The evolution of cyclocross machines is a funny thing. On one side you have people clamoring for newer technology like disc brakes and even thru axles, while on the other side you have quite a few who are perfectly content with their cantilever brakes and quick releases. At least for the near future it seems that most companies will be trying to placate both sides with two different versions of essentially the same bike. Case in point, Focus’ new Marex CX race bike that will be offered in two versions, the canti equipped QR bike above, and a version with disc brakes and thru axles front and rear. While the disc brakes are nothing new for Focus, the move to use thru axles front and rear is definitely something of which to take note.


With details on the new bike slowly tricking out, Focus has a few teasers on their Facebook page that clue us into a few of the more interesting details, like the ISCG-05 mounted chain plate around the PF30 bb. Instead of relying on a small anti chain drop arm, the new Mare has the ability to run a massive chain plate which will undoubtedly curb derailments in even the worst conditions.

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Did you ever expect to see Louisville, KY on a head tube? The neat little detail of World Championship locations makes it so.


In addition to the cantilever brakes, the Mares CX non disc keeps with tradition using standard quick releases. The disc version won’t be using just any thru axles though, as Road.CC is reporting that they are using a new axle design called RAT – Rapid Axle Technology. Using a T-pin to engage the opposite side, the system sounds a lot like the Manitou QR15 system we saw a while back which results in lightning fast wheel changes with the added security of a thru axle. For more info on the bike and a lot more photos, head over the Road.CC.



  1. Ok, you kind of pulled a Yahoo news on us. Headlines talks about disc and thru axels and all we get are pictures of the canti bike.

  2. New axel design does not mean new standard. These words have been spoken regarding many 15mm thru axel’s for various forks, still the same hubs. Which is all that matters.

  3. given my current disc brake cx has discs touching pads from time to time in corners, i’d say yes, thru axles will help with that.
    not much to do with suspension in fact, stuff twists regardless. i think it makes perfect sense to have thru axles

  4. thru axles also equal exact, repeatable wheel position, something that cant be said about QRs. now your brake pads wont rub the rotor when reinstalling the wheel.

  5. a) wonder how that chain keeper works with a 1×10, b) thru axles would improve any bike. Wheel/dropout interface would be stiffer, with no flexing of axle under hard compression – what’s not to like? And no more lawyer tabs!

  6. Anyone concerned about the rear mech cable routing near the dropout? Seems like an unnecessary internal bend at the last section.

  7. Cross… Thru-Axle… Hydraulic Breaking… Di2…

    AWESOME !!!!

    I hope Specialized, Giant, Cannondale, Trek and other big manufactures take note as I will be buying this bike!

  8. It needs friggin fender mounts. Even if they designed their own crappy fenders and sold them for an absorbent price because they’re the only ones that work with it, I’d love to see a CX race bike with fenders.

What do you think?