FOCUS Cayo Evo 2.0
FOCUS is a German based company that was started in the early 1990s. They came to prominence in the road scene in 2009 when they sponsored the Professional Team Milram. FOCUS make a wide range of bicycles in all disciplines except children-specific and BMX. The Cayo Evo 2.0 model tested is one of their second tier frames, below the top of the line Izalco model. While the frame is slightly heavier than the Izalco, the 2012 Cayo Evo frameset is very different from previous years and now includes many of the design features seen on the Izalco.
This frameset is dedicated for Shimano Di2, in this instance Ultegra, and is not compatible with mechanical systems. If you think this might be a problem in the future when Di2 turns out to be just a passing fad and we all go back to mechanical, do not be concerned! Believe me, after you use electronic gears there will be no going back. Riding is more fun with a battery!
The finish of the frame is impeccable and utilises the ubiquitous red, white and matt black carbon colour scheme well. The marketing department must have been working overtime to come up with some of the acronyms, luckily in small print, that try to embellish the key design features (more on these gems later). Perhaps the key sticker is the one on the top tube just under the FOCUS logo. It reads, “Made in Germany”. It’s becoming rare to see bikes produced outside of Asia, but in this case the entire production and quality control is carried out in Germany, which sets it apart from many of its competitors.
Fitting myself to the bike I was really pleased to find a suitably short head tube for a small sized frame. This gives a nice low stack height and yet the frame also has a good amount of reach, making it perfect for me. There are too many frames, especially in the smaller size range that are too tall in the head tube to be considered real race bikes in my opinion. The Cayo EVO geometry is race ready.
The Inner Cable Routing System (or the I.C.R.S. as I like to call it) is well executed. The use of Di2 and the removal of outboard gear cables give the frame nice clean lines. The rear brake cable is actually fully encased as the outer cable runs its entire length through the top tube.
This was my first use of Ultegra Di2. Other reviews mention how in a blind test it is indistinguishable from Dura-Ace Di2 and this is true. It works in the same superb manner and has the same feel of its much more expensive stable mate. There are visual clues though, and the size of the front and rear hoods is larger than the already bulbous Dura-Ace. It isn’t just the gear changing that shares the same high quality. The stiffness of the chainset and the power and modulation of the brakes are all equally as good. So for a slight weight disadvantage and a huge price saving over Dura-Ace it is no wonder Ultegra Di2-equipped bikes are so popular in the market.
On the road the bike immediately felt very well balanced. My second ride on the bike was three and a half hours and I was surprised at the comfort. Perhaps it was the Lateral Reinforced Comfort Seatstays (L.C.R.S.) or more likely the Elbowed Comfort Rearstays (E.C.R.) that did the trick, or perhaps that slight curve to the seat stays. Whatever acronym you use, the bike is comfortable over long distances that included some very rough sections of road. Anyone from NSW who has raced the Ken Dinnerville Handicap will know how harsh these roads are, yet I found this bike handled the imperfections well.