Last year the mountain wheel size debate was reignited with the rise of the 650b or “27.5” and there was definitely one clear winner.
YOU, the consumer. With 29 inch wheels being the faster, smoother rolling option, and 27.5 being the lighter, more fun option and more versatile when it comes to rider size, you get to pick what you like best.

All of the Focus hardtails come in both wheel size options, but what we have here is the Black Forest 27R 4.0. Although this is the least expensive mountain bike in the Focus line, they did not skimp on features, durability, or performance. Just like the Culebro, the Black Forest borrows heavily from its carbon fiber big brother the Raven. It shares the same racey but stable geometry, thru-axles front and rear, remote lockout on the fork, and a 2x10 drivetrain are found both the Raven and Black Forest lines. The 4.0 has a mix of Shimano Deore and SLX drivetrain parts for excellent performance and longevity.

The Black Forest is great for the beginner to intermediate mountain biker or the privateer who wants to do a couple of races for fun. Like the Culebro, the Black Forest is a full featured race machine at a recreational budget, $1,550 for the 4.0. All spec levels come in both wheel sizes, and there is no price difference between them. What matters most with wheel size is what you want to do with the bike, and not what a blog or magazine says you have to have this year.

Component Highlights

Focus MTB SL 27 Aluminum Frame

RockShox XC 32 100 mm Fork

Shimano SLX/Deore Groupset

Focus Concept Cockpit

Focus Concept Wheels