“Made to Lose”
Today, Focus is launching a new range of Focus Atlas gravel bikes, with a great amount of fanfare (it’s the brand’s first dedicated gravel bike, after all) and with the intriguing slogan of ‘Made to lose’ – by this, Focus means that it’s mean for those times where you want to really get out there and to lose yourself. Whether that’s in nature, in a lack of phone signal, in the forests or the mountains, it doesn’t really state (or apparently mind)
There are three new gravel bikes in the new Focus Atlas range (plus a fourth with full rack and kickstand that we’ll ignore for our current purposes). They all feature the same smooth looking alloy frame with a big, beefy carbon fork. The ranges goes from £2299 for the 10.5kg Atlas 6.9 above, the green Atlas 6.8 is £1899 and the grey Atlas 6.7 is £1499. All the bikes feature Shimano’s gravelcentric GRX groupsets and all feature big tyre clearance for up to 47mm 700C tyres.
The Focus engineers are keen to point out the geometry of the new Atlas as being a bit different from the ‘modified ‘cross bike’ or ‘beefed up road bike’ geo that we often see. Here, they’re at pains to point at the ‘long top tubes’ – and, compared to a random competitor, the ‘medium’ Focus Atlas did have a 10mm longer reach, despite a slightly shorter top tube, which isn’t, admittedly that much, but these differences make a difference after 100km, eh? The angles are a pretty standard 70.5°/73.4° with shortish 425mm chainstays and room for those bigger tyres. Refreshingly, the new Atlas comes with shorter stems fitted than you’d normally see – an 80mm on our medium, which should help the comfort of riders not used to the long and low positions in the drops.
To aid luggage carrying, there are all the bosses you could ask for – triple bosses on the downtube, a regular pair on the seat tube, a ‘bento box’ pair on the top tube for all those snacks and triple bosses on the chunky looking carbon fork. There are also full rack and full fender mounts.
Of interest to mountain bikes is that, despite the flat-mount brakes (de-rigeur for road and gravel) is that the wheel dimensions are full mountain bike boost widths. 110mm x 12mm front and 148mm x 12mm rear. And if you choose, you can fit 27.5in wheels too.
The new Focus Atlas looks to be a fun bike for a reasonable price. We’ll look forward to seeing what people get up to on them. In fact, you can see what Kev and Dean got up to on a pair of Atlas bikes last autumn right here. Or stay tuned and see the Focus take on things, up in Scotland.
Below is the entry level bike. Just under £1499 (or £1699 with racks and kickstand)