The all-new Focus Atlas is the brand’s first true gravel bike. And instead of trying to create some super gravel racer, Focus calls this a gravel bike “made to lose”. The idea is to build a reliable all-surface, all-rounder that’s as happy to ride gravel fast or slow all day, as it is ready to head off on a bikepacking adventure…
2021 Focus Atlas versatile, affordable alloy gravel bike
Blending lessons learned on the cyclocross Mares and all-road Paralane, the new Atlas focuses in more on longer endurance rides off tarmac. Focus says they built the Atlas to escape a must-be-first mentality and rather celebrate the small wins like “commuting through the park to get to the office or going on a short weekend trip with friends on the bike into nature”.
“The Atlas is not made for winning races, setting world records, or beating people. It’s made to lose. Lose your mind, lose track of time, to lose yourself. It’s for getting out in nature, having adventures, meeting people, and generally just having a great time.”
Gravel Tech details
The alloy frame is meant to balance light weight & durability without breaking the bank, and is paired with a full carbon, tapered steerer carbon fork with internal cable routing.
Designed to be ready for bikepacking, the Atlas gets plenty of mounting points – four cage mounting points on the frame, anything cage mounts on each fork leg, plus rear rack mounts and full front & rear fender compatibility. There’s even an optional non-driveside dropout attachment for those wanting to fit a 18mm standard kickstand.
The Focus Atlas has clearance for up to 700c x 47mm wide tires, with a machined chainstay yoke that helps keep tire & chainring clearance wide with compact 425mm chainstays, while managing clean cable routing. Focus say you can also set it up with 650b wheels too, but dropping down from the stock 700x45mm WTB Riddler tires to anything 650b that fit, would have sizable impacts on BB height & fork Trail figures.
Focus’ CIS cockpit integration solution delivers fully internal routing for the frame & fork to the benefit of bikepackers looking to mount a handlebar bag up front.
Instead of going for a fully aero setup, this CIS setup routes cables through a port in the upper headset cap, then down into the fork steerer. That maintains cockpit adjustability and compatibility for mechanical shifting while allowing for a completely hidden setup down the road, if desired.
And there’s still downtube cable ports for alternate setup flexibility
Much like they did on their e-road bikes, the Atlas gets Boost rear end spacing for improved stiffness and wheel durability. Calling it Gravel Road Boost, DT Swiss & Novatec mountain bike hubs get laced into gravel-ready rims for all build levels. Besides the 148x12mm rear & 110x12mm fork thru-axles, the Atlas also gets a BSA threaded bottom bracket, flat mount discs and 160mm rotors, a 27.2mm seatpost
Endurance Gravel Geometry
Although the rear end is relatively short, the Atlas was built to be “a rather long bike”. With longer frame reach and shorter stems, Focus gives the bike more of a stable trail bike ride off-road.
The Focus Atlas comes in a five size range (XS-XL) with a ride character derived from the popular all-road endurance Paralane. And rather than just cutting the same tubes shorter for the smallest sizes, Focus claims “Stable Stiffness Per Size” much like the do on their carbon bike layups so all riders get the same feel & performance
Focus Atlas gravel bike – Pricing, option & availability
Focus’ new alloy gravel bike is available in four complete builds, all with Shimano GRX gravel groups. The top-spec 2500€ Atlas 6.9 gets GRX 810 with a 1×11 groupset and DT Swiss low profile gravel wheels at a complete bike weight of 10.5kg.
The mid-level 2000€ Atlas 6.8 opts for a GRX 600 setup, with the close gear-spacing of a 2×11 drivetrain and a weight claim of 10.8kg.
And the most affordable 1600€ Atlas 6.7 drops down again to GRX 400, with a 2×10 speed group at 10.95kg complete.
The entry spec also gets a second 1800€ Atlas 6.7 EQP option, already built fully-equipped with a commuter-ready Shutter Precision dynamo hub-powered LED lighting setup, full-coverage fenders, and a rear rack at 12.8kg. Out of the box, ready for daily life on the city streets, or more all-surface travels.