With all the hubbub surrounding the impending UCI approval of road disc brakes, German brand Focus is not sitting still with the status quo of axle technology. Instead, they have decided to snub their collective noses at both the UCI and World Tour mechanics by offering thru axles that may just become the gold standard.
All 2015 Focus Cayo Disc models feature Rapid Axle Technology (RAT) axles. One of the biggest arguments against disc brakes is the potential for variation or mis-alignment between rotors, axles and hubs. An on-the-fly wheel change currently has a large margin of error because caliper brakes have a wide range of adjustment that can even be done by the rider. If a wheel is off by a millimeter, it’s no big deal, but if a disc is off by the same fraction, it would mean rubbing, a loss of power and a huge increase in drag over time.
The RAT axles may be just what the doctor ordered with quick wheel changes and consistent placement every time — not to mention the added stiffness provided by thru axles over standard quick releases. These axles are found on all disc-equipped models for 2015, including the new Cayo 3.0 and 4.0 disc models.
The Cayo is their endurance platform that’s built for the majority of riders who enjoy gran fondos, rough terrain or long days in the saddle but don’t want to be beat up just to ride an efficient bike. It can be raced, but the Cayo is primarily built for the rest of us to enjoy a properly-fitting frame that delivers performance and comfort without having to turn yourself into a pretzel to achieve a proper fit.
Diving in more into the Cayo Disc, you’ll find all the trappings of an excellent all-rounder, but at a reasonable price point. No, you won’t find any shock-absorbing doodads, but the availability of discs on this type of bike is great to see.
While some disc-equipped road bikes are spec’d with 140mm rotors, Focus sticks to 160mm rotors front and rear. In speaking with some of the SRAM guys this summer, they highly-recommended 160’s as well and said they were pushing manufacturers to go that route. Excessive heat generated on long descents will certainly dissipate better with the larger rotors.
Ride quality is standardized across all sizes with size-specific layup and performance targets so everyone gets the proper ride quality and handling.
For 2015, the Cayo Disc will be offered in two models: 3.0 Disc (Shimano Ultegra) and 4.0 Disc (SRAM Rival). The primary differences are the drivetrains with the same wheels and other bits. Approximate USD pricing is $3700 for the 3.0 and $3100 for the 4.0 model.
2015 Focus Cayo 3.0 Disc
2015 Focus Cayo 4.0 Disc
The Bottom Line
Both the 3.0 and 4.0 Disc models hit showroom floors at reasonable prices with durable builds. It’s hard to pass up the overall value of the new SRAM Rival 22 kit and I’d nab that one as the best overall value. With disc brakes and thru-axles, the 2015 Focus Cayo Disc models just might have the winning combination.