Focus BOLD² Plus Review

Focus Bold Squared Plus Electric Bike Review
Focus Bold Squared Plus
Focus Bold Squared Plus Shimano Steps E8000 Ebike Motor
Focus Bold Squared Plus Clip On Bottle Cage Adapter
Focus Bold Squared Plus Shimano Steps Electronic Shifter Triggers Display Panel
Focus Bold Squared Plus Rockshox Revelation Rl Air Suspension Fork 120 Mm
Focus Bold Squared Plus Air Channels
Focus Bold Squared Plus Kind Shock E30i Dropper Seat Post
Focus Bold Squared Plus 11 Speed Shimano Xt 8000 Drivetrain
Focus Bold Squared Plus Shimano Deore M6000 Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Focus Bold Squared Plus 4 Amp Electric Bike Charger Energy Bus Magnetic Plug
Focus Bold Squared Plus Ebike Battery Charger
Focus Bold Squared Plus Optional Tec Pack Battery 378 Wh
Focus Bold Squared Plus Internal Battery External Tec Pack
Focus Bold Squared Plus Electric Bike Review
Focus Bold Squared Plus
Focus Bold Squared Plus Shimano Steps E8000 Ebike Motor
Focus Bold Squared Plus Clip On Bottle Cage Adapter
Focus Bold Squared Plus Shimano Steps Electronic Shifter Triggers Display Panel
Focus Bold Squared Plus Rockshox Revelation Rl Air Suspension Fork 120 Mm
Focus Bold Squared Plus Air Channels
Focus Bold Squared Plus Kind Shock E30i Dropper Seat Post
Focus Bold Squared Plus 11 Speed Shimano Xt 8000 Drivetrain
Focus Bold Squared Plus Shimano Deore M6000 Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Focus Bold Squared Plus 4 Amp Electric Bike Charger Energy Bus Magnetic Plug
Focus Bold Squared Plus Ebike Battery Charger
Focus Bold Squared Plus Optional Tec Pack Battery 378 Wh
Focus Bold Squared Plus Internal Battery External Tec Pack

Summary

  • A lightweight, cross country style electric mountain bike with the Shimano E8000 mid-motor offering high RPM support, traditional chainring size, no reduction gear, and high 70 Nm torque output
  • Custom downtube-integrated battery is designed and built by Focus, it's completely protected and hidden, very lightweight at ~4.7 lbs, but cannot easily be removed for charging off-bike
  • Optional TEC Pack second-battery can double range, it clicks to the downtube securely but otherwise, this spot can be used for accessories or a bottle cage, nice seat post dropper and hydraulic disc brakes
  • Available in five frame sizes including an extra small 35 cm for petite riders or youth, no shift detection motor (even with the optional Shimano Di2 drivetrain in Europe), fixed display with tiny and difficult to reach mode button

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Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Focus

Model:

BOLD² Plus

Price:

$4,899

Body Position:

Forward

Suggested Use:

Trail, Mountain, Youth

Electric Bike Class:

Pedal Assist (Class 1)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

2 Year Comprehensive

Availability:

United States, Europe

Model Year:

2018

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

44.1 lbs (20 kg)

Battery Weight:

4.7 lbs (2.13 kg) (Optional TEC Pack 4.9 lbs)

Motor Weight:

6.35 lbs (2.88 kg)

Frame Material:

7005 Hydroformed Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

13.78 in (35 cm)16.14 in (40.99 cm)17.32 in (43.99 cm)18.50 in (46.99 cm)19.68 in (49.98 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

Large 47 cm Specs: 18.75" Seat Tube, 23.5" Reach, 29.5" Stand Over Height, 30.25" Width, 75" Length

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

Satin Black with Gloss Black and Gloss Blue Acents

Frame Fork Details:

RockShox Revelation RL Air, 120 mm Travel, Compression Clicker with Lockout, Rebound Clicker, Boost Hub 110 mm Length, 15 mm Thru Axle Maxle

Frame Rear Details:

Boost 148 mm Hub, 12 mm Axle with 6 mm Allen Key

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses, Bottle Cage Bosses

Gearing Details:

11 Speed 1x11 Shimano XT 8000 Derailleur with Shadow Plus, Shimano SLX 11-46T Cassette

Shifter Details:

Shimano Deore SLX 7000 Triggers on Right

Cranks:

Shimano FC-E8000, Aluminum Alloy, 170 mm or 175 mm Length, 34T Narrow Wide Tooth Chainring with Plastic Chain Guide, 175 mm Q Factor

Pedals:

Concept Plastic Platform

Headset:

Acros 1-1/8" to 1-1/2", Threadless, Internal Cartridge Bearing, Sealed

Stem:

BBB, 0° Rise, 55 mm Length, Two 10 mm Spacers, 31.8 mm Clamp

Handlebar:

BBB, Flat, Alloy, 730 mm Length, 9° Backsweep, 30 mm Rise

Brake Details:

Shimano Deore M6000 Hydraulic Disc with 203 mm Front Rotor and 180 mm Rear Rotor, Two-Finger Shimano Deore M6000 Levers with Adjustable Reach

Grips:

Ergon GA2, Flat, Locking

Saddle:

Fizik Tundra Trail

Seat Post:

Kind Shock E30i Dropper Post 150 mm Travel

Seat Post Length:

200 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

31.6 mm

Rims:

Race Face AR40, 40 mm Width, Aluminum Alloy, Double Wall, Novatec Hubs, 32 Hole

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 14G Diameter, Adjustable Nipples

Tire Brand:

Maxxis Rekon+, 27.5" x 2.8"

Wheel Sizes:

27.5 in (69.85cm)

Tire Details:

17 to 35 PSI, 120 TPI

Tube Details:

Presta Valve

Accessories:

Rubberized Slap Guard, Left Chainstay 18 mm Kickstand Mount, Downtube Bottle Cage Adapter, Optional TEC Pack 378 Watt Hour Battery $699

Other:

Internal Downtube Battery Pack, 2 lb 4 Amp Charger, Maximum Weight 285 lbs (180 kg), Magnetic Energy Bus Charging Standard, Airflow Channels (To Cool Battery and Motor)

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Shimano STePs E8000

Motor Type:

Mid-Mounted Geared Motor
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

250 watts

Motor Peak Output:

500 watts

Motor Torque:

70 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Focus

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

10.5 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

378 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

3.5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

20 miles (32 km)

Estimated Max Range:

50 miles (80 km)

Display Type:

Shimano Di2, Fixed, Color LCD, Backlit, Adjustable Brightness (Hold Circle Button to Enter Settings, Use Left Shifters to Navigate)

Readouts:

Battery Indicator (5 Bars), Assist Level (Off, Eco, Trail, Boost), Speed, Odometer, Trip Distance, Range, Trip Time, Avg Speed, Max Speed, Cadence RPM, Clock, (Advanced Settings: Clear Trip Meter, Bluetooth Pairing, Ant+ Pairing, Lights, Brightness, Beep On and Off, Change Units, Language, Shifter Quickness Adjust + and - 16, Rear Derailleur Protection Reset)

Display Accessories:

Trigger Shifter Buttons on Left (Small is Up, Large is Down, Can Reverse in Settings), Optional Shimano E-TUBE Bluetooth App

Drive Mode:

Advanced Pedal Assist (Measures Wheel Speed, Pedal Cadence and Pedal Torque, Power Output Relative to Pedal Input: Off, Eco, Trail, Boost 300%)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

The BOLD² platform is a hardtail, cross country style, electric mountain bike built around the same geometry as the non-electric Focus BOLD. The idea here, is that Focus is “focusing” on building a well-balanced, high-quality bicycle… that can be utilized in two different ways, with or without pedal assist. Of course, the electric version will cost more because of the motor, battery pack, and I’m guessing lower volume. It retails for $4,899 which is not bad at all, considering it utilizes the brand new Shimano E8000 mid-motor and a custom-made downtube integrated battery pack. Note how clean the frame looks with internally routed cables, the hidden battery, and that compact centerdrive motor. In my opinion, they made a smart move going with black as the base color because it further blends the motor casing and cable housing, but the grey and blue accents are carried through the fork and rims so it does still have a sporty fun feel. The bike comes in five frame sizes, so you can really dial in fit, and even petite riders and some youth and teens could get in on the action with the extra-small 35 cm frame. To me, the best parts of this electric bike in order of importance are the way it looks, how lightweight it is (just 44 lbs thanks to the lower capacity primary battery), the strong reputation that Focus and Shimano bring (along with a two-year comprehensive warranty), and the ability to choose from plus sized 27.5″ wheels or taller 29″ for milder terrain or larger riders. A few nice-to-have features are the dropper seat post (which makes mounting easier), large 203/180 mm hydraulic disc brakes, optional Shimano Di2 electronic shifting that works with the main display panel (this option seems to be limited to Europe at the moment), an 11 speed drivetrain with traditional chainring and no reduction gearbox (easier to swap to different sizes), and the nifty click-on bottle cage adapter (which also works with mini-pumps and folding locks). In so many ways, this looks like the future of electric assist bikes. It’s beautiful, modular, focused on fit and performance, and it’s extremely capable.

Driving this e-bike is the brand new Shimano E8000 mid-drive motor that was specifically designed for mountain riding. It offers up to 70 Newton meters of torque and some of the highest RPM support I have ever experienced. Where Bosch, Brose, and some other brands are able to deliver up to 120 RPM (allowing you to spin faster and still get power, not having to shift as frequently to hit high speeds), the Shimano E8000 was still helping at 140 RPM… Maybe not very much, but it was definitely on par with or slightly ahead of the Bosch CX motor and a step beyond the new Yamaha PW-X in my opinion. It’s not the quietest or loudest motor, the noise produced really depends on your RPM as shown in the video review during my pedal tests. The controller measures rear wheel speed, pedal cadence, and pedal torque to offer a dynamic and satisfying experience, but it wasn’t as smooth to start as Brose or Bosch. I definitely noticed, and actually felt, when the motor kicked in. There seems to be a torque threshold where pedaling without much effort (say, if you were coasting and just gently pedaling) won’t activate it. Once you do finally push, it felt like there was a click or a catch and then the motor feels fluid. Having tested both the European specced 25 km/h models (that’s 15.5 mph top speed) and then the US version specced at 32 km/h (up to 20 mph), I definitely preferred the US and found that I enjoyed riding in Eco and Trail mode… whereas, I was constantly in the highest Boost mode on the European models. Take this feedback with a grain of salt however, because I was riding all European models with some software updates for the “US” spec, and perhaps there was even some tinkering with the Shimano E-TUBE app to adjust Trail and Boost settings before we rode. I can say, I tested two versions of the BOLD² as well as the full suspension JAM² model. What you get with the motor system is a compact design, possibly the prettiest I have seen, high RPM support, no shift detection (so ease off when shifting to reduce mashing and chain wear), and a standard 175 mm Q Factore (the distance between the crank arms).

Powering the BOLD² is a custom, internally mounted tube battery that Focus designed and manufactures. Many of the other Shimano motor partners are using a downtube mounted pack that resembles a black box (similar to the Bosch Powerpack) offering 36 volts and 11.6 amp hours… You can see a picture of this pack with the older Shimano STePs E6000 motor on the Trek Neko+ here. So, you can really see how it cleans up the look and lowers the weight by going with the tube battery. The downside is that this pack only offers 36 volts and 10.5 amp hours of capacity, it’s not going to take you as far… but it weighs less. And this is where the really interesting stuff comes out. You can double the range of the Focus BOLD² by purchasing an additional battery pack called the TEC Pack (Tailored Energy Concept) which connects on top of the downtube and uses a magnetic plug to sync with the bike. The 378 watt hour TEC Pack weighs 0.2 lbs more than the integrated downtube pack and costs $699. Once connected, it completely switches the bike’s power source, so unfortunately the bike is not trying to balance both. I say unfortunately, because my understanding is that Lithium-ion batteries will last longer if you keep them between 20% and 80% vs. fully charging and discharging all the time. The way the modular battery design on the Focus bikes is setup, it’s like you would drain the main battery and then plug in the TEC Pack for a more series type approach vs. parallel. It’s a minor consideration, but becomes increasingly relevant when you notice that Bosch has gone with a parallel design for discharging and charging, so you can plug the bike in once and see both batteries filled… that’s nice convenience. In addition to powering the motor, the battery system on the Focus Squared models also powers the color, backlit display panel, and electronic shifting (if you get Di2) as well as lights if you work with a shop to have them installed. It’s so cool to see a Shimano drivetrain, motor system, battery, display, and app… but I do feel that theres some opportunity here for the shifting system to tell the motor what is going on so you can opt for some sort of drivetrain protection. Some of the older Focus models running on the in-house Impulse drive system offered great shift protection. You didn’t have to worry about the motor grinding your gears if you weren’t adept at shifting… but given the high-performance use case of this mountain model, maybe it’s not a big deal because riders should have more experience shifting and climbing simultaneously?

Operating the bike is fairly straightforward, but physically separated at times. What I mean is, after you have charged the battery or batteries, and are ready to turn the bike on, you have to hold this power button on the top tube for a couple of seconds until it slowly lights up. At this point, the Shimano Di2 display panel blinks on in color, and shows your battery level with five bars, current speed, and assist level. It’s clean, stays out of the way, but is not removable, does not have a Micro-USB charging port for accessories, and is very far to reach if you want to switch views. There’s a little rubber circular button on the base of the display that lets you cycle through trip distance, average speed, clock and some other readouts… but there’s no way to reach this while riding unless you completely remove your right hand and reach over very carefully to press the little circle. It’s a far cry from most of the other major display and control pad designs. Usually, you can adjust assist and menus by reaching over from the left and pressing an i or mode button. Even this can be sketchy if you’re on rough mountainous terrain. So, I probably would never use these sub readouts unless I was fully stopped. The good news is, you can easily change assist levels by pressing the trigger shifter buttons on the left. Navigating from no-assist to Eco, Trail, and Boost is satisfying because you feel and hear this click, like shifting gears on a traditional bicycle. It’s just an illusion, a skeumorph, no cables are being pulled, just electronic signals being sent to the display panel control system. For those who wish to adjust shifting speed on their Di2 derailleur, set the clock, adjust brightness, turn off the beeping noise or explore other options, just hold the rubber circle button on the display for several seconds to get into the settings menu and then navigate up and down with the left shifter buttons. You can get even more options by downloading the Shimano E-TUBE app for your smartphone and syncing it, and you can also connect ANT+ devices to track biometric data. All things considered, the cockpit on this electric bicycle is one of the cleanest and simplest I have tested. The display isn’t always easy to read because of its small size and fixed position (think glare) but the tactile click of the shifter buttons works great once you know the bike is turned on. And again, the fact that you have two buttons near the left grip, one tiny button near the center, and the big power button on the top tube just seems spread out and unnecessary to me. For an e-bike that looks so stealthy in some ways, why do they I need a big circle like I have on my old computer tower? Even my new laptop just has a power button on the keyboard, blending in and within reach like all of the other buttons. Yes, I have a MacBook Pro laptop for those wondering.

Focus is building the future with their squared series and I think the BOLD² would be an excellent option for people looking to ride cross country or bounce around town and across some paths. It’s setup with two sets of bottle cage bosses, a mounting point for a rear fender (possibly usable with some rack systems), and provisions for a kickstand. The 120 mm air fork offers plenty of adjustment with compression and rebound clickers, plus sized tires pair nicely with the longer boost axles and a 15 mm front 12 mm rear thru-axle setup. The back wheel does not have quick release, which surprised me, but the front does. You get all of the design features you might expect from a “real” mountain bike such as tapered head tube, shorter stem, locking Ergon mountain grips, and an upgraded wheelset. It even comes with some decent plastic platform pedals from Concept (the Focus in-house brand). Also note, the narrow-wide tooth pattern on the chainring and full-surround chain keeper that will eliminate drops. I cannot say for sure because I was unable to test this in muddy terrain, but I’m guessing the traditional chainring will also eliminate problems with chain suck that some riders have had with the smaller Bosch chainring in the UK. I don’t think this happens to a lot of people, but I know at least one that rides long distance races who has mentioned it. Anyway, big thanks to Focus for partnering with me on this review and helping to answer as many questions as they could at Interbike. I also tried to get as many questions answered by Shimano as I could, but feel free to share your own thoughts and questions in the comments below and forums as well.

Pros:

  • The Shimano STePs E8000 motor is compact, tightly integrated into the bottom bracket area of the frame, it blends into the black frame color perfectly here, it’s also narrower than many other ebike centerdrives right now, supporting a 175 mm Q Factor so your feet position feel more like a traditional bike, and it supports seemingly above 120 RPM which is slightly better than the other leading motors such as the Bosch Performance Line, Brose, and Yamaha PW-X which assist up to 120 and then back off
  • The battery is completely hidden and protected inside the downtube, it isn’t designed to be easily removable and might go undetected for those who prefer a stealth looking electric mountain bike, Focus and Shimano have a close relationship and this battery design is unique to these bikes (the BOLD² and JAM²)
  • Weighing in at ~44 lbs, this is one of the lightest electric mountain bikes being sold right now, especially with such a capable motor and battery pack, the optional TEC Pack doubles range and only adds ~4.7 lbs
  • Focus is refining their product lineup in such a way that you can opt for electric or non-electric but get the same geometry, look, and ride feel… The BOLD² and BOLD provide this option
  • The charger puts out 4 Amps, making it about twice as fast as most standard chargers, and it’s compact and lightweight at ~2 lbs, the plug connector is magnetic and will pop off vs. bending or tipping the bike if tripped over
  • You shouldn’t have a problem with chain drops on this e-bike because the front sprocket uses narrow-wide teeth to improve grab and reduce slip, there’s also a plastic full-surround chain keeper where in place of a front derailleur
  • I like that Focus is using a traditional sized chainring because it makes switching sizes easier than the proprietary rings offered by Bosch and TTIUM, there is also very little resistance when pedaling because there’s no reduction gear gearbox to match a stepped-down chainring
  • For those who are in Europe and can get the Di2 electronic shifting version (only SLX mechanical shifting is available in the USA right now), I appreciate that the Shimano display is used for both assist level and shifting and is powered off of the main battery pack vs. an independent cell
  • I reviewed the Plus model which uses 27.5″ x 2.8″ Maxxis Rekon+ tires which offer improved traction, comfort on rough terrain, and rolling momentum for a nice all-mountain feel, Focus used Boost length axles with 15 mm and 12 mm thru-axles for stiffness, to accommodate the wider tires, and strengthen the spoke angle
  • Great aesthetics, blue and grey accents cover the frame, fork, and wheelset, I appreciate the thick rubber slap guard on the right chainstay to reduce nicks and scratches
  • There are air channels built into the upper section of the downtube that are designed to promote cooling on the battery pack and motor, it’s like a sport car with a hood scoop! I was told that water and dust can get in here without wrecking any of the electronics
  • The display offers plenty of power adjustment (three assist levels) and readouts on its own, but you can use the smartphone E-TUBE app from Shimano to further refine and adjust the two higher assist levels or your Di2 shifting setup, or pair the bike with an ANT+ heart rate monitor for biometric feedback
  • Powerful, high-quality hydraulic disc brakes from Shimano, the two-finger levers offer adjustable reach to fit different hand sizes and since this e-bike comes in five frame sizes and either 27.5 or 29er tire diameters, it’s great that you can really set things up to fit right
  • It looked like there was a mounting point for a kickstand, maybe a rear fender or rear rack, and it sounds like electric bike shops may be able to wire in lights so you could use this for trail commuting
  • It’s really neat that the downtube railing system can be used for a second bottle cage adapter if you aren’t using the TEC Pack battery, so many electric bikes are not able to fit even one set of bottle cage bosses or they just skip them… so it’s cool that the BOLD² has two, and it looks like the downtube mount is adjustable and could work with a folding lock, mini pump, or other accessory using the same plastic plate
  • Because the bike comes in an extra-small 35 cm frame size, it could potentially be used by a youth rider, it’s difficult to find any electric bikes made for younger people but this one would be a fantastic option
  • I’m a big fan of seat post droppers, they make it easier to mount up and more comfortable to transition from bumpy or downhill sections and jumps to cross country or road… so it’s nice that you get one with this electric bike, even though it’s more of a cross country setup
  • Many of the Bosch, Brose, and Yamaha display panels are now offering Micro-USB ports so you can plug in portable electronic devices and get power on the go, this would be handy and nice to have if you use your phone for GPS or maybe the E-TUBE app from Shimano, but this display did not have any sort of USB port that I saw
  • You can remove the annoying beep and adjust lots of settings by holding the circle button on the base of the display panel for a few seconds, even the rear derailleur shifting speed can be adjusted if you have the electronic Shimano Di2 derailleur (which I believe is an option in Europe)

Cons:

  • The primary battery is not designed for easy removability, it can be removed for replacement but this requires taking the motor unit off and sliding it out through the bottom, the downside is that you’ll need to park the bike closer to a power outlet or use an extension cord to charge vs. bringing the pack inside (keep the bike and optional extra battery in cool dry locations to optimize battery life, extreme heat and cold can be hard on them)
  • It felt like a bit of a missed opportunity that the motor does not offer shift detection, especially if you’re in Europe and can get the electronic Shimano Di2 shifters, it seems like having all Shimano systems could allow them to do something special here to reduce mashing and drivetrain wear
  • Only the front wheel offers quick release, I was a little surprised at this because trail maintenance and portability are easier with both wheels having quick release but maybe this was due to the electronic shifting? You only need a 6 mm Allen key to get the back off
  • Even though the display is nice looking, compact, runs electronic shifting (in Europe) as well as assist level, it is not removable and might take increased wear at the bike rack or when parked outside compared to one that could easily be clicked off, also, for me the tiny round button at the bottom could be a bit difficult to press when wearing gloves
  • Minor consideration here, it sounds like the bike uses one or the other battery pack, it doesn’t try to balance them like Bosch has done with their double-battery setup, and this could mean that you cycle your frame battery more frequently and wear it down a bit quicker if you aren’t occasionally clicking in the TEC Pack power cable and trying to balance them yourself manually, my understanding is that batteries like to stay between 20% and 80% for maximum charge cycles (this is partially why many smartphones have a big alert when they start to get to the 20% mark), you’re also going to have to manually connect the charger to the TEC Pack and then the bike to charge both packs vs. Bosch and some others which allow for dual-charging by connecting to just one port on the bike (you can see this with the Riese & Müller models
  • If you want to adjust which menus are being shown on the display panel (odometer, trip distance, range, time, average speed, max speed, cadence RPM, clock), you have to reach way over to the tiny circular button on the bottom of the display panel and this is just inconvenient when riding… by default, the display switches back to speed or will stay on Cadence RPM if you have clicked to it, considering how easy the trigger shifter buttons are to use, this “mode” button is not so easy
  • For me, the Shimano E8000 motor doesn’t go from zero to on quite as smoothly or as seamlessly as Bosch, Brose, or Yamaha, it seems like there is a cliff where you push with enough torque to get it to respond and then it sort of clicks on and you notice and even hear it, it still works great but seems to have a torque threshold or power cliff just up from zero

Resources:

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mbrown
3 days ago

I will definitely go with Dapu motor. I tried several Dapu motors such as Pedego, BH and Bafang versions. I will focus not on torque rather than watt power (as it is not telling much about power alone. It is showing the efficiency of the motor ). You can also check Ariel Rider which also uses Dapu motors and they have a discount as i see on their facebook page. You can get one around $1700 (with hydraulic brakes I guess but not sure. You better contact them and ask details. As with a high power motor hydraulic brakes really make a big difference. For e-glide I see they have suspension fork which is a very good point but i didn't see much about components such as if they have torque sensor, what kind of display, etc... And if you are not going to wear only shorts, not having a chain cover on a bike can be really annoying. Anyway my two cents of advice is go with Dapu motor especially if you are looking for a geared hub motor.

bob armani
1 week ago

I have never seen an e-MTB with a motor that small. Pretty remarkable if you can get some decent power out of it...

John from Connecticut
1 week ago

Hello Will, Wow, You are spot with your post. I have 'lived' and experienced everything you've written. Your point is very well
taken regarding installing Suspension Seat Posts after test riding the correct first saddle first. My prior enthusiasm was misguided
by the overwhelming improvement the Cirrus BodyFloat brought to my riding experience.

I ride a Trex XM700+ Ebike, for me it was (is) stiff. After a comprehensive professional fit, I felt like I was sitting on a
stump. ( Nothing to do with the fit ) . I was seriously considering returning the bike because of the stiffness and how it
impacted (no pun intended) my back and neck. I installed the Cirrus BodyFloat Seat Post...Bingo a new bike !

Question... I'm always been a fan of Brooks Saddles. I'm considering installing a Brooks Cambium C17. My LBS Mgr / Fitter upgraded and installed a Bontrager Montrose Comp saddle. It's very comfortable and I can ride 'forever' with no pain and neck issues. Your thoughts on a Brooks ?

Thanks,
John from CT

jeffb
1 week ago
Scooteretti
1 week ago

@PimpMan As mentioned above speak to a bike expert who knows bikes and has be trained on doing a proper fit. Keep in mind anytime there are issues with a rider's back, suggesting a road style bike or a mountain bike is not going to offer exceptional comfort. Sure you can add extensions etc..... but that does not correct the stresses and bends in persons body by riding such a bike. They were not designed for comfort but rather for their specific application, hence their different geometries.

From what you said this is for food delivery / transportation, Don't put too much emphasis on weight of the the product but rather focus on components, posture and comfort. If your bike is properly set up, you are comfortable and your leg extension is properly set. Your legs will produce more power that more than compensates for a light bicycle that does not not fit your properly or that is uncomfortable to you. People think I am a magician when I get them on a bike that weighs 15 lbs more than their other bike and they find it easier to pedal. It's not the weight, it's how you optimize your body on the bike.

DISCLAIMER HERE: Now if you are doing the Tour De France that is a whole different scenario. :)

Spend some time looking at some of the more upright bikes and touring bikes. Many of the upright bikes nowadays offer adjustable stems which will allow you to change your position (posture) on the bike quickly and easily.

Saddle: Always invest in a saddle designed for your body. A universal saddle designed for men and women needs to be chucked out. Get a saddle that is designed for your gender, designed for the type of bike and your posture on the bike (no cruiser seats on road bikes OK). There are some great saddles that even assist with relieving back pressure off your spine which is what I use and love it. A good saddle will be $60-$80. No you don't need to spend $200-$300 on a saddle.

Suspension Seat-Posts: I like them but I always tell my customers to start with a saddle first, suspension seatpost 2nd. There is no point spending $200-$300 on a suspension seatpost when you have a $10 saddle that doesn't fit you correctly. Spend $60-$80 and ride the bike a few times and if better but not perfect, then look at a suspension seatpost. Day in and day out I see people spending money on seat covers (OMG never do this) and fancy seatposts but skip the saddle. Start slow and talk to an expert!

hope this helps,

Will
shop.scooteretti.com

jared1843
1 week ago

I can't seem to find anything on the Raven.

jeffb
1 week ago

I agree the Jam2 is one of the closest looking e mtb to a regular mtb Focus as a company has some very interesting ideas. Check out the in the works Raven.

jared1843
1 week ago

Also, aesthetically speaking the Focus Jam is better looking too ;) And less common.....

jared1843
1 week ago

Jeffb,
My Levo is an aluminum hard tail so the handling of a full suspension Levo I can't really speak to. The Brose motor is great and is very quiet. This new Shimano e8000 motor is just about as quiet and I hardly notice its on. Both motors are really smooth and responsive. The Shimano motor is smaller and lighter and the Focus has a smaller battery in the down tube which is done on purpose to keep the bike lighter. Its in the neighborhood of 5 pounds lighter than the Levo and that weight is noticeable to me. Right now I'm loving the new firmware update that has the trail mode constantly sense torque from your pedaling and apply more power when you provide more power. Very cool.

bob armani
2 weeks ago

ebikerocker-Wow 3 months! Glad to see your patience has paid off. I think Tora has really turned his company around for the better. Seemed like he was always focused on giving the consumer a quality product at 1/2 the price of an ebike in its class. A speed pedelec for $1600.00 is phenomenal. I've watched some of his testing videos in China. Looks like he does fine work with tuning and calibrating his bikes. Good luck with yours.

jared1843
2 weeks ago

Hello!

This past week I purchased a new Focus JAM2 thought I should share my first impressions. First, the bike is beautiful. After my girlfriend and I finished our ride we stopped at an old historic bar and parked the bikes outside. More than a few people asked questions and looked at it. Its definitely a head turner. I have the flat green/black one. I upgraded to this bike from a specialized hard tail Levo, and also own a Yeti 4.5C for reference. This thing feels so planted and sturdy while riding it I just love it. The suspension feels bottomless and is very smooth on trails. The vast majority of climbs I did were great, the only small issue is with really steep stuff the front end has a tendency to get light. That's more of a footnote than a concern though. Shimano's Steps E8000 system is just about as quiet as my specialized and is definitely just as smooth. The power comes on quickly and consistently. I did order the TEC battery pack for it to double the battery range but haven't received it yet. I plan to use the TEC pack for my longer ride days. My whole idea behind electric bikes was to regularly pedal 40 plus miles in a day without completely wrecking myself. So far its been a great experience!

Let me know if anyone has questions.

Over50
2 weeks ago

Unfortunately I can't provide much advice because I have no experience with Bulls nor do I have experience with full suspension bikes. It could be a superb bike easily competitive with the R&M in which case I would say you might want to stay with the almost local Bulls dealer.

I do own the R&M Charger with the Nuvinci (28 mph bike). In the Detroit area, when I started shopping there was very little in the way of e-bike inventory available for test riding (still pretty much the case). After trying a bunch of bikes at an e-bike expo in Wash D.C. (not including Bulls or R&M) I opted to order the R&M as I knew the Bosch system and style of bike would meet my needs. I trusted in the R&M reputation. I ordered from Propel in Brooklyn but when it arrived from Germany I flew to Brooklyn to try it out (ensure the sizing and that I liked the bike). For me, ordering from a distant dealer (Propel) has worked out well for two reasons: 1). Propel is a good/honest outfit and is customer service focused - so everything with the sale and shipping was as-promised and they have been responsive to my follow-up questions; 2). I have an LBS that is mostly a Trek shop but which is Bosch certified - they are really receptive to servicing bikes that were not purchased from them and in fact they carry a large banner on the front of their store that says "we service all makes and models". So while sometimes it is a lottery there as to whether you'll get a tech with little or much experience, I know I have service available and they can figure out most issues. I suppose if I had a warranty issue with the R&M (and not the Bosch system) I might have to go through Propel but I am confident they would be helpful. Since I am a very bad bike mechanic, having an LBS nearby that is happy to service bikes they didn't sell took a lot of the risk out of my transaction.

In your case: Have you talked to the Bulls dealer and did they say they might get some demo bikes in soon? Again I think the bike will be available soon because Court showed it in his recent Urban Evo video. And I'd expect Court's review on the TR Street to hit this website any day now. So maybe the Bulls would be the way to go because you have a dealer fairly close. Of course the ideal is that you can try both bikes but I understand that will require some waiting and some logistical and perhaps expense issues. If you decide to have a bike shipped to you and if you aren't a great mechanic then I'd try to be sure that you have an LBS available that can provide basic bike service (wheel truing, brake bleeding etc). And for Bosch service, you'll have to go through a Bosch dealer regardless of where you buy. I would imagine that in the Chicago area it shouldn't be a problem to find a Bosch servicer. Some folks on this forum have said that some dealers will charge for firmware updates and such. I haven't had to perform service on the Bosch system yet so I can't speak to this.

As for the Nuvinci, I've expressed my opinion in my thread about the Charger. It isn't a bad system and it is working for me but when/if I replace my R&M, I won't select the Nuvinci system. I have mostly flat terrain for my commute and the Nuvinci doesn't quite have the gear range to allow me to cruise under that 28 mph cut-off comfortably. I can cruise maybe at about 23 mph but at that speed I'm spinning pretty fast. I have hit 26-28 mph in short bursts but I'm really spinning and working hard. I have only once surpassed 28 mph on a flat and that was with good pavement and a strong tailwind. I can't help but having the feeling, when I am at the end of the gear range and cruising on a flat, that I am just lacking one more gear. For most of my commute, the top speed isn't so relevant because I have a lot of start/stop city riding. But for the couple of stretches I have where I can do some cruising, I would really like an "extra gear". The system has been reliable so far and as I've learned to use the Bosch assist levels like gears (mostly Eco to Tour sometimes to Sport) then I find I don't have to worry about changing gears that much. This contrasts to my Haibike with derailleur where I'm shifting all the time.

Guy ben micha
4 months ago

5k!?!?!?
Someone thinks that we are stupid))
5k i could buy a nice car/bike/house

Chris at Propel
4 months ago

Guy ben micha you can’t ride a car or a house on a mountain bike trail though :/

SUMANTA GHOSH
4 months ago

Can you cut down the duration of your videos.. 35 mint... is too long just for bike review...

Alexis Hadjisoteriou
4 months ago

Another great review - well done Court and Chris. Have you considered reviewing the 2018 Trek Powerfly 5 or FS5 - these are entry-level e-MTBs and a direct competitor to the Bold2/Focus2 (entry level versions). By the way I rode the Focus2 29 (entry level) and it's an awesome bike

Larry Conger
4 months ago

not that impressed plus its loud, I think I might get the Haibike Xduro AM 10.0 PW X. I'm really digging the evolution Yamaha is taking. Haibike is an overall outstanding eMTB. Haibike has been more durable down to the paint job. Bosch is such a smooth and great ride but I feel the Yamaha has a different unique feel that I didn't expect from their regular PW motor. this was a great review though, keep it up.

Mole Js
4 months ago

Its good to see the weight comes down . However, the motor noise is loudest of the three. very very noticeable on trail and bike path.Nevertheless, i lije the form factor which like the Bulls Fs design and lot quieter

DiGiTaLGrAvEDiGGA
4 months ago

looks like the new 2018 Haibike! Focus makes awesome e bikes!

Jeremiah Crothers
4 months ago

Can you do a review on the Stark Drive Advanced?

Terry Brightwater
4 months ago

Nice review Court ;0) Thanks :0)
Had an opportunity to ride one of these this summer in the UK ;0) Love the Shimano E8000 motor! Feels so much more natural than a Bosch motor! Plus I love the lack of resistance the motor has when it cuts out :0) I have had a Haibike Full Seven for over 2 years now, with the Bosch motor. So my next bike will be a Shimano driven system ;0)

Bruce Ballad
4 months ago

wow, looks nice. One of best looking ones. I could make this my main ride. I love integrated systems like this.

MTB Dream'in
4 months ago

Wow, this is probably the coolest ebike MTB I have ever seen you show.