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  • Writer's pictureMo Awesome

YT Jeffsy First Ride Impressions! (Climbs Okay, Descends Great!)

YT Jeffsy Core 4 29

Pedals well, descends well, and is affordably priced. The magical trifecta of the bicycle world. If you ask me, I think most of the time you get to pick two out of the three here. A bike can pedal well and descend well, however you most likely will be paying a premium. An expensive bike that pedals well, most likely won't descend well. Now it's not to say that the bike’s missing third category will be horrendous. I'm just saying, you can normally be great at 2 of those things and the third is going to require some sacrifice. 

Recently I had the opportunity to test ride a YT Jeffsy, a 145mm travel 29er made by the popular direct-to-consumer brand YT Industries. This test ride was actually free since we visited their San Clemente HQ that holds free 2-hour test rides to the public. I was given a YT Jeffsy Core 4 build in a size XL to try out on their local San Clemente singletrack trails. This is my first impressions of the bike after one ride, something that isn't the be all, end all, to bike reviews but rather my initial thoughts after one ride. 

After getting set up on the bike and looking over the builds, we headed to the trails. There is a steep road that takes you to the trailhead and I found myself manualing the bike down with ease, before making the first turn to climb up another steep road. Almost instantly the geo of the bike became pretty apparent to me. This bike felt like it had a low BB, slightly longer chainstay, and fairly slack but not too extreme head angle. The seat angle also felt relatively steep compared to some other 140mm 29ers I am testing. These were all things that were a guess for me because I wanted to experience this demo without having looked at a geo chart. Another noticeable thing for me was that the suspension design felt fairly active, with a slight bob on the pavement climb. This bike was in for a good time downhill! 

YT Jeffsy 29

The first downhill soon came upon us and this is where I really got to get a better feel for what this bike was about. With lots of twist and turns, as well as some steeper off-camber downhill sections, the name of the game on this bike was stability. The bike really did feel planted to the grown, a combo I attributed to both the active suspension design, longer chainstays, and fairly low BB that I was feeling. Now on those steep downhill sections, something I did notice was the bike overall felt shorter reach wise and I wasn't getting as much front end stability as I was on some other bikes I have in for testing. The stability was definitely coming from that suspension design, low bb and long chainstay combo. The bike was set up with a fairly short stem which most likely didn’t help. I would later look at the geo chart to confirm the reach of this bike is a bit shorter than other bikes in this travel category. 

Another climb and another downhill later would confirm a lot of what I was feeling on this bike. This felt like a technical rider's dream trail bike. The traction that the suspension platform provides is pretty unreal and the bike does truly feel glued to the ground. This traction is still apparent when it comes time to go up though, which isn't a deal breaker as I would argue that this bike probably would feel more efficient than certain DW-Link suspension bikes on more techy climbs. However, where we were testing didn’t have that so that is something I noticed. The longer chainstay and lower BB combo also was very much appreciated as this bike had an “on-rails” feeling to the ride, which made taking corners and keeping manuals raised feel effortless. The overall shorter reach did throw off the high speed stability feeling slightly, however I would probably offset that with a slightly longer stem and a raised, wider handlebar combo. 

Overall our 2 hour test ride was awesome and I really did enjoy my time on the Jeffsy. It would be nice to see a lighter build of this bike and have it more suited to my riding style, however I do feel like the bike's personality did shine through during that test. I would like to also note that my bike did have a loose grip that I caught right away but overall was very well maintained and shifted flawlessly. Hannah’s Capra test bike was missing a stem spacer and did have shifting issues, but both of those things were caught by us right away as well. Just something to pay attention to any time you test ride a bike that isn’t yours for safety reasons.

So back to that pick two scenario. I think in the case of the YT Jeffsy, you have a bike that descends amazingly and is very affordably priced. Is it the best climber? On smoother, fireroad climbs, probably not with an open shock. But this is very easily offset by hitting the climb switch. I will also say, the very comfortable seated pedaling position, steep seat angle, and overall added feeling of traction to the bike makes me think that if I was somewhere technical, this bike might have the edge when it comes to climbing. Like I said, its not exactly a pick two and you don’t get any of the third but rather a but more of an asterisk next to the third category if that makes sense. 

I have said it many times before, there really is nothing like the first time you ride a new bike. First impressions say a lot and oftentimes they are not wrong. The YT Jeffsy felt like a bike for someone that wants traction and stability in a platform that still climbs very comfortably, although maybe with the rear shock locked out on more fire road style climbs. But that just means more fun when you get to the top!

Bikes are fun, and this one was too! Except for Hannah’s, that one needed a little TLC. 

-Mo Awesome 


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