Reviewed by Brian Mullin http://www.gramslightbikes.com/
I tested a Demo Yeti ASR 7 this past winter for five weeks that was built with their Freeride Part kit, and I was amazed how comfortable, controlled and useful it was for climbing and riding steep, rocky and technical terrain. This bike liked to fly! The suspension just soaks up ugly terrain, and it softly flows down a trail like it’s floating on air. When climbing steep and/or rocky terrain, the rear end sticks like glue, and it climbs like a cross country bike, and not a 32 lb behemoth with 7 inches of suspension. The ASR 7 is a cross country bike pretending to be an All Mountain, and vice versa.
Yeti ASR 7
ASR stands for Active Suspension Racing, and the 7 is for 178mm (7″) of rear travel. The Yeti ASR 7 comes in 4 sizes, small, medium, large and extra large and three colors, Black, Turquoise, and White. The aluminum frame uses an E-type front derailer, a 30.9mm seatpost, a tapered headtube, and has a 73mm bottom bracket. It comes standard with the Fox RP23 rear air shock, but can be upgraded to a DHX RC4, and can be purchased as a frameset or their Freeride kit.
Yeti saw the how the bike world was evolving a couple of years ago, and with their Colorado roots, a 7″ suspension bike that could be pedaled up and ripped down made perfect sense. The bike was originally created with various carbon rear triangles, including an asymmetric single chainstay, but things didn’t work out as they wanted, so they scrapped the carbon plans and went with aluminum.
The ASR 7 frame is made with a hydroformed 7005 aluminum tubeset. The tubes are huge with massive welds, making it a monstrous, stout and durable beast. In tube hydroforming (THF), the aluminum tubing is placed into a negative mold or die, and then under extremely high pressure, hydraulic fluid is pushed into the tubing, causing the aluminum to be pushed into the mold giving it the design specific shape and thickness. The two piece rear aluminum triangle, is comprised of a CNC-machined chainstay yoke and a seatstay bridge (with a cool Yeti name etched into it), which are connected together at the dropout pivot. Like the main frame, the welds are beefy, and the chainstays are pretty substantial (think Stonehenge). The rear axle is the typical All Mountain 135x12mm, which provides plenty of rigidity to the rear end.
The tapered headtube (1.125 to 1.5 inches) can be used with 160-180mm single crown forks, and was tested with the Fox 36 TALAS RC2 (160mm) fork. It uses a trick Carbon fiber Dog Bone link, which is attached to the top tube, and then in turn to the rear triangle and the Fox RP23 shock (2.5″ x 8.5″ size). The Dog Bone helps with side-to-side flex on the swingarm, side loading onto the rear shock and is an integral part of the leverage ratio curve for the rear suspension system. Titanium hardware is used for most pivots, and the large cartridge bearings at the main pivot help with stiffness and stabilization of the suspension platform.
An E-type front derailer is used, and in a very innovative manner it’s attached directly to the swingarm, which aids greatly in more precise and efficient shifts, especially when considering it’s dealing with 7 inches of travel. There is a small cutout in the seat tube just above the bottom bracket for the front derailer to roll into when the suspension deepens.
The ASR 7 Freeride kit’s drivetrain consists of a useful 2×9 system, which synergistically works with the front derailer. The bike was equipped with an entire Shimano group, including both derailers, cranks, cassette, brakes and shifters.
Freeride Kit (as tested):
- Fork Fox 36 TALAS RC2 Tapered (an upgrade?)
- Rear Shock Fox RP23
- Headset Chris King (an upgrade)
- Crankset Shimano SLX 22/36/Bash
- Front Der Shimano SLX e-type
- Rear Der Shimano XTR Shadow
- Shifters Shimano XT
- Cassette Shimano SLX 11-34
- Chain Shimano
- Wheels Mavic CrossLine
- Tires Schwalbe Fat Albert 2.4
- Brakes Shimano XT
- Handlebar Easton Monkey Lite DH
- Stem Thomson X.4 70mm
- Grips Yeti Lockon
- Saddle SDG Ti Fly C
- Seatpost Thomson Elite