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2021 Focus Sam² 6.8 First Ride Review

Updated: Feb 19, 2022

When you think e-bike, you automatically think of the climbing ability. That's where the new Focus Sam² is different. This bike has all the geometry of an enduro beast!



This 29er enduro ripper comes with 170mm travel in the from of a Rockshox Super Deluxe shock and the all new Zeb fork. As for the rest of the bikes spec it sits comfortably in the mid range tier which is what you'd expect from a bike at this price. It comes with a Sram GX drivetrain and Sram Code R brakes which are both good performers. The only place this emtb is lacking are the wheels so this would be the first upgrade I would recommend.


The bike has the 4th generation of the Bosch Performance CX e-drive motor which give a powerful 85nm of torque and the Bosch Purion display gives 4 assistance modes including emtb. After riding just short of 8 miles with 1570ft of climbing the battery level dropped by 1 bar so the full distance should be quite good.


Now for the important part... How does it handle?

On the descents this bike is extremely capable as Focus intended it to be. It will take pretty much whatever you throw it down and feels comfortable on steep, technical terrain. The 29 inch wheels help keep speed and roll over rocks and roots quite well. I would advise using the eco assistance mode when pointing downhill as the sudden burst of power can be a bit much on technical trails and throw you off course. For a bike that weighs just short of 26kg it isn't bad at jumping either and this weight does seem to help keep the bike planted in the rougher sections.




So, how does it climb?

On fire roads, tarmac and non technical climbs it is great. There's plenty of power if you just want that easy cruise and if you don't want the bike to do the majority of the work just stick it in eco for that little bit of assistance whilst still giving your legs a bit of a workout. When it comes to more technical climbs however, it can feel a bit over powered and break traction quite often on rocks and roots, throwing you bodyweight forward and hitting vital parts of your body on the top tube! Not ideal.


So who is it for?

This emtb is for those who don't want to sacrifice any of that descending ability a non electric enduro bike has and would be perfectly suited to those bike park laps as an alternative to an uplift or just fun days sessioning in the woods. As for putting in some trail centre laps or XC laps on techy climbs, I'd look at the Focus Jam² as an alternative.


Positives:

Incredible descending ability

Confidence inspiring

Fun to ride


Negatives:

Not the best at technical climbs




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