FOCUS Izalco Chrono by Walser
Whatever you do, don’t go searching the internet for information on Swiss composites guru Andy Walser. You’ll be sucked into story after story about the bikes Walser has provided to top professional racers from Jan Ullrich to Brad Wiggins and Lance Armstrong (which he only used for testing) to the entire Gerolsteiner team during the time that they were sponsored by another rather sizeable bicycle manufacturer.
FOCUS Bicycles of Germany have teamed up with Walser to bring most of the wind cheating features of Walser’s essentially one-off race bikes to the rest of the world in a UCI legal format. Features adopted directly from the original Walser include a slim and aero shaped headtube, concealed brake and shift cables, flush mount seatpost clamp, the tallest and most aerodynamically shaped tubes possible, and a slippery seatstay/downtube junction that has been copied by nearly every top manufacturer for its excellent aerodynamic properties. The key thing that wasn’t carried over from the original Walser design was the use of ultra-narrow hubs and bottom bracket. While the narrow configuration created less drag in the windtunnel, many riders (like Armstrong) found that it limited their ability to generate watts out on the road.
For 2010 you’ll see the Chrono under the MILRAM ProTour team yet again and an elite domestic road squad. The 2010 model comes as a frameset or with either of two different levels of specification (SRAM Red or Shimano Ultegra-level)and with a new version of the 3T bars as those used on the 2009 model have been deemed illegal by the UCI. To make the Walser design something tri riders could embrace, there’s also an ‘Izalco Tri’ version with multi-sport specific geometry. Drop into the shop for a closer look at the world’s most storied aero bike design.