Yeti ASR 7 Review

26er Pro Reviews

The basic geometry has 16.9 inch chainstays, 13.8 inch bottom bracket height and a 67 degree head angle, which is much more along the lines of a cross country bike than a DH one. It also features an ISCG ’05 mount for a chainguide. The top tube length and wheelbase are long, and the standover is tall, especially in direct comparison to its competition.

Note: geometry picture courtesy of Yeti

The frame is well built, stout and tough, albeit it is slightly heavy. I never felt any sort of issue with the strength nor rigidity of the frame, as it just plowed through things like a jeep on steroids. I was very enamored with the rigidity of the rear end, and how stout it was, without any hint of flex, greatly aided by the stiff 12mm axle.

What is most amazing is how exceptional this bike climbs, something a 7 inch suspension beast usually doesn’t do well, it’s like a cross country bike had it genes injected into the All Mountain ASR 7. It spins great on fire roads and flat undulating singletrack, and climbs like a demon on rough terrain, such as rock gardens, ledges, stair steps, and anything that is mildly ugly. Where it dogs down a bit, is when it’s a grunt fest up on long steep smooth terrain. The ASR 7 sort of sluggishly plods along (to be expected), and it was easy to tell this just wasn’t a place it was comfortable in. A combination of the 31.9 lb weight and the 7 inches of suspension, conspired to make it feel slow and not much of a spinner, but it still was tolerable. Get it up on a fire road, and rolling along in the big gears it became a different beast, and it spun with a lot more grace and ease. Place the ASR 7 into anything remotely rocky, rooty and nefarious and it shined on climbs.

I got a great cross comparison of how it climbs when I did my favorite local trail appropriately named ‘Mule’ on the ASR 7 one day, and on my Ibis Mojo (5.5″) the next. On the long unrelenting climbs that were smooth, the 4 lb lighter Mojo just made me expend a lot less energy, due to the weight difference, and a bit less suspension wallowing. Whenever I encountered rough or jarring terrain, the Mojo would get bounced around and would lose momentum, and I had to wrestle the bike around losing energy, while the ASR 7 sort of breezed through things with without a whimper. On the smooth steeps the Mojo won by a mile, but if gnarly terrain was tossed in on a climb, the ASR 7 became the nicer partner, and the more ugly the terrain became, the better it performed. When it was time to go downhill, the ASR 7 was a pure champion, it was faster, smoother and a heck of a lot of fun.


Anytime you got into tight switchbacks on the ASR 7, you had to roll the front end around a bit more, and finesse it with more body English. The long wheel base and slow steering made it feel a lot more like 29er in the tight stuff. It was a tad more work and required more attentiveness, but I got used to it after a while, and I anticipated how to maneuver the bike. It was not a svelte princess in tight spots, but the oodles of suspension and uncompromising stability let you plow your way through things.

One glaring issue I had was the spacing in the rear chainstay yoke and seatstay for tires. It will not fit a 2.5 tire (even though Yeti states such on their website), since my fat Continental 2.4 Rubber Queen’s (2.43″ wide x 2.38″ tall) barely squeeze in, especially in regard to the height. I think they need to revisit the engineering blueprints, and add a bit more space for the rear tire. It doesn’t make much sense to have an All Mountain bike that can barely fit a fat 2.4″ tire? The first time I got it into mud, it got a bit clogged up, and the debris wore through my preplaced tape protection.

Another issue is that the Fox RP23 rear shock with the High Volume sleeve bottoms out too easily when I run the sag that fits my riding style (I like it squishy). To alleviate the bottoming out, you need to run some pretty hefty pressures (body weight x 30% = 190-200psi), and unfortunately it firms up the ride slightly and the shortens then sag. In my opinion, Fox and Rock Shox, need additional design work on their lightweight air shocks to work properly with the longer travel bikes.

Using the RP23 ProPedal really helps on fire roads, or anywhere you don’t want the rear suspension to wallow as much. It sometimes helps in technical and rocky terrain when climbing and maneuvering, since it stiffens up the shock and gives you some platform to work off. Consider the ProPedal a sort of traction control?

The bottom bracket height is a bit low, so you are going to hit pedals on occasion, but the lower BB really helps when running the berms, swooping through turns and general maneuverability. The long top tube is a bit of an old school layout, but I think it helps it climb better, and can offer a good deal of leverage, as does the tall standover height (a deft touch with your leg does wonders for control). The medium frame that I tested felt a bit more like a medium/large frame (which no one makes any more), so it worked quite nicely for my 5’9″ stature, and of course my own personal taste. Caveat Emptor, it’s a big frame, and for some, a smaller than a normal size might work?

I took it to the Lake Pueblo South Shore trails, which consists of short steep gullies and chutes, a perfect place for an All Mountain bike and big Huevos, and that is where it shined like a diamond. I could fly off mini jumps, which I usually scurry around and miss, and the bike did really well going off ledges, and drop offs. This bike screams (ok it didn’t really do that) for an adjustable seat post, and in fact, it already has a built in cable stop! I went down a trail that I really like (Lower Dog), and the ASR 7 made it seem so easy that I felt like I was cheating. It was easy to track stand, and did surprisingly well in trial type maneuvers, though it did lack the laser like steering that my Mojo exemplifies (I am spoiled).


Next » Impressions Continued

About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on the trail.

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  • Justin says:

    “Another issue which is not Yeti’s fault, is that the Fox RP23 rear shock with the High Volume sleeve bottoms out too easily”

    How ISN’T that their fault? They spec’d it with a certain sleeve and compression damping spec…

  • Brian Mullin says:

    Like many other bike manufacturers, they’re tied to Fox (for whatever reason), the larger stroke RP23′s all use the High Volume sleeve (as does most shock companies), the air sleeves are the source of the problems causing the need to run excessive air pressure, and they bottom out too easily. I think a volume reducer might help some? PUSH Industries is supposed to be doing this with the Rock Shock Monarch at some point in time? Yeti is sort of stuck with what Fox offers, price and design constraints left them with the XV RP23 8.5×2.5″ (Medium compression). I think Fox needs to do more design work on the RP23 for use on the 6+ to 7″ bikes, since it’s roots were more in less than 6″ bikes. I would love to try a coil on the rear, but the weight difference sort of puts a damper (pun) on it. Again, most of the shock companies have been rolling their research into the piggyback and coil systems for these type of bikes.

    Update: you can special order or swap out the sleeves if desired, but I am unsure if the change will solve the issue?

  • Ben says:

    I have an ASR7 and I am really struggling to put my finger on what makes this bike so slow to turn in tight situations. Do you have any thoughts?

  • Brian Mullin says:

    The tight situation issue is mostly due to the long wheelbase. The tall standover and long top tube also add to the issue. The long wheelbase does give additional stability, and the other’s aid in extra leverage. Rolling the bike around the tight stuff and using more body movements helps to get around in those situations.

  • loll says:

    Two things to note on this bike, it runs on the larger side.

    I usually ride a medium anything and it fits just right, with this bike, I was very comfortable on size small.

    I rode this back to back in a demo event with a VPP2, I felt that the single pivot design did not craw over uphill rock garden with the kind of traction I was getting on the VPP2. However, as the test rider in this article said, the magic of this bike is 7″ that can climb to the top pretty okay, and have a blast coming down. There are a few design out there that I thought climb better with more traction, but I think the Seven is a very respectable piece of equipment.

  • snowflake says:

    If Yeti is selling a frame with a shock then it still Yeti’s fault how that behaves. They designed a shock linkage and spec this shock. Clearly there are some solutions out there… Trek has their DRCV shock that is specifically designed to fix this. Santa Cruz and probably the DW-link bikes have their position-variable shock rates which can be optimized for an air shock.

  • snowflake says:

    \The long top tube is a bit of an old school layout, but I think it helps it climb better, and can offer a good deal of leverage, as does the tall standover height\

    How can tall standover height help you climb better or offer better leverage? Tall standover can be scary on technical climbs for obvious reasons…

  • Ben says:

    Snowflake, I definitely agree a tall standover can be scary on technical climbs. One thing I have been interested in understanding is how does this bike compare to a 29′er since they look to have growing specs.

  • Brian Mullin says:

    1) Perhaps I need to re-phrase my review. I like a lot of sag in any of my bikes, but to keep the RP23 from bottoming out, I need to run pretty high pressure, and I lose my fave sag setting, meaning a bit firmer than I prefer. I have ridden the Mojo HD, and I have the same issue.

    2) A slight touch of the leg/knee offers quite a bit of leverage and control if done properly. Not sure how a tall standover is scary on techy anything? Do you straddle the top tube? In 25 years of riding some pretty sick stuff, I never hit the top tube (the saddle, yes). If I bail on techy stuff the bikes is already down (though I have had it roll back on me)

    The tall standover and long wheel base are very much along the lines of a 29er, offering some stability, better control, especially when railing corners, but tougher maneuvering in tight spots. However, the wheels aren’t even close. FYI: I own a Moots Mooto-XZ 29er (120mm)

  • Ecogeek says:

    \requiring a bit more room to maneuver in in tight spots\
    Surely you have the space you have. Cannot use ‘a bit more room’ that doesn’t exist.
    Rhetorical point.

  • Brian Mullin says:

    Ecogeek: Thks, fixed…

  • Ben says:

    Thanks for the explanation guys. The trails I’m riding are really tight and the body work required to nail the seven through the corners is really exhausting. Anyway, I’m looking for a more pure XC bike and I want to make sure I don’t have the same issue with the next bike. Demos are really hard to come by in Singapore, so the bike will be bought without riding.

    One suspicion I had related to the fork angle at road (can’t remember the name of that right now) and height above ground of the head tube. Using basic sketches it looks to me that the bike might feel unstable in slow tight cornering situations.

  • Clayton says:

    Couple of questions: The Mavic wheels you say are tubeless but the website says they aren’t… did you mean that they convert nicely or ?

    How would an XT brake cause brakejack more than any other. I get that you didn’t like them but that didn’t make sense to me.

    Also, do you think the bike would ride better with a Fox 180 on it? That would raise the bb a little and help give you the effect as running more sag geo wise.

  • Brian Mullin says:

    The Mavic on the ASR7 that I tested had the Fat Alberts set up tubeless, though I didn’t mention it in the review?

    I have ridden the ASR7 with some other brakes, especially Magura Louise and the brake jack is very mild in comparison?

    I think the TALAS 180 would help the BB issue, I have only tested a RS 170, and didn’t like the increased head angle (might just be me), but the TALAS 180 would let you run 140 or 180?

  • Paul says:

    Did you ride the bike with the RC4 shock ?
    I’m not much concerned about the weight, more about the climb ability
    and the pedal kickback with the RC4.
    How does the bike climb without pro pedal ?

  • Brian Mullin says:

    I haven’t used the RC4, so I can’t comment on it. The bike does climb w/o pro-pedal, it just seems to do a tad better with it, since it prevents a small amount of wallowing.

  • Shane says:

    I’m stuck between a 575 and the 7. I love the idea of the extra travel but honestly don’t know if I’ll ever actually use it. I’m riding a Stumpy 29er HT right now so if this bike is sized similar to a 29er it should be an easy transition…..right? Compared to the 575, how does it climb and what is the weight difference?

  • Jay says:

    this review is great, i just purchased a used 2010 Yeti ASR-7, took it out today and it ripped up the trails, i am more into cross county than down hill and i think this bike works great for both, deff a little on the heavy side but its totally worth it on the descend

  • Andres says:

    What are the differences between asr7 2010 and 2011 models? besides the paint job of course

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