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SB100 GX Eagle Complete Mountain Bike
There's really no denying the excellence of Yeti's mountain bikes. They ride fantastic, build up light, and always look on point. Its SB100 is no exception and a notable upgrade over its previous ASR Carbon with the addition of its Switch Infinity suspension platform and more modern geometry. Yeti XC bikes have always had a little more of a rowdy alter ego making them fun and capable trail bikes on those days when we're not pinning it on the race course. If we had to nick-pic on Yeti, it would be that they often charge a premium for its bikes. We realize that the R&D that goes into the frames and the use of premium materials is in part why the bikes ride so well and it does drive up costs, but it often makes the barrier of entry difficult. That’s what makes the SB100 GX Eagle Complete Mountain Bike so appealing. For around $1500 more than its TURQ frame, you can have a dialed, complete bike that's purpose-built for mid-week short track racing, marathon stage races, or just exploring new singletrack with your friends.
While most cross-country bikes resemble one-trick ponies that prioritize the number on the scale and uphill performance, those builds can often be a handful when riding steep, technical terrain at speed. The SB100 draws on Yeti's heritage of building frames hone with the feedback of its professional racers as well as its famous company lunch rides right out the door at its Golden, CO facility. So even though the geometry and suspension of the SB100 might have cross-country riding and racing as more of its intended purpose, it's nowhere out of its element on trail rides that would leave most cross-country whippets under gunned.
The Switch Infinity platform, now utilized on all full-suspension Yetis, is redesigned specifically for the 100mm of travel on this model. It’s lighter weight, rotated 90-degrees, and tucks in behind the seat tube, sitting in its own compartment out of the way of wheel spray and errant trail debris. This design also allows the front triangle to accommodate a large water bottle—the first we've seen from a Switch Infinity bike, and something to silence the forum crowd. We're smitten by Switch Infinity and could care less if it adds a few grams over the ASR's single pivot design, as its ability to blend climbing efficiency and descending prowess is almost without equal. Making a 100-millimeter travel bike pedal well isn't too hard of a feat but making that same bike not feel out of place on chunky trails that often warrants a full enduro rig is. Beefy pivots and carbon construction increase lateral stiffness and tracks confidently through blown out washboard trails and rocky minefields and were blown away with the ability to point and shoot aboard an XC bike. The Switch platform on this frameset operates in the same manner as on Yeti's other bikes—meaning supple off the top while transitioning into excellent mid-stroke support before ramping up as you peg the fun meter on all 100 millimeters on tap. By utilizing a smooth and adjustable FOX DPS Performance shock, you'll easily dial in the ride you want and swear it has more travel.
The SB100 isn't the only bike on the market that sports a "down-country" build and demeanor but it does it really, really well. As XC race courses get more technical and as more and more riders seek a bike that can be raced and be fun on trails, we're positive more bikes like this will enter the fray. Its 67.8-degree headtube angle looks more appropriate on a trail bike and on paper it would appear that it would detract from the nimble handling and quick steering XC bikes are known for. But Yeti always has a few tricks up its sleeve and spec'd a FOX 34 Step-Cast fork with a 44mm offset. Ride tests found this reduction in fork rake with the slack head tube and longer reach improves the weight distribution on the bike, bringing the front wheel back for more traction and more downhill stability without compromising its ability to clean tight switchbacks on climbs and negotiate around trail obstacles at slower speeds.
The 74 to 74.3-degree seat tube angle (depending on size) puts you on top and in control of your bike and offer maximum pedaling efficiency for marathon 24-hour stretches or for those lucky enough to have the time off work, a stage race. The wheelbase also balances nimbleness and stability so you can charge wide open, high-speed gnar and carve between tightly spaced trees with aplomb. Another upgrade over the ASR is its Boost spaced rear end, which allows for wider hub flange spacing and better bracing angles to stiffen things up. It also allowed Yeti to hack off a little length on the chainstays and they now sit at 17.2-inches, so you have plenty of rear tire clearance adding traction for competent climbing while remaining agile through tight singletrack. Other notable frame features include internal tubed cable routing for silent operation and easy setup and an uninterrupted seat tube allowing for maximum dropper post compatibility.
This SB100 is built using Yeti's lower spec carbon, which offers nearly the same stiffness and strength as their top-flight TURQ carbon. The main difference between the two frame materials lies in its slightly heavier weight, with this particular SB100 frame weighing about 7.2 ounces heavier (that's approximately 205 grams) than the TURQ carbon models. The payoff is a significantly cheaper price point, which helps you save funds for bike upgrades down the road, trips to trail meccas, or even fees to enter that multi-stage race you've been dreaming about for the past few years.
The suspension, as well as the Switch Infinity shuttles, come from FOX in the form of a Float Performance DPS shock and all new 120 millimeter Step-Cast 34 Performance Fork that pairs sculpted lowers with 34 millimeter stanchions for the best weight savings possible without sacrificing its ability to provide adequate stiffness, absorb big hits, and tame rowdy sections of trail. Yeti didn't stop the XC/Trail fusion there and it outfits the bike appropriately for the terrain at hand, opting for properly wide 760-millimeter bars, beefy 2.3-inch tires, and a FOX Transfer dropper post for getting aggressive on descents without sacrificing your pedaling position on long climbs.
This GX Eagle build is an equal mix of cross-country racing, trail riding, and value. SRAM's workhorse GX Eagle drivetrain offers plenty of range for taming the climbs on 5-digit elevation days while having a tall enough gear to pedal downhill sections of trail and link up fire roads between trailheads. It's finished with a dependably strong DT Swiss M1900 wheelset with 25-millimeter wide internal width, as well as Guide R brakes to rein in speed on demand.
- Yeti blends XC speed with a trail hungry alter ego
- 4in of smooth, efficient Switch Infinity suspension
- 67.8° head tube angle offers agility and stability
- The carbon frame is strong and stiff at a lower cost than TURQ
- SRAM's GX Eagle drivetrain offer reliability, rang, and value
- DT Swiss M1900 wheels roll smoothly and track with authority
- Beefy 2.3in tires, a dropper post, and 34mm Step-Cast fork appeals to your wilder side
- Item #YTI00EP
- Q & A
Surprisingly Capable "XC" Bike
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
I am 5'11" and typically ride a large. I was in Seattle for the weekend and the shop double booked the Evil Wreckoning that I was supposed to take out and the SB100 was the last option in a large. For reference, I rode the X01 build and rode Tiger Mountain (rooty, steep, slick) and Duthie Hill (flowy jumps and pedal powered bike park). C'est la vie, lets get rowdy on a XC bike.
I really should say "XC bike." Its spec'd builds with a Minion DHF in front and Aggressor in rear, wide bars/short stem, and a dropper post. Also - the Fox 34 Step Cast 120mm fork. With that, it is a portly bike, its not light. Not exactly what other brands are typically decking out their XC bikes with. A lot of weight weanies and XC folks are not going to be a a fan of this bike, at least how Yeti spec's it. I loved it.
First off, it does climb well. Its relatively snappy, but just feels efficient. I don't know if I really felt much fast climbing (likely as I'm still on a DHF/Aggressor tire combo), but didn't seem to get as tired. It just keeps cruising uphill. If you were concerned about actually setting some climbing PR's, throw some faster rolling tires.
We joked about how it would ride going downhill when we were hanging out up top. "Giddy'up, could be an interesting ride," I thought. It was in interesting ride - mostly cause it surprisingly smashed downhill. Few sort of hairy sections, but was surprisingly impressed with its downhill performance. Again this may be due to the beefed up components and relatively slack headtube angle, but regardless was pretty stoked on it. It may have also been that the travel is used really nicely and that 100mm does its job well.
It would be really interesting to spec the new Santa Cruz Blur in a similar trail fashion and have a head to head comparison. For someone who typically prefers the feel of a longer travel bike, this would be a super fun bike to rock as a short travel, aggressive bike. I refuse to call it a "down country" bike, but will say it is like a fast, mini trail bike. If that sounds like it suits your fancy, you'd be hyped on this!
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Is Yeti’s Turq version of the Sb100 worth the extra cost as compared to their regular sb100 layup?