We had the chance to ride a bunch of new bikes at the Sea Otter Classic this year. Most of the major bike manufacturers are finally bringing their electric bikes to the U.S.
The new Focus Jam2 (Jam Squared) is built on their Jam full-suspension mountain bike, with a slightly bigger down tube to house a 384Wh battery and the bottom houses the new Shimano Steps E8000 motor. That may seem like a smaller-than-usual battery, and it is. The concept here is that for most rides, you won’t need a large battery, so why carry the weight. The smaller battery is inserted into the down tube and should be enough for most rides. For longer rides, there’s an ingenious system with a receiver on top of the top tube that you can insert a second battery on to, and it will double your range. It connects via a Rosenberger cable that clicks into the bottom of the top tube, and that can store in a channel under the top tube when not in use. Also, when you aren’t using the battery, you can click a bottle cage in place.
The way this affects the ride is significant. The weight is low and lighter than most electric mountain bikes, making it very nimble. It’s almost exactly like the original Jam, and the suspension and geometry are superb! We had a blast ripping it around the eMTB course at Sea Otter, and Neil Shirley even raced one in the race. The new E8000 motor is fantastic, delivery of power is very natural, you don’t feel it surge, it’s just there. Torque kicks in almost immediately, but not as a whoosh. Better than a Bosch motor at very low cadence.
We hope to get one of these soon with a U.S.-spec motor to do a full review.