No, we’re not commenting on the most recent citing of the Yeti in the wilderness, but it’s pretty unlikely you’ll see one of these around Great Britain, but it’s not because of the price. We took a grip of the beast that is the Yeti SB5c for a test and boy oh boy, did it make us feel things we’ve never felt before…Check out the original article in Issue #016 or read on below!
Don’t worry, we’re not under any illusions – our sport is entirely superfluous! Bikes don’t save lives, and not many of us use them purely as a method of transport. For most of us, the act of riding is a pure luxury.
While riding is luxury that we enjoy to the fullest, it’s still one that consistently causes problems for us. We’re all familiar with these firstworld problems, the 21st century ones, frequent and insignificant annoyances that charge in and complicate our comfortable lives. And this is exactly the sort of problem we were confronted with when the beauty of the Yeti SB5C descended on us in the middle of Germany’s cold, muddy autumn. “The tyre combination isn’t at all suited to this time of year!” was the common cry that sprang up among our editorial team. “We may as well not bother starting – the back tyre won’t grip!” – oh man, what a firstworld problem. But, fortunately, as always the case, every problem has a solution. And in this case, Finale Ligure stepped up to save the day.
After an eighthour drive, we were smugly pedaling along the Italian coast roads, upright and comfortable. The SB5C feels super fast from the first pedal stroke – not just because of the low tread profile of its Maxxis rear tyre, but also due to the incredible pedaling efficiency of its rear end. It generates masses of traction on techy, thankless climbs.
As we make the most of the sea views on the uphills, we take the time to chat about its spec, philosophising over the build of this turquoise whip. We all agreed that Yeti have done a damn good job with this one! Everything works superbly – without stealing the show from the sexy frame. Although, honestly, for the princely sum of €7,199, we would have liked to have seen a more impressive spec. For example, take the cheap SRAM X1 shifters – aren’t they a little out of place? But, despite these minor grievances, the bike and its parts do work soundly!
The Switch Infinity Link suspension, developed jointly with Fox, is at the heart and soul of this Yeti. Essentially, it’s two rails on which the main rear pivot can move a few millimetres in either direction at the beginning of travel. Sounds complicated, and it certainly looks it at first glance, but it results in great sensitivity for small bumps and minimises influence from pedaling. Only time will tell how durable this technology is, so check our interactive longterm test timeline where UK editor Trevor will keep you posted.
But back to Italy now, where we’ve finally reached the downhill. The Thomson dropper post drops, and we’re off! Crank on the bars and the Yeti launches forward like it’s on speed – no moderate acceleration here. Given the tall front end (a result of the long head tube, the Easton riser bars, and three spacers under the stem), it’s easy to take charge of this bike and keep sufficient weight over the front tire. Despite 23mm less travel in the rear than the front, the bike stays firmly glued to the ground, smoothing out big hits without sacrificing any precision – you could almost believe you were on a bona fide enduro bike here! But, big bumps come and go, and only then does it become clear what a difference a bit more travel can make. The SB5 Carbon still stays in control, and bottomingout is pretty much impossible thanks to its generous endprogression.
Once back in cold and muddy Germany, the only thing we wanted to do was get back out on the trails, but damn… if only this didn’t involve getting our shoes filthy and damp. #21stcenturyproblem
Look up the definition of a dream trail bike and don’t be surprised when you see the Yeti SB5 Carbon staring back at you! The Coloradobased company has impressed us all, creating a bike that unites efficiency, agility, and stability. Combined with its stunning carbon frame, this genuine ‘bikeofyourdreams’ comes in at the luxury price of 7,199€!
Incredible rear end
Fork: Fox 34 Float CTD Fit 150
Shock:Fox Float CTD Kashima
Drivetrain: SRAM X01/X1
Brakes: Shimano XT
Seatpost: Thomson Covert
Stem: Easton Haven
Handlebar: Easton Haven Carbon
Tyres: Maxxis Ardent/Maxxis Ikon
Wheel Size: 27.5″
Wheelset: Hubs: DT SWISS 350 Rims: DT SWISS 401
For more info, visit: yeticycles.com
Words & Photos: Christoph Bayer
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