weight to a minimum, with a claimed weight of 1040 grams for the frame and only 376 grams for the aero fork.

Rigid high-modulus carbon fibre construction means a stiff, responsive chassis…

Focus Izalco Max Disc 8.8

Sometimes the smallest details make the biggest difference; a good example of this is the Izalco Max’s carbon seat post design. The Focus designers have developed an aero-profiled D-profile post which kills two birds with one stone, firstly it’s aerodynamically profiled and secondly it’s flattened rear profile has been designed to flex a little giving you added comfort in the saddle. A subtle but really effective tweak to the frame’s geometry adds even more comfort and compliance. To maintain the optimum sitting position Focus have pushed the seat tube forwards so that the effective offset is only 2 mm. This means that you can enjoy the comfort of a seat post with 15 mm offset, without having to forgo an efficient, aero racing sitting position.

Don’t be fooled, while the frame may look racey it’s not at the expense of comfort…

Focus Izalco Max Disc 8.8 2021

The Focus Izalco Max Disc 8.8 comes spec’d with Shimano’s excellent Ultegra 11-Speed mechanical groupset which gives you brilliantly functional, crisp and light gear shifting in every gear selection, even in the heat of the moment while racing. Focus have spec’d a 52T/36T chainset up front combined with an 11-30T cassette to give you a versatile spread of gear ratios that will help you climb efficiently but still be able to find that top speed when you’re strung out on the weekly chaingang.

Focus have spec’d the Izalco Max Disc 8.8 with Shimano’s excellent Ultegra groupset…

Focus Izalco Max Disc 8.8 2021

Braking is taken care of with Shimano’s Ultegra R8020 hydraulic disc brake calipers and 160mm disc rotors bringing you powerful, predictable well-modulated braking in all weather conditions; gone are the days when a ride in wet weather meant having to second guess whether or not your rim brakes are going to bite and control your speed on tight downhill turns.

Ultegra R8020 disc brakes bring enhanced control to your ride…

Focus Izalco Max Disc 8.8 2021

With a clean-looking internally-routed front brake hose the front flat-mount Ultegra R8020 hydraulic disc brake looks neat; Focus have developed their own thru-axle system – the R.A.T. (Rapid Axle Technology) Quick-Release system which has cleverly combined the security and stiffness of a typical thru-axle with the speed and efficiency of a traditional quick-release system meaning wheel changes can be done in super-quick time.

The R.A.T. (Rapid Axle Technology) Quick-Release system is fast and efficient to use…

Focus Izalco Max Disc 8.8 2021

The spec of this complete bike reflects Focus’ erm, focus(?!) on not cutting corners with the finishing kit of their bikes; a Prologo Scratch saddle with a proven saddle profile further adds to the overall comfort of this bike.

Prologo Scratch saddle…

Focus Izalco Max Disc 8.8 2021

The Focus Izalco Max Disc 8.8 aero road bike features Novatec’s R5 carbon wheelset, which is another great asset to this race-ready machine. This wheelset with an aerodynamic 50mm deep rim-profile makes an excellent wheelset for race day; whether you’re competing in your weekly crit or are taking on a hilly day-long challenge this wheelset hits the desired sweet spot between being lightweight and aero so they really can do it all. The Izalco Max is shod with 25mm Vittoria Rubino Graphene 2.0 tyres giving you good grip and minimal rolling resistance, but if you want to go bigger the Izalco Max can easily take 28mm wide tyres for even more comfort on rough road surfaces.

A fantastic carbon Novatec R5 carbon wheelset comes as standard…

Focus Izalco Max Disc 8.8 2021

If you are looking for a versatile, modern road bike that ticks all the boxes, namely – disc brakes, aero-profiled frame, enhanced comfort, high-performance stiffness and responsiveness, internally-routed cables AND a pair of race-ready wheels then the Focus Izalco Max Disc 8.8 may be for you. But just to reinforce the point, this is not a bike you’ll only want to ride on race day, as previously highlighted this aero road bike is also deceptively comfortable and is more than ready for all-day epic road rides over the hilliest routes you can find.

Comfort and speed in one versatile package…

Focus Izalco Max Disc 8.8 2021

See the Focus Izalco Max Disc 8.8 available in-store and online now.

Blog written by Johnny Dodgin

Photos by James Vincent