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The 2018 Yeti Cycles Buyer's Guide

Find your next Dream Mountain Bike from Yeti Cycles, one of our favorite iconic American Mountain Bike Manufacturer based in Golden, Colorado.

Why you'll want a Yeti Mountain Bike

Yeti builds mountain bikes for hardcore riders who want the best riding mountain bikes on the planet.

They build their entire lineup out of two grades of carbon fiber frames, the Carbon and Turq series of frames, and all of their bikes are known as some of the smoothest, silkiest and fastest bikes on the downhill. Not only that, but they also climb amazingly well thanks to the amazing Switch Infinity Suspension that has been the darling of mountain bike writers since its release in 2014.

How to Use this Guide:

  1. Pick your preferred style of riding (Enduro / Downhill, Trail - a Mix of Terrain, or Cross Country / Singletrack).
  2. Scroll Down and read about the different bikes in your preferred category.
  3. Pick the wheel size you like (27.5, 27.5 plus, or 29er).
  4. Buckle Up and click through to explore the bike's product page more deeply.
  5. Pick your favorite style of drivetrain.

Want a hand picking? Send us an email and we'd be stoked to help.

The 2018 Yeti Cycles Lineup

 

Yeti Cross Country Bikes

These Yetis excel at climbing and are entirely dominant on the downhill.

The SB100

Yeti 2019 SB100

SB100 - New for 2019

Technical specifications:

Available Colors: Black, Turquoise

Frame weight: 5.50 lbs (2.5 kg)

Frame size: S, M, L, XL

Travel: 3.9 in (100 mm)

Wheel size: 29 inches

Rear wheel: 148 mm x 12 mm (boost)

Rear shock: 190 mm x 37.5 mm

Seatpost: 30.9 mm

Front derailleur: Not applicable

Bottom bracket: PF92


Yeti SB100 Prices:

SB100 SRAM GX Comp Eagle – 27.30 lbs (12.39 kg) – $5999

SB100 SRAM X01 Eagle Turq – 26.5 lbs (12.03 kg) – $6999

Shop the Yeti SB100 Carbon Series Shop the SB100 Turq Series

This bike is described by Yeti as a "genre killing XC bike." In other words, this model is intended for XC, i.e. cross-country riding. 

Notably, not everyone sees it that way, even among those who also appreciate what Yeti is doing. In what can only be described as a glowing review in Bicycling, Matt Phillips praised the bike roundly but also described it as "the closest thing to a cross-country bike that Yeti makes.

As Phillips noted, the SB 100 has the lightest frame and shortest travel among all Yeti options. It has a little bit of a gravity tilt in its design, though, leading the architecture away from what would be considered a standard XC approach.

Phillips highlighted the bike's 68-degree head angle (combined with a 44 mm offset fork), longer-than-typical chainstay, and long front center. When you get the total model, it comes with a dropper post, broad bar, and thick tires built for sustained durability over rough terrain. Rather than the SB100 being a cross-country bike for someone looking for a traditional approach, Phillips suggested it should be considered a very speedy trail bike. Events for which he suggested it is tailor-made are 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo, the Breck Epic, and the BC Bike Race.

As Felton explained, the SB100 is a new model that was a smart move by Yeti because it effectively filled a gap it had in its catalog after the manufacturer terminated the ASR-c. In that sense, the SB100 could be considered a revamp of the ASR-c. The key ways that the bikemaker intended to improve the bike in the SB100 form are that the steering is a bit easier to achieve; the wheelbase and cockpit are extended a bit with a new evolution of the geometry; the Switch Infinity is utilized (which is a more sophisticated rear-suspension architecture); and the frame is noticeably stiffened. Finally, while 27.5-inch wheels were used on some of the smaller ASR-c sizes, the SB100 uses 29-inch wheels throughout all sizes.

The SB100 Beti

Yeti SB100 Beti

SB100 Beti - New for 2019

Technical specifications:

Available Colors: Coral

Frame weight: 5.50 lbs (2.5 kg)

Frame size: S, M

Travel: 3.9 in (100 mm)

Wheel size: 29 inches

Rear wheel: 148 mm x 12 mm (boost)

Rear shock: 190 mm x 37.5 mm

Seatpost: 30.9 mm

Front derailleur: Not applicable

Bottom bracket: PF92


Yeti SB100 Prices:

SB100 SRAM GX Comp Eagle – 27.62 lbs (12.53 kg) – $5999

SB100 SRAM X01 Eagle Turq – 26.48 lbs (12.02 kg) – $6999

Shop the Yeti SB100 Beti Carbon Series Shop the SB100 Beti Turq Series

The Yeti SB100 Beti is the women's version of the SB100. The details and specifications for an SB100 Beti are identical to those for the standard SB100 in almost every way. The only differences are that they have a WTB Deva saddle and shorter cranks, along with specifically chosen graphics and paint; and the tuning of the shocks is for a lighter weight.

This bike is described by Yeti as a "genre killing XC bike." In other words, this model is intended for XC, i.e. cross-country, cycling. 

Notably, not everyone sees it that way, even among those who also appreciate what Yeti is doing. In what can only be described as a glowing review in Bicycling, Matt Phillips praised the bike roundly but also described it as "the closest thing to a cross-country bike that Yeti makes.

As Felton explained, the SB100 is a new model that was a smart move by Yeti because it effectively filled a gap it had in its catalog after the manufacturer terminated the ASR-c. In that sense, the SB100 could be considered a revamp of the ASR-c. The key ways that the bikemaker intended to improve the bike in the SB100 form are that the steering is a bit easier to achieve; the wheelbase and cockpit are extended a bit with a new evolution of the geometry; the Switch Infinity is utilized (which is a more sophisticated rear-suspension architecture); and the frame is noticeably stiffened. Finally, while 27.5-inch wheels were used on some of the smaller ASR-c sizes, the SB100 uses 29-inch wheels throughout all sizes.

The SB4.5

Yeti SB4.5 XT Trail Mountain Bike

SB4.5

Technical specifications:

Available Colors: Black, Storm

Frame weight: 5.50 lbs (2.5 kg)

Frame size: S, M, L, XL

Travel: 4.5 in (114 mm)

Wheel size: 29 inches

Rear wheel: 148 mm x 12 mm (boost)

Rear shock: 7.5" x 2.0"

Seatpost: 30.9 mm

Front derailleur: Not applicable

Bottom bracket: PF92


Yeti SB4.5 Prices:

SB4.5 Shimano XT/SLX – 28.80 lbs – $4799

SB4.5 SRAM GX Eagle – 28.60 lbs – $5199

Shop the Yeti SB4.5 Carbon Series Shop the SB4.5 Turq Series

The ability of this bike to climb steep and challenging terrain was immediately noticeable to those on the Bike Magazine test crew. No matter the shock, the 29-inch wheels were able to make their way easily over rocky trails. 

While the model was so capable of ascending terrain, it also was able to take on technically intense downhill runs, thanks to a 67.4-degree head angle and fairly long toptube.

 

Yeti Trail Mountain Bikes

These Yetis climb amazingly well for 5 inch travel full suspension mountain bikes and absolutley crush when you point downhill. 

Whether you want a 27.5, 27.5 Plus, 29er or 29er Plus these bikes set the bar for other companies to clear. 

The SB5

Yeti SB5 GX Eagle Trail Mountain Bike

SB5

Technical specifications:

Available Colors: Black, Turquoise

Frame weight: 5.5 lbs (2.5 kg)

Frame size: M, L, XL

Travel: 5 in (127 mm)

Wheel size: 27.5 inches

Rear wheel: 148 mm x 12 mm (boost)

Rear shock: 7.5" x 2.0"

Seatpost: 30.9 mm

Front derailleur: Not applicable

Bottom bracket: PF92


Yeti SB5 Prices:

SB4.5 Shimano XT/SLX – 28.10 lbs – $4799

SB4.5 SRAM GX Eagle – 27.9 lbs – $5199

Shop the Yeti SB5 Carbon Series Shop the SB5 Turq Series

The Yeti SB5 received strong reviews when it was released. A great example was the assessment of Chad Davis of Crankjoy. Davis noted that he was eagerly anticipating the bike. He was particularly interested in riding it because of key features that receive significant attention – the suspension design, its lightweight build, and a travel design for optimal performance and comfort (140 in front and 127 in the rear).

Switch Infinity enables the model to provide a riding feel that suggests much greater reach than the 5 inches it has. Still, it was easy to pedal the bike, even with the shock completely open, whether sitting or standing. The rave reviews on Yeti bikes are evident with this comment from Davis: "No other bike I have ridden has matched this combination of small and large bump eating performance to efficiency better than the SB5."

The SB5 Beti

Yeti SB5.5 XT SLX Trail Mountain Bike

SB5 Beti

Technical specifications:

Available Colors: Storm, Turquoise

Frame weight: 5.5 lbs (2.5 kg)

Frame size: XS, S, M, L, XL

Travel: 5 in (127 mm)

Wheel size: 27.5 inches

Rear wheel: 148 mm x 12 mm (boost)

Rear shock: 7.5" x 2.0"

Seatpost: 30.9 mm

Front derailleur: Not applicable

Bottom bracket: PF92


Yeti SB5 Prices:

SB5 Beti Shimano XT/SLX – 28.10 lbs – $4799

SB5 Beti SRAM GX Eagle – 27.9 lbs – $5199

Shop the Yeti SB5 Beti Carbon Series Shop the SB5 Beti Turq Series

The SB5 Beti is the women’s version of the SB5.

The design of the SB5 Beti is that of a woman's model in terms of the sloping top tube. The SB5 Beti is given quite a bit of respect from the cycling critic community, just as other Yeti bikes are.

With impressive compliance throughout the shock stroke," noted Tricia Davis in Crankjoy, "this bike offers a stable, great cornering climber and descender."

The Yeti SB5 received strong reviews when it was released. A great example was the assessment of Chad Davis of Crankjoy. Davis noted that he was eagerly anticipating the bike. He was particularly interested in riding it because of key features that receive significant attention – the suspension design, its lightweight build, and a travel design for optimal performance and comfort (140 in front and 127 in the rear).

Switch Infinity enables the model to provide a riding feel that suggests much greater reach than the 5 inches it has. Still, it was easy to pedal the bike, even with the shock completely open, whether sitting or standing.

The rave reviews on Yeti bikes are evident with this comment from Davis: "No other bike I have ridden has matched this combination of small and large bump eating performance to efficiency better than the SB5."

The SB5+

Yeti SB5 GX Eagle Trail Mountain Bike

SB5+

Technical specifications:

Frame weight: 5.34 lbs (2.43 kg)

Frame size: M, L, XL

Travel: 5 in (127 mm)

Wheel size: 27.5 inches Plus

Rear wheel: 148 mm x 12 mm (boost)

Rear shock: 7.875" x 2.0"

Seatpost: 30.9 mm

Front derailleur: Not applicable

Bottom bracket: PF92


Yeti SB5 Prices:

SB5+ Shimano XT/SLX – 29.20 lbs – $4799

SB5+ SRAM GX Eagle – 30 lbs – $5199

Shop the Yeti SB5+ Carbon Series Shop the SB5+ Turq Series

Mtbr.com noted its observations from the Outerbike Test Sessions on this bike, which were eye-opening. Its reviewer of the SB5+, Benjamin Slabaugh, confessed at the front of his review that the SB5+ was "my favorite bike at Outerbike this year." 

Features of the SB5+ that were highlighted by Slabaugh are the front 150 mm boost fork and 127 millimeters of rear travel. 

When Slabaugh test-rode the bike, it was in wet sloppyconditions. Even with traction being continually challenged by the conditions, Slabaugh felt the ride of the bike was remarkable. Slabaugh noted that the way he determines whether a bike is truly extraordinary is to ask, "'Does it make me a better rider than I think I am?'" Slabaugh's answer for the SB5+ was yes.

The SB5 LR

Yeti SB5 LR X01 Trail Mountain Bike

SB5 LR

Technical specifications:

Frame weight: 5.87 lbs (2.67 kg)

Frame size: M, L, XL

Travel: 5 in (127 mm)

Wheel size: 27.5 inches Plus

Rear wheel: 148 mm x 12 mm (boost)

Rear shock: Metric 210mm x 50mm

Seatpost: 30.9 mm

Front derailleur: Not applicable

Bottom bracket: PF92


Yeti SB5 LR Price:

SB5 SRAM X01 Eagle Turq – 27 lbs – $7199

Shop the SB5 LR Turq Series

One of our favorite things about Yeti is that they make their staff ride every day at lunch. That is a company culture we can get behind. This version of the SB5 is designed using the typical modifications of riders who took those breaks to ride at Yeti headquarters. For that reason, the LR stands for "Lunch Ride." The SB5 Lunch Ride is different in that it takes more of an all-mountain approach because the suspension is stouter. We also love that the bike is only available in the higher end Turq Series carbon frame.


The SB5 LR comes with a Fox Factory DPX2 piggyback shock, 800-millimeter Yeti carbon handlebars, and a 160-millimeter Fox 36 fork. That goes beyond the specs for the standard stock SB5, which is outfitted with narrower rims, tires, and bars, along with a Factory DPS shock and Fox 34 fork.

The SB5.5

Yeti SB5.5 XX1 Trail Mountain Bike

SB5.5

Technical specifications:

Frame weight: 5.67 lbs (2.67 kg)

Frame size: M, L, XL

Travel: 5.5 in (140 mm)

Wheel size: 29 inches

Rear wheel: 148 mm x 12 mm (boost)

Rear shock: Metric 210mm x 50mm

Seatpost: 30.9 mm

Front derailleur: Not applicable

Bottom bracket: PF92


Yeti SB5.5 Price:

SB5.5 Shimano XT/SLX – 30.8 lbs – $4999
SB5.5 SRAM GX Eagle – 30.6 lbs – $5399

Shop the Yeti SB5.5 Carbon Series Shop the SB5.5 Beti Turq Series

This bike was received very favorably by critics. 

In fact, a review by Bric Minnigh in Bike Magazine said that it could possibly be the most high-performing all-rounder ever created by Yeti.

To underscore how well the team at Bike Magazine liked this model, they initially reviewed it and then brought it back for their annual Bible of Bike Tests so that everyone on the test team could have a chance to ride and better familiarize themselves with it. The bike from Yeti was one of the most popular ones among testers. Many riders commented on the incredible suspension of the bike as people gathered around campfires in the evenings.

If you want to be able to get up hills as fast as possible, this bike might be the right choice, with the review reporting "strong consensus that the bike was among the most capable climbers – if not the most capable climber – of its class." Minnigh noted that testers would get back with their faces gleaming with excitement after test rides. There were not any weaknesses of the model, according to the test crew. It would climb well and then allow for a reliable and ultra-fast descent as well.

 

Yeti Enduro Mountain Bikes

The SB6

Yeti SB6 X01 Enduro Mountain Bike

SB6

Technical specifications:

Frame weight: 6.05 lbs (2.75 kg)

Frame size: XS, S, M, L, XL

Travel: 6.0 in (152 mm)

Wheel size: 29 inches

Rear wheel: 148 mm x 12 mm (boost)

Rear shock: 8.5 in x 2.5 in

Seatpost: 30.9 mm

Front derailleur: D-Type Swingarm

Bottom bracket: PF92


Yeti SB6 Prices:

SB5.5 Shimano XT/SLX – 30.7 lbs – $4999
SB5.5 SRAM GX Eagle – 30.5 lbs – $5399

Shop the Yeti SB6 Carbon Series Shop the SB6 Turq Series

BikeRadar gave the Yeti SB6 Turq X01 Eagle 4.5 out of 5 stars. The review, by Guy Kesteven and Mountain Biking UK, called the model extremely fast, stable, and comfortable. It also mentioned how quiet the ride is. Other aspects of this bike that stand out, per BikeRadar, are the efficiency of the pedal and frame geometry and the amount of control that is achieved by the suspension. 

The SB6 frame is recognizable from prominent races such as the Enduro World Series. It also goes beyond simply being visible in those races to often outperforming its rivals: the SB6 is one of the winningest setups in the EWS world, particularly because of the successes of Jared Graves and Richie Rude.

The Turq is the high-end Yeti approach. Basically you take an SB6 made with a standard carbon chassis and remove about 260 grams. The materials and carbon fiber construction are re engineered so that you get a chassis weight of about 2.75 kg, with a little variation between the sizes. 

Many people are skeptical of this model because of its history, as Kesteven et al. indicated – with a relatively extensive reach of 450 mm and modern head angle of 65.5 degrees.

The thing that is really different about the SB6 from other well-engineered 150 mm to 160 mm models is the way that the travel is accomplished. It is made possible by the Switch Infinity system that is a major source of Yeti's bike prowess. This system, which includes a pair of short shafts coated with Kashima, allows the primary pivot to fractionally go up and down as it proceeds through each stroke. The small amount of motion that is involved here may seem to be insignificant (and is sometimes targeted as a marketing gimmick), but Kesteven et al. are insistent that it's effective, stating that "there's no doubt that the main pivot 'inflection' makes a difference."

The SB6 TR

Yeti SB6 TR XTR Turq Series Enduro Mountain Bike

SB6

Technical specifications:

Frame weight: 6.05 lbs (2.75 kg)

Frame size: XS, S, M, L, XL

Travel: 6.0 in (152 mm)

Wheel size: 27.5 inches

Rear wheel: 148 mm x 12 mm (boost)

Rear shock: 8.5 in x 2.5 in

Seatpost: 30.9 mm

Front derailleur: D-Type Swingarm

Bottom bracket: PF92


Yeti SB6 TR Prices:

SB6 Shimano XTR Turq – 29.2 lbs – $9499 

Shop the Yeti SB6 Carbon Series Inquire for Details

The SB6 TR (Team Replica) is a limited-edition model based on the bike ridden by Yeti's Star World Champion Rider Richie Rude. Only 150 of them are being produced, so these bikes are collector's items.

 

The Yeti Cycles Story

Yeti was founded in 1985, in the crazy early days of mountain biking. After all, it wasn't until 1996 that mountain biking first was included in the Olympic Games. 

Yeti has always offered top tier tech without any of the distracting frills. Yeti was intended for people who were serious about mountain biking, as they say, “We Build Bikes we want to Ride.” 

The corporate culture at Yeti is part of what drives the development of its products in 2018. Development is powered by the riders of the Yeti bikes, according to the official story on the Yeti website. 

Yeti claims that the insights it obtained through listening to its riders boosted the quality of the bikes it produced and allowed it to outdo the competition. The company is committed to an extensive and robust research-and-development process, and that has improved the manufacturing process it uses, resulting in better suspension designs, stronger materials, and more powerful frame geometry.

Since 1985, Yeti has recruited well-known riders – including Jimmy Deaton, Juli Furtado, Missy Giove, and John Tomac – in the process of building one of the highest profile mountain biking race teams. As Yeti continued to become a more prominent force in defining the direction of the sport and industry, it was able to prove itself through victories at National and World Championships.

The extent to which the bikemaker was making a name for itself is still evident in journalists and reviewers to this day, with Vernon Felton of Adventure Journal noting that Yeti grew into "one of the most influential mountain bike brands of the 1980s and 1990s."

Felton also pointed to the figure behind Yeti Cycles, John Parker, as one of the primary reasons for its intrigue in the early years. Parker is seen as a magnetic figure because he was an outsider when he entered mountain biking, as opposed to the many other mountain bikes companies that were started by cycling industry leaders.

 

Yeti Cycles FAQ

What makes a Yeti a Yeti?

The Yeti brand is known for its proprietary Switch Infinity Suspension System. The attempt with this system is to allow for mechanically superior suspension. As the system moves through its travel (linear rather than traditional), there is very little resistance. You can achieve incredible small-bump sensitivity and get great efficiency out of your pedaling toward the start of the travel. You are able to flawlessly adapt in response to square-edge impacts via a strongly supported suspension as the travel gets farther along.

As a Yeti bike moves through its travel, a patented translating pivot within the Switch Infinity system automatically changes direction. Due to this pivot, the bike is given a strong anti-squat edge, allowing it to offer incredible suspension attributes and pedaling capability as it proceeds through the travel. Within the Switch Infinity are two greased bushings that rise and fall on rails coated with Kashima. 

Is there routine maintenance for the Switch Infinity system?

The Switch Infinity system is completely contained. However, in order for people to be able to lubricate the seals and bushings, there are external grease ports. Lubrication should be performed after about every 40 hours of riding, according to Yeti. Note that it is possible and detrimental to excessively lubricate. While you do not want to lubricate more than is recommended, it is a good idea to wipe away any dirt or dust that starts to accrue throughout the week.

What is the difference between Carbon & Turq?

A standard Carbon frame will have a lower price. Turq uses a higher grade of carbon and weighs less. A Turq Series bike achieves a blend of compliance and stiffness through use of the highest grade of carbon that is available. The bike is aggressive, durable, and comfortable. A Carbon frame will not use quite as high a grade of carbon, resulting in slightly lower performance in terms of both stiffness and strength. Turq is ideal for the highest echelon of riders competing to mount the podium and Carbon is perfect for the rest of us.

What is a 1x drivetrain?

A 1x, or one-by, drivetrain combines a cassette of any number of gears with one chainring at the front. These drivetrains are often recommended related to their ease-of-use, as indicated by QBP. Front shifting is often a maintenance issue. A simpler and more effective drivetrain can be achieved when the front shifting is taken out of the mix. 

Typically the drivetrain that comes with a Yeti bike is one of the quality levels of a SRAM Eagle 1x drivetrain. The SRAM drivetrain offers more gear options than any other supplier does through a 1x system. Shimano drivetrains are used as well. 

What is the difference between SRAM and Shimano drivetrains?

Yeti drivetrains may be SRAM Eagle or Shimano XT / SLX. The difference between those options is as follows:


  • Shimano 1x drivetrains –  A Shimano 1x setup uses a single ring at the front in combination with various gear options at the rear. The gear range for Shimano is very wide at 420%. Shimano drivetrains offer 11 speeds. 
  • SRAM Eagle – The standard SRAM Eagle drivetrain setup is a GX Eagle. The X01 Eagle™ drivetrain is more expensive but represents stronger innovations so it is more precise, tougher, and lasts longer, as well being quieter. Finally, the XXL Eagle variation is optimized for cross-country riding. Bringing in the lightest possible materials, it uses them within the construct of the latest SRAM 1x™ drivetrain technology, for greater durability and stronger shifting precision via a broader gear range of 500%. These drivetrains have 12 speeds; the one extra speed over the Shimano makes it much simply to ascend hills (10% easier).