Dissapointed

Peaky Rider

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Feb 9, 2019
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Derbyshire
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Jam2 6.9 Drifter
#1
Am I the only person on this forum who is disappointed with their Focus Jam 2?

I bought a 6.9 drifter last November along with the Tech pack which I was hoping not to use too frequently.

I love the bike, it looks great and rides superbly but there are two issues which are making me consider getting rid of it.

Firstly, the battery is a pain to remove. I knew this before purchasing but did not think it would be an issue, but I am finding it is.

Secondly, and more importantly, I am finding the battery range very disappointing. I ride in the Derbyshire Peak District so every ride I am looking at at least 2000 ft of climbing and conditions are currently very sticky.

Even so, I was expecting more than !8 miles off the main battery.

Now you could say that at 68 I am old (true), fat (a little perhaps) and unfit (definitely not, I have been riding these hills three times a week for the last thirty years).

Also my mate, who has just bought a Giant Trance, ironically on my recommendation, is getting almost 50 miles per battery charge on the same rides. He is almost my age, slightly heavier and not as fit, (he cannot keep up with me on a pedal only bike). Now I realise his bike has a 500wh battery compared to the Focus' 378wh, but even so.

I have read on here that people are getting 30 to 40 miles on the main battery. I would be very happy with that but am getting nowhere near it.

I rarely ride in trail now let alone boost, but still the range is rubbish.

Can anyone tell me where I am going wrong?
 

Lee67

Active member
Nov 21, 2018
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Yorkshire
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Stance e+2
#2
I have a giant stance with only a 400 battery and in the peaks i too can get 50 miles... even 70 miles with 3-4000 ft of climbing... 8 miles would annoy me too...ps try spinning more is my only advice
 

Kernow

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#3
Sounds like the giant has double the battery life of most other bikes
 

Lee67

Active member
Nov 21, 2018
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Yorkshire
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Stance e+2
#4
Sounds like the giant has double the battery life of most other bikes
Supposedly there batteries ate panasonic and rated the best... but yep they give excellent range... i rode with a levo a few weeks ago same ride 35 miles more or less side by side the whole ride similar weight etc... his battery died at 35 miles mine had 49% left !!!
 
Dec 28, 2018
42
40
18
Isle of Wight UK
Ride
Focus Jam2
#5
That range is seriously below what your bike should achieve.
It suggests to me that there is something wrong with it.
I'd have it checked out by a Focus dealer if I were you.
 

Andy A

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Jan 13, 2019
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#7
Did you mean 18 miles? as you put an exclamation mark before the 8, even 18 miles doesn't sound right!
 

Andy A

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Jan 13, 2019
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#9
When you say removing the battery what do you mean as the Jam2 doesn't have a removable battery, the TEC pack yes but not the main battery!
 

bissona

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Oct 14, 2018
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Focus JAM2
#10
Not sure why you want to remove the main battery, other than to potentially check it for issues.

Tons of things can impact range (temp, gradient, tyre pressures, riding style, etc) but ultimately they're all converting stored energy into power. The efficiencies of each motor are unlikely to be massively different, so it's either one/several of the points above, or your battery has an issue. The Shimano system has been pretty solid since launch, and any major difference against the competition would have come to light ages ago.

If you have a TEC pack then you can easily test if the main battery has an issue. Ride in one direction until the main battery is nearly dead (whole display turns red), then ride back along the same route on the TEC pack. If you have 2 pips left on your TEC back when you get home then the main battery has problems.

From our experience with 3 x Jam2s, 18 miles of hard riding in cold conditions, with <20psi tyres, and with the kind of elevation you're talking about, could easily kill a battery. This winter we've been getting c. 45 miles out of both main & TEC, on c.60% off road, mix of all modes, on 19-25 psi tyres, with avg kitted rider weight of 90kg, c.1,000ft of elevation. Rider weight and tyre pressure seem to be the biggest differentiators.
 

Peaky Rider

Well-known member
Feb 9, 2019
170
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Derbyshire
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Jam2 6.9 Drifter
#13
Not sure why you want to remove the main battery, other than to potentially check it for issues.

Tons of things can impact range (temp, gradient, tyre pressures, riding style, etc) but ultimately they're all converting stored energy into power. The efficiencies of each motor are unlikely to be massively different, so it's either one/several of the points above, or your battery has an issue. The Shimano system has been pretty solid since launch, and any major difference against the competition would have come to light ages ago.

If you have a TEC pack then you can easily test if the main battery has an issue. Ride in one direction until the main battery is nearly dead (whole display turns red), then ride back along the same route on the TEC pack. If you have 2 pips left on your TEC back when you get home then the main battery has problems.

From our experience with 3 x Jam2s, 18 miles of hard riding in cold conditions, with <20psi tyres, and with the kind of elevation you're talking about, could easily kill a battery. This winter we've been getting c. 45 miles out of both main & TEC, on c.60% off road, mix of all modes, on 19-25 psi tyres, with avg kitted rider weight of 90kg, c.1,000ft of elevation. Rider weight and tyre pressure seem to be the biggest differentiators.
Hi Bissona, just to respond to the points you raise.

For several rides the temperature has been hovering just above freezing where I live, which I believe is preventing the battery from taking charge. Would be useful to be able to take just the battery into a warm room as my wife isn't too keen on having a mucky bike in the house to warm it up to enable charging. I didn't expect charging to be an issue when I bought the bike.

Accepted that many factors affect range but doesn't explain how my mate, same ride, same weight, same abilities is getting twice the range per kwh from his Giant. There are no other e-bikes in our group, yet, to compare.

I am going to undertake a more methodical comparison with the TEC pack battery as you suggest but my feeling is that range is similar with both.

I note that you think 18 miles is acceptable for the conditions I ride in. Had I have known that when choosing my first e-bike, I would have crossed this one off my list.

Thanks for your comments.
 

knut7

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Apr 10, 2018
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#14
If your battery is cold, and your friend's battery is warm when you start the ride, then that is probably the explaination. A cold battery will give you less range. And you're right, the battery can't be charged below 0*C.
 

bissona

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Oct 14, 2018
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Focus JAM2
#15
For several rides the temperature has been hovering just above freezing where I live, which I believe is preventing the battery from taking charge.
Yes, that's almost certainly not helping. There's a good thread on here relating to charging in cold conditions, and bikes with integrated batteries are never going to be best when it comes to this point.
same ride, same weight, same abilities is getting twice the range per kwh from his Giant.
You do have nearly a 3rd less power to play with. Add in a few variables mentioned above and you're within sniffing distance of his having twice the range.

Had I have known that when choosing my first e-bike, I would have crossed this one off my list.
It's definitely horses for courses. Personally, I love the flexibility to grab mine (w/o TEC) for a quick blast on the coastal paths, where 90% of passers-by won't notice it's an eMTB, and then on other days to chuck the TEC pack on for a 4-5hr slog around some proper hills. And because the TEC packs are relatively small, we're also considering buying additional ones to go in backpacks when in the Pyrenees / Alps. >1Kwh will be bloody useful for my old legs!

Good luck getting yours sorted out. Worst case scenario, run an extension lead to the shed and source an old electric blanket for the bike!
 

Shaun

Active member
May 12, 2018
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Saint Mary Bourne
#16
I rode yesterday with a friend who was on my new Focus Jam2 Pro Plus with its internal 378w battery fully charged and I was on my Levo Expert 2017 with its 504 w battery. Probably 10 Kg lower weight for the Focus. On the same ride the Focus depleted its battery pack and the Levo had 46% remaining.

What I did notice was that the non tuneable eco mode on the Shimano system was way more powerful than the eco I had on the Levo which I had set at 10%.

I believe Shimano should allow its eco mode to be customisable by its end users to make it a more level playing field.
 

Peaky Rider

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Feb 9, 2019
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Derbyshire
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Jam2 6.9 Drifter
#18
@Peaky Rider where exactly in the Peaks are you riding?
I also live in the Peaks with a Jam2 and I’m very happy with it.
The White Peak and my local rides are around Matlock, Chatsworth, Taddington and Wirksworth.

Guess you are further north up around Buxton.
 

Peaky Rider

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Feb 9, 2019
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Derbyshire
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Jam2 6.9 Drifter
#19
If your battery is cold, and your friend's battery is warm when you start the ride, then that is probably the explaination. A cold battery will give you less range. And you're right, the battery can't be charged below 0*C.
My bike lives in a warmish conservatory, his bike lives in a cold, detached garage!?

Thanks for the info on charging parameters.
 

Andy A

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#20
My bike will live in my cold garage so I am starting to worry as I only got in on Friday!
 

Peaky Rider

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Feb 9, 2019
170
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Derbyshire
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Jam2 6.9 Drifter
#21
I rode yesterday with a friend who was on my new Focus Jam2 Pro Plus with its internal 378w battery fully charged and I was on my Levo Expert 2017 with its 504 w battery. Probably 10 Kg lower weight for the Focus. On the same ride the Focus depleted its battery pack and the Levo had 46% remaining.

What I did notice was that the non tuneable eco mode on the Shimano system was way more powerful than the eco I had on the Levo which I had set at 10%.

I believe Shimano should allow its eco mode to be customisable by its end users to make it a more level playing field.
You can see where I am coming from then Shaun.
 

Shaun

Active member
May 12, 2018
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Saint Mary Bourne
#22
I can...yesterdays ride was 25 miles with 2500ft climbing...due to the muddy conditions ride duration was just under 3 hours. I expected the Focus to do better but think its the Shimano software and lack of tunability that is to blame. I would expect no more than 40 miles of my type of riding with the Focus + its TEC pack....I'd feel confident to get a minimum 40 miles out of my Levo and that with its smaller 504W vs 756W..(internal +TEC pack)
 

Peaky Rider

Well-known member
Feb 9, 2019
170
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58
Derbyshire
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Jam2 6.9 Drifter
#23
Yes, that's almost certainly not helping. There's a good thread on here relating to charging in cold conditions, and bikes with integrated batteries are never going to be best when it comes to this point.

You do have nearly a 3rd less power to play with. Add in a few variables mentioned above and you're within sniffing distance of his having twice the range.

It's definitely horses for courses. Personally, I love the flexibility to grab mine (w/o TEC) for a quick blast on the coastal paths, where 90% of passers-by won't notice it's an eMTB, and then on other days to chuck the TEC pack on for a 4-5hr slog around some proper hills. And because the TEC packs are relatively small, we're also considering buying additional ones to go in backpacks when in the Pyrenees / Alps. >1Kwh will be bloody useful for my old legs!

Good luck getting yours sorted out. Worst case scenario, run an extension lead to the shed and source an old electric blanket for the bike!
Maths isn't my strong point but even with both my batteries he will still easily outrange me. I'll be getting 36 to 40 miles, he's getting 50 to 60 miles. Maybe my Focus setup is OK, it's his Giant power train that is a bit special'

One of the reasons I bought a Focus was for the flexibility but I am having to lug the spare battery on every ride I do, which rather defeats the object of the exercise.

Once clean, it lives in the conservatory. :)
 
Last edited:

Peaky Rider

Well-known member
Feb 9, 2019
170
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58
Derbyshire
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Jam2 6.9 Drifter
#24
I can...yesterdays ride was 25 miles with 2500ft climbing...due to the muddy conditions ride duration was just under 3 hours. I expected the Focus to do better but think its the Shimano software and lack of tunability that is to blame. I would expect no more than 40 miles of my type of riding with the Focus + its TEC pack....I'd feel confident to get a minimum 40 miles out of my Levo and that with its smaller 504W vs 756W..(internal +TEC pack)
You have just described my 'yesterdays' ride Shaun for which I used getting on for one and a half batteries.
 

knut7

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Contributor
Apr 10, 2018
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Norway
#25
My bike lives in a warmish conservatory, his bike lives in a cold, detached garage!?

Thanks for the info on charging parameters.
Is he bringing the battery inside? Starting the ride with a battery at 10*C vs 20*C will make quite a difference. Could be the vent holes in the Focus frame is a problem... Try plugging them and see if it makes a difference.
 

Shaun

Active member
May 12, 2018
103
37
28
Saint Mary Bourne
#26
You have just described my 'yesterdays' ride Shaun for which I used getting on for one and a half batteries.
Have you tried tuning the Trail and Boost modes using E-Tube phone app? If you are using trail or Boost much on your rides then dialling them down should certainly improve your situation.
 

Kernow

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Jan 18, 2018
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#27
Just saw advice not to charge battery below 0 that should read below 10degrees
 

steve_sordy

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Nov 5, 2018
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#29
Just saw advice not to charge battery below 0 that should read below 10degrees
@Kernow : Where did you see that? Is it for any Li-ion battery or just Shimano?
I have reported on here problems with charging and I believe that I had convincingly proved it was the charger that was at fault. But today another member said to try charging the battery when it was warm (it wouldn't charge at 5-8degC). It worked! :mad::)
 
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HikerDave

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Feb 9, 2019
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Tempe
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Haibike SDURO
#30
If
Supposedly there batteries ate panasonic and rated the best... but yep they give excellent range... i rode with a levo a few weeks ago same ride 35 miles more or less side by side the whole ride similar weight etc... his battery died at 35 miles mine had 49% left !!!
If you look at the power vs cadence curves of the various motors the Yamaha motor, used by Giant and in my Haibike SDURO, comes up short at high cadence. This may mean that the Yamaha motor is spinning faster, or alternatively and equivalently, is wound differently.

A motor operating higher in its RPM range is more efficient because it is generating less heat in proportion to its output power - spinning at a high cadence is more efficient but for the Yamaha motor high cadence means 70 to 80 rpm instead of 110 to 120 rpm like the other bikes.

Difference in design could explain part of your range deficit; perhaps it’s also a combination of soft ground and cold batteries. Once the weather warms up you’ll know for sure - it is possible that you just got unlucky and drew a bad battery but it seems more like temporary adverse conditions.
 

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