When it comes to ploughing through technical, rocky and steep mountain bike trails, the more suspension travel you have, the better. With 160mm of travel at both ends, the SAM is the biggest and baddest mountain bike from Focus. Unlike shorter travel bikes like the JAM and Spine, the SAM has much longer and slacker geometry that creates a more stable feel when descending at speed. Combined with its beefy frameset, chunky tyres, powerful disc brakes and wide handlebars, the SAM is designed to give you masses of confidence when the trail begins to drop away from you. If you’re not riding such terrain, then the SAM will likely be too burly and too cumbersome for your needs. But for those who prefer to spend their time blasting downhill, then a long-travel enduro bike like the SAM is a competent partner to do so with.
Unlike a heavy full-blown downhill race bike with dual crown forks and coil suspension, the SAM is still designed to be pedalled along regular trails and uphill too. It’s equipped with a lightweight air shock that can be tuned to different rider weights, and it also has a lockout to stiffen up the suspension for winching your way up steep climbs. But when the trail turns back downwards, that’s when the SAM shines. A slack head tube angle kicks the front wheel out ahead of the handlebars, resulting in a planted feel for the rider. There’s 160mm of suspension travel to soak up everything from small bumps on the trail, to big drops and heavy landings. Wide, tubeless compatible tyres offer masses of traction on loose terrain, while the stiff frameset and thru-axle wheels keep everything on line for point-and-shoot handling accuracy.
Want the lightest bike for racing duties? The SAM is available in a carbon frameset that is lighter and stronger than the alloy version. Regardless of frame material, each SAM model comes with air-adjustable suspension, a 1x drivetrain, hydraulic disc brakes and a modern cockpit setup that helps to deliver plenty of stability and control.