Since its debut two winters ago, Focus’ Atlas bikepacking gravel bike has been less about going faster, and more about enjoying the adventure along the way. Now with a new carbon frame upgrade, the Focus Atlas 8-series aims to speed up the adventure graveling a bit too, while boosting rider comfort so you can ride further than ever before…
Focus’ tagline for their Atlas line of adventure gravel bikes is that maybe a new way of “winning” is “by losing your mind, losing track of time, losing yourself“. A lot of cyclists use their bikes as both a mental and physical escape, so what better way to escape further than an adventure-ready gravel bike, right?
Updated Endurance Adventure Gravel geometry & tech
Much like the original alloy Atlas, this new carbon Atlas 8-series is built around MTB-inspired long frame Reach, short stem endurance geometry for off-road stability, and a compact 425mm rear end to preserve snappy, agile handling. Geometry is much the same as the alloy bike, but the new carbon frames do get reduced Stack height – especially on the larger sizes – for a bit more aggressive position on the bike, matching the racier carbon frame.
And again, there are still available in 5 frame sizes (XS-XL), all built around 700c wheels & up to 45mm tires. But riders looking to go further off-road can also scale back to 650b wheels and a bit wider rubber – think fast-rolling 27.5×2″ MTB tires.
One of the other big mountain bike inspired bits of adventure gravel tech for the carbon Atlas is the Road Boost axle spacing that Focus carries over. With regular MTB-style 12x148mm rear and the less common 12x110mm front, Road Boost means additional stiffness to handle heavier loads and more off-road riding, but still a pretty good selection of compatible wheels from big brands like DT Swiss & Novatec.
The new carbon Atlas 8-series frame aims to trim weight, while improving rider comfort over the alloy bike. Complete 8.series carbon bikes are said to be 1.7kg lighter than the 6.series aluminum bike. It still gets the same full carbon, tapered steerer carbon fork with internal cable routing.
And built for bikepacking, it gets lots of mounting points – four cage mounting points on the frame, anything cage mounts on each fork leg, plus rear rack mounts and full front & rear fender compatibility. There’s even an optional low-profile rear rack designed to tuck in just over top the seatstays which looks like it may be compatible with any bike that has full-coverage rear fender mounts.
The carbon frame Atlas also gets fully internal cable routing, using Focus’ latest C.I.S. (Cockpit Integration Solution) that tucks the cables under the stem and into the headset. But, the Atlas sticks with a semi-integrated but still 2-piece cockpit for maximum flexibility, built around a new ‘aero’ stem. The carbon Atlas also gets a PressFit BB86 bottom bracket, flat mount discs and 160mm rotors, and a 27.2mm seatpost with conventional external clamp.
Plus, Focus offers a number of affordable adventure-ready accessories to finish off your ride, like a 30€ out-front Garmin/Wahoo GPS mount with its own optional a 3€ GoPro action cam or light add-on, or a top-cap GPS mount for those running a big bar bag, a 26€ set of custom full-coverage fenders, a 25€ toptube bag, or the all-new 40€ rear Adventure Rack.
All Atlas bikes are built up with generously-geared gravel-specific drivetrains and wide flared bars for comfort & control off-road. Plus, they feature a removable rear thru-axle lever that includes 4 & 6mm hexes, and a bottle opener for post-ride recovery drinks.
2023 Focus Atlas carbon gravel bike – Pricing, options & availability
The new carbon iteration of the Focus Atlas adventure gravel bike comes in three 8.seires complete bike builds, all available now through your local Focus dealer.
The top-spec 4300€ Atlas 8.9 gets SRAM Rival AXS Xplr 1×12, Easton carbon bar & seatpost, and DT Swiss GR1600 alloy wheels with a claimed weight of 8.7kg.
The mid-tier 3500€ Atlas 8.8 gets Shimano GRX 800 2×11, alloy cockpit, and DT X1900 alloy wheels with a claimed weight of 9.1kg.
The most affordable 3000€ Atlas 8.7 gets the same carbon frameset spec’d with Shimano GRX 600 2×11, alloy cockpit, and Novatec alloy wheels with a claimed weight of 9.6kg – 500€ and 900g less than the top alloy Atlas.