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Blurring the boundaries.
Seeing the industry is evolving towards a slacker-is-better design philosophy with longer travel figures to match, it's a bit surprising that Yeti has embraced the snappy acceleration, spirited handling, and climbing prowess of a short-travel 29er in the making of their newest SB100. If you've been a faithful rider of Yeti for some time, you'll know that a short-travel 29er isn't unprecedented in their line, seeing the previous ASR Carbon occupied this same genre, offering cross-country racers the efficiency to blow the doors off the competition, but with a rowdy alter ego that made it far more capable than its limited travel figures would suggest. As such, you'll find Yeti created the SB100 Turq XO1 Eagle Race Complete Bike to fill the void left by the previous ASR Carbon, but with updated geometry figures to make it far more confident over technical sections of trail, plus a compact version of their Switch Infinity suspension platform with 100 millimeters of highly efficient travel that excels on climbs and across long distances seen in multi-stage adventure races.
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 requires 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 Yeti's longer travel 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 100 millimeter travel bike, with a stiff and responsive ride that 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 100 millimeters on offer. Pair this action with the silky-smooth 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. After a bit of experimentation, Yeti found this reduction in fork rake improves your weight distribution on the bike, offering a bit 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 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-flight 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.
This XO1 Eagle Race build comes with carefully curated components chosen for a mix of cross-country racing and spirited trail riding. It's upgraded over the regular XO1 build with its DT Swiss XM 1501 Spline wheels, which provide optimal support for 2.2 to 2.4-inch tires with a 25-millimeter internal width and lightweight, yet rugged alloy construction. The proven DT Swiss 240 hubs are extremely reliable and engage relatively quickly, so you can get up and over trail features standing in your way. SRAM Level TLM hydraulic disc brakes provide high levels of modulation and consistent braking power, even on long descents over the course of thousands of vertical feet.
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 that pairs sculpted lowers with 34mm stanchions dropping grams without feeling twisty and flimsy under hard braking and cornering. Both dampers offer amazing suppleness and a buttery-smooth stroke, with compression and rebound adjustments allowing for easy tuning to your specific riding preferences and local terrain. 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 trail heads.
- Short-travel 29er blurs the line between XC and trail
- 4in of smooth, highly efficient Switch Infinity suspension
- 67.8° head tube angle balances agility with trail composure
- Turq carbon construction drops weight and gains stiffness
- Only Switch Infinity bike to fit a water bottle in the frame
- SRAM's XO1 Eagle drivetrain provides a massive range of gears
- Upgraded DT Swiss XM 1501 Spline wheels for strength-to-weight
- Beefy tires, dropper post, and 34mm fork for aggressive riders
- Item #YTI00CP
- Q & A
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
I rode a Demo out of Yeti HQ in golden to see if it was something I would consider for my next bike. Short answer is, yes... This will most likely be my next bike. I was very impressed with its climbing efficiency. It chugs along very nice and efficiently as expected and clears obstacles with ease. The most impressive part however was the downhill. I pointed this thing down a fairly gnarly rocky decent and it just gobbled the majority of it up with no problems. Now there were a few butt pucker moments when I was reminded that I was on a XC inspired bike but at that point it had already far exceeded what I thought it was capable of. I was just pushing to see how far I could go. When I got to the bottom I checked the o-rings on the suspension. The fork had pretty much all the travel used which I expected but I was surprised to see that the rear still had a decent amount of travel left to use. All in all, this is an amazing bike and I really think Yeti knocked it out of the park. If you ride enough chunky trail and are scared of the short travel but don't want a 140/150 bike, throw a 130 fork on this thing and let er eat.
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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- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
The SB100 is the race ready bike, that can still let loose and party. That should probably be reversed, the SB100 is the party bike that can still plop you on top of the podium. I snagged a SB100 X01 Race complete, and dressed it up with Enve bar, stem, M525 wheels, and some Next SL G4 cranks. With some race minded XC tires (Forekaster front/Aspen rear), she weighed in at 24.5lbs with pedals and a dropper. Not the lightest bike I've owned. My ASR, which the SB100 essentially replaces, was 22.3lbs with a rigid post. That said their are light bikes, and there are bikes that pedal light, and the SB100 is all go. I've PR'd on climbs without trying, and its still a Yeti, so the downhill chops come stock. This bike has replaced my SB4.5.
This is a very intriguing bike. I have my old asr still in my garage. I don’t want to sell it unless it goes to the right home. I now have a Giant Anthem and a Santa Cruz Hightower LT. I’d love to have something like this but, is it light? How light? Race worthy? This would probably be great for great riders who don’t need a lot of suspension.
This is a full on race/trail bike that has the less suspension. It is not necessarily "Super" light weight at around 25.8lbs however its technologies push it to be a hyper efficient XC race bike that is also confident on descents than just a lightweight XC noodle.