Jeffsey and Outerbike-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004

    Jeffsey and Outerbike

    Iím shopping for a new bike. My current bike is an í04 Yeti ASR SL. Iím looing for something that was a little more capable. Iím particularly interested in a slacker head tube angle. I think my Yeti is at about 70 or so. I was looking for something under 67 if it is a 27.5 bike or close to 67 if itís a 29er. Iím not overly worried about travel but Iíd like at least 120 if itís a 29er or 130 if itís a 27.5. My local trails are very similar to 18Rd in Fruita and also the Loma trails. I make to it Moab 1-3 times a year. Iíve taken my little Yeti down the Whole Enchilada Several times, same with Mag 7 to Portal, and regularly ride all the trails at Amassaís Back. I donít do a lot of hucking but I want a bike that I feel comfortable doing all the steep rollers that Moab has to offer. One time I decided I didnít want to take my Yeti down Portal so I rented a Patrol. That was a revelation. But I canít afford two bikes and it would be total overkill for 99.9% of the riding I do.

    My local shop sells Rocky Mountain. So Iíve been seriously looking at the new Instinct but also looking at the Altitude. Rode the new Altitude in Park City and loved it. However both those bikes have a very high top tube and was worried about that when I ride technical sections (Iím 5í5Ē with about a 28-29 inch inseam). So I decided to pony up the money to go to Outerbike in Moab to test those bikes in technical terrain as well as some others Iíve been looking at. In addition to those bikes, I was seriously looking at the Following since it seemed to check all my boxes.

    I learned several things at Outerbike. First, the longer the travel, the higher the standover. I didnít find any bike that I was totally comfortable with the standover and that included the Yeti SB5. Some were worse than others though. Second, itís very important to test ride bikes. I was not expecting to hate some of the bikes I ended up hating.

    Day 1: I rode the Instinct first. They didnít have a small. Iím often on the cusp between small and medium so I rode the medium (that was annoying because test riding a new small Instinct was one of the main reasons I went). The standover was high but I at least could stand over the bike without being uncomfortable. The bike was plush and pedaled well. It just didnít seem very nimble. Maybe that was because I was on a medium instead of a small. My calves also kept rubbing the seatstays. I really liked the bike but didnít love it.

    Next, I rode the Pivot 429 Trail. Loved it. Nimble, felt very plush. Could pop and have fun on it. I was worried that I liked it so much because it was an xcish type bike on xcish type trails (Moab Brand trails) and also because it was closer to the bike I normally ride. I want to make sure I donít just get a modern version of my current bike.

    Next, I rode the Evil Insurgent. Hated it with a passion. Very, very heavy. Not playful at all. I originally guessed it was 32 pounds but after looking at the weight of the Jeffsey I test rode, Iím guessing it was closer to 34 poungs.

    Next was the Evil Following. I didnít hate it like the Insurgent, but I didnít like it at all. Not quite as heavy as the Insurgent but almost; my revised guess is 32 pounds. For some reason I couldnít lift the front while to save my life. Glad I test rode that because I was seriously considering buying one sight unseen.

    Day 2: First was the Transition Scout. I really liked the suspension on the bike. Pedaled great but was also plush when I wanted plush. Being the aluminum version, It was also very heavy. Just a tad lighter than the Following. Iíve decided I donít like heavy bikes. Due to itís weight, it was difficult for me to throw around. A bike may be playful but if itís so heavy I canít play with it, itís not playful to me. If I could figure out how to lighten the weight and keep it in my budget, Iíd consider it.

    Next was Jeffsey. It was the Aluminum One version. Loved it. Loved it about as much as the 429 Trail maybe a hair less. It was very playful. Aside from being slightly harder to manual over things, I wouldnít have known I was on a 29er. It was that nimble and playful. The suspension did seem harsh. I decided I liked it so much I was going to ride it again on Sunday when I could take it on Captain Ahab to see how it performed under those conditions. According to the YT website this version should be about 29 pounds.

    Next was the Canyon Spectral. Liked it a lot. Efficient. Not overly plush but more plush than the Jeffsey. Very playful. Unfortunately the standover on a small was way too high. If I had to do an emergency dismount Iíd seriously hurt myself. Iím worried about this on all the bikes I rode today but with this one I couldnít even comfortably stand over the bike in a chatting with a friend situation.

    Next was the Yeti SB5. Loved this bike as well. Very playful and efficient. Not harsh. Of course itís like the $6500 build so I should love it. This was the only bike I had zero pedal strikes on. Iím open to this bike but to be honest Iím worried about the quality of their carbon. My next bike needs to last a minimum of 5 years. Thatís being optimistic seeing as how my current bike was made in 2004.

    Day 3: This was the day the shuttles were going to Amassaís Back. I wanted to take an Altitude and the Jeffsey down Ahab. Due to time constraints I only decided to do the lower half of Ahab so I could make sure I had time to ride both bikes.

    The standover on the small Altitude wasnít as bad as the Spectral but it was pretty close. However I didnít notice any obvious negative effects of this down Ahab. Unfortunately, I couldnít get comfortable on the Altitude. It seemed slow and sluggish. Climbing wasnít a problem but was wasnít able to rail Ahab like I thought I should.

    Next was the Jeffsey. Overall I was faster on the lower Ahab loop on this bike over the Altitude by almost two minutes. That includes having to wait to pass people while riding the Jeffsey that I didnít have to do on the Altitude, plus it was the second ride of the day, plus I wrecked on the Jeffsey (rear wheel slide out on an off camber rock face) which required me to get the chain out of the spokes and straighten my seat. The bike was poppy, plowed through stuff but was also very maneuverable. I didnít notice the harshness of it on the ride either. Iím guessing the Jeffsey wasnít set up totally right on my first ride.

    So, I will likely get a Jeffsey in the spring although I would really like to test a small Instinct before I pull the trigger I did like the suspension performance of the Instinct over the Jeffsey. Plus, I like the ability to go to 66 degrees on the Instinct. I live in a small town with only one bike shop. I ride with the owner from time to time. Iím worried about ticking him off being a direct to consumer bike. But unless he gives me a fairly big bro deal Iím guessing Iíll save $1000 getting the Jeffsey. The Jeffsey Pro is, what, $4700, with x1 eagle. Where the Carbon Instinct70 is $5300 before sales tax with a GX eagle.

    One last note: The Jeffsey was set in the low setting for both rides.
    Nothing but sincerity as far as the eye can see!

  2. #2
    SR Suntour
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Dang, you really brought it at Outerbike and got your money's worth! Definitely an amazing weekend! Sounds like the Jeffsey is pretty awesome (I considered one before buying the Pivot Mach 429 Trail) so it was nice to read your report and comparisons. Wish I would've got to try a Canyon just for the sake of saying I did but oh well...I rolled the Polygon a bunch!

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Yeah, I wanted to try as many bikes as I could. I'm bummed I didn't get to try a Polygon. I also wish I could have taken the Instinct on Ahab as well.
    Nothing but sincerity as far as the eye can see!

  4. #4
    Reputation: azdog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Nice write up and reviews. Makes me more confident in my purchase. Unfortunately, I won't have it in time for my trip to Grand Junction this weekend but oh well. The lower half of ahab really is the best anyway. I prefer upper hymasa to lower ahab now for sure.
    Bender to AZDog: I'm not the best person to give advice on not riding!

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