Our Top 7 Bikes From The 2020 Focus Mountain Bike Range

It’s been a thoroughly bonkers Silly Season for 2020 mountain bike releases, with brands including Specialized, Giant, Trek, Santa Cruz, Merida and Norco having unveiled a deluge of new models over the past couple of months. Focus has also just joined the 2020 hype-wagon, and we had the chance to go through the mountain bike line during the Australian 2020 dealer show in rAdelaide earlier this month.

Focus has just launched its 2020 range, so here’s a look at our pick of the bunch!

So what’s new from Focus for 2020? Like pretty much every other brand on planet Earth, Focus is going heavy on electric mountain bikes. Though to be fair, the German brand has already been doing that for the past couple of years. Things are stepping up for 2020 though with the launch of the new Bosch-equipped JAM² and the new THRON², which join the existing Shimano-equipped JAM² and SAM² models. We’ll have a detailed story and video on those bikes coming soon, so stay tuned for that one.

e-MTBs aside, the other theme that shone through for us during our ogle at the 2020 Focus range was just how good the value is here. At a time where brands like Giant and Merida are offering models that cost well over $10K, Focus is putting together some supremely well-appointed bikes for 2020. Perhaps related, you’ll notice that Focus hasn’t gone heavy with all-new models for 2020, like Norco and Trek have. Does that mean more new bikes are on the way, perhaps part way through 2020? We have a sneaking suspicion there might be, though time will tell on that one…

In the meantime, strap yourself in for a look at some of the highlights from the 2020 Focus mountain bike range that are coming to our shores this season!

2020 Focus O1E 8.8

2020 focus o1e 8.8
Tanwall tyres? Check. Full carbon frame? Check. Lightweight 120mm travel fork? Check.

Initially suckered in by the killer combination of its ‘Heritage Blue’ paint job and those lovely Maxxis tanwall tyres, this Focus O1E 8.8 then blew us away with what might just be one of the best value packages on offer for 2020. For six grand you’re getting a full carbon fibre frame (including the one-piece swingarm), a Fox Performance Series suspension package, Mavic Crossmax wheels and a Shimano Deore XT M8100 12-speed drivetrain. That’s bonkers value!

The O1E is of course already a well-known full suspension XC race bike, but Focus has actually split it into two distinct platforms. There’s the purebred race model with 100/100mm of travel, and a slightly burlier version with 120/110mm of travel. The O1E 8.8 shown here is the latter of the two, and it uses a longer stroke shock to get the extra 10mm out back, while the superb Fox 34 Step-Cast fork sits up front with 120mm of travel. Completing the trail package is a set of 4-piston Shimano XT brakes, a dropper post, and a 2.4in front tyre.

2020 focus o1e 8.8
The 2020 Focus O1E 8.8 might just be one of the best value XC/marathon bikes available in Australia this year.

2020 Focus THRON² 6.7

2020 focus thron electric mountain bike
The 2020 Focus THRON² is brand new this year, and offers trail riders a Bosch-boosted chassis with 130mm of travel.

Brand new for 2020 is the Focus THRON² – a 130mm travel electric mountain bike that slots in underneath the 150mm travel JAM². Whereas the JAM² is more of an all mountain machine, the THRON² (anyone else thinking Game Of Thrones?) is pitched as more of a trail bike cruiser, with slightly less aggressive geometry, 29in wheels and nice high volume 2.6in wide tyres. It uses an alloy frame and integrates a Bosch battery pack inside the downtube, with the 4th generation Performance CX motor boosting your pedal power for the climbs.

2020 focus thron bosch performance cx
Bosch is back in a big way for 2020 with its new fourth generation Performance CX motor system. Smoother, quieter and more compact.

2020 Focus THRON² 6.8

2020 focu2020 Focus THRON² electric mountain bike ebike
The Focus THRON² 6.8 is a 130mm travel 29er trail bike that’s designed for those who like to go long.

Stepping up the component level over the entry-level 6.7, the THRON² 6.8 comes in a thousand dollars more but pushes you up to a 1×12 Shimano SLX drivetrain, adds in a dropper post, and fits an enormous 625Wh battery inside the downtube. The chassis and Bosch motor are otherwise the same, and you’re getting air-adjustable suspension front and rear with a RockShox Recon RL fork up front. Quad-piston brakes with 200mm rotors and ADDIX-equipped Schwalbe tyres offer confidence-boosting control and traction.

2020 focus thron2
The THRON² 6.8 upgrades to a bigger 625Wh battery for more range.

2020 Focus JAM² 6.7 NINE

2020 jam2 electric mountain bike ebike
For 2020 you’ll be able to get the Focus JAM² with either Shimano or Bosch motor systems. Interesting.

For 2020 the Focus JAM² is now available with either a Bosch or a Shimano motor system. The Bosch-equipped model shown here is all-new, and features the Gen 4 Performance CX motor that offers smoother and quieter performance than previous versions. For now Focus will only be offering the Bosch JAM² models with an alloy frame, but our guess is that a carbon version can’t be far away.

Compared to the THRON², the JAM² increases suspension travel to 150mm front and rear, and it gets more aggressive geometry for riding steeper and more technical trails. This entry-level 6.7 model features 1×12 shifting courtesy of Shimano SLX, while braking duties are handled by quad-piston MT520 callipers.

2020 focus jam2
The rear dropout uses an offset flip chip for switching between 29in, 27.5+ and 27.5in wheelsizes. Clever!

2020 Focus JAM² 9.6 PLUS

2020 focus jam 9.6 PLUS
Focus will be including the T.E.C battery pack with all carbon JAM² models for 2020, upping the value even further.

The carbon fibre Focus JAM² remains as the lightest e-MTB we’ve ever ridden, and the good news is that Focus will be carrying that model through to 2020. The 9.6 PLUS model shown here sticks with the carbon mainframe and alloy swingarm, and it’s also powered by the Shimano STEPS E8000 motor system. New for 2020 though is the addition of the 378Wh T.E.C Pack – a piggyback battery that is normally sold separately to the bike. Adding in some serious value to the JAM² sticker price, the included T.E.C Pack doubles the available range, though for shorter rides you can remove it to drop the weight down.

2020 focus jam2 tec pack battery
Inside the downtube is a 378Wh battery, while outside is a 378Wh piggyback battery called the T.E.C Pack.

2020 Focus JAM 8.9 Nine

2020 focus jam
The JAM is Focus’ 140mm travel trail bike, and for 2020 it’s coming out swinging with some serious value.

While Focus is going heavy on e-Bikes for 2020, it isn’t all about motors and batteries. Take this JAM 8.9 Nine for example. Featuring 140mm of travel front and rear with 29in wheels and aggressive Maxxis tyres, the JAM is pitched as a versatile trail bike that’ll take a water bottle inside the carbon fibre mainframe thanks to the compact F.O.L.D suspension design. That all sounds pretty good, until you get to the price. For six grand, you’re getting a rather special package that includes a RockShox Ultimate fork, Mavic XA wheels, carbon fibre Race Face Next R cranks, a Shimano XTR 12-speed mech, and shiny Magura MT Trail disc brakes. Much like the O1E, this JAM could well be one of the most well-appointed bikes in its class for this year!

2020 focus jam 8.9 nine
The JAM 8.9 Nine gets a Pike Ultimate fork and a Super Deluxe shock out back for some serious bump mitigation.

2020 Focus SAM 8.9

2020 focus sam
The big travel Focus SAM. *Note: Yellow stickers not included*

For proper enduro bashing, you’ll be wanting to check out this bike – the Focus SAM. Utilising the same compact F.O.L.D suspension platform as the JAM, the SAM bumps up the travel to a monstrous 170mm front and rear. You’re getting aggro 27.5in Maxxis tyres, a piggyback Fox Float DPX2 shock, and the venerable Fox 36 fork up front.

This particular model – the SAM 8.9 – gets a hybrid frame setup with a carbon front end and an alloy swingarm. Upping the value stakes is a combo SRAM 1×12 drivetrain that utilises GX and NX components, while Guide R brakes clamp down on huge 200mm diameter rotors.

2020 focus sam fox float dpx2 shock
The twin-link F.O.L.D suspension system keeps everything very compact, allowing you to fit a water bottle inside the mainframe.

And that there, is an overview of some of the highlights to expect from the 2020 Focus mountain bike range. What do you folks think of the new bikes? What’s your favourite? And what do you think of the spec that Focus is offering for the money this year? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

We’ll also be diving deeper into some of those new Focus e-MTB models, so stay tuned to the website and our YouTube channel for the upcoming video and article.

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