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Focus Mares CX

Pro input creates a race-honed machine with the Focus Mares CX

Focus Mares CX SRAM RIVAL 22
16 Nov 2015

German giant Focus sponsors the WorldTour road team Ag2r La Mondiale, the mountain bike team Focus XC and the cyclocross team Rapha Focus. While cyclocross is a separate discipline, it has similarities to both road racing and mountain biking, and feedback from professional riders in all three disciplines has been integrated into the design process of the Focus Mares cyclocross range.

The Mares CX has many similarities in terms of tube shape and size to Focus’s road platform, the Izalco Max. ‘The development target for the Mares was to create a German-engineered cyclocross frameset with excellent stiffness and comfort,’ says Andreas Krajewski, the company’s brand manager. ‘We have a huge knowledge base in the development of stiff, lightweight carbon bikes, and we found these tube shapes provide the best riding performance, while keeping the weight to 960g.’

In addition, Focus’s carbon lay-up engineer René Birkenfeld is a former German National Cyclocross Champion, and he has specified cyclocross-specific frame adaptations. ‘The top tube is flattened in order to make it easier to shoulder the bike, and all cables have been routed internally to protect them against mud damage,’ says Krajewski. ‘Further, as races have numerous rough sections which can cause the chain to come off the chainrings, we have developed the CX Chain Guide, a lightweight structure that minimises chain suck.’

Professional rider feedback has led to significant geometry changes too. ‘We found that many Focus-sponsored athletes had spacers underneath their stem, so we lengthened the head tube by 15mm,’ says Krajewski. ‘This means our frames now fit riders better, and front-end stiffness is really improved.’

With Focus’s proprietary RAT axles and Sram’s benchmark Rival 22 groupset, it’s hard to identify a weak area of this bike.


Focus Mares CX £2,299
Frame Focus Mares CX Disc Rival
Groupset SRAM Rival 22
Bars Fizik Cyrano R5 bars
Stem CPX Carbon stem
Seatpost CPX Plus Carbon seatpost
Wheels A-Class CEX CD 4.0 DB
Saddle Fizik Aliante Manganese saddle
Weight 8.18kg

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