Focus has completely redesigned its 170mm travel carbon SAM enduro mountain bike with a more compact suspension design that boosts performance, drops weight, and gave their engineers more control over the suspension. The new F.O.L.D. frame maintains a single pivot axle path, but its performance is now much more refined. Oh, and it also is available in an e-bike SAM version too, if you are into that persuasion…
2019 FOCUS SAM 170mm carbon enduro mountain bike
The second generation of the Focus Sam gets an extra 10mm of travel, but the bigger update is the complete suspension overhaul and move to a one-piece rear end.
With 170mm of FOLD suspension like debuted first on the XC O1E & trail JAM, the new SAM promises to be more of a ripper than ever before.
2019 Focus Sam F.O.L.D. Suspension
The new Focus Optimized Linkage Design (FOLD) is still a single pivot design like the previous generation Sam, but its nested linkages completely change how the shock compresses. It now combines the benefits of single pivot travel with much more controlled shock leverage throughout its travel.
Now the FOLD design let Focus engineers start with a regressive curve which means as it moves through the first 55mm of travel the suspension gets softer & more plush for the smaller hits. Only then does it transition to steeply progressive firming up towards the end of its 170mm of travel so you don’t bottom out on the huge drops.
One side benefit is that a full-size water bottle cage fits in the frame, helping lighten the load on your back for enduro racing. Plus the design allows for a shorter seattube, which means longer travel dropper posts are possible.
2019 Focus Sam Tech Details
The new carbon frame gives the reshaped 2019 Sam a solid weight savings down roughly 400g to a claimed 2337g for the new carbon/carbon version.
The heart of the new bike is the FOLD suspension, with its two nested alloy links that drive the shock.
The new bike is again 1x specific, and gets ISCG 05 tabs for a chain guide around its PF30 bottom bracket. It also includes downtube rock and chainstay guards to protect the carbon frame.
The bike features internal cable routing (although it goes external on the alloy rear triangle model) with Boost 148 spacing, RAT thru-axle, and 180mm post mount rear brake. No word on max tire size, but they come spec’ed with 2.5″ Maxxis tires whcih look to have plenty of room.
2019 Focus Sam Geometry
Focus says that overall geometry of the Sam and its 64.8° headtube doesn’t change much from what the previous bike had, maintaining a balanced position on the bike. Frame reach did grow a bit combined with slightly shorter 428mm chainstays in the ever-evolving longer, slacker & lower trail movement. The new Sam also gets a bit more standover thanks to the shorter seattube and accommodation of longer droppers. At both spec levels the 27.5″ wheeled enduro mountain bike comes in just three frame sizes (S-L).
2019 Focus Sam Pricing, Spec & Availability
The new Sam will only com in two complete bike builds. The top-level 2019 Focus Sam 9.9 pairs the carbon front & rear triangles with a SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain, a RockShox Super Deluxe RCT air shock, 170mm RockShox Lyrik RC2 fork, and a Reverb dropper. The 6000€ bike gets Guide RSC brakes, and a RaceFace Turbine wheelset for a claimed weight of just 12.95kg/28.55lb.
A more affordable 2019 Focus Sam 8.9 keeps the same carbon front end and the same alloy FOLD linkages, but features an alloy rear triangle to trim its price back a third. At 4000€ and 14.5kg/31.97lb, it also gets GX Eagle and opts for a Fox Float DPX2 Performance air shock (presumably not the lower spec Van coil originally planned for this pricepoint), a Fox 36 Float Rhythm fork, Guide R brakes, a KS dropper, and a DT E1900 25 wheelset.
Both new bikes are said to be available through your local Focus dealer, between now and the end of this month.