Yeti ASR 7 Review

26er Pro Reviews

On steep descents when you really pulled hard on the brakes you got some mild brake jack (the XT brakes were part of the culprit), but it was minor and somewhat rare. The ASR 7 was pretty sweet on downhills, through rock gardens, and rocky technical terrain. The stability and composure the bike displayed on the down, along with the plushness of the ride, made it a pleasure to ride, especially considering that it could be used to climb back up. I have taken the bike on some pretty long rides, that have a lot of steep grunt fests, and even though the weight can be felt on occasion, the ability it has to battle its way through chossy and heinous conditions that are met on entertaining singletrack overcomes that deficient. It works perfect in Colorado, where the up are steep, long and rough, as are the down portions.

Do some slammin’ and you’ll be jammin’

The brakes were fine (wasn’t a fan of the XT’s), but I think a 203/180 set for the speeds you start to get on the bike would suit it nicely. This bike likes to roll up to Mach One speeds quickly, so it gets blazingly fast fairly regularly. The rear end of the bike is a stout puppy, and I could discern to slop nor flex. The beefy chainstays, large Carbon Dog Bone link and the 12mm x 135mm hub really holds the entire unit together. It keeps the the bike stable, composed and stuck to the tarmac, except when it is flying through the air.

asr_brake

I never felt any flex nor weakness from the Mavic Crossline Wheelset (nice tubeless wheelset), but they’re greatly aided by the stout 12mm rear, along with the 36mm fork legs and front 20mm thru axle. Although the Yeti saddle seemed soft when prodded with a fingertip, I found it rather uncomfortable, especially along the nose section.

asr_fork

I was able easily tune the RP23 to my liking (except for it bottoming out), and it gave an extremely plush ride, along with the full amount of travel. The TALAS took some effort to tune, but once I lowered the pressure and tweaked the high and low compression it started to provide better plushness. I still got a tad of fork dive (compensated with body English), and I was never able extract all the travel, but it still provided deep amounts of usable suspension. I started to use the adjustable travel (160-130-100) on the TALAS, and it was an excellent feature for climbing and doing technical moves. I did notice that I would sometimes forget to take it back out of the lowered position when I turned around to descend. Oops!

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About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian has been part of the Mtbr team since 2007, where he has become an integral member of the review and test staff, specializing in technical articles. He likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, extreme 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 and hyperbolic articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on extremely technical singletrack.


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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:

    Snowflake:
    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)

    Ben:
    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:

    Clayton:
    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:

    Hello
    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 ?
    Thanks

  • 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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