When Yeti's ASR Carbon went to pasture, it left a void in its XC lineup, a discipline that Yeti has been very familiar with since its beginnings in 1985. Sure, the next closest bike in its stable, also a full-suspension 29er, the 4.5, can be built up as a lightweight shredder that's not afraid to toe a start line surrounded by lycra-clad racers more concerned with their FTP than a good IPA. However, with a 140mm fork and angles and lengths more akin to a trail bike, it always left the racer wondering if they brought a gun to a knife fight. Well that all changes with the introduction of Yeti's brand new SB100. This frame marks the first time we've seen the Switch Infinity platform in a travel range built for XC use. The complete bikes also have a spec sheet that pretty much checks off everything we would run if we were building up a frame from scratch or upgrading a complete from stock. Four inches of efficient, race-worthy travel rockets up climbs but this bike isn't afraid to get rowdy on the descents. Big aggressive tires, standard issue dropper post, all-new FOX Step-Cast 120mm 34 fork, and a 180mm front rotor all ensure this bike is equally quick going downhill letting you can have a blast over every rooty feature and rock garden on the course and continue to extend the lead you established when the trail pointed up. The slack for cross-country geometry continues Yeti's trend of building progressive XC weapons that get the job done between the tape, and are still fun to take out for a rip when you're not hanging a number plate from your bars. The SB100 Turq X01 Eagle Complete Mountain Bike from Yeti redefines the cross-country mountain bike and creates a bike that's an absolute riot on the most of the trails we ride, race day or otherwise.
We typically think of cross-country bikes as one trick ponies that barely trouble the scale which makes going uphill less of a chore but the sometimes anorexic build can be slightly unnerving and require a good test of faith when pushed through its paces on technical descents. With the SB100, it has some pretty good lineage to draw inspiration from and even though the geometry and suspension have cross country riding and racing on its mind as the intended purpose, it's hard not to notice the trail and enduro highlights that bled over from its trail and enduro offerings. The Switch Infinity platform, utilized on all Yetis all the way up to the EWS winning SB6, has been redesigned specifically for 100mm of travel on this model. It’s light, and tucks 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 very large water bottle, the first we've seen from a Switch Infinity bike. We feel like this a move in the right direction even if it does come with a few added grams over the ASR's single pivot as every Yeti we've ridden with Switch has awesome climbing efficiency without infringing on its descending prowess. Yeti gets high marks for creating a very capable 100mm travel bike, with a stiff and responsive ride, that very rarely feels out of place short of trails where we'd don body armor and a full-face. Beefy pivots offer incredible lateral stiffness that tracks so confidently through blown out washboard trails and minefields that, in the back of our minds we have to remind ourselves that we are pointing and shooting on 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 test all 100mm on offer. Pair this action with the smooth as silk Kashima coated FOX DPS Factory shock and you'll swear that the rear end is packing more travel.
The brief exodus from the XC scene allowed for a few reboots and allowed Yeti to truly build a no-compromise bike that could climb and descend, not just one that was great at one and mediocre at the other. A 67.8-degree headtube angle might look 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. Yeti has a few tricks up its sleeve and spec'd a FOX 34 Step-Cast fork with a 44mm offset. This reduction in fork rake brings the front wheel back and takes away some of the negative attributes of a slacker HTA. By selecting this offset, it improves your weight distribution on the bike making you more balanced and confident for better handling on slow speed steering efforts like uphill switchbacks while still offering stability when going fast downhill. 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 walks the tightrope of being nimble and offering stability so you can blitz through the techy bits without wondering if you'll blow it through the berm on the next turn. A departure from the ASR, this rear end is updated with Boost spacing, 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 wheel 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 top tier Turq carbon fiber construction. By using some of the finest, and strongest, raw materials available, Yeti is able to make its Turq frames extremely lightweight while maintaining outstanding impact resistance, exceptional stiffness, and just the right amount of properly tuned chassis flex to help the bike tame the trails without ricocheting off its line. Of course, balancing all these factors is extremely difficult if you lack mastery of carbon fiber, and the engineers at Yeti have proven that it can build lightweight frames that can handle the likes of Richie Rude and Enduro World Series stages, both forces to be reckoned with. What results is a frame that can endure years of hard riding and racing while delivering an unsurpassed ride quality that comes in at class-leading weights.
As we stated earlier, this build comes correct with componentry that is custom curated for aggressive cross-country riding. The suspension, both front, and rear, as well as the Switch Infinity shuttles, come from FOX in the form of a Float Factory DPS shock and an all-new 120mm Step-Cast 34 Factory fork pairing weight saving sculpted lowers with 34mm stanchion uppers dropping grams without feeling twisty and flimsy under hard braking and cornering. Honestly, this fork follows the design ethos of the frame to a T. Both dampers offer amazing suppleness and a buttery-smooth stroke, with compression and rebound adjustments allowing for easy tuning if its buff hardpack, out of bounds epics, and everything in between. SRAM's workhorse X01 Eagle group offers plenty of range for taming the climbs on 5-digit elevation days while having a tall enough gear to link up the paved sections between the trailheads. The proven star-ratchet freehub system on the DT Swiss M1700 wheels flawlessly engages in forwarding movement and rolls on meaty Maxxis Minion/Aggressor rubber so you can let it hang out on the descents. If things start getting a little dicey, powerful and well-modulating Shimano XT brakes quickly scrub speed keeping you in total control.