As many will know, I’ve been watching the mountain biking world progress slowly yet inexorably without me. I have a 2007 Orange Five in what at the time was top of the range spec. Over the years I’ve tweaked and adjusted things but after ten years its finally time to call it quits.
In its latest guise my Five runs XT brakes, 26″ Stans Crest wheels, Revelation forks and wide bars with a 1×10 GX/X9 drivetrain. All this – to a point – is de-rigeur but I’ve found these progressive changes have served only to highlight the inherent weaknesses of the bike. For some time I haven’t enjoyed riding it, where before it brought much pleasure.
I think, fundamentally this stems from the Stans wheels which by modern standards are inherently flexy, teamed with a 760mm bar. No matter what I do, I can’t seem to get the front end of the Five to bite and the forks feel way off the pace too.
Over the past year I’ve entertained the thought of replacing the Five, my trouble being, with what? A new Five is a very different beast, while the Four is now probably closest in rationale to my old Five. But both are beyond the reach of my wallet if not my heart.
The situation isn’t helped by a multitude of options now open to the would-be mountain biker. Hardtail, full suspension, short travel (100-120mm), mid travel (140-160mm), geometry (slack or slacker) and last but not least, 27.5″ or 29er? Or 27.5 Plus? What to do?!
I thought for a time all options were beyond me in terms of cost, particularly as I like the idea of trying out different places to ride and trips to the Alps and elsewhere add up. But after my Sea Otter write up last April I found YT Industries increasingly coming up on my radar, even though my natural inclination was toward 27.5 sized wheels.
Just before Christmas, YT announced a sale on the the current Jeffsy, what they describe as a 29″ trail bike with 140mm of travel. And the more I looked, the more it made sense to me.
OK, so it’s relatively heavy (especially for a bantam like me), but it’s a Virtual Pivot design, long, slack with Boost spacing at the rear and a Pike at the front. The cheapest version had all this, plus a RS Reverb dropper post, DT Swiss wheelset, an SDG saddle and a Shimano SLX/RaceFace 2×10 drivetrain and braking set up for £1399 delivered.
So… I bought one. And according to YT (who’s website is currently sold out of this model), it’s being dispatched this Wednesday.
All change please…