Focus Mares AX Disc Apex (2016)
Reliable cyclocrosser ready to double as a commuter
- Excellent SRAM components at this price point
- Internal cable routing
- Rapid Axle Technology (RAT) front and rear thru-axles
- No front fender mounts
Focus is a company that prides itself on developing bike specifications based upon the feedback from pro riders rather than just engineers and designers.
The 2016 edition of the Focus Mares AX Apex Disc Cyclocross bike is a prime example, combining a stiff high-end lightweight aluminum frame with the Mares CX P2T Carbon fork to produce a responsive and comfortable ride that is equally at home both on the muddy CX courses of the world and on the pavements, alleys and roadways that commuters use every day.
Setting this cyclocross bike apart from its major competitors is the internal routing of cables and hydraulic lines inside the frame, providing a neat finish that offers protection from mud, water, and road grime, which in turn prolongs the life of the drivetrain components and ensures smooth, flawless shifting every time.
The SRAM Force 1 groupset offers excellent 10-speed shifting that will remain precise and fast in all conditions (remember, SRAM began as a mountain bike component manufacturer so they know their way around mud!) and the SRAM HRD700 Hydraulic Disc Brakes offer great performance in power and modulation in any weather and on any surface, assuring the rider of precise stopping power.
The Rapid Axle Technology (RAT) developed by Focus gives a high level of lateral stiffness and strength due to thru-axles on front AND rear wheels and allows the wheels to be removed and replaced in record time...whether you’re mixing it up in a CX race or on your way to work, you can’t afford to lose valuable time wrestling with mud-caked skewers.
Small touches can make a big difference when choosing a bike, and the way Focus have designed the top tube with its flat, smooth underside to fit snugly on your shoulder when carrying the bike is a great feature, as is the CX Chain Guide (a lightweight structure near the derailleur which prevents the chain coming off due to knocks or crashes).
Overall, the Mares AX Disc Apex is easy to ride, is reliable and stiff with direct steering, reasonable comfort and exceptional handling in all conditions.
The Mares AX Disc Apex is one of the entry-level cyclocross bikes from Focus. Designed for cyclocross, it's got excellent ground clearance, a flattened-oval top tube for carrying, and SRAM Apex kit complemented by Focus' Concept wheels.
Sturdy, light, and responsive, the Mares AX is just right for the demanding world of cyclocross.