Focus might not be the first brand that comes to mind when you think of dream bikes on bedroom wall posters, but the German firm is okay with that. They're part of the bike industry giant Pon Holdings, which also owns Santa Cruz, and more recently GT and Cannondale
, among others. One of Focus' brand managers made an analogy with VW group, the car giant which includes car brands like Audi and Lamborghini, alongside the VW brand. He likened Santa Cruz to Audi or Lamborghini - the luxury performance brand with racing heritage - and Focus to VW - the everyday brand for people who want solid value, and aren't swayed by flashy marketing, influencers or race results.
Focus Jam2 Details
• Alloy-only frame
• 150mm travel front and rear
• 720 Wh battery
• Shimano EP8 motor
• 29" wheels
• Weight: 25.6 kg / 56.4 lb (actual, XL, 7.0 model)
• 76° seat angle, 65° head angle
• Sizes: S, M, L, XL
• Price: €5,399 to €7,999 / £5,099 to £7,499
With that in mind, Focus say they designed the refreshed Jam2 electric trail bike for fun and reliability rather than racing, so the suspension is tuned for sensitivity and pop rather than maximum stability, and the frame and components are designed to cope with a whopping 150 kg system weight, which should offer peace of mind if you're spending your own hard-earned cash. This beefing-up includes a 34.9mm seat tube, wheelsets with reinforced spokes, nipples and cassette bodies, plus a 1.8" steerer tube.
Well that was ... informative.Motor & Battery
Focus uses the Shimano EP8 system on all three models of the Jam2 - no skimping by fitting older units on the cheaper builds. Like many other brands, Focus has decided to go with a bespoke battery to increase the range. It's Shimano approved and offers 720 Wh of juice - that's 14% more than the battery in the outgoing Jam2. The battery is integrated into the intact downtube and can be removed for off-bike charging by sliding it out the bottom of the tube after removing one bolt just in front of the motor.Frame details
Like the Jam
, the Jam2's analogue stablemate, Focus has opted to route all the cables through the stem and headset to make things neater and reduce cable rattle. There are no cable routing options through the frame directly; the cables have to go through the headset. Focus only make one stem length (50 mm), so if you want to fit a different stem you'll need a special headset top cap
which allows the cables to run through the headset but not the stem.
Like many e-bikes, there's a fork bumper to stop the bars from contacting the frame in a crash. There is room for a full-size water bottle in a standard cage if using an in-line shock, and if using a piggyback shock, an adapter moves the bottle cage back and down so a large bottle to fit behind the shock reservoir. There's also a handy tool bag in front of the shock that's big enough for a tube, tyre levers and a multi-tool.
A USB-C charging point located on the top-tube makes it possible to top up your phone, GPS or perhaps a bike light on the go from the main battery, and there's a removable kickstand mount located by the rear axle. While neither of these features will hold you back from sending triples, they're a nod to the fact that many customers will sometimes use these bikes for less glamorous tasks like commuting or picking up shopping - something which isn't uncommon for a full-suspension ebike in Germany.Suspension
The 2022 Jam2 has gone from a vertical to a horizontal shock layout. Focus still refers to the system as FOLD (Focus Optimised Linkage Design), and it still uses a linkage-driven single-pivot layout, but compared to the previous Jam2, the horizontally-mounted shock allows for a lower top tube and more standover clearance.
Focus say they've designed the leverage curve to make the suspension sensitive throughout most of the travel before ramping up at the end of the travel to resist bottom outs. Meanwhile, the single-pivot suspension keeps anti-squat levels close to 100% at the sag point across the spread of gears. This should help the bike pedal through bumpy terrain without bobbing or wallowing too much on smoother sections. Geometry
In a move that will shock nobody, the Jam2 has got longer and slacker than its predecessor. It may not have the most boundary-pushing numbers, but the geometry certainly isn't lagging behind the pack. A flip-chip offers 5.5 mm of BB height adjustment; picking the low setting also causes about half a degree to be lost from the frame angles and 5 mm from the reach.Models
Fork: Rock Shox ZEB Charger R
Shock: FOX Float X Performance,
Drivetrain: SRAM GX Eagle AXS, 10-52
Brakes: SRAM Code RSC 220 / 220 mm
Wheels: DT Swiss HX1700
Tires: Schwalbe Magic Mary 2.6 Super Trail Soft
Claimed weight: 25.50 kg
Fork: FOX 36 Float Rhythm
Shock: FOX Float X Performance
Drivetrain: Shimano Deore XT M8100,11-51
Brakes: Shimano XT M8120, 4 piston . 200 / 200 mm
Wheels: Novatec D041 / D462 Disc
Tires: Maxxis Minion DHF
Claimed weight: 24.80 kg
Fork: Rock Shox 35 Gold RL
Shock: Rock Shox Deluxe Select
Drivetrain: Shimano SLX M7100,10-51
Brakes: Shimano MT520, 200 / 200 mm
Wheels: RaceFace AR30
Tires: Maxxis Minion DHF
Claimed weight: 25,00 kg
Focus sent me the top-spec Jam2 7.0 to test a few days before this goes live. At this point, I've only had time to ride it once. What I can tell you is that it is a very comfortable climber. The seat angle is steep enough and there's plenty of room in the cockpit to give a comfortable position on a range of gradients. Meanwhile, the suspension is nice and supple even while putting down full power; throw in the 29" wheels and 2.6" tires and it gobbles up the chatter and delivers masses of traction on rough, wet climbs.
I think the 2.6" Schwalbe tires are a good choice all around for comfort, protection and grip, though for wet Scottish trails I'd prefer a Magic Mary on the rear as well as the front. The 220 mm rotors are very welcome too - they should be fitted to all e-bikes with SRAM Codes if you ask me.
On the descents, the bike loves to plow. The Zeb Select+ fork and Fox shock do a great job of isolating you from rapid-fire hits. But once on tight, technical and awkward sections, it's not easy to maneuver the bike quickly or correct mistakes. Even though it's no heavier than many bikes in its category, the Jam2 doesn't hide its weight particularly well in the tight stuff. The dropper post delivers 165 mm of travel and I could use more room to move my weight around. Similarly, swapping to a 40 mm stem (which would be a big job in this case) and a higher-rise handlebar might make it easier to manhandle the bike through the tech.