The FOCUS JAM 6.8 NINE is the underdog of this group test. Priced at € 2,199 it is by far the most affordable bike in the test field. And at first glance, there was nothing much that we could criticise – would it stay that way on the trail?

For an overview of the test fleet head to The best budget trail bike of 2019 – 11 mountain bikes head to head

FOCUS JAM 6.8 NINE | 140/140 mm (f/r) | 14.68 kg | € 2,199

There wasn’t much fanfare about the fact that the FOCUS JAM now comes as a 29er – suddenly, the bike was just there. It looks really exciting on paper, with balanced geometry, thoughtful componentry and FOCUS’ proprietary FOLD rear linkage. Compared to the 27.5″ model, the 29er version has a centimetre less travel, 140 mm at the front and rear to be exact. Our test bike came equipped with RockShox suspension consisting of a Revelation fork and Deluxe shock. There is no climb switch on the latter – so you won’t be able to lock out the rear for the climbs. The rest of the components have been very thoughtfully chosen, especially considering the competitive price. The combination of MAXXIS HighRoller II and Aggressor tires is just as impressive as the SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain. The trigger is mounted to the brake lever via the right-hand side Matchmaker, but the Matchmaker for the left side would be a lot better in terms of lever ergonomics and reachability. At 125 mm, the dropper post doesn’t have enough travel, though the cockpit, with 780 mm wide bars and a 60 mm stem, is generously sized. The JAM 6.8 is fitted with MAGURA MT Trail brakes with a powerful four-piston calliper at the front, but only a two-piston calliper at the rear in combination with 180 mm rotors – not enough for long, steep trails.

Big Wheels keep on turning – the FOCUS is a real long-distance bike!

Helmet Giro Montaro MIPS | Glasse SCOTT Sport Shield 60 Jahre Edition | Backpack Thule Rail 12L Pro | Jersey Specialized Demo Jersey | Short POC Resistance Short | Knee pads Sweet Protection Bearsuit Light | Shoes Giro Chamber 2

The FOCUS JAM 6.8 NINE in detail

Fork RockShox Revelation RC 140 mm
Shock RockShox Deluxe R 140 mm
Brakes MAGURA MT Trail 200/180 mm
Drivetrain SRAM NX Eagle
Seatpost KindShock E30i 125 mm
Stem BBB Alu 55 mm
Handlebar BBB Alu Riserbar 780 mm
Wheels Race Face AR 30/Novatec 29″
Tires MAXXIS HighRoller II/Aggressor 2.5″/2.3″

Too short
The chainstay protector is very short and thin. The chain rattles loudly and the paint-work gets damaged as a result.
The rear end of the JAM doesn’t offer enough support for aggressive riding. On top of that, there’s no climb switch either.
Very solid
The SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain performs flawlessly. Unfortunately, FOCUS specced the wrong Matchmaker, which makes it difficult to reach the shifter.
The small 180 mm rotors, paired with the two-piston calliper at the rear, aren’t reliable enough for long descents.
Too tight
The tire clearance in the rear of the JAM is too tight. If you push the bike into corners, the tire rubs on the frame. When things get muddy it’s bound to leave unsightly scratches.
Size S M L XL
Seat tube 420 mm 440 mm 480 mm 510 mm
Top tube 575 mm 595 mm 624 mm 652 mm
Head tube 110 mm 110 mm 135 mm 155 mm
Head angle 67,8° 67,8° 67,8° 67,8°
Seat angle 74,5° 74,5° 74,5° 74,5°
Chainstays 440 mm 440 mm 440 mm 440 mm
BB Drop 33 mm 33 mm 33 mm 33 mm
Wheelbase 1,148 mm 1,168 mm 1,197 mm 1,225 mm
Reach 415 mm 435 mm 455 mm 475 mm
Stack 618 mm 618 mm 641 mm 660 mm

FOCUS JAM 6.8 NINE in test

The position aboard the JAM 6.8 NINE is aggressively stretched out, perfect for covering long distances. Pedalling on flat sections is comfortable, but if you intend to do a lot of steep climbing, you will have to push the saddle forward to compensate for the seat tube angle, which effectively slackens as the seat post extends. With an even pedal stroke, the rear suspension hardly bobs and you won’t miss the climb switch on the shock. However, If you tend to get out of the saddle to pedal you will end up wishing for one. Overall, the FOCUS climbs well enough and also provides sufficient traction in technical sections.

Tuning tip: replace the remote lever of the dropper | install volume spacers in the shock | if necessary, install a longer travel dropper post | upgrade the Revelation fork with PIKE internals | fit left-hand sided Matchmaker

On flat, flowing trails, the JAM 6.8 NINE picks up speed very quickly, inviting you to pump it through rollers. The weight distribution between the wheels is balanced, allowing the bike to remain stable and precise through corners. Manualling is easy in spite of the large wheels. On steep, rough descents, however, the fork reaches its limits. Unfortunately the rear suspension also lacks the progression and reserves for harder hits. On top of that, the rear tire constantly rubs on the seat- and chainstays when you push the bike hard through corners. The bike feels most at home on easy trails and long, relaxed rides.

Low price, a lot of performance, more relaxed riders won’t go wrong with the JAM.


The FOCUS JAM 6.8 NINE is a very comfortable bike with good-natured handling at a very affordable price! Those who enjoy long rides and aren’t constantly chasing a new best time on the descents will find the right bike here. For more aggressive riders, the suspension isn’t capable enough.


  • very comfortable on long rides
  • good-natured, easy handling
  • very fairly priced


  • rear suspension bobs when pedalling out of the saddle
  • rear tire rubs on the frame
  • dropper post hasn't got enough travel

Riding Characteristics



  1. sluggish
  2. efficient


  1. cumbersome
  2. playful


  1. nervous
  2. confident


  1. demanding
  2. balanced


  1. harsh
  2. plush

Fun Factor

  1. planted
  2. poppy

Value for money

  1. terrible
  2. very good

Technical Data


Size: S M L XL
Weight: 14.68 kg
Travel (f/r): 140/140 mm
Wheel Size: 29"
Price: € 2,199

Intended Use

XC 8
Trail 9
Enduro 10
Downhill 11

For more info head to:

The test field

For an overview of the test fleet head to The best budget trail bike of 2019 – 11 mountain bikes head to head

All bikes in test: Canyon Spectral CF 7.0 | Giant Trance 29 2 | MERIDA ONE FORTY 800 | Propain Tyee AM Performance | RADON SLIDE TRAIL 8.0 | ROSE PIKES PEAK AM1 | SCOTT Genius 950 | Specialized Stumpjumper Comp Alloy 29 | Trek Remedy 8 | YT JEFFSY 27 AL Base

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