A 29in wheel trail bike might not have been quite what everyone was expecting from the German company YT, a brand well renowned for its big-hitting, long-travel bikes. Will its first foray into the world of big wheelers create the same buzz as its now legendary Capra though?
- Best mountain bike: how to choose the right one for you
- 5 reasons why YT’s Jeffsy is the coolest 29er to own in 2016
YT Jeffsy CF Pro spec overview
- Frame: Jeffsy carbon 29"
- Shock: Fox Float DPS Factory
- Fork: Fox 34 Float
- Rear derailleur: SRAM X01
- Shifter: SRAMX01
- Cassette: SRAM XG 1175
- Chain: SRAM PCX1
- Brakes: SRAM Guide Ultimate
- Wheelset: DT Swiss XMC1200 Spline
- Front and rear tyre: Onza Ibex
- Stem: Renthal Apex
- Handlebar: Renthal Fatbar carbon black
- Saddle: SDG Circuit
YT Jeffsy CF Pro frame and equipment
YT wanted to ensure the Jeffsy fitted in with the rest of the bikes in its line-up, so designed it around a short stem and riser bar. The stumpy head tube also allows for the stem to be lifted/lowered on the steerer tube to help riders get bar height just where they want it.
The V4L suspension system pumps out 140mm of rear wheel travel, all of which is tamed using Fox’s Float DPS EVOL shock in a bid to deliver a supportive stroke that can be used to push hard and ride fast. There are two geometry settings that are easy enough to switch between thanks to the flip chip located in the rearmost shock mount, letting you slacken the head angle out from 68.9 to 67.6 degrees, which in turn drops the bottom bracket by 8mm.
Chainstay length is dependent upon which size frame you go for, with the small and medium sporting a 435mm chainstay while the large and extra-large use a lengthier 440mm offering in a bid to balance handling.
Other points to note include the Boost 12x148mm rear axle spacing, plenty of integrated chainstay protection, room for a water bottle (albeit the custom YT cage only) and, for the most part at least, external cable routing. Interestingly, although the back-end gets the Boost treatment, YT is using non-Boost (meaning the front wheel isn’t as stiff as it could be) 140mm Fox 34 forks and with the shorter offset up front.
The medium, large and extra-large Jeffsys all come with 150mm (rather than the 125mm on the size small) RockShox Reverb Stealth posts.
YT Jeffsy CF Pro ride impression
YT hasn’t gone crazy with the geometry, with a reach of 425mm in size medium being a little on the conservative side compared to some of the competition. When seated, the 592mm effective top tube when paired with the 50mm Renthal stem let us tackle steep technical climbs without the front wheel lifting or wandering. This coupled with the fact that the Jeffsy weighs just 12.66kg (27.9lb) and has little in the way of energy sapping suspension bob means that, if you’re willing to put the effort in, this thing flies up hills.
The well-proportioned geometry and 29in wheels mean the Jeffsy covers ground rapidly too, and laps up anything remotely technical in its path. It never feels gangly, perched or cumbersome when things get twisty either. After fiddling with the stem height a little and settling on our preferred bar height, we found we absolutely loved slinging the Jeffsy into turn after turn, happily putting our trust in the big, aggressively treaded Onza tyres.
It’s playful as well, with plenty of pop and support in the suspension, letting you rail turns and thump into heavier hits at speed when the terrain does rough up. While the 34 fork and DPS rear shock felt controlled and comfortable no matter what was going on under our tyres, the skinny RaceFace grips did feel a little harsh on really choppy terrain.
YT Jeffsy CF Pro early verdict
The Jeffsy is one seriously capable all-rounder and is as happy munching miles as it is being razzed down technical singletrack.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.