Bike Check: Team Issue Yeti 303 Rail 4″ Travel 4X slayer
Tucked deep into the Yeti team lair was a one of a kind prize. Hidden within a row of impressive steeds was the prototype team issue frame that Jared Graves will be rampaging down the notoriously non-technical Sea Otter Downhill course. Two years ago, in 2010, Jared captured the podium abroad a 4″ travel Yeti 4x frame. The course has several peddly sections and the little bike enabled him to carry speed better throughout the course.
Sadly, Yeti claims they have no plans to mass produce this frame or revamp their existing 4″ travel 4x bike. So check past the break and drool over yet another bike you’ll never own.
According to Yeti, the use of the linear rail allows them to achieve suspension characteristics that would otherwise only be possible with a very long link. The linear rail enables them to optimize the wheel path and leverage ratio of the frame for efficient bump absorption and predictable handling by minimizing the changes in chain stay length throughout the travel. The rail system allows the leverage ratio to be linear and progressive.
The rail system mimics works similarly to a CNC machine. The Yeti 303 WC downhill frame utilizes proprietary carbon steel for the rail and block. The rail is then case-hardened to 58-64 Rc, and armalloy surface treatment is applied for corrosion protection and wear resistance. The ball bearings are made from martensitic stainless steel- which is equal to a 440 stainless and end scrapers, end seals, inner seals and side seals prevent contaminants from entering the system from all directions.
Like all one-off frames and prototypes, this Yeti was hand built in the United States in Colorado.
This bike has a tapered head tube, a feature not found on the current 4X frame.
The frame pictured above utilizes a Fox 831 set at 120mm for stability in conjunction with a 100mm rear shock.