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AG2R Focus Izalco Max Team 2014

AG2R Focus Izalco Max Team 2014

AG2R Focus Izalco Max Team 2014
Pieter Van Pietersen

Focus bikes are popular, good value and light. But are they desirable?

AG2R is using a Focus Izalco Max frame, Fulcrum Racing Speed XLR (50mm fromt, 80mm rear) wheels and Campagnolo Super Record EPS components.

The bike components used by AG2R are listed below.

Izalco Max Team 2014

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Focus Izalco Max Team 2014 Complete Bike

Works well, but none of the cachet.

Weight: 6800g

RRP in USD: $-

Fulcrum Racing Speed XLR

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Campagnolo Fulcrum Racing Speed XLR Wheels

These wheels look great and are fairly reasonably priced.

The XLR 35 (35mm rim depth) isn't particularly light at 1230g, although you'd find it difficult to notice a few grams of extra weight.

Braking performance is reasonable, as the rim material has been well engineered and manufactured.

At 118g the supplied skewers are heavy so you may wish to replace them.

Weight: 1324g

RRP in USD: $2399

The XLRs are selling for $2200 here or $2185 here

Super Record 11 Ultra-Torque Ti EVO

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Campagnolo Super Record 11 Ultra-Torque Ti EVO Cranks

To fit the cranks requires Campagnolo's proprietary installation and removal tools.

Campagnolo UT-BB120 tool Bottom Bracket Cup tool
Campagnolo UT-BB110 tool Ultra Torque fixing bolt tool

You can also get a BB30 model. All Super Record bottom brackets are supplied with ceramic bearings. I don't believe the 3.5W saving over steel bearings, however.

If you get the standard 'Super Record 11 Ultra Torque Titanium Crankset' then you'll save about $300 but will be 56g heavier. Can you bear it?

Weight: 584g 172.5mm arms compact

RRP in USD: $1025

Super Record 11 cranks are selling for $789 here although these are compact or for $635 here (standard 53x39).

Super Record 2014 11 Speed

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Campagnolo Super Record 2014 11 Speed Front Derailleur

Very similar to the Record model, just 4g lighter and it says "Super" on the top. Regardless, it works well, trims, and will accommodate 24-55 teeth chainrings. Expensive when you think that a Shimano Di2 front derailleur is selling at $350.

Weight: 129g

RRP in USD: $855

You can buy an entire EPS upgrade kit in a box here for $2700 or just the front derailleur for $756.

Super Record 11 Speed EPS

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Campagnolo Super Record 11 Speed EPS Levers

These work as well as the Shimano Di2 levers. They are probably easier to get used to, since the shifting control is similar to the mechanical version. These levers also give a more audible click compared to Di2, which you may prefer (I don't).

With the downshift lever on the inside of the hood, it can be reached with your thumb while in the drops, so a special sprint button isn't required.

These are actually cheaper than Dura-Ace and feature integrated CPU functions, but you still need a CPU fixed to your stem with ugly zip-ties.

Weight: 265g pair

RRP in USD: $780 pair

A single lever sells for $253 here and of course you'll need two.

Super Record 11 Speed EPS

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Campagnolo Super Record 11 Speed EPS Rear Derailleur

It does look good with all that carbon. The motor is quite well hidden inside the derailleur body.

The pulleys have holes to save weight, but these tend to fill with oily gunk, which weighs more than plastic. So unless you keep them very clean, the benefits will be lost.

As with Shimano Di2, this derailleur has a 'Ride Back Home' function. If the battery dies or if there is a crash, the motor is uncoupled, so the derailleur may be positioned manually.

Weight: 206g

RRP in USD: $750

A Campagnolo Super Record EPS 11S Rear Derailleur 11S Short Cage Carbon sells for $468 here and $765 here.


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Bryton 60 GPS

A nice little unit that has a touch screen, links to your phone, shows maps and records GPS.

The unit is a little new right now (2014) so perhaps it is better to wait for updates and refinements and get a Garmin in the meantime.

Weight: 106g

RRP in USD: $499.95

Rider 60 selling for EURO300 here.

Super Record 11 Speed

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Campagnolo Super Record 11 Speed Cassette

Five of the sprockets are steel (the smallest ones i.e. 11-15). The other 6 are steel. They are mounted on an aluminium body. The reason for using steel is to save weight, reduce cost and improve wear. it is better to use Ti on the larger cogs as these have less load on them, and can be made lighter than with steel. Its a fine balancing act.

Light and quiet running, it is nevertheless rather expensive.

Available sizes:
11-23, 11-25, 12-25, 12-27, 12-29

Weight: 177g (Actual: 194g for 12-27)

RRP in USD: $470

The Record 11 cassette is selling for $299 for 12-25 here (other sizes more expensive, but 12-25 is a good cassette) and Super Record for $332.45 here.

Chorus cassettes $145 are a fair bit cheaper and only 59g heavier.

Keo Blade 2 Ti

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Look Keo Blade 2 Ti Pedals

I've used look pedals since 1988, but in the last few years I changed to Shimano. I found that the Look cleats tended to fall apart very quickly (the non slip grip tore off followed by rapid wear of the plastic) and the bearings got crunchy after some wet rides.

The slightly worn cleats would also rock from side to side (i.e. pitch introduced) which may have caused some knee niggles. The Shimano platform is more solid. Perhaps this has been solved with Look's new pedal body shape. Let me know if it has.

I've also seen issues with the carbon blade delaminating or snapping, so check yours regularly. Perhaps the issue is solved with this wider blade. Note that the blades come in different spring strengths, with blue as the highest.

There have been complaints about an aggressive seal on the pedals, which adds friction.

Having said that, these pedals look fantastic, and if you have a Campagnolo group set, you can't be putting Shimano pedals on, can you?

The price is high, so consider the Keo 2 Cromo steel axle version which is 20g heavier per pedal but 40% cheaper.

Weight: 90g per pedal, 34g cleat

RRP in USD: $400

Look Blade 2 with Cr-Mo axles sell for $164 here or $393 for the Ti version.


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Fi'zi:k Aliante Saddle

This saddle is supposedly for those with a 'Rigid spine', i.e. you can't touch your toes.
I've had two, and with both of them the carbon seat shell cracked, making the saddle quite spongy like a cushion. The problem seems to happen on the Ariones too. Perhaps it was more comfortable after that, but since it wasn't designed to be like that, I don't rate it highly.

The scuff guards on the sides of the saddle are a good touch, as bikes are always being either crashed or leaned against walls or the ground. The penalty is only a few grams.

One interesting thing was that I had a Cr Moly Aliante and a Ti railed/ carbon Aliante which weighed exactly the same, despite one being double the price of the other.

Weight: 200g

RRP in USD: $350

The Fizik Aliante Carbon sells for $234 here or for $250 here.

Cyrano 00

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Fi'zi:k Cyrano 00 Handlebars

Fi'zi:k Cyrano 00 bars come in three types to match the saddles. There's the Chameleon (medium spine), the Snake (flexible spine) and the Bull (rigid spine).

There is a cheaper Cyrano R1 version of the same bars. Also made from carbon, but 30g heavier. You'll save EURO 100 that way (RRP EURO250).

Finally there's an aluminium version called the Cyrano R3, which is cheaper again at EURO 89 and another 40g heavier.

Pro bikes sometimes utilize aluminium bars to keep the overall weight of the bike over the 6.8kg UCI limit. Some riders also feel that aluminium is a little more trustworthy than carbon. It certainly should be more robust in the case of a crash.

Weight: 175g 42cm

RRP in USD: EURO 350

The Fizik Composite Carbon Cyrano Bicycle R1 Handlebar sells for $260 here.

Super Record 11 Speed

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Campagnolo Super Record 11 Speed Brakes

A great functioning brake caliper, only available in black.

The main issue is cleaning the things with all those holes. Brake dust and grime will accumulate, and you'll need pipe cleaners and ear buds to get it out. Who can be bothered with that?

Campagnolo has finally fixed their brake pad issue. They used to be impossible to remove, which is a pain if you need to regularly change the pads for carbon or alloy rims. The pads now slide easily out of the shoes.

The rear brake has a single pivot design, which makes the brake a little lighter and less powerful than the front dual pivot. This is useful, as less braking force is required at the rear wheel.

Weight: 272g Mono/Dual pivot

RRP in USD: $335

The single pivot version is selling for $300 here or $312.50 here . The dual pivot version costs a more at $390 here


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Fi'zi:k Cyrano Seat Post

If you are using Fizik Cyrano bars and stem then you should probably get the seat post to match.

This is a great looking seat post. Weight is excellent - around the level of light carbon seat posts.

Adjustability is assisted with a dial, but as you tighten the clamp the adjustment changes so bit of a fail there. At least there are no grooves in the seat clamp which make the saddle angle too high or low.

The price is reasonable for a carbon seat post.

Weight: 190g for 31.6mm diameter and 330mm length

RRP in USD: EURO 159

The Cryano carbon seat post sells for $125 in aluminium .

Ultremo HT

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Schwalbe Ultremo HT Tires

Quite expensive. I'd go with the Continentals or Vittoria.

Weight: 260g

RRP in USD: $145

Selling for $110 here.


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Fi'zi:k Cyrano Stem

A good price for a carbon Pro Tour stem. The angles available are 7 degrees and 20 degrees. If you want your stem to point upwards then get the 7 degrees. For a more racy position, get the 20 degree stem which will angle down slightly.

The weight isn't bad - about standard for a carbon stem.

Weight: 128g for 11cm


The Cyrano Stem in aluminium sells for $81 here.

Super Record 11 Speed

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Campagnolo Super Record 11 Speed Chain

This chain has a Ni-PTFE treatment which should yield lower friction and a longer life.

It runs quietly, and has a high 'retention force' so it is less likely to snap when being shifted under load.

The major downside is the requirement to use a special Campagnolo chain tool (UT-CN 300 that's an anagram eh?) to join it. At nearly $200 that's a lot of money for a chain riveter. Normal tools don't work right.

I recommend using a quick link instead.

Weight: 245g

RRP in USD: $84

You can buy a Campagnolo Record 11 Chain for $65 here.
You can also buy a KMC 11 - Speed Missing Link for $31. The Park Tools chain tool is $53.50.

Custom Race Bottle Cage

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Elite Custom Race Bottle Cage Bottle Cage

These cages are simple, light, cheap and strong. Your bottle slots in with a reassuring 'thunk' and stays there, even over cobbles.

As the cage is fairly stretchy, it can hold a range of bottle diameters.

You'll add an extra $80 to save 15g per cage if you buy the carbon fiber version. So save $160 for a 30g weight penalty which makes sense.

Recommended bottle cage - cheap, light, holds bottles securely, and you get a choice of colors.

Weight: 42g

RRP in USD: $19.99

You can buy the Custom Race for $18.81 here.


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