FOCUS deliberately avoided labelling their new JAM² exclusively as an E-Mountainbike. That’s why on their website you’ll find the bike listed in both their Conventional and Electric powered mountain bike menus. How well did this balancing act turn out?
The brand new FOCUS JAM² is packed with special features. The innovative T.E.C. battery system with a 386 Wh frame-integrated battery pack can be doubled, if needed, by adding an external pack for an additional € 500. The F.O.L.D.-suspension system offers all the practical advantages, such as less unsprung mass and increased stiffness, of a closed rear-triangle. The power is delivered by a Shimano STEPS E8000 motor, which, thanks to its compact design, allows for a more aggressive geometry and shorter chainstays. The JAM² is the only 29er bike in our test, but a 27.5+ version is also available. FOCUS builds the rear-ends around each wheelsize, which means you could potentially ride a 29er with 27,5+ wheels, but not the other way round.
“Turn on, get on, feel good!”, should be the new JAM²’s catch-phrase. It all feels very familiar. The superb, ergonomic remote resembles the shape of a classic Shimano gear-lever and allows for an easy and safe shift between support-levels without taking the hands off the handlebar. We tested the bike mainly in the Trail-Mode, which proved ideal due to its progressive performance. Thanks to the 29” wheels, the JAM² accelerates swiftly and maintains speed without effort — a rocket on flat trails! The FOCUS feels in total control when turning, nimble and surefooted. The 140 mm rear shock works efficiently, giving the rider loads of feedback but without ever feeling too twitchy or uncomfortable. On the other hand, the basic RockShox Recon Silver fork and the Continental Mountain King tires quickly reach their limits on fast and technical terrain. Both the fork and the tires fail to match the frame’s superb qualities, clearly standing in the way of a satisfactory downhill performance.
The FOCUS JAM² 29 in detail
Fork RockShox Recon Silver RL 140 mm
Rear shock RockShox Deluxe RT 140 mm
Motor / Battery Shimano Steps E8000 / 386 Wh (per battery)
Brakes Shimano Deore
Drivetrain Shimano XT/SLX
Seatpost Concept Drop
Stem Concept 55 mm
Handlebar JD MTB 11AFS Concept 760 mm
Tires Continental Mountain King 2
Wheels Concept Wheels
The FOCUS JAM² 29 is a great bike. With its gorgeous frame, the ingenious T.E.C. System, agile handling and many more exciting details, it’s the perfect choice for all of those who are looking for a fast-rolling E-Mountainbike to take on long rides and tours. However, the cheap components, especially the fork, are a total mismatch for the outstanding frame construction. The bike is rather expensive, particularly considering those who need extra battery life, the T.E.C. battery upgrade will require an additional investment of € 500.
– A true rocket on flat trails
– Gorgeous frame with smart details
– Limited fork performance
– Tires offer poor grip
For more Information head to: focus-bikes.com
For an overview of the test fleet head to the main article: 11 E-MTBs under € 5,000 in Comparison
All bikes in test: Bergamont E-Trailster 8.0 | CENTURION No Pogo E2000 27+ | Giant Full-E+0 Pro | Haibike SDURO AllMtn 7.0 | KTM MACINA Kapoho LT 273 | MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 800 | NOX Bike EDT 5.1 Hybrid | SCOTT E-Genius 720 Plus | Specialized Turbo Levo FSR 6FATTIE | Trek Powerfly 8 FS
Words & Photos: Christoph Bayer