The only difference between the Yeti Beti and the Yeti—err—Yeti is the paint scheme. It's the same bike as the standard turquoise SB5, just with an aesthetic treatment designed in collaboration with Yeti's sponsored lady racers, who the brand refers to as Betis. Given the frame's trail bike attitude and gravity hunger, it's only right to spec it with a built that's just as equal to abuse. On the SB5 Beti Carbon SLX Complete Mountain Bike, we've taken the liberty of doing that for you, dressing this lady of the dirt in Shimano's beat-'em-up drivetrain and a Race Face cockpit.
As pleased as we are with the workhorse spec sheet, the SB5 Beti's frame remains the real star. This is largely because of Yeti's Switch Infinity slider, which is similar to its predecessor, Switch Link, in that it travels upward while the SB5 settles into its sag point. As the rear end compresses deeper, the direction changes, and the slider travels down toward the bottom bracket shell. Deep in the stroke, it works in conjunction with the upper pivot to produce a vertical wheel path that effortlessly flattens big, square-edged impacts. Think of it as everything that has earned the Switch Link such high praise, except that it rides smoother and is easier to maintain than the previous eccentric pivot.
Undoubtedly, there will be those who balk at the idea of having a seemingly complicated pivot, but in reality, it’s lighter and more user friendly than the Switch Link pivot that it replaces. The lightness can be attributed to the Kashima-coated mini-stanchions and feathery forged shuttle, which were co-developed with FOX Racing Shox. Ease of use comes courtesy of the easily-accessible grease ports, which do away with the need for time consuming rebuilds. Not that you'll need to worry about rebuilds, as FOX has successfully tested production units to well over a million compression cycles while completely submerged in mud.
But the SB5 is a bike, not just a little doodad, and if Switch Infinity is its heart then Yeti’s proven carbon fiber chassis is its skeleton. Frame weights are right around five pounds with shock, depending on size, which puts it on the lighter end of the trail bike spectrum without sacrificing strength or stiffness. The frame climbs like it's motorized, and with a long, low geometry, a tapered head tube, and a rear thru-axle, it sticks to its line over trail furniture like a cat on carpet.
- An aggressive trail bike with gravity-bred ill intentions
- 5in of travel in Yeti's smoothest suspension yet
- Slack geometry pushes into all-mountain territory
- Less weight and more efficiency with carbon construction
- Paint and graphics designed with Yeti's sponsored women cyclists
- Built-up with a workhorse drivetrain and wheels
- Item #YTI008O