Yeti SB115, Santa Cruz Blur, or NEITHER?!

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Yeti SB115, Santa Cruz Blur, or NEITHER?!
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Posted: Aug 1, 2022 at 18:35 Quote
I'm brand new here. First post, long post. I'd appreciate anyone's opinion. I have a 2012 Niner Jet 9 Rdo. Fox 32/float kashima 100/100, dropper and 2.4s. Its a little wolverine. I love it, but I think it's time to try something more modern. Let me try to paint the picture:

I'm 40 and I come from a road cycling background (10k+ mi/yr). I never needed the greatest mtb. I only rode dirt once or twice a month. But more and more I find myself drawn to mtbs. I like the style, and after 8 years of tarmac and tight shorts, I'm ready for a new challenge. All my buddies are buying new mtbs. I can feel the winds of change...

Where I live in Southern CA, I ride about 6 miles to and home from my local trails. They are steep, and often deep sand or loose rocks provide the biggest traction challenges, up and downhill. Generally low speed, switchbacky, tech up and down, with some fun wide open stuff mixed in. The biggest flex of the day is who can clean the technical climbs. My friends are a bit older and ride cautiously. I'm the quickest up the fire road climbs, though they have solid skill making it up the tech stuff. I tend to descend the fastest (despite my old geometry) and crash the most.

My bike has a 71.5 degree hta. I'm 5'8, it's a small, and the reach is so short, my bike fitter put a 110 stem on it. It's pretty light as well (25 lbs). First question: would a bike like this climb better than any modern bike? Does the steeper seattube angle on modern bikes balance out the slacker headtube angle? My front end still wanders sometimes if I get the balance wrong on some of the steep climbs we have.

I like to have fun on my mtb. I jump it off the stairs at the local park (and bent a rim). A super delicate xc bike doesn't make sense. But neither does a long travel trail bike. I definitely think something overly slack (transition spur) would be a mistake, because I want something that will make it easier to clean those techy climbs.

I have an opportunity to get a good deal on a Santa Cruz or a Yeti. If a modern bike will make my rides way more fun, which bike would you recommend from the brands? Will the lighter Blur climb the techy stuff better than the SB115 (the bike I'm more physically attracted to )?

My friend has a tall boy, and I don't want the same bike, so I ruled that one out.

Final ask: which level of kit is best value for money? I'm a weight weenie coming from road, and my first instinct is to buy the cheapest carbon build in either, then drop a couple pounds with lighter wheels and tires, but I also bent a rim on my niner jumping down stairs, so i need a wheel that is robust. Does it make sense to get the cheaper frames, then load them up with nicer wheels, or should I opt for the turq or cc level frames with XT? I've heard great things about the new sid shocks on the Blur, but only Fox available for the Yeti.

So...1) do I need a new bike? 2) Blur or SB115 3) What level of spec/wheels/tires?

Thanks so much for your help. I really appreciate your advice.

Posted: Aug 2, 2022 at 10:39 Quote
Revel Ranger should go to the top of your demo list.

Posted: Aug 18, 2022 at 18:53 Quote
Millermatthew wrote:
I'm brand new here. First post, long post. I'd appreciate anyone's opinion. I have a 2012 Niner Jet 9 Rdo. Fox 32/float kashima 100/100, dropper and 2.4s. Its a little wolverine. I love it, but I think it's time to try something more modern. Let me try to paint the picture:

I'm 40 and I come from a road cycling background (10k+ mi/yr). I never needed the greatest mtb. I only rode dirt once or twice a month. But more and more I find myself drawn to mtbs. I like the style, and after 8 years of tarmac and tight shorts, I'm ready for a new challenge. All my buddies are buying new mtbs. I can feel the winds of change...

Where I live in Southern CA, I ride about 6 miles to and home from my local trails. They are steep, and often deep sand or loose rocks provide the biggest traction challenges, up and downhill. Generally low speed, switchbacky, tech up and down, with some fun wide open stuff mixed in. The biggest flex of the day is who can clean the technical climbs. My friends are a bit older and ride cautiously. I'm the quickest up the fire road climbs, though they have solid skill making it up the tech stuff. I tend to descend the fastest (despite my old geometry) and crash the most.

My bike has a 71.5 degree hta. I'm 5'8, it's a small, and the reach is so short, my bike fitter put a 110 stem on it. It's pretty light as well (25 lbs). First question: would a bike like this climb better than any modern bike? Does the steeper seattube angle on modern bikes balance out the slacker headtube angle? My front end still wanders sometimes if I get the balance wrong on some of the steep climbs we have.

I like to have fun on my mtb. I jump it off the stairs at the local park (and bent a rim). A super delicate xc bike doesn't make sense. But neither does a long travel trail bike. I definitely think something overly slack (transition spur) would be a mistake, because I want something that will make it easier to clean those techy climbs.

I have an opportunity to get a good deal on a Santa Cruz or a Yeti. If a modern bike will make my rides way more fun, which bike would you recommend from the brands? Will the lighter Blur climb the techy stuff better than the SB115 (the bike I'm more physically attracted to )?

My friend has a tall boy, and I don't want the same bike, so I ruled that one out.

Final ask: which level of kit is best value for money? I'm a weight weenie coming from road, and my first instinct is to buy the cheapest carbon build in either, then drop a couple pounds with lighter wheels and tires, but I also bent a rim on my niner jumping down stairs, so i need a wheel that is robust. Does it make sense to get the cheaper frames, then load them up with nicer wheels, or should I opt for the turq or cc level frames with XT? I've heard great things about the new sid shocks on the Blur, but only Fox available for the Yeti.

So...1) do I need a new bike? 2) Blur or SB115 3) What level of spec/wheels/tires?

Thanks so much for your help. I really appreciate your advice.

You seem to keep bikes for a while, and mechanically speaking you will be able to maintain the Santa Cruz longer. Not saying yetis break or that they won’t be able to be maintained, but the Santa Cruz has the least amount of propriety stuff in it. If you are worried about breaking stuff, Santa Cruz typically has the best warranty and the Santa Cruz reserve wheels have an amazing lift time no questions ask replacement, which if you think you might break a wheel I’d nice to have. I’m personally a Shimano guy so I’d take the xtr or xt build over a sram, but that’s personal preference. I have noticed the Shimano derailleurs are much more durable than the sram ones. I’d recommend taking a demo bike of your choosing and ride it on some trails and compare the bikes. That’ll give the best feel for the new geometries and what you like best for your riding style.

Posted: Aug 21, 2022 at 8:59 Quote
Not sure if this will help at all but about a year ago I went hunting for something along the same lines. Looked at Yeti sb115 but ultimately decided against it as the switch infinity would be too high a maintenance chore for me (UK based so lots of wet and mud as ride all year), the Blur wasn't around so cannot comment on that but having had SC before the bearing aspect is good and if was looking again now Blur would be on the list (ideal suspension travel for what I need, two bottles, good brand etc).

I actually ended up with a Specailized Epic Evo (the Evo bit is important) as that did the whole shortish travel / downcountry / not fragile / worked for me and have no regrets.

Good luck with your hunt I think there is much less differences between the brands now as there was say 5 years ago to be honest :/

James

Posted: Aug 21, 2022 at 9:04 Quote
Yeah an Epic is a good shout if op can find a sale item one.

If money is no object then the Revel Ranger.

Posted: Aug 21, 2022 at 9:55 Quote
DmoorDevil wrote:
Yeah an Epic is a good shout if op can find a sale item one.

If money is no object then the Revel Ranger.

I stay away from the epic and go epic evo just to get rid of the brain shock.

Posted: Aug 21, 2022 at 10:08 Quote
Aha totally did not realise that brain was still a thing on them.

I just meant the Epic lineup

Posted: Aug 21, 2022 at 10:12 Quote
DmoorDevil wrote:
Aha totally did not realise that brain was still a thing on them.

I just meant the Epic lineup

Yea a friend just got an epic evo pro and it’s a sweet bike. He loves it. Super playful but super light and fast

Posted: Aug 22, 2022 at 16:22 Quote
The last couple of years (only) Epic Evo DO NOT have brain in anyway, just 120mm traditional suspension, nothing tweaked or odd - other than just damn fast and light.

They have left Brain on standard Epic and like you I would avoid those.

Posted: Aug 31, 2022 at 22:57 Quote
Evil, love my Offering

Posted: Sep 7, 2022 at 9:53 Quote
Went from TB3 to Blur (100/100 version), and lost 6 lbs in the upgrade. I also found the right deal for me. .

I've got 4+ friends with the blur, they all love it. I've got a couple friends with the yeti, they love it.

You'll have a major upgrade with anything new.

You have a few other options that you didn't list, but that's up to you to add them. Could easily add 6-12 other bikes that would get great options.

I'd ride your friend's newer bikes if you can, to see how they feel to you. Then try and demo something, if you can.

Then find the right deal for you.

SRAM vs. Shimano - 100% user preference. Both work just fine.

As far as your question on "buy for the frame" or "buy for the whole bike", that will depend on you and what you want to do. I love to learn and mess and meddle with my bike, find a good deal on a new part, and upgrade. Either sell the old parts or put them on the "backup bike". If you like upgrading, do that.

If you prefer just to get a bike and ride it and have it simply work well, then I'd go for the whole bike balanced approach rather than getting a bike with lower end components that will likely wear out... but at least with the Blur's price point, you don't have any real crap on those bikes (maybe the SRAM NX stuff). I'm not as sure on the yeti.

Neither of these rides will suck at all.

Posted: Sep 9, 2022 at 17:51 Quote
Blur is definitely more XC ergo, which may fit you well being a road rider. I have a 22 Blur TR and I have it even more trail oriented. Really like the bike and it is fast.

Before buying this round I checked out Yeti. I really like their looks, but press fit BB, proprietary susp components, and cables under the BB led me away. Cannot remember if the 115 actually had cables under the bike or the higher travel, but for my personal preference, threaded for me.

Posted: Sep 9, 2022 at 20:00 Quote
I think folks should stop worrying about press fit BB on newer bikes especially. I have a 2014 Norco Sight carbon. Never had an issue. I thought I did recently but it turned out it wasn't that. To test I had put on a Wheels Manufacturing BB which you thread together. Turns out it was something else. I left it in. WM BB's are awesome and you won't have creaking issues with those...should it arise. I also have an aluminum 2017 Cannondale fat bike with press fit and no issues there either and I ride the heck out of it. Anyway, just my 2 cents. If you're going to worry about it get a Wheels Manufacturing BB.

Posted: Sep 9, 2022 at 20:03 Quote
gabe999 wrote:
I think folks should stop worrying about press fit BB on newer bikes especially. I have a 2014 Norco Sight carbon. Never had an issue. I thought I did recently but it turned out it wasn't that. To test I had put on a Wheels Manufacturing BB which you thread together. Turns out it was something else. I left it in. WM BB's are awesome and you won't have creaking issues with those...should it arise. I also have an aluminum 2017 Cannondale fat bike with press fit and no issues there either and I ride the heck out of it. Anyway, just my 2 cents. If you're going to worry about it get a Wheels Manufacturing BB.

It’s not always an issue necessarily, but I have had several bikes come through the shop with a problem where the frame is slightly too big now for the bb and the bb has a bit of play and creaks like crazy. Not saying it’s every bike cause it’s far from that but some bikes do have the problem, whereas with threaded there’s no way for it to be an issue

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