Yeti SB66

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  • Yeti SB66
  • dan45a

    Hi, I’m considering changing my orange alpine 160 frame to a yeti SB66. So the yeti would be running fox 36’s and a fairly gravity focused build if I moved my parts over from the alpine.

    Plan to use it for gravity enduro, uplift days and holidays abroad France/Italy. plus some shorter trail centre rides. I have an asr5c for longer xc/ trail stuff.

    Thing is when reading the reviews they are quite contrasting so I’m really confused if the sb66 is a good bike or not? People mention rear shock tuning issues? Angles seem very gravity focused but some people say its soft so I’m pretty confused.

    I haven’t tried the SB66 yet but plan to demo one in the coming Xmas break at afan.

    Anyone ridden an alpine 160 and an SB66 willing give any comparisons? Or any SB66 owners got any feedback?

    Thanks in advance …


    Keep what you’ve got!.

    I looked into the SB66 and read a lot about it, talked to owners, etc

    Decided against one in the end, for a bunch of reasons, but I don’t think it’s a bad bike, just maybe a quirky one.

    Yeti initially talked about it being more a long legged trail bike than a gravity bike, Chris Whatshisname from Yeti spoke about them not expecting to sell many of them with 36s up front. Found that odd, as there were plenty of pics about even at that early stage with coils, 36s, etc. Either way, it’s close to 8lbs for the frame, so it’s no trail bike in weight or strength.

    They also spec the bike with 150mm forks – have seen people talking about the front end lifting with longer forks- the very long TT might be a factor there – the medium is longer than a lot of larges in othe rbrands. One of the reviews (Sicklines, I think) settled with a 140mm 36 fork as the best balance, even though he was very much using it as a gravity bike.

    A guy I know competing in Italian SuperEnduro series was riding one, was liking it, although he had some issues with tyre rub. He had the 36s up front, wasn’t doing much pedalling up though.

    One thing that seems a common theme in the reviews is that it’s not a “plush” bike at lower speeds – that it comes alive at speed, maybe that’s what people are talking about when they say the shock is hard to set up.

    Possibly a marmite bike, definitely one to try before you shell out.


    Thanks honourablegeorge! Some good points there. Suppose I just need to try one out and see for myself. It’s a good excuse to pop to afan anyway 😉


    I run mine with 36s up front, never tried anything lighter on it but it suits me nicely. Overkill for a lot of the stuff I ride to be honest, but I’m having fun with it. Unfortunately never tried an Alpine either so I couldn’t give you a comparison report.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith

    Seen a couple of happy owners but definatley get out and ride one, same as anything what works for others doesn’t work for all.

    Not had the chance of a Yeti yet but demo’d the 160 and there are plenty of on par and better frames for the money out there and probably some where you could get frame & fork 🙂

    Premier Icon tinman66

    I’ve had a quick ride on one and thought it rode really nicely. I have to admit I didn’t find it too harsh at low speed but didn’t get more than about 10mins of relatively gentle riding.

    The main thing that put me off was a bit of confusion over what its actually for.Its designed for 150mm but certainly the alu version felt really burly and heavier than I’d want to drag round on long rides. I’d guess thats what the carbon versions for but it was a bit out of my price range.


    My previous thoughts

    Im pretty confused by this.

    I have an SB66 alu, it has certainly managed far more than the “occasional trail centre black”.

    Geometry, travel and weight puts is as capable, if not more so than many including the 575, mojo HD, nomad, mega, enduro.

    I dont see it as yeti’s marketing either, they bill it as an all mountain bike, the go to bike for their riders that shred hard, designed with coil shock in mind, people happily using them for bike park.

    It’s only magazines that i have seen bill it as a leggy xc bike. The only reasoning i’ve seen behind it in magazines is that it pedals well and feels firm at the top of the stroke.

    My experience of it is that yes, if you’re mincing, it does feel quite firm, ride it hard, it is really, really composed, more composed than my old “freeride” frame with coil. I did have to reduce the air can volume to make things more progressive, but i was bottoming riding legit freeride/DH tracks, now the shock is more progressive, i just about use all travel on a 4-5ft drop into a shallow compression that you hit flat out on a local DH track.

    It has 150mm of travel, 150mm travel that has to deal with small bumps OR big hits, 150mm of travel cant do both under hard riding.

    An earlier post of mine summing it up.

    Pedals exceptionally out of the saddle, handles high speed rough, big hits, gaps and drops with the upmost composure.

    The mags have a completely different view of it to me, they have the view that it’s a leggy trail bike because it isn’t “plush” all the time. My view of it is, if it isn’t feeling plush, you’re not riding it hard or fast enough. If you’re all over the brakes going into a steep rocky section slow, it isn’t your friend, let off the brakes and go for it, super composed.

    When do you need the suspension working its magic to work the terrain, when you’re mincing around or when you’re pushing it?

    The firm beginning stroke also makes it pump really well, as well as allowing the bike to be worked on smoother terrain ala trail centres without sucking up all your energy like a sofa.

    So it pedals, it doens’t dull out smoother terrain too much plus it’s really composed with lots of grip when it’s rough/hitting gaps, is there anything else a bike has to do?


    I’ve got an sb66, had it about 6 months now. Geometry wise it is spot on, like that it has a long top tube so you can run a short stem but still be comfortable on longer rides. Need to get the shock volume reducer as mentioned by others. The only downside for me was 2 if the bearings wore out quick, but have been ok since so maybe I was unlucky. I was considering a five/alpine or heckler purely for low maintenance, if you live anywhere near Manchester I wouldn’t mind swapping bikes for a test one day?!


    Deanfbm, thanks for the input. What you’ve said has got me thinking I really should try it out. As my alpine 160 is a fantastic bike especially when the terrain gets bigger and steeper which I do love. But when using it for enduro racing I find it lacks trail speed on less elevated sections.

    The sb66 could a good option for enduro riding but I’m worried I would miss the damping of my ccdb on the alpine come uplift day…Only one way to find out!

    Duner, thanks for your feedback, I’m in South Wales so Manchester is a bit of a trek. If you find yourself in afan/cwmcarn though give me a shout. I have been known to go up to llandegla, but the alpine would be a waste of time there. Over biked springs to mind 🙂

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