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Reviewed: Focus Cayo Disc Donna Ultegra

Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com

Lab Data: 18.9/20 (.65mm head tube deflection; .56 BB deflection)
Build: 13.0/15
Comfort: 12.1/15
Value: 12.9/15
Handling: 10.1/15
Pedaling Response: 10.4/15
Aesthetics: 3.8/5

Overall: 81.2/100

The Cayo boasts a women’s-specific design and race geometry (short 145-millimeter head tube and snappy 408mm chainstays, size M), yet it’s so smooth and predictable — ideal for everyday rides and long adventures.

The size medium frame we tested tallied moderate stiffness scores – 0.56 mm BB deflection and 0.65mm head tube deflection – and provided a responsive ride when we set out to conquer local QOMs. But it didn’t beat us up over rough roads either.

Using Focus’s size-specific carbon tuning technology, each Cayo frame size is built with different tube diameters, which deliver optimal stiffness for different-sized bikes. This means small riders aren’t stuck riding an overbuilt, overly stiff frame and larger riders don’t get squishy bikes that flex under power. Each frame delivers the same ride characteristics and comfort, regardless of size.

It’s little slow off the line, but this is partially due to the extra weight, thanks to its disc brakes and heavy DT-Swiss R24 Spline thru-axle wheels. But our testers loved the smooth and powerful braking provided by Shimano’s RS685 hydraulic disc brakes and we wouldn’t trade that for a small weight savings.

Focus’s unique RAT thru-axle design makes for quick wheel changes: Line up the T-shaped end in the slot, turn, and be on your way. It takes a couple tries at first, but once you get used to the system, swapping wheels is quick and easy.

These thru axles add to the bike’s overall stiffness but it still lags where thru axles should be some help: handling. A 72.5-degree head tube angle isn’t slack by any means for a size M (or 54cm) bike, however, the Cayo does feel a little sluggish up front, especially at slow speeds. Riding tempo and carving big, swoopy turns? No problem. But jump in a crit and you’ll be muscling the bike through each corner, wishing for something a little snappier.

Price: $3,700
Component Highlights: Shimano Ultegra drivetrain with 50/34 crankset and Shimano 105 11-28 cassette; Shimano RS685 disc brakes; DT Swiss R24 Spline thru-axle disc wheels
Weight: 17.72 pounds (size M)

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