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If you're looking for a whip-fast bike that can handle some bigger terrain on occasion, look no further than Yeti Cycles' SB4.5 Turq X01 Eagle Complete Mountain Bike. It blends XC speed with geometry to handle the bigger stuff, so it's effectively the missing link between enduro and trail—something we'd feel comfortable with literally calling all-mountain.
This SB4.5 also carries Yeti's new Turq designation, which means the frame is even lighter and stiffer than the brand's standard carbon construction. It features a more precise carbon layup that's carefully molded to reinforce key stress points without adding bulk, resulting in strength where you need it and fewer grams where you don't. In the end, Yeti claims a reduction of 300g compared to the regular SB4.5 Carbon—a stat that lends the SB4.5 Turq more climbing pedigree and complements the ultimate bailout gear on the X01 Eagle drivetrain.
Yeti also says that the SB4.5 has a stiffer pedaling platform than most of its other bikes. While we don't have numbers to verify this claim, it's definitely a responsive go-getter when the going gets mashy, and we think the inclusion of a Boost 148mm rear axle is at least partially responsible for the bike's eagerness on climbs. Coupled with the innate aggression of 29in wheels and the stiff, collet-style hardware, the boosted rear triangle certainly feels every bit as stiff as—if not stiffer than—any of Yeti's other models.
The frame's aggressive speed is not to be outdone by its slack front end and surprisingly capable Switch Infinity suspension, though. Its 67.4-degree head tube is one of the slackest we've seen on an XC-leaning 29er, and it makes for a boost of confidence while picking lines across terrain that would make a more typical 70-degree head tube stumble. The Switch Infinity suspension is equally confidence-inspiring, and its linear travel hits the sweet spot of anti-squat to keep pedaling sharp across rocky climbs. It also erases the momentary harshness that its predecessor, the Switch Link design, would display when pushed to the absolute limit.
Of course, most riders didn't experience that dead spot on the Switch Link, but the SB4.5 isn't for most riders. It's for the all-mountain racer who demands that their machine flattens big hits with the same tenacity that it cleans long climbs. In our experience, the SB4.5's Switch Infinity suspension isn't quite as soft off the top as the 5.5 and it finds the bottom when we overshoot a landing. That said, the steeper head tube produces sharper handling and rewards technique while picking lines, making the SB4.5 more fun if you value finesse over just bombing terrain.
While Yeti's Shimano builds tend to feature Race Face cranks, this build takes full advantage of SRAM's Eagle gearing. The 30t chainring and comically huge 10-50t spread out back ensure you'll almost never find yourself without a gear whether you're burning up hardpack or laboring up a punishing grade. Either way, the finishing touch of Race Face's ever-popular Turbine dropper post ensures that you'll never be more than a switch throw away from keeping your saddle at the right height.
- Turns out the missing link between trail and enduro is a 29er
- 4.5in of Yeti's premier Switch Infinity devours big hits
- Trail bike geometry remains stable across the funky stuff
- Stubby stays keep wagon-wheel handling sharp
- Turq carbon construction drops weight and bolsters stiffness
- Massive BB shell and Boost spacing maintain stiff pedaling
- Dropper post keeps your perch at the right height
- SRAM's X01 Eagle drivetrain provides the ultimate bailout gear
- Item #YTI00AE
- Q & A
Exactly what I hoped I was getting!
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
I just got my Yeti SB4.5c Turq and these are my initial impressions after my first ride. For context, I've been riding a Santa Cruz Bronson CC with a similar build since October 2016 (size large). *I am just over 6'1" with shortish legs and a longish torso. I got size Large in the SB4.5c
After making some minor fit adjustments, like moving the saddle slightly forward and adjusting shock pressure to the suggested volume based on my weight, I headed out on my first ride. The ride begins with a long 2,000' climb I was immediately impressed by how composed the rear suspension felt - it was so stable that I actually rode the entire ride with the shock completely open. The riding position suits me well, as it's right in the "trail" zone - somewhere between slack/freeride and XC - and it feels perhaps slightly less slack than my Bronson.
I've owned a number of great bikes over the years, having had a Tallboy LT before the Bronson CC - for the style of flowy riding we have here in Park City, the Yeti SB4.5 is the best bike I've ridden yet. I went from 29" wheels on the Tallboy LT to the 27.5 of the Bronson because I felt that I couldn't "flick" the Tallboy around enough, especially in tight turns. The Bronson solved that issue, but sacrificed some efficiency on the long climbs and big XC rides.
After 18 miles and 3k of vert on my new Yeti, I am absolutely blown away by how it maneuvers - it goes to show how far technology/geometry can advance in just a few years - it's not just "good for a 29er" it's great for a mountain bike. It absolutely rips - so much so, that I may have to put a 180mm disc on the rear to match the front for a little extra breaking power.
All-in-all, this is am amazing bike with a sick built package - a few great specs that stand out from the competition are the Ergon Grips, Carbon Cranks, Custom WTB Saddle and Fox dropper (it's amazing so far).
Almost a 5!
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
The bike has been a seriously great machine! Biggest challenge I had was that I’m between sizes and the L was likely too much...based on CC recs, I went with the M...and quickly changed the stem...It was a crowded cockpit...but after a 70mm stem it is fantastic. The reason for not getting a five is that the seat dropper is a challenge to push and it stopped working right after 100 miles...I have to pull on it to get it to go up the last inch or so. I’ve cleaned it and done adjustments, but it’s substandard for such a pricey ride.