OPINION

Focus Cayo Expert SRAM 2009 test...ongoing

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Focus Cayo Expert SRAM 2009

The bike has been a bit of an enigma for me because on paper and up close and personal, it looks the 'DB's. It is also the sort of bike I would consider buying, however, there is something, and I don't know what yet, that isn't quite right. Sure the SRAM Red is wonderfully slick, easy to get used to, but is it worth the extra money over say Campag Record or Chorus - not in my books. The wheels are OK, but nothing special. Also, it isn't full SRAM Red - Brakes, front mech being Force and the chain set, being compact is SRAM GPX. So my thinking would be, ditch the expensive SRAM stuff, put on full Chorus or Record and spend the difference on better wheels.

That said, it does ride really nicely, it's very stiff and responsive - a blast up the hills being pretty light. The compact chainset has made me put one on my Kinesis for up and coming Sportives. You do feel that each pedal stroke is pushing the bike forward in a very efficient manner. I Love the new 24mm Conti's they feel really secure in the current climes.. The saddle is really comfy and although the seatpost is well down in spec in comparison with the rest of the bike, it is very user friendly, having fine and positive adjustment. The brakes are really powerful.

Now here's the interesting bit (well possibly) - I rode the Cayo on my 30mile lumpy route and all was well but I was convinced I was working a bit harder than normal and noticed I was usually one sprocket higher, even though it's a compact chainset and a 26 block. So as soon as I got back, I went out on my trusty Kinesis - mudguards, lights, winter wheels - 5 to 6lbs heavier and did the same circuit again, keeping my pulse as near as I could to my previous ride. Guess what? 5 mins quicker! Funny I thought. So.......

....next day got the turbo out, complete with power output, mileage , speed etc. Below is the result, hope it makes some sort of sense.

Bike Test - 10mins at an average bpm of 130

Focus Cayo Expert

average power output - 212W ( 267 max)  Distance covered - 2.58miles ( 15.2 avg mph)

Kinesis Gran fondo

average power output - 232W ( 290 max) Distance covered - 2.69miles ( 16.1avg mph)

So I've ruled out weight, wind, bike flex, and all the other variables I could - I even changed the rear tyre - using the Contis, and checked the pressures. Somewhere, the Cayo is losing out to the Kinesis in terms of Watts or miles / bpm.  That said , the Kinesis is a £700 frame so is no slouch.......

So the test goes on. My plan,  is to ride it a bit more, then repeat the above double lap to see if anything else transpires - maybe it just needs running in.

Stayed tuned or let me know if you have any bright ideas. I want this bike to succeed it looks great..

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