Focus Jarifa Fat Review

Focus Jarifa Fat Electric Bike Review
Focus Jarifa Fat
Focus Jarifa Fat Impulse 3 0 Evo Rs Mid Drive Motor
Focus Jarifa Fat Impulse 36v 16 75 Battery Locking
Focus Jarifa Fat Impulse Evo Smart Display Panel
Focus Jarifa Fat Sr Suntour Raidon Spring Suspension Fork
Focus Jarifa Fat Exustar E Ccg20 Chain Guide Tensioner
Focus Jarifa Fat Adjustable Kickstand Shimano 180 Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Focus Jarifa Fat Shimano Deore 10 Speed 11 36t
Focus Jarifa Fat Schwalbe Rocket Ron Plus Size 27 5 X 2 8 Tires
Focus Jarifa Fat 3 Amp Charger Energybus
Focus Jarifa Fat Stats Geometry Measurements
Focus Jarifa Fat Electric Bike Review
Focus Jarifa Fat
Focus Jarifa Fat Impulse 3 0 Evo Rs Mid Drive Motor
Focus Jarifa Fat Impulse 36v 16 75 Battery Locking
Focus Jarifa Fat Impulse Evo Smart Display Panel
Focus Jarifa Fat Sr Suntour Raidon Spring Suspension Fork
Focus Jarifa Fat Exustar E Ccg20 Chain Guide Tensioner
Focus Jarifa Fat Adjustable Kickstand Shimano 180 Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Focus Jarifa Fat Shimano Deore 10 Speed 11 36t
Focus Jarifa Fat Schwalbe Rocket Ron Plus Size 27 5 X 2 8 Tires
Focus Jarifa Fat 3 Amp Charger Energybus
Focus Jarifa Fat Stats Geometry Measurements

Summary

  • A brightly colored, rather funky looking electric hardtail mountain bike with 27.5" x 2.8" plus sized tires, nice 180 mm Shimano hydraulic disc brakes with adjustable levers
  • Available in four different sizes for improved fit, the motor and battery are mounted low and center for improved handling, premium EnergyBus magnetic charger
  • The Impulse 3.0 EVO RS motor is efficient but very high torque, it's one of the only mid-drive systems I've tested with physical shift sensing for reduced drivetrain wear
  • Nice Exustar chain guide component upgrade but no bottle cage or rack bosses, the fork has lockout and the bike has thru-axles for strength but the display isn't very sleek

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Focus

Model:

Jarifa Fat

Price:

$3,599 USD

Body Position:

Forward

Suggested Use:

Trail, Mountain

Electric Bike Class:

Pedal Assist (Class 1)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

2 Year Comprehensive

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

20162017

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

50.5 lbs (22.9 kg)

Battery Weight:

7.1 lbs (3.22 kg)

Motor Weight:

8.4 lbs (3.81 kg)

Frame Material:

Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

16.54 in (42.01 cm)18.11 in (45.99 cm)19.69 in (50.01 cm)21.26 in (54 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

32" Stand Over Height

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

Matte Purple with Pink and Black Accents

Frame Fork Details:

SR Suntour Raidon Spring and Air Suspension, Rebound Adjust and Lockout, 100 mm Travel, 15 mm Thru-Axle, Quick Release

Frame Rear Details:

12/142 mm Thru-Axle with Quick Release

Attachment Points:

Fender Bosses

Gearing Details:

10 Speed 1x10 Shimano Deore, 11-36T

Shifter Details:

Shimano Triggers on Right

Cranks:

Miranda Q8 170 mm, Aluminum Alloy, Black, 36T

Pedals:

Concept Plastic Platform

Headset:

CROS Tapered 1-1/8" to 1-1/2"

Stem:

Concept EX, 7° Rise, 90 mm Length

Handlebar:

Concept EX Flat, 28.75" Length

Brake Details:

Shimano M615 Hydraulic Disc with 180 mm Rotors, Tektro Auriga Calipers, Shimano M615 Levers

Grips:

Concept Flat Rubber, Locking

Saddle:

Concept EX by Velo

Seat Post:

Aluminum Alloy, Concept EX

Seat Post Length:

350 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

31.6 mm

Rims:

6061 Aluminum Alloy Alexrims, Black

Spokes:

15G Stainless Steel, Black

Tire Brand:

Schwalbe Rocket Ron, 27.5" x 2.8"

Wheel Sizes:

27.5 in (69.85cm)

Tire Details:

17-38 PSI, Performance

Tube Details:

Presta Valve

Accessories:

Aluminum Alloy Bash Guard, Exustar E‑CCG20 Chain Guide Tensioner, Adjustable Length Kickstand,

Other:

Locking Removable Battery Pack, 1.8 lb 3 Amp Charger with Magnetic Energy Bus Interface

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Impulse 3.0 Evo RS

Motor Type:

Mid-Mounted Geared Motor
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

250 watts

Motor Torque:

100 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Impulse

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

16.75 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

603 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

6 hours

Estimated Min Range:

50 miles (80 km)

Estimated Max Range:

100 miles (161 km)

Display Type:

Impulse Evo Smart, Fixed, Monochrome Backlit LCD with Adjustable Angle and Bluetooth App Integration for GPS Navigation

Readouts:

Battery Level with Range Estimate, Time, Assist Level (Off, Eco, Sport, Power, Ultra), Speed, Cadence, Odometer, Trip Time, Trip Distance, Trip Max Speed, Trip Average Speed, Tour Distance, Tour Average Speed, Climb Assist Mode, User Profile

Display Accessories:

Backlit Independent Button Pad Near Left Grip

Drive Mode:

Advanced Pedal Assist (Measures Cadence, Pedal Torque and Bicycle Speed, Offers Physical Shift Sensing)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

The Focus Jarifa Fat is remarkable in how customizable its electric drive system is. Very few mainstream purpose built ebikes like this let you change the top speed, alter how responsive pedal assist is or extend how long the drivetrain carries on as you reduce pedal torque. These are interesting, useful features and they’re all integrated into the existing display, not buried in an app that will drain your smart phone battery… and even if they were, this bike features a micro USB charging port on the back if its display panel so you can keep your devices going. Now this is one area I’m a bit mixed on actually because the display isn’t sleek in appearance nor is it removable. The handle bar on this bike is flat and being a cross country trail bike, that exposes the display to potential damage if you flip or lay the bike down. In recent years, Bosch and Yamaha have introduced systems that do have removable (or smaller) displays and have customized their bars to sort of block and protect the display. I don’t want to get too distracted by this point however because so much of the bike is very well done.

Driving the Jarifa Fat is a modestly rated 250 watt motor that puts out an impressive 100 Newton meters of peak torque! That’s 25 Nm more than the Bosch Performance CX (that company’s off-road specific drive). The Impulse 3.0 by contrast is compact, relatively quiet and offers physical shift detection technology vs. software driven estimated detection. That’s a huge win for people who are climbing, switching gears frequently and having the chain bounce around as they ride. And to help address this later point, the bike has a fancy chain guide tensioner built in as well. While I was not in an area with extremely steep hills for this ride test, the smaller banks I did climb were a breeze. Note that the chainring on this bike is more traditionally sized and has an Aluminum bash guard placed on the outside. This will keep your pants clean and snag free while reducing drops and sprocket tooth damage from angular obstacles you might encounter. It’s a good setup but that chainring does spin for a bit after the pedaling stops. You can see in my video that it spins down quickly but it isn’t quite instant. The controller is measuring wheel speed, pedal cadence and pedal torque to respond naturally and I found it to be comfortable at a range of pedaling speeds (which is great as someone who prefers spinning faster). To conclude the earlier point about the chainring bash guard, I realize many people will not be wearing baggy pants when riding off-road but this is a hardtail with great range and larger wheel diameter making it a fun around town bike… and hence it’s nice that it accommodates such riding.

Powering the bike is a triangular downtube-mounted battery pack offering higher than average capacity, over half a kilowatt hour. The rating is 36 volts by 16.75 amp hours and that’s a configuration meant for range vs. brute power. The website says this bike can get up to 120 miles per charge but that’s definitely on smooth paved surfaces that are flat… without wind, using the lowest level of assist. My guess is that 50ish miles on the mid-level power settings with some varied terrain is more inline with how people will actually ride and what you should expect. But that’s still very good. I’d call the charger portable but not super compact, it outputs 3 Amps vs. 2 on some other bikes so it’s going to fill the pack relatively quickly. I love the charging port interface (Rosenberger RoPD, EnergyBus standard) because it connects magnetically and won’t tip the bike or slide the battery if tripped over, it just plops out without bending any pins or putting up much of a fight. The downside to this interface is that there’s a little plastic cap meant to fit over the charging port on the side of the battery and that thing is super easy to misplace. I wish they had a little string or rubber flap attached to it to help keep track. Still, the battery locks sturdily to the frame, can be charged on or off the bike and has some stickers that help it blend with the uniquely colored paint scheme.

Operating the bike is a two step process, once the battery is charged and mounted. The first step is to press a power button on top of the pack then interact with the main control ring near the left grip. This ring also has a power button and it may need to be pressed to activate the display but I wasn’t able to discern that in the review now that I look back at my footage. Even if it is only a one step on/off it’s less convenient to have to bend down and press the battery vs. just the control pad near the grip. In any case, it’s straight forward enough and the control ring is very slim, rubberized and well sealed against water and dust. Perfect for mountain biking! The ring is easy to reach and textured to help you intuit the different buttons without having to look down every time. These buttons let you navigate four levels of assist (and no-assist) as well as cycle through trip and performance data. I love that the display is large and easy to read, that it shows the battery capacity with pixel columns instead of just five or ten chunks and that there’s a dynamic range readout for each assist level. Range estimation is a great feature if you’ve been riding in high power and start to get concerned about making it back home without running completely out of battery. Below the two up and down buttons on that control ring is a menu button that, when held down for a few seconds, brings up the settings menu. This is where you adjust everything from climb assist (which lets the motor run long even as pedal torque changes… more like a pure cadence sensor), to shift detection speed, backlighting brightness and other cool extras. These are very unique options and one of my favorites is the top speed setting. As someone who enjoys the 20+ mph top speed, I’m not sure I’d want to lower it for riding on my own but when it comes to group rides I think it would become quite useful. I’d be able to get the climbing power desired without leaving my friends in the dust :) Kudos to the Focus team and their Impulse system for offering something unique and feature rich in this regard. The only downside is how large and bulky the display itself is as mentioned earlier. I like that you can adjust its angle, I just don’t like how it looks and how much it sticks up compared to some of the others coming out lately.

I only really have the money and space for one electric bike at a time and the Focus Jarifa Fat would be a tempting choice because it’s comfortable, high tech and capable off-road. It’s a “go anywhere” platform that can truly go the distance. I like the plus sized tires and could deal with the added drag of their knobby tread given the efficient mid-drive motor. The tires are 650b plus size so you get some comfort and the option to lower PSI for soft terrain while still spanning cracks and keeping up rolling momentum like a 29er. I love the thru-axles and quick release on both wheels for hauling the bike in the back of my car or performing trail maintenance and the air fork is decent… especially with lockout. I do wish the frame had bottle cage bosses but I see that they wouldn’t accommodate most cages due to the battery box size and position. Still, mounting a folding lock or mini pump directly to the frame could be a nice option to have. Rear rack bosses would have been great for adding a more sturdy rack. I’d love to commute during the week with this ebike then take the rack off and hit the trails on the weekend. And this scenario is still very possible with a quick release beam rack, they just aren’t as strong in my experience and they don’t always stay straight (especially on rough terrain). The final “plus” in terms of functionality is that there is a smart phone app that lets you beam down GPS data and get turn by turn directions through the e-bike display panel. This is a cool feature because you don’t actually have to mount your phone to the bar (adding even more clutter and bulk), you can just turn it on, set your route, then toss your phone into a backpack and ride on with just the bike display lit up. This feature is perfect for that urban weekday commuting scenario shared above and yet… you’ll have to wear a backpack or use an inferior rack to do it. Ultimately, I’m a fan of the multiple sizes, the great electric drive system and the support and reputation that Focus offer. I understand why they oriented this as more of a pure mountain bike solution instead of a commuter hybrid. This is a unique electric bike that performs very well and could be useful and fun in a variety of scenarios and it offers one of the craziest paint jobs I’ve seen in recent years :D Big thanks to Focus for partnering with me for this review.

Pros:

  • Unique color scheme, this ebike stands out from the crowd with a purple and fluorescent pink paint job running all the way through the fork, saddle and battery box
  • It’s available in four frame sizes so riders of different physical stature can enjoy it comfortably
  • Battery and motor weight are both positioned low and center across the frame so as to improve handling and balance
  • Smooth, strong hydraulic disc brakes from Shimano are easy to actuate and have adjustable levers for people with smaller or larger hands, both rotors are 180 mm which is on the large side for improved cooling and better control
  • Plus sized 2.8″ wide tires allow the bike to grip better and absorb bumps and cracks without transferring jar into the bike frame… the suspension fork helps as well of course but has lockout so you can reduce bob on smoother terrain to optimize efficiency
  • Both wheels have quick release thru-axles so they’re fast and easy to remove but stiff and sturdy once mounted, I find that thru-axles keep the disc brake rotors aligned better
  • Highly efficient and quiet mid-drive motor from Impulse (this is their more torquey 3.0 model) paired with a larger capacity battery pack and adjustable power output let you go very far
  • Most electric mountain bikes don’t have kickstands but I like that this one does (or perhaps it just has the mounting point for one?) it’s easy enough to remove if you don’t want it but for urban explorers like myself it’s handy
  • Solid 10 speed drivetrain, a nice bash guard protecting the front chainring and an Exustar chain guide work beautifully with the shift-sensing motor so you should have as much wear or chain dropping as you might on other e-mountain bikes
  • I love the rubberized control pad that the Impulse system uses because it’s sleek, easy to reach, backlit and cool looking… unlike the chunky display panel itself
  • As much as I’m put off by the display design in some ways, I do like how large and easy to read it is as well as how deep it goes because you can adjust a lot with it… it shows battery level in fine increments as well as dynamic range estimation for each power level! I also like that it can sync with mobile phone devices (through their app) for turn by turn navigation (even if your phone is stowed)
  • I like that you can go into the settings using the display and actually turn down max speed, this will help you save energy and go further or just feel more comfortable and not outpace non-electric friends you might be riding with
  • Purpose built frame with internally routed cables for improved aesthetic and reduce snags (whether riding or loading it on your car rack)

Cons:

  • Unfortunately there are no bottle cage bosses or rear rack bosses! This ebike would be a blast as a weekday commuter (with a rack) and a weekend warrior on the path but instead you’ll have to wear a backpack or use a less-sturdy beam rack for hauling and consider a saddle adapter for a bottle cage
  • The display panel isn’t very sleek, it’s pretty thick and has some wires protruding at the back which don’t allow for full angle adjustment (though it does angle forward and back a fair amount), there’s a nice USB charger built in at least :)
  • I think it’s only fair to call the colors a con as well as a pro because this thing definitely has a personality and for some it might override the specs and good reputation that Focus has built over the years
  • There’s a little magnetic battery cap designed to cover the EnergyBus port on the right side of the pack and it’s very easy to take out, set down and forget… and lose, maybe a little string leash would help?
  • Usually diamond high-step frames like this are stronger, stiffer and lighter than curved or step-thru frames but I sort of wish the top tube was angled or maybe steeper on the small size frames so people with shorter legs could hop on and stand over easier, one plus is that the frame in its current form is easier to hang on some bike racks
  • The new Impulse 3.0 motor offers very high torque but produces more noise than previous iterations
  • The bike appears to have a two-step power on process where you have to click the battery then the button pad… it’s not terrible but takes extra time and can be confusing if you forget (I’ve occasionally wondered if the battery was empty, then realized I just had to click it on in addition to the display)
  • I didn’t see a slap guard or protective sticker on the chain stay which surprised me because this is a mountain bike and even with the chain guide/tensioner below the chain will slap and chip the paint (as shown in the video review above)

Resources:

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