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Kyle Livingston

Kyle Livingston

Gearhead

Ketchum, Idaho

Kyle Livingston's Passions

Fly Fishing
Hiking & Camping
Biking
Skiing
Yoga
Snowshoeing
Surfing

Kyle Livingston's Bio

After my college experience on the East Coast I ended up in the backwoods of Idaho, enticed by a craving for mountains and snow. During my six years in Sun Valley I was able to develop my passions for telemark skiing, mountain biking, fly fishing, backpacking, hiking, camping and mountain climbing.

My time in Idaho was not forever and I feel extremely fortunate to have been able to use my experience in customer service to support my travels from Alaska to New Zealand and throughout Southeast Asia over the course of two years. Most recently I have settled in Salt Lake City, drawn by its proximity to the best mountains, deserts, and rivers of Utah.

Contact me anytime with questions about my reviews or if you are interested in me being your personal Account Manager and Expert Gearhead.
Phone: 801-736-4337
Email: klivingston@backcountry.com
Instagram: kandkoffroad

My Measurements
Height: 6' 1.5"
Weight: 185 lbs.
Inseam: 34 in.
Waist: 34 in.
Chest: 39 in.
Shoulders: 18 in.
Thigh Circumference: 24 in.

Kyle Livingston

Kyle Livingstonwrote a review of on May 25, 2017

Slay the Sand & Stone
5 5

I had a chance to ride the Yeti SB6 in Moab, Utah at the biannual bike extravaganza known as Outerbike. Everyone there wanted to test the new SB5+ so the SB6 was easier to get my hands on. I have tested older models of this bike but with the updated Boost hub spacing, Eagle 1x12 drivetrain and forever evolving Switch Infinity pedaling platform this is by far the best iteration to date. This particular model is a Package Build put together by our Bike Shop and we can easily swap components to customize it just for you.
I rode Magnificent 7 on the SB6 which has a little of everything that Moab has to offer: smooth/buff berms, drops, slickrock, technical climbs and rocky, loose descents. I have been working on a modified rating system for all the bikes I have tested and here is my breakdown for the SB6:
Plowability - 9
Climbability - 7.5
Maneuverability - 8.5
Wheelie Rating - 7.5
Closest Competitors: Santa Cruz Bronson, Pivot Mach 6
Feel free to contact me directly with any questions on the SB6 or any other Yeti bikes. If you are interested, I would be glad to help you build your next dream bike from the frame up. Also check out my article on "How to Choose a Mountain Bike" for additional info.
https://www.backcountry.com/explore/how-to-choose-a-mountain-bike
See you out on the dirt.
Kyle L. - Expert Gearhead
klivingston@backcountry.com - 801-736-4337

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Kyle Livingston

Kyle Livingstonwrote a review of on May 21, 2017

Slay the Sand & Stone
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I had a chance to ride the Yeti SB6 Turq in Moab, Utah at the biannual bike extravaganza known as Outerbike. Everyone there wanted to test the new SB5+ so the SB6 was easier to get my hands on. I have tested older models of this bike but with the updated Boost hub spacing, Eagle 1x12 drivetrain and forever evolving Switch Infinity pedaling platform this is by far the best iteration to date. And this particular XX1 Model comes with all the bells and whistles imaginable including some super stiff ENVE M70 carbon wheels. We rode Magnificent 7 which has a little of everything that Moab has to offer: smooth/buff berms, drops, slickrock, technical climbs and rocky, loose descents. I have been working on a modified rating system for all the bikes I have tested and here is my breakdown for the SB6:
Plowability - 9
Climbability - 7.5
Maneuverability - 8.5
Wheelie Rating - 7.5
Closest Competitors: Santa Cruz Bronson, Pivot Mach 6
Feel free to contact me directly with any questions on the SB6, Turq frames or any other Yeti bikes. If you are interested, I would be glad to help you build your next dream bike from the frame up. Also check out my article on "How to Choose a Mountain Bike" for additional info.
https://www.backcountry.com/explore/how-to-choose-a-mountain-bike
See you out on the dirt.
Kyle L. - Expert Gearhead
klivingston@backcountry.com - 801-736-4337

(0)

 

0 Comments

Kyle Livingston

Kyle Livingstonwrote a review of on May 21, 2017

Slay the Sand & Stone
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I had a chance to ride the Yeti SB6 in Moab, Utah at the biannual bike extravaganza known as Outerbike. Everyone there wanted to test the new SB5+ so the SB6 was easier to get my hands on. I have tested older models of this bike but with the updated Boost hub spacing, Eagle 1x12 drivetrain and forever evolving Switch Infinity pedaling platform this is by far the best iteration to date. The only thing you lose with this particular model is the Carbon frame is about 265g heavier than the Turq version. We rode Magnificent 7 which has a little of everything that Moab has to offer: smooth/buff berms, drops, slickrock, technical climbs and rocky, loose descents. I have been working on a modified rating system for all the bikes I have tested and here is my breakdown for the SB6:
Plowability - 9
Climbability - 7.5
Maneuverability - 8.5
Wheelie Rating - 7.5
Closest Competitors: Santa Cruz Bronson, Pivot Mach 6
Feel free to contact me directly with any questions on the SB6, Turq frames or any other Yeti bikes. If you are interested, I would be glad to help you build your next dream bike from the frame up. Also check out my article on "How to Choose a Mountain Bike" for additional info.
https://www.backcountry.com/explore/how-to-choose-a-mountain-bike
See you out on the dirt.
Kyle L. - Expert Gearhead
klivingston@backcountry.com - 801-736-4337

(0)

 

0 Comments

Kyle Livingston

Kyle Livingstonwrote a review of on May 21, 2017

Slay the Sand & Stone
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I had a chance to ride the Yeti SB6 Turq in Moab, Utah at the biannual bike extravaganza known as Outerbike. Everyone there wanted to test the new SB5+ so the SB6 was easier to get my hands on. I have tested older models of this bike but with the updated Boost hub spacing, Eagle 1x12 drivetrain and forever evolving Switch Infinity pedaling platform this is by far the best iteration to date. We rode Magnificent 7 which has a little of everything that Moab has to offer: smooth/buff berms, drops, slickrock, technical climbs and rocky, loose descents. I have been working on a modified rating system for all the bikes I have tested and here is my breakdown for the SB6:
Plowability - 9
Climbability - 7.5
Maneuverability - 8.5
Wheelie Rating - 7.5
Closest Competitors: Santa Cruz Bronson, Pivot Mach 6
Feel free to contact me directly with any questions on the SB6, Turq frames or any other Yeti bikes. If you are interested, I would be glad to help you build your next dream bike from the frame up. Also check out my article on "How to Choose a Mountain Bike" for additional info.
https://www.backcountry.com/explore/how-to-choose-a-mountain-bike
See you out on the dirt.
Kyle L. - Expert Gearhead
klivingston@backcountry.com - 801-736-4337

(0)

 

0 Comments

Kyle Livingston

Kyle Livingstonwrote a review of on May 21, 2017

Slay the Sand & Stone
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I had a chance to ride the Yeti SB6 Turq in Moab, Utah at the biannual bike extravaganza known as Outerbike. Everyone there wanted to test the new SB5+ so the SB6 was easier to get my hands on. I have tested older models of this bike but with the updated Boost hub spacing, Eagle 1x12 drivetrain and forever evolving Switch Infinity pedaling platform this is by far the best iteration to date. We rode Magnificent 7 which has a little of everything that Moab has to offer: smooth/buff berms, drops, slickrock, technical climbs and rocky, loose descents. I have been working on a modified rating system for all the bikes I have tested and here is my breakdown for the SB6:
Plowability - 9
Climbability - 7.5
Maneuverability - 8.5
Wheelie Rating - 7.5
Closest Competitors: Santa Cruz Bronson, Pivot Mach 6
Feel free to contact me directly with any questions on the SB6, Turq frames or any other Yeti bikes. If you are interested, I would be glad to help you build your next dream bike from the frame up. Also check out my article on "How to Choose a Mountain Bike" for additional info.
https://www.backcountry.com/explore/how-to-choose-a-mountain-bike
See you out on the dirt.
Kyle L. - Expert Gearhead
klivingston@backcountry.com - 801-736-4337

(0)

 

0 Comments

Kyle Livingston

Kyle Livingstonwrote a review of on May 21, 2017

Plowability Plus + Crushability
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

There is so much to consider when buying a new mountain bike but 2017 is the year of Plus + tires. Out here in Utah, plus tires make a lot of sense considering the variety of our terrain between Moab, Park City, St. George and beyond. After demoing a lot of different bikes I landed on the Hightower 27.5+. My pup Jasper (pic below) and I could not be happier with the choice.
Long before I bought this bike, I demoed the Carbon S build highlighted here. I ended up getting the higher end Carbon CC frame, X01 Eagle components and ENVE M60 forty carbon wheels. I love the balance of the super stiff ENVE M60's and the low air pressure (~18 PSI) in the 27.5+ Maxxis tires. I feel like I can plow over anything and still have precise control around corners and berms. I will probably end up adding a Maxxis DHF on the front for the larger knobs on the outside of the tread. I have been working on a modified rating system for all the bikes I have tested and here is my breakdown for the Hightower:
Plowability - 9.5
Climbability - 8.5
Maneuverability - 8
Wheelie Rating - 8
Closest Competitors: Yeti SB5.5, Niner RIP 9
Feel free to contact me directly with any questions on the Hightower or any other Santa Cruz bikes. If you are interested, I would be glad to help you build your next dream bike from the frame up. Also check out my article on "How to Choose a Mountain Bike" for additional info.
https://www.backcountry.com/explore/how-to-choose-a-mountain-bike
See you out on the dirt.
Kyle L. - Expert Gearhead
klivingston@backcountry.com - 801-736-4337

(0)

 

0 Comments

Kyle Livingston

Kyle Livingstonwrote a review of on May 21, 2017

Watch Out For Poison Oak & Gorillas
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I recently had the opportunity to help organize a trip to Santa Cruz headquarters highlighted by a factory tour and group ride with some of my best customers in Northern California. We had access to the whole Santa Cruz demo fleet and I decided to try out the Bronson. I recently bought a Hightower 27.5+ and wanted to have a nostalgic ride on some traditional 27.5" tires (somehow 2.3" is now considered skinny! Haha). I rode the Bronson a couple of times out in Utah last year but after riding the forest trails of UCSC with the Santa Cruz crew I totally understand why this bike shines as arguably the best all-mountain whip on the market. The revamped VPP pedaling platform cruises uphill and the 150 mm of cush upfront crushes everything in your path on the decent. The Santa Cruz trails were a bit overgrown with poison oak and I even had a run in with the endangered NorCal Gorilla (pretty funny story!) but the Bronson lived up to its "Dream Bike" reputation.
I have been working on a modified rating system for all the bikes I have tested and here is my breakdown for the Bronson:
Plowability - 8.5
Climbability - 7.5
Maneuverability - 8.5
Wheelie Rating - 9
Closest Competitors: Yeti SB6, Ibis Mojo HD3
Feel free to contact me directly with any questions on the Bronson or any other Santa Cruz bikes. I would be glad to help you build your next dream bike from the frame up. Also check out my article on "How to Choose a Mountain Bike" for additional info.
https://www.backcountry.com/explore/how-to-choose-a-mountain-bike
See you out on the dirt and watch out for poison oak!
Kyle L. - Expert Gearhead
klivingston@backcountry.com - 801-736-4337

(0)

 

0 Comments

Kyle Livingston

Kyle Livingstonwrote a review of on May 21, 2017

Watch Out For Poison Oak & Gorillas
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I recently had the opportunity to help organize a trip to Santa Cruz headquarters highlighted by a factory tour and group ride with some of my best customers in Northern California. We had access to the whole Santa Cruz demo fleet and I decided to try out the Bronson (I did get the added benefit of the lightweight Carbon CC frame, ENVE M60 carbon wheels and Eagle 1x12 drivetrain). I recently bought a Hightower 27.5+ and wanted to have a nostalgic ride on some traditional 27.5" tires (somehow 2.3" is now considered skinny! Haha). I rode the Bronson a couple of times out in Utah last year but after riding the forest trails of UCSC with the Santa Cruz crew I totally understand why this bike shines as arguably the best all-mountain whip on the market. The revamped VPP pedaling platform cruises uphill and the 150 mm of cush upfront crushes everything in your path on the decent. The Santa Cruz trails were a bit overgrown with poison oak and I even had a run in with the endangered NorCal Gorilla (pretty funny story!) but the Bronson lived up to its "Dream Bike" reputation.
I have been working on a modified rating system for all the bikes I have tested and here is my breakdown for the Bronson:
Plowability - 8.5
Climbability - 7.5
Maneuverability - 8.5
Wheelie Rating - 9
Closest Competitors: Yeti SB6, Ibis Mojo HD3
Feel free to contact me directly with any questions on the Bronson or any other Santa Cruz bikes. It is pretty amazing that you can get a full suspension, carbon bike for this $3600 price! If you are interested, I would be glad to help you build your next dream bike from the frame up. Also check out my article on "How to Choose a Mountain Bike" for additional info.
https://www.backcountry.com/explore/how-to-choose-a-mountain-bike
See you out on the dirt and watch out for poison oak!
Kyle L. - Expert Gearhead
klivingston@backcountry.com - 801-736-4337

(0)

 

0 Comments

Kyle Livingston

Kyle Livingstonwrote a review of on May 21, 2017

Watch Out For Poison Oak & Gorillas
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I recently had the opportunity to help organize a trip to Santa Cruz headquarters highlighted by a factory tour and group ride with some of my best customers in Northern California. We had access to the whole Santa Cruz demo fleet and I decided to try out the Bronson (I did get the added benefit of the lightweight Carbon CC frame, ENVE M60 carbon wheels and Eagle 1x12 drivetrain). I recently bought a Hightower 27.5+ and wanted to have a nostalgic ride on some traditional 27.5" tires (somehow 2.3" is now considered skinny! Haha). I rode the Bronson a couple of times out in Utah last year but after riding the forest trails of UCSC with the Santa Cruz crew I totally understand why this bike shines as arguably the best all-mountain whip on the market. The revamped VPP pedaling platform cruises uphill and the 150 mm of cush upfront crushes everything in your path on the decent. The Santa Cruz trails were a bit overgrown with poison oak and I even had a run in with the endangered NorCal Gorilla (pretty funny story!) but the Bronson lived up to its "Dream Bike" reputation.
I have been working on a modified rating system for all the bikes I have tested and here is my breakdown for the Bronson:
Plowability - 8.5
Climbability - 7.5
Maneuverability - 8.5
Wheelie Rating - 9
Closest Competitors: Yeti SB6, Ibis Mojo HD3
Feel free to contact me directly with any questions on the Bronson or any other Santa Cruz bikes. I would argue that this Carbon S build is the best value out there or I would be glad to help you build your next dream bike from the frame up. Also check out my article on "How to Choose a Mountain Bike" for additional info.
https://www.backcountry.com/explore/how-to-choose-a-mountain-bike
See you out on the dirt and watch out for poison oak!
Kyle L. - Expert Gearhead
klivingston@backcountry.com - 801-736-4337

(0)

 

0 Comments

Kyle Livingston

Kyle Livingstonwrote a review of on May 21, 2017

Watch Out For Poison Oak & Gorillas
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I recently had the opportunity to help organize a trip to Santa Cruz headquarters highlighted by a factory tour and group ride with some of my best customers in Northern California. We had access to the whole Santa Cruz demo fleet and I decided to try out the Bronson (I did get the added benefit of some ENVE M60 carbon wheels and Eagle 1x12 drivetrain). I recently bought a Hightower 27.5+ and wanted to have a nostalgic ride on some traditional 27.5" tires (somehow 2.3" is now considered skinny! Haha). I rode the Bronson a couple of times out in Utah last year but after riding the forest trails of UCSC with the Santa Cruz crew I totally understand why this bike shines as arguably the best all-mountain whip on the market. The revamped VPP pedaling platform cruises uphill and the 150 mm of cush upfront crushes everything in your path on the decent. The Santa Cruz trails were a bit overgrown with poison oak and I even had a run in with the endangered NorCal Gorilla (pretty funny story!) but the Bronson lived up to its "Dream Bike" reputation.
I have been working on a modified rating system for all the bikes I have tested and here is my breakdown for the Bronson:
Plowability - 8.5
Climbability - 7.5
Maneuverability - 8.5
Wheelie Rating - 9
Closest Competitors: Yeti SB6, Ibis Mojo HD3
Feel free to contact me directly with any questions on the Bronson or any other Santa Cruz bikes. I would be glad to help you build your next dream bike from the frame up. Also check out my article on "How to Choose a Mountain Bike" for additional info.
https://www.backcountry.com/explore/how-to-choose-a-mountain-bike
See you out on the dirt and watch out for poison oak!
Kyle L. - Expert Gearhead
klivingston@backcountry.com - 801-736-4337

(0)

 

0 Comments

Kyle Livingston

Kyle Livingstonwrote a review of on May 21, 2017

Watch Out For Poison Oak & Gorillas
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I recently had the opportunity to help organize a trip to Santa Cruz headquarters highlighted by a factory tour and group ride with some of my best customers in Northern California. We had access to the whole Santa Cruz demo fleet and I decided to try out the Bronson (I did get the added benefit of some ENVE M60 carbon wheels). I recently bought a Hightower 27.5+ and wanted to have a nostalgic ride on some traditional 27.5" tires (somehow 2.3" is now considered skinny! Haha). I rode the Bronson a couple of times out in Utah last year but after riding the forest trails of UCSC with the Santa Cruz crew I totally understand why this bike shines as arguably the best all-mountain whip on the market. The revamped VPP pedaling platform cruises uphill and the 150 mm of cush upfront crushes everything in your path on the decent. The Santa Cruz trails were a bit overgrown with poison oak and I even had a run in with the endangered NorCal Gorilla (pretty funny story!) but the Bronson lived up to its "Dream Bike" reputation.
I have been working on a modified rating system for all the bikes I have tested and here is my breakdown for the Bronson:
Plowability - 8.5
Climbability - 7.5
Maneuverability - 8.5
Wheelie Rating - 9
Closest Competitors: Yeti SB6, Ibis Mojo HD3
Feel free to contact me directly with any questions on the Bronson or any other Santa Cruz bikes. I would be glad to help you build your next dream bike from the frame up. Also check out my article on "How to Choose a Mountain Bike" for additional info.
https://www.backcountry.com/explore/how-to-choose-a-mountain-bike
See you out on the dirt and watch out for poison oak!
Kyle L. - Expert Gearhead
klivingston@backcountry.com - 801-736-4337

(0)

 

0 Comments

Kyle Livingston

Kyle Livingstonwrote a review of on May 21, 2017

Watch Out For Poison Oak & Gorillas
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I recently had the opportunity to help organize a trip to Santa Cruz headquarters highlighted by a factory tour and group ride with some of my best customers in Northern California. We had access to the whole Santa Cruz demo fleet and I decided to try out the Bronson. I recently bought a Hightower 27.5+ and wanted to have a nostalgic ride on some traditional 27.5" tires (somehow 2.3" is now considered skinny! Haha). I rode the Bronson a couple of times out in Utah last year but after riding the forest trails of UCSC with the Santa Cruz crew I totally understand why this bike shines as arguably the best all-mountain whip on the market. The revamped VPP pedaling platform cruises uphill and the 150 mm of cush upfront crushes everything in your path on the decent. The Santa Cruz trails were a bit overgrown with poison oak and I even had a run in with the endangered NorCal Gorilla (pretty funny story!) but the Bronson lived up to its "Dream Bike" reputation.
I have been working on a modified rating system for all the bikes I have tested and here is my breakdown for the Bronson:
Plowability - 8.5
Climbability - 7.5
Maneuverability - 8.5
Wheelie Rating - 9
Closest Competitors: Yeti SB6, Ibis Mojo HD3
Feel free to contact me directly with any questions on the Bronson or any other Santa Cruz bikes. I would be glad to help you build your next dream bike from the frame up. Also check out my article on "How to Choose a Mountain Bike" for additional info.
https://www.backcountry.com/explore/how-to-choose-a-mountain-bike
See you out on the dirt and watch out for poison oak!
Kyle L. - Expert Gearhead
klivingston@backcountry.com - 801-736-4337

(0)

 

0 Comments

Kyle Livingston

Kyle Livingstonwrote a review of on May 21, 2017

Watch Out For Poison Oak & Gorillas
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I recently had the opportunity to help organize a trip to Santa Cruz headquarters highlighted by a factory tour and group ride with some of my best customers in Northern California. We had access to the whole Santa Cruz demo fleet and I decided to try out the Bronson. I recently bought a Hightower 27.5+ and wanted to have a nostalgic ride on some traditional 27.5" tires (somehow 2.3" is now considered skinny! Haha). I rode the Bronson a couple of times out in Utah last year but after riding the forest trails of UCSC with the Santa Cruz crew I totally understand why this bike shines as arguably the best all-mountain whip on the market. The revamped VPP pedaling platform cruises uphill and the 150 mm of cush upfront crushes everything in your path on the decent. The Santa Cruz trails were a bit overgrown with poison oak and I even had a run in with the endangered NorCal Gorilla (pretty funny story!) but the Bronson lived up to its "Dream Bike" reputation.
I have been working on a modified rating system for all the bikes I have tested and here is my breakdown for the Bronson:
Plowability - 8.5
Climbability - 7.5
Maneuverability - 8.5
Wheelie Rating - 9
Closest Competitors: Yeti SB6, Ibis Mojo HD3
Feel free to contact me directly with any questions on the Bronson or any other Santa Cruz bikes. I would be glad to help you build your next dream bike from the frame up. Also check out my article on "How to Choose a Mountain Bike" for additional info.
https://www.backcountry.com/explore/how-to-choose-a-mountain-bike
See you out on the dirt and watch out for poison oak!
Kyle L. - Expert Gearhead
klivingston@backcountry.com - 801-736-4337

(0)

 

0 Comments

Kyle Livingston

Kyle Livingstonwrote a review of on May 21, 2017

Watch out for Poison Oak & Gorillas
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I recently had the opportunity to help organize a trip to Santa Cruz headquarters highlighted by a factory tour and group ride with some of my best customers in Northern California. We had access to the whole Santa Cruz demo fleet and I decided to try out the Bronson. I recently bought a Hightower 27.5+ and wanted to have a nostalgic ride on some traditional 27.5" tires (somehow 2.3" is now considered skinny! Haha). I rode the Bronson a couple of times out in Utah last year but after riding the forest trails of UCSC with the Santa Cruz crew I totally understand why this bike shines as arguably the best all-mountain whip on the market. The revamped VPP pedaling platform cruises uphill and the 150 mm of cush upfront crushes everything in your path on the decent. The Santa Cruz trails were a bit overgrown with poison oak and I even had a run in with the endangered NorCal Gorilla (pretty funny story!) but the Bronson lived up to its "Dream Bike" reputation.
I have been working on a modified rating system for all the bikes I have tested and here is my breakdown for the Bronson:
Plowability - 8.5
Climbability - 7.5
Maneuverability - 8.5
Wheelie Rating - 9
Closest Competitors: Yeti SB6, Ibis Mojo HD3
Feel free to contact me directly with any questions on the Bronson or any other Santa Cruz bikes. I would be glad to help you build your next dream bike from the frame up. Also check out my article on "How to Choose a Mountain Bike" for additional info.
https://www.backcountry.com/explore/how-to-choose-a-mountain-bike
See you out on the dirt and watch out for poison oak!
Kyle L. - Expert Gearhead
klivingston@backcountry.com - 801-736-4337

(0)

 

0 Comments

Kyle Livingston

Kyle Livingstonwrote a review of on May 21, 2017

Plowability Plus + Crushability
5 5

There is so much to consider when buying a new mountain bike but 2017 is the year of Plus + tires. Out here in Utah, plus tires make a lot of sense considering the variety of our terrain between Moab, Park City, St. George and beyond. After demoing a lot of different bikes I landed on the Hightower 27.5+. My pup Jasper (pic below) and I could not be happier with the choice.
Long before I bought this bike, I demoed the Carbon S build highlighted here. I ended up getting the higher end Carbon CC frame, X01 Eagle components and ENVE M60 forty carbon wheels. I love the balance of the super stiff ENVE M60's and the low air pressure (~18 PSI) in the 27.5+ Maxxis tires. I feel like I can plow over anything and still have precise control around corners and berms. I will probably end up adding a Maxxis DHF on the front for the larger knobs on the outside of the tread. I have been working on a modified rating system for all the bikes I have tested and here is my breakdown for the Hightower:
Plowability - 9.5
Climbability - 8.5
Maneuverability - 8
Wheelie Rating - 8
Closest Competitors: Yeti SB5.5, Niner RIP 9
Feel free to contact me directly with any questions on the Hightower or any other Santa Cruz bikes. I would argue that this Carbon S build is the best value of all the options offered. If you are interested, I would be glad to help you build your next dream bike from the frame up. Also check out my article on "How to Choose a Mountain Bike" for additional info.
https://www.backcountry.com/explore/how-to-choose-a-mountain-bike
See you out on the dirt.
Kyle L. - Expert Gearhead
klivingston@backcountry.com - 801-736-4337

(0)

 

0 Comments

Kyle Livingston

Kyle Livingstonwrote a review of on May 21, 2017

Plowability Plus + Crushability
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

There is so much to consider when buying a new mountain bike but 2017 is the year of Plus + tires. Out here in Utah, plus tires make a lot of sense considering the variety of our terrain between Moab, Park City, St. George and beyond. After demoing a lot of different bikes I landed on the Hightower 27.5+. My pup Jasper (pic below) and I could not be happier with the choice.
Instead of the Race Face ARC 40 Wheels highlighted on this build, I went with the ENVE M60 forty carbon wheels. I love the balance of the super stiff ENVE M60's and the low air pressure (~18 PSI) in the 27.5+ Maxxis tires. I feel like I can plow over anything and still have precise control around corners and berms. I will probably end up adding a Maxxis DHF on the front for the larger knobs on the outside of the tread. I have been working on a modified rating system for all the bikes I have tested and here is my breakdown for the Hightower:
Plowability - 9.5
Climbability - 8.5
Maneuverability - 8
Wheelie Rating - 8
Closest Competitors: Yeti SB5.5, Niner RIP 9
Feel free to contact me directly with any questions on the Hightower or any other Santa Cruz bikes. I would be glad to help you build your next dream bike from the frame up. Also check out my article on "How to Choose a Mountain Bike" for additional info.
https://www.backcountry.com/explore/how-to-choose-a-mountain-bike
See you out on the dirt.
Kyle L. - Expert Gearhead - klivingston@backcountry.com - 801-736-4337

(0)

 

0 Comments

Kyle Livingston

Kyle Livingstonwrote a review of on May 21, 2017

Plowability Plus + Crushability
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

There is so much to consider when buying a new mountain bike but 2017 is the year of Plus + tires. Out here in Utah, plus tires make a lot of sense considering the variety of our terrain between Moab, Park City, St. George and beyond. After demoing a lot of different bikes I landed on the Hightower 27.5+. My pup Jasper (pic below) and I could not be happier with the choice.
Instead of the XX1 Eagle drivetrain and Race Face ARC 40 Wheels highlighted on this build, I went with the X01 Eagle components and ENVE M60 forty carbon wheels. I love the balance of the super stiff ENVE M60's and the low air pressure (~18 PSI) in the 27.5+ Maxxis tires. I feel like I can plow over anything and still have precise control around corners and berms. I will probably end up adding a Maxxis DHF on the front for the larger knobs on the outside of the tread. I have been working on a modified rating system for all the bikes I have tested and here is my breakdown for the Hightower:
Plowability - 9.5
Climbability - 8.5
Maneuverability - 8
Wheelie Rating - 8
Closest Competitors: Yeti SB5.5, Niner RIP 9
Feel free to contact me directly with any questions on the Hightower or any other Santa Cruz bikes. I would be glad to help you build your next dream bike from the frame up. Also check out my article on "How to Choose a Mountain Bike" for additional info.
https://www.backcountry.com/explore/how-to-choose-a-mountain-bike
See you out on the dirt.
Kyle L. - Expert Gearhead
klivingston@backcountry.com - 801-736-4337

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Kyle Livingston

Kyle Livingstonwrote a review of on May 21, 2017

Plowability Plus + Crushability
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

There is so much to consider when buying a new mountain bike but 2017 is the year of Plus + tires. Out here in Utah, plus tires make a lot of sense considering the variety of our terrain between Moab, Park City, St. George and beyond. After demoing a lot of different bikes I landed on this Hightower 27.5+ with Eagle X01 drivetrain and ENVE M60 wheels. My pup Jasper (pic below) and I could not be happier with the choice.
I love the balance of the super stiff ENVE M60 Wheels and the low air pressure (~18 PSI) in the 27.5+ Maxxis tires. I feel like I can plow over anything and still have precise control around corners and berms. I will probably end up adding a Maxxis DHF on the front for the larger knobs on the outside of the tread. I have been working on a modified rating system for all the bikes I have tested and here is my breakdown for the Hightower:
Plowability - 9.5
Climbability - 8.5
Maneuverability - 8
Wheelie Rating - 8
Closest Competitors: Yeti SB5.5, Niner RIP 9
Feel free to contact me directly with any questions on the Hightower or any other Santa Cruz bikes. I would be glad to help you build your next dream bike from the frame up. Also check out my article on "How to Choose a Mountain Bike" for additional info.
https://www.backcountry.com/explore/how-to-choose-a-mountain-bike
See you out on the dirt.
Kyle L. - Expert Gearhead - klivingston@backcountry.com - 801-736-4337

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Kyle Livingston

Kyle Livingstonwrote a review of on April 23, 2017

Rugged enough to get married in...
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 185 lbs
Size Purchased: 11.5

I bought these Trask Fiske Shoes for my wedding last summer and could not be happier. I paired them with a dark blue woolen suit from Utah Woolen Mills which solicited many compliments on the big day. Of course, I was the groom so the guests were probably just being nice! Haha. The Fiske's are comfortable, stylish, durable and will keep you on your feet throughout any occasion...even hours of dancing with the bride. And most important of all, the wife approves of them.
Feel free to contact me directly with any questions on these or other Trask shoes, I have a couple pairs.
Kyle L. - Expert Gearhead
klivingston@backcountry.com - 801-736-4337

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Kyle Livingston

Kyle Livingstonwrote a review of on March 29, 2017

The Crown Jewel of Enduro
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Yeti continues to adapt along with the rest of the mountain bike industry to the Boost hub revolution and the SB5.5 is the crown jewel in my opinion. I first had a chance to ride this bike at a Yeti demo last summer and was extremely skeptical going in. The Santa Cruz Hightower had been my favorite bike of 2017 but let's just say that was before ripping on the SB5.5. I have now been on this bike a handful of times, both in the mountains of Park City and the desert of Moab, and it continues to impress me for a variety of reasons.
Quick note: This Turq-Series frame is slightly lighter compared to the Carbon series frame. Yeti only offers the Carbon series frame on complete bikes.I have ridden both frames and can't tell the difference.
There are a couple key differences between the Hightower and SB5.5. The SB5.5 has a slightly steeper head tube angle (66.5 degrees), slightly higher BB height and longer wheel base. But truth be told the key for me is that a Large Yeti just fits me better than a Large Santa Cruz. I am 6'1" with pretty long arms and for whatever reason I have always felt that Large Santa Cruz bikes are too small (and XL too big). But the Yeti SB5.5 in a Large was built just for me.
I was most impressed with how easily it plowed over everything put in front of it. If there was a plowability rating I would give it 6 stars out of 5. It handled steep, technical terrain with ease and cornered surprisingly well for a 29er considering the added lateral stiffness from the wider Boost hubs. This bike had solid pop off of jumps and was smooth in the air which I did not expect but should not be surprising considering the tech behind the Switch Infinity Link.
If you are looking for a new super bike and are considering the Yeti SB5.5 do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions. I would be glad to help you build this bike from the frame up.
Kyle Livingston - Expert Gearhead
klivingston@backcountry.com - 801-736-4337

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