by Barney Marsh
July 14, 2015
Barney’s been out in Germany taking a look at the new Focus range – and here’s the long legged one – the SAM C Team.
The SAM is Focus’ all-mountain sled. The C Team we rode is the flagship model – 160mm of blinged-up front and rear travel with a load of carbon in the middle. And, much like the Spine, it’s not at all unattractive:
So let’s start at the front. Ubiquitous Pikes lend apredictable air of bounce to proceedings, and they’re attached to the frame at a frankly rakish 65degree angle. Naturally, this is specifically to make things nice and stable when terrain gets lairy, as terrain is occasionally wont to do.
The seat angle is 75 degrees to help keep you centred when climbing, and to keep the saddle a little more out of the way when it’s dropped. SAM is reasonably lengthy – a large (such as this) comes with 603mm stack and 452mm reach. Not the longest, for sure, but in the ballpark. Yup – for 2015, they’re longer, lower (the C Team has a 5mm lower bottom bracket than the previous years’ alloy one) and the chainstays are shorter at 430mm. Interestingly, although the top end Spine has an aluminium main swingarm, the SAM has gone for carbon throughout. The Carbon frame saves 500g from the previous aluminium one.
A Monarch Plus handles rear damping duties via a linkage. It’s essentially a linkage driven single pivot, similar to the 120mm Spine, but this one delivers 160mm of beautifully linear(ish) travel. The main pivot is just above the bottom bracket.
The rear pivot sits high above the 142×12 rear axle. The C Team comes with all the toys, including an XX1 groupset, SRAM Guide RSC brakes (200mm F and 180mm R natch) and DT Swiss EX 1501 wheels, shod with Conti Mountain King 2.4 and Trail King 2.4 tyres respectively. Internal cable routingInternal cable routing is tidy – it emerges just above the bottom bracket. This ingress point is part of the ‘trademark’ coffin shaped top tube which offers increased stiffness.
There are a variety of models available – this one will set you back £4,999 – the range goes down all the way to the aluminium SAM LTD at £1,999. For more information check out Focus’ website here.
Here’s Phill Klein chatting about it. Sorry about the sound – it got a bit windy, and it was all that the software could do to ameliorate it:
Look out for a first ride story on some frankly ludicrously techy singletrack in Ruhpolding on Singletrackworld soon…