Strengths: Great deal on a good bike. Seems to be built to last. Made in Germany. Shifts smooth and has the components of a bike that would cost $1,500 today. Very high gear ration for added downhill speed almost no matter the decline. With the wind at your back, or going downhill, this bike is faster than average. Climbs surprisingly well and fast up steeper inclines if you put some muscle into it. I like the 2011 geometry and strong straight-line look of the frame.
Weaknesses: It's not very light. The 'concept' saddle on mine gets nudged out of place no matter how tight I try to screw it in place, this mostly happens when I wear a heavier back-pack, but it is still a nuisance. As stated in strengths, with a small wind at your back, or going down any hill, this bike seems faster than bikes I have/have ridden that are more expensive. But with a wind in your face on a flat surface, the gearing (for me) makes finding that 'top speed' cadence/rhythm hard to find, and it just feels like it may be a tad slower than average. Although the recorded rides for the couple rides I have had don't really show this tbh.
If you get this bike for under $1,200 American dollars, you got a good deal on a bike that would be even more than that with a different name on it. I buy first world/West whenever possible, because I don't hate myself, so this bike makes you feel good there as well. It's a solid bike. I don't see anybody winning any serious races on it, but I see it lasting and being a very capable bike in many ways for the serious-casual rider. I'm very happy with the purchase overall, and it makes me wonder about other lighter 29ers in the future. The saddle moving is bothersome, and from a bike actually made in Germany, a little imperfection like that actually surprised me. I like Treks, but there is no way a Mamba is anywhere close to this bike, and I would have had to haggled hard (even with my buddy that runs the store) to get a Mamba for the same price as this. I would put this bike on a level with a Rockhopper Pro, and possibly even better as prices go up and components come down every year. Those of us who got one of these are pretty lucky imo. I may have given the bike 3 3/4 stars overall rating if that were an option, but at the same time I would also have given it 6 stars on the "value rating." So I guess it works the way I have it.
Similar Products Used: First 29er owned. 2009 Rockhopper Pro, Scott Aspect, Kona Blast, Kona Kula. Etc..
Bike Setup: Stock so far.
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: January 21, 2013
Strengths: Rockshox recon silver, Drivetrain SLX front and XT rear and shifter deore. 29er very good price for the components. I really love the colors for the 2012 focus (black and blue), but I dont like Matte, Glossy would be excellent.
Weaknesses: Continental X Kings. I feel very insecure with these tires in tight turns. Not the kind of tire for my style of riding. I like grip so Im changing for nevegals.
The concept seat is not very comfortabe. Already Change it!
The seat post gets scratchs all the time I rise or low the seat (minor issue)
Maybe Upgrade the brakes in the future, mean while just fine.
I had my doubts about going for a 26er to a 29er, but so far no complains. very good purchase I like going in the mountain and this bike has done very well so far. of course I will upgrade brakes but so far is good, Focus is doing very good bikes and a very good price.
Strengths: * I love the frame.
* Great fork, Rock Shox Recon Silver has everything you expect from a decent fork except the weight.
* XT/SLX back and front derailleur.
* I was skeptical about Tektro Draco 2 brakes but they work just fine. Needed no maintenance at all so far (7 months). Lot of stopping power.
* For the money it's not so heavy.
* Best value bike I could find in this price range
Weaknesses: * Crank is generic Deore.
* I don't like the Conti Race Kings (subjective)
* Handlebar, stem, seatpost and rims are Focus' own brand (Concept EX). They are fine but nothing special and they are probably on the heavy side.
Before buying this bike I was specifically searching for the best bike I could buy for €1000 and compared a lot of brands/models. This one was the best value I could find.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: November 30, 2011
Strengths: Awesome ride for the money with XT front and rear. The 100mm RockShox Recon Silver provides a plush ride over rough trails and the remote lockout is great for long climbs or hard surface riding.
Weaknesses: The rear triangle is very stiff and unless you run a low rear tire pressure you will feel every bump through the stock saddle. White finish on the 2.0 tends to show dirt and grime much more than darker colors. Stock wheels are a tad on the heavy side but hey its a 29er.
Awesome ride for the money with XT front and rear. this bike climbs like a billygoat and handles nimbly for a big frame 29er. The powder coated frame resists scratches and scuff much better than painted frames. I have been riding 26ers for a number of years and have never had as much fun on the trail as I have on this 29er.
Similar Products Used: Jamis Dragon, GT Karakoram 2.0
Bike Setup: XT Front/Rear, RockShox Recon Silver Fork, Selle SanMarco saddle, Shimano clipless pedals
a Cross Country Rider
from Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Date Reviewed: November 5, 2011
Strengths: Solid medium weight frame, good components (SLX/XT group), decent fork (RS Recon), good brakes, decent tires for a factory setup (continental race kings, albeit 2.2 rather than the logical 2.0).
Weaknesses: Overall weight is on the heavy side. Crankset is a generic shimano which is below spec for the entire setup, flexes under hard pedaling, and is a little heavy. Wheelset is ok, but does flex a bit, which on a 29er (as most know) can be quite noticeable and and effect overall ride quality.
For a sub $1,000 purchase I am happy. I am generally a little more into full suspension 26ers, but wanted a 9er hardtail b/c the majority of the trails I am around now are less technical than what I am used to. Those looking for a "top of line" xc 9er may be a little disappointed (mainly by weight), but I'd put this thing geometry-wise in between a stumpy/rockhopper, and quality-wise at least on par with a rockhopper.
This bike comes with a decent initial setup to keep one riding without issues/worries, and with some changes (cranks will be first, bars, stem, seat post, seat, eventually will throw on a nice wheelset) I am sure it will drop tremendously in weight. It was either this, or a USA made frame because I am done with paying top-dollar to the major brands for made in China B.S. Others should pay attention to that more often; why pay $2,000+ for something that cost $100-200 to manufacture?