The new FOCUS PARALANE is far more than just a standard endurance racing bike. The goal of FOCUS’ Stuttgart-based development team, comprising engineers, designers, product managers and keen cyclists, was clearly defined at the start of the project – to develop a racing bike with ideal ride characteristics for long distances on a variety of road surfaces and to combine this with innovative technical solutions to create the most exciting bike of its kind. Whether racing in a sportive (Gran Fondo) or negotiating dirt tracks while on an adventurous trip to the back of beyond, the latest innovation from Germany’s premium bike brand is ready to rise to all these challenges
At the start of every new development process, both the market and the target customers need to be analysed. That’s precisely why, when designing the geometry, the FOCUS development team examined how a wide variety of racing bike riders sit on their bikes. From their observations at road races and sportives and, of course, while out on their own racing bikes, our team identified two broad categories of rider: the racing cyclist and the enthusiast.
While competitive cyclists adopt the classic low posture on their racing bikes for maximum aerodynamic efficiency, the enthusiast sits on the saddle in a position which, while still sporty, is more upright and therefore more comfortable. FOCUS engineers knew that the PARALANE rider needed the more comfortable of the two positions. To achieve this, FOCUS engineers increased the frame’s stack (the vertical distance from the bottom bracket to the top middle point of the head tube) and shortened the reach (the horizontal distance from the bottom bracket to the top middle point of the head tube).
Increasing the stack wasn’t achieved in the usual way by simply lengthening the head tube, as this has a negative impact on the frame’s weight, the standover height and the design. The solution: instead of just lengthening the head tube, the bottom bracket was lowered and the fork extended. These two changes mean that the PARALANE’s head tube is only marginally longer than on a thoroughbred race bike such as the IZALCO MAX or the CAYO. The longer fork also has the advantage that wider tires can be used. Increasing bottom bracket drop to 75 mm noticeably enhances the PARALANE’s ride characteristics. The lower centre of gravity improves stability and handling and gives the rider a sure, confident feeling.
Over the last few years, FOCUS engineers have proven time and again that they can develop and produce framesets that are as light as they are stiff and comfortable, with bikes such as IZALCO MAX and RAVEN MAX. Weighing in at just 907 grams (size 54, painted, incl. small parts, excl. R.A.T. thru axle), the PARALANE’s carbon frame is easily one of the lightest in its class.
While developing the PARALANE, a great deal of work went into achieving enhanced riding comfort. “We want to offer people who are passionate about cycling a road bike that they feel safe and, above all, comfortable on – especially on long rides with a wide variety of road surfaces,” explains Fabian Scholz, FOCUS engineer. He and his colleagues spend a lot of time on finite element analyses (FEA) to find out what parts of the frameset are susceptible to vertical forces that can only be countered by a comfort-enhancing design. The FOCUS Comfort Improving Areas (C.I.A.) technology is the result of these analyses. Not only does this involve tube cross-sections and tube shapes; it also includes special frame designs that enable the forces acting on the frame – caused by uneven surfaces, for example – to be absorbed in critical areas, thereby giving the rider an incomparably smooth ride experience.
THERE IS NO BAD WEATHER
WATERPROOF OUT OF THE BOX
Because design is such an important factor in every FOCUS development, the FOCUS team worked together with Curana, the Belgian mudguard manufacturer, to design a special-edition mudguard for the PARALANE. The best thing about all of this is that a pair of these exclusive mudguards is included with every PARALANE, making the bike “waterproof out of the box.”
Almost invisible eyelets on the frame and the fork dropouts allow mudguards to be attached without sacrificing the aesthetics of the bike.
In order to mount the mudguard between the seat stays, the FOCUS engineers developed the Fender Bridge Installer (F.B.I.).
TIRE CLEARANCE UP TO 35 MM
One of the development goals was the ability to offer optimum ride characteristics on an extremely wide range of road surfaces, which is why the FOCUS engineers developed the PARALANE with a maximum tyre clearance of 35 mm. As a result, a few minor adjustments are all it takes to transform the PARALANE from a thoroughbred endurance road bike to an adventure road bike, and it's then equipped for any experience.
Without any compromise on overall performance, the PARALANE will be exclusively fitted with disc brakes. As with all other FOCUS racing bikes with disc brakes, which set the standard for the market, the PARALANE models will also be equipped both front and rear with the R.A.T. thru-axle system, which was developed and patented by FOCUS and has axle diameters of 12 mm.
For the first time ever in the FOCUS racing bike portfolio, there’s a Factory Spec model too, built around a SRAM 1X group. Factory Spec is a specific model within a bike family that a FOCUS Product Manager has equipped to his or her specifications. All FOCUS Product Managers are enthusiastic cyclists. They have big plans year in, year out, and spend a lot of time in the saddle. They have fine-tuned their Factory Spec model specifically for such biking adventures – and the end result is such a great ride that they’d happily recommend it to their best mates too. The special design is the jewel in the crown of the Factory Spec model. The PARALANE Factory Spec model embodies the adventure credentials of the PARALANE more than any other model in the portfolio.
FRAME Paralane Disc, carbon
FORK Paralane, 12 x 100 mm thru axle, R.A.T, carbon
HANDLEBAR Concept EX
SADDLE fi'zi:k Aliante R5
SEATPOST Concept CPX, 25.4x 340 mm
TIRE Schwalbe ONE Race, 28-622
WHEEL SIZES 28
BRAKES Shimano R685
CRANKSET Shimano Ultegra
GROUPSET Shimano Ultegra
CASSETTE Shimano Ultegra
GEAR RATIO front: 50/34, rear: 11-32
WHEELSET DT-Swiss R23, 622-18, 12x 142 / 100x 12
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