E-mtb shop window – what’s hot for 2017

The most exciting 2017 e-mtbs

Words: Steve Jones

Focus Jam 2

First there was hot and then there was sizzling. Then from no battery to one, then one battery to two batteries, Focus have ramped up matters with e-mtb. The new Jam bikes have powerful Shimano Steps motors, new FOLD rear suspension kinematics which are digressive then progressive to give sensitivity then support, plus that all-important Tailored Energy Concept which ultimately means take one battery or two.

It works like this. After switching on the super neat power button on the top tube which then kicks the fully integrated 378Wh battery into life the rider has a choice of either fitting a water bottle and spares or bolting on an additional 378Wh battery for longer rides therefore keeping the weight down for something shorter and sharper or having capacity for a big old day out. The downtube mounts double as both. Cute kids at Focus.

FOLD (Focus Optimized Linkage Design) is a multi link with two rockers giving the aforementioned dual phase kinematic, plus keeping the weight down due to a one piece rear swingarm set up. As a result of FOLD and STEPS the Focus crew were able to keep short chainstays, some pretty good reach numbers and a relatively slack head angle.

The Jam comes on three specifications, three with 2.8” plus tyres and three with 29” wheels. They come with Shimano and Rockshox suspension, a mix of Sram and Shimano drivetrain. In short we cannot wait to ride this bike.

Rotwild R.G + FS

Rotwild say its about more fun, less organisation. In other words you don’t need to have to arrange a chairlift or a shuttle to get your downhill bike to the top of the mountain when you’ve got your own assistance. The impressive new gravity bikes from the chic German brand look to take care of matters very well indeed.

27.5” wheels, 200mm travel, a Brose motor and adjustable geometry are some of the characteristics of the Rotwild bikes. More than this the motor is completely decoupled which means no pedalling resistance with the motor off and no interference when descending. Chainstays can be lengthened between 450-465mm and the head tube angle of 63.5 can go positive or negative from its base setting.

It’s a neat bike with internal cable routing, integrated fork bumpers and features adjustable seatpost. Up front it’s a matter of 180mm Fox 36 unit or a big ideas Fox 40. Shimano Saint and Shimano XT are key components in the two bike range.


The EONE – SIXTY comes in either an 800 or 900 specification, the latter high specification option sporting a Fox Float X2 damper and a boost 36 fork. Together with Shimano Di2, Saint brakes and 2.8 Maxxis DHR 2 rubber it’s pretty unsecretive about its intentions.

We believe 160mm travel to be a great number for Emtb as long as the geometry is on the number. And which appears to be the case with their new bikes offering 66.5 head angle, 1230mm wheelbase, 460mm reach and a 12.5mm bottom bracket drop the bike looks loaded for action. We hope the suspension design has improved on former non- emtb bikes but there seems to be no reason why not with this bike.

There’s plenty of other details on this bike. For example the casting system of the E8000 Shimano motor as well as the Bosch clad bikes is well integrated, Prolite 66 aluminium offers what Merida describe as “optimum stiffness to weight” whilst their system of welding is said to be smoother than ever. We also look forward to the rattle free ride whereby the cables are clamped in tension.

Merida have pulled off an attractive range of emtb’s with these new bikes. Check out also the EONE-TWENTY range which looks equally as good. But more than anything have a look at the pricing on these bikes for the flagship 160mm bike comes in at just over €5000 which means its going to be a hot one for definite.


It might be the tyres, we don’t know, but this concept bike from BMC offers the fully integrated look with its super clean lines. There’s no details as yet from BMC other than it’s pretty soon. We expect it to be every bit as gripping as one of favourite enduro bikes the Trailfox.

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