With a 16.2kg weight, low-friction Fazua motor, and down-country efficiency, the Focus Vam2 promises to lift you beyond the 25km/h barrier.
Frustrated by that brick wall you run into on an e-bike when you hit the 25km/h limiter and the motor cuts out? Well, the solution to your problems could be the brand new Focus Vam2 SL, an e-bike that promises to break down that invisible barrier and take you faster than ever before.
Minimal suspension travel, a lightweight chassis, and Fazua’s energy efficient Ride 60 motor all adds up to a package that Focus is confident will enhance your skills and deliver ‘endless fun’. It’s an all-new model for Focus, but one that builds on the Fazua-equipped mid-power Jam2 SL and the full-fat Thron2, Jam2, and Sam2. If we’re talking about the best lightweight electric bikes in this category, it’s against short travel mid-power e-bikes such as the Trek E-Caliber, BMC Fourstroke AMP LT, and Rotwild R.X275.
Focus Vam2 SL need to know
- Mid-power e-bike with 125mm of travel and 29in wheels
- Fazua Ride 60 motor has 60Nm peak torque, 450W peak power, and a 430Wh internal battery
- Adjustable head angle
- Claimed weight of 16.2kg for the top Vam2 SL 9.0 model
- Three model range starting at £5,099
Flex-stay frame design to save weight
There’s a two-prong approach to building what Focus describes as a bike that ‘feels like a MTB’, ‘with all benefits of an e-bike’. The first is a lightweight chassis. At 2,172g (size medium) the frame is not much heavier than a typical XC race frame. Yes, you have to add all the e-bike bits to that, but it’s still impressive given that the Vam2 SL frame is certified to category 4, which basically indicates it’s strong enoudh for all but bike park hucking. One of the key elements of this svelte design is the pivotless rear end. By using the flex of the carbon, Focus has done away with the dropout pivot, a move that typically saves 1-200g. There are two carbon lay-ups available, with the cheaper frame found on the 9.8 and 8.7 models adding 373g according to Focus.
Fazua Ride 60 motor gives power, efficiency, range, and a natural ride feel
Further to the weight saving measures, Focus has gone with the Fazua Ride 60 motor – one of our favourite e-bike motor units – for its blend of power, range, and efficiency. It’s a low-friction system, which means it’s easier to ride with less assistance, and the limiter is less intrusive, so you can still accelerate past 25km/h on flowing singletrack with shallow gradients. A generous 430Wh battery is cocooned inside the down tube, giving a very traditional frame look that distinguishes itself from the bloated full-fat e-bikes we’re used to seeing. And even with 400W peak power (boosted to 450W for 12 seconds if you push the controller forward), it’s easy to get over 1,000m of climbing from a single charge. As yet there is no range extender, but according to Fazua, a 210Wh unit is coming.
Four frame sizes and a down-country vibe to the geo
Moving on to sizing and geometry, the Focus Vam2 SL has typical down-country angles, with a head angle that can be adjusted between 65.5º and 66.5º. The effective seat tube angle is a relatively slack 75.5º, but one that is designed to work better with the more gradual climbs and long seated sections that are typically encountered when riding a more XC/down-country bike. Four frame sizes are offered, with a 420mm reach on the small, 450mm on the medium, 475mm on the large, and 505mm on the XL. Chainstay lengths are short for an e-bike at 440mm, but about consistent with what we’d expect on a mid-power design.
Focus Vam2 SL model range
Focus Vam2 SL 9.0, £9,699
The flagship model comes with the lightest frame layup for a claimed weight of 16.2kg (medium). Suspension comes from Fox, with a 34 Float Factory 130mm travel fork, a Float Factory shock, and a lightweight Fox Transfer SL Factory dropper post. Further weight savings are made with the Focus MTB One Piece SL bar/stem unit and Mavic Crossmax XL R carbon wheels. Transmission is SRAM X0 Eagle AXS and the Vam2 is shod with fast-rolling Schwalbe Nobby Nic/Wicked Will tyres in SpeedGrip compound.
Focus Vam2 SL 9.9, £7,599
For a £2k saving, the Vam2 SL 9.9 uses the same frame as the 9.0, but drops the spec down a peg or two, so the claimed weight rises to 17.5kg. There’s a Fox 34 Float Performance fork and Performance shock, Shimano XT drivetrain, and DT Swiss HX 1700 alloy wheels. It still gets the one-piece carbon bar and stem and rapid Schwalbe tyre combo.
Focus Vam2 SL 9.8, £5,999
At 18.4kg (claimed weight) the Vam2 SL 9.8 is another kilo heavier. It gets the basic Fox 34 Float Rhythm fork and DPS shock, a Shimano XT drivetrain and Magura MT Trail brakes. The Race Face AR27 wheels are wrapped in Maxxis Dissector/Rekon tyres.
Focus Vam2 SL 8.7 £5,099
Finally the entry-level 8.7 still gets a carbon frame but with the heavier lay-up. Suspension comes from a Suntour Raidon 34 fork and RockShox Deluxe Select+ shock. Shimano provides the Deore drivetrain and Magura the MT Trail brakes.