2013 Focus Whistler 27-G Review £479 priced, The fork hinders the overall performance, but that aside this is a confident ride and a good buy.
Once again, the fork is that the liability of the main focus Whistler. the actual fact that it had slightly additional assembly grease than most round the seals meant it didn’t begin stiffening up till half approach through the third wet ride, however once more it’s a reminder that the majority bikes at this value want higher forks if you leave road in poor conditions. this is often a pity, as a result of everything else concerning the main focus is sweet price.
The ride is assured, it’s among the few sub-£500 bikes to possess twenty seven gears instead of twenty four, the wheels and tyres area unit higher than average, and it’s hydraulic disc brakes.
Ride & handling: smart handling and rise ability offset by bump management
The Whistler instantly felt assured in each handling and on climbs. however its barely controlled fork, particularly the bouncy rebound, hinders performance once the tract starts to urge rougher – you slowly learn to shift your weight forwards additional on the square-edged bumps so as to assist subdue the top-out sound because it rebounds to full extension.
The gray tyres area unit additional slippery on wet rocks or roots than black Schwalbes, however not enough to become a significant drawback. the handling of the main focus Whistler is great and confidence-enhancing, with the wider-than-average gear vary and comfort and generous bar and saddle adjustability adding further attractiveness for fewer than knowledgeable riders.
There’s no obtaining removed from the actual fact that cranks with plastic trouser-guards and forks with no rebound damping area unit virtually inevitable cheapening effects on most bikes at this value purpose – however not all, because the Carrera shows. The Whistler’s fork didn’t get as sticky or suck in water the maximum amount as four of the others on this check, however our expertise tells America that it’ll still want mating on an everyday basis.
But despite that, this is often still a rather higher bike than most that area unit on provide at this value.
Frame & handling: twenty seven gears for the worth of twenty four
The Whistler frame build uses comparatively simple outsized tubes with a fat biaxially ovalised down tube flaring into the lowest bracket shell and at the top tube for optimum weld contact areas, with Associate in Nursing open-ended gusset more reinforcing the world behind the top tube.
There’s many mud space round the tyres and also the rear stays curve in to administer further heel clearance. One set of bottle cage mounts and rack eyelets area unit enclosed.
It’s value noting that Focus MTB filler is generous compared to several alternative bikes – our massive check sample measured 520mm (20.5in) on the seat tube. We’d usually have gone for a size down in such a case, however we tend to needed the longer (590mm) prime tube stretch of the big size.
Top tube reach is mostly additional relevant to rider comfort than seat tube length, however attempt before you purchase as completely different brands vary plenty in each seat tube and prime tube lengths. Similarly, head tube and bar/stem height/reach will vary plenty – the main focus encompasses a 1in washer stack to suit below or over the stem.
The SR Suntour XCR fork has identical too-quick rebound issue because the XCM forks on most sub-£500, bikes however the compression was slightly electric sander, the opposition worked well and also the preload dial on prime of the hand leg perceptibly stiffened the spring.
Low-budget SR Suntour forks vary hugely although. Expect to pay another £200 approximately before most bikes get good forks with smart seals and correct rebound damping.
The Whistler encompasses a cagey mixture of drivetrain elements, presumptively employing a Suntour XCR crankset to offset the price of the Shimano Alivio/Acera 27-speed power train combine. No complaints in the least there. Shifts were slick and also the nine-speed container means that additional teeth on the most important sprocket, that permits you to remain within the middle chainring on most climbs.
The wheels, with unknown-to-us FW rims and own complete Black Comp hubs, area unit tightly designed and shod with Schwalbe good guided missile treads colored to match the gray and bright inexperienced of the frame – they’re fast-rolling, they seldom block in mud, they’re fairly grippy in most conditions and their two.1in profile adds affordable comfort. Tektro’s hydraulic disc brakes provide a nicely modulated feel, with a 180mm front rotor providing further speed power once required.
The Focus own complete Black Comp bar, stem, grips seatpost and saddle area unit all good offerings too.
Image Credit: © Focus