18, February 2015

Mini-Review: Focus Cayo 4.0 Disc

Blessed with friends in high places because I’m usually on my knees, your friendly neighborhood crankpunk went for a ride with a friend who works in the industry and was knocking about on this little nipper, the Focus Cayo 4.0 Disc, Focus’ entry level disc bike.

I literally rode the thing up a 2km hill and then down the other side so this is hardly a review, but here’s what I gleamed from my brief affair with the Sram Rival bedecked steed.

It was good. I don’t like the after-thoughtish paint job, well the white details around the headtube and seat tube specifically, but other than that it was comfortable and tight in the corners and whilst not quite setting my heart on fire, I would have been fine either tootling around on it all day or putting it through its paces on a hammer ride with some pals – which is kinda exactly what it was designed for, as you can see here from the blurby blurb on the Focus website:

Performance and professional quality come in an affordable package in the FOCUS Cayo. There’s no better choice for gran fondos, sportives, and weekend racing events.

There’s no mistaking the FOCUS lineage in the sporty lines of the Cayo.

A compliant carbon frame lets you go further and faster for longer.

Hurrah! All the cliches you’d expect really, but it certainly makes a case for itself, the Cayo 4.0, via your wallet: you can pick it up for about $3,150 or thereabouts. For a disc bike. The other appealing point is that the Cayo 4.0 has exactly the same frame as  the Cayo 1.0, a bike about $1200 more expensive.

‘Well of course, all brands are the same, only the groupset changes on the same models’ you may think, and you’d be wrong.

Most brands use a different layup on say their XXX Dura Ace than you’ll get on the XXX 105 bike. Why? Hard to say it’s cos of $$$ because the difference in cost is so negligible, about $20, but then again what other reason can there be? But yeah, usually when you buy a 105 model instead of the DA model you aren’t only getting a cheaper gruppo but a cheaper frame too.

Not so with Focus, however. (And no, Focus do not pay me to say that, it’s just something I know and it’s another reason why they do make good bikes).

The model I rode (pictured above) has, you’ll notice, a Roval at the back the kit wheel DT Swiss R24 Spline at the front, a switch forced by a last-minute pre-departure puncture. The bike handled well enough with the Spline at the front but these are pretty heavy wheels – race-minded folk would want to switch these pretty quickly, making the Cayo 4.0 more appealing to randonneurs and gran fondo riders than racers. (It also has a non-standard Rotor crank, on the factory model you get Rival).

The disc brakes were awesome, I’m a big fan of anything that might stop me hitting a wall and damaging the money maker, giving me way more time into the corners, the only drawback being the false sense of security that came with that – I almost spilled it on the second corner,  not a good idea on a borrowed bike!

With time on them it’s clear that you’ll gain more control and therefore more confidence into the turns.

I was, on the whole, though ever so briefly, quite impressed. A lot of bike for your bucks.

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