Based out of Colorado in the US, Yeti Cycles are undoubtedly one of kings of drool worthy bikes. And with the release of several new models for 2017 and beyond, it looks like they’ll be maintaining that reputation.
In addition to their new bikes, Yeti is also announcing that it will be offering two levels of carbon fibre construction for its frames: Carbon and TURQ. Carbon will be the cheaper option of the two, while TURQ will be the no-compromise-no-expenses-spared-let-me-sell-my-kidney-I-want-one option. This will allow Yeti to tackle more price points with both frames and multiple build kit options.
But back to the new bikes. The most exciting of which is the brand new SB5+, which is Yeti Cycles first ever plus bike. After wiping our drool off the frames, we managed to get some snaps of this gorgeous looking trail bike.
The brand new SB5+ is Yeti’s first ever plus bike. It is based on the SB5 platform, with 127mm of rear travel and the capability of fitting up to 3.0in wide rubber. This model here is the ‘base level’ Carbon frame for the SB5+. You’ll also be able to get it in the ‘TURQ’ version, which uses higher quality carbon fibre and resin technology to drop weight. The weight difference between a Carbon and TURQ frame is between 250-400 grams depending on the model, with the TURQ option being lighter. Yeti still rocking a proper head tube badge. Keepin’ it real! This is a feature we love – internal cable routing, with pre-molded tubes that run inside the frame, so you can just stick your cable straight through, and it’ll pop out at the end exactly where it’s meant to. This will make many mechanics happy! Ok, so the biggest difference between the SB5+ and the regular SB5 is the rear triangle. An elevated chainstay has been drawn upon to allow that rear wheel to come right up against the bottom bracket shell, without worry for chainring or tyre clearance issues. As a result, you’ll be able to get a 3.0in wide tyre out back. BOOST 148x12mm dropouts for the rear of the SB5+ work alongside a BOOST chainring offset to push the whole drivetrain outboard by 3mm. This helps to provide even more clearance for the compact 437mm chainstay length. Yeti will spec 2.8in tyres on the SB5+, but there’s plenty of mud clearance there, and you can also fit up to a 3.0in wide tyre if you want to. Like the rest of the SB range, the SB5+ uses the Switch Infinity linkage, with a floating link just above the bottom bracket shell. This link is used in place of the eccentric pivot on the prior Switch platform. We’re told that it’s much easier for Yeti to manufacture than the old eccentric pivot, and it also offers more adjustability in terms of the suspension tune and trail feel. A compact upper link helps to control wheel path and shock rate, and uses expanding collet hardware to keep the cartridge bearings tight. Neatly tucked away in front of the seat tube and behind the one-piece swingarm. Up front, the Yeti SB5+ will run a 150mm travel BOOST fork with a 51mm offset. That gives the SB5+ a head angle of 67.1-degrees and decent front centre to get the front wheel out in front of you. In other big news from Yeti, the SB5 has been overhauled, though you’d need to look closely to see where. The geometry is fundamentally the same as the existing SB5, but gone is the brace between the top tube and seat tube, which helps to max out standover clearance, making it a much more compact frame. The SB5 is running the new internal cable routing design, with a tube-in-tube system that allows you to pop the cables straight into the port, and have them come out the other side with none of the swearing that you’d normally encounter with complex internal routing. Yeti build this tube-in-tube system during the curing process, where a groove is machined into the EPS mandrel. A teflon cable is wrapped with carbon fibre, then laid into the groove, then the rest of the carbon fibre is wrapped around the EPS mandrel. After the frame comes out of the oven, the Teflon cable is pulled out, leaving a hollow tube inside the frame’s downtube. It’s a time consuming process, but it’s a brilliant level of attention to detail. Oh and the gear cable runs full length outer all the way through to the derailleur. The new SB5 goes BOOST 148x12mm in the rear end, though interestingly, it retains the same 437mm chainstay length of the old SB5, and which happens to be the same length as the SB5+. So why BOOST? Well it seems that this is the way the industry is heading, and Yeti want to ensure their latest bikes will be capable of fitting the latest wheels and hubs too. One of the oldest names in mountain biking, Yeti’s beating heart remains in Colorado, USA. Neat exit port for the rear hydraulic line. You’ll also see a large plastic cover on the top of the downtube that allows further access to the dropper post cable. Not super new, but still damn cool; it’s the SB4.5, which uses 29in diameter wheels paired to a shorter travel chassis for responsive trail rippin’ Switch Infinity design delivering 4.5 inches of travel out back. You want enduro fast? Then it’s gotta be the Yeti SB5.5. Pumping up the travel over the SB4.5, the 5.5 fits a 160mm travel 29in fork and comes with EWS-style geometry for oodles of high-speed stability and confidence for pointing down silly things. Another spec option of the SB5.5. Like the other Yeti frames, you’ll be able to get the SB5.5 in both Carbon and TURQ options. The same bike ridden to EWS glory by the Manchild that is Ritchie Rude, the SB6 is the biggest and baddest bike in the Yeti lineup with 150mm of travel, 27.5in wheels and a big Fox 36 up front. Purty. Not really new, but the ASR is still one of the best looking full suspension fast bikes going, so we checked it out too. No Switch Infinity linkage on the ASR, just a simple single pivot design with a linkage-driven rear shock. Lighter, simpler and super efficient too.