Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole ValleyMuddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

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YT Jeffsy is coming

Posted by Matt | January 9, 2017 | 16 comments so far

YT Industries Jeffsy AL
You could file this one as me finally putting my money where my mouth is.

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…

Matt

About the author

Matt is one of the founding Molefathers of the Muddymoles, and is the designer and main administrator of the website.

Having ridden a 2007 Orange Five for many years he's now running a YT Industries Jeffsy 29er and a Bird AM Zero Boost.

An early On-One Inbred still lurks in the back of the stable as a reminder of how things have moved on. You can even find him on road bikes - currently a 2019 Cannondale Topstone 105 SE, a much-used 2011 Specialized Secteur and very niche belt drive Trek District 1.

If you've ever wondered how we got into mountain biking and how the MuddyMoles started, well wonder no more.

There are 16 comments on ‘YT Jeffsy is coming’

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  1. Gordo says:

    I didn’t realise your five was quite that old, so a massive well done for keeping it going.
    The new machine looks fantastic and I wonder if you’ll allow it to get muddy anytime soon!

    • Matt says:

      Well I don’t have it yet Gordo but it’s due for dispatch. You’ve put your finger on it though, when do I decide its muddy but not too muddy to take it to the trails?!

      I found you can buy clear car vinyl on eBay cheaply so will cover vulnerable bits with that – seems to work quite well, you just cut to size/shape.

  2. Gordo says:

    Oh I see, then at the end of the ride you just peel off the vinyl and discard it instead of having to wash the bike. Clever, I hadn’t thought of putting my bike in a vinyl bag before a muddy ride!

  3. Tony says:

    “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?!”

    Buy one of each?? 🙂

    • Matt says:

      Oh you are such a tease Tony!

      Clearly I am failing in the n+1 stakes as after I have ‘rationalised the garage’ to pay for this I will be down to just my Kona Big Unit hardtail and the Jeffsy in terms of mountain bikes for the time being, and they are both 29ers. Not sure how that happened!

  4. Colbeano says:

    Matt getting rid of the vintage 5 ???? Not sure I can take this on board.

    I have long admired your staying power with the 5, soooo unlike most of us, who’s “it’s a keeper, best bike ever, etc” bikes last for approx 8 months before being upgraded!

    That’s a shedload of bike for the price, such a strong spec and looks wicked.

    I may have to drag myself out of molebernation™ to see it’s maiden voyage.

    • Matt says:

      LOL ‘molebernation’!

      I realise I really haven’t enjoyed the Five (and by extension, MTB) for two or three years. Last time I made such a great leap was when I realised that despite my 63mm of elastomer-damped fork, my race oriented hardtail couldn’t keep up with those new fangled full-sus machines and their 80mm Marzocchis.

      Time to move on. Given bottomless pockets I’d have done it years ago, but then I think part of the reason people keep looking for the ‘next big thing’ is that the scene has been very much evolving in the past 5-8 years.

      Whereas now, I think a slack-angled, long TT, 140mm bike is probably about right and it’s going to be things like Boost, 1×12 systems and some magic with materials science that will be the differentiator for the next few years (watch me get that wrong!).

      Saying that, stiffer wheels and a narrower bar would probably make the Five a lot of fun again (originally it had a nice and stiff 665mm width carbon bar on it – felt great).

  5. Tony says:

    Well I do have an even older Five too! I’m turning into a MTB hoarder!!

  6. Matt-S says:

    1997? That’s very old indeed!

    That Jeffsy is a blinding bit of kit and if it’s anything like my commencal you won’t be disappointed. You may have to revisit your winter tyre choices to get enough grip out that long front end though!

    In fact, I just looked and they’re all sold out so they must be popular

  7. DaveW says:

    You won’t be disappointed Matt – and the tyres work great – unbelievable quality for any new bike. The front end is very slack but the bike is very nicely balanced, so it feels just right (Btw I definitely wasn’t expecting exclusivity with such a great bike at such a great price – enjoy!)

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