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Grouptest: EWS Race Bikes 2014 – Yeti SB66 carbon Review

What an honor! Yeti didn’t send any old bike to the test, but rather the original race bike of Jared Graves himself.

Yeti SB66C Graves-Edition (3 von 12)

We feel honored to test the original race bike of Jared Graves.

2‘03.01

With the race-ready equipment, the bike made a time of 2‘03.01 possible.

This is a bike which took the Australian to second place in the Enduro World series in Finale Ligure, so it’s definitely not slow. The complete spec of the bike is unashamedly race-oriented. We were struck by the combination of XTR brake levers with Saint calipers and the Shimano XTR shifter for adjusting the Thomson dropper post. Light DT Swiss wheels, a Renthal cockpit, and the Fox Factory Kashima suspension with 150mm travel front and back complement the whole design centered on a high-class carbon frame.

Yeti SB66C Graves-Edition (4 von 12) e_Yeti_data e_Yeti_price

Straight from the start this bike accelerates like no other. The small 26” wheels and stiff frame create maximum forward drive. The suspension also works efficiently so that the power invested arrives exactly where it should: the back wheel. Both suspension elements match each other perfectly, responding extremely sensitively without using too much travel at once. The bike stays taut and balanced on the track. Nevertheless, the rider always gets adequate feedback from the terrain, which he can use to gain lots of speed from bumps and berms: this is exactly how suspension should behave! The low main triangle provides plenty of standover room and rider mobility, which is needed with small wheels—because in contrast to 29ers, the rider must work harder in rocky sections to maintain speed and not get stuck on obstacles.

The bike can be steered willingly, precisely, and with great agility through any section of the course, whether long open stretches or super tight bends. The Yeti always keeps to its line and reacts precisely to any steering inputs from the bars. The faster you ride the bike, the better it seems to work.

Rare. The Yeti was the only bike in our test with 26” wheels and made us realize something. The handling and race times recorded were very good, and thus the size of the wheels is not the most important thing, but rather the whole package together. In this respect the Yeti SB66 Carbon is a complete success!

Rare. The Yeti was the only bike in our test with 26” wheels and made us realize something. The handling and race times recorded were very good, and thus the size of the wheels is not the most important thing, but rather the whole package together. In this respect the Yeti SB66 Carbon is a complete success!

Full Power. To save weight the Yeti uses Saint brake calipers with XTR levers. Theoretically this should provide maximum braking power at a reduced weight. Unfortunately, we had to deal with problems in performance and weren’t able to generate the full amount of braking power.

Full Power: To save weight the Yeti uses Saint brake calipers with XTR levers. Theoretically this should provide maximum braking power at a reduced weight. Unfortunately, we had to deal with problems in performance and weren’t able to generate the full amount of braking power.

Custom Made. Jared Graves’ bike uses a modified Shimano XTR shifter as a remote control for the Thomson dropper post. It works superbly and is easy to reach in any situation.

Custom Made: Jared Graves’ bike uses a modified Shimano XTR shifter as a remote control for the Thomson dropper post. It works superbly and is easy to reach in any situation.

Top notch. The rear suspension of the Yeti SB 66 Carbon has few equals. We were delighted with its smooth responsiveness, top feedback, and impressive ability to take big hits!

Top notch: The rear suspension of the Yeti SB 66 Carbon has few equals. We were delighted with its smooth responsiveness, top feedback, and impressive ability to take big hits!

e_Yeti_geometry

The Yeti SB66 Carbon Pro is available for 7.800 USD.

Conclusion: The Yeti SB66 Carbon stands out with its top suspension and precise, agile handling in all situations. Aggressive and direct lines are not always possible in rough terrain because of the small wheels.

Go back to the article: Grouptest: Enduro World Series Bikes

You can read an in-depth feature about the EWS Race Bike test and our conclusions in the ENDURO issue #010! As usual it’s free & only digital for iPad, Android-Tablets and Online-Viewer: Issue #010.

Text & Photos Christoph Bayer

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