The 2023 Focus Raven Carbon Hardtail Has In-Frame Storage

Mar 9, 2023 at 15:34
by Matt Beer  
Focus Raven

Focus Bikes’ new Raven hardtail is a relaxed carbon cross-country bike that sits atop a 120mm fork and brings a downtube storage box to the table, or internal compartment solution (I.C.S.) as they call it.

As integration becomes more prevalent in mountain bikes, Focus follows suit and directs the cables through the headset, but something else hides in this junction. Tucked away are offset headset cups that can be reversed to offer two different head tube angles; 66.5 or 67.5 degrees.

The Raven series is only available in carbon frame options with three models ranging from €2,199-3,599. Based on the intended use of this frame, it slots into the EN17406 "category 3" that states the limit for jumps and drops should be less than 60cm.

Focus Raven Details
• Carbon frame
• 120mm fork
• 29" wheels
• In-frame storage
• 66.5-67.5° head tube angle
• 74° seat tube angle
• Chainstay: 435mm
• Sizes: S, M, L, XL
• Weight: 11.6 kg / 25.6 lb (Raven 8.9 - claimed)
• Price: €2,199-3,599
focus-bikes.com



Focus Raven
Focus Raven
Focus Raven

Frame Details

By using a longer top tube and short stem, the bike maintains a longer wheelbase with faster steering than a traditional XC race bike. Focus implemented their Cockpit Integration System, (C.I.S.) that allows for changing the stack height without disrupting the hidden cables. The stem faceplate also features a hook and just two clamping bolts for a smooth profile along the top surface.

Aside from the storage compartment and funky cable routing, standard specs like a Boost 148 hub, BSA bottom bracket, 160mm post mount brake, and full 56mm head tube are found on the Raven.

photo

Geometry

Four frame sizes bridge the size gap from 415mm on the SM to a short 485mm reach on the XL which Focus says should fit riders between 140 and 200cm. The seat tube angle is slightly relaxed compared to what we typically see in the trail and enduro bike world. This should make the seated position feel much larger than while standing on the pedals, given the shorter than average reach numbers. All frame sizes use 435mm chainstays, as that seems to be the norm for most cross-country hardtails.

Focus Raven


Specs

Focus Raven
Raven 8.9, €3,599, 11.6 kg - Rock Shox SID Select fork, SRAM GX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain, SRAM Level TLM 180/160mm brakes, DT Swiss X1900 wheels, Maxxis Rekon Race tires.


Focus Raven
Raven 8.8, €2,799, 12.9 kg - Fox 34 Float Rhythm fork, Shimano Deore XT/SLX 12-speed drivetrain, Shimano SLX M7100 180/160mm brakes, RaceFace ARC27/Novatec D041 wheels, Maxxis Rekon tires.
Focus Raven
Raven 8.7, €2,199, 13.4 kg - Rock Shox Judy Silver TK fork, SRAM SX Eagle, 12-speed drivetrain, SRAM Level 180/160mm brakes, RODI 25mm,/Novatec D041 wheels, Maxxis Rekon tires.


Author Info:
mattbeer avatar

Member since Mar 16, 2001
362 articles

102 Comments
  • 76 16
 "Based on the intended use of this frame, it slots into the EN17406 "category 3" that states the limit for jumps and drops should be less than 60cm." ...sooooo anything over 2 feet will void warranty, GTFO. I'm not even going to complain about the cable routing after that. Oof
  • 71 25
 To be fair, this isn't the bike you should be looking at for hitting bigger jumps and drops. That categorization is pretty typical for hardtails and short-travel XC bikes.
  • 25 5
 Better not do a bunny hop off a curb or you might void warranty
  • 38 5
 @mikekazimer: eh....60cm for a drop is a super low threshold especially for what XC bikes are doing now-a-days. Almost any "blue" XC trail will have a step down at this height...or any course designed for racing. If the integrated storage is what creates this limit, I would almost say its not worth it (as much as I love the storage option on an XC bike!)
  • 21 0
 Imagine emailing warranty department with 'my chainstay snapped on a 593mm drop, I swear'
  • 32 3
 @SATN-XC, I wouldn't get too hung up on that classification - it's the ASTM that came up with the descriptions, even though it seems to be more commonly used by German companies - Canyon, Rose, etc... all mention it when categorizing their models.
  • 26 1
 @SATN-XC: if you read the fine print, almost all XC bikes are rated category 3. It's nothing new.
  • 5 1
 @mikekazimer: The Vail Lake US Cup race course will have a double that is at least twice the size of this bikes limits.
  • 10 1
 @mikekazimer: thanks for the info....went and looked at some others....SHOCKED the Canyon LUX Trail is also rated as a Category 3 bike! Will be dropping this knowledge bomb on my riding buddies that own them, lol
  • 5 1
 @BobbyHillbomb: lol I guess so.....just went and looked this all up. My Orbea OIZ TR also has the same rating. Read the fine print
  • 26 3
 it blows my m ind that people would consider buying a XC race bike, that solely focused on weight savings over most things, then be surprised to find out that the manufacturer has a limit for the intended use of the product.

That is the reason that bikes continue to be overbuilt, if youre trying to use your XC race bike for something its not intended for, then break it, to complain about unrelaibility, etc.

Regardless of what is on a race course, its your responsibility as the entrant to use the correct tool for the job.
Right, almost every product you buy to ride around on (motorcycle, bicycle, lawn mower) has an intended purpose, along with restrictions to go with it.

I can put larger more aggressive tires on my wifes SUV, but it doesnt change the intended purpose of getting groceris and picking up kids
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer:
So modern XC is forbidden ? I ask for MVdP...
  • 7 0
 @SATN-XC: And most Enduro bikes are only cleared up to 120cm. Category 4.
  • 2 0
 Combine that with their ATROCIOUS support in the US and you're better off buying anything else. Sincerely, Former Focus Raven Owner that split on a seam with no impact
  • 3 0
 @onawalk: except the new raven ain't a xc race bike
  • 5 0
 @JSTootell: Do you remember the drop on the Tokyo olympics xc course? That thing was huge. Every rider voided their warranty at that race.

Plus I always see pics of Nino boosting massive jumps. i wouldn't pay 3 grand for a bike that i can only ride like a walmart bike.
  • 3 1
 @bashhard: A carbon fibre, hardtail with 120 travel is as close as youd want to get for anything other top tier racing, lets be honest with ourselves
  • 4 1
 @SATN-XC: I don't really have a dog in this fight, but I am certain that the frame storage is not related to the strength limit suggestion. At all. I have plans for a frame that is sort of "unfolded" in the down tube area, like it's a pain in the rear for me to have a circular tube cross section in this specific case so I'm not even going to bother with using a tube design for this one. One simply adds carbon plies as appropriate - structural inefficiency in exchange for added reinforcement. The strength suggestion of this frame has much more to do with the overall frame goals. Kind of a consequence of nearly every frame manufacturer trying to save every gram every day, there are conditions. Carbon is a wonderful material but you still need to use enough of it
  • 6 1
 @Rexuis-Twin: So, dont buy it, pretty easy for you then.

You think every sponsored rider at the olympics was overly concerned about the warranty on their frame?
Add to that, that there is a massive difference between Nino, who is a master at bike control landing a jump, and the bulk of Joeys dead sailoring to flat....

We all understand what these classifications are for right, it provides a framework for people to understand what the intended use case for the bike they are buying is.
Is there a belief that Focus, or Canyon, or others are going to follow you on Strava to review the features that youre riding?
In reality, most people arent dropping any bigger than 2' on their regular rides anyway.
  • 13 1
 @RegularCyclesLLC: agree...now that I've researched it (thank you @mikekazimer), basically all carbon XC bikes are category 3 (HT and FS), its just kind of the default rating. I would take back the original comment if I could but I think this comment thread now has an unintentional educational benefit. Though I will have to say the article did not need to draw attention to the Cat 3 status if that's basically the default.
  • 1 0
 @tomo12377: seems like pure winning to me
  • 6 0
 It's not about the height its about the smoothness of the landing...
  • 1 0
 @onawalk: Following on Strava may be next, I haven't looked at Strava's privacy statements but it may be allowed for them to sell this information, and bike companies may think it's worth some money to be able to refute warranty claims based on data.
A friend of mine had a crack in a few months old Canyon Lux Trail frame. He eventually got it warrantied, but he did get a hard time from them, they told him he shouldn't take too large jumps (pointing at the cat 3 rating). And also that he shouldn't sit on his saddle during descents !?!?.
  • 1 0
 @ak-77: idk what the fuss is all about. back in the day, i broke a trek 4400 by dropping it off 3 stairs. what's unusual here? if you want to beat the crap out of your bike, get a steet (basically nonexistent these days because everyone gulped down the 29 275 koolaid) or a dh bike.
  • 1 0
 I was gonna say thats a nice price for a capable looking bike, then a saw this lol shit !
  • 1 0
 @RedBurn: Read the rest of the comments too. Cat 3 is where almost every hardtail from a large brand is categorized. I find it more concerning that Canyon rates its 130/140 mm travel Neuron in this same bracket.
  • 1 0
 @onawalk: 2’? More 2” for me.
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: So it's a down gravel bike?
  • 35 0
 Ah yes, usa a carbon frame to reduce weight and then spec Sram Sx and so on to make a carbon hardtail weigh 13.4 kg and perfrom like shit. Perfection. Naaaaht
  • 17 0
 Oh dear, I should do some proofreading before I submit my rants
  • 20 0
 @bashhard: bah! If it’s proofread, it’s not rant
  • 25 0
 @bashhard: Its ok as long as you're being negative.
  • 6 0
 Counter point,
heres a good opportunity to purchase a quality frame, likely worth keeping for years, while you slowly upgrade parts as you see fit/fiances allow.
I know not all look at things that way, but some do.
So heres a quality carbon frame, that can be ridden daily/raced, and upgraded when you can.
Looks like good idea through that perspective, doesnt it?
  • 2 1
 i would much rather have a high-quality frame, i can upgrade my drivetrain super easily but you can never change parts of your frame
  • 1 0
 @onawalk: Fiances : typo or not ??
  • 1 0
 @ak-77: definitely takes some convincing to get permission from fiances/wives to buy upgrades. But never forget, easier to beg for forgiveness. Just add in the cost of flowers to every purchase and you're all good
  • 16 3
 Based on this, "......the intended use of this frame, it slots into the EN17406 "category 3" that states the limit for jumps and drops should be less than 60cm.".

The provincial government of British Columbia has banned the import of the 2023 Focus Raven. Authorities state that the bike is not suitable for any terrain in the province and should remain outside the provincial borders.

In related news, a Private Members Bill is being brought forward to push the Whistler Bike Park Season Test (WBPST). It is a test where bike products are provided to a seasoned "Park Rat" who then rides the bike park for an entire season with said bike product. If the bike part survives an entire season, then it is approved for use in British Columbia.
  • 8 0
 Perfect. That's where I'l stash my roadie vibes so that I can bring them out when someone tries to pass me on a fire rd climb.
  • 8 0
 This looks like an ebike with the battery in the stem.
  • 3 0
 honestly i wish my enduro didn't have in frame storage. the cover rattles constantly and is the biggest source of noise on my bike. I've replaced it twice now. It's made of rubber and plastic, and the locking mechanism is WEAK. So it's quiet for a month or two before the rattling comes back.
  • 3 0
 glue it shut! or use stash long-term stuff in there (tube, 20$) and seal it with some poster putty or a dab of caulk.
(let the jokes begin)
  • 7 0
 Just leave the cover off and spill a few every gels inside so everything sticks in place
  • 1 1
 which bike do you have?
  • 1 0
 Weird, my old Stumpy (first gen with frame storage) had issues with its SWAT box rattling and being loose - I even lost a cover / bottle cage once - but I figured out how to keep it shut with some well placed electric tape to make tension. It was a pain in the ass, but worth it to me to have essentials in there and never carry a pack.

My Enduro hasn't had any issues with the SWAT box - snugger fit than previously. As long as I pack my bits nicely inside, there's no rattling.
  • 7 1
 The 2023 Focus Raven Carbon Hardtail Also Has In-Headset Cable Missery
  • 1 0
 Headset cable routing AND angleset. Seems like a charming combo to work on..
  • 5 0
 seems like no one is Raven about this new bike
  • 2 1
 This bike looks terrible. Pretty sure the Raven used to be one of the lightest XC race bikes out there. Now it has a 67.5*+ HTA and weighs 25lbs! My blur weighs 25lbs and can be thrashed over 6ft drops without issue. And they max this out at 60cm drops. Why do you need that extra slackness if its so limited in terms of rowdyness? I can crush 60cm drops on my gravel bike.

Time to reFOCUS your bike development.
  • 1 0
 So what category does your gravel bike fall in to?
  • 2 0
 For sure this bike can take larger drops. It's a warranty issue. Look up the fine print of your Blur's warranty. It probably says something similar. It's just that only the German brands will be upfront about it, to the point that they have a big logo on the product page stating the category.
Look at it this way: take someone who is at the weight limit of your Blur (what's that, 110 kg or so?). Now give this person your bike, with the tires quite hard and set the fork too soft so it bottoms out quickly, and then let them ride off a 60cm drop to flat a couple of times with landing technique like they are recording a field test HTF video. Would you feel comfortable letting them do that? Comparing bikes to their category ratings, this kind of scenario is what they have in mind when categorizing them.
  • 3 0
 From what I'm reading, it doesn't have any rear travel and the rear triangle is a rigid piece that transmits force directly into the buttoms?!?!
  • 3 0
 I have two bikes with in frame storage and don't use it on either bike. I don't find it useful.
  • 8 0
 Start schmokin' weed and that'll change that real quick guy.
  • 3 3
 step 1: spend a shit ton of RnD money to make a bike as light as possible
step 2: add a storage compartment which also compromises rigidity so the bike needs to be heavier
step 3: put stuff in storage compartment so the light bike is now heavy
step 4: ????????
step 5: stupid!
  • 3 0
 Step 1: Spend more money on RnD if 25lbs is the lightest you can get a carbon hardtail.
  • 3 0
 @warmerdamj: the entire industry is such dismal failure and people throw money at it because there's no alternative.

to this day, fork manufacturers cannot get the bushing fit right and each fork is a lottery on how much stiction it'll have yet stiction is what makes or breaks grip on most dangerous stuff. people are going as far as to make heavy linkage forks because of it.
  • 2 0
 The title is sort of funny - wow a carbon mtb with in-frame storage - gosh why didn't anybody think of that before!
  • 1 0
 Seat tube length is too long on the large at 480mm. Ideally it would be around 440-450 to maximise the space available for a dropper post. This is relic of its XC past.
  • 3 0
 Was interested, up to the headset routed cables.
  • 1 0
 Most interesting thing about this bike is the stem, which looks like a really good design. All the advantages of a four bolt stem, with only two bolts? Sign me up
  • 1 0
 Creak galore - was my thought.
  • 3 5
 I don't get why bikes have internal routing to the back of the bike (which is hard to do) yet leave the front hose dangling out front - why can't it be routed through the fork steerer and down the inside of the fork leg for optimal neatness (or, for more annoyance, route it through the fork crown and down the inside of the fork leg next to the damper, popping out exactly where it needs to)?
  • 4 0
 I'm pretty sure I've seen brake hoses routed through the steerer tube like that. I would say it introduces pointless mechanical complexity but seeing as how headset cable routing exists it seems like that isn't considered a valid reason any more.

Running it through the actual fork leg would be tricky on a telescopic fork. You could do it on a rigid (or even linkage) fork if you really wanted.
  • 3 0
 Some bikes do have the front brake hose routed down through the steerer. Especially DJ/Slopestyle bikes with a front brake, since it solves any kind of tangling from bar spins and tail whips. A lot of the problem on longer travel forks though is that there needs to be a service loop so the fork can telescope through its full travel. If the brake hose goes into the steerer, then it's gonna tend to floss back and forth in there and cause rubbing issues, and ultimately only achieve a clean look when the fork is unloaded. Clamping the hose to the front of the crown allows for the most amount of flex in the brake hose as the fork telescopes with the least amount of extra hose length to allow for that flex. It's very possible that there's a cleaner way to do it though. You should experiment and see if you can come up with something.
  • 1 1
 Have a good think why . . . There’s many many ways why this would not work . . . Be funny watching people trying
  • 3 0
 @Bertrude: Yeah, look at this loser trying:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJu22P3fk5o
  • 1 0
 @FatTonyNJ: what a loser
  • 2 0
 @FatTonyNJ: not quite what matey asked up above . . . But may as well just use a gyro too
  • 1 0
 I don’t know if anyone noticed but the bikes pictured for the lower specs are swapped with the correct captions.
  • 3 0
 Raven feat. cloaca tech
  • 2 0
 This bike is begging for BERD/Talon wheels
  • 1 0
 No, not talon. Those hubs are too heavy. Newmen and DT Swiss are better options, or if you hate money, Extralite/Nonplus/Carbon-ti/Tune/Duke
  • 2 0
 @wburnes: I think you missed the point.... Going with the bird theme here ;-)
  • 1 0
 Yep, I noticed that too. That crappy ass SX crank sits above the XT/SLX drivetrain description.
  • 4 6
 Need HELP, guys!
I'm building my dream hardtail and that's the kind of bike I'm looking for at the moment. Carbon with 120-130mm fork and not too aggressive +-67 HA. BUT with 27.5" wheels! So that I can swap wheels and tires between my FS bike.
The only suitable candidate I found is Specialized Fuse Carbon from 2018-2019. It even has SWAT box and 27.5+ tires compatibility which is huge plus for me.

Maybe You guys can suggest something else? Or maybe somebody has 2018-2019 Fuse frame for sale?

Thanks!
  • 8 0
 Spot Rocker?
  • 1 0
 @Heywood165: Spot Rocker is a 29" made to fit 27.5+. I need 27.5" frame made to fit 27.5+. Majority of the time I will be using 2.3-2.4 tires and mount plus tires just for the winter. So Rocker with 27.5x2.3 tires will have too low BB for me...
Feels to me like 27.5" carbon hardtails are extinct breed Big Grin
  • 1 0
 not this comment, but the next one
  • 2 0
 @Vyckinis: Sonder Transmitter Carbon would have been okay, only I don't think they make them anymore. EBay?
  • 3 0
 Carbon SC Chameleon is 27.5+/29
  • 3 0
 Old model SC chameleon is rad fun. Don’t know if the new one comes in carbon
  • 2 0
 @jimfredo: Yeah I was talking about the older one! Friend of mine just grabbed a used 27.5+ Carbon GX for $1500.. such a great bike (and killer deal)
  • 5 0
 You might want to consider a 29 frame. 27.5 carbon frames with any sort of remotely modern geometry are somewhere between scarce and nonexistent. Because I had a good set of spare wide 27.5 wheels and I was able to get a used Giant XTC Advanced 29er carbon frame, I built it up with the 27.5 wheels, a Works angle headset, a 120mm fork and nice big 27.5 x 2.4 tires. BB is 3mm lower than stock, bike rides great, no issues with pedal strike.
  • 3 0
 Transition throttle, albeit discontinued after 2018ish I think, has a 66* HTA (not sure if that's too aggressive), but checks the other boxes..
  • 1 0
 Also check out the Liteville H3 mk3. It is aluminum but pretty light and specifically designed for 27.5 wheels. Nice geometry for its intended purpose.
  • 1 0
 chromag wideangle. u won't even notice the 64 deg HA.
  • 2 0
 Check out hardtail party on YouTube. That will keep you busy for awhile. Lots of reviews and a great vibe. There’s a lengthy review of the Spot Rocker. It convinced me to buy one and I have no regrets.
  • 2 1
 You can always get a custom hardtail. Plenty of framebuilders will be glad to do one for you. Pretty fun project
  • 3 0
 Good looking bike!
  • 2 2
 My full suspension Wilder weighs less than this bike... granted, it's a lot more expensive, but it shouldn't be hard to make a hardtail weigh under 25 lbs...
  • 2 0
 That thing has Sram SX on it. Cassette and cranks alone are 6lbs. Big Grin
  • 1 0
 One time I jumped an Orbea Alma H10 over a creek gap. Cracked the seatstay framejoint (made that word up). Warrantied it.
  • 1 1
 My Viathon m1 size large full gx retailed at $2200 and weighs 23lbs...@ViathonBicycles where you at with a modern Geo hardtail??
  • 2 0
 Closer to a gravel bike than MTB.
  • 1 0
 Reasonable geometry, workhorse spec on the middle model and in-frame storage space. Other than the cable routing I can't find much to complain. Even looks are pretty neutral apart from the terrible headset/stem/spacers area.
  • 2 0
 Rocky Mountain's reverse colourways from a couple years back.
  • 1 0
 Can someone explain to me the Reason for these new ugly carbon head tubes you could land a plane on?
  • 1 0
 Are people still interested in "new model" hardtails? Seems like a waste of time to me..
  • 1 0
 Looks like a cheaper version of a Cannondale Scalpel....
  • 1 0
 Looks like every other xc hardtail in 23! Cool
  • 1 0
 captivating title
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