This article is part of the Mtbr’s Enduro Compare-O. See all the stories in this special section here–http://reviews.mtbr.com/category/enduro-compare-o-2014
Of all the cool bikes in the Enduro Compare-O, one of the most visually striking is the Yeti SB95 C. Sporting the iconic Yeti turquoise paint, and gorgeous, sweeping tube shapes, the SB looks fast even at a standstill. Based on the aluminum SB95—a 127mm rear travel 29er—the C version steps up the with full-carbon fiber construction that saves more than a pound over its alloy brethren.
While carbon fiber brings the weight down, price goes the other direction as the C’s $5,800 MSRP is $1,000 more than its alloy counterpart in Yeti’s Shimano XT-based Race build, and right about mid-priced compared to the other bikes in the Enduro Compare-O. Despite that weight sav-ings, the SB95 C is still on the portly side at 29.23 pounds without pedals. It should be noted our tester came equipped with Thompson’s Elite dropper post. Though a 300-gram penalty over the non-dropper version that ships with the Race kit, we think it’s mandatory on a bike like this.
The frame features a tapered head tube up front and a 12x142mm rear thru axle out back for im-proved cornering sharpness. A threaded and splined bottom bracket shell accepts removable ISCG tabs, and clean, custom chain-slap guards highlight a very well thought out design.
Based on its geometry, the Yeti SB95 C looks to be engineered for stability at extremely high speeds. A slack, low-slung 67.5 degree head tube angle and longer 17.5-inch chainstays indicate to us that the Yeti will absolutely shred at terminal velocities, but combined with its heavier weight, might be a little less nimble in tight and twisty sections as compared to the BMC TrailFox, Ibis Ripley and S-Works Enduro 29.
Yeti Switches Things Up
Yeti’s SB bikes rely on their unique Switch Technology suspension system which uses an eccentric, direction-switching pivot that initially rotates counterclockwise for improved anti-squat, and more efficient pedaling, especially over rocky, technical uphill terrain. Once the rear Fox Float CTD Kashima shock compresses to mid-stroke, the rotation switches to clockwise, relieving chain force and absorbing trail bumps. Not only is it an innovative design, but it also helps keep the SB95 C rear triangle simple, efficient, and free of extra links and bars.
Control cables run externally on the front triangle, with tidy internal routing on the rear end. Not-so-tidy is the Thompson dropper post’s cable which attaches near the clamp head and moves when you drop the saddle. With 125mm of travel we have concerns of cable rub on the tire under suspension compression. Another annoyance—heel strikes. Just pedaling around the parking lot we noticed that the seatstays were exceptionally wide, causing heel rub when pedaling.
Rounding-out our well-equipped ride—a 140mm Fox Float 34 CTD Kashima fork, full Shimano XT brakes and 2×10 drivetrain, DT Swiss 350/XM wheels with Maxxis Ardent 2.4-inch tires, a Thompson X4 stem, and Easton Haven Carbon handlebars with Yeti lock-on grips. For $5,800, the Yeti SB95 C Race is well equipped. But the real question is, will the SB95 C and its equipment hold up to the demanding trails of Demo Forest?
Editors note: You may notice a Renthal Fatbar handlebar on our test bike—an Easton Haven Carbon is the standard spec, as is a Thompson Elite non-dropper seatpost.
2014 Yeti SB95C Key Specs
- Weight: 29.23 lbs
- Wheel Size: 29 inches
- Frame Material: Carbon fiber front and rear triangles
- Travel/Suspension: 127mm rear/140mm front; Fox Float 34 CTD front; Fox CTD Adjust K+
- Drivetrain: Shimano XT 2×10; 24t/38t chainrings, Shimano XT Cassette
- Brakes: Shimano XT
- Seatpost: Thomson Elite dropper post
- Wheelset/Tires: DT Swiss 350/XM LTD with Maxxis Ardent 2.4”
- Bar/Stem: Easton Haven Carbon/Thomson X4
- Bottom Bracket Type: Threaded 73mm
- Head Tube Angle: 67.5 degrees
- Chainstay length: 444.5mm (17.5 inches)
- Bottom Bracket Height: 13.5 inches
- Bike MSRP: $5,800 (Thompson Elite Dropper post +$360)
- Frame MSRP: $3,000
For more information visit www.yeticycles.com.
Read our Bottom Line Evaluation of the Yeti SB95 here.
This story is part of Mtbr’s 2014 Enduro Compare-O. Check out our intro story here for all the ground rules and goings ons.