Interbike 2010: Focus Debuts Prototype FSL Lightweight Full Suspension XC Racer

Focus Bicycles had a few updates and such floating around, mostly minor spec updates, fresh paint and small frame tweaks. But lurking near the back of the booth was this prototype, lightweight full suspension XC race mountain bike.

Named the FSL, it’s an entirely new frame that has Focus’ new FIRST (Full Intergated Rear Suspension Technology) design. The most obvious design feature is the top mounted rear shock, reminiscent of Danish brand Pronghorn’s frames. Look closer, though, and you see the stealth bomber shaping of the top tube, slick brake mounts and other niceties that set it apart.

UPDATED: More frame info added.

Jump past the break for more photos and info…

First up, this 22lb 1oz complete bike (sans pedals) is a prototype, so this weight is merely rough guide. Focus’ design engineer said they’ll carve about 200g more from the frame before it his production, which would put it well under 22lbs for what I think was a medium or large frame. And while those leather bar wrap Fizik grips are super sweet, they ain’t the lightest things on the market, and as we’ve all seen, you can drop some serious pounds if you’re willing to drop some serious coin.

The top-tube-mounted shock design allows the suspension to distribute damping forces straight into the frame, which Focus says results in better overall distribution and less tension and frame distortion.

Among the trick features are fully integrated internal cable runs for shift and brake cables plus holes and guides for remote cables for both rear shock and a dropper post…should you want/add them. (there’s an additional hole on the driveside that you can’t see from this angle) The headtube is tapered 1-1/8″ to 1-1/2″.

A Pressfit BB30 with a downtube that takes full advantage of the width.

The seat tube is asymmetric to allow for a direct mount front derailleur. The FIRST Extreme (similar looking to the FSL, but much beefier) frames use size specific tube diameters (Focus calls it SSPS Differentiated Tube Diameters), giving the bikes the same feel across the range of sizes. The FSL frames have a full carbon rocker arm, the Extreme has a forged alloy one.

Here’s the next trick feature: The post mount rear brakes are inside the rear triangle, and they have mount holes for both 160 and 180mm rotors. (click the images below to enlarge and see it better)

Frame weight is 1,700g with rear shock. Bearings will be an “easy access” system that allows you to pull the lower pivot from the non drive side without having to remove the crank set to service the bearings. The 100mm rear suspension gets all of its travel from the top mounted shock, even though the rear stays look flat like some bikes that use stay flex to add/create suspension movement.

There’s plenty of tire clearance for XC-oriented tires.

Besides the Extreme version (also with 100mm travel), the FSL will be available in 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 and 4.0 trim levels, but all use the full carbon frame and all are very well spec’d.  There’s no budget model in this lineup.

Top of the line FSL1.0 model will have a carbon 3T bar, stem and seatpost and DT Swiss RRC1350 carbon rimmed wheels. Focus’ mountain bike design engineer says the design could be adapted to a 29er, too, in a way that makes us think they’re probably working on it.  MSRP is $9,700, which gets you all of the above plus SRAM XX and a Rockshox SID XX 100mm fork.

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