Visible carbon, shiny golden forks and ridiculous price tags. FOCUS oppose the increasing trend of astronomical bike prices and enter the race with the € 2,799 top-of-the-range version of their brand new THRON. Does the cheapest full-susser on test stand a chance against a competition that is up to five times more expensive?

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best mountainbike of 2021 – 22 models in review

FOCUS THRON 6.9 | 130/130 mm (f/r)
15.8 kg (size L) | € 2,799 | Manufacturer-website

For 2021, the frame platform of the THRON 6.9 has been redeveloped from the ground up. The new 29″ mountain bike is aimed at trail riders and tourers. Retailing at a very reasonable € 2,799, it also wants to offer an accessible gateway into the most beautiful sport in the world. As far as frame details go, the THRON doesn’t have to hide from the competition. The package includes a small frame bag attached to the down tube that can be used to carry trail essentials such as a spare inner tube, a CO2 cartridge or even a bag of gummy bears. However, the real highlight is FOCUS’ in-house C.I.S. stem, which routes all cables internally through the headset and directly into the frame. While ensuring a quiet ride and tidy look, the system also allows FOCUS to dispense with cable ports on the frame.

How much comfort is too much comfort? The FOCUS THRON 6.9 is just as comfortable as a palanquin but also bobs up and down like one on your way to the trails.

Like Nukeproof, the Germans deliver the bike with pre-cut frame protection as standard – only with the THRON you’ll have to apply it yourself. Good stuff! Not as great are the down tube guard and chainstay protector, which prevents chain slap only to a certain extent and snaps off at the slightest contact with your heel. We recommend adding a few zip ties and a generous amount of mastic tape. Built around FOCUS’ brand-new FOLD 2.0 swingarm, the rear end features several mounting points for everyday accessories such as mudguards and a kickstand. On the top side, the rear triangle is extremely wide, which may cause riders with big calves or knock-kneed pedallers to rub their legs against the seat stays while riding.

Not for proper trails! The spec of the FOCUS THRON 6.9

For the tires, FOCUS put stock in on low rolling resistance, combining a shallow-profiled 29” MAXXIS Rekon at the rear and DISSECTOR up front, both in the light EXO casing. On the trail, this combination doesn’t generate enough traction and significantly limits the fun possible with the THRON. That being said, they still generate more grip than the XC tires of the Trek Top Fuel, in particular, the DISSECTOR at the front. However, the real flaw in the spec is the sensitive and flexy wheelset built up with Novatec hubs and RODI rims. These developed a noticeable wobble after just a handful of berms and a few close encounters with rocks, proving to be unsuitable for proper mountain biking. Like the MERIDA NINETY-SIX, the FOCUS relies on Shimano XT brakes and combines a four-piston calliper at the front and smaller two-piston version at the rear. The latter runs on a small 180 mm rotor which, despite the finned pads, overheats far too quickly, leading to brake fade.

Tidy and consistent
The C.I.S. cockpit was developed by FOCUS for their eMTB range and has been implemented well on the THRON, without using cable ports.
The cool look of the THRON should be preserved for as long as possible. Luckily, the bike is delivered with pre-cut frame protection despite the super-low price. Most manufacturers should take an example from FOCUS.
Yes, that’s a kickstand mount
The THRON is also available in the fully-equipped EQP version, which includes a lighting system, mudguards and a kickstand. To be honest, the THRON should stick to commuting and relaxed bikepacking expeditions.


€ 2,799


Fork FOX 34 Rythm 130 mm
Rear Shock FOX FLOAT DPS Performance 130 mm
Seatpost Kind Shock Rage-i 170 mm
Brakes Shimano XT M8100 200/180 mm
Drivetrain Shimano XT 1x12
Stem FOCUS C.I.S. integrated 50 mm
Handlebar BBB Ascension 760 mm
Wheelset RODI/Novatec D041 29"
Tires MAXXIS DISSECTOR EXO Dual/Rekon EXO Dual 2.4

Technical Data

Size S M L XL
Weight 15.8 kg

Specific Features

Tool bag for tube and pump

All included
Ok, the tool bag might not be as elegant as Specialized’s SWAT box but still offers enough room for a CO2 cartridge, a small spare innertube and a bag of gummy bears – and it’s included with the bike as standard!
Great look, bad ergonomics
The cable routing and tidy cockpit are great. The ergonomics, on the other hand, are pretty bad. At 760 mm wide (all sizes), the handlebars are very narrow and the dropper is hard to reach.
Either or neither nor!
The new FOLD 2.0 suspension is not efficient enough for long rides and becomes uncomfortable when locked out. On top of that, it fails to provide support and reserves on the trail.

This could be a potential safety hazard, particularly for heavy riders. FOCUS also rely on Shimano for the 12-speed drivetrain, combining an excellent XT derailleur and matching shifter with a heavy Deore cassette and chain. While this setup still ensures excellent shifting performance, it’s significantly heavier than a full XT groupset. By relying almost exclusively on Shimano components, FOCUS get away with only two clamps in the cockpit, which makes for a very tidy look. The remote of the Kind Shock dropper is also attached to the brake lever. However, it requires a strong thumb to actuate and the 170 mm dropper has a lot of lateral play. For the suspension, FOCUS rely on a FOX 34 Rhythm fork and FOX DPS Performance shock, both controlling 130 mm travel. Although FOCUS have clearly compromised on the spec to save weight, at 15.8 kg, the THRON is still the heaviest analogue bike in the entire test field.

Comfortable on long rides? The FOCUS THRON on test

The THRON is available in a total of four sizes, from S to XL. In typical FOCUS fashion, the geometry is anything but radical. With its 470 mm reach in size L, the THRON is right in the middle of this test. However, the short chainstays and steep head angle also make it relatively short (1211 mm wheelbase in L). The pedalling position is very upright and feels almost too compact, with the narrow 760 mm handlebars only compounding this.

Size S M L XL
Sea tube 390 mm 420 mm 450 mm 480 mm
Top tube 572 mm 605 mm 640 mm 677 mm
Head tube 100 mm 110 mm 130 mm 160 mm
Head angle 66.5° 66.5° 66.5° 66.5°
Head angle 75.0° 75.0° 75.0° 75.0°
Chainstays 435 mm 435 mm 435 mm 435 mm
BB Drop 35 mm 35 mm 35 mm 35 mm
Wheelbase 1,139 mm 1,173 mm 1,211 mm 1,253 mm
Reach 410 mm 440 mm 470 mm 500 mm
Stack 605 mm 615 mm 633 mm 660 mm
Helmet Bell Sixer | Glasses Bliz Matrix Small | Shirt Fox Ranger Jersey
Shorts Fox Ranger Lite | Shoes Giro Tracer | Socks Stance

Compared to the sporty Canyon Neuron, the THRON lets you know straight away that it wants to get to the trailhead comfortably and in a very relaxed fashion – and that’s exactly what it does. Despite the strong touring DNA of the THRON, its suspension is anything but efficient and isolates you from the trail as if you were sitting in a palanquin, bobbing heavily with each crank spin and swallowing a lot of energy. While the Canyon isn’t the best climber either, it still makes it up the hill without the suspension being locked out. The THRON, on the other hand, would be lost without a lockout lever. With the shock in open mode, the rear end sinks deep into its travel and positions its rider too far back over the rear wheel. While in theory the THRON was designed to be a comfortable tourer, in reality, it struggles to keep up with the competition in pretty much every situation. However, with the suspension stiffened up, it becomes very uncomfortable, defeating the original purpose of the concept.

The spec and riding performance of the FOCUS THRON are not suitable for real mountain bike trails. While the bike is still predictable and good-natured on flat fire roads, as soon as you turn it downhill it gets overwhelmed

Tuning-tip: we wouldn’t recommend the THRON for genuine trail riding. The 6.8 EQP version, which comes equipped with mudguards, a kickstand and lighting system, is better suited for the light-duty the THRON is capable of.

The FOCUS THRON 6.9 is proof that the geometry of a bike doesn’t say anything about its handling. Although the reach and stack suggest otherwise, the THRON feels extremely compact, both up and downhill. Together with the low cockpit, this riding position doesn’t inspire confidence on steep descents. Nonetheless, in combination with the steep head angle, it is easy to weight the front wheel through flat open corners, allowing the shoulder lugs of the otherwise shallow-profiled MAXXIS DISSECTOR front tire to dig deep into the ground. However, the good-natured steering already reaches its limit at medium speeds and on moderately steep trails. Even with high air pressures, the FOX 34 Rhythm offers too little support, causing the front to dive in every corner and the bike to oversteer unexpectedly. Not least because of the small shoulder knobs on the MAXXIS Rekon tire, the rear end of the THRON tends to drift unexpectedly and thus makes it hard to stick to your line. Add in the undefined suspension and riding fast becomes a dangerous mission. If you push hard, the shock begs you for mercy with a loud squirting noise, swallowing energy instead of converting it into propulsion while pumping. If you manage to ride fast, the rear end blows through its travel in response to the smallest obstacles and smoothest landings.

Riding Characteristics



  1. sluggish
  2. efficient


  1. cumbersome
  2. playful


  1. nervous
  2. confident


  1. demanding
  2. balanced


  1. harsh
  2. plush

Fun Factor

  1. planted
  2. poppy

Value for money

  1. terrible
  2. very good

Intended Use










The FOCUS THRON frame platform offers some clever details like the tool bag and super clean C.I.S. cockpit. Nevertheless, FOCUS’ latest development falls far behind the competition in our best mountain bike of 2021 group test. The underlying concept of a good-natured and comfortable tourer doesn’t make sense on the trail: it’s not efficient enough uphill and too easily overwhelmed downhill. We’ve tried very hard to find some positive aspects to the new THRONE, but unfortunately, the performance and price/performance ratio are simply too poor, making it unsuitable for proper mountain biking. The 6.8 EQP version, which comes equipped with mudguards, a kickstand and lighting system, is better suited to the light-duty use where the THRON will be happier


  • great cockpit integration
  • mounting points for everyday accessories


  • riding performance on the trail whether it’s up or downhill
  • robustness and durability of the wheels
  • not efficient enough for long rides

Find more information here:

The testfield

Get an overview of the grouptest here: The best mountainbike of 2021 – 22 models in review

All Bikes in this group test: Canyon Neuron CF SLX 9 (Click for review) | Canyon Spectral 29 LTD (Click for review) | Canyon Stoic 4 (Click for review) | FOCUS THRON 6.9 | Ibis Ripmo V2 (Click for review) | MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K (Click for review) | MERIDA NINETY-SIX 8000 (Click for review) | Nukeproof Reactor 290C (Click for review) | Orbea Rise M-Team (Click for review) | Propain Hugene (Click for review) | RAAW Jibb XTR Build (Click for review) | Rocky Mountain Instinct C70 (Click for review) | Santa Cruz 5010 X01 (Click for review) | Santa Cruz Tallboy CC X01 (Click for review) | SCOTT Ransom 900 Tuned AXS (Click for review) | Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper (Click for review) | Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper EVO (Click for review) | Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo SL (Click for review) | Trek Fuel EX 9.8 GX (Click for review) | Trek Top Fuel 9.9 X01 (Click for review) | Yeti SB115 TURQ3 (Click for review) | YT IZZO BLAZE 29 (Click for review)

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Words: Photos: Valentin Rühl