Focus unveils all-new Paralane endurance bike to blur boundaries between road and gravel

The new Paralane introduces aero tweaks with tube profiling and internal cable routing but relaxes the geometry and ups the tyre clearance

Clock11:15, Thursday 7th December 2023
The new Paralane is the latest bike to follow the trends of all-road endurance bikes

© Focus

The new Paralane is the latest bike to follow the trends of all-road endurance bikes

German bike brand Focus has released its new-look Paralane endurance road bike. Since the previous version of the Paralane was released, the landscape of endurance cycling has changed beyond recognition and an overhaul of the design of the Paralane has brought it bang-up-to-date.

Even though this is an endurance bike, Focus has paid attention to aerodynamics, using very similar aero-optimised frame profiles to the new Izalco Max race bike. The cables are now also fully internally routed through the stem.

On the other hand, the frame's geometry has had a tweak, increasing the stack height to put the rider in a more upright position. Likewise, there's a standard round 27.2mm seatpost, which opens up a range of after market options in both length and setback, something that's not an option for proprietary aero posts.

These new features combine to produce a bike that Focus hopes will make you "look fast, go far".

The Paralane is an endurance bike to its very core, so the move to fully internally-routed hoses comes not only in the name of aerodynamic optimisation, but also to allow for bar bags to be fitted.

Moving the cables inside the stem clears the area for a bag to sit unrestricted. Following this theme is the inclusion of a bolt-on top tube bag that comes included with the bike.

The integration doesn't come at the cost of mechanical ease here, since the design allows for the stem to be changed without the need to disconnect the brake hoses. This is the main affliction to completely internal routing so to do away with that stress is a positive move.

A trend we have seen on almost all new endurance road bikes is the adoption of wider tyre clearance. The same can be found on the Paralane with 32mm tyres coming stocked as standard with room to fit up to 35mm rubber if you so desire.

This really opens up the capabilities of a bike like this, with the boundary between road and gravel more unclear than ever. This move towards wider tyres is part of the equation for a more comfortable ride, since a wider tyre is able to dampen out imperfections in the road, resulting in less fatiguing forces being passed on to the rider.

Focus has also made sure the Paralane is a bike for all conditions. Even though the brand says it 'appreciates the existence of indoor trainers', it believes that bikes are meant to be ridden outside.

To accommodate for this, Focus has created a set of mudguards that are specifically for the Paralane. The mudguards work with up to a 33mm tyre and offers ‘rattle free’ coverage from the elements.

Pricing and build kits

The Paralane is available now from your nearest Focus dealer in three different builds, named 8.7, 8.8 and 8.9.

The range-topping 8.9 is set to retail for £5,199 and comes with Shimano Ultegra Di2, DT Swiss ER1600 wheels, and Vittoria Rubino 32mm tyres. Focus is claiming the total bike weight with Di2 battery is 8.6kg.

Sitting in the middle of the Paralane range is the 8.8 retailing for £4,199. This is built with SRAM’s Rival Etap AXS groupset, DT Swiss E1800 wheels, and Vittoria Zaffiro 32mm tyres. This model has a claimed weight of 9.1kg.

The entry-level Paralane comes in at £2,899 with Shimano’s 105 mechanical 12-speed groupset, Alexrims Boondocks 5 wheels, and has a claimed weight of 9.45kg.

What do you make of the these new age endurance bike trends – do you think they really represent a 'one bike to do it all' solution or are they a jack of all trades and masters of none? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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