First Impressions of
the Focus Raven 29er
Written by: Jens Raz
Focus will be officially unveiling the Raven 29 at the Sea Otter Classic Expo this weekend. MTB Race News had a sneak peak prior to the big event. Read our full report below.
I have been riding the Focus Raven 29er for the last week
and am thoroughly impressed. The frame
is light, just about 1,200 grams. The complete bike, in a size large, weighs
in at an impressive 22.13lbs with tubes (stock except for an Elite Thompson
seatpost). There are beautiful lines, very
nice component choices, and a few unique twists.
It becomes quickly apparent from the attention to detail
that Focus has paid to the bike, that a true mountain biker has designed the
frame. There is a tapered head tube, full
internal cable routing, chain stay post mount disk brakes (internally routed of
course). One of the main standouts is the option to run the cable for a dropper
seatpost internally through the frame as well With a dropper seatpost the bike not only climbs like a goat, but also
allows you descend much quicker while saving your family jewels from the perils
of a raised seat in a rock garden.
The brakes are also truly impressive. The Maguras MT8’s have a great initial bite
and do not require any effort to haul the bike from light speed to a quick stop. If anything, the rear brake is almost too
good. Coming stock with a 180 front and
160 rear rotor, the rear can even go up to a 180mm rotor.
The Raven is a truly fast climber that allows climbing in
1-2 gears higher than on a heavier bike (in my case compared back to back with a 29er
3” full-suspension aluminum bike at 28.5 lbs). This is a good thing as the stock Raven sports a big 28 tooth inner
The bike truly shines on fast and tight singletrack. In Southern California, it is hard to imagine
going faster than on this bike on the majority of trails such as Holy Jim or the
San Juan trail in Orange County.
Long-term report to follow. Meanwhile you will be able to
see a few of these still rare bikes at Sea Otter this coming weekend (and even
test ride if you are lucky)!
- · Light and stiff frame with seductive seatstays!
- · FOX 32 Terralogic with Kashima
coating (you know, the "brain" fork)
- · Option to run a dropper seat post cable
internally through the frame!
- · Amazing brakes (Magura MT 8s)!
- · The XTR shifter offers the ability to shift up 2
gears and down 3 gears with one stroke.
- · Nice mix of components (Crank Brother Cobalt 3
wheels at 1500 grams, XTR cassette,
shifters, FSA SK-K Cranks, stem and bars, Fizik Tundra 2w/Braided Carbon rails)
- · Grips are, hard and not comfortable.
- · A longer seat post is required for an 80-84 cm
- · Lack of chain stay protector