April 20, 2013
Yeti has two new bikes: both carbon; one a hardtail and one a suspension bike. Has it jumped on the 27.5in movement – well, that’s an interesting one.
Let’s start with the classic Yeti ARC-C. Yeti’s chief guru, Chris Conroy ran us through it and gave us some of the design background to this new hardtail, which shares the name of many classic Yetis of the past. “We knew that there was a lot of heritage that goes with the ARC name. The original bike launched Easton’s Taperwall tubing, and then led to the classic Tomac C26, so we knew there was a lot at stake. It had to be a 29er and it had to have a certain look – and definitely loop tails on the seatstays.”
The frame was designed to ‘not be too swoopy’ to keep those classic racing lines of the ARCs of past. Interestingly, the frame weighs 2.6lbs, whereas the first Yeti ARC came in at a still-impressive 3.5lbs. The bike is designed to be pretty slack with a 100mm fork, but it will take a 120mm 29er fork without a problem if you want things a degree slacker still.
The bike will come in Medium, Large and XL.
And then it will also come in Small and X-Small. Here’s where it gets interesting: those bikes will come with 27.5in wheels, to keep the proportions right for the rider, without them having to fit down-pointy stems or anything.
There’s a lot of shaping going on at the back, to keep the rear stays comfortable. The 160mm postmount brake mounts inside the rear triangle and there is a 142 x 12 thru-axle, which seems to be the way that even XC race bikes are going.
And now for the SB-95c. The SB95 (29in, 5in of travel – can you see what they did there?) has been around for a few months now and it was inevitable that there’d be a carbon one in the works. Why? Because it weighs 5.7lbs, which lops off nearly 2lbs of the frame weight. The ‘hardpoints’ (pivots, BB, headtube etc) are all in the same places as on the alloy bike, so there’s no geometry changes – this is a pure, carbon facsimile of the SB95. There are integrated rubber bumpers on the chainstay and lower edge of the seatstays, along with a downtube bashguard too, to keep the carbon and paintjob in decent shape.
The SB-95 will come in Small to XL sizes. This time all with 29in wheels. Tweaking a hardtail for 27.5in wheels isn’t too hard, but for a suspension bike, it would be too much work. So no 27iner suspension bike from Yeti. Yet?