The Yeti lineup explained.
Deciding which model Yeti to purchase can be overwhelming. First you need to choose which model you want (because they are all great) and then pick out a frame layup, build kit and suspension. If you want help going through options check out this his article.
Picking out a model:
The bikes are ultimately divided into two categories, 27.5 inch and 29 inch mountain bicycles. Some people are still convinced that 27.5 inch wheels are more nimble than 29er mountain bicycles, but modern geometry has come a long way and 29ers are here to stay. We suggest a 29 inch wheel to everyone but those who are smaller and still want a long travel bike. If you are on a 26 inch wheeled bicycle and are worried about the jump to a 29 inch wheel, don’t be afraid for a Yeti with a 29 inch bike feels incredible nimble. Now that we have convinced you to get a 29 inch bike, let’s focus on the 29 inch wheel model frames.
The ARC is a modern hardtail with a frame design that should make you drool. The frame has a slack head tube angle make to match up with a 120 millimeter fork, making for an extremely capable hardtail. If you’re looking to get into bike packing this a great option or racers looking for a matching bike for their SB115, the ARC is a great option.
For cross country and downcountry purposes, the Super Bike 115 is an amazing choice. No need for a rats nest cock pit from lockout cables for the Switch Infinity linkage design does a great job efficiently delivering power from your legs to the ground. With modern geometry and built with a dropper post this could be the most capable cross-country bike on the market. Taking the same linkage design found in Yeti’s trail bikes, the SB115 is incredibly efficient.
Looking for a jack of all trades, a bike to rule them all, a quiver killer? Check out the Super Bike 130. With 130 millimeters of travel in rear and 150 in the front, the SB130 can handle any trail. Don’t let the 130 millimeters of travel fool you. Unless you ride bike park all the time or like to ride “Downhill” trails, the SB130 is the right choice for a trail and or enduro bike.
The SB130 is also offered in a Lunch Ride (LR) build. With an additional 7 millimeters of travel in the rear and an additional 10 millimeters of travel in the front the SB130(LR) has the same efficiency with a bit more room to play. The frame keeps the same geometry as the regular SB130 but with a fork with more travel the bikes head tube angle and seat tube angles do slacken out.
The SB150 is the ultimate enduro sled. There really is no other 170 millimeters mountain bike that has the same pedaling efficiency as the SB150. The SB150 might not be lightest frame or best suited with fast rolling tires, but the frame design platform is rather amazing on rough terrain. With even with a super slack head tube angle, this bike feel quick when moving through the flats. The seat tube angle is must more progressive than found on competing company’s frames. (Steep seat tube angles help the rider maneuver the bike when climbing up steep technical sections.)
Picking out a kit:
The first step is deciding between a carbon or Turq frame. Both frames are made from carbon fiber and offer the same stiffness and strength however, the difference lies in the frame weight. The Turq frames weigh 220 grams less than the carbon frames, which is a little under half of a pound. This might not be a big weight saving for some people, but any weight savings can help make riding more enjoyable.
As for suspension, this department is always changing so getting into specifics won’t be helpful in the long run. Generally speaking, Turq frames come with factory suspension and carbon frames come with a performance suspension. Yeti recently added the option to upgrade the suspension on the carbon builds for $600 (as of August 2020). Factory suspension has always been Fox’s cream of the crop suspension. With gold-coated stanchions and flashy decals, anyone can tell it's nicer. Does the gold really make a fork work better? Who knows. The internal components ultimately matter the most. Factory Fox forks come with Fox’s latest and greatest dampener, best suited for the frames riding style and quick on the trail tuning ability.
Depending on the dampener that is in your fork and shock, different tuning options will become available. Compared to the performance/ performance elite suspension that can be found on stock on carbon models, there is far less you can do with just your hands or a hex wrench. All forks offered, both factory or performance, have the ability to quickly adjust low-speed rebound and high-speed compression (also known as a lockout/close). On most performance series models, (currently except for on the new float X2 Performance series) they lack external adjustments dials for high-speed rebound and low-speed compression which can help your bike track through corners without diving or packing out, causing you to lose traction and confidence.
Having properly adjusted suspension is quite important on any bicycle, however especially important on modern long-travel bicycles. Suspension can change the geometry of a bicycle if it stays packed, from either too little pressure or slow rebound, in its travel through rough sections or even causes you to slide out if too firm or fast. These are just two elementary examples of how suspension can affect your ride. When using performance level suspension, you lose out on some fine tune-ability that can be adjusted on Factory suspension. While many talented riders manage to properly tune their rides without all the different adjustment points found on Factory Suspension, it is well worth having those tuning options readily available.
Now that you have a better concept of carbon frame layups and suspension options there are still a few options to choose from for drivetrains. All drivetrains found on Yeti build kits are quite nice. Depending on what carbon frame lay up you choose, your options will be narrowed down two a few different options. The new twelve speed drivetrains from Shimano and Sram are both mind-blowing and offer incredible gearing ranges. Both stocked with cassettes ranging from 10-52 teeth you can be sure there will be a nice low gear for some of the steepest climbs and you’ll always be able to shift into a nice high gear to sprint into that gap. For the respective models made by Shimano and Sram, the drivetrains carry the same technology concepts from the low end through the high end. As the drivetrains get nicer, they become lighter and smoother. Like we said before, even the lowest end drive train found on a Yeti is a really nice drivetrain. Recently Yeti has added the option for AXS upgrade kits. This option is available on all models. AXS is a wireless electronic shifting system from Sram. It is flawless every time and extremely smooth. Twelve-speed drive trains have very low tolerances as all the gears are tightly packed together. Relying on a cables that can get gunked up resulting in them not not slide as well can cause inconsistencies in shifting- but the AXS virtually eliminates that.
Still have questions? Give us a call!