Last week and we got an all access pass to see what we can expect from Focus in 2019, and while the show revealed some models that are under strict press restrictions (we’ll report on those when we can), we also found some serious highlights that we can talk about now from inspired frame design and unmatched front and rear set ups to e-bike solutions for commuters and kids.
Focus showed what its design team gets up to in its spare time. This, well we’re not sure what to call it, is certainly a frame that demonstrates what their creative minds come up with when not constrained.
The shapes and forms are meant to inspire both current and future Focus designs, such as the head tube area with its spitting cobra-like shape, and you can see a bit of it in the Jam and 01E’s head tubes. Those triangulated tube sections and polygon profiles certainly show through in their carbon e-bike offerings.
Focus Jam² Drifter
Focus’s ever popular all-mountain e-assisted Jam² gets an interesting addition, with the 9.8 Drifter priced at £6,779.
Focus’s founder Mike Kluge was on hand to explain: "We’ve put together the Drifter with a 29erwheel up front and a 27.5 [with a] plus sized 2.8-inch tyre at the back. I’ve been riding the Jam² in this set up for months now, and the advantage is when you’re riding this bike on the limits of grip through corners the front 29er tracks with control and the rear breaks traction sooner. For experienced riders this means you can really explore the limit, and for less experienced riders the added control at the front means you don’t wash the front end out before the back."
It’s certainly an interesting idea, but irrespective of the formula for the handling, we love the metal-flake hot rod blue finish that's offset with skinwall tyres and natural rubber Race Face grips.
The rear end of the Jam² gets Focus’s F.O.L.D. kinematic design with 150mm of travel controlled with a DT Swiss R535 One shock. This is paired with a DT Swiss F535 150mm travel fork.
Completing the package are DT Swiss wheels and an XT drivetrain assisted by Shimano’s E8000 motor with a 376Wh internal battery, which can be supplemented with Focus’s tech pack doubling the battery capacity for longer days out.
If, like us, you like the idea of an e-bike for commuting but don’t want to pay through the nose, and also fancy something that can handle a bit of rough, then the new Whistler² could be just what you’re looking for.
The Whistler² 6.9 is priced at just £1,549 for a neat looking aluminium 27.5in hardtail with an internal, and removable, battery offering 252Wh of power driving a rear hub Groove Go motor pushing out 250w.
For pure commuting there's also the 6.9 EQP at £1,629, which comes with full mudguards and lights driven by a front hub dynamo.
Both are driven by Shimano Altus M2000 1x gearing and with a simple SR Suntour XCM RL fork up front.
Focus 01E 8.9
Away from power assistance we really like Focus’s take on a marathon, or technical XC, course race machine.
The 01E 8.9 is our pick of the 01E range. Sharing the same blue/skinwall colourway as the Drifter, this lightweight carbon full-suss machine offers the F.O.L.D. kinematic design back-end with 100mm of travel paired to a RockShox Monarch RT3 that's matched up front by a RockShox SID RL.
At £3,799 the 8.9 looks like a lot of bike.
Focus 2019 Paralane and Paralane²
The impressive Paralane, Focus’s all-road road bike, has had its range extended for 2019, so alongside the traditional 2x11 road machines it's added a few new GC models running more aggressive tyres and 1x drivetrains — and not forgetting the e-assist Paralane² models.
Our favourites are the 9.9 with its Martini racing inspired livery.
This Ultegra Di2 equipped bike comes with 35mm deep carbon wheels by Alex and 28mm wide Continental 4 season rubber, which is priced at £4,099.
For those looking to get off the beaten track, the £2,459 8.9 GC has the same slick superlight carbon frame and fork with SRAM Apex (44, 11-36), Mavic Aksium disc wheels and Continental’s 35c Speed king 'cross tyres.
Izalco Race disc 9.9 Martini design
We couldn’t resist showing another of Focus’s bikes with the Martini inspired colourway, this time it’s the £2,099 Izalco Race disc 9.9.
Not only does it look good, but it looks well priced too.
Shimano RS170 disc wheels and the new Shimano 105 7000 group are wrapped around the lightweight SL carbon frameset, which could be one hell of a lot of bike for the money.
Focus Planet² 9.8
Focus didn’t just offer e-bike solutions for commuters at the lower end of the price range, it also debuted this rather stylish Planet² 9.8, priced at £3,879.
The Slick hydroformed aluminium frame and fork combine 3D forged aluminium dropouts and a carrier for the Shimano Steps e8000 motor. The 378Wh battery is internal, but you can double the capacity with the TEC add-on system.
The drivetrain is XT and the brakes MT500s. Integrated Supernova lights front and rear give night time ride ability, and the wide Schwalbe Supermoto X slicks are covered by Tubus Wingee guards with subtle pannier rails at the rear.
Focus Jam² Junior HT
Want to go riding with your offspring, but concerned they might not keep up? Well for the truly spoilt kids the Jam² Junior HT is now a thing, priced at £2,799.
This Shimano Steps E8000 aluminium hardtail comes in a super small frame size with 26in wheels running fat 2.4in conti rubber and a 100mm travel RockShox Recon fork, as well as Deore components.