PINKBIKE FIELD TEST
YT Jeffsy Base 29
Words by Mike Kazimer, photography by Anthony Smith
YT's base model, aluminum-framed Jeffsy received an update earlier this year, and it now has the same geometry as its more expensive carbon siblings, as well as an updated frame shape. From a distance, and even up close, there's nothing about this bike that scream 'budget' – it has the appearance of a much more expensive machine.
The 29” version we tested has 150mm of rear travel that's paired with a 150mm fork, which gives it a 66-degree head angle. There is a flip chip that can be used to steepen that number by half a degree, but I'd imagine the vast majority of riders will stick it in that low setting and call it good. Other key geometry numbers include a 77-degree seat tube angle, a 470mm reach for a size large, and 435mm chainstays (the XL and XXL models have 440mm chainstays.
YT Jeffsy Base 29 Details
• Travel: 150mm rear / 150mm fork
• Aluminum frame
• Wheel size: 29" (27.5" model available)
• Head Angle: 66° (geometry
• Seat Tube Angle: 77°
• Reach: 480mm (L)
• Chainstay length: 435mm (size L)
• Sizes: S, M, L (tested), XL, XXL
• Weight: 34.4 lb / 15.6 kg
• Price: $2,299 USD
YT's consumer direct business model helps them keep their prices down, and for $2,299 the AL Base model is quite the deal. Component highlights include a RockShox Yari RC fork and a Deluxe Select shock, Guide T four-piston brakes, a SRAM SX 12-speed drivetrain, Maxxis Minion DHR II tires, and there's even a Race Face bar / stem combo with ODI lock-on grips. Climbing
The Jeffsy hits the mark as far as how a trail bike should feel – it has a comfortable pedaling position for spinning along on those long dirt road grinds, and there's a satisfying level of zippiness to its handling on tighter, more technical singletrack. Mike Levy and I both settled on running 25% sag independently of each other – that number makes the bike sit a little higher in its travel, and provides a level of support that worked well on the climbs and descents.
At 34.4 pounds the Jeffsy Base isn't a flyweight, but it's one of those bikes that rides lighter than what the scale says. A good part of that has to do with the geometry – it's not a super long, super slack sled, and the quicker handling makes it easy to forget that it's packing a few extra pounds compared to higher end models.Descending
Compared to the Santa Cruz Hightower and the Commencal Meta TR, the Jeffsy has a more nimble, lively feel to it on the trail. The geometry numbers are quite similar between those three bikes, but the Jeffsy felt most at home zigging and zagging down the trail and popping off of sandstone outcroppings whenever possible rather than bombing straight ahead.
YT have created a very balanced and versatile trail bike, and as Mike Levy said, “It handles itself well on the rough descents, it handles itself well on the tight slow descents and in the berms; it's just an overall really good, easy to live with geometry package.”
The geometry is right on target for the Jeffsy's intended purpose, and for the most part the parts selection leaves little to be desired. There were a few small gripes, though. One of them has to do with the Fidlock water bottle. While it's great that the Jeffsy can carry a bottle at all, grabbing that bottle on the fly is a challenge. It takes a well timed twist and pull, and the positioning means that you'll be hunched over and reaching pretty far down while trying to accomplish all of the necessary movements.
It'd also be nice if that SRAM SX shifter was Matchmaker compatible, a recurring theme on the bikes equipped with this shifter, and I personally didn't get along with the SDG saddle, but otherwise it's dialed in and ready to roll right out of the box. Speaking of boxes, the Jeffsy comes with a nice box of tools to help facilitate the build. There's a shock pump, an 8mm allen, and even a T-handle torque wrench.