Video: Our YT Jeffsy Custom Build

The YT Jeffsy is a ripper of a bike. It’s hard to explain why; when you look at it on paper there’s nothing particularly magical about its numbers or suspension. But on the trails, it flat out shreds, down, up and round the bends. We fell in love with this bike last year, when we took it on our Ride High Country Road Trip – make sure you watch the video of that trip below, and check out our full video review of the Jeffsy CF as well.

We’ve recently welcomed another YT Jeffsy into our lives, this time as a custom build, put together from the frame up. We’re going to be using this bike to review all kinds of test products, and we’ve already got a number of review items bolted on, getting dirty. Here’s a bit of rundown of some of the key items.

2019 FOX 36 Factory Grip 2:

The orange 36 is hard to miss! You can read our first impressions here. Like Mulholland Drive, it’s surreally good, but confusing at the same time!

SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain:

We’ve ridden this drivetrain a lot recently, it’s been fitted to many test bikes. The 500% range and light shifting action is superb, though it’s not niggle free. You can read our review here.

Vittoria Morsa tyres:

Did you know that Vittoria made mountain bike tyres? Neither did we till the Morsa 29×2.3 tyres lobbed on in. Read our first impressions piece here. We’re liking the tough construction, fast rolling speeds and durability of this rubber. The grip is good in soft soils, or deep sand, but not so flash in the wet or when there’s loose over hardpack.

 

World Cup DH: Gwin’s Monumental Win at Mont Sainte Anne – How It Happened

Gwin’s Winning Run:

Tales of The Mob – Episode 7, Mont Sainte-Anne:

Australian Dean Lucas found himself in the hot seat prior to the 20 minute break for TV, and around that time, the rain increased from a drizzle to a downpour. Many of the on-site fans thought the racing was over with most riders battling to get within 10 seconds of Lucas’ time. That was until his teammate Jack Moir (AUS) put in an incredible run, finding time in the 3rd sector, and crossing the line in 4th place. At that point, the team radioed up the mountain to inform Aaron what had taken place and that a top time was possible.

Dean Lucas during dry and dusty practice.
NSW Central Coast’s Jack Moir had a wet run, and finished less than four seconds behind Gwin in 8th. He’s currently ranked 5th in the overall World Cup standings.

After Jack Moir came in, Troy Brosnan (AUS) also put down a great run going into 3rd place. It was clear the top guys had a shot. Next up it was Danny Hart (GBR) who was ahead of Dean Lucas until the finish line and he slotted into 2nd before World Cup leader Greg Minnaar (RSA) took to the track. Only 1 second down at the first split, the major surprise came at the 2nd split which showed the South African down by 20secs. An off track excursion had cost him a lot of time, and ultimately a disqualification for an incorrect entry back onto the course. Next up Loic Bruni (FRA) crossed the line for 3rd and so the attention turned to the last man down, fastest qualifier Aaron Gwin who some doubted had the wet weather experience to deal with the conditions. What happened next was simply incredible. Picking up green lights all the way down, at one point 2 seconds up on everyone, Aaron took a historic win in the most extreme conditions.

Loic Bruni, 4th at Mont Sainte Anne
Danny Hart, always confident in the wet, placed 3rd behind Australian, Dean Lucas.

“The fact that I’ve been sitting here for 10 minutes now trying to figure out how to start off this quote for our press release should explain my feelings after today’s race. It’s hard to find the words; I’m just happy. It’s been a crazy season but we’ve kept fighting through the ups and downs, and this weekend wasn’t any different. It feels good to get that win. Conditions like we had today make the win feel even better. I’m happy for myself, my team, the sponsors that support us and the thousands of fans who’ve been encouraging me all season. Thanks to all of you for the love. I wanted to take this title fight to the last race, and now we get to do that, so let the fun continue!” – Aaron Gwin

Aaron Gwin

The title chase is now just 33 points away from Greg Minnaar in 1st, with Troy Brosnan only 44 points behind Aaron. Mathematically, only Greg, Aaron or Troy can win the title, and it will all go down to the wire in Vale Di Sole in 3 weeks from now.

Aaron Gwin celebrates the win at Mont Sainte Anne

 

Long-Term Test: YT Jeffsy CF2 29



The ride

29er trail bikes of this kind of travel seem to often have the misconception hanging over them, that somehow the addition of big wheels morphs them into quasi-Enduro bikes. It ain’t the case – this bike is very capable all-rounder, a true trail bike, albeit with a lot of enthusiasm for the descents.

We’d have to rate the Jeffsy as one of the most engaging trail bikes we’ve ridden. A floater, not a flogger – it skims along, doesn’t get stuck down in its travel. It combines that supportive feel with a stiff frame too, so there’s never any vagueness about what the bike is up to. With 140mm front and rear, the bike was easy to balance, and we enjoyed the damping symmetry of the RockShox combo of a Pike up front and Monarch out the back.

We’d have to rate the Jeffsy as one of the most engaging trail bikes we’ve ridden.

The reach and overall length measurements of the Jeffsy are comparative moderate, it’s not a big boat to pilot, it’s sizing and geometry are such that it doesn’t require steep descents to come alive. In fact at the opposite end of the spectrum, on steep climbs, we were impressed too by both the climbing efficiency and the grip on offer.

The Jeffsy proved to be a great choice for our Ride High Country road trip in Victoria. It handled the varied trails brilliantly.
Popping along on Flowtown, Falls Creek.

We’re yet to get a creak or loose pivot bolt, despite nearly five months of regular use.

Its versatility was proven to us when we took the Jeffsy road tripping, hitting seven different destination across the Victorian High Country. On everything from flowing singletrack in Beechworth, to big climbs in Mt Buller, and some hefty jumps in Bright, the Jeffsy didn’t put a foot wrong. Nor has it required any maintenance, we’re yet to get a creak or loose pivot bolt, despite nearly five months of regular use. The assembly quality would appear to be top notch, and we like the mechanic friendly brake/dropper housing routing too.

Chunky, keyed hardware on the lower pivot. We’ve appreciated the creak-free ride.
YT aren’t buying into the idea of running 27.5+ wheels in a 29er frame. This bike is built solely for 29er wheels, so ditch any thoughts of putting a set of plus-sized wheels in here.

What did we change?

This particular model of Jeffsy is the only bike in the range that comes with a 2×11 drivetrain. We didn’t waste any time swapping it out for a 1×11 setup, as we’re sure many riders will.

The Jeffsy CF2 comes stock with a 2×11 drivetrain, but we went to a 1×11 straight away. The XT shifting has not missed a beat.

Over the five months of testing, we’ve fitted a number of other test parts too. This is not because the stock items on the Jeffsy needed changing, but purely because it’s nice to test parts on a bike that you’re familiar with. We’re currently reviewing the PRO dropper post and cockpit, and DT XM1501 wheels on the Jeffsy, along with the Industry Nine MatchStix fork axle/multi tool.

External cable routing for the dropper and rear brake line (and a continuous, sleeved route for the rear gear cable too) makes the Jeffsy one of the most mechanic-friendly bikes we’ve tested in a while.


The gripes?

Well, the fact you can fit a water bottle into this bike really appealed to us, as we like the freedom of riding without a pack. There’s a catch, however. The only bottle you can actually fit is YT’s own ThirstMaster, which at just 480ml capacity, can’t bust master of a thirst. YT also supply the bottle cage and it doesn’t have a firm enough grip, launching bottles into oblivion. We gave up on the YT bottle setup after a few rides and reverted to backpack.

This bike begs for some broader rims to give more support to the large 2.4″ tyres

As part of our long-term test we fitted some wider rims. The DT XM1501 wheels have a 30mm internal width. Highly recommended!

The Jeffsy’s narrow rims aren’t optimum either. This bike begs for some broader rims to give more support to the large 2.4″ tyres, as the stock setup restricts you from dropping the tyre pressures. As part of our long-term test, we fitted a set of 30mm wide DT XM1501 wheels to the Jeffsy and the transformation was instant. We could lower the tyre pressures by 5psi for more traction, but without any tyre roll. Wider rims really are the ultimate upgrade for this bike.

Left, the original DT M1900 wheels. Right, the XM1501 wheels we installed. As you can see, there’s a big difference in width.
The Onza Ibex tyres are great performers in the dry, but the hard compound is a bit lacking in the wet. They greatly benefitted from the use of wider rims as well, meaning we could drop the pressures and find more traction.

The wrap up

It’s hard to deny that a direct-to-consumer model like YT has some real appeal in terms of delivering a lot of bike for a reasonable price; the $5499 price tag nets you a full carbon bike of superb quality, top-shelf suspension and performance that puts the Jeffsy amongst our favourite trail bikes we’ve ridden.

Of course, for some riders, having the ability to communicate face-to-face with a salesperson and build a relationship with a local shop is paramount, and you just don’t get that with an online purchase like buying from YT. But if you’re happy with the sales approach, and you want a bullet-proof carbon 29er trail bike, then you’d be mad not to peruse the Jeffsy range from YT.

 

Video: CATALOCOS

After the intensive training session in Italy, we headed off to Spain (we were up with the sun!). Ahead of us, a 10-hours drive. It’s a long way to go and a long way from home, but we were rewarded with incredible views of the many beautiful landscapes along the journey.  When we arrived, we arranged to meet up at La Poma Bike Park, which was buffed out to a shine. After a few hot laps, it was time to check out the home of Bienve, Adolf, and Andreu.Catalocos_Bikebuildup_Erik_by-Ralf-Schupp Catalocos_by-Ralf-Schupp Catalocos_Shuttle_by-Ralf-Schupp

The guys showed us their local riding spots on their CAPRA and TUES. We had a great time together, and we also took the opportunity to build up two fresh new TUES for Andreu – not forgetting to enjoy the odd evening beer or two. All in all it was a great trip with awesome weather, excellent food, and good training for the upcoming season.Catalocos_Lacondeguy_by-Ralf-Schupp Catalocos_Bikebuildup_by-Ralf-Schupp

I would like to thank Andreu, Bienve, Luis, Adolf, Lisa and all the other locos who came to hang out. I appreciate your hospitality very much!”.

JEFFSY 27 – Size Doesn’t Matter

No, YT haven’t introduced another wheelsize, they’ve just decided to abbreviate 27.5″ to plain old 27. What they have introduced though is more options in their acclaimed Jeffsy line up. Now you can buy the Jeffsy in both 29″ and 27.5″ options, in both carbon and aluminium models.

The top of the line Jeffsy 27 CF Pro Race.
The top of the line Jeffsy 27 CF Pro Race.

We’re currently testing a Jeffsy CF Comp 2 and loving it, and it’s exciting to see YT offer both wheelsize options for this popular trail bike. Read on for the official word, and be sure to watch the video, although we’re not sure what the nickname ‘doggy’ is all about.


JEFFSY 27 – Size Doesn’t Matter:

It was only last year that YT appeared in the all-mountain market, where they made quite an impression. This segment now sees further growth with the arrival of another model: The JEFFSY 27 is the right choice for those seeking an even more agile and playful bike than the JEFFSY 29 – already one of the most fun-loving 29ers on the market.

We're enjoying our time aboard the Jeffsy CF Comp 2.
We’re enjoying our time aboard the Jeffsy 29 CF Comp 2.

When it comes to getting aggressive, JEFFSY 27 follows in the footsteps of its big brother, too: in giving it a little bit of extra travel, the developers made sure this 27.5” bike won ‘t get hung up on rough terrain. It is available with 160mm of travel on the top of the range model, and 150mm on the rest of the line-up. When it comes to suspension travel, the 160mm JEFFSY CF Pro Race is most suited for racing applications, where in addition to pedaling efficiently the bike also needs to have a tad more gravity potential. YT team rider Bryan Regnier will use JEFFSY for several Enduro World Series races this season.

EWS racer Bryan Reigner races on both the Jeffsy and Capra.
EWS racer Bryan Regnier races on both the Jeffsy and Capra.

“When choosing the right wheel size for you, your personal preferences, your riding style, and of course also the terrain you ride plays an important role in the decision. Everybody should decide for themselves which wheel size is most appropriate for them. At the end of the day, it’s not about numbers but about how much fun you’re having on your bike. Everything is what you make of it.” Markus Flossmann, CEO.


Technical Data:

The carbon frame weighs in at a scant 2300 grams, while its aluminum counterpart tips the scales at 2900 grams. Just like on the JEFFSY 29, a Flip Chip lets you dial in your ride: in the low position, you get an aggressive, 66-degree head angle and a significant BB drop (15mm). Those who climb a lot might prefer the high position, which yields a 75.5-degree effective seat angle.

Naturally, YT’s highly acclaimed V4L suspension layout is also used on JEFFSY 27; it provides great small-bump sensitivity, good mid-stroke support and significant end-stroke progressivity. The BOOST standard was used for the rear axle spacing and the crank in order to provide more space between the chain ring, chain stays, and tire. An E-Type mount makes sure you can always install a front derailleur, even on the single chain ring models. Last but not least, the protectors on the stays help keep drive train noise to a minimum, whilst the discretely integrated alloy “chain suck guides” protect from damage caused by a fallen chain.

You can run a front derailleur on the Jeffsy 27.
You can run a front derailleur on the Jeffsy 27.

The Carbon Models:

The JEFFSY 27 is available in four carbon versions: CF Pro Race, CF Pro, CF One, and CF Two. The top of the line JEFFSY 27 CF Pro Race features only the very best parts, which makes it an ideal choice for racers and pro riders. It’s also the only bike in the range that offers 160mm of travel, ready to get rowdy. The Kashima coated FOX Factory suspension components were designed for aggressive trail riding and serious enduro racing, and they are both ready to mix it up with the best. Drivetrain wise the choice fell to e*thirteen, being a very reliable and robust cassette for racing with its perfect range of gears. Carbon wheels, cranks, and handlebar help keep JEFFSY’s weight really low, this rocket weighs a mere 12.4 kg.

The Jeffsy 27 CF Pro.
The Jeffsy 27 CF Pro.

The JEFFSY 27 CF Pro is also a convincing package with extraordinary specs: The FOX Performance Elite suspension shines with top-class responsiveness on aggressive downhill sections as it comes with exact the same damping cartridge as the big brother Factory Series. In fact, the only difference between the Performance Elite fork and the Factory Series are the hard-anodized stanchions. Another eye-catcher on the CF Pro: the SRAM Eagle transmission which with its twelve gears makes the front derailleur superfluous. Those who prefer RockShox suspension will find themselves in great company with the JEFFSY 27 CF One or CF Two. The CF One offers a crisp, 11-speed SRAM transmission while the CF Two provides 2×11 gears via Shimano’s XT group.

The Jeffsy 27 CF 2.
The Jeffsy 27 CF 2.

The Aluminum Models:

When it comes to aluminum, YT offers a choice between the JEFFSY 27 AL One and AL Two. Neither have anything to envy their carbon colleagues, since they are both based on the same frame platform. The user-friendly suspension components are easy to set up and adjust, even for beginners. Both bikes offer 150mm of ready-to-rumble suspension travel front and rear: A RockShox Pike RC fork and Deluxe RT shock on the AL One, and a RockShox Pike RC and Deluxe R on the AL Two. The biggest difference between the two aluminum models is the drivetrain: the AL One features a SRAM X1 1×11 transmission while the AL Two goes 2×11 with SRAM GX.

The Jeffsy 27 AL 1 has an excellent value for money spec.
The Jeffsy 27 AL 1 has an excellent value for money spec.

All models come in S, M, L, and XL sizes and are available to order as of today on the website www.yt-industries.com. 


JEFFSY 27 CF Build Kits:

JEFFSY 27 CF Pro Race

JEFFSY 27 CF CF Pro

Fork

Fox 34 Float Factory

Fox 34 Performance Elite

Shock

Fox Float X Factory

Fox Float DPS Performance Elite

Travel (F/R)

160mm / 160mm

150mm / 150mm

Crank

Race Face Next SL

SRAM X01 Eagle

Transmission

SRAM X01

SRAM X01 Eagle

Wheels

E.13 TRSr SL

E.13 TRS+

Tires (F/R)

E.13 TRSr / E.13 TRS+

Maxxis High Roller II

Stem

Renthal Apex 35

Race Face Turbine 35

Handlebar

Renthal Fatbar Carbon 35

Race Face SIXc 35

Brakes

SRAM Guide Ultimate

SRAM Guide RSC

Seatpost

RockShox Reverb stealth

Race Face Turbine

Weight*

12,4 kg

12,6 kg

Price

4.499 EUR / 3.799 GBP

3.999 EUR / 3.399 GBP

5.599 USD

4.799 USD

6.999 CAD

5.999 CAD

7.999 NZD

6.899 NZD

7.799 AUD

6.499 AUD

99.900 ZAR

87.900 ZAR

 

JEFFSY 27 CF One

JEFFSY 27 CF Two

Fork

RockShox Pike RCT3

RockShox Pike RCT3

Shock

RockShox Deluxe RT3

RockShox Deluxe RT3

Travel (F/R)

150mm / 150mm

150mm / 150mm

Crank

Race Face Turbine

Race Face Turbine

Transmission

SRAM X1

Shimano XT

Wheels

E.13 TRS

E.13 TRS

Tires (F/R)

Maxxis High Roller II

Maxxis High Roller II

Stem

Race Face Turbine 35

Race Face Turbine 35

Handlebar

Race Face Turbine 35

Race Face Turbine 35

Brakes

SRAM Guide RS

SRAM Guide RS

Seatpost

Race Face Turbine

RockShox Reverb stealth

Weight*

12,9 kg

13,3 kg

Price

3.399 EUR / 2.899 GBP

3.399 EUR / 2.899 GBP

3.999 USD

3.999 USD

4.999 CAD

5.099 CAD

5.799 NZD

5.799 NZD

5.499 AUD

5.599 AUD

72.900 ZAR

74.900 ZAR

unnamed

JEFFSY 27 AL Build Kits:

JEFFSY 27 AL One

JEFFSY 27 AL Two

Fork

RockShox Pike RC

RockShox Pike RC

Shock

RockShox Deluxe RT

RockShox Deluxe R

Travel (F/R)

150mm / 150mm

150mm / 150mm

Crank

Race Face Turbine

Race Face Aeffect SL

Transmission

SRAM X1

SRAM GX

Wheels

DT Swiss M1900 SPLINE

DT Swiss M1900 SPLINE

Tires (F/R)

Maxxis High Roller II

Maxxis High Roller II

Stem

Race Face Turbine 35

Race Face Aeffect 35

Handlebar

Race Face Turbine 35

Race Face Aeffect 35

Brakes

SRAM Guide RS

SRAM Guide R

Seatpost

E.13 Dropper Post

RockShox Reverb stealth

Weight*

13,5 kg

13,5 kg

Price

2.599 EUR / 2.199 GBP

2.099 EUR / 1.799 GBP

2.999 USD

2.599 USD

3.799 CAD

3.199 CAD

4.299 NZD

3.599 NZD

3.999 AUD

3.499 AUD

55.900 ZAR

46.900 ZAR

*Frame size S without Pedals

Due to manufacturing tolerances on individual components the weight may vary by +/- 2%.


JEFFSY 27 Geometry:

S

M

L

XL

Toptube (horizontal)

573 mm

602 mm

625 mm

648 mm

Reach

415 mm

440 mm

460 mm

480 mm

Stack

584 mm

597 mm

611 mm

620 mm

Seat tube

410 mm

450 mm

480 mm

520 mm

Chain stay

430 mm

430 mm

435 mm

435 mm

Head angle (High/Low)*

67°/66°

67°/66°

67°/66°

67°/66°

Seat tube angle (eff)*

75,5°/74,5°

75,5°/74,5°

75,5°/74,5°

75,5°/74,5°

Seat tube angle (act)*

69°/68°

69°/68°

69°/68°

69°/68°

BB drop (High/Low)*

5/ 15 mm

5/ 15 mm

5/ 15 mm

5/ 15 mm

Wheelbase

1138 mm

1169 mm

1200 mm

1224 mm

Head tube length

95 mm

110 mm

125 mm

135 mm

Standover height

708 mm

737 mm

752 mm

782 mm

*Values depend on the position of the Flip Chips (High/Low) and suspension travel (160 mm/150 mm).

YT 2017 Range Launch

Take a look at our First Bite on the Jeffsy CF here too!


The 2017 YT Jeffsy CF Pro Race.
The 2017 YT Jeffsy CF Pro Race.

Brand new specs, rich new graphics and new sizes are among the highlights.

For this year, the JEFFSY, CAPRA, and TUES will all be available in the very exclusive CF Pro Race version. Thanks to the new flagship “Liquid Metal” paintjob these high-end bikes will certainly turn some heads on the trail, while the killer builds and highly adjustable components will be high on every racer’s or pro-rider’s wish list.

The Capra CF Pro Race in 'Liquid Silver'.
The Capra CF Pro Race in ‘Liquid Silver’.

Another highlight of the new range is the introduction of an XL size for both the CAPRA CF and the TUES CF – welcome news for any rider who enjoys a bike with longer reach.

The Tues CF now comes in an XL size for taller riders.
The Tues CF now comes in an XL size for taller riders.

In general, the new range offers everything that YT has built its name on: from entry-level race rigs for Young Talents to the most premium builds, there is something here for every budget and riding style.

Here at Flow we’re pretty impressed by the new range, particularly the value for money with upgraded components on many models, and also the increased size range. Read on for a run-through of the changes to each model.


JEFFSY:

When it was released in 2016, JEFFSY dropped like a bomb. 2017 promises more of the same: YT’s aggressive 29er trail bike will for this year also be available in a CF Pro Race version, sporting a rad new paint job and the very finest components.

Meanwhile, the JEFFSY CF Pro confidently holds its own line, with FOX suspension that casually smooths out the most uneven of trail surfaces.

The 2017 YT Jeffsy CF Pro.
The 2017 YT Jeffsy CF Pro.

For those looking for a wider selection of gears, the JEFFSY CF Two and AL Two with their SRAM 2x drivetrains have plenty in reserve.

The 2017 YT Jeffsy AL 2 offers exceptional value for money.
The 2017 YT Jeffsy AL 2 offers exceptional value for money.

We’re happy to see YT continuing to develop the Jeffsy line, as it’s a bike that’s so well suited to Australian conditions, and the wide range of models and price points means something in the range will fit into most consumers budgets.

We’re currently testing the Jeffsy CF Comp 2, which utilises the same frame as the 2017 models, and you can find our first thoughts here.


CAPRA:

The carbon version of this enduro legend is available with three different builds for 2017: CF Pro Race, CF Pro, and CF.

The 2017 YT Capra CF Pro.
The 2017 YT Capra CF Pro.

The CF Pro Race is the flagship offering of the enduro range, once again ready to go into battle sporting Kashima coated FOX Factory suspension components.

Some guy called Aaron riding the 2017 YT Capra CF Race Pro.
Some guy called Aaron riding the 2017 YT Capra CF Race Pro.

All new for 2017 are the e*thirteen carbon wheels on the CF Pro Race, as well as the Race Face and e*thirteen dropper posts that appear for the first time on the CF Pro and CF models.

The 2017 YT Capra CF.
The 2017 YT Capra CF.

Those who prefer aluminum will find what they seek with the AL Comp or the AL. Both aluminum models come equipped with RockShox suspension components: the highly acclaimed Lyrik fork pairs up nicely with the Monarch+ RC3 and Monarch+ R, respectively.

The 2017 YT Capra AL retails for $3799.
The 2017 YT Capra AL is lots of bike for $3799.

We reviewed the Capra CF Comp 1 last year, and once again the models available offer exceptional value for money for YT’s Enduro focused machine.


TUES:

Aaron Gwin successfully proved last year that the TUES is not only a World Cup worthy downhill bike, but that it has the pedigree to claim the top spot of the podium, which was reason enough for us to build a CF Pro Race version! FOX’s 40 Float Factory fork and Float X2 Factory shock deliver World Cup vibes in the suspension department.

The YT Tues CF Pro Race is the exact same spec Aaron Twin piloted to the World Cup overall last year.
The YT Tues CF Pro Race is the exact same spec Aaron Gwin piloted to the World Cup overall last year.

Freshly introduced to the downhill game by Gwin himself, the TRP Quadiem G-Spec brakes are on stopper duty for the first time this year. Carbon wheels and cranks from e*thirteen and the carbon handlebar from Renthal help keep the weight down and the reliability high – just as you would expect on a purebred race machine.

At YT, it’s not only the flagship model that belongs on the racetrack. The TUES CF Pro and TUES CF were also born to compete: the CF Pro with its noble FOX suspension, or the CF with its easy-to-tune RockShox BoXXer Team and Vivid RC2 shock.

The Tues CF comes with RockShox suspension.
The Tues CF comes with RockShox suspension.

Finally, the TUES AL is a fun and affordable way to get into the sport of downhill – offering outstanding components for smaller budgets.

The YT Tues AL is very reasonably priced.
The YT Tues AL is very reasonably priced.

Check out www.yt-industries.com for further information.


Flow’s First Bite: YT Jeffsy CF Comp 2

The bold, brash YT Jeffsy.
The bold and brash YT Jeffsy.

The direct-to-consumer brand released the Jeffsy mid last year amongst much fanfare  with the 140mm trail bike being the first 29” offering from the gravity oriented Germans. Given the brand’s image, a 29er was certainly a surprise move, but YT acted fast to make sure everyone knew this was a bike that was still built to shred, by pumping out one of the best launch videos of the year. Watch it below.

The Jeffsy is YT's first foray into the world of 29" wheels.
The Jeffsy is YT’s first foray into the world of 29″ wheels.

What’s the YT Jeffsy all about?

Before releasing the Jeffsy, the YT line up consisted of the 27.5” Enduro focused Capra (read our review here) a couple of dirt jump bikes and the Tues downhill bike, so the Jeffsy filled the hole for the type of bike many riders are buying these days, a 140mm trail bike, something that shines on the climbs and descents equally. We’re pretty stoked about this also, as the 120-140mm travel range is also pretty spot on for most Australian conditions.

It won't be hard to remember the Jeffsy's name.
It won’t be hard to remember the Jeffsy’s name.
The Jeffsy packs 140mm of travel front and rear.
The Jeffsy packs 140mm of travel front and rear.

Despite being the bike with the least amount of travel in the YT line up, it’s clear the Jeffsy is a 140mm bike that wants to throw any stereotypes off a bridge. A burly frame is the first sign of this bike’s eager intentions, and geometry numbers like the slack 67.6 degree head angle and a long front centre tell you the Jeffsy doesn’t want to be treated gently out on the trail.

The Jeffsy has a flip-chip on the shock that allows the rider to switch between two head angle and bottom bracket options. We’re starting the review in the slacker head angle position, but will be alternating between the two positions throughout the course of testing to see how the geometry adjustments change the ride.

The Jeffsy has two geometry positions available courtesy of two shock mounts.
The Jeffsy has two geometry positions available courtesy of a reversible shock mount.

Is that a full carbon frame?

It sure is! YT are clearly confident in their carbon layup, as you see many brands going for aluminium rear triangles and chainstays in this travel bracket. The frame’s construction is beautifully finished, with smooth carbon lines throughout, chunky pivot points and well thought out frame protection. The frame is the only carbon you’ll find on this bike, but even still the complete bike weighs respectably smack on 13kg.

The Jeffsy CF frame is entirely carbon, including the stays and linkages.
The Jeffsy CF frame is entirely carbon, including the stays and linkage.

A regular shaped water bottle won’t fit in the frame, but YT offer their own “Thirstmaster 3000”, which is a custom water bottle and cage combo for the Jeffsy, with the bottle holding exactly one pint of liquid (an American Pint that is- 473ml). Whilst the inability to fit a regular sized drink bottle in the Jeffsy and the $100 price tag for the Thirstmaster 3000 is a slight annoyance, we believe every trail bike should have somewhere to put a bottle, so we appreciate YT giving riders the option rather than forcing them to wear a pack.

YT's "Thirstmaster 3000" i specifically designed to fit in the Jeffsy frames.
YT’s “Thirstmaster 3000” is specifically designed to fit Jeffsy frames.

If I don’t pick up this bike assembled from a bike shop, is the bike easy to build out of the box?

We covered YT’s shipping process and what you can expect as a consumer in our review of the Capra last year, and building up the Jeffsy was very simple. As we covered in out article on the Capra, YT really do make the process fairly straightforward, and the boxing of the bike is excellent.

YT's website has clear instructions on how to assemble your bike from the box.
YT’s website has clear instructions on how to assemble your bike from the box.

What’s the spec like?

Across their range of bikes, it’s clear that YT put a lot of time into speccing their bikes with parts that are up to the job. They don’t skimp on components in one area to bolster another, and the direct to consumer sales model keeps the pricing keen.

The RockShox Pike RCT3 is impressive value at this price point.
The RockShox Pike RCT3 is impressive value at this price point.
This is lots of bike for $5499!
This is lots of bike for $5499!

The Jeffsy CF Comp 2 is no exception, and the $5499 price tag represents a favourable dollars to shiny parts ratio. The suspension is handled by Rockshox front and rear, and the top of the line Monarch shock and Pike RCT3 fork are pretty hard to beat as far as suspension goes. The drivetrain is a normally a 2×11 XT arrangement with RaceFace Turbine cranks on this particular model, but we converted the bike to 1×11 before we’d even left the workshop.

Brakes are Shimano XT, with a whopping 200mm front rotor paired with a 180mm rotor out back.

More power than a Russian weightlifter.
More power than a Russian weightlifter.

The wheelset is DT Swiss’s M1700 Spline hoops in their narrow guise, coming in at 22.5mm internally. This is the only component we’re feeling a little dubious about, just because we’ve become such fans of wider hoops over the past 12 months.

The narrow DT Swiss wheels gives the Onza tyres quite a rounded profile.
The narrow DT Swiss wheels give the Onza tyres quite a rounded profile.

The Onza Ibex tyres strongly resemble Maxxis’ Minion DHR II tyres, which are a great option for the aggressive trail rider, and they match the intentions of the Jeffsy perfectly. They’re a big 2.4″ front and rear.

Onza's Ibex tyres strongly resemble the Maxxis Minion DHR II.
Onza’s Ibex tyres strongly resemble the Maxxis Minion DHR II.

It’s funny how the little things can really help a bike make a good first impression – the RaceFace grips instantly meshed with us, and the SDG saddle’s narrow nose works for us too.

The RaceFace grips are a real winner.
The RaceFace grips are a real winner.

How many models are there in the range?

YT bring three carbon Jeffsy models into Australia as well as three alloy models, so there’s plenty of choice. Prices range from $3299-7499, so there’s a good spread for a wide variety of budgets.

The Jeffsy AL is insane value for money at $3299.
The Jeffsy AL is the entry point in the range, at $3299.

Where are we going to ride the YT Jeffsy? 

We’ve just had a trip to some of Victoria’s finest trails, to get to know the Jeffsy, before returning to our home base of Sydney’s rocky, rugged trails. We know one particularly fast local shredder aboard a Jeffsy who pilots it around some technical trails pretty quickly, so we’re interested to see how far we can push the limits of the Jeffsy’s 140mm of travel.

Fresh Product: YT Jeffsy 29er Trail Bike

YT’s rise as a brand as been meteoric, from an unknown upstart to now sponsoring some of the absolute biggest names in the sport, like Aaron Gwin and Cam Zink. But while their image and branding is fantastic and their products great (we loved our time on the Capra, read the full review here), up until now they’ve lacked a bike with real mass market appeal. With the arrival of the new Jeffsy, their quirkily named 29er trail bike, that could all be about to change.


Quite frankly, YT had us the moment we saw this video. It’s quite possibly the sickest bike launch vid we’ve ever seen – the way Aaron Gwin and Cam Zink ride a 29er trail bike will make you laugh out loud with incredulity.

Jeffsy CF Pro - $8099
Jeffsy CF Pro – $8099

The Jeffsy is a 140mm-travel 29er. Yes, a big-wheeler, which is certainly not what we would associate with YT’s gravity-inspired roots and image. YT themselves admit that when they set out to make a trail bike, they didn’t expect that they’d end up designed a 29er, but that it proved to be the right platform for creating a shorter travel bike that could still shred hard.

Jeffsy Geo

The Jeffsy uses the Virtual 4 Link suspension found on the Capra, which we found to have a super progressive rate that is really targeted at hard riding. Geometry-wise, the Jeffsy is exactly as you’d expect; quite slack, a low bottom bracket, 435mm stays (440mm on the large and x-large frames) and plenty of reach up front. There’s geometry adjustment via a simple Flip Chip system too. We also like the Thirstmaster 3000, a specific water bottle and cage to fit the Jeffsy frame.

There are going to be six models in the Jeffsy range, from $3799 for the base model alloy-framed Jeffsy up to the carbon Pro model at $8099.

The base model Jeffsy AL - $3799.
The base model Jeffsy AL – $3799.

We’re looking forward to getting a ride in on this bike in the coming weeks. The Capra was a lot of fun, but too much bike for most of our local trails, so the Jeffsy could be the right tool for the job. You can read more on YT’s site, right here.

Aaron Gwin joins The YT Mob

Finally! The news has broken – Aaron Gwin will join the newly formed YT Mob for his assault on the 2016 World Cup season.

After his shock departure from Specialized last year, the rumour mill has been in overdrive as to where Gwin would head. We heard all kinds of things, the most prevalent and persistent rumour being that he was going to be on ‘blacked-out’ Cube with a car company as his principal sponsor. Fair play to whoever started that rumour, it was a good one! Ha.

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Will Gwin resume his arse kicking ways on an entirely new team?

You can read the official word from YT below. We’re very excited to see how this partnership plays out; YT’s ‘let the good times roll’ attitude and the single-minded focus of Gwin rolled together.


The bike manufacturer YT finally shares its secret and presents its first Downhill World Cup racing team named “The YT Mob”. None other than American Aaron Gwin along with Spanish Youngster Angel Suarez will stir up the downhill world, while the team will be operated by 23 Degrees Sports with Martin Whiteley as Team Director.

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Gwin’s team mate is the young Angel Suarez.

Exactly one week ago the terrible news about the death of YT team rider Kelly McGarry made headlines all around the globe. The team at YT is still at a loss for words regarding the sudden loss of this extraordinary character. Unsure about the right moment to release the much-anticipated news about Aaron Gwin and the downhill team, YT has now decided to make it official: Aaron Gwin is coming to Forchheim!

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Gwin will be riding a completely stock TUES frame.

After an extensive search, the 28-year-old downhill superstar has decided to join the German bike manufacturer. Aaron Gwin’s team mate is 20-year-old Angel Suarez from Vigo, who can look back on a very successful motocross career and who has already showcased his immense downhill racing potential with a top 20 finish at the World Cup in Lenzerheide in 2015. With the Mob, YT joins the World Cup circus for the first time in its history.

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Finally, the long-awaited wish to send the TUES onto the world’s toughest tracks to prove that the downhill machine is not just a top-notch freeride beast, but also a proper racing tool is now coming true. With his distinctive racing focus and his untamed will to win, Aaron Gwin adds a new dimension to the YT family. It was particularly important for Gwin that his new bike sponsor shares the same passion and dedication for downhill as he does. With YT he has a like-minded crew on his side, one that is completely committed to the gravity aspect of mountain biking. The set-up of the bikes out of Forchheim could not be any better: The kinematic concept and the geometry of the TUES convinced the multiple World Cup winner already after the first ride. There will be no changes made to the frame itself, Gwin will ride all the World Cup races with a stock TUES frame.

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So, has YT had a change of heart, deviating from their Good Times mentality to now only heavily focus on nothing but rankings and podiums? “No way”, says CEO Markus Flossmann. “Good Times is also the motto of our YT Mob. We are going to offer our riders the best bikes and conditions, so they can focus on doing their thing. The fun of racing will always come first, because eventually the rider who can stay relaxed and calm during the heat and stress of racing will take the win. We are beyond thrilled to have Aaron and Angel joining us.”

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Gwin is also excited about his new sponsor: “The unbelievable hype that we’ve seen over the last few weeks and the feedback of the fans were incredible, but I am really happy to finally announce the news. We are a great match because the guys at YT share the same passion for mountain biking as I do. I am sure we will have a great time together. The TUES is perfect and I am really happy to officially ride it from now on.”

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In addition to YT as title sponsor, the YT Mob will have the following co-sponsors: e*thirteen, Onza Tires, TRP, Renthal, SDG, Motorex, ODI, Cane Creek and Alpinestars.

You’ll find more information about the YT Mob at www.yt-industries.com.

 

The $350 bike in a box and what it means for mountain biking

Updated – read our quick ride review of the Performance 29er bike here.


This unbranded, no-frills, 27.5”-wheeled mountain bike costs around $350 and it comes in a box. From ALDI.

Aldi Mountain Bike 4

Yes, we said ALDI, that eclectic marketplace where you find drop saws and vacuum cleaners alongside chickpeas and gingerbread. They could hardly begrudge us for saying they’re not renowned as a proprietor of fine cycles. Yet, in the last paragraph I deliberately used the phrase mountain bike, not just ‘bike’. Because this hardtail, unlike the buttery soft boat anchors with fold-o-matic wheels that are usually sold at department stores, is a true entry-level mountain bike.

In terms of build quality, value and attention to detail, this bike is well ahead of most others we’ve ever seen at this price. It’s constructed and assembled by the same manufacturer of Polygon Bikes, so it does have a quality manufacturer behind it, and they’re coming at this project with genuine mountain bike knowledge, which is reflected in the spec, construction and geometry.

It has a hydroformed alloy frame with sensible geometry that a beginner will appreciate, a 9-speed Shimano drivetrain with a direct-mount rear derailleur, full-length cable housings to keep the crud at bay, a wide handlebar, decent 2.25” tyres, a fork with hydraulic lock out for the tarmac…  In short, it looks and rides like much more than $350 worth of bike.  It is only available in two frame sizes, (restrictive, as they’re both on the big side) but if it fits you, then it’s a much better bike than those that got us started on the path of mountain biking all those years ago.

Now, if this bike had a familiar brand name on it and came from a bike shop, we’d all be cheering. But it does come in a box, and not from a bike retailer and that means it attracts a debate that we’re happy to thrash out here.

So what are the pros and cons of  bikes in boxes, particularly at this end of the market? We’ll aim to present both sides of the debate here and let you make up your own mind.

 FOR: Affordability and accessibility

Mountain biking, while not motor racing, is a relatively expensive sport to get into – conventional wisdom says you’ll need to spend the better part of $1000 on a bike and clothing to get yourself geared up with equipment that will be reliable and comfortable enough allow you to actually experience what mountain biking is about.

When mountain bikes are what you live and breath, it’s easy to lose track of the fact that $1000 for a bike and gear is an awful lot of cash for most people, especially if you’re a parent or partner forking out for a new rider who might well decide it’s not their kettle of fish at all.

A decent $350 bike certainly lowers the financial barriers to entry. The logical upshot of lowering the costs of getting riders onto a mountain bike is that more people, from more diverse walks of life, will get into the sport. More riders on bikes means more awareness of mountain biking across more sectors of our society. That’s a plus.

Workshop
The expert advice and support of a bike shop can be invaluable for new riders.

AGAINST: No expert knowledge

When you buy a bike from a retailer that doesn’t specialise in bikes, it’s pretty hard to expect a whole lot of expert advice. I mean, if they’re making you pack your own cans of tomatoes into a green bag, they’re not likely to be able to offer much advice about sizing, or show you how to change a tube, tell you what tyre pressure to run, or teach you how to lube your chain.

Conversely, when you buy a bike from a bike shop, you’re more likely to get a few of these gems of wisdom thrown in with the sale and down the line, not to mention establish a relationship that will hopefully continue as you progress in the sport.

FOR: It’s a steppingstone

Assuming that someone who buys a $350 mountain bike enjoys their experience, there’s a good chance that before too long they’ll want to upgrade their bike. This is where traditional bike shops can benefit, servicing the needs of riders who are looking for the next step up.

All bikes need servicing too, even cheapies, and this is another area where bike shops can stand to really benefit. Aldi’s never going to replace your gear cable! So even though bike shops didn’t make the original bike sale, they now have the opportunity to make some money through service, as well as foster a relationship with a new rider.

 

AGAINST: Taking sales from traditional bike shop retailers:

Buying bikes from a shop like Aldi, at least theoretically, takes sales from a bike shop. (We say theoretically, because you can make the case that someone looking for a $350 mountain bike isn’t going to go to ‘proper’ bike shop anyhow – they’d normally go to a department store.)

And while tradtional retail might be less relevant in some industries, bike shops are still the hub of our sport.  They foster the sense of community that makes mountain biking great.  They sponsor events, organise group rides, replace your hub bearings the night before a race and campaign against trail closures. And they need your support to keep doing so.

FOR: This is the new reality of retailing, economy-wide: 

Bikes, like the televisions we now buy online or the desks we’re assembling ourselves with little Swedish screwdrivers, are subject to the same changing retail realities as everything else.

Part of this trend is that bikes, increasingly, are being sold in boxes. It’s not just at this bottom end of the market either – Bicycles Online, Cell Bikes, and now YT-Industries and Canyon all currently sell (or are about to sell) proper, high-end mountain and road bikes in a box, direct to the consumer. It’s all about shortening supply chains and lowering margins.

It’s something we accept (and benefit from) without a murmur in other industries, so why does it upset us so much when it happens in the bike industry?

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Could this be how your next bike arrives?

AGAINST: It comes in a box

Buying a bike in a box means there’ll be an element of assembly required. And given how many people we see riding around with their helmets on backwards (or worse, their forks), we shudder at the idea of some punters wielding an Allen key. Admittedly, there’s bugger all needed to get this bike rolling –installing the pedals, bar and front wheel is it, and the instructions are clear and easy to follow – but before you go launching off water bars, you want to make sure everything is assembled as it should be.

This issue can get pretty heated: while we don’t necessarily agree, there are plenty of people out there who feel strongly that bikes just should not be sold in boxes, ever. Some even call for laws specifically to prevent bikes being sold in a box, citing the safety concerns of having improperly assembled bikes on the trails (or more worryingly, the roads).


So that’s that. Can of worms, opened! What are your thoughts? 

YT Industries present the 2015 range: Bikes for Good Times

In recent years there has been a real increase in quality direct to the consumer brands.

Companies like Polygon and Cell are bringing out well specced, well designed offerings at amazing price points by cutting out the middle men. Now, another player has rolled into town- YT Industries. With a bevy of top gravity athletes using their bikes, such as last years Red Bull Rampage winner Andreu Lacondeguy and freeride legend Cam Zink, these bikes are obviously built to take a beating!

Twenty fifteen marks the first year that YT will be available in Australia, and the Capra All-Mountain bike, available in both carbon and aluminium models, offers brilliant value for money. You can have a look at the range and availability through the Australian website, which is now live!

http://au.yt-industries.com/

To see the sort of value for money direct to the consumer brands can provide, have a little read on our thoughts of the Polygon Colossus N9.

http://flowmountainbike.com/tests/all-mountain-assassin-the-polygon-collosus-n9/


The main focus of the 2015 range is the further development of the award winning downhill bike, the TUES, and the construction of an all-new aluminum version of the enduro bike CAPRA. The CAPRA AL will replace the WICKED and delivers the same performance as it’s big brother, the CAPRA CF, at a price that’s affordable for everyone.

CAPRA Aluminum

In 2015 YT launches the first aluminum version of the CAPRA, that will replace the WICKED series. The enduro bike features all the performance and build quality of its carbon brother. The reach and stack, flat bar angle and steep seat angle make for a perfect rider position, while a short chain stay enhances the bike’s handling and makes the rider feel like he is a part of the bike.Like the TUES, the CAPRA is equipped with a V4L suspension system, a major factor in its staggering list of past victories. The V4L system has very distinct advantages: it provides all the suspension needed for hammering down hill, without loosing efficiency on climbs. So while it meets all downhill requirements, the springs also deliver energy from the drivetrain directly to the back wheel when peddling.
Besides that, the V4L system separates the brake torque from the suspension, completely eliminating fork dive when braking.

CAPRA Carbon

The first year of this carbon enduro bike was distinguished by a load of test victories . In 2015, as well as offering a bigger choice of colours, YT Industries also introduce a new model to the CAPRA CF line. While the CAPRA Pro will be given new E13 TRSr wheels and a revised colour way, YT also built a new CAPRA Pro Race model, targeted at enduro racers .And the configuration speaks for itself: it’s equipped with new BOS Deville suspension forks, with 160mm of travel, FCV (Frequency Control Valve) shocks that reach new levels of performance and the new Renthal Fatbar Carbon 780mm handlebars with a Renthal Apex stem. And as the cherry on top the Mavic Crossmax Enduro wheels will make for minimum times in all races.

TUES

In 2014 Andreu Lacondeguy won the toughest competition in the sport of mountainbiking on his TUES: the Rampage. Team mate Cam Zink secured runner up at the same event and won Best Trick Award. In 2015 the new wheel size 650B (27,5“) dominated the further development of the TUES by taking full advantage of the potential of this enlarged size and adjusting the downhill bike’s geometry to fit perfectly. Based on the feedback from Cameron Zink and Andreu Lacondeguy the 4th generation of this successful downhill bike comes close to perfection: the hydro-formed main frame is as light and stiff as its predecessor and excels with a low focal point. The 27.5“ wheels also allow for the pedal bearings to be fixed underneath the axles.
Additionally, the geometry has been enhanced with a longer reach, to achieve the more centered position of contemporary DH racing, which makes hitting jumps on gnarly trails more safe.

FIRST LOVE

Your first beer, your first girl, your first time -there are some things you’ll remember all your life. The FIRST LOVE is the ideal dirt bike for ambitious riders getting into street or dirt. It’s tough, durable and extremely easy and forgiving to ride.

DIRT LOVE

From contests to jam sessions the DIRT LOVE delivers a one-of-a-kind ride that’ll take your breath away. Like YT Industries team rider Andreu Lacondeguy, who rips the biggest tricks on his DIRT LOVE, you’ll be surprised how big you’ can go on this bikey ourself.