FO­CUS BRING NEW BIKE INTO THE F.O.L.D.

Re­vamped SAM uses same sus­pen­sion plat­form as the rest of their range

Mountain Biking UK - - UPLIFT -

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.

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