The Focus Mares 3.0 for 2014. © Cyclocross Magazine
Editor's Note: This article is from our mud-loving friends at Cyclocross Magazine and originally appeared on cxmagazine.com. It was written by passionate cyclocross racer Molly Hurford. Visit them for your daily cyclocross fix.
If there's any sign disc brakes are winning out? The Europeans are jumping ship, and German-based Focus is all in on disc brakes for 2014.
While it doesn't have the same paint scheme as Zach McDonald, Jeremy Powers or Gabby Durrin's Focus Mares, the Mares CX 3.0 features the same frame as seen on the bikes that the Rapha-Focus team riders are racing this year. The carbon is the same layup as last year's cantilever version, though this bike is strictly designed to be disc brake only, with 135 rear spacing. "It's one or the other," Tim Jackson of Focus explains, which is in contrast to disc-or-canti bikes including the Pivot Vault, Lapierre Cross Carbon and carbon Redline Conquest that can handle disc or cantilever brakes.
SRAM Rival groupset and S700 hydraulic discs on the Focus CX 3.0 Mares. © Cyclocross Magazine
The Mares CX 3.0 is set up complete with SRAM's Rival groupset and the Force-level but-not-group-specific S700 hydraulic disc brakes and levers, FSA cranks and Schwalbe Racing Ralph tires. The wheels are DT Swiss X1900 29-er wheels that are quite stout, according to Jackson. "A little overbuilt but a solid training wheel or even a backup race day wheel. You're not going to jack them up. You can plow into a barrier-as I have-and they will survive," he says.
And the new, bright blue and light blue color scheme? "Germany isn't afraid as most North American brands are to have color. That's a hallmark of a European brand, they embrace color," Jackson said.
It comes in four sizes from 52cm to 58cm. The CX 3.0 MSRP is $3900, with the same frame and fork being used on the entire range of the Mares bikes.