Focus has designed the Paralane to appeal to a wide range of riders, with everything from touring to gravel and unsurfaced road riding. But with a claimed frame weight of 905g, it also has the scope to be a super-light endurance machine. While our test bike, with Shimano 105 and midrange components won’t win any prizes for its overall weight, the potential is there.
The 105 drivetrain is the workhorse within the range, with a solid, extremely reliable reputation. It does lack some of the polish of Ultegra and the RS505 hydraulic brake/shifter levers, as they’re long and broad in shape, and don’t fit the hand quite as comfortably as the non-hydraulic equivalents. Not that they gave us any major cause for complaint.
The Shimano RS170 wheels are on the heavy side but should provide years of trouble-free use. The RAT thru-axle system is superb, being very secure but also quick and intuitive to use – just a quarter-turn of the lever releases the axle.
The Paralane comes with mudguards fitted, making clear its intention of being a bike for touring and longer rides. The neat fittings are excellent and would be almost invisible with the guards removed, while the guards themselves have a solid design that does have a little bounce but needed no adjustment throughout our testing.
The Focus Concept CPX seatpost, compete with a big hole in the middle, is an eye-catching feature. Along with its narrow 25.4mm diameter, the cut-out design aims to provide extra flex to absorb vibration and improve comfort.
The 28mm Continental tyres also help in this respect, although there is a distinct lack of feel and feedback which does impede confidence on faster downhills a little, with no sense of how close they are to the limits of grip.
The geometry and handling in general are nicely balanced however, turning in keenly without feeling nervous or twitchy. Another neat touch is the top tube design, with subtle narrowing of the tube near the center, helping to give extra knee clearance.
Focus Paralane 105 Specs
- WEIGHT: 9.24 kg (w/ mudguards, size 54cm)
- FRAME: Carbon SL Disc, carbon disc fork
- GROUPSET: Shimano 105 5800
- BRAKES: Shimano 105 RS505 hydraulic disc
- CHAINSET: Shimano 105 5800,50/35
- CASSETTE: Shimano 105 5800,11-32
- HANDLEBAR: BBB Deluxe
- STEM: BBB Deluxe
- SADDLE: Prologo Kappa 3
- SEATPOST: Focus CPX Plus
- WHEELS: Shimano WH-RS170 Disc
- TYRES: Continental Ultra Sport 2,28mm
- Handling – Neutral but sharp enough to reward you on the twisty downhills.
- Sleek mudguard fitting – Perform well and look great.
- RAT axle – Quick and simple thru-axle design.
Not So Good
- Wheels – Heavy wheels are noticeable on climbs.
- Lack of tyre feedback – Muted feel can make it difficult to find the limits of the bike.
- Bulky levers – Long, wide shape is not the most comfy.
Focus have created an excellent all-rounder with the Paralane, with the neat mudguards being a real plus point. It delivers a smooth, comfortable ride with well balanced handling, and while it isn’t the lightest of bikes, it does a great job of munching through the miles.