Yeti Introduces New SB5C Super Bike With Revolutionary Switch Infinity Technology

2015_Yeti_SwitchInfinity_Mech

Among bike manufacturers, Yeti Cycles holds claims to one of the most rabid fan bases. Called the tribe, they’re a loyal group who’s numbers where recently bolstered by the dearly departed SB-66. That bike and it’s larger wheeled counterpart, the SB-95,  introduced the Switch Link suspension system.

What set that technology apart from a myriad of competitors was a counter rotating main pivot. Acting as a dual link, as the suspension was cycled through it’s initial travel, the pivot changed directions. This allowed Yeti to control the leverage rate throughout the travel and eliminate chain growth from affecting the suspension performance.

In it’s initial iterations on the SB-66, 75, and 95 models, the ability to tune the handling to distinctly alter each bikes suspension performance proved it’s versatility. Yet the Colorado based company thought there was still room for improvement….
2015_Yeti_SB5C_Blk_DBG_Profile

And after three years, they have officially launched the new Switch Infinity suspension. A combination of the immensely popular Switch Link and much heralded 303 rail system, it uses what is essentially two short rails. At the beginning of the travel the main pivot moves upward to create a rearward wheel path for better pedaling performance (anti squat if you will), but at a certain point in the travel the pivot translates down to reduce the impact of chain forces on suspension performance.

There is no damper or mini dual shock. Just a bushing system that began as a crude concept but was fully developed utilizing Fox’s expertise in aluminum tubing, bushing, and seal technology. Together the companies selected what materials to use for maximum durability and slickness from Fox’s arsenal of suspension components, then tested them both in the wild and on the dyno. In a machine, the platform was cycled millions of times while being exposed to adverse contaminants like mud. Despite the torturous conditions, the Switch Infinity emerged in perfect working order.

2015_Yeti_SB5C_Detail

In addition to the numerous claimed performance gains, the Switch Infinity is also 100 g lighter than the previous Switch Link System

2015_Yeti_SB5C_Blk_DBG_Side

This innovative platform is being introduced on the all new model. This bike drops the original super bike naming convention where the first number stood for wheel size and the latter indicated travel, and is simply called the SB5c.  Replacing the aluminum SB75, the 127mm (5″) bike will only be available in carbon.

 

Yeti SB5c Geometry 2015

 

Click to enlarge

Like all Yeti bicycles, the top tube proportions are generous and well suited to today’s trend of pairing larger frames with short stems. Compared to other bikes in the category though, the 67 degree head tube angle is somewhat slack. This is largely due to the fact that the geometry is based around a longer 140mm fork, which should make the SB5c a ferocious contender when pointed downhill. The compact 17.4″ chain-stays and relatively low BB also contribute to our impressions of this bike as an aggressive (read as fun) trail bike.

2015_Yeti_SB5C_Turq_Profile

In addition to the deep black, the new bike will also be available in Yeti’s iconic blue livery.

Yeti SB5c Pricing and Build Kits

Click to enlarge

Prices for the new Super Bike begin at $6,599 and continue up into the stratosphere. The “mid-tier” X01 package is smartly spec’d and weighs 25.5 with a Thomson Elite Post (or 26.2 with the $350 Thomson Dropper option). The Enve M60 upgrade ads another $2,000 to the base price.  The builds top out with the XX1 and Enve Kit at $10,599. We expect a frame option will also be available in the future, which will allow you to build it your way. Despite being only available complete from the factory with a 1x drivetrain, the bike is still front derailleur compatible.

Interested? Completes are shipping now. More at Yeti Cycles

Comments

Ronin - 07/17/14 - 5:49am

Wow. I haven’t riddle an MTB for a while now, but somehow this machine is calling me. If I had more trails near me, I’d want to ride them on this.

Henrik - 07/17/14 - 6:53am

Cool, another form of suspension vaporware; errr, was it just a case of a nasty patent war?!

alex - 07/17/14 - 7:41am

Looks awesome and innovative… and high maintenance.

Matt - 07/17/14 - 7:51am

Camel back mandatory?

Gibbon - 07/17/14 - 7:55am

Hi,
I live in the UK. It rains for 3 months of the year.And it’s winter for the other 9.
No, not at all,notsomuch,nah,nein,non.

Stamps Transou - 07/17/14 - 8:18am

Looks like a fun time when pivot and shock overhauls are needed… as for riding one, id love to rip Pisgah on a demo…

Marshall Hance - 07/17/14 - 8:20am

Am I blind, or is there zero talk of wheel size?

Ray - 07/17/14 - 8:27am

(deleted)

craigsj - 07/17/14 - 8:29am

So their lower “link” defines a short line segment rather than a short arc. Not obvious how that improves performance. It is obvious, though, what the potential downsides are.

Another gimmick, that’s all. One that will disappear soon.

Luiggi - 07/17/14 - 8:49am

One thing is sure, if it ain’t got grease ports, it ain’t a Yeti! Maybe the guys at Sotto Group wanted to reassure Yeti’s side business, selling grease guns…

hellbelly - 07/17/14 - 8:52am

Al nails it here… “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.” Is more stuff, pivots, shock components, etc. going to make one’s riding experience more sublime?

Luiggi - 07/17/14 - 10:51am

@hellbelly: Everyone knows the only thing that could make for a more sublime riding experience is MOAR SHIMZ!

Tim - 07/17/14 - 11:11am

My guess is that it will work better and be less reliable than the current 75- the link is down there by the tire, which will likely fling muck on it, or dust. Also, I see they went with a press fit bottom bracket. I may need to pick up the current 75 while it is still available. It also is around half the price.

Ripnshread - 07/17/14 - 11:14am

The naysaying fools on this site are starting to get to me… This is actually less “complex” and lighter than their much lauded previous design. Yeti has for a long time understood that a “good feeling” and good working suspension design has a rearward moving axle path. The FSR patent and the VPP patent have held many bike companies back making them design their frames around a single pivot system or use one of the other patented linkage designs currently on the market for them to purchase (Switch, DW Link, Split Pivot…ect). I have no idea if this was designed by Sotto Group or an in-house design but I would bet on the latter looking at Yeti’s long history with rail systems and 4-bars (Lawwill Strait 8, Schwinn 4Banger). So they were able to drop up to 7% of their cost by not using a licenced design and bring it in lighter. Seems like a win/win to me.

Looks really sweet to me…We will all have to wait and see how they perform and how durable those Fox “rails” are. But my educated guess is they will do well.

In all honesty as a self proclaimed “Yeti Fan”, owner of a Yeti (well two but one hangs on a wall, one of the last Durango built, welded by Alberto Vega, Yeti ARC frames) and former employee of Yeti (Durango) I am a little biased.

But I want one.

Fattylocks - 07/17/14 - 11:36am

Fox is an expert in seals and bushings ?

chasejj - 07/17/14 - 12:07pm

I like it. It looks like the kinematics are nearly identical to my SB66C.
I have no real desire to bump in wheel size but the “rail” system looks like it will be quite a bit more laterally stiff than my Switch Cam assembly.
TT is shorter by 1/2″ on the XL which is not my preference.

I will be riding my SB66C for the time being until something entices me further or reports indicate this is clearly superior. Trick yes, simple? NO.

Padrote - 07/17/14 - 12:08pm

@Fattylocks BOOM

Frippolini - 07/17/14 - 12:13pm

Looks cool. I understand the movement and the upsides. Very innovative.
Looks also like my nightmare. Countless hours in the garage and a head full of concerns and thoughts if the all the “parts” are working properly, for how much longer the seals will last, where to find spare parts AND last but not least how to explain to the family why this upgrade causes so many more hours in the garage than before….
I guess my next suspension will be a “solid” bike with low pressure in the tires.LOL.

Mindless - 07/17/14 - 12:33pm

Decathlon sued them into this.

Cal - 07/17/14 - 1:24pm

I get the idea of “latest thinging” the latest thing to get around patents and put more cash in the coffer. What I don’t get is the marketing here. Yeti has employed small company tactics; going middle road and offering fewer models adaptable to a wide range of riding. Where I scratch my head is the travel number. Their switch and switch infinity is super efficient, but they give the bike just 127 mm? Aren’t efficient suspensions about allowing for more travel rather than a reduction? In the trail and AM segments, the other manufacturers are going the other direction (140, 150, 160+ mm), and are also offering aluminum or dumbed down carbon to hit multiple price points. Yeti is doing none of this. I don’t care what the wheel size is, but there is no substitute for travel. How many in the market want a slack bike with less travel than the norm? Many of us buy one bike to ride all day. I’ll give up climbing ability for a slack bike, but I won’t lay off the gas going down for less travel. If I were Graves and could pilot any bike down a rough track well, it wouldn’t matter. I’m not…. So it does…

hellbelly - 07/17/14 - 2:40pm

@Ripnshread…I think it’s a swell looking bike and I am sure it’s ride will be great, upholding the long line of tradition of killer bikes from Yeti. That said, there is a lot of hardware to deal with down there. Moving parts require maintenance and more moving parts require more maintenance. I have never liked anything proprietary as when that Fox doo-dad runs into problems you better hope you are riding in the vicinity of Watsonville or Golden. Naysayer, Luddite or otherwise, I prefer simplicity.

rehsper - 07/17/14 - 3:23pm

Not sure why they needed Fox for this. Bearings for the rockers, couple bushings, couple slippery shafts and some wipers to maybe keep the bushes clean. Easy-peasy. Not like there’s any complex valving or pressure to be held.
Best part is that those bushes and bearings should be easy to replace. Press out, press in.

That area does look like a magnet for dirt. I’d be tempted to put a cover over the whole works. Like a hubcap for the frame.

Endurobob - 07/17/14 - 9:52pm

Interesting design. Like someone said before, I’m puzzled by the shorter travel that Yeti has spec’d on their SB 27.5 bikes. Seems like if this were to truly be a replacement for the SB66, it would be in the 150-160mm range.

Yes, more proprietary things means more potential for problems, but at the same time, all it really is is some bushings sliding on cylinders. From what I can tell, there’s no oil or pressurized chambers. Hopefully Fox will be able to keep replacement parts in stock. Putting it down there sure does seem like a mud/dirt/dust magnet though. I wonder if Yeti tested them in muddy (i.e. PNW) conditions? We all know the area around their factory is relatively dry and dusty. We can only see.

greg - 07/18/14 - 3:12am

i dont believe the suspension design is inherently lighter than the previous version. 1/2lb could easily come from the carbon front/rear instead of aluminum.

MissedThePoint - 07/18/14 - 5:31am

Weight savings prob mostly came from replacing the alloy swing link with a smaller carbon link, and attaching the shock to the swingarm.

Post a comment:

Comment sections can be a beautiful source of knowledge, conversation and comedy. They can also get pretty ugly, which is why we've updated our Comments Policy. If your comment isn't showing up or suddenly disappears, you might want to check it out.