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In our opinion, a proper mountain bike ride does include a bit of climbing and you have to earn you turns. Being able to do big backcountry rides is so rewarding and we prefer to get to faraway and seldom seen places. You'll need the right kind of bike if you fancy riding in these conditions. Ideally it'll pedal well when motoring along the flats and up long climbs yet not hold you back at all while charging back down. We get to ride a lot of bikes here but the one that we have found to do this job above and beyond is the Yeti's SB5 Carbon XT/SLX Complete Mountain Bike. The lightweight build and suspension design simply works with you in every situation and the price point puts it in a rage that won't leave you bike poor.
We love the SB5 for its versatility. We can confidently pull the bike off the rack at any trailhead and know that the bike will handle the ride. The term "quiver-killer" gets thrown around from time to time and we feel the SB5 truly lives up to it. It strikes a perfect balance of agility and pin the throttle speed. Scare yourself fast speed comes courteous of the 66.5-degrees headtube angle for the steep stuff going down but you don't have to hold your tongue just right to prevent a wondering front wheel on steep climbs. The 73.6-degrees seat tube angle puts you in a powerful pedaling position for improved climbing and cruising in a big gear. When it's time to drop in, the FOX Transfer post gets the WTB saddle out of the way for improved clearance and control.
Boost spacing is pretty ubiquitous these days but essentially what it does is widen the hub flanges building a stiffer wheel and rear end. It also creates more room for bigger rubber to fit between the chainstays. Shorter chainstays, to the tune of 17.2-inches, while still having room for a 2.4-inch tire tucked in close to the seat tube, is a recipe for fun. While riding, you get a bike that goes exactly where you want and with no rear end wag. Up and down the mountain, boost spacing rules.
Yeti's Switch Infinity suspension system is one of the most refined designs we have ridden. It utilizes a patented translating pivot that automatically switches direction as the bike moves through its travel. This provides excellent anti-squat characteristics for superior pedaling performance and ideal suspension characteristics as it gets deeper into the travel. Inside are a pair of greased bushings that slide up and down on two Kashima coated rails. The suspension platform offers a more linear leverage ratio. Simply put the suspension provides plenty of support for efficient pedaling and climbing, but maintains a bottomless feel as you get deeper into the travel.
Yeti is constantly improving the breed and the SB5 was retooled for the metric shock platform. Working closely with FOX, the DPS shock features an exclusive air volume configuration and tune. Working perfectly with Switch Infinity, this results in better mid-stroke compression and small bump sensitivity providing a wider range of riders with a custom feel. FOX continues up front with the Performance 34 fork offering stiction-free, controlled dampening. Shimano's XT/SLX build is a legit 1x drivetrain with some serious range and Shimano brakes are the standard to which all other brakes are judged. Race Face cockpit components further are quality to this value-packed build.
This frame is constructed from Yeti's standard carbon fiber which offers the same stiffness and durability as the TURQ series but with a weight penalty of about 3/4 pounds. The lay-up techniques of bonding around a mold while curing with minimal resin pooling reduces weight and increases strength in joints without excess material being added. We think the weight penalty is worth it since the ride is the same and the cash saved can go a long way towards some trips or upgrades down the road.
- Yeti's versatile trail bike with a value build kit
- 5in of smooth Switch Infinity suspension
- Longer, slacker geometry sends bigger lines
- Tight rear triangle maintains agility and pedaling angles
- Carbon construction maintains stiffness while dropping weight
- Boost spacing increase stiffness
- Shimano's XT/SLX drivetrain shifts precisely
- Yeti Cycles continues to redefine the modern trail bike
- Item #YTI00AZ