First Ride: The Focus Jam² SL Uses Fazua's New 60 Nm Motor - Tech Week 2023

Oct 25, 2022 at 9:28
by Seb Stott  


Focus have joined the growing list of brands to offer a light(er), mid-power eMTB. The 2023 Jam² SL uses a Fazua motor, which offers a modest 60 Nm of torque (like the Orbea Rise) along with a mid-sized 430 Wh battery. This is combined with a carbon frame and a few other tricks to get the weight within striking distance of some regular MTBs.

I have the second-top model in XL, which weighs 19.05 kg / 42 lb (actual). The top model has a claimed weight of 17.9 Kg, and it is possible to ride without the 2.3 Kg battery, resulting in a weight that wouldn't look out of place on an enduro bike.

Focus Jam² SL Details
• Carbon-only frame
• 150mm (r)/160 mm (f) travel
• Fazua motor, 60 Nm, 430 Wh battery
• 29" wheels
• Weight: 19.05 kg / 42 lb (actual, XL )
• Adjustable head angle and chainstay length
• Sizes: S, M, L, XL
• Price: £5,499 / €6,199 to £10,199 / €11,499
focus-bikes.com
Some e-bikes like the Orbea Rise and Specialized Turbo Levo SL have even lighter claimed weights, but Focus haven't gone nuts in the pursuit of a headline weight. It still has a removable battery, stout forks and piggyback shocks in some models. It's also got highly adjustable geometry, 29" wheels and 150 mm rear travel with 160mm up front.



Motor & Battery

The Fazua motor was chosen because it's lightweight but still offers enough power (up to 450 W and 60 Nm of torque) to keep up with "full-fat" e-bikes. The 430 Wh battery is bigger than the other lightweight e-bikes (the Orbea Rise carbon has 360Wh and the Levo SL has 320 Wh), and thanks to more efficient use of power and lighter system weight, the range should be comparable to some full-size ebikes with 500 Wh or more.

A remote toggles between the three assistance modes, which are shown with green, blue or purple LEDs on the top tube. The number of LEDs indicates the battery level.

The battery is easily removable. Focus made an ebike with an integrated battery in 2016, but customer feedback told them that people like to remove the battery, so they've taken a weight penalty there. On the other hand, there's no on-bike charging port (you have to remove the battery with an Allen key to charge it). Focus say this decision saves 200 g.

Fazua say they will soon offer a range extender which slots onto the bottle cage bosses. Interestingly, Focus say this will be fully integrated, so there won't be any need for a cable connecting a bottle-like battery to the charging port, but details are lacking on how this will work.



Focus are sticking with their approach of routing the cables through the stem and headset, which makes stem swaps harder.

Frame details

Focus have moved from a single-pivot design to a four-bar linkage for the first time. They say the main reason for doing this is to save weight compared to a solid rear triangle with a shock linkage. Focus aren't sharing too many details on the suspension kinematics, but the four-bar layout reduces anti-rise compared to the singe-pivot bikes in their lineup, meaning the suspension will sit higher in its travel under braking and arguably is freer to move over bumps as a result. The new layout also allows them to deploy an innovative approach to geometry adjustment.

www.michael-gielen.de

There's a flip chip on the chainstay pivot, similar to what you'd find on some Specialized bikes. On its own, this extends the chainstay length and lowers the bottom bracket height, along with knock-on effects to the frame angles. Focus didn't want this, so they put another flip chip at the point where the seatstay meets the rocker link. This compensates for the change in BB height and frame angles, so the chainstay length can be altered independently of any other variables. The options are 440 mm or 447 mm. You could use one or other to provide four possible geometry configurations, but Focus see them being used together as a chainstay adjuster. The Small and Medium sizes will ship with the shorter setting, and Large and XL the longer one.

Why not just use a single chainstay adjuster at the dropout as many other brands have? I asked Focus and this was their response: "A flip-chip which alters the location of the UDH is not possible because of the clearance which is defined by SRAM. A slidable dropout is quite heavy... That's why we went for the double flip-chip design. It's super lightweight and also future-proof for anything SRAM comes up with."

As if that wasn't enough adjustment, Focus spec a headset offering two head angle options: 64.5 or 65.5 degrees. Unlike a flip chip, it does this without affecting the other geometry measurements much.

The frame is available in two types of carbon: Max and regular. The difference is about 300 g for a size medium.




Geometry

I used to think of Focus as a laggard in the geometry transformation we've seen over the last few years. But now that things have settled down a bit, they seem to have caught up nicely. The Jam² comes in a broad range of sizes with reach numbers from 430 mm to 515 mm. The combination of head angle and chainstay length together make it possible to tweak the wheelbase by up to 20 mm, which alters the stability of the bike far more comprehensively than the token flip chips we're so used to seeing.

By the way, there is a small typo in the above table - the bottom bracket drop should say 25 mm for all sizes. That corresponds to a BB height of around 345 mm.



Models

Jam² SL9.0 £10,199 / €11,499

Frame: Max Carbon
Fork: Fox 36 Factory, GRIP2
Shock: FOX Float DPS Factory, 3-position
Drivetrain: SRAM XO1 Eagle AXS
Brakes: SRAM G2 Ultimate 200/180 mm
Wheels: Mavic Crossmax X LR, carbon
Tires: Maxxis Dissector, 2.4 Exo
Claimed weight: 17.9 kg
Jam² SL9.9 £7,499 / €8,499

Frame: Max Carbon
Fork: Fox 36 Performance Elite, GRIP2
Shock: Fox Float X Performance
Drivetrain: Shimano Deore XT M8100,11-51
Brakes: Shimano XT, 4 piston, 203/203 mm
Wheels: DT Swiss HX1700 LS, 30-622
Tires: Schwalbe MagicMary, 2.4" Soft/NobbyNic, 2.4" SpeedGrip
Claimed weight: 19.2 kg (actual: 19.05 Kg in XL)
Jam² SL 8.8 £6,199 / €6,999

Frame: Carbon
Fork: Fox 36 Rhythm
Shock: Fox DPS, 3-position
Drivetrain: Shimano Deore XT M8100,10-51
Brakes: Magura Storm HC 203/203 mm
Wheels: RaceFace AR30 Offset
Tires: Maxxis Assegai, 2.5,Exo/Dissector 2.4 Exo
Claimed weight: 19.7 kg
Jam² SL 8.7 £5,499 / €6,199

Frame: Carbon
Fork: DVO Diamond E3
Shock: Rock Shox Deluxe Select+
Drivetrain: SRAM NX/SX Eagle, 11-50T
Brakes: SRAM G2 200 / 200 mm
Wheels: RaceFace AR30 Offset
Tires: Maxxis Minion DHF, EXO
Claimed weight: 20.2 kg




Ride Impressions

I haven't had the Jam² SL for long, but I've managed a few rides on familiar terrain in the Tweed Valley.

The Fazua motor was impressive. It's one of the quietest systems I've used, with only a subtle 'whirr' on the climbs and no knocking and ratting on the descents. The power comes in smoothly, making it feel very natural and intuitive. There isn't the grunt of full-power systems, especially when starting off. This definitely makes it easier to manage traction, but sometimes makes it harder to get going on the kind of really steep climbs where a regular bike would have no chance. I like the three modes (any more just gets confusing) and the eco mode is so subtle as to feel almost like riding a regular bike, just on a really good leg day.

I did have a slight issue during a very muddy ride where the remote toggle lever wouldn't automatically go back to the central position after I'd pushed it up to select a different mode. I also had a problem where it wouldn't restart after turning off (it switches off automatically if unused for a while). I was able to restart it again after removing and reinstalling the battery. Here is Focus's response to this feedback: "The bike's turnoff has to do with a little bug, Fazua will fix it with an update in 4 weeks. Regarding mud on the remote: Yes, they have had some similar rare cases. They believe it happens if the bar's diameter is a bit on the smaller side. They are working on a solution here. Nevertheless, if you clean it, it should work fine again."

I did a few climbs with the motor off when riding with people on regular bikes, and it's very manageable even with the battery installed. The motor doesn't seem to have a significant amount of drag and the extra weight is probably offset by the faster-rolling rear tire (Schwalbe Nobby Nic) when compared to a typical enduro bike. Equally, I rode with people on full-power eMTBs, and it is possible to keep up, at least for a while. I would have liked a steeper seat angle when riding un-assisted, but with the motor on this doesn't seem to matter.

When descending, there are a few things I don't like. I'd prefer more dropper travel than 170 mm (once you get used to 200 mm travel you don't want to go back), and the rear tire is like a slippery eel in wet conditions. I'd also like to try a taller cockpit (which would require a higher-rise bar) and a shorter stem (which would require a different headset top cap and a long time in the workshop due to the through-stem cable routing).

That aside, I got on with the Jam² SL's handling straight away. E-bikes weighing north of 25 kg require a recalibration of riding technique, but at 19 kg, the SL feels much more like a regular bike on the descents. The geometry strikes a good balance between stability and agility for my money (I rode it in the slackest, longest setting). It's easy enough to manual, bunnyhop or hustle through turns, yet doesn't feel nervous when things get rowdy. In the rough, the weighted chassis still has some of the suspension-flattering quality that reminds you it's an ebike. But basically, it rides like a bike.

It would make an excellent training tool for enduro racers wanting to get more practice laps on a bike that handles much like their race bike. Equally, for some people, I could see it being their only bike.






Tech Week 2023 is a chance to get up to speed on the latest mountain bike components, apparel, and accessories. Click here to view all of the related content.




120 Comments

  • 496 8
 Seems like a nice bike.......... Although it would be better with 26" wheels, a 70 degree head angle, 400mm reach and 420mm chain stays so that is fits better in the DUMPSTER where it will end up thanks to that HEADSET CABLE ROUTING.
  • 21 3
 GOLD !
  • 48 4
 I heard through the headset routing is gimmick made up by big Sram AXS to make us buy more bluetooth
  • 26 0
 I scrolled to the comments to leave some headset-routing hate, read your comment, and gave up because not headset routing comment will ever be this good.
  • 8 0
 My work internet is so slow it won't load images, but you paint a very nice picture
  • 5 0
 I was thinking, where are they going with this? Then I get to the end... Ahh, nice.
  • 10 0
 I knew exactly what the top comment would be about. However, this one did quite the loop before getting there xD
  • 4 0
 okay ...very well-articulated
  • 3 0
 hahaha...
  • 3 4
 Even a dumpster wouldn’t take this because of that evil battery!
  • 5 0
 Used to sell Focus and Kalkhoff (same company). The kalkhoffs also had that through the stem/ down through the fork routing.
Out of 12 bikes, factory forgot lower headset bearing on 4 of them. Nothing like pulling all the hoses, cables and wires out of the bike to put in that missing bearing.......Not gonna carry that garbage again.
Funny thing is I have seen more missing parts on new German e-bikes than I have on new chinese e-bikes......
  • 2 0
 Normally a simple upvote would suffice to comments I like…. However, this one deserves a reply. Good work Mr. Austin!
  • 1 0
 @rich-2000: taking the Battery out would making the lift into the dumpster a little more convenient anyway!
  • 1 1
 Any comment with the word DUMPSTER gets my vote
  • 2 0
 @NotSoFresh: Will they merge and become Foc-khoff?
  • 1 0
 @Staktup: Dont be so Kal-us
  • 77 3
 Stop trying to make cables through head tubes happen. Is not going to happen.
  • 6 0
 I know! Seriuosly they should run them up through the bottom of the steerer tube and out the headset then back into the head tube.
  • 9 0
 No doubt..LMFAO worst invention ever and it looks like @ss!!
  • 35 0
 As much as I don't want an Ebike (I really I am not a hater, but a fat guy who NEEDS the exercise), I do appreciate the idea of lighter e-bikes, with smaller engines and just a little bit of support. Even better, when you can take off the battery and ride an almost normal bike.. Agree on the cable routing though - what are we trying to prove here???
  • 32 31
 You would still benefit from an E-bike. Longer outing would increase your stamina and cardio while burning fat instead of shorter , more intense outings which wear you out faster, can led to muscle damage increasing recovery time and sending your body into starvation mode. Just sayin'
  • 27 21
 @enduroelite: yours is the standard motorbiker argument. Usually said whilst exhaling a cloud of mexican ice-cream flavoured vape whilst stroking your beer belly.
  • 14 7
 @enduroelite: It’s a great skill to learn how to pace yourself. Once you do that, you can really ride as long as you’d like. Bring snacks and water, take breaks, and you’re all good. Much cheaper than an ebike as well. It’s not the tool it’s the user, I believe your argument is very flawed.
  • 1 2
 It’s cheaper to manufacture that ports in the front triangle. It also works for both normal and moto brake set ups, something that most frames with normal internal routing dont do very well. Most frames have the rear break enter the frame on the riders left. This works well if your rear brake is on the right. If you ride moto so your rear break is on the left then the hose routing is a horrible tight bend into the frame and leaves lots more flapping hose to allow the bars to turn through a wide enough arc.
  • 9 1
 @enduroelite: starvation mode, lol.
  • 10 5
 @er043: someone got passed by an ebiker today didn't they
  • 15 2
 @er043: funny thing is, my beer belly almost disappeared after I got the ebike. Riding 3 times as much, including actually riding climbs instead of pushing them, will do that for you. The ebike was the cure to my laziness, not cause of it.
  • 4 8
flag enduroelite (Oct 26, 2022 at 9:15) (Below Threshold)
 @er043: I don't ride an E-bike though, your statement is flawed
  • 4 8
flag enduroelite (Oct 26, 2022 at 9:16) (Below Threshold)
 @Chondog94: Pacing yourself and being able to ride further are not the same thing, your argument is flawed.
  • 4 6
 @justgoride: I'm not even sure you knew what you were saying when you said this.
  • 4 1
 @PeaFunk: Bonking, should I have said bonking?
  • 4 1
 @inked-up-metalhead: Absolutely what I'm saying. My only e-bike is a hybrid that I use to tow my daughter around town. But I'm still tired at the end of a long day, not halfway through my day.
  • 5 3
 @enduroelite: crazy idea just pace your self and push yourself using a normal bike.
  • 3 0
 @PeaFunk: as someone who literally cant eat enough, I get the gist
  • 6 1
 @laceloop: crazy question, why do you care? why not let him enjoy whatever he likes?
  • 3 0
 @enduroelite: I'd gladly show everyone downvoting you my Relative Effort numbers on Strava for E and non-E rides, and how the E rides are the same or higher (because they're longer) but they won't listen until they have their own eebs and see/feel it for themselves. Pity.
  • 3 0
 @gravitybass: Not to worry.

People have resisted change and innovation since forever:

running water
the automobile
AC electricity
telephones
television
education
pants
cooked food
washing hands
the notion that the earth is a sphere
human rights
the right to vote
right turns on red
bike paths
bikes
soap
global warming
livable wages
rent control
this wont end with ebikes...
  • 2 0
 @gravitybass: yup. I'd come home dead after half a dozen runs/push ups at my local trail. Now, I ride there, (3 miles+300ft climbing) do 3 or 4 full laps (the dh runs lead into an 1.5 mile xc loop with about 150ft of climb), head over to another area a few miles away, do a 1500ft climb and descent, ride back to the original spot, do more laps till the battery is saying 4 mile range, then ride home. All in the same time. About 30 miles in total, 2700ft of climbing, 3 hours. I'm even more dead, but holy shit is it more worth it and more incentive to do it again and again. Also, if I've got an hour spare, I can get to the trails, do 3/4 laps and get home, wash the bike and then be ready for whatever. In an hour. It used to take me half an hour to get there lol
  • 1 0
 @inked-up-metalhead: Obviously your real world experience doesn't compare to their uneducated assumptions.
  • 2 0
 @enduroelite: naturally. I mean, yes, my evidence is purely anecdotal, I accept that, buy I feel that's still infinitely more substantive than theirs...
  • 33 2
 Stopped reading as I saw the cable routing. Bike choice gets easier the more brands jump this trend...
  • 30 0
 For those of us that like their stem faceplate to look like a catfish. This bike is sweet.
  • 5 25
flag goroncy (Oct 26, 2022 at 6:18) (Below Threshold)
 For those who like their spouses to swallow, this bike is sweet.
  • 11 0
 I’m seeing C’thulhu
  • 21 0
 This would be better if the cables also went through the grips, cranks, rear shock, suspension bearings, saddle and other previously easily remoable parts.
  • 20 0
 Salsa called... they want their Horse Thief back
  • 4 0
 What has been seen, cannot be unseen. Wow
  • 2 0
 Seriously. They could have at least gone with a different paint scheme and colors.
  • 20 1
 Headset routing needs to go
  • 17 4
 "Focus haven't gone nuts in the pursuit of a headline weight" but "you have to remove the battery with an Allen key to charge it. Focus say this decision saves 200 g", "Focus have moved from a single-pivot design to a four-bar linkage for the first time... to save weight ", and "A slidable dropout is quite heavy... That's why we went for the double flip-chip design". Making you use an Allen key to save 200g is the literal* definition of going nuts.
  • 8 2
 it's not only the chinese manufacturing , it's the chinese thinking and marketing as well.....
  • 3 0
 It's bike industry. Here the logic goes sideways.
  • 1 2
 Sorry i about the accidental down vote. I giggled when i saw "A flip-chip which alters the location of the UDH is not possible", Because I've done just that and it works great.
  • 1 0
 @ripcraft: I'm curious how you got around ensuring the UDH has the ability to rotate?
  • 2 0
 @Spencermon: Just uploaded a couple photos to my profile. A bolt is used as the rotational stop. When the flip chip is in long mode the bolt is threaded into the chip. In short mode this bolt is moved to the dropout.
  • 2 0
 I wonder if the bolts for the battery will go rusty like the bolts on the motor in the photo.
  • 1 0
 @commental: yeah, it'll be fun removing those bolts after a couple of years without damaging the motor if they're already this rusted with a brand new bike. Maybe some covers would be a good idea...
  • 9 0
 Thank goodness no one ever needs to adjust the stack height or length of their stem. Why do they even bother putting bolts on it, those are heavy! It should just be welded to the steer tube and bars so you have to buy a new bike if you want to make any adjustments.
  • 1 0
 I had this same stem on my Focus Sam2 and i was able to route the cables through a port on the side of the headtube but it looks like this model does not even have that option . Removing that stem off the bike was the best upgrade you could do as it has a negative rise that feels weird and it weighs close to 300g and is also a poorly made cast aluminium piece of junk
  • 1 0
 Sssttttt... This might actually provide the lycra crowd with an idea, and before you know it, it'll seep into XC territory and the slippery slope has begun...
  • 11 0
 Just fucking stop, who ever thinks the stem cable routing is a good idea needs to leave the bike industry now.
  • 4 0
 on road bikes which are chasing aero gains everywhere, i get it.... on a mountain bike.... just no
  • 10 0
 One thing led directly to just reading the comments. - cables through the head set
  • 10 0
 Omomomom
  • 8 0
 I like it, but I would never buy a bike with this kind of cable routing. Its insane.
  • 6 2
 Way of the future.. take the easy way... get a kick out of all the fat bastards that pass me on thier ebikes on a local bitch of a climb and comment how well Imclimbing at my age.. Im visibly a senior ...I say yeah.. thats why I ride a BIKE
  • 1 0
 Thank you for not saying acoustic or some such shit.
  • 3 0
 Thought it looked pretty nice until I saw the headset cable routing.

Just adding another comment so product managers/companies see the number of comments saying "I wouldn't ever consider buying this bike because of this", and stop this shenaniganry.
  • 5 0
 Have to move that power level bar down the top tube for next years model so they can fit the KIS system in there...
  • 5 3
 Not gonna happen.
  • 1 0
 @Focus-Bikes: Hocus Focus .... @Fokis-Bikes. You literally have the name already.
  • 1 0
 @Focus-Bikes: but headset cable routing is happening- Justify...
  • 6 0
 say no to thru the headset routing.
  • 3 0
 Say no to meth first and you won't have to worry about saying no to headset routing
  • 2 0
 With those seat tube and standover numbers you will be constantly not having a long enough dropper because it wont fit in the steerer tube due to the excess length. While also not being able to get it low enough to touch the ground. For smaller riders especially, a 790mm standover is ridiculous. It should be about 90mm less around 700. Why tf do people design bikes like this? Do not get me started on the headset cable routing.
  • 2 0
 I know Focus are reading this. I need to add that I would never buy a bike with headset routed cables. A) Its bloody stupid and time consuming and b) most folks upgrade stock bars amd stems.
Sorry but that is a massive sales fail.
  • 5 0
 Interested until I saw the headset...
  • 4 0
 Never mind the headset spaghettimixthingy - you get the rusty bolts for free!
  • 4 0
 Saw the headset routing, then went directly to the comments. Did not disappoint.
  • 1 0
 I'm not usually one to get to hung up on the looks, but am I the only one that thinks the down tube connection so far back of the head tube is fugly for some reason? Seems to defy logic from an armchair engineering perspective as well.
  • 1 0
 I'd love a transcript of the discussion held within Focus about that cable routing. Hopefully there was as least one voice of reason stating it was terrible and people would rather have something more conventional and easy to work with. Needless to say some executive decision or group think won out and we're left with this. It's not a bad bike, the geo and travel are acceptable, but I'd need to be paid to ride it just for that cable routing alone.
  • 1 0
 Yes, but this option saves us $5 per frame.
  • 1 0
 When is the mutiny against stem routing going to happen. I don't understand why any company would reduce their potential customer base by probably 30% for such a ridiculous gimic with absolutely no benefit. It's been a good while since anybody came up with such a dumb idea in biking. Who was the first company to do this? Scott?
  • 1 0
 There can only be one reason: we are overestimating the size of the group of cable integration haters just because it is extremely present here on pinkbike.
  • 1 0
 @Xaelber93: I think a lot of people like to work on their own bikes and this makes it way more time consuming and annoying.
  • 1 0
 Having had to replace headset bearings on a couple of Focus Sam2's with that cable routing - I can say it's absolute TRASH. Literally had to drop the motor, battery and battery lock out of the bike in order to pull the Bosch handlebar remote wire out in order to remove the top headset bearing. As well as disconnecting the brake hoses and gear/dropper cables. Essentially a complete teardown and rebuild of the bike to a bare frame just for a creaky bearing. Also - plastic bearing cups, a plastic top cap and a plastic compression ring that cracks under the slightest load? Really?!
  • 5 1
 no one talking about the price?????
WTAF?
  • 2 0
 Trek preconditioned us all with the EX-E
  • 1 0
 @Woody25: dont care how much more expensive it is, id take the fuel exe over that just based on the cables in the stem alone
  • 2 0
 @netracer-enduro: I’m right there with you, although I think I’m going to wait it out for the Transition Relay
  • 4 0
 She's not exactly a looker.
  • 2 0
 6200€ for NX/SX, Exo tyres, worst RaceFace wheels and that DVO… and then that infernal cable routing nonsense.

Don’t know Focus, you used to be cool
  • 2 0
 Bike is whatever, but notably nice photos in this article. Nice work, uncredited photographer.
  • 2 0
 how ironic that the only Fauza ebike thats not hideously ugly is the HaiBike one.
  • 3 0
 Hey Look a Salsa Horsethief!
  • 3 0
 Take my mon... [sees cable routing] .. OH FFS.
  • 2 1
 The target market of boomer dads and bouge-tique people won't be changing their own stems.
  • 3 1
 $11.5K is loco crazy man.
  • 3 0
 when will they learn??
  • 2 0
 When 2018 spesh has a bike child with 2022 Nukeproof
  • 1 0
 Seems like the one who named it is and old LaTeX fan.
∫ I still remember you.
  • 2 0
 Lots of space for bottles, maybe even a handgun
  • 1 0
 This ebike like all ebikes would benefit from a bigger battery and more powerful motor.
  • 1 0
 Was looking like a potential replacement for my Rail then saw the headset cable routing, why oh why.......
  • 2 1
 Bruh, they flipped the chip bruh...
  • 2 1
 Silliest looking bike all week, the catfish cue is spot on.
  • 1 0
 Headset routing means I’m out even if I had wanted it.
  • 1 0
 I stopped reading as soon as saw Ebike
  • 1 0
 What about its range or autonomy?
  • 1 0
 "makes stem swaps harder"...

and PBers mad af
  • 1 0
 That headset looks like Zoidbergs face
  • 2 0
 funny as hell, this.
  • 1 1
 Was all going so well till "stem routed cables"...hard pass.
  • 1 1
 Ugh...
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