After having reworked their mountain lineup in 2015 with three major new bikes – the Raven Max, Sam C, and Spine C – it is nice to see that Focus had something else in the works to fill in what gaps remained in their full-suspension range. Built around a completely new F.O.L.D. suspension design with a one-piece rear end, the JAM trail bike and O1E cross-country racer share a general design that aims to stiffen up the back of both bikes, better balance the frames, and yet allows them to dial the bike in for both short and long travel applications. The single pivot FOLD design also delivers a two-stage suspension movement that gives a supple feel at the beginning of the travel and a progressive second stage for seemingly bottomless travel. Take a closer look at both bikes after the break…
The heart of both bike is the new Focus Optimized Linkage Design suspension layout that uses a simple, high single pivot design with a one-piece rear triangle. The rear end drives a vertically oriented shock via two nesting links that let Focus develop a spring curve that starts out regressive for small bump sensitivity and maximum grip, but then ramps up in the second stage of travel. That later travel then smoothly transitions to progressive for an endless travel feel and bottoming out resistance whether on the 100mm XC or 140mm trail bike platforms.
The linkages are made up of the wider outer Guidelink that connects the rear triangle in while maximizing rear end stiffness, and then the inner Mainlink that controls the shock’s movement. Everything is positioned closer to the center of the bike and lower for a lower center of gravity to deliver improved handling. The new suspension layout has the added benefit of sheltering the pivots and suspension hardware more behind the seattube and out of the way of mud spray for more long-term durability.
Combined with the one piece rear, FOLD led to big weight savings on both the XC & trail bikes. On the seatstay bridge (somehow named the Burrito Bridge?) of the rear triangle Focus has included a removable front derailleur mount that lets the bikes be cleanly built up with either 1x or double drivetrains. The compact shock layout also means the all main frames get enough space to mount at least a 0.5l water bottle across all frame sizes.
The first new FOLD bike is the new 140mm, 27.5″ JAM all-mountain trail bike. Built to be an all around mountain climbing and descending machine, the Jam combines a 66.8° head angle with a 74.5° seat angle, and 425mm chainstays for a stable but maneuverable ride.
The bike will come in 4 frame sizes and is available with both carbon main frame and rear triangle, with a carbon front and alloy rear, and a completely aluminum frameset. The lightest Jam C SL claims a 2060g frame weight for a medium.
The bike is built around Boost spacing, gets fully internal routing including for its dropper seatpost, an integrated chainstay protector, and an ISCG05 tab. It uses the Burrito Bridge solution to be compatible with front derailleurs if desired, and we imagine a lot of riders will be looking at attaching a small fender to that seatstay bridge if the go 1x.
The Jam will come in 6 complete bikes, plus an all-carbon frameset. The top of the line 11.9kg/26.2lb Jam C SL build gets the full carbon frame and SRAM’s new X01 Eagle 12 speed, plus Guide Ultimate brakes, a Pike RCT3, and DT Swiss XM1501 wheels for $6500/7000€. A Jam C Factory build swaps in the 6066 alloy rear triangle, a Yari fork, and a GX drivetrain with Descendant carbon cranks to drop the price to $5000/5000€ and at a weight of 13.3kg/29.3lb.
The Jam C Pro with carbon front/alloy rear end will sell for $4100/4000€ with an XT double and weigh in at 13.6kg/30lb. An all alloy Jam Lite will go for $3750/3700€ with X01 Eagle and bring the weight up to just 13.8kg/30.4lb. Available in Europe and Australia, but not the US, you can also go down to a GX1 build for 3000€/13.9kg in the Jam Evo or and SLX 2×11 Jam Elite for 2600€ and 14.4kg.
The 29er O1E is all about going fast and was developed to tackle the most challenging cross-country courses, like the Worlds course coming up next weekend in our EU home in the Czech Republic. This time with 100mm of FOLD travel, the O1E steepens the head angle up to 69.2° for fast handling, but gets the same 74.5° seat angle which gives a hint more about the Jam’s climbing prowess. With the bigger wheels come longer 448mm chainstays, but still agile enough to sprint up the climbs and tear down the hills.
Only available with both carbon front and rear triangles, the O1E will come in just 3 frame sizes, with the medium claimed at 1830g. The XC bike uses Focus’ 15×100 and 12×142 RAT thru-axles for fast wheel changes during races. Like the trail bike the O1E gets fully internal routing and also includes routing for a stealth dropper post, even though none of the complete bike build include one. It also uses the same Burrito Bridge 1x/2x setup and gets an integrated chainstay protector too.
The O1E comes in just 3 complete bikes and a frameset, all sharing the same all-carbon frame. The top O1E claims a weight of just 9.9kg/21.8lb with an XX1 Eagle group, Level Ultimate brakes, a Rock Shox RS-1, and DT XR1501 wheels for $7500/8000€. Next in line is the O1E Pro with a SID XX and XT double for a slightly more reasonably priced $4750/4700€ and still just 11.8kg/26lb. The most affordable is the O1E Evo with a GX drivetrain mixed with Shimano brakes for $4000/4000€ and just 100g more.
Focus even played around with a superlight build that you are welcome to try if you go for the frameset option that they built up under 9kg/19.8lb even with a dropper post. But since the 10kg bike costs 8 grand, the Project One bike is likely to be hard on your wallet.
Both new bikes are slated to be available later this summer through your local Focus dealer.