The YT Jeffsy is a lovely bike, and being a mail order bike from Germany – albeit with a new YT showroom now in Guildford – it has been quite a novelty to run something that not many people have. Despite that, I think it’s a good time to sell because I fancy a change. My experiences with the fit of the Bird Zero AM have also shown that the Jeffsy doesn’t quite fit the way I would like.
So what have I bought? A glance at the photo at the top of this post will tell you, I’ve bought a Bird Aether 9 frame in Tungsten Grey, size ML.
A glance at the numbers tells you why.
A 65° head angle with a 77° seat angle for start, and a reach that’s just 12mm longer than my Bird hardtail. With a 50mm stem I’ll have the same ‘ETT + stem’ dimension as the Zero and a slightly longer reach. In contrast, that same ‘ETT + stem’ dimension on the Jeffsy is 15mm shorter even with a 60mm stem, and the reach is 39mm shorter. Basically both Birds are roomier beasts.
Other comparisons, this time with Mark’s Aeris 145 are also interesting. The Aeris 145 has a wheelbase of 1230mm on 27.5″ wheels; the Aether has 1240mm on 29″ wheels with less rear travel helping to square the equation. The Aether 9 has a whole 62mm extra in the wheelbase over the Jeffsy!
Given the above and given my experience with the Zero I know the geometry just seems to suit me, so the bike should fit me well. I feel confident it will climb well and going back down should be a hoot. I suppose ultimately these differences come down to personal taste because the Jeffsy has always been a nice place to be. Maybe my taste has changed?
This whole exercise is not without cost though and I still have further expense to make.
The drivetrain on the Jeffsy is 2×10 and the chain and chainring are wearing out, which was another one of the prompts to change the whole bike.
The Aether won’t take a double and actually, I’ve got on really well – better – with the 1×11 (30T with a 10-42 range at the back) set-up on the Zero. So, this time round I think I shall try and get hold of a Shimano Deore 1×12 drivetrain. That’s likely to be what holds up getting the new frame to the trail and I still have to decide if I buy new Deore brakes and sell the SLX M785 brakes I have, or keep those.
I also have a small doubt over my Pike RCT3 fork. It has a 51mm offset, the frame was designed around a 42mm offset and given my over-analysis of the geometry above, this is a concern.
I don’t think I’ll notice really and if I understand it correctly the effect of the longer offset is to sharpen the steering(?). Or vice versa(!?). I suspect there’s a lot of marketing spin on it to sell more bikes, but it’s not beyond the bounds of reason that I’m wrong and all things being equal I would buy a new fork. Time will tell.
Other costs are aesthetic. I really don’t like black bikes (another reason for selling the Jeffsy, although it does have blue accents). I don’t expect Tungsten Grey to be much better so I will have to sprinkle the new frame with some judicious anodising. The jury is out until I have the frame in my hands and can see the actual shade of grey, I could go purple or maybe lime green.
In fact, Bird’s colour options for the Aether 9 very nearly put me off the bike entirely.
I am convinced that whoever currently chooses the Bird bike colours may well be colour blind, since the available colours – Raw aluminium with lacquer, Tungsten Grey or the humourously named Ron Burgundy – all end up being little more than tones to a person with red/green colour blindness. I could be doing them a dis-service; the Nest (Bird’s owner-community) absolutely love the Raw lacquer and it was the first to sell out (there are more coming).
To be fair to Bird, their muted colours seem to have coincided with increased sales from what I can see. Had the Aether 9 been Lime Green or the Atomic Blue of my hardtail I would have been buying it without hesitation. Or copper perhaps; maybe even pistacchio?! Hmmm (rubs chin).
At this point I reserve the right to get a respray in the future and Bird seem quite happy to provide the artwork for frame decals, so…
This all leaves me as a two-Bird owner. I’m happy with that for the time being but it opens up the option later in the year for a switch to some other 27.5″ frame for my hardtail. I really would like something in steel but given current availability and my now impoverished bank account, it will have to wait. I very nearly went for the Pace Cycles 627 recently but they sold out very quickly.
Worth mentioning though that Bird have an 853 hardtail arriving in March/April albeit in 29″ form to start with. You can also look forward to a stainless steel option using KVA MS3 stainless steel if you fancy something quite outre.