Focus enters the lightweight e-MTB market with the Jam2 SL
The German firm has entered the lightweight electric mountain bike sector with a model called the Jam2 SL. This is the fit version of the Jam2, with a 450W maximum power and 60Nm motor and 430Wh battery. The Focus Jam2 SL is not intended to compete with the Jam2 model. They play in different leagues and, for this very reason, its lightness may seduce those who saw the Jam2 as a bike that was too bulky.
Focus Jam2 SL vs. Jam2: siblings, but not twins
With the desire to design an e-MTB that was equally suited to all-mountain riding but less heavy, Focus developed the new Jam2 SL. The geometry between the two models only differs in a few dimensions, as the aim is that both bikes can be ridden on similar terrain.
This does not detract from the fact that the behaviour and handling will change due to the difference in weight and the electrical units (motor and battery) they are equipped with.
In fact, while Focus boasts of the strength and capacity of the Jam2's parts because they believe it is equipped with enough equipment to compensate for the inevitable weight increase that comes with its robustness, what they wanted with the Jam2 SL is to combine the advantages of a light and agile MTB with those of having an electric motor.
Seeking to lose weight
The Jam2 SL has a 160mm front and 150mm rear suspension. The FOLD system, which had already been improved on the Jam2, now has fewer parts and therefore also weighs less. In addition, Focus claims to have better isolated the braking forces.
The material used for the frames of the entire range is carbon. However, the two highest ranges - the 9.0 and 9.9 - have an even lighter frame than the other two - the 8.8 and 8.7. This is due to the type of fibres that have been used to manufacture them, which save weight without any loss of stiffness in the frame. The MAX frame, as it is called, has high modulus fibres.
Smaller motor and battery for a lighter e-MTB
Both the motor and battery are very well integrated, which helps the design to maintain considerably slim aesthetic lines considering it is an e-MTB.
Focus has chosen the Fazua Ride 60 motor, which can be removed using only an Allen key. It offers 60Nm, 450W maximum power and three pedalling modes. Comparisons between siblings are odious, but sometimes, as in this case, necessary: the Jam2 has an 85Nm motor, which is significantly higher than that of the Jam2 SL.
The battery, the Fazua Energy 430, has 430Wh. For riders who want a larger battery, they can use an extender to get an extra 210Wh, but it won't be available until next summer. In any case, it is smaller than the Jam2, which has 720Wh.
However, it has to be taken into account that the Jam2 SL has to power a motor which, as mentioned, is also smaller. At the same time, the engine has to move fewer kilos than the Jam2 has to carry.
Translated into the language of numbers, the weight difference between the two is 7.6 kg if we look at the higher ranges: while the Jam2 SL 9.0 weighs 17.9 kg, the Jam2 7.0 weighs 25.5 kg on the scales.
Focus has designed the geometry for the bike to achieve the goals of a trail/all-mountain bike like this, but wanted to leave the final fine-tuning of some key elements to the rider.
Specifically, the steering angle can be varied by turning the headset cups . It comes standard at 65.5°, but can be changed to 64.5° to make the bike more stable when attacking obstacles and downhills.
You can also change the chainstay length with a flip-chip to 440 mm or 470 mm. Shorter chainstays will increase agility on climbs, while longer chainstays will make the bike more stable.
Focus thus offers four geometry configurations. The other dimensions cannot be changed. The saddle angle of 76.5° has been made half a degree more vertical than on the Jam2. The reach is shortened by 10 mm to 460 mm, while the stack remains almost the same at 614 mm.
The wheels are 29" - the only diameter that can be fitted - and the tyre width cannot exceed 2.6". In addition, it has protection for the down tube and chainstays and all ranges come with a dropper seatpost.
In addition, it also features the CIS system, which allows all cables to travel inside the bike to the frame via the stem and steering.
Finally, Focus warns that mudguards, stands and luggage racks may not be fitted.
Set-ups and prices
As mentioned above, the Germans have released four Focus Jam2 SL range set-ups. It's worth noting that the 9.0 is the only one with carbon wheels, specifically Mavic Crossmax X LR 29.
Jam² SL 9.0
- Fork: FOX 36 Float Factory 29
- Shock: FOX Float DPS Factory
- Brakes: SRAM G2 Ultimate
- Groupset: SRAM XO1 Eagle AXS with e*thirteen Helix Plus 10-52 cassette
- Tyres: Maxxis Dissector, 2.4
- Weight: 17,9 kg
- Price: 11.499€
Jam² SL 9.9
- Fork: FOX 36 Float Performance Elite 29
- Shock: FOX Float X Performance
- Brakes: Shimano XT M8120
- Groupset: Shimano Deore XT M8100 with Shimano Deore XT M8100 10-51 cassette
- Tyres: Schwalbe Magic Mary 2.4 front and Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2.4 rear
- Weight: 19,2 kg
- Price: 8.499€
Jam² SL 8.8
- Fork: FOX 36 Float Rhythm 29 E-Bike
- Shock: OX Float DPS
- Brakes: Magura MT5
- Groupset: Shimano Deore XT M8100 with Shimano Deore CS-M6100 10-51 cassette
- Tyres: Maxxis Assegai 2.5 front and Maxxis Dissector 2.4 rear
- Weight: 19,7 kg
- Price: 6.999€
Jam² SL 8.7
- Fork: DVO Diamond E3
- Shock: Rock Shox Deluxe Select+
- Brakes: SRAM GUIDE T
- Groupset: SRAM NX Eagle with 11-50 cassette
- Tyres: Maxxis Minion DHF
- Weight: 20,2 kg
- Price: 6.199€