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Team Milram’s Focus Race Bikes Hitting U.S. Shores

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rudyproject-terpstra_tdf2009

Focus Bicycles, a German bike brand that outfitted Gerald Ciolek and the rest of Team Milram in this year’s Tour de France, has just begun bringing their bikes into the U.S.  Containers are on the water at this very moment!

We’ve got some pics to share, and we talked to Chris McLaren of Focus Bicycles USA to see what was up with the bikes:

BIKERUMOR: Why did Focus wait until now to enter the US market?

CHRIS: The parent company of Focus Bicycles USA, Inc., Derby Cycle Werke GmbH, is the owner of several brands including Focus, its largest and fastest growing brand. Derby has had an eye on the US market for a long time, viewing it as one with high potential. After gaining incredible momentum in its home country of Germany and in many markets around the world, Derby feels that the time is right to jump into the American market with a dedicated presence.

Focus will be in the American market for the long haul and its parent company sees steady, conservative growth over a long period of time as the best way to achieve success. Focus sees real room in the market for a bicycle manufacturer that can offer incredible service and transparency to dealers and the world’s best bikes to consumers.

After an extensive search Derby selected former bicycle retailer and one-time Vice President at PowerBar Scott Rittschof to head their new American subsidiary. In the short order Scott has brought in several key people to support a growing dealer base and consumers: Jeff Rowe in operations, myself to head up sales and Chris Michels as a Customer Service expert. Between the four of us, we have over 50 years of industry experience.

BIKERUMOR: What makes Focus bikes different/special/better?

CHRIS: Focus bikes are totally unique because they are designed by riders for riders. From their line of Izalco performance road bikes to their complete line of tried and tested city bikes, every Focus model has been created by a team that truly understands a rider’s needs. Focus is widely regarded as one of the most innovative bike manufacturers in Europe and their team of passionate designers, engineers and product managers work closely with top level riders to create new and innovative technologies that help all kinds of riders enjoy their time on a bike more.

Focus also has a few very unique technologies. The Stable Stiffness Per Size (SSPS) system that Focus engineers have designed to guarantee the same ride regardless of the rider’s height. From size 48 to 62, all bikes will have the same stiffness, vertical compliance and performance. Also, every Focus carbon frame is constructed using a Wrinkle Free Inner Molding Process that ensures high stability, strength and consistency of ride despite the use of very thin walled composite material.

BIKERUMOR: How long have they been around?

CHRIS: Focus Bikes was founded in the late 80’s by Mike Kluge, 10-time German National Champion, Cyclocross World Champion and winner of many early World Cup mountain bike races. After building the brand for several years, Kluge had a vision that Derby, with its expertise in design and manufacturing, could help Focus reach its full potential and sold his thriving company to them. Thanks to Derby’s leadership, Focus has taken Europe by storm and the company is now focusing (we know, bad pun) that momentum on the American market.

focus-izalco-team-milram-bicycle

BIKERUMOR: What is the top model and best selling model?

CHRIS: The top performance road model is the Izalco Team Milram edition (above). This Tour de France tested model boasts a high-modulus uni-directional monocoque carbon frame, SRAM Red, FSA K-Force handlebars, Lightweight wheels and a Fizik Arione saddle. The frame by itself weighs in at just 1000g and is a complete carbon frame—featuring full carbon drop outs and a full carbon fork with a carbon steer tube. All of our carbon frames use a Wrinkle Free Inner Molding Process during manufacturing that ensures high stability and consistency of ride despite the use of ultra thin and low weight carbon material.  (Editor’s note: U.S. MSRP for this complete bike is $12,000.  With Look Keo Sprint pedals and steel King water bottle cages it weighs in about 15lb 10oz 14lb 11oz for size 58cm.  This is the 2009 model.  2010 will have tubular Lightweight wheels and a tapered head tube.)

focus izalco crono triathlon time trial bicycle german pro triathlete konstantin-bachor

The top Triathlon/Time Trial frame is the Izalco Chrono by Andreas Walser (shown above being piloted by German pro triathlete Konstantin Bachor). Designed by the world’s most innovative aerodynamic bicycle designer, the Izalco Chrono is the fastest bike in the world. The new Izalco Chrono features internal cable routing, a conical headset, concealed brake mounts, parallel moulded rear stays, integrated seat clamp and full carbon drop outs. This model is equipped with a laundry list of the world’s best components: SRAM Red, Zipp 808 wheels, 3T Ventus Team Aerobar and a Fizik Arione saddle.

The best selling model for the US has yet to be determined since we’re still setting up shop, but we anticipate the performance road models the Izalco and the Cayo, to be big sellers and the Izalco Chrono by Andy Walser and as well as the Izalco Tria to gain a rapid following in the triathlon market. We’re seeing a ton of interest in our Mares cyclocross lineup, which has always been a strong point for Focus thanks to Mike Kluge’s passion for the discipline. Our mountain bike offering will be headlined by the Raven Extreme, a super lightweight carbon hardtail that will be complimented by a competitively priced lineup of aluminum hardtails. The Focus line of full suspension mountain bikes are currently being updated with a new and more refined suspension technology and will launch early next summer.

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Brett LaDove
13 years ago

I saw some of the first bikes to arrive from Europe this week….BEAUTIFUL!

Yannig
13 years ago

Their bikes are cool !!! The fact that te brand was creatd by a very experienced German pro rider (Mike Kluge of course) ads a lot of credibility to their initiatives, I wish them the best to become an established bike manufacturer… and things seem to go pretty well. My local bike dealer told me today that they are on the edge of signing with team Bouygues Telecom… don’t know were he got that info, but it would be a huge deal! We’ll stay tuned

JeffS
JeffS
13 years ago

Yea, we used to be able to purchase these bikes at good prices through dealers like Wiggle in the UK. Now, they’ve shut down that channel and have nothing in place to replace them.

Probably means I won’t be buying one now.

Chris BMC
Chris BMC
13 years ago

I can’t wait for these bikes. Who will be the nearest Denver, CO dealer!!! Wonder what the price for frame Izalco is going for. Would love to build up with campy.

Hunter 79
Hunter 79
13 years ago

I agree with JeffS, a month ago you could get great deals on these bikes from Wiggle with more than reasonable shipping costs to the US. Just comparing the MSRP on the Team Milram Izalco mentioned in the article to what Wiggle has ($7,500) makes me think the entire range is going to be marked up for the US market.

Thanks, but I am going to have to pass.

JMS
JMS
13 years ago

JeffS, you are the typical “web” shopper. You do nothing for your ecomony. I imagine you live in California and complain about everything from the cost of milk to the cost of gas. Too bad you can’t buy either of those online. Do yourself and your local shop a favor and support some local business.

Francisco Flores
13 years ago

Just what we need. Another bike to become mail order cannon fodder. JeffS will be riding a Focus come next year when they get blown out at 50% off.

Brian
Brian
12 years ago

There are dealers in California and a Focus main distributor in Carlsbad as well I didnt mail order mine.

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