Bike Check: Focus Raven EVO 29
Focus continues to impress with their new mountain bike line-up. While we’ve always loved their cross and road bikes, the German company has been working hard to keep current with their mountain bike line up. The Raven is their race oriented hardtail, and it shows. It’s clearly designed to toe the line at an XC race, whether that’s the front row of the next World Cup, Canada Cup, or your local Island Cup race. With appearances at the front of the race in Rio, and top-10’s on the World Cup circuit already in 2016, it’s fair to say Focus have something good going with the Raven series. Even leaning against the wall, the bike just looks fast!
Unlike some obsessively weight conscious frames, Focus has managed to balance a very svelte weight with some consideration given to ride quality. The frame is stiff enough to jump off the line, but it’s also has a more forgiving ride than you’d expect from a thoroughbred race machine. That comes down to the rather dramatic tube shaping, which Focus uses to maintain strength while fine tuning the ride quality. The bulky head tube, flattened top tube, and open space behind the seat tube all ensure the bike feels stable and confident below you, without feeling like you’re riding a plank of wood through that rock garden. Stop by and take the Raven EVO out for a spin, we’re sure that German Engineering will have you dancing through the woods in no time!
Red is never a bad choice, but the red highlights on the Raven look especially good
Gloss-on-matte lettering combine with bright red highlights on that overbuilt head tube
Focus incorporates interchangeable cable ports, making the Raven Di2 compatible
A wide top tube flattens out toward where it joins with the seat tube and continues into the chainstays
The unique looking seat tube junction lets the Raven soften out the harshness of a hardtail
Focus’ in house brand Concept takes care of the controls out front
The Raven features a ‘Rapid Axle Technology’ through axle, & some snazzy cable routing from Focus.
SRAM GX and Shimano brakes getting along nicely
SRAM’s made 1x more approachable with their GX groupset
But you still get the wide range of their upper tier XX1 system
A thoroughly machined cassette runs all the way up to a rather massive 42 tooth cog
Rock Shox Reba 100mm travel, or zero. Lock that sucker out and sprint! Or climb
Maxxis IKON’s are always reliable, and the Raven has plenty of room for 2.3’s front and rear
Another look at the long, sleek top tube and Focus’ gloss labeling on the Raven