It’s the first few minutes of a bike launch and I’m having to try quite hard not to weep. The scepticism brought about by predictably dramatic music, followed by an unexpected big name actor are gone. Instead I’m lost in wonder at how the copywriter behind the video I’m watching has captured some bit of my soul and turned it into an advert for a bike I’m about to ride.
I kind of get it: the relationship between you and your bike is like a friendship. Just as friends can give you the confidence to be a better, stronger person, so the right bike can give you that feeling of being a better rider: trail features pass under your wheels as you feel your confidence and grin grow. While the script might say a lot about what I feel about the importance of friends, it’s a pretty over the top piece of marketing for a bike and I’m not going to drink the Kool Aid. I’m going to ride this bike in spite of the marketing, and see how it makes me feel. Is there a friendship to be had, or just a brief acquaintance?
The original Jeffsy was launched a couple of years ago to the tune of a video which I found much less compelling. That didn’t stop the masses loving the bike though, and it’s been hugely popular. We tested the alloy version and Barney thought it was ‘an extremely impressive setup’. Barney being significantly larger than me however, I’d not had the chance to ride the Mk1 model, leaving me to look at the numbers to understand the differences that have been designed into this Mk2 model.
The Jeffsy sits below the Capra – an enduro offering that will accept a downhill fork – and has been pitched as a trail bike. However, the new model is pushing the definition of trail bike and we can’t help think that maybe there’s a bit of a shuffling up of radness that will leave space for something shorter travelled in the next model year or two. As it stands, the Jeffsy now comes in 27.5in 160mm or 150mm versions, or for 29er models both 150mm or 140mm are available. And, you can have carbon fibre or alloy in both wheels sizes, though only in the shorter travel models. In all, there are four models in each wheel size, with two colours at each price point.
I would be riding the 29er, in top of the range longer travel CF Pro Race guise. The standover has been increased to recognise the greater selection of longer dropper posts now on the market. Riders can now size up or down according to their reach preferences rather than the need to clear the top tube. There is now an extra size in the 29er line up, with five sizes from Small to XXL. If you want to go long, the XXL now offers a reach of 510mm (514 in the non-Race carbon fibre and alloy models). Coming from riding a Specialized Stumpjumper and Norco Fluid with reach measurements of 425mm and 440mm respectively, I opted for a Medium Jeffsy, which features a 450mm reach – a Small would have have been between the reach of the bikes I’m more familiar with. Between wheel size, travel, frame construction and frame size, that’s a lot of choices to be made.
Chainstay lengths are varied according to size with the XL and XXL getting 440mm and the others size getting 435mm. The flip chip – to steepen the head tube angle and raised the bottom bracket – remains, while frame construction has been altered to create enough room for a 600mm Fidlock bottle in all the sizes. If you don’t want to use this magnetic arrangement, there’s a cover plate that will keep the water out of your frame, or which will accommodate a standard bottle cage (though then you’ll only fit a 500ml bottle in there on size large and up, but it may come in handy for a tool keg). Overall frame stiffness has been kept the same, but the front of the bike has been stiffened to give it burlier feel as you tackle big hits, without losing some of the comfort and flex of the Mk1 back end.
YT has put its experience of the demands of World Cup racing into the bike, making a number of tweaks which riders (or mechanics) should find increase durability and ease of maintenance. The down tube protector is bolted rather than glued on, and the insides of the chainstays are protected by metal plates to prevent the chain damaging the carbon – particularly useful perhaps if you do a lot of removing of the rear wheel for transport. The rear linkage has been designed to be as flat as possible to prevent there being a mud shelf, and both linkage bearings have had additional seals added to prevent water penetration. Apparently these have been tested on the World Cup team bikes and their demo fleet for a year and the results show a 100% increase in the operating life of the bearings. Another legacy of the team’s input is that the bike can be serviced from one side – all the bolts do up on the same side, to save swapping round the workstand. Handy if you’re a pro mechanic in a hurry, but perhaps also if you’re the average Joe with a tiny corner of the shed to do your maintenance in.
Some emphasis has been put into making the bike easier to pedal, with a steeper seat tube angle as well as kinematics that have been altered to provide greater anti-squat properties. Suspension has been made more consistent, with a flatter leverage ratio curve across the longer travel of the new metric shock sizing.
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Specification: YT Jeffsy 29 CF Pro Race
Fork// FOX 36 Float Factory 29“ | 150mm | Grip 2 | 15QRx110 | 44mm Rake
Shock// FOX Float DPX2 Factory 210x55mm | 3pos-Adjust | Evol LV
Headset// Acros AZX-203 High Cap
Stem// Renthal Apex 35 50mm
Handlebar// Renthal Fatbar Carbon 35 30mm Rise | 800mm Wide | Gold
Grips// ODI Elite Motion Lock-On
Crankset// E13 TRS Race 175x73mm | 32T Boost
Chainguide// E13 TRS Race SL I05 | 28-36T | Compact Slider
Cassette// E13 TRS Plus 9-46T | 11-Speed
Rear Derailleur// SHIMANO XTR Shadow Plus | 11-Speed
Shifter Rear// SHIMANO XTR 11-Speed
Wheels// E13 TRS Race Carbon 29“ x 28mm | 110x15mm | 148x12mm
Tyres// E13 TRS Race | TRS Plus 29“ | 2.35
Brakes// SRAM GUIDE RSC Rotor CENTERLINE 200mm/180mm
Seatpost// FOX Transfer FACTORY Ø 31.6mm | 125mm/150mm Drop
Saddle// SDG FLY MNT YT Custom | Silver
Claimed weight// 12.9kg in size Small.
Hannah’s travel and accommodation was covered by YT Industries.
|Product:||Jeffsy CF Pro Race 29|
|Tested:||by Hannah for 2 days|