How would the riders who work at FOCUS build up their own SPINE? Just check out the Factory model to see their answer: this top-end bike features the exact same spec that they’ve plotted together to create the ultimate ride. But will their selection win favour in the wider world away from the FOCUS HQ?
There’s one key feature uniting all of the FOCUS Factory models for this year, and that’s the grey and orange colourway. With its angular form and distinctive head tube, this paint job lends the SPINE an almost futuristic look. Both aesthetically and technologically, the FOCUS employees have played a crucial role in speccing this bike, cherry-picking colour-coordinated RockShox suspension (made up of a PIKE fork and a Monarch rear shock), alongside the equally well-chosen SRAM 1×11 drivetrain and Guide RSC brakes. The wheels weren’t overlooked either, seeing FOCUS fit the ever-reliable DT Swiss M1700 SPLINE ONE models with Continental Mountain King tires in a 2.4″ and 2.2″ width. On the trails it’s no spineless coward, dishing up comfort, smoothness, agility, and excitement in the ultimate mix. The SPINE can hack everything from long days in the saddle and rapid loops of your home trails to manualling through the whoops. The rear tracks the ground like the nose of a bloodhound, sniffing bumps into murmurs and dishing out informative feedback from the trail.[emaillocker id=”139658″]
The strengths of the SPINE come to the fore on technical climbs, as the bike provides tons of traction and a real pop for out-of-the-saddle efforts, not unlike a pit-bull after the postman. The long 462 mm reach and super-short 428 mm chainstays work with the 68° head angle to provide a really balanced and stable ride with a lively edge. The tighter and trickier the switchbacks, the bigger the grin. Along the lines of ‘it’s not how big, it’s what you do with it,’ the RockShox PIKE uses its 120 mm of travel to the ultimate efficiency without batting an eyelid at the burliest boulders. In terms of complaints, we’re reduced to moaning about the quality of the seatpost screws and the overly hard grips – but these are peanuts when you consider the bike’s performance.
Specs of the FOCUS SPINE C Factory
Fork: RockShox Pike RC
Rear shock: RockShox Monarch RT
Brakes: SRAM Guide RSC
Drivetrain: SRAM X01
Seatpost: RockShox Reverb Stealth
Stem: Concept EX
Handlebar: Concept EX low Riser
Wheels: DT Swiss M 1700 Spline One
Tires: Continental Mountainking 2,4 / 2,2
Weight: 12.13 kg
Price: € 4,999
The winner takes it all! Not just delivering the best performance in this group test, the FOCUS SPINE C Factory also brings the best value for money to the trails. Superb handling, some fierce speed, and top suspension! Test win!
- lively and smooth
- super rear end
- top spec
- screws on the seatpost and stem
For more information head to the FOCUS Website.
For an overview of the test fleet head to the main article: 9 short-travel trail bikes in comparison
All bikes in test: Canyon Nerve AL 9.9 LTD | Evil The Following X1 | MERIDA ONE-TWENTY 8000 | Norco OPTIC C7.2 | Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt BC Edition | SCOTT Genius 910 | Specialized Camber Comp Carbon 29 | Trek FUEL EX 9.8 29
Did you enjoy this article? If so, we would be stoked if you decide to support us with a monthly contribution. By becoming a supporter of ENDURO, you will help secure a sustainable future for high-quality mountain bike journalism. Click here to learn more.
Words: Photos: Noah Haxel, Christoph Bayer