The new Focus Raven 650B borrows design cues from its 26-inch counterpart.
Focus Raven 650b
Borrowing design cues from the Raven 26er, the new Focus Raven 650b is designed to be a fast, nimble cross-country race rig that’s comfortable enough for all-day events. Molded from carbon fiber, the Raven 650b resembles the 26-inch model more than the Raven 29er, but incorporates new features like bridgeless seatstays for enhanced shock absorption over rough patches of trail, and extra room for a fatter rear tire. Fully internal cable routing gives the Raven a very clean, clutter-free appearance and a tapered head tube along with a BB30 bottom bracket help the Focus deliver increased lateral stiffness and sharp cornering.
Bridgeless seatstays help absorb shock and allow for more tire clearance.
Equipped with Shimano Deore XT components, SLX hubs and a 100mm RockShox Revelation fork with 15mm thru-axle, the Raven 650b weighs 24 pounds and retails for $3,950. Focus designed the Raven 650B to strike a balance between a hardcore race machine and a comfortable hardtail you can ride all day. It’s not quite as racy as the Scott Scale 740 we tested, but definitely takes a little more edge off the trail on the back end than the Scott.
The mixed matte/gloss finish is a Focus signature.
The Raven 650b could well be a solid choice for marathon/endurance cross-country racers looking for a bike that has plenty of speed and agility yet enough compliance and comfort to ride all day long. It climbs with more immediate acceleration than a 29er and smooths out choppy sections of trail better than a 26er. Although we had only a short time on the Raven 650b, we loved its balance of performance and comfort.