New Focus Raven hardtail gets a 120mm fork, modern geometry and internal frame storage
The new Focus Raven follows on from its successful cross-country predecessor, with the German brand now positioning the bike as a bikepacking-inspired downcountry hardtail with 120mm of travel.
All models feature the brand’s integrated cockpit and are built on a new carbon frame designed around a 29in wheel size.
There will be three models available, with prices starting at £2,199 / €2,199 for the Raven 8.7 and £2,799 / €2,799 for the Raven 8.8. The top-of-the-range Raven 8.9 comes in at £3,499 / €3,599.
More travel and slack angles
Focus says it has given the Raven a longer top tube, with reach increasing by 5mm from 435mm to 440mm on a medium frame, which is 10mm longer than a Specialized Epic Hardtail of the same size.
The head angle can be adjusted using the headset cups, enabling you to set it between 66.5 and 67.5 degrees. That’s significantly slacker than the previous model, which had a 69.8-degree head angle.
The front fork gets an extra 20mm of travel, with the Raven joining many cross-country mountain bikes in running 120mm forks.
This is due partly to the demands of ever-more aggressive cross-country racing circuits.
Focus says these changes have made the bike’s steering more direct and increased stability on descents.
Chainstay length remains the same as the previous model at 435mm throughout all frame sizes.
Integrated storage and cable routing
The cockpit of the Raven features Focus’ Cockpit Integration System stem. This routes the brake and gear cables internally through the face of the stem.
The new frame also features an internal compartment in the down tube, enabling you to store essential spares or snacks. A zipped inner sleeve looks as though it isolates cargo from knocking on the inside of the carbon tube.
Significant changes have been made to the rear of the bike, with the Raven now featuring dropped seatstays, similar to those on the Cannondale Scalpel HT.
Focus hasn’t said why it chose this design, though other manufacturers merit dropped seatstays for increased compliance in the seat tube, which should lead to more comfort when seated.
The frame features post-mount brakes, which have been the standard for cross-country bikes, although flat-mounts are now becoming more popular for top-end bikes.
Focus Raven spec and prices
Focus Raven 8.7
- Fork: RockShox Judy Silver, 120mm
- Drivetrain: SRAM SX Eagle
- Brakes: SRAM Level
- Wheels: RODI TRYP 25 rims, Novatech D041 hubs
- Tyres: Maxxis Rekon
- Price: £2,199 / €2,199
Focus Raven 8.8
- Fork: Fox 34 Float Rhythm, 120mm
- Drivetrain: Shimano XT
- Brakes: Shimano SLX M7100
- Wheels: Race Face ARC27 (rims), Novatech D041 (hubs)
- Tyres: Maxxis Rekon
- Price: £2,799 / €2,799
Focus Raven 8.9
- Fork: RockShox SID Select, 120mm
- Drivetrain: SRAM GX Eagle
- Brakes: SRAM Level TLM
- Wheels: DT Swiss X1900
- Tyres: Maxxis Rekon Race
- Price: £3,499 / €3,599