In matte carbon, the new Yeti SB5C looks like something out of the Dark Knight–low, sleek and black. But don’t worry Yeti traditionalists–it also comes in their signature desert turquoise colorway(see page 2).
Just weeks before trade show season opens, Yeti has released the SB5C, an all-new 27.5-inch trail bike featuring an updated suspension system dubbed Switch Infinity. Made of carbon, the 5-inch-travel bike’s linkage was created in partnership with FOX and features a mechanism coated with that company’s low-friction Kashima coating.
No they’re not a pair of Duracells…this low-friction, Kashima coated mechanism is at the heart of Yeti’s FOX-made Switch Infinity linkage. Click on the video below to see it in action.
Yeti has long enjoyed a cult-like following, and garnered high praise for its 26- and 29-inch SB-series bikes the past couple seasons. But the company seemed to take an uncharacteristically low-key approach with 2014’s SB-75 mid-wheeler. Its enduro race team competed primarily on the 26-inch version, while the company itself soft-peddled the 75 for media reviews. Even more telling, the SB-75 was only offered in aluminum, perhaps telegraphing that something newer—and more worthy of pricey carbon molds—was in the works.
With the SB5C, that indeed appears to be the case, and Yeti looks to be locked-and-loaded with enthusiasm and confident in the evolution of the bike’s technology. Company brass also hinted at a wider implementation of the system.
“The Switch Infinity technology has been in development and testing for nearly three years.” said Yeti President and Co-Owner Chris Conroy. “We worked closely with FOX to apply what we’ve learned from our linear rail and Switch Technologies to produce a suspension platform that will work across a wide spectrum of terrain, disciplines, and riding styles.”
Despite giving us this frame-only photo, Yeti has no current plans to sell the SB5C this way. For now, it’s sold with build kit-only.
Yeti claims the system allowed engineers to dial in the bike’s kinematics for “unprecedented pedaling efficiency and small-bump sensitivity when climbing paired with plush, controlled travel when descending.” They also claim the system is simple, lightweight and low-maintenance.
The SB5C is available immediately and complete bikes retail for between $6599 and $10,599. Claimed weigh for the top-spec model is 24.2 pounds. Complete specs, geometry and build kits appear on the next page.