Like Jam, but sweeter: the new Focus Jam has better geo, bigger sizing, a new-fangled suspension layout, handy tool storage, and starts from £2,500!
We like the Focus Jam. It’s entertained us before, it’s fun, it’s capable and it reminds us that bikes don’t have to cost a small fortune. Now there’s a new Jam – Focus has ditched the 27.5in wheel option so it’s 29in only from now on, while the travel has grown up to 150mm too. And it wouldn’t be 2021 either without it growing longer and slacker too.
Focus Jam need to know
- New Jam trail bike with 29in wheels front and rear and 150mm travel.
- FOLD suspension layout for both bikes has changed to a more progressive rate and horizontal shock mount.
- Flip chip, more relaxed geometry and better sizing for the Jam.
- Jam comes in three models: 6.0 LTD with Lyrik Ultimate fork for £4,199, the 6.9 with Fox 36 at £2,999, and the 6.8 with RockShox Revelation for £2,499.
More Jam please
Good though the old bike was, it had to change. The Jam had slipped pretty far behind the pack in terms of riding position. So now that steep 67° head angle has disappeared and instead you get a 65° or 65.5° head angle and a reach measurement that stretches up to 515mm on the biggest size. Yes that’s right, there’s now a flip chip mounted on the shock extension that lets you modify the head angle a smidge… our guess is that most of us will just pop it into the low setting and have done with it.
Why didn’t they go further with this geometry, and make it a downhill shredder of a bike to compete with the latest Specialized Stumpjumper Evo? Well, Focus says it wants the bike to appeal to more riders than just the winch and plummet set.
Death of digressive suspension
We rather liked the old Jam’s FOLD suspension system, with the vertically mounted shock. It was actually rather unique for a modern bike, with a digressive feel to the top of the stroke that meant it dipped right into the suspension. That’s all over now, the shock now mounts horizontally under the top tube and the Jam (and the new Focus Thron down-country bike) now has a progressive leverage curve.
Why? Well, the old suspension design was harder to set up, you needed more air in the shock than you thought. Focus says the change has been prompted by the new shocks from Fox and RockShox, with larger negatives, and these don’t work so well with a digressive suspension setup.
There’s more room inside the alloy front triangle now too, space for a bottle cage and also a neat little tool bag that’ll take a tube. There’s also more standover height on the new Jam.
Focus Jam range
The Jam comes with 7005 alloy frames only at the moment, with Focus dropping some unsubtle hints that a carbon option will be next. The Jam comes in three models: the top end 6.0 LTD (£4,199) with RockShox Lyrik Ultimate fork, Super Deluxe Select+ shock and SRAM GX drivetrain; the 6.9 (£2,999) with Fox 36 Performance fork and DPS shock, and Shimano XT 12speed shifting and four-piston breaks; and the 6.8 (£2,499) uses a RockShox Revelation fork and Deluxe Select shock, and SRAM NX 12speed gears.