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EB15: Focus Debuts Sam C, Spine C & Raven Max off-road, plus road racing Izalco Max Disc

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Over the course of this summer Focus has introduced expansions and refinements to their two premium mountain bike lines the trail/enduro Sam and the cross country Raven, plus a new shorter travel trail bike called the Spine. The 160mm Sam gets an upgrade to carbon, the Raven hardtail gets Max-ed with a totally reimagined carbon frame, and the new 120mm Spine will now be available in both carbon and aluminum versions. Not to ignore the road, Focus officially debuted the disc-brake edition of their premier WorldTour Izalco Max at Eurobike, and went home with a best in show award. Plus, on that bike, and everything else that didn’t have rear suspension, Focus was featuring their new CPX Plus carbon comfort seatpost. Drop in past the break for photos and details of the new bikes…


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The new 120mm Spine is a completely new design for Focus, with a trail riding and long distance exploring mindset. The 27.5″ top level 7000€ Spine C 0.0 gets the new carbon frame, with an XX1 drivetrain, a 120mm travel RS-1 fork, and DT Swiss’ carbon XMC1200 wheelset. The bike on display at Eurobike had an aluminum rear triangle (as did the pre-production model we looked at this summer), but we were told that the final top C bikes would be fully carbon, including main triangle, chainstays, seatstays, and rocker link.

At Eurobike we got a first glance of the new aluminum versions that we hadn’t seen before (except for those pesky aluminum stays). The Spine Alu will come in several builds for more competitively-priced options. The Alu shares all of the same geometry and tech as the carbon bikes with its 120mm of plush travel and modern, versatile geometry.

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The Alu bikes will come with either 1x SRAM setups or 2x Shimano builds which gave us a chance to take a closer look at some of its interesting details. The Spines have the option for front derailleur car of this removable direct-mount hanger on the back of the seat tube. Shift routing is internal through the downtube, and pops out in front of the BB at this little port. It looks like it is a bit in harms way, and the show display even had a scuff where it hit something, so we’ll leave time to judge how durable it is, even if it has already been serving for over a year on the aluminum enduro bike.

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Rear brake routing is internal as well, but exits out of a tiny hole at the base of the seattube above/behind the BB for smooth routing to the chainstay. The post mount rear brake sits protected under the high seatstay, bridging from the forged dropout to a reinforced tab gusseted onto the chainstay.  Presumably the forthcoming carbon rear-end will closely mimic the aluminum one.


We had a look at the new Focus Sam Carbon earlier in the summer as well. The aluminum version of the 160mm bike was raced to win the  Specialized Enduro Series this year, and this new one gets even shorter stays for racier performance. The new Sam Carbon has got off to a good racing start as well, having just taken all three podium places in the German Enduro Champs.

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The 6000€ Sam C Team here gets an XX1 group and DT EX1501 enduro-specific wheels. While Focus thinks that a lot of enduro riders will stick to 1x  for the lightweight (2400g frame) carbon bike, it does still offer front derailleur compatibility by way of e-type mounts on the chainstay/swingarm and Focus’ modular internal routing. The bike also gets the same internal brake routing of the Spine (or the other way around since the alu Sam came first). Underneath the downtube it gets an integrated frame protector to guard against rock strikes, and at the BB ISCG05 tabs for chain guide compatibility. The whole rear end swings on a double row of main bearings for added stiffness and durability.


We shown the new Raven Max both in its camoflaged World Cup pre-release and then with the other new bikes this summer. It is a designed as a fast, but forgiving cross-country/marathon hardtail made to handle any type of race. But following on the popular debut of the Factory series at last year’s show, Focus had a new version of the Raven Max on hand.



In parallel with the successful launch of the Raven MAX at the Cross Country World Cup in Albstadt, Florian Vogel from the FOCUS XC team is already celebrating his second World Cup podium finish this year. This new hardtail boasts characteristics that make it comfortable yet at the same time lightning-fast; small wonder that it has secured a place among the best in the world for mountain bike racing. Building on its many years of development work and huge wealth of expertise, Focus has created a frame that weighs in at an incredible 885 g, making it currently one of the lightest in its class.

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The claimed 885g hartail adds in a new Raven rigid fork, X01 drivetrain and DT M1700 wheelset for the 3700€ Raven Max Factory 29, in its distinct matte cool gray finish with sharp orange accents.


We couldn’t really leave out the Izalco Max Disc, even if we did cover it before. The 6000€ Izalco Max Disc Red version took home a Eurobike gold award, with a claimed weight of 790g making it the lightest disc brake bike ready for the UCI WorldTour with sponsored team Ag2r La Mondiale.

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The bike uses Focus’ quick release 15mm front and 12mm rear R.A.T. thru-axles and gets flat mount brakes. The Izalco Max Disc Red gets a road tubeless-ready DT Swiss RC38 carbon wheelset, and is spec’ed with Focus’ new  CPX Plus carbon seatpost. The post gets a hollow middle that promises vertical flex without torsion. Include now on most non-suspended bikes, Focus tells us that it will be offered as by itself as well in the future.


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8 years ago

Really nice line up – and the Sam looks so sweet!

8 years ago

I demoed a Focus Mares CX with that CPX post, and surprisingly, it actually does seem to make a difference, especially compared to a nearly identical Mares with an alloy post that belongs to a teammate of mine. I’m intrigued to pick one of them up for my adventure bike.

Edward Reyes
Edward Reyes
8 years ago

I was really interested in the Spine only to find out that Focus isn’t really importing anything but their E-bikes, which sucks.

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