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Focus Paralane 105 review

7 Mar 2018
Verdict:

Not the lightest, but an excellent all-rounder that delivers a smooth and comfortable ride

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£2,599
For 
Neutral but sharp and rewarding handling • Sleek mudguard fitting • Quick and simple thru-axle design
Against 
Heavy wheels • Lack of tyre feedback • Bulky levers

Buy the Focus Paralane 105 from Evans Cycles here

Focus has designed the Paralane to appeal to a wide range of riders, with everything from touring to gravel and unsurfaced road riding.

But with a claimed frame weight of 905g, it also has the scope to be a super-light endurance machine.

While our test bike, with Shimano 105 and mid-range components won’t win any prizes for its overall weight, the potential is there.

The 105 drivetrain is the workhorse within the range, with a solid, extremely reliable reputation.

It does lack some of the polish of Ultegra and the RS505 hydraulic brake/shifter levers, as they’re long and broad in shape, and don’t fit the hand quite as comfortably as the non-hydraulic equivalents. Not that they gave us any major cause for complaint.

The Shimano RS170 wheels are on the heavy side but should provide years of trouble-free use.

The RAT thru-axle system is superb, being very secure but also quick and intuitive to use – just a quarter-turn of the lever releases the axle.

The Paralane comes with mudguards fitted, making clear its intention of being a bike for touring and longer rides.

The neat fittings are excellent and would be almost invisible with the guards removed, while the guards themselves have a solid design that does have a little bounce but needed no adjustment throughout our testing.

The Focus Concept CPX seatpost, compete with a big hole in the middle, is an eye-catching feature. Along with its narrow 25.4mm diameter, the cut-out design aims to provide extra flex to absorb vibration and improve comfort.

The 28mm Continental tyres also help in this respect, although there is a distinct lack of feel and feedback which does impede confidence on faster downhills a little, with no sense of how close they are to the limits of grip.

The geometry and handling in general are nicely balanced however, turning in keenly without feeling nervous or twitchy. Another neat touch is the top tube design, with subtle narrowing of the tube near the centre, helping to give extra knee clearance. 

Ratings

Frame 9/10; Components 8/10; Wheels 7/10; The ride 8/10

Verdict: Focus has created an excellent all-rounder with the Paralane, with the neat mudguards being a real plus point. It delivers a smooth, comfortable ride with well balanced handling, and while it isn’t the lightest of bikes, it does a great job of munching through the miles.

 Buy the Paralane 105 from Evans Cycles here

Spec

Frame Carbon SL Disc, carbon disc fork
Groupset Shimano 105 5800
Brakes Shimano 105 RS505 hydraulic disc
Chainset Shimano 105 5800, 50/35
Cassette Shimano 105 5800, 11-32
Bars BBB Deluxe
Stem BBB Deluxe
Seatpost Focux CPX Plus
Saddle Prologo Kappa 3
Wheels Shimano WH-RS170 Disc, Continental Ultra Sport 2, 28mm
Weight 9.24kg (with mudguards, 54cm)
Contact focus-bikes.com

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