FOCUS BRING NEW BIKE INTO THE F.O.L.D.
Revamped SAM uses same suspension platform as the rest of their range
It’s taken a couple of years, but Focus’s 650bwheeled SAM enduro bike gets a whole new chassis for 2019, incorporating the same ‘FOLD’ linkage used by the German brand across the rest of their full-suspension range.
With a whopping 170mm of rear wheel travel, Focus say it’s a bike to have fun on. Geometry geeks may agree, because its front triangle isn’t super-stretched, as is the current fashion for flat-out enduro race bikes. That said, it is longer than the previous SAM, and if it’s still not lengthy enough for your liking, the fairly short seat tube and decent standover room mean you may get away with sizing up.
FOLD (Focus Optimized Linkage Design) was first seen on the JAM and O1E bikes, launched in 2016. It’s a linkage-driven single-pivot system, which pairs a solid rear triangle with two connected links above the shock, to give a digressive and then progressive suspension curve. This, Focus say, gives a super-supple start to the stroke for plenty of grip and efficient pedalling, but means it can still cope with bigger hits later in its travel.
We’ve got on well with FOLD bikes in the past, though whether that’s due to that digressive start to the stroke, we’re not so sure. Still, the new linkage means there’s now room in the front triangle for a water bottle, and the frame architecture centralises weight, which should theoretically improve the handling. Pricing for the new SAM models starts at £3,599.