FOCUS launched their new long travel E-MTB SAM² under the slogan “re-discover enduro”. Read on to find out whether long travel E-MTB’s are the future and Marty McFly of “Back to the Future” would have been better off travelling through time on an electrified mountain bike.

FOCUS SAM² Pro | 170/170 mm | 20.80 kg | € 7,699

The FOCUS SAM² with its additional 30 mm of travel looks like the big brother of the JAM², with which German bike brand FOCUS made a big leap in the area of ​battery management, rear suspension performance and E-MTB agility in 2016. An additional T.E.C. Pack battery pack fits in the front triangle and doubles the maximum battery capacity to a total of 756 Wh. The F.O.L.D. rear linkage of the SAM² has been optimised and now offers 170 mm of travel.

The FOCUS SAM², like it’s little brother the JAM², uses the F.O.L.D. linkage.

The FOCUS SAM² Pro in detail

As with the JAM², FOCUS relies on a Shimano STEPS E8000 motor on the SAM², which is beautifully integrated into the hydroformed aluminium frame. In combination with the detachable T.E.C. Pack that provides an additional 378 Wh, you get a total battery capacity of 756 Wh. The cost of the additional battery is € 499. As an alternative to the extended battery capacity, you can use the Smart Rack to attach tools and a water bottle to the downtube. You’ll notice two air intake scoops at the top of the down tube. They’re designed to channel wind onto the battery to cool it while riding. In addition to the shapely frame design, the rear end uses Focus’ trusted F.O.L.D. rear linkage. The in-house developed multi-pivot linkage on the SAM² was revised for enduro use, entering the stage of long travel E-MTBs.

The detachable T.E.C. pack costs € 499 and doubles the range.

The specifications of the FOCUS SAM² Pro

Classy is how the FOCUS SAM² Pro presents itself. With a price tag of € 7,699, FOX’s high-end factory suspension with Kashima Coating is mandatory. And of course, attention was paid to E-MTB-specific products on the drivetrain. The 8-speed SRAM EX1 is just as up to date as the knobbly DHF 2.5 and the DHR 2.4 enduro tires from MAXXIS. Unfortunately, the cheap BBB cockpit stands out amongst the otherwise high-end components, although we didn’t find it lacking in functionality. It just doesn’t fit in with the rest of the bike aesthetically.
The top of the line SAM² Pro model with a weight of 20.80 kg (without pedals and T.E.C. Pack) is available in the reviewed Burgundy/Red or in Irongrey-Matt. There will also be a regular SAM² available in the pro colours for € 4,999 and a LTD version in Irongrey-Matt for € 4,599, follow this link for an overview of all SAM² models. It will come in sizes S to L and is expected to be available from the end of January 2018.

Gear changes on the FOCUS SAM² are taken care of by SRAM’s EX1 8-speed E-MTB drivetrain, in combination with the Shimano Steps E8000 a rare sight.
The FOCUS SAM² Pro is equipped with FOX suspension.

The spec of the FOCUS SAM² Pro in detail

Fork FOX 36 Factory 170 mm
Shock FOX DPS Factory 170 mm
Motor Shimano STEPS E8000
Battery pack FOCUS T.E.C., max. 756 Wh (378 Wh integrated, 378 Wh optional)
Brakes SRAM Code RSC
Drivetrain SRAM EX1
Seatpost FOX Transfer Factory
Stem BBB Di2 55 mm
Handlebars BBB Di2 760 mm
Tires MAXXIS DHF 2.5/DHR 2.4
Wheelset Race Face Turbine
Price € 7,699

The geometry of the FOCUS SAM² Pro

The geometry of the SAM Squared is designed for long travel loving enduro riders. With a slack head angle of 65°, you easily roll over rough passages and the Reach of 455 mm (Large) positions you very centrally on the bike. This, combined with 455 mm chainstays and a wheelbase of 1240 mm, leaves plenty of room for technical manoeuvres while remaining fun even in tight sections.

Size S M L
Seattube 420 mm 440 mm 480 mm
Top tube 585 mm 604 mm 624 mm
Head tupe 118 mm 118 mm 138 mm
Head angle 65° 65° 65°
Seat angle 75° 75° 75°
Chainstays 455 mm 455 mm 455 mm
BB drop 12 mm 12 mm 12 mm
Wheelbase 1,196 mm 1,217 mm 1,240 mm
Reach 425 mm 440 mm 450 mm
Stack 607 mm 607 mm 625 mm

The FOCUS SAM² Pro on the trail

Even at speed, the FOCUS SAM² stays well behaved.

Get on, press the button and off you go. The FOCUS SAM² is not a flux capacitor. The power button on the top tube, however, shows how quickly ideas about the future can become a reality. Thanks to the Shimano STEPS E8000 motor and a 75° seat tube angle riding uphill is a pleasure. On long tours over forest roads or on steep trails, you will feel the efficient seating position with every pedal stroke. Even on technical climbs the SAM² faithfully stays on track, providing plenty of traction over rocks and roots. Arriving at the trailhead, the SAM² reveals more of its positive characteristics. Meandering down the trail with loads of control and a big smile on your face. Whether ploughing through berms at top speed or switching back and forth down the side of a mountain. Through rough sections, the wheels remain on the ground and in control thanks to the 170 mm of travel provided by the F.O.L.D. linkage. The suspension responds sensitively but also gives the necessary feedback on hard hits to follow the flow of the trail. The potent tires round off an overall harmonious riding experience. When pedalling at a constant rate, the integrated battery will get you about 1,100 m in altitude.

Thanks to the smooth power transfer of the motor and the 75 ° seat angle, the FOCUS SAM² lets you pedal uphill efficiently and relaxed.

On longer tours, you have the option of plugging in an additional battery for more range. With a capacity of 378 Wh, the T.E.C. Pack doubles the range, at a weight penalty of 2.40 kg. Unfortunately, the additional weight makes the SAM² lethargic and less fun to ride.

There is no shortage of fun on the SAM². With the additional battery, the bike loses some of its liveliness.


The development team at FOCUS has done a great job with the SAM². It’s an all-round E-MTB that lets you ride and have fun on any surface with confidence. Despite so much travel, the bike climbs very efficiently, making it a great allrounder. We’re sure Marty McFly would enjoy the SAM², because – without the T.E.C. Pack – it glides over the ground as smoothly as a hoverboard. If you attach on the additional battery, you double the range, but you have to accept lazier bike handling due to the extra weight.


– very balanced, uphill and downhill
– beautifully integrated battery and motor
– agile though composed handling


– high centre of gravity through the additional battery
– short range with integrated battery

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