First Look | Focus Adds Bosch Motor Options With New 2020 JAM² & THRON²

It’s no secret that the current Focus JAM² is one of our favourite electric mountain bikes here at Flow. As the lightest e-MTB we’ve ever ridden, the JAM² has done a bang-up job to stand out from the crowd with its smaller battery pack and neatly integrated chassis. So when we heard that Focus was going to be releasing a new Bosch-equipped version for 2020, we were a tad concerned that the German brand might mess with some of the key ingredients that have made the JAM² such a ripping bike to ride.

Turns out we needn’t have worried, because the 2020 Focus JAM² will actually be available in two models for this year. The existing Shimano STEPS model will carry over unchanged, while Focus is bringing out the new Bosch-equipped JAM² as a new and secondary option. As we found out though, there’s a bit more to this bike than just a different motor.

2020 focus jam2 bosch performance cx drive motor
Focus has added a new JAM² model for 2020, and this one’s running on Bosch Power!

Mo’ Torque, Mo’ Battery

For a start, the Bosch-equipped 2020 Focus JAM² has a much bigger battery pack. It’s still integrated neatly into the downtube, but instead of the compact 378Wh battery used on the Shimano models, this fella gets a girthy 625Wh unit. That adds considerable range, particularly for those who are into big days out in big alpine territory.

The new Bosch motor system also delivers a touch more torque – 75Nm over the Shimano STEPS E8000’s 70Nm. As most folks will have gathered already, Bosch is back in a big way for the 2020 model year, having unloaded its 4th generation Performance CX Drive unit to the world just a couple of months ago. A number of bikes have gotten on board with the new motor system, including the 2020 Trek Rail that Mick recently tested. There’s a load of fresh tech lurking inside that makes it smoother and quieter than its predecessor, but the big news with the new Bosch Performance CX unit is how much more compact and lightweight it is. And that gives brands like Focus some serious flexibility to change things up.

bosch cx performance motor drive 2020 focus jam
The new 4th generation Bosch CX Performance Drive motor is much more compact, and that’s allowed Focus to radically shorten the back end on the JAM².

Holy Chainstay Length Batman!

At first glance the 2020 Focus JAM² looks pretty similar in shape to the Shimano-equipped carryover model, but there’s actually some key differences that mean it’ll ride differently. The first is the chainstay length, which on the current Shimano JAM² is a very roomy 470mm. On the Bosch JAM², that comes right down to 427mm. That’s 43mm shorter, which is a huuuge difference!

Focus has also increased the reach measurement of the Bosch JAM² considerably. On a Medium frame size for example, the reach increases from 430mm to 445mm. The head angle has also slackened by half a degree to 66°, while the seat angle has been steepened half a degree to 75°. While the front wheel now sticks out further in front of the rider, overall the wheelbase is a bit shorter on the Bosch JAM², which is due to the dramatically tighter back end.

2020 focus jam2 chainstay flip chip
The 2020 JAM² gets a dropout flip-chip that allows for 27.5in, 27.5+ and 29in wheelsizes to be used in the same frame.
2020 focus jam2 bosch performance cx drive motor geometry flip chip
Focus is spec’ing big brakes and big rotors on the 2020 JAM².

Flip That Chip

Focus has also added in a clever offset chip at the rear dropout to offer in-built wheelsize flexibility. The JAM² is available in both 29in and 27.5+ versions, and the current Shimano version employs a unique back end for each wheelsize option. The Bosch JAM² actually uses the same frame between the 29in and 27.5+ versions, but relies on a simple flip chip at the rear to alter the rear centre length and BB height simultaneously when switching between wheelsizes.

Alloy Only…For Now

As of right now, Focus is only offering the Bosch JAM² with an alloy frameset across two spec levels, with both 29in and 27.5+ wheelsize options. However, given how hard Focus has been pushing in the e-MTB segment over the past five years, we have a sneaking suspicion that higher-end models, and carbon fibre frames, are very likely to follow.

Then again, perhaps Focus will keep the Bosch models in alloy, and keep the higher-end carbon models with the Shimano STEPS motor? Time will tell on that one. In the meantime, while we fan the flames on more viscous rumours, here’s a closer look at each of the new Focus JAM² models.

2020 focus JAM² 6.7 nine
The entry-level JAM² gets the same frame and Bosch motor as the higher-spec’d models, but uses a smaller (and lighter) 500Wh battery inside the downtube.

2020 Focus JAM² 6.7 NINE

2020 focus jam² 6.7 plus
Focus is offering both 29in and 27.5+ wheelsize options in the 2020 JAM² range – same spec, just different wheel/tyre setup.

2020 Focus JAM² 6.7 PLUS

2020 focus jam² 6.8 nine
Tanwalls FTW! The 2020 Focus JAM² 6.8 Nine gets some key upgrades over the 6.7 including a Fox 34 fork and Float DPS shock.

2020 Focus JAM² 6.8 NINE

2020 focus jam² 6.8 plus
Prefer chubby tyres? The 2020 Focus JAM² 6.8 PLUS uses 27.5×2.8in tyres for extra cush and extra traction.

2020 Focus JAM² 6.8 PLUS

Focus Ain’t Done Though – Here’s The THRON²!

Alongside the new 2020 Focus JAM², there’s also a brand new model called the THRON². Sharing a similar shape to its bigger sibling, the THRON² is also built with a 7005 Hydroformed alloy frameset, the F.O.L.D suspension design, and the new 4th Gen Bosch Performance CX Drive unit. But whereas the JAM² is a 150/150mm travel bike, the THRON² steps down the suspension travel to 130mm front and rear, while utilising slightly less aggressive geometry and components to produce a more general all-round trail bike.

2020 Focus THRON² electric mountain bike ebike
The Focus THRON² is a brand new 2020 model that brings travel down to 130mm front and rear to create more of an all-round trail bike.

Focus expects the THRON² to be more suitable to beginner and intermediate riders, who are perhaps looking to get their first e-MTB, or are trying mountain biking for the very first time. With that in mind, the THRON² will be kicking off at $5,499 for the 6.7 model, which is a mighty impressive price point given the Bosch powerplant lurking between the pedals.

2020 focus thron² 6.7
$5,499 is still a lot of money, but for a full suspension e-MTB with the new Bosch Performance CX Drive unit? That’s bloody impressive value for money!

2020 Focus THRON² 6.7

2020 focus thron² 6.8
The 2020 Focus THRON² 6.8 ups you from a 500Wh battery to a 625Wh unit, while also adding a dropper post and Shimano SLX 12-speed shifting.

2020 Focus THRON² 6.8

2020 focus thron² 6.9
The top-end model in the 2020 Focus THRON² range, the 6.9 up-specs to a slick Fox suspension package, DT Swiss wheels and a Shimano XT 1×12 drivetrain.

2020 Focus THRON² 6.9

What do you folks think of the new 2020 Focus JAM² and THRON² models? Are you hyped on the new Bosch motor system and the changes it’s brought about to the JAM² platform? Or do you prefer the existing Shimano STEPS model? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below, along with any questions you’ve got about the 2020 Focus e-MTB range!

For more e-MTB content, have a squiz at our long term review of the Focus JAM². You can also check out our first ride review of the 2020 Trek Rail 9.8, and our long term review of the previous generation Powerfly LT to see just how big of a difference the new Bosch CX motor has made. And if you’d like to check out what else is new from Focus this year, make sure you check out our top 7 bikes from the 2020 Focus mountain bike range!

Mo’ Flow Please!

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