2017 YT Jeffsy CF Pro 27.5 Review
Words by Drew Barber // Photos by Drew Rohde
In the woods, there is a trail. And on this trail there are two riders. You could ask the two different riders, both named Jeffrey Lebowski, to ride the same 150mm travel trail bike and you would probably get two uniquely different reviews.
One Jeffrey would probably tell you that he couldn’t even ride the bike due to his inability to use his legs, and the other would state that it’s just like, his opinion, man. I prefer to abide by the Dude’s perspective, and would say that when reading any review, one must consider the character of the rider and writer.
With the vast spectrum of riding styles, variables of terrain, and freedoms of expression, all within this sport we call mountain biking, there cannot be a simple formula for grading or categorizing all new bikes as they roll onto market. No matter how well their color scheme brings the room together.
About the Reviewer
I would like to emphasize that I come from a fairly specific segment of the rider spectrum, with a strong background and passion for fast, fun, rowdy and jumpy style of riding. If I had to settle with only two bikes in my quiver, they would be a DH rig, and a dirt jumper.
I am also a professional bike mechanic at a brick and mortar shop. As such, I understand the market and can also appreciate the sustainability and quality of designs and specs in my day to day dealings with customer bikes and my own riding. These are important aspects I always value whenever reading bike reviews as they are important when making a big financial decision.
Before I had the pleasure of testing out the Jeffsy, I lifted it up into the stand to give it a once over, and of course, spent some time geeking out on the specs. I was impressed by the build and price point. When comparing the spec to similarly priced trail bikes on the market, I was surprised to see the full XO1 Eagle group with carbon cranks, and Fox Performance Elite level suspension. It seemed like the decision to go with a non-boost 34 could have been an effort to keep the cost down, but ended up being one of my most unfavorable features.
V4L Suspension – YT’s take on a Horst-link four-bar suspension design, is amongst the most aggressive I’ve ridden. The bike is fairly supple off the top and lively into the mid-stroke however it has a steep ramp, which is a strength or weakness depending on your weight and terrain. The weakness is that the bike can quickly overwhelm riders under 175lbs on fast repetitive hits in rock gardens or big rooty sections. Conversely, if you’re a heavier rider who can push through that ramp or live to huck and jump on smoother trails, the progressive curve will keep you from bottoming out on harsh landings.
It’s not a bad thing, it’s just how the bike is designed and can make or break it for riders in different regions. If you live for riding rocky trails at speed we think there are better options. For most of the trails around Bend that are full of jumps and berms, it’s a fun bike to ride, but, we actually preferred it’s 29er brother.
Geometry – Sizing on the YT can be slightly preferential as the jumps in top tube length are about 25mm, which could leave you somewhere in between when comparing this bike to your current ride.
Jeffsy frames have an easily adjustable chip that changes the bike’s attitude half of a degree. Depending on the setting head tube angle can be either 66.5 or 67 degrees. The 18.89-inch (480mm) reach and 75/75.5-degree seat tube angle on the XL frame make the front end feel spacious. Size L and XL frames share 17.13-in (435mm) chainstay lengths and the XL sports a 48.19-in (1224mm) wheelbase.
When I took the Jeffsy out for a few rides, I was looking to really push its limits, and I had to constantly remind myself that it was a trail bike, and not the super enduro/freeride rig that I’m used to riding. My personal bike is an aggressively built Pivot Firebird.
I was impressed by many of the handling characteristics, specifically the stability and noticeably forgiving manual sweet spot. To elaborate, I love to do wheelies and manuals during any sort of ride. It is one of the first things I do when I get on a new bicycle. Within the first couple pedal strokes aboard the Jeffsy, I’m pulling up the front wheel. Right away, I felt like I had entered some sort of cheat code that allowed infinite wheelies! This obviously translated into a lot of fun out on the trail, where I also noticed an increase in confidence while riding my favorite skinnies, and other slow, technical lines.
Traction, predictability and stableness are all complimentary adjectives I would use to describe the Jeffsy. In fact, the traction was so good it almost made easy trails where drifting and corner slashing helped pass the time even less fun. The bike just wants to track and charge.
Some of the features I did not enjoy are also some of the reasons I do not own a trail bike. I tested an XL frame, which is appropriate for my 6’3” carcass, but apparently not the right fit for my riding style. The seat tube height would be fine for someone who keeps the tires on the ground, but I could not get into my preferred positions when jumping, cornering, or descending the gnar. Having the seat bump you as you try to get low isn’t a confidence-inspiring feeling no matter how good the geo is.
I also felt the lack of muscle in the front end when I got into rougher, higher speed terrain. The non-boost 34mm stanchion fork seemed to limit the capability of the overall ride, but makes sense when building up a lighter weight, and less expensive trail bike. It was a compromise that we felt could be an issue for heavier riders or those who live to get rowdy.
The Wolf’s Last Word
YT’s bicycles have a lot going for them. They have incredible value, an edgy image, sexy lines and ship right to your door almost ready to ride. But making a truly memorable riding bike takes more than checking off the right build bits, geometry numbers and athletes.
The Jeffsy is a good all around bike, but that’s really about it. Our complaints are pretty minor in reality, but nevertheless, in a time when so many brands are making good riding bikes, something needs to stand out to make it a contender in our book. Beyond the value, nothing about the Jeffsy 27’s ride begs us to keep it in the van for the next ride. That being said, the bikes we’d pick over the Jeffsy do cost $3-4,000 more. This has us wondering if a lower spec’d Trek or Pivot would still be calling us over the YT, we think they might if the suspension spec was comparable.
The YT Jeffsy 27 is priced right, spec’d with a killer build, and looks good. While it does a lot of things well, it doesn’t do very many things great. The tall seat tube kept us from feeling super comfortable in the super steeps or jump trails and the non-boost fork left the front feeling a bit under-gunned.
If you ride lots of rocky, high speed terrain with square-edge hits, the very progressive spring rate will have you feeling a bit skittish but if you’re a drop sender, jump hucker or weigh more than 185lbs, you’ll love the bottom out resistance. Traction, stability and predictability are strong suits of the Jeffsy 27 on all but the roughest of trails.
If you’re debating between the Jeffsy 29 or 27, we’d probably put our vote towards the 29 if you live in smoother areas or spots with lots of long flowy jumps.
Weight: 29.97 lbs
Frame: Carbon; 150mm
Fork: Fox Performance Elite; 150mm
Shock: Fox Float DPS Performance Elite
Brakes: SRAM Guide RSC
Handlebar: RaceFace SixC 35
Headset: Acros AIX-326
Saddle: SDG Fly Mtn
Seatpost: Race Face Turbine; 150mm
Shifter: SRAM X01 Eagle; 12s
Stem: RaceFace Turbine
Hubs: E.Thirteen TRS+
Rims: E.Thirteen TRS+
Tires: Maxxis High Roller II
Bottom Bracket: SRAM
Cassette: SRAM XG1295 Eagle
Cranks: SRAM X01 Eagle
Derailleur: SRAM X01 Eagle
About Drew Barber
Riding Style: When Drew isn’t watching The Big Lebowski, you can find him digging at the local jump spot, riding or wrenching. He is an advanced level rider who labels his riding style as, “old man trying to be rad, but I know my place and have a full-time job. I still like to play on jumps, drops and love riding as fast as possible whenever I can find some gnar.”
Center of Gravity
Tall Seat Tube
Composure in Fast, Rocky Trails
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