I'm really glad to announce that after long and hard testing phase Sam Foakes signature frame Focus is finally in production. I know that many of you have been waiting for this.
From the first day I started Focus project with Sam he knew exactly what he wanted. A frame that is strong and that can last a pro level riding for ages. A frame that you put on your bike and just ride, without having to check it for cracks after every session and without a fear that it will snap on a practice run just before a contest starts. We've seen to many of cases like this.
Second thing that Sam is really picky about is frame geometry. We spent a lot of time discussing frame geometry, making sure we take care of every single detail. This included making special frame drawings that weren't just normal CAD drawings but we also drew frame in different trick positions to calculate tire clearance from ground and effects of different angles.
If you remember, Sam started testing his first Focus prototype in March 2009 and he is still riding that same frame. It went through a lot of testing , got A LOT of beating but still there are no cracks. So after a year and 8 months of testing we decided to make final drawing and start production.
What most of you are probably most interested in are frame specs, so here they are, explained.
Toptube length - 19.0"
Headtube angle - 74 deg
Seattube angle - 71 deg
Chainstay length - 13.25" (13.0 - 13.5" )
Let me explain it shortly
First thing most riders take in consideration when buying a frame is Toptube lenght. But that measurement alone is worthless if you don't consider it together with other specs.
19.0 TT length maybe sounds shorter then most of you expected from Focus but it is because of this HT and ST angle combination.
Sam changed ST angle to 71 degrees because it gives a little more more space for cliffhanger tricks, moving your seatpost a bit towards the handlebar.
So keeping the same wheelbase of the bike if we changed HT angle to "modern flatland standard" 75 degrees , toptube length would be 19.4" . If we changed it to 74.5 , toptube length would be 19.2 (same as first Focus prototype) .
Chainstay length on frames is usually described with only one length, but that doesn't really explain it well since you can move the wheel inside the dropout.
Focus frame has these 3 chainstay lengths :
13.0" - wheel slammed in dropout
13.25" - wheel centered in dropout
13.5" - wheel extended in dropout
Hope this explains the geometry well.
There is also one great innovation that on Focus frame that you haven't seen on any other flatland frame before : Taper Lock patent dropouts.
Taper Lock is a patented design of dropouts made by a Taiwanese rider that completely solves the problem of chain tension in a most simple way, with out the use of chaintensioners. It is a brilliant idea that I've tested on street frames and it will come on all Zion frames in the future.
Focus frames comes with 14mm dropouts , but with the frame you will get both 14mm and 10mm taper lock washers , so it works both with 3/8 and 14mm hubs.
Here are 2 photos that show you the simplicity of Taper Lock. No explanation needed.
And believe me , once you tighten your wheel it doesn't move ever again. EVER !!
And last thing I didn't mention is that for this first batch of Focus frames Sam chose a Sparkling Black color.
Frame production should be finished by the end of this year and it will be available in shops beginning of 2011.
For the retail price you will have to wait till it hits the shops.
Hope you like it