The UK market has always seemed to consider North American brands to be the coolest – second to the fairly small number of home-grown ones, of course. But there’s definitely a rising tide of good stuff coming from continental Europe, and Germany in particular. You don’t have to go back very far for the German market to be full of bikes that, frankly, you wouldn’t be seen dead on, but these days there are two distinct trends. First, major manufacturers are putting out bikes that are actually designed in Germany by Germans (although they don’t make a big thing about it). And second, the more overtly German brands are producing bikes that not only perform but, and this is the critical bit, look good too.
And riding that rising tide is Focus, as sold exclusively through top internet retailer Wiggle. 2007 will be the brand’s second year in the UK, with Wiggle being entirely pleased with the response (both critical and in terms of sales) in 2006.
Here, then, are some shots of a few of the 2007 range. At this stage we don’t know anything about them beyond their names, prices and what you can see in the pictures – specs are yet to be finalised, so anything we say about them is entirely likely to be wrong and hence we’re not going to say anything.
Initially the range is hardtail-only (although there’s whisperings of full-sus bikes later in the season), but it covers pretty much all the bases within that category. You’ve got trail bikes, XC race bikes, jump bikes and women’s bikes across the full range of price points. The bikes pictured are the Black Hills (£399.99), Black Raider Ltd (£599.99), Twoelf Neun (£799.99) and Vamp (£799.99). The Black Raider Ltd is one of three limited edition bikes – once they’re gone, they’re gone.
They all look pretty sorted (although we can’t decide if the flat bars are retro or in the vanguard of a renaissance…) and as far as we can tell from examining the pics the prices look very competitive. We’ll have more details as they come in and a full test of one of the new Focus bikes as soon as one becomes available. In the meantime, keep an eye on www.wiggle.co.uk for more details.