First Ride: Tweener Madness, The Yeti SB75

Yeti SB75 Side ProfileTwo years ago, Yeti introduced two new models they dubbed “Super Bikes.” Since then, both the SB66 and SB95 have been consistently ranked amongst the very best by consumers and journalists. So with the nascent popularity of the new 27.5 wheel size, the company has decided to distill the magic formula for the goldilocks wheels.

So did they succeed?

Yeti SB75 Saris Riding Image

Photo Credit: Yohan Molenmaker

At just shy of 5‘8, I’m usually in between a size small or medium. Due to the popularity of the SB at the demo, Yeti set me up with a size small frame. So while I’m on the tall side for a small bike on their geometry chart, the generous top tube length fit great.

On the flip side, as someone on the tall side for a small frame, the Thomson seat post bottomed out several inches shy of descending mode for me. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been spoiled by dropper posts, but the tall seat post frustrated me when descending and kept me from being really comfortable pushing it down the technical sections of the rock strewn Vegas desert. That said, we’re glad Yeti erred on the side of caution and spec’d a longer post. We’d rather cut a a post or bar to fit than replace the item entirely.

Yeti SB75
Aside from the small quibble with the seat post length, there was nothing to complain about on the (just barely) sub 5k Race kit. The full Fox, Shimano XT, and Thomson treatment is all anyone shy of the world cup podium really needs. Although we would swap out the 711mm Easton Haven Carbon bar for something wider, to match this bikes hard charging abilities.

Fox Ford Raptor with Yeti SB75

Two fast steeds at rest

On the trail, the SB75 is everything that makes it’s fraternal twins so great. The frame is incredibly stiff and responds well to input, which makes every sweeping corner a grin getter. The suspension also climbs very efficiently but retains the same need to be ridden hard to get the utmost out of the travel.

Overall, the Yeti is one of the best 27.5″ bikes I’ve ridden. Whether it’s the suspension platform, the wheelsize, or some special Colorado magic, the SB75 is a bolt of lightening.

Comments

DOUGAL - 09/17/13 - 10:54pm

MY ELIXIERS ARE POOR QUALITY BREAKS.

pornitswhatlwouldratherbmaking - 09/17/13 - 11:29pm

After two years l still think its an ugly bike.

xcgeek.com - 09/17/13 - 11:45pm

after two years i still think its a ballin bike. yeti FTW

Jaaaay - 09/17/13 - 11:45pm

Isn’t Miley Cyrus a tweener? Or not anymore since that twerking thing?
Justin beiber over elixirs any day.

joby - 09/17/13 - 11:50pm

Rode a SB-66c a couple of times as a demo and was disappointed with how easily it bottomed out coming down Mt. Tam at speed…felt like it would move into the middle of travel too easily leaving little left on big hits; had to pressurize the shock above recommended level to reduce pedal strikes on a technical uphill. I wanted to love this bike (was a Yeti fanboy in the 90′s and still regretting that I sold my Ultimate) but just didn’t. Less travel on a 27.5? Not sure that’s gonna be any better.

Mindless - 09/18/13 - 12:30am

@joby: Put a better sock on it. CCDBA FTW.

Mindless - 09/18/13 - 12:37am

Shock, dammit

Cheese - 09/18/13 - 1:33am

*there

Dave - 09/18/13 - 2:08am

“tweener”

christ.

joby - 09/18/13 - 9:12am

@Mindless – I’ve heard that changes it (for the better); I just wasn’t willing to shell out $4-5grr and then have to ‘fix’ it with another $500 shock. Glad to hear that the CCDBA really improves things.

xcgeek - 09/18/13 - 9:31am

@joby @mindless – yeti’s are built to be fast bikes. fast bikes have low bottom brackets. get used to the timing of your pedal strokes to be rewarded on the fast dh’s. it sounds like you need a tall trail bike if you don’t want rock strikes as often. eh?

xcgeek - 09/18/13 - 9:34am

… and “recommended sag” is … recommended. everyone rides different. adjusting shock pressure so YOU are utilizing all of the travel the suspension has to offer is how its done.

Rod - 09/18/13 - 9:51am

Replacing an older ASR. SB75 or SB95. Hmmmmmmm.

wobbem - 09/18/13 - 12:41pm

Tweener, yes I like it, that means I can call 27.5 riders Tweenies ; )

tinsloth - 09/18/13 - 4:26pm

@Joby,

I have an ASR-5 and love it, except for the shock/suspension performance. I feel the same way you did about the suspension rushing to the middle, leaving little left for bigger hits. I spoke with Fox about this issue and they recommended an air volume spacer to help make the bike a bit more progressive. I installed the medium sized spacer in my RP23 and have been amazed at the difference it made. The bike sits just a bit higher in travel, and doesn’t bottom out as easily and feels much more livelier than it did before. And it still rails downhill. The Spacer kit was around $16, I think? and worth every penny.

Jonathan - 09/18/13 - 9:24pm

You wrote more about the sizing issues than you did about the actual performance of the bike. 5 sentences! Seriously, you guys need to step it up. It’s either the typos or the ridiculously short “reviews” that are making this blog less enjoyable and more forgettable.

Yetiman - 09/19/13 - 12:02am

I waiting for an ASR 29 :)

bin judgin - 09/19/13 - 11:02pm

my sb66c is the best 26″ mountain bike i’ve ever ridden.

bear - 09/23/13 - 1:46pm

with a year + on my sb95 and a couple thousand trail miles, and having run both the rp23 and a dbair, I can say that the dbair is a much better shock on the bike.

BUT.

I put a fox volume spacer in the rp and it allowed me to get it to the happy-point of usable-travel + good support + decent bottom out handling. A better damper valving would really make the rp23 great on the bike, I think, but that costs $ to get it done (I can’t tune rear shocks yet).

The dbair works much better overall but I’ve had a ton of fun on the bike with rp23 and hit everything short of freeride trails on it here in the NE PA and surrounding areas.

My rp is on the shelf as a back-up, the dbair is what I keep on the bike.

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