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Focus Paralane 2024

Focus Paralane 2024

06.12.23 16:39 56Text: NoPain (translated by AI)Photos: FocusThe chic endurance racing bike for all eventualities. Weather doesn't matter, roads don't matter, everything is damn irrelevant. Ride it and enjoy it. Our experiences in the picturesque Vosges of France.06.12.23 16:39 205

Focus Paralane 2024

06.12.23 16:39 205 NoPain (translated by AI) Focus
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The chic endurance racing bike for all eventualities. Weather doesn't matter, roads don't matter, everything is damn irrelevant. Ride it and enjoy it. Our experiences in the picturesque Vosges of France.06.12.23 16:39 205

The renowned German bicycle manufacturer Focus has given its racing bike program a comprehensive refresh for the upcoming season. In particular, the 4th generation of the Izalco Max was proudly introduced just last month - a racing bike that aims to excite both racers and amateurs, as well as weekend adventurers alike. We have reported on it. Now, the brand new Focus Paralane Endurance Racing Bike expands the product range and bridges the gap to the successful Atlas Gravel Bikes, which have also been available on the market with lightweight carbon frames since last year.

  • Focus Izalco '24Focus Izalco '24
    Focus Izalco '24
    Focus Izalco '24
  • Focus Paralane '24Focus Paralane '24
    Focus Paralane '24
    Focus Paralane '24
  • Focus AtlasFocus Atlas
    Focus Atlas
    Focus Atlas

The special thing about the new Paralane: At first glance, it may seem almost as fast as the new Izalco and has strikingly similar Kamm-tail profiles; yet it has been optimized for long-distance suitability in every respect. This includes a modified carbon layup, a significantly more relaxed geometry, generous tire clearance, and a round seat post for increased comfort. Optional fenders further enhance the feel-good factor in bad weather.

NoPain was present for Bikeboard at the Press Launch in the French Vosges and had the opportunity to extensively test ride the new endurance racer.

  • Focus Paralane 2024

 Comfortable and sexy. 

The new Focus Paralane Endurance road bike
  • Focus Paralane 2024

Focus Paralane 2024 vs. Izalco Max 2024

Under the term 'comfort', Focus does not only understand the flexibility of the frame, but above all the successful combination of all relevant components. This includes a pleasant geometry that still allows for brisk riding, as well as 32 mm wide tires in the standard equipment with the option to mount even wider ones. Additionally, a special set of mudguards is available to protect both the rider and their companions behind them from wetness. And, of course, the balanced vertical compliance of the frame and fork was also taken into account.

Paralane vs. Izalco: The Definition of Comfort

Detailansicht

In simple terms, the graphic means: Compared to the also new Izalco Max, the new Paralane is slightly heavier and a bit less aerodynamic. However, it promises nearly identical stiffness values as well as good riding characteristics and a significantly more comfortable riding experience.

  • Focus Paralane 2024
  • Focus Paralane 2024

Frame Design: Aerodynamics vs. Weight vs. Comfort

The weight of a frame depends on many factors: aerodynamics, stiffness, structure, and carbon fibers, to name just a few. So-called "Truncated NACA Shapes", or Kamm-Tail profiles, have always been considered the optimal compromise between good aerodynamics, high tube stiffness, and low weight.
Thus, for the Paralane, the decision was made for Kamm-Tail profiles based on the Izalco Max; however, the NACA shape of the frame was modified to achieve more compliance, and combined with a round seat post for added comfort.

Detailansicht

A higher weight does not necessarily mean a compromise in performance or quality. The Paralane weighs 1,130 grams in size M and is therefore light enough to effortlessly tackle even the longest and steepest climbs. At the same time, it is robust enough to withstand even the toughest stresses.

With an approved system weight of 120 kg, the Paralane is suitable for both heavy riders and radical bikepacking adventurers. The screwed BSA bottom bracket, the detachable front derailleur mount, and a standard dropout that is also used by other brands ensure smooth functionality in the long term and avoid potential technical issues or supply difficulties.

  • Focus Paralane 2024
  • Focus Paralane 2024

Tire clearance

About three years ago, Focus withdrew the first generation of the Paralane from the market, as the Germans no longer considered a maximum tire clearance of 28 mm to be contemporary. The new Paralane models are now all equipped with 32 mm road bike tires to enable relaxed riding on demanding bike paths and, if necessary, on pothole-ridden roads. With the appropriate tire profile - up to a maximum width of 35 millimeters - gravel roads should also be manageable without any problems, which considerably facilitates route planning.

In the higher-end Paralane models 8.8 and 8.9, the new DT Swiss ER1600 and E1800 wheels contribute their part with 30 mm rim depth and 22 mm internal width. They allow for lower pressures for more comfort and also perform really well from an aerodynamic perspective.

Note: Tires and wheels from the Paralane model 8.9 are TLR, but are delivered with tubes. The models 8.8 and 8.7 come with Tube Type tires from the factory.

  • Focus Paralane 2024

Integration

As with the Izalco Max, the aerodynamic cockpit impresses both visually and functionally. The further developed C.I.S. road bike stem routes the cables almost invisibly on the underside into the frame and can be quickly and easily exchanged at any time. In addition, the complete handlebar-stem unit can be completely removed if the Izalco Max is traveling in a bike bag. But even converting to a race-gravel bike with a flared handlebar is easily possible, as the brake lines run below the handlebar tape and thus outside of the handlebars.

  • Focus Paralane 2024Focus Paralane 2024
  • Focus Paralane 2024Focus Paralane 2024
  • Focus Paralane 2024Focus Paralane 2024
  • Focus Paralane 2024Focus Paralane 2024

The stem comes from the factory with an integrated bike computer mount for Wahoo and Garmin, on which alternatively a light or an action camera can be attached. In the optional handlebar bag mounted on the top tube behind it, the most important utensils for the road can be stowed away.

  • Stably mounted frame pouch on the top tubeStably mounted frame pouch on the top tube
    Stably mounted frame pouch on the top tube
    Stably mounted frame pouch on the top tube
  • A sticker set for frame protection is included with the Paralane.A sticker set for frame protection is included with the Paralane.
    A sticker set for frame protection is included with the Paralane.
    A sticker set for frame protection is included with the Paralane.
  • Hassle-free seatpost clamp with a maximum tightening torque of 8 NMHassle-free seatpost clamp with a maximum tightening torque of 8 NM
    Hassle-free seatpost clamp with a maximum tightening torque of 8 NM
    Hassle-free seatpost clamp with a maximum tightening torque of 8 NM

 The Paralane looks like an aerodynamic performance bike.
The little bag, however, must be removed beforehand. 

Fresh Aero-Endurance Look
  • Focus Paralane 2024

Fender Set

Although the Paralane is officially approved for indoor trainers, it can also be ridden outdoors in any wind and weather, as it offers numerous mounting points for mudguards. For this, Focus has developed a special set of mudguards that does not negatively affect the sporty appearance or the everyday usability. The Focus Fenderset for the Paralane (Item No. 311048800) costs 39.99 euros and is available online as well as in specialist stores.

  • Focus Paralane 2024

Note: The curved, silver mounting plate on the rear fender is a prototype and does not correspond to the final series.

The mounting points are cleverly hidden: one under the fork crown, the second behind the bottom bracket, and a third on the removable seat stay bridge. For excellent stability and high load capacities, there are two threads each in the replaceable through axles, which are included in the fender set. The fenders weigh 535 g including the seat stay bridge and all screws, are usually mounted in 5 minutes, and are optimally adapted to the tires. The maximum tire clearance is 33 millimeters with mounted fenders. In addition, the fenders have been designed longer than usual to improve protection.

  • Focus Paralane 2024
  • Focus Paralane 2024

New Endurance Geometry

At first glance, one might easily confuse the Paralane with its faster sibling, the Izalco Max. However, the visually similar frame design shows clear differences in detail: a higher head tube, a longer fork, a flatter steering angle, a round seat tube, and a narrower bottom bracket area for screwed-in BSA bottom brackets.

The goal for the geometry and size design of the Paralane was apparently "Get on and feel comfortable." With the help of a database from a professional bike fitter, an attempt was made to find a size division that should be suitable for more than 95% of customers. However, since every cyclist is built individually and has different needs, great emphasis was also placed on ensuring that the selected bike can be adjusted to the highest degree to personal requirements.

Geometry

XS S M L XL
Wheel size 700C 700C 700C 700C 700C
Seat tube length (mm) 455 485 505 535 575
Top tube length (mm) 511.4 530.2 549 567.5 596.6
Head tube angle (°) 70.5° 71° 72° 72° 72.5°
Seat angle (°) 75° 75° 74° 74° 73°
Chainstay length (mm) 415 415 415 415 415
Bottom bracket drop (mm) 75 75 75 75 75
Head tube length (mm) 115 134 154 179 209
Fork length (mm) 381.5 381.5 381.5 381.5 381.5
Fork rake (mm) 50 50 50 50 50
Wheelbase (mm) 989 999 1.004 1.017 1.036
Stack (mm) 535.3 556.1 578.1 602.6 633.1
Reach (mm) 368 376 383 389 403
Standover height (mm) 746.3 762 778.1 795.1 814.3
Stem length (mm) 80 90 100 110 110
Cranks length (mm) 170 170 172.5 172.5 175
Handlebar width (mm) 400 400 420 420 440
Max. seatpost insertion (mm) 220 250 250 290 320
STR Ratio* 1.45 1.48 1.51 1.55 1.57

* The Stack-To-Reach calculation took into account the stem height for Stack and the stem length for Reach.

The new Paralane is available in five frame sizes; moreover, the seat tube has been specifically designed for round 27.2-mm standard seatposts, to offer a greater choice when looking for the perfect fit. Combined with the aerodynamic C.I.S. racing bike stem, which is available in six lengths from 70 to 120 mm and is more convenient to change than ever before, there should really be a suitable riding position for everyone.

Of course, all frame sizes have been given adapted layups to ensure that the bikes have nearly identical stiffness values and riding characteristics in all sizes.

Photo gallery of our Paralane 8.9 long-term test bike in size Large

  • Focus Paralane 2024

Paralane 8.9

Frame Carbon with NACA Shape (1,050 g) Sizes XS, S, M, L, XL
Groupset Shimano Ultegra Di2 R8200, 12s
Front 50/34, rear 11-34
Bottom Bracket Shimano BSA ROAD
Stem Focus C.I.S. Technology Handlebar Easton EC70 Carbon
Wheels DT Swiss ER1600 Spline Dicut Alu, 30 mm height, 22 mm inner width Tires Vittoria Rubino, TLR, 700X32C
Weight 8.6 kg Price 5,299 Euro
  • Focus Paralane 2024

Paralane 8.8

Frame Carbon with NACA Shape (1,050 g) Sizes XS, S, M, L, XL
Groupset SRAM Rival AXS Etap, 12s
Front 46/33, rear 10-36
Bottom Bracket SRAM Dub BSA Road
Stem Focus C.I.S. Technology Handlebar BBB Alu
Wheels DT Swiss E1800 Spline Alu, 30 mm height, 22 mm inner width Tires Vittoria Zaffiro, 700X32C
Weight 9.3 kg Price 4,299 Euro
  • Focus Paralane 2024

Paralane Series 8 - LineUp 2024

  • Paralane 8.9
Black
8.6 kg
5,299 EurosParalane 8.9
Black
8.6 kg
5,299 Euros
    Paralane 8.9
    Black
    8.6 kg
    5,299 Euros
    Paralane 8.9
    Black
    8.6 kg
    5,299 Euros
  • Paralane 8.8
White
9.3 kg
4,299 EurosParalane 8.8
White
9.3 kg
4,299 Euros
    Paralane 8.8
    White
    9.3 kg
    4,299 Euros
    Paralane 8.8
    White
    9.3 kg
    4,299 Euros
  • Paralane 8.8
Black
9.3 kg
4,299 EuroParalane 8.8
Black
9.3 kg
4,299 Euro
    Paralane 8.8
    Black
    9.3 kg
    4,299 Euro
    Paralane 8.8
    Black
    9.3 kg
    4,299 Euro
  • Paralane 8.7
White
9.45 kg
2,999 EurosParalane 8.7
White
9.45 kg
2,999 Euros
    Paralane 8.7
    White
    9.45 kg
    2,999 Euros
    Paralane 8.7
    White
    9.45 kg
    2,999 Euros
  • Focus Paralane 2024

NoPains Practical Experience with the New Focus Paralane

Although the designations have remained the same for the new Focus Paralane models 8.8/8.9, they cannot be compared to their predecessors in any way. "Racing bikes from Germany, comfortable and ready to go." Not much else connects these endurance bikes, as the second generation is playing in a completely different league both visually (of course, there can be a splendid debate over the little pouch) and technically.
It is particularly interesting that at first glance they can hardly be distinguished from the equally new Izalco Max racing bikes. A real advantage for superficial posers like me who, in the past, always had to go for the pro racing bike with an uncompromising and far too aggressive geometry because the stars on TV were riding the same bike, and I wanted to look fast too. Problem solved. In our opinion, the endurance racing bike is the better choice for >95% of all racing cyclists, looks extremely sporty, and offers almost* only advantages in everyday life. (Of course, the little pouch has to go, that's clear, but it's only two screws.)

* Note: "almost" is a little play on words that one could understand, unless one speaks English even worse than NoPain, then it gets difficult.

  • Old: Paralane 8.9 Gen1Old: Paralane 8.9 Gen1
    Old: Paralane 8.9 Gen1
    Old: Paralane 8.9 Gen1
  • New: Paralane 8.9 Gen2New: Paralane 8.9 Gen2
    New: Paralane 8.9 Gen2
    New: Paralane 8.9 Gen2
  • For comparison: Izalco Max 9.9For comparison: Izalco Max 9.9
    For comparison: Izalco Max 9.9
    For comparison: Izalco Max 9.9

 Look pro, go slow. Or: go fast, also good! The main thing is pro. 

Success formula: Appearance.Paralane 8.9 = almost * (Appearance.Izalco Max 9.9)

The same principles apply to the Paralane as we've already written about the Izalco Max:

"With wider fork blades and a sturdier frame, the bike appears more harmonious than its predecessor, while its noble paint finish and subtle lettering give it an exclusive touch. But many small details have also been improved: The newly developed C.I.S. road bike stem not only leads the cables cleanly into the head tube but also integrates seamlessly into the overall appearance with its contemporary, distinctive shape. The seat post clamp has also been integrated more attractively and proves to be exemplary in handling and absolutely slip-proof." But also the Easton EC70 Carbon handlebar (without Aero-Shape) fits perfectly into the overall appearance and impresses with its ergonomics and the easily accessible handlebar bends.

I do not want to delve deeper into the geometry differences to the predecessor. The new Paralane is designed exactly as a modern endurance bike should be, with which you want to ride both fast and long distances. The longer fork and the raised head tube allow for a more upright sitting position and provide a great deal of control, especially when it gets faster downhill. Stack, reach, and head angle are not as radical as on some other endurance bikes of the competition, but are still quite sporty.
As it should, the Paralane scores with a successful mix of high directional stability and good agility, because despite the pleasantly flat head angle (72 degrees in Medium and Large), the wheelbase is comfortably short. Another positive side effect is the generous tire clearance towards the tips of the toes – even when balancing at traffic lights or in tight turning maneuvers, you do not bump your shoe against the wide tires. Here, Focus has done everything right.

  • Focus Paralane 2024Focus Paralane 2024
  • Focus Paralane 2024Focus Paralane 2024
  • Focus Paralane 2024Focus Paralane 2024

Otherwise, the rule is: 'Sit on it, feel good.' I spent most of my time with the Paralane 8.8, which according to the chart weighs 9.3 kg. What sounds like a lot was not an issue at all while riding. Thanks to its aerodynamic factor and the successful geometry, it was fast, climbed hills effortlessly, and was stiff enough for the village sign sprints.

Despite the stiffer Kammtail profile tubes on the frame and fork, the Paralane impressed with its high comfort. I attribute this to the combination of the flexing seat post, the DT Swiss wheels with a 22 mm internal width, and the 32 mm wide Vittoria tires. Furthermore, the wheels were not even ridden tubeless. With smoother high-end tires and a TLR setup, you could certainly squeeze out a bit more. But even with tubes, the bike rode extremely comfortably and quietly on all surfaces. The handling was secure and precise, the cornering characteristics outstanding. At higher speeds, the bike remained stable on course.

In summary, the Focus Paralane 8.8 is an excellently equipped endurance road bike with an attractive price-performance ratio and sovereign riding characteristics - perfect on the road and very comfortable on poor or unpaved paths. If you want to save 700 grams in weight, you add a 1000 on top and grab the Paralane 8.9 with Shimano Ultegra Di2 2x12 and the DT Swiss ER1600 Spline Dicut wheels.

To be continued...
In the meantime, a Paralane 8.9 test bike in size Large has also arrived at our office, which our new editorial member NoGold will subject to an extremely tough test over the next few months.

  • Focus Paralane 2024