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Coming Down the Mountain.
Yeti had some pretty big shoes to fill after they discontinued the highly successful SB95. The 5 inches of travel and Switch Technology built a bike that pedaled well, felt better the faster you rode, and could be built up as an all-day trail bike or an enduro stage hunter. The first 29er back in Yeti's lineup, post SB95, was the 4.5. It showcased refinements to the suspension linkage (Switch Infinity) and did a terrific job of filling in as a trail bike. However, those that still favored big wheels and wanted to build up an enduro machine silently hoped that Yeti still had something in the works. Yeti certainly delivered with the SB5.5 and it's become the gold standard in which all long-travel 29ers are judged. The SB5.5 Turq X01 Eagle Complete Mountain Bike that we have here is one of our favorite builds from Yeti and packs exactly what we want and no additional fluff: TURQ Carbon frame, FOX Factory suspension, and SRAM's excellent X01 wide-range group.
Bikes like the 5.5 ushered in a movement that legitimized wagon wheels for big-hit trial bike use and Richie Rude has piloted a 5.5 to an Enduro World Series race win. Modern geometry, materials, and suspension design build a frame that is an absolute demon when the trail heads down and the clock starts, but it never works against you when it is time to head back up and do it again or transfer to the next stage. This frame benefits from Yeti's TURQ Series carbon fiber which is the highest quality material that Yeti constructs frames from and it offers the perfect balance of stiffness and compliance. This results in a bike that feels smooth, solid, and aggressive yet gives up nothing in the durability and fatigue category. The higher modulus carbon allows Yeti to shave about 400 grams from the standard Carbon series bikes which should help some on grueling technical climbs.
The heart of Yeti’s suspension design is the Switch Infinity platform. What it yields is excellent deep travel support, sensitive small bump compliance, and the anti-squat needed for efficient pedaling and solid climbing. We are blown away by how well this bike ascends. If you have the means to turn the pedals over, the 5.5 will claw its way up the steepest, most uneven terrain you can imagine. The excellent mid-stroke support keeps the bike from wallowing in its travel and gives it a playful, poppy feel and we doubt that Cody Kelly has problems getting rad on any jumps, hips, or transitions he can get his wheels on…or off.The SB5.5 TURQ Series X01 Eagle bike brings us everything important spec wise and doesn't leave us jonesing to upgrade it in the near future. For this bike, Yeti chose the SRAM's X01 Eagle drivetrain which essentially gives you XX performance at an ever-so-slightly higher weight penalty. Guide RSC brakes have equal parts modulation and power for really good feel coming down the mountain, Fox Factory suspension, including the new custom tuned DPX2 shock, work so well that you will look for and begin charging the hardest lines as it's such a joy feeling these dampers in action. The Yeti carbon bar is 800mm wide for plenty of leverage so you can channel your inner Richie Rude and manhandle this bike like it is meant to be ridden.
- A enduro bike with typical Yeti aggression
- 5.5in of all mountain, Switch Infinity suspension
- Slack geometry handles high speed gnar
- Turq carbon construction adds strength while reducing weight
- Fox Suspension offers excellent control when you need it most
- 29er wheels flatten everything in its path
- Eagle drivetrain adds the ultimate bail-out gear
- Item #YTI00AK
- Q & A
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
This is my personal favorite. A great balance of having a long travel bike that climbs super well thanks the the 29er wheels and the XO1 groupset.
My past bikes have been a SC Bronson and a Yeti SB6. I was more interested in the 27.5" but was always curious about how well a 29er would perform. I have zero regrets making the switch. My SB5.5 climbs so much better than my SB6, but I liked my SB6 more than my Bronson. I felt the SB6 climbed better than the Bronson.
The one thing I've noticed that the SB5.5 doesn't do as well as the SB6 I had was cornering. It's a little more sluggish in corners than the SB6, but that is really the only down fall I've found. The benefits of being able to roll over anything, a smoother and more efficient uphill makes it all worth it. Plus I've switched up a couple things in how I handle corners
Fantastic efficient long travel all day
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
So far I have about 100 miles on this bike in various terrain and just barely dialed in the fork. For everything from trail to AM riding this bike likes to go fast and as others have said it rides better the harder you push it. I have ridden a lot of high end trail and XC bikes but this one seems to do more than any I have been on to date with not necessarily as much travel. The switch infinity system is not hype and most definitely lives up to the claims of Yeti. For the last 3 years I have been on a top level spec 2016-2018 Orbea Occam TR that is pretty much a clone of the Ibis Ripley LS but with a little more stiffness in the back and plushness to boot. It is a 130 2017 Fox Factory 34 FIT4 51mm fork with the 120mm of travel out of the rear end Fox Factory EVOL DPS shock. When climbing technical terrain the Yeti SB 5.5 Turq with the new DPX2 EVOL from Fox left full open maintains traction better than the Orbea by a huge margin. With a decent spec it's 26.47lbs pictured. If you want a bike that can double as an all day trail bike but them smash an Enduro race look no further than the 2018 Yeti SB 5.5 Turq.
You'll Be Faster Than Ricky Bobby
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I'm 5'11" and have an 32" inseam. I'm often in between a large and a medium size, but usually opt for a large. I went with a large SB5.5 frame (though I did pair mine with a 35mm length Raceface Atlas stem with 10mm of a spacer under the stem) and it fits spot on. I built my SB5.5 Turq from the frame up so my build differs slightly from this, but would be happy to help get you dialed!
What I like about the bike:
- Fast is the name of the game. Not sure if its overall geometry of the bike, the 29" wheels, or just stoke level, this goes fast.
- Pedaling efficiency is top notch. I did throw an Fox X2 on my bike, but would like to try out the DPX2 shock, but I'll climb with it wide open and it does great. It seriously climbs great. I've been very impressed with it - have put in several 5000ft days of climbing and it does great.
- The bike is a monster truck. Eats up descents and floats over rock gardens.
- Though I did build my bike up from the frame, its not far from what this build is - the specs on my bike are an Eagle X01 drivetrain, a Fox Float 36, Guide RS brakes, a Raceface cockpit, Turbine dropper post, and Raceface Aeffect-R Wheelset with a Minion DHF 2.5 / Minion SS 2.3 tires mounted on it! I have been thoroughly impressed with the Eagle 12sp drivetrain - I personally have a 34t up front and the 50t rear bailout cog lets me spin up just about anything while still being able to hammer descents. Guide brakes modulate great and have plenty of power behind them.
What I don't like about the bike:
- Not much. For people in areas that don't have as much chunder or don't need as much travel might not enjoy this bike as it can take a technical section, chew it up, and spit it out for breakfast without batting an eye.
- I had to get used to bigger wheels after coming off of 27.5" for my last two bikes, but after riding for a bit on it the 29" wheels don't feel big at all!
Overall, if you're looking for a wagon wheel bike that just smashes and tears it up on the trail and still feels relatively nimble, this would a great candidate. If you have any questions or would like help deciding if this is the bike for you, give a shout at my direct line 801.204.4547 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hello - What length dropper does the medium come with?
Yeti specs the medium frames with a 125mm dropper.
Let me know if you have any other questions about this build.