Yeti ASR 7 Review

26er Pro Reviews

asr_final

Bottom Line
I have really enjoyed my outings with the ASR 7. It likes it steep, either up and down, the rockier and uglier the better. This bike floats down rocky terrain, ledges and just about anything you point it on. Get the bike onto the smoother single track climbs, and it has some character flaws, but on double tracks, fire roads, or anywhere you can rip it open and get it hauling, it redeems itself. This bike likes to fly, and I was hucking (ok mild stuff) stuff I had never even thought of going off, and I also noticed that my speed was increasing to a great degree, especially after getting more comfortable on the bike. It climbs steep and ugly terrain like a demon, and has excellent traction control, sometimes aided by the engagement of ProPedal. The steering is a tad sluggish, and it needs some room to turn in tight quarters. It does have a long wheelbase and top tube, and tall standover, but I think those attributes add greatly to its functionality. With the proper sag set, the bottom bracket sits low and pedal strikes can be frequent, especially in rocky terrain, but that lowness benefits cornering. The spacing for rear tires is not wide enough, and anything more than a fat 2.4″ will not fit. The Freeride kit contains some good components, such as the Mavic wheels, Fox fork and the Shmiano drivetrain, and most LBS will let you swap out a few parts if you want (recommend getting an adjustable seatpost) or go for a frameset and pick a more personal product suite.

I love a bike that can climb (ok I am a climber), and the ASR 7 is an All Mountain bike that think’s it’s a cross country bike!

Strengths
- Climbing demon: the uglier the terrain the better
- Stiff, rigid and flex free frameset
- Plush meister
- Nice fire road spinner
- Corners well
- Long top tube

Weaknesses
- Spacing for rear not wide enough
- RP23 bottoms out easily
- Heavy frame
- Long top tube and tall standover may not suit everyone
- Tough maneuvering in tight spots (switchbacks)

Overall Rating: 4 Flamin’ Chili Peppers

MSRP $4150 (+180 Chris King) – Frame with Freeride Kit
$2000 (frameset w/ RP23)

Yeti ASR 7 url: http://www.yeticycles.com/#/bikes/ASR7/1/

Freeride Kit:

  • Fork Fox 36 TALAS RC2 Tapered
  • Rear Shock Fox RP23
  • Headset Chris King
  • 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

Frame Specs:

  • Travel: 7.0″
  • Weight (Med): 7.50 lbs
  • Colors: Ano. Black, Turquoise, White
  • Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, X-Large
  • Rear Shock: Fox RP23 or DHX Air 5.0 – 2.5″ stroke, 8.5″ eye-to-eye
  • Bottom Bracket: 73mm shell, 113mm spindle
  • Rear Wheel: 135mm x 12mm
  • Front Derailleur: E-Type Front Derailleur Compatible
  • Seatpost: 30.9mm

Frame Features:

  • Custom hydroformed 7005 alloy tube set
  • Replaceable derailleur hanger
  • Tapered 1.5 to 1.125″ Head Tube
  • Carbon Dog bone link
  • 160-203mm rotors
  • Cablestop for seat dropper
  • ISCG 05 mounts
  • Titanium hardware
  • Custom bolt-on cables guides to run full housing
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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