Sunday, September 25, 2016

Focus Raven - A Fantastic Hardtail and Hardtails Suck

 I had time for a quick run on the 'new' trails at Castlewood, Bluffview and Rock Hollow.  I wanted to get a feel for the new Focus Raven.  No, it's no Cannondale Habit.  But it's what I have and it's a very nice tool for the job.  The frame has some odd shaping and no amount of picture taking will let you see just how odd, but here you go.  The head tube/top tube juncture is probably the wildest.  From the front you see the relief created for the internal cables.  I like the shape, hate the internal cables.
 From the top, the tube is equally strange.  It's almost flat, and it's very broad.  It does make for a very nice grab handle when portaging the bike.
 The broad top tube makes for the next strange feature, where the seat stays mount to the outside of the top tube, never touching the seat tube.  Looks like great mud clearance, if I rode in mud, but in reality the chainstays are very close to the tire at the bottom bracket.  In it's defense, it has amazingly short chainstays, shorter actually than many of my 26" wheel hardtails of old.
 The seat tube is braced by another odd and angular carbon structure.  Good thing, because I have a lot of post sticking out of this one.
And just in case you didn't already know, Focus is a German company.  Post mount brake, inside the chainstay/seatstay juncture, as well as a nifty thru axle that is unique to Focus.

22 pounds, 4 ounces.  Not winning any weight weenie contests here but it's pretty light.

If you were wondering, I posted my fastest times on Rock Hollow today.  All three measured times (Northbound, Southbound, and Combined North/South) were faster by quite a bit.  So yes, this is a very, very fast bike.  And yes, it's still a hardtail and hardtails suck.

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