Bike Check: Focus Paralane / ENVE
Paralane, the new buzz bike from German manufacturer Focus Bikes, has been consistently turning heads since arriving at Broad Street Cycles. Not with top-of-the-line race curves and fancy Italian bling bits — we have Pinarello and Yeti if you’re looking for that — but with it’s attention grabbing … functionality. Yes, in the era of increasingly niche bikes, the Paralane is so overwhelmingly practical for such a range of purposes that it’s noteworthy. It’s still a very good looking bike, especially in this matte/gloss black colourway, but we jumped at the opportunity to really dress one up for a customer looking to push what the Paralane could be. Turning to ENVE Composites, the company that’s doing more to Make America Great Again than any anthropomorphized Cheeto, we added a set of their new SES 4.5 AR Disc wheels, and some more Handmade in America goodness to really turn up the Paralane. The result is a build that’ll leave you green with … desire? Lust? Something, anyway.
While all the ENVE bits do look stunning on the Paralane, the new ENVE 4.5 AR Disc rims aren’t just an aesthetic match, they also compliment Focus’ functional intent really, really well. ENVE’s attracted all sorts of hyperbolic praise for their new ultra-wide all-road rims, designed around running high volume tires to give more traction and a smoother ride on other-than-paved surfaces. Kinda like the Paralane. How convenient! Considering this bike is going to be making daily trips over the Malahat and over the rough Shawnigan roads, the ENVE-Focus pairing isn’t just fancy for fancy’s sake: running high volume, tubless ready Schwalbe Pro One’s is going to make that ride much more comfortable.
Focus’ elegant fender system, made in collaboration with Belgian fender specialists, Curana, are also going to go a long way to making wet Malahat summits enjoyable, too. The removable fenders have been designed specifically for the Paralane, and feature impressive tire clearance, allowing for high volume tires and protection from wet roads. We’ve already talked about the long list of features that make the Paralane an excellent, envelope-pushing endurance road bike (through axle disc wheels; Concept CPX seat post; Di2 compatibility, flex-stay chainstays) so lets get into the details:
Flat mount hydro road discs from Shimano. Plus the sleek fender mount system from Focus
Focus borrowed flex-stay technology from their XC racer, the Raven, for a compliant back end
Through-axle disc’s up front give plenty of stiffness for precise steering, plus reliable disc braking
Focus’ Concept CPX post gives enough to be cushy, without power-sapping lateral flex
ENVE’s matte/gloss stem matches Focus’ colourway on the Paralanes stout front end
Ultra-wide ENVE SES AR 4.5 Disc’s with Schwalbe Pro One tubless road setup
These ENVE’s are built around Chris King R45 disc hubs for the full made in America look
ENVE’s are handmade in the USA, with stars and stripes to show for it
Enve sure does make some nice looking parts, and titanium hardware to boot
There’s a full ENVE cockpit, including this sharp face plate mounted ENVE Garmin mount.
Because once you’ve done everything else, why not – matte/gloss ENVE cages, and bottles to match
Shimano 105, because this Focus will be covering many, Malahat winter miles. Not easy on a drivetrain
Pro components Turnix saddle, with an extra tube because the Malahat