Launched today! (13.01.21) The Focus ATLAS Gravel Bike is ‘Made to Lose’….
….Made to lose you say? Seems a strange marketing headline?! However, what initially sounds absurd actually makes a lot of sense when you dig a little deeper. The Focus ATLAS is the bike you reach for when you want to escape the world of appointments and smartphones, of project deadlines, racing-performance stats and feeling you have to compete and win every aspect of your life. The ATLAS Gravel Bike is made to lose, taking your attention away from competition and helping you to feel free from the modern world and all its hassles for as little or as long as you want.
The ATLAS is Focus’ first out-and-out Gravel Bike and although you could argue they’re a little late to the party their timing means that they come to market with a very capable bike packed full of the sort of features you’d expect to find on a modern bang-up-to-date gravel bike. Focus have also developed the ATLAS to have the type of geometry that has really found favour amongst the Gravel Glitterati in recent years, namely a longer reach achieved with a longer top tube combined with a shorter stem to keep steering sharp and responsive; the ATLAS also features super-short chainstays to keep the bike agile even on tight, technical terrain.
To keep the ATLAS more affordable to the masses and ensure a tough, reliable chassis that can handle epic multi-day adventures the frame material is alloy with a carbon fibre fork. Both the frame and fork feature multiple bolt-on-bosses so you can run a large amount of bags and accessories on the ATLAS including extra bottle cages, pannier racks and mudguards. Focus even do a pre-equipped version of the ATLAS 6.7 with mudguards rear pannier rack already fitted. There is also cable routing for a dropper post, so if that’s your bag and you want to get the saddle out of the way on the more technically-demanding trails then there’s always that option.
All of the cables on the bike are routed internally with one notable feature being the C.I.S. cockpit which takes the integration of the cables to the next level, routing the cables from the bar directly into the head tube to ensure seamless shifting and a clean uncluttered cockpit, which leaves plenty of room to run a substantial bar bag.
Focus have spec’d each of their ATLAS bikes with carefully-selected groupsets from Shimano’s GRX sub-range. These gravel-specific groupsets provide smooth shifting performance on all terrains and in any conditions. Depending on the specific model of ATLAS there are options for a 1X single chainring option or 2x double chainrings. All groupsets feature a wide ratio of gears to enable you to take on tough off-road climbs even on loose, technical terrain. It goes without saying that each groupset also includes Shimano’s excellent hydraulic brakes which provide consistent, powerful braking on any terrain. The GRX brake levers / gear shifters are also brilliantly engineered, with a slightly different pivot point to Shimano’s other road-focused groupsets to allow for more effective braking when you’re riding with your hands positioned on the brake hoods as well as a special matt-finish rubberised texture to the brake levers to enhance your grip even in wet, muddy conditions.
There are mounting points on the top tube for a small bag.
The ATLAS 6.8 and 6.9 includes a small top tube bag with the bike.
Thanks to the generous design of the frame the ATLAS provides space for up to 47 mm wide tyres, opening up a wide range of options regarding the choice of gravel tyres that you can run. Focus have also stated that the ATLAS can be run with 650B wheels and tyres, freeing you up to run even fatter tyres if you find yourself increasingly seeking out ever-more-rowdy gravel riding fun.
Despite the Super-short chainstays there’s still plenty of clearance to run 47mm wide tyres on 700c wheels.
We’re excited to see Focus throwing their hat into the ring with an all-new range of Gravel Bikes that tick all the boxes with regards to what we’re looking for from a modern, contemporary gravel bike. Great geometry, loads of gravel-friendly features and fantastic componentry means the Focus ATLAS is an absolute freedom machine capable of blasting though the woods on your one hour session or chugging over endless wilderness on your multi-day adventure, fully laden with all of your bike-packing equipment.
So what about that ‘Made to Lose’ headline? Well, let’s leave the last words to Focus…
‘The ATLAS is not made for winning races, setting world records, or beating people. It’s made to lose. Lose your mind, lose track of time, to lose yourself. It’s for getting out in nature, having adventures, meeting people, and generally just having a great time.’
The Focus ATLAS range of Gravel Bikes are now live on our website and will be available in-store and online at Wheelbase very soon, watch this space!….
2021 Focus ATLAS 6.7 £1,499.00
Focus ATLAS 6.7 EQP £1,699.00
Focus ATLAS 6.8 £1,899.00
Focus ATLAS 6.9 £2,299.00
Written By Johnny Dodgin