FOCUS JAM C Factory review
For years it was a fairly easy task to define the mountain bike collection from FOCUS, but this all changed with the launch of the super-successful SAM, a bike that dominated the enduro sector. With their new JAM, FOCUS have presented the market with a playful trail bike – but how will it perform?
Putting ‘Factory’ in the name of a bike from FOCUS is a sure-fire sign of something special, and the JAM C Factory is no exception. Their Factory build, which relies on the employees’ own top picks, aspires to glean the maximum performance for the fairest possible price. As such, they’ve built the JAM around a lightweight carbon frame, high-end DT Swiss XM 1501 SPLINE ONE wheels, and supportive, controlled RockShox suspension. For certain components that won’t have a huge impact on the ride, FOCUS then tighten the purse strings, justifying their choice of a SRAM GX drivetrain and the Guide R brakes, which deliver a solid performance despite not being the most exclusive setups.
The JAM has a distinctive look, and its rear suspension is driven by the brand’s own multi-link F.O.L.D. rear suspension concept that’s designed to keep unsprung mass to a minimum.
It’s a case of get on, start pedaling, and enjoy the ride, as the JAM is quick and nimble, largely thanks to its ultra-short, snappy chainstays (at 425 mm, they’re notably shorter than the rest of the test fleet). When it comes to weight, you’ll stay blissfully ignorant about the JAM’s 13.40 kg, which – both on the climbs and descents – is carried with such composure and confidence that you’d never guess the JAM was the second-heaviest bike on test. Those lightweight wheels that it’s carrying are fuel for its speed-hungry nature, and the suspension has impeccable control and compliance. For aggressive descenders, it might be wise to add some more shock volume reducers for added progression, but the rear is really engaged and comes alive when gravity takes over. The FOCUS JAM C is an agile beast on the trails, and it corners with clout. However, while it delivers a decent performance across the board, the RockShox Yari’s less complex damping isn’t quite on par with the performance of a PIKE over really burly terrain with high-frequency bumps.
FOCUS Jam C Factory in Detail
Fork: RockShox Yari RC
Shock: RockShox Monarch Plus
Brakes: SRAM Guide R
Drivetrain: SRAM GX
Seatpost: RockShox Reverb Stealth
Stem: Concept 55 mm
Handlebar: Concept Flat 760 mm
Tires: Continental Trail King
Wheels: DT Swiss XM 1501 Spline One
The ideal bike for anyone looking for an agile and playful trail carver with sufficient reserves for a good time, the FOCUS JAM C handles with precision and directness, and it has the brawn to come alive across all manner of terrain and gradients. However, certain flaws in the spec don’t do justice to its € 4,999 price tag.
- Direct and playful handling
- A balanced ride
- Considered build spec
- Fork doesn’t deliver the same high performance as the rear suspension
- bad quality of the bolts
For more information head to focus-bikes.com!
For an overview of the test fleet head to the main article: A Bike for All Situations – 9 of the most exciting trail bikes of 2017
All bikes in test: Giant Trance Advanced 0 | Lapierre Zesty AM 927 Ultimate | ROSE ROOT MILLER 3 | SCOTT Spark Plus 700 Tuned | Specialized Stumpjumper Expert Carbon 29 | Trek Fuel EX 9.9 29 | Yeti SB5 TURQ X01 Eagle | YT JEFFSY 29 CF Pro