Looking at the SB150 on paper, my first thought was "That's a big bike". When their sizing listed a range of 5'7" to 5'11", I thought there must have been a mistake. An 18.1" reach was way more than I've typically ridden. How could that be? A 77 degree seat tube angle is how. I took our medium demo SB150 out for a 3 day weekend to check the fit and function of the big new Super Bike.
I'm 5'8", and have been riding a medium SB100 since May, and owned a small SB4.5 prior to that. I've always been between small and medium with most brands, and have found I can comfortably ride each size with just a change in stem length. Getting the bike setup, with my 31" inseam, I still have about an inch of the 150mm Transfer's base post exposed above the seat tube clamp. The stock X01 Eagle Race bike comes with a 40mm stem, so things felt good from a reach standpoint. With pedals the bike weighed in at 30.5lbs.
I setup the suspension just slightly softer than Yeti's recommendation for my weight (their new site setup guide is pretty slick). Yeti's SI suspension has always felt well rounded and sits atop industry offerings in my opinion. I find I get the desired small bump sensitivity and unquestioned power transfer when pedaling all while keep the shock in the open setting. The SB150 was no different.
My first ride was a quick 5 mile loop with a steep climbing featuring some tight switchbacks and a familiar rocky descent. Pedaling up, the SI link performed as expected, no noticeable bob from pedaling, even under harder efforts, and the shock only moved to aid in traction. I've found on my other Yetis that I can scramble up damn near anything with a consistent cadence. The suspension absorbs obstacles and maintains great traction. I've never felt a harsh buck, and the bike just seems to claw its way through chunder. The 65.5 head angle was felt on the tight turns, but I cleaned them all taking an anticipated wider line. It was in those turns that I questioned if the small would even be a possibility, as real estate got tight between me legs and the turned bars. The biggest difference I noticed going up was the 6lb difference in weight of the bike compared to my SB100. My time up the climb was middling compared to other efforts, but this bike is built to get down fast, not up.
Speaking of getting down, this bike does just that. I pointed the SB150 down the familiar trail, but intentionally through my known lines out the window, and just smashed the straight line as much as possible. The bike soaked it all up, and I ended up smashing a little too much, having to nurse a small puncture on the rear Aggressor tire home. Even taking in gingerly down the last bit, my time was the 2nd fastest I'd done for the segment. The bike was so composed and stable, I was surprised by the result. Thankfully the Stans did it's job, and the bike was ready to roll to the lifts and take on some jumps and big rocks at Deer Valley the next day.
I'd spent another day at Deer Valley riding the Pivot Firebird 29, so it was great to compare the bikes on similar trails. While the Pivot was a small, and the Yeti was medium, I didn't feel the longer wheelbase of the Yeti in the tight, rooty, drops that litter the trails. Flow trails aren't my jam, but the small segments I did ride revealed composed cornering, and the plush feel you'd expect of a 150mm X2. As with the Pivot, I was left wishing for faster, wide open, chunky terrain on the SB150, but the bike handled the steep, sudden drops of the Deer Valley trails with ease. While I didn't pedal the Firebird as much as the SB150, the Yeti did feel more composed and efficient on the same brief climb.
The final day I did what I would consider a "normal ride" for me, and