Focus brings it’s prototype lightweight, full-carbon e-bike to the market.
What is it?
First unveiled at Eurobike in Germany last July, the Project Y is an e-bike like no other you’ve ever seen before. And luckily for us, Focus brought it over to the UK late last year so we could get a closer look at it. And what a stunner it is!
At first glance, you’d be excused for not even realising it’s an e-bike, the only real giveaway being the oversized down tube that houses the integrated battery, and the discreet control unit/display that projects from the handlebars.
Otherwise, it looks much like a standard road bike – but unlike other drop-handlebar e-bikes we’ve seen, this one comes with a full carbon frame rather than the more typical aluminum.
Quite a feat of engineering, given the extra strength required to take the weight of the motor and battery, and one of the reasons why Focus has been able to keep the overall weight down to just 12.84kg – still on the heavy side for a high-performance road bike, but a full 7kg lighter than the Giant Road-E+i.
It’s not just a pure road bike though: the Project Y has been envisioned as a versatile ‘platform for an electric future’. What you see here is the road configuration in its eye-catching sea-blue color scheme, but Focus has also built two more versions to show what it is capable of, one ‘for offroad adventure’ (fully loaded with bikepacking kit) and one ‘for adverse conditions and mud’ (cyclocross-style riding).
How Does it Work?
In most respects, it’s designed to feel exactly like riding a standard road bike. On the flat, with the assist switched off, Focus claims there’s no extra pedal resistance. The assist is designed to only kick in when you need it – when going uphill, for example – providing up to an additional 250 W of power.
The key aim, Focus tell us, has been to make the riding experience feel as natural as possible, with agile handling and well-balanced weight distribution. The low weight of the battery helps – just 1.2kg.
Focus claims it has enough juice to keep you going for around 50km, but if you want to go further, you can carry a spare and swap it out easily.
What’s The Spec?
Focus has certainly not held back when building this bike, fitting it out with the latest Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 electronic groupset with hydraulic disc brakes. Rotors are the larger 160mm size for maximum stopping power, and there are plenty of neat touches including integrating the Di2 junction box and charge port into a handlebar end plug.
Only the chainset is non-Shimano, instead being a full carbon FSA model, so still pretty swish. Finishing kit includes Easton aero carbon handlebars, a quality Prologo saddle with carbon rails, and Focus’ distinctive own- brand Concept CPX Plus seatpost, with its large cutout designed to improve comfort.
What About Those Wheels?
No expense has been spared in this department either. The custom wheels feature DT Swiss disc-specific carbon rims, built around hubs that use Focus’ own proprietary RAT thru-axle system – a clever quick-release design that only requires a quarter turn to unlock the 142x12mm axle.
The wheels are shod with the excellent Continental GP 4 Seasons Black Edition tyres in 28mm width, though the frame has the spacing to take wider rubber in keeping with its versatile go-anywhere aspirations.
What Will it Cost Me?
Alas, what you see here is just a prototype – albeit a fully working one – and the bike is still some way off becoming a full production model available to buy. Based on the spec and comparisons with other e-bikes, we reckon you’re looking at upwards of $7,000 when it eventually comes on the market.
Focus Project Y Bike Specs:
- WEIGHT: 12.84kg
- FRAME: Project Y Full Carbon DropBar-E Concept, Project Y Full Carbon Fork
- ASSISTANCE: Fazua 250W
- GROUPSET: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9170 hydraulic
- CHAINSET: FSA carbon, 50/34 Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace, 11-30
- BRAKES: Shimano Dura-Ace hydraulic
- BARS: Easton EC90 carbon aero bars
- STEM: Easton EA90 alloy Seatpost: Focus Concept CPX Plus Saddle: Prologo Scratch 2 Nack
- WHEELS: DT Swiss Custom Carbon Road Boost