Inside Yeti: The Turquoise Legacy Continues

Nov 22, 2019
by Ross Bell  

It would have been easy for Yeti Cycles to fade into mountain bike folklore, much like the mythical abominable snowman that the company's name is derived from. While the company now approaches its 35th anniversary and continues to grow in size and stature, its ride to success wasn't exactly plain sailing.

Few bicycle brands manage to capture the imagination quite like Yeti, rolling back the decades to legendary days when Missy “The Missile” Giove, John Tomac, and Myles Rockwell were flashing through the race tape in a blur of turquoise and yellow.

Yeti is seen as a Colorado brand, and for the most part its history does lay in The Centennial State, but it was born in the Agoura hills of Southern California in the hands of John Parker back in 1985. Racing quickly became the backbone of the company as Chris Conroy – the current president of Yeti – explains: “He was really at the forefront of the whole racing thing. He came from a racing background, he was a sprint car racer and knew the racing scene from a SoCal perspective. He was the first to roll up to a mountain bike race in a box truck, full Yeti'd out. From the earliest days, Yeti had a pro race team in Southern California.”

The company relocated to Durango not long after the 1990 World Championships and started the Yeti / Colorado marriage. “...there were legendary teams during that time, Myles and Missy, Deaton... the whole crew. People remember Yeti for the turquoise and yellow during that era, the turquoise and yellow was all the rage,” Conroy continues. It was this period in time that began to create such a rich heritage and legacy that still surrounds the brand.

Jump to the mid-90s and Schwinn purchased Yeti, the beginning of a crucial chapter in the company's history, and it was at that time that Chris Conroy first entered the Yeti picture. It wouldn't be the most fruitful of times, leading to Volant taking over the reins in '99 with Conroy at the forefront of it all:

bigquotesI was the brand manager for Yeti and also the product development manager for Scott for the US. I was able to work with Brett Hahn and John Parker back in the day when the factory was still in Durango. I left the company a couple of years later and then I was working with the guys at Volant Ski Company, they wanted a counter-seasonal business. I called the guys at Schwinn, the VP in marketing at the time, (Gregg Bagni). He was a big Yeti fan, but Schwinn had other ambitions. We both agreed Schwinn was focusing on the brand, and I told him they couldn’t let the brand die. He agreed. So we were able to put together a deal for Yeti in 1999 and I became the general manager, the only person I inherited from the Volant side was Hoog. [Steve Hoogendoorn, Vice President of Yeti Cycles]Chris Conroy

They relocated to Golden, remaining there to this day. Just two years after the Volant sale, it was Conroy and Hoog who took control, purchasing the company together with some friends. Yeti now had the people it needed at the wheel to at least give it stability, but it was no easy task to right the wrongs and get back on track taking “a solid 5 years just to right the ship.” Hoog says: “We were living week-to-week, manufacturing in-house and trying to push the product forward. The first bike we designed and built was the AS-R. Fortunately, it was a hit.”

Yeti has been on a steady upward trajectory over the past couple of decades but they seemed to gather some serious momentum in recent years with the rise of enduro. Coincidence? Perhaps, but I doubt it. Right place right time? A certain degree of that, yes. Reading the market and getting the foot in the door early? Undoubtedly. Yeti had been making longer travel trail bikes for a while, the likes of the ASR and the 575 proved popular, but it seemed like a real turning point came during the introduction of their "SB" lineup and the fulltime switch to EWS racing. Their pairing of Jared Graves and Richie Rude at the time proved deadly. Jared famously took the SB66 to bronze at DH World Champs, then the following season they went 1-2 on the SB6 and SB5 at the Winter Park EWS, and further down the line they'd both clinch the series overall with a handful of wins. Having two prolific racers at the top of their game banging in race wins and overalls is certainly one way to provide validation to your new line of product.

As I mentioned previously, Yeti is set to tick off its 35th anniversary in 2020. What's changed? In some ways, it’s changed quite considerably. The size is the big one, they now sit around the 65 employee mark, aside from that there are things like the absence of alloy frames, and their manufacturing taking place in Vietnam. But in other ways, they've not changed much at all. Racing is still at the forefront of what they do, turquoise remains the color of choice, and as Chris continues to stress for them “it's really important that we can continue to fund and invest in innovative product design and development,” something he says the brand has done since the very beginning.

In the last few years Yeti have refurbished the entrance to their facility and built a showroom that the public can have a nosey round.

There's a wide range of bikes from the past and present on display.

The bike that Carolyn "Curly" Curl used in her speed World Record way back in 1997.

Fancy going 122mph on that setup? Yeah, me neither.

There's no shortage of racing memorabilia within these walls, that's for sure.

bigquotesBecause I knew the original Yeti crew and I knew what the brand was, there was this tremendous pressure not to f*** it up. It's a legacy brand and we’re honored to be associated with it. We made a very conscious decision not to make it a personality-based brand because John was such a big personality back in the day, we didn't want it to be Chris' Yeti or Hoog's Yeti...We wanted it to be Yeti. We felt is was important to pay deference to our past, but we had to push the brand forward. Instead of just being an iconic brand that relied on its past success, which some brands did and went away, we decided we had to continue to take that innovation that made Yeti great in the late 80s early 90s and just ramp that up.Chris Conroy

It was Yeti who gave Aaron Gwin his first taste of World Cup action in 2008.
Some of the greatest racing successes have come in the hands of Jared Graves and Richie Rude.

Graves finally got his 4X World Champs gold in 2009 on Australian soil.

bigquotesIt's funny. Those were tough days back then, there was no guarantee it was going to work. There was no guarantee we were going to be successful. We made a ton of mistakes... We were super motivated and focused on innovation and, at the time, in-house production. The race team was a cornerstone of what we did and if we could make bikes that made the fastest racers in the world go faster then we knew we would win. Ultimately we kept chipping away and we've had some success but in the bike industry when you say that, you knock on wood because it can all change tomorrow, so we don't take it for granted.Steve Hoogendoorn

Beer is serious business at Yeti with six different options on tap.

The front and rear triangles are shipped in from Vietnam before undergoing further quality control, then the frame or complete build can begin.

Frames racked up and awaiting their turn in the stand.

bigquotesWe've had great success with racing and people ask all the time how we keep finding the next great rider and really there is no magic formula. The fact of the matter is we go to the races...We structure our program so we have a regional, national, and World Cup level team and we've had that for over a decade. What ends up happening is that we find someone who is a regional rider who is just crushing it and they are running the same equipment, same sponsor equipment, so we can move them to national and world cup pretty easily back and forth based on their performance. Our biggest success story there was Aaron Gwin, who started as a regional rider. He had done a few races and was beating the pros down in California and Rich Houseman got him on our regional team. At that point we had Blenki, Jared, and Leov, on the team… I still think back to how lucky we were to have such a stacked team. I asked those guys, do you think he could race World Cup? They said to me not only could he race World Cup, but he could also finish top 10. First World Cup we sent him to was Mont Sainte Anne and he finished 10th. Everyone was just like, who the hell is this guy?!Chris Conroy

There's not actually a massive stock of frames which, I guess, is a good sign for Yeti as it means they're getting sold.

All the small parts that start to piece together the frame puzzle.

Josh Conroy, chief Switch Infinity bearing presser.

bigquotesWe raced both a World Enduro schedule as well as a DH schedule. We are a small company. You can imagine that any one of those is a huge commitment but to run both of them was a massive commitment. We'd just come out with the SB66 and Jared took 3rd place in the DH World Champs on a trail bike which was pretty cool. Richie also won Junior World's that year. We decided it made sense for us to move into enduro, we asked Jared what he thought and Jared said yeah, rock on. We asked Richie what he thought and he was like, yeah, let's try it. Jared won the EWS overall that next year and then Richie won back-to-back titles the following years. DH technology really lives about a year, a year and a half if you're really on it. It was time for us to update our DH bike, but with our limited resources, we decided instead to come out with the SB6. From an enduro perspective, it was definitely the right move. Everybody at Yeti still talks about downhill racing and about making a downhill bike again, it's still a huge passion of ours.Chris Conroy

Neatly laying out all the small parts before the build can begin.

The workforce varies with size in accordance with frame demand throughout the year.

A SB165 comes to life. The SB165 and SB140 are the most recent additions to the Yeti line up, replacing the SB6 and SB5.

bigquotesWe are a small company and we always say we make bikes that we want to ride and that is true, its a rider driven company and the legacy of the Yeti. I think we perpetuated it, but all kudos to John Parker, Chris Herting, Brett Hahn and the crew back in the day that made Yeti legendary. We humbly carried that on and we've grown the company fairly substantially, but back when John Parker was doing that the company was a fraction of the size we are now, and we're not a big company. So if you talk about punching above your weight then the punching above your weight was done by Parker and the crew in the mid-90s cause they were absolutely crushing it with a super small company.Chris Conroy

The "Lunch Ride"

An integral part of life at Yeti headquarters is the daily lunch ride where employees ditch their desk or down tools and grab their bike, hitting the trails of Colorado's Front Range a few pedal strokes away from the front door of the headquarters. These are the trails that Yeti's lineup is conceived on so it'd be rude not to grab one of their latest offerings and tag along for the ride. I quickly learn a few things. First off, the pace is fast and things get competitive, especially for my sea-level legs and lungs. Secondly, there's a wide range of riding styles and choices of bikes, each spec'd according to the individual's taste. It's this crew that gave birth to the idea of offering a burlier build "Lunch Ride" / "LR" guise in selected models over the last few years.

Hitting the Apex trails.

Yeti say the trails of Colorado's Front Range have helped shape the bikes they design.

The lunch ride is an important part of day to day life at Yeti.

Downtown Denver on the horizon as Ben hits the descent on the way back to Yeti HQ.

bigquotesWe came out with the 575 in 2004 and it was a direct reflection of the trails we rode every day. The trail bike market was in its infancy, I remember the Turner 5 Spot and a few others, but it was pretty lean. We made the 575 because it's super chunky where we ride and more travel helps but you still have to climb to get the goods. That has always been important to us when designing a bike, you have to be able to climb really steep alpine stuff without losing efficiency, but our bikes are built for the downhill. It was our gravity roots that spawned the SB66 and launched our Switch Technology. Then we moved to the Switch Infinity technology on the SB6 and Richie and Jared kept winning races. a whole new era happened on the race side. We've had a lot of success with enduro and it's core to who we are as a company.Chris Conroy

Between 11:30 and 13:00 tools are left and desks abandoned as the staff hit the trails.

The engineering team are now in a different building up the road, but as it happens they're now even closer to the trails and the crew from the main headquarters have to pass the building on the way to the trailhead!

Peter Zawistowski or "Stretch" as he's affectionately known has been in the company since high school, first working out back building bikes and machining alloy frames. He then went on to to study at university, coming back into Yeti as a fully qualified engineer. He's been in the company around 15 years and is one of their 8 strong engineering team.

An early sample of the new SB140 frame.

bigquotesThere has been a tonne of growth at Yeti and that's a double-edged sword as we always built the company not to grow the company, as the growth for us isn't all that important. What's really important is that we can continue to fund and invest in innovative product and design and development. That requires money. We are stoked that we've had some success because then we can pour back more money, we were 3 engineers including Hoog for a long time, now just in the last year and a half we've bumped that up to 6 engineers and an industrial designer so that department is 7 people now which would have been unheard of. That would have been over half of our company 7 years ago.Chris Conroy

Yeti are looking at adding composite capabilities into their engineering building. It wouldn't be for production though and would just help the engineers in fast-tracking prototypes and experimenting with different carbon layups.

A prototype SB66, the first bike to feature the "Switch Technology" which would later be refined into the "Switch Infinity" system that now features on all of their models.

A rack of various past prototypes and test frames.

The main reason that the engineering team now has its own facility is that they were running out of space and they wanted to expand their in-house machining capabilities.

They've only been in the new building for a matter of months and are still adding equipment and machines in.

bigquotesAs we enter our 35th year, we know what we do well and who we are as a brand. We continue to make big investments in our race teams, our engineering and product development. This focus means we exist in the high-end of the market and our products are out of touch for some people (insert dentist joke here), but we’re committed to making the best mountain bike product.Chris Conroy

Yeti work closely with Fox and have special permission to create their own shock tunes.

Dave Ziegman is the man behind all the shock tuning at Yeti. Having Dave in-house is invaluable according to the engineers, mentioning that they can pay super close attention to the relationship between the shock tune and their suspension kinematics.

Getting the frame packaged up and ready to ship out to an excited customer.

Final destination. Next stop, the trails.

Posted In:
Stories Inside Yeti


  • 91 4
 These are amazing and more companies should open their doors for us to see. What an amazing place to work. I'd imagine Fridays go something like this:
1.Show up
2. Lunch ride
3. Beer after?

Sign me UP!
  • 10 5
 Then go home to this:

  • 5 2
 One day I'll afford one of these beauties!
  • 9 23
flag heavyp (Nov 22, 2019 at 14:57) (Below Threshold)
 @yeticycles I came here for a new crazy 29" switch carbon DH bike and possible tease of a new DH team, I left disappointed
  • 58 10
 @heavyp: its a good thing your mom didn't leave my place disappointed
  • 2 2
 @jwrendenver: Wow that place looks amaze balls
  • 3 10
flag websternaw (Nov 22, 2019 at 16:01) (Below Threshold)
 Life at my biotech startup company is similar. Lunchtime ride and beers at 5. Can’t get any better than that ????
  • 18 5
 You better take the ride at lunch because if you wait until after work there will be 20 people in line waiting to drop in after the climb. Then at least half will be stopped on the trail and in the way during your descent. Golden is nice but goddamn is it ever the stopping point for every lifestyle bro East of the Rockies.
  • 4 1
 @jwrendenver: Not working at Yeti you wont be...
  • 4 0
 @bohns1: make sure you scroll through the pics. It’s very relevant to the story.
  • 1 1
 @jwrendenver: Why post this? Let him be... that's half the point of being in Evergreen.
  • 2 0
 @jwrendenver: people aren’t attentive enough to understand...
  • 3 0
 @hamncheez: did she buy your bike?
  • 2 0
 @sspiff: so true.. I don't ride apex anymore unless its between 9-11 on a weekday (thankfully, my schedule allows me to do what I want)
  • 4 6
 @hamncheez: My mums dead but thanks for reminding me about her!
  • 6 13
flag scottlink (Nov 23, 2019 at 6:12) (Below Threshold)
 Made in China Hype in the USA
  • 14 0
 @scottlink: Vietnam. Skipped the article to comment?
  • 10 1
 I came here for a list of pretty much every elite rider who used Yeti as an incredible springboard to greater things.
It's a shame that just the recent jerseys are up on the wall.

They need a Spencer's Gifts style poster shelf with all the people who've raced for them.
Jimmy Deaton
Greg Watts
Joe Lawwill
John Tomac (or Eli Tomac's dad for the next gen)
Missy Giove
Juli Furtado
Johnny O'Mara
Kirt Vories
Nathan Rennie
Myles Rockwell

Those are the bikes and jerseys I clicked on here to see.
  • 1 0
 @blowmyfuse: forgetting a certain someone
  • 3 9
flag EvoRidge (Nov 23, 2019 at 22:29) (Below Threshold)
 "Yeti say the trails of Colorado's Front Range have helped shape the bikes they design"
Who else sees an ovbious issue with this?

Yeti...designed around flat corners and flat trails.
  • 1 0
 @EvoRidge: such a nonsensical comment in light of the photos in the article... They may not be mountains but they ain't flat.
  • 1 0
 @jwrendenver: seems rather lavish.. SIGN ME UP.. For life.. well wait it kind of looks like my house except not
  • 2 0
 Bring the 575 back
  • 2 0
 @EvoRidge: for all it's faults Apex is about 1500' up and down over 7 miles. Not crazy steep, but certainly not flat.
  • 1 0
 @landscapeben: I got an SB66 frame on sale for $1400. Bike ended up around $3500 (saint drivetrain, xtr derraileur and top of the line FOX fork) (this was 4 years ago)
  • 1 0
 @timuri: Bargain hunter extraordinaire! I'll have to keep my eye's peeled Beer
  • 1 1
 @sspiff: Aww you'll be Ok buddy.
  • 78 7
 Is this the feel good article before the E-bike gets announced?
  • 37 64
flag heatproofgenie (Nov 22, 2019 at 9:27) (Below Threshold)
 Just to remind everyone how awesome they are even though their customer service is shit. Yeti is more marketing company than anything.
  • 23 23
 I would 100% ride a Yeti SB150 eBike. After I go back to school for Dentistry Big Grin
  • 9 1
 Look up the Yeti Cycles interview with Chris Conroy and Steve Hoogendoorn... Looks like it’ll be a while before Yeti is coming with an Ebike...
  • 9 1
 Well, a 20k e-bike is poised to happen at some point
  • 4 2
 @DutchmanPhotos: Wanna bet? I guarantee they are coming out with an Ebike soon.
  • 18 5
 so they come out with an e bike. and that will somehow make yeti obsolete? grow a pair
  • 12 3
 @heatproofgenie: Disagree from me. I lost a coozy, and they sent a bunch of swag. Broke an out-of-warranty frame, got 20% off a new bike.
  • 12 1
 @OnTheShore: you joke, but dental school is stupid expensive now. And, you come out making shit compared to how much debt you accumulated to "live the life".

I feel badly for dental students these days. They've been sold a profession that is going down the tubes thanks to corporate dentistry and the insurance industry. Come out owing $400K+ only to be the dental insurance industry's bitch. That's not including the absurd costs of tuition for undergrad, plus losing those prime years of your life.
  • 15 2
 @drpheta: why any intelligent and highly educated person would choose to stare into the abyss of peoples nasty mouths and smell their shitty breath all day whilst dueling with insurance companies is super perplexing to me. i also have dentist friends who hate the profession for both reasons. i'm like "wtf did you expect?" so no sympathy...
  • 17 1
 @heatproofgenie: i called them with a technical question and got a call back from an engineer in 30minutes. Thats my only experience but it was very good.
  • 6 0
 @cuban-b: I love my profession and job. I just hate insurance companies.

We wear masks, you know.

Plus I'm an orthodontist, so I deal with different mouth shit
  • 25 1
 @lognar: I had a rock kick up from my wheel while riding a local trail, their territory as well, anyhow it was a sizable granite rock. Anyway it put what was more or less a sizable hole in the downtube bottom bracket junction of my SB150. I fully expected to pay for a front triangle and did, but wrote to them as I wanted to understand their warranty policy as they didn't inspect the frame. In other words they did no investigation to see if there was a manufacturing fault. I think their new downtube protection is what amounts to a joke. Anyway they wrote back to say that I must have dropped my bike on a rock as there was no way the damage could happen from riding. Also they said they believed their DT protection was sufficient.

So in short they accused me of lying and that there was nothing wrong with their product. I get that they need to be wary of scammers but yeah not the best way to treat a customer.
  • 1 0
 @drpheta: Fair play. I'm just jealous of yall's salaries! no joke though, dentists have saved my shitty mouth many times. i just like to play an a*shole on the internets
  • 6 1
 @drpheta: I just put a yeti frame plus a fox fork in my 12 year olds mouth....he wanted hot pink bands.
  • 4 0
 @hamncheez: UNNO was probing the eMTB acceptance waters on FB just a few days ago.
Meanwhile an ebike is the only thing missing in Santa Cruz lineup at this point.
So yes, that 20k eMTB must be just around the corner.
  • 3 1
 @heatproofgenie: have a similar story with @ibiscycles Cracked the top tube on an hd4 and even after sending the frame to them to have them do testing or whatever they said "we don't know why it cracked you must have clamped it on the top tube." Like yup I definitely did that, absolute top notch customer service ibis good work.
  • 1 0
 @drpheta: if only people realized how bad it was before doing it.
  • 4 0
 @cuban-b: u dont need to be a dentist to affford a yeti.. Im a trades guy and easily bought an sb130... Its all about priorities.
  • 3 0
 @heatproofgenie: for me I had the bad fortune of falling over from basically a stand still on a tech move and the rear seatstay broke presumably from landing on a rock. It's the kind of fall I've had dozens of times over the years. I'd only had the bike 7 months at that point. Cost me a grand to replace. I had hoped they'd replace it free of charge not because I think it was a manufacturing defect but because IMO it's the kind of thing you can expect to happen riding and if you're bike can't handle that then I think it's not well designed. It's put me off carbon that's for sure, and off Yeti as well. I think they'd have gotten a lot more benefit for not much money by just replacing since these kind of customer experiences travel by word of mouth. I just don't understand what a lifetime warranty means exactly (not much as far as I can tell) nor why these companies don't do a better job of designing impact protection into their frames. Now I'm always nervous about falling, like I'm riding a frickin bike made out of porcelain.
  • 1 0
 @jollyXroger: found this and had to say,you predicted the santa cruz heckler
  • 35 0
 Yeti makes nice bikes, but of the three Yeti frames I've had, two have cracked. Their emphasis on aesthetics/consumer appeal has driven their success, but in my opinion they need to step up their game on engineering and production. I think of Yeti like I do Schwalbe tires: Fast but Fragile.
  • 13 1
 They must be Italian
  • 3 0
 Did they warranty it though?
  • 1 0
 Do they still make frames in the US? Or all those frames are made in Taiwan?
  • 1 0
 @zoobab2: Sadly, the frames are made in Vietnam now
  • 35 1
 Where do they keep all the broken ones?
  • 34 0
 In the ocean. Duh!
  • 26 9
 In Pole's warehouse.
  • 26 0
 Selling my 303rdh is the only regret I have in life
  • 8 0
 Want to buy another one? I have a really nice large frame I'm looking to sell.
  • 1 0
 @sino428: interested
  • 1 0
 @NorCalNomad: shoot me a private message.
  • 28 2
 The only regret? If that's it, you're doing better than the rest of us.
  • 4 0
 I regret selling Aaron Gwins world champ 303rdh
  • 1 0
 Wanna buy mine? Team paintjob, Saint kit.
  • 5 0
 Calling Yeti's customer service is the only regret I have in life.
  • 1 0
 @tempest3070: hey can you send photos? I'm interested
  • 1 0
 @vjunior21: never had an issue.. Amanda in their cs has been pretty damn good to me.
  • 1 0
 @machaut selling my 2012 303 RDH that's in really good condition of your looking for one
  • 15 0
 I still get a semi on* when I see those old school FROs and ARCs with the Ringle finishing kit. They take me back to a time before part time jobs, before the internet, when we lived on these fantasies of living in Durango and riding with Tomes et al. Counting down the days until the latest issue of MBUK came out, and it was only £1.75. Oh how badly I wanted a Yeti with a Tioga Disc Drive!

Today, Yeti doesn't really float my boat. Nice bikes though.

*Metaphorically speaking
  • 1 0
 my thoughts exactly. all the early 90's frames when I was a wee youngin' were awesome, especially with the ringle kits you mention. raced along side most of their junior devo teams at the time. later on, owned a couple 575's and arc's over the years and then my final was the asr7 in 2011... loved the simple design and pivot, thought I needed seven inches for a trail bike. pffft. what was i thinkin?!

anyhow, that's when they switched to the sb platform and for me, the aesthetics just kinda went out the window. ahhh well, they do make nice bikes, just no longer for me.
  • 2 0
 @dangdang: the mystique has gone. But that’s probably more about being 40 than anything Yeti have done.
  • 2 0
 @jaame: im 40 plus..... Still love em.
  • 2 0
 @bohns1: what I mean is, they used to be unattainable and now they’re not because I’ve got a job. Also the internet helps one to know everything about everything.
  • 2 0
 Same here bruz I’m nearing 50 and still ride my 303. Just not as much as I would like @bohns1:
  • 17 3
 Love the story.. met Chris once shuttling with his kids.. if only they would teach their employees trail etiquette for their lunch rides, have nearly been run over by the Yeti mob on numerous occasions..
  • 4 3
 They're not slow!
  • 33 2
 stop climbing up enchanted then!
  • 7 2
 Speed up slo poke
  • 1 1
 @rzicc: haha.. I would never do that and have killed people for less..
  • 3 0
 @jwrendenver: nope.. but do lack trail etiquette..
  • 2 0
 @rzicc: This!!! Big Grin
  • 2 1
 Ride it the right way then!
  • 9 0
 Cool, but above everything i just read. All i want to see, is a video of "curly" riding that DH bike. Between that massive chain ring, and the tiny tires. I would be terrified to ride that bike. Holy shit!
  • 8 0
 Yeti bikes are awsome. I have a yeti SB6 which I used for trail and freeriding, Unfortunately I found a crack on my seat tube which upset me abit but yeti where happy to replace my whole frame which was sick considering my sb6 was a 2015 and the guys sent me the latest sb6 2019 free of charge.
  • 9 1
 I had a 575 back when they first came out. Didn't ride it enough (mostly road/cross at the time) and sold it. New owner promptly broke the rear triangle three times in six months.
  • 33 0
 Pre-production/prototype. Obviously.
  • 2 0
 yeah, 575 and some more aluminium bikes had problems with cracking frames, but I do have many SB6, SB130 and SB150 around me and none of them had any problem. Every brand had some bad models in past and they take this "heritage" till nowadays althought it is not up to date these years.
  • 4 0
 @Radeu: The 575 excelled in this area, with seat stays that would dissolve on contact with air.
  • 1 0
 @BenPea: I liked the bike a lot. A co-worker convinced my to buy it and set up with a Geax Sturdy in the rear and Conti Diesel in the front. Super fun and soo much traction for the time. But they were definitely still learning where they could keep the weight down and still be strong enough given the more aggressive riding it encouraged.
  • 6 0
 The SB130 is the first Yeti I've owned (it's the first bike they've made that fits me at 6',5") and I gotta say the thing is an absolute blast to ride. Zero complaints - the thing just works really well.
  • 6 0
 Very cool to know a little about yeti, I remember when I saw a yeti DH bike in Brazil for the first time in 2003 I find it very crazy ....
  • 5 0
 i had a yeti ultimate back in'89-'90. what a machine, loved it. called yeti one day about something...frank the welder answered the phone. the guy couldn't have been more rude, it still makes me laugh.
  • 7 1
 How about that “engineered in” rear flex on the first dh 150s. Only to be stiffened and widened on the next years version. Sick bro’s. Thx for the 7000 dollar noodle.
  • 3 0
  • 6 0
 Nice history and write up.
  • 4 0
 The 303 DH on rails is a wild design! Anyone ride one? Is there any DNA left over in Switch infinity or is it completely different?
  • 3 0
 Was an awesome DH bike for it's day if you maintained the rails. And yes the learning from all the rail stuff lead into the development of the switch infinity.
  • 1 0
 I’ve got the twin rail from 2007 I think. Awesome bike made me a faster rider for sure. Incredibly different from my M1 or my 2001 Big Hit with the 24inch rear. All still get a run every few weeks
  • 5 0
 Very cool. Just like the "Now that was a bike" features, factory tours are a welcome sight here too.
  • 5 0
 People will use the term 'like a kid in a candy shop' until they see me in a Yeti warehouse.
  • 6 1
 I think it would have been funny if they had a dentist chair in that front showroom.
  • 9 5
 What a monster of a speed bike.

See what I did there? Yeti? Monster? I'll get my coat....
  • 16 0
 i've called you a taxi..
  • 21 0
 Wheres my royalties? $$$$
  • 1 0
 That pun was abominable.
  • 4 0
 I want to know which bike failed at Whistler and badly injured Luca! I want to know now!
  • 3 1
 My yeti ownership lasted last than 1 year,cracked both triangles. Can’t fault customer service as the sent out a brand new frame. Built new bike and sold it...short and sweet
  • 1 0
 I have an sb150 and previously sb130, sb5.5. Love their bikes but I always felt Yeti glamourized their first 20 years. I dont think their reputation was really very good at all. The last 5 years they have made some great progress. Bikes now are finally worth their sticker price, and I'm happy to pay it.
  • 1 0
 I love everything about Yeti (almost), the aesthetics, the ethos, this lunch ride thing, the history, they're definitely at the cooler end of the spectrum, everyone I know who's got one stays loyal and raves about the ride dynamics, but they're also on their 2nd or 3rd frame, not that they seem bothered because they rave about the warranty too. It's just that I don't want that potential hassle in my life.
  • 5 0
 DZ will save us
  • 3 0
 I’m hoping one day yeti will do the same as ibis and start producing ‘affordable’ alloy versions of their line up.
  • 13 11
 Must be hard to Guerrilla Gravity down the road and see them already surpass Yeti's success with American carbon manufacturing.
  • 10 17
flag freestyIAM (Nov 22, 2019 at 10:33) (Below Threshold)
 I wouldn't be too smug about my carbon front triangle if i were GG. Word is their rear triangle maybe exploded during the PB field test. PS. yes i know Yeti also has a sordid history with its rear triangles.
  • 11 0
 GG’s rear triangle isn’t carbon, it’s aluminum.
  • 11 8
 @stevemokan: I didn't say it was. and so what? I don't care what its made of its it explodes.
  • 3 1
 @freestyIAM: This wasn't a dig on either brand. Just an observation that Yeti was now trying to produce carbon in house.
  • 5 1
 @freestyIAM: my guess is the S-WORKS Enduro broke the carbon links. Already several examples online.
  • 1 0
 @stevemokan: Alright. So it's explosion proof?
  • 14 0
 @freestyIAM: GG's frame wasn't the one failing... Look up north if you want to find the broken one.
  • 2 7
flag freestyIAM (Nov 22, 2019 at 15:16) (Below Threshold)
 @southoftheborder: If you are refering to the Pole Stamina 140, that is one of two bikes that failed. I'm speculating that the other one is the GG.

@yzedf We shall see. Be sure to check back in and gloat if you are right. I know I will Wink
  • 2 7
flag hardcore-hardtail (Nov 22, 2019 at 15:21) (Below Threshold)
 Yeti seems to be more of an engineering focused company than GG. GG uses an extremely simple suspension design that has been around for years, their focus is obviously much more on the manufacturing side. Neither is easy, it would be very expensive to do both, you generally have to pick a focus and go for it. I appreciate the hardcore engineering approach that Yeti follows. Kind of like comparing Ferrari to Kia, one makes the best, the other makes a lot. Neither approach is wrong, just different.
  • 29 0
 Manufacturing bikes in Colorado is rad! And keep guessing about which bike broke at the Field Test...
  • 4 0
 @freestyIAM: not that far up north, just across the border...
  • 5 0

Why is assumed that a more complicated design is better? GG uses a Horst link which is the same suspension design that a lot of other manufacturers use. Yeti manufacturers there bikes in Vietnam. GG manufacturers there bikes in Denver. I know which one I ended up selling and going to.
  • 1 0
 @freestyIAM: don't speculate, its not nice..
  • 1 0
 @hardcore-hardtail: GG puts out more bikes than Yeti?...
  • 5 2
 @hardcore-hardtail: it’s a linkage activated single pivot. The pivot moves up and down a few millimeters on those rails/sliders. Interesting? Sure. High tech? Not really. Not to mention all the rear triangle issues and running changes trying to fix them. Not a good example of quality engineering. They are an excellent example of a company creating a community. Much like Apple or Tesla.
  • 2 0
 @freestyIAM: the other bike that reportedly failed was the RM Slayer with broken stays. a
  • 2 0
 @freestyIAM: wanna bet on that?

GG frames are pretty tough.
  • 2 0
 @matttauszik: Sorry, not what I meant I chose a bad analogy. The point I was trying to make is that if you manufacture your own products as opposed to paying a factory in Vietnam to do it, your company has to spend a lot of resources on production processes and equipment as well as design a bike. Some companies may find that is a distraction while other companies want to be entirely in control of their production.

Neither approach is wrong, I was just trying to highlight the differences in each companies approach as I see it. I'm all for vertical integration like Guerrilla Gravity has done, that generally nets a higher quality product.
  • 1 0
 @yzedf: I've never heard a sliding pivot called simple before.
  • 1 0
 @hardcore-hardtail: I’m not sure why not?
  • 1 0
 @yzedf: I suppose that tells me everything I need to know, good talk.
  • 2 0
 @yzedf: I am quite familiar with the system. I'm curious on which suspension layouts you think are more "High Tech"?

You don't think a rearward axle path is a desirable characteristic of a suspension system?

I am also confused on what you're argument is, are you saying the Switch Infinity system wasn't a difficult engineering problem?

Yeti not only invented a novel suspension system that apparently works quite well (never really ridden one). They also worked with FOX on the execution of the translating pivot, and had to fit the entire system that has never been seen before on a bike. Pretty impressive for such a small company and it tells us what they have been spending their time on.

Not to say that inventing and developing a novel manufacturing process like GG have done is any easier, just different approaches to the bike biz.
  • 2 0
 @hardcore-hardtail: or maybe they worked with Fox on it because they couldn’t do it themselves? It’s all marketing so they could have a patented system. If you don’t like a lot of pedal kickback (22 degrees for the sb150) Yeti is definitely not for you.
  • 1 0
 @hardcore-hardtail: the rearward axle path is overrated for most bikes out there, except maybe for the high pivot ones. Most bikes get 1-3 cm of rearward wheel movement, and that number diminishes dramatically after the SAG point. Less pedal contamination/feedback and less brake interaction are much more relevant in relation to how a bike flows over bumps and holes in it's path.
  • 2 0
 Mmmmm elevated hoop stays are so dope. I rode one of those once for about 100 yards and have wanted one ever since. Someone build one with modern geo and take my money!!!
  • 5 1
 Bring back the DH frame!!!
  • 5 0
 I love my sb6c
  • 2 0
 I have worked right by this office for years, and have often crossed paths with their staff out on lunch rides. Very cool to finally see exactly what's going on in there!
  • 5 1
 Id rather go next door and get a commencal
  • 2 0
 I work right next to them! Having dropped by their shop a few times, I can confirm that it's a dope place. I can also confirm that the trails around here are great.
  • 4 1
 Broke a yeti frame and had horrible customer service. Don’t believe the hype.
  • 3 0
 I still have a 96 Schwinn Homegrown made by Yeti on my wall. Bassboat blue! Smile
  • 1 0
 Can someone please explain how this design works? it's head fkd me since I first saw it. One of those suspension kinetics vids would be perfect...
  • 3 0
 It's a pull shock, the swing arm on the left, with the wheel on it moves up, causing the bit to the right of the pivot to go down/left and pull on the shock, compressing it.
  • 3 0
 I want a frame in that 'early sample' carbon charcoal look!
  • 3 1
 Photos of Yeti's HQ and Grave's jerseys and no pictures of the Yeti 4x #triggered
  • 5 1
 You might want to look again.
  • 1 0
 @nozes: You might want to check yourself. The hardtail used for 4x was the "Yeti DJ", the "Yeti 4x" was their dual suspension bike for 4x. Ah back before 4x tracks were just glorified bmx tracks
  • 4 1
 How about all of the racer names being dropped without a mention of Juli Furtado? Shameful. Ya know, the only racer to ever win World Champs in XC and DH. Maybe it has something to do with her Santa Cruz affiliation (Juliana Bikes).
  • 4 1
 My SB130....the one that rules them ALL. Great job guys.
  • 3 0
 Bring back high spec'd aluminum bikes damnit...
  • 6 0
 You can find those just up the road in Lyons, CO. They say “REEB” on the downtube.
  • 1 1
 I never could get along with the extra suspension at the bottom of their bikes. Whenever I adjusted the hsc and lsc the bolts would back out during the ride. Eventually this led to cracks so I had to buy a new rear pentagon.
  • 3 0
 Wish Yeti would do another downhill bike, the 303 was such a cool bike!
  • 5 1
 I love Yeti
  • 1 0
 Drooled over their bikes back in the 90s when I started riding, spent a couple decades working my butt off, finally bought one. Love it.
  • 2 0
 -So, what do you do for a living?
+I'm the chief Switch Infinity bearing presser.
  • 2 0
 very very cool , their racing legacy is something to be super proud of
  • 2 0
 Is the proto SB66 mule a large? How for it?
  • 4 0
 It for the night.
  • 2 0 much for it?
  • 1 0
 sad how the only way most companies even consider making a Dh bike is if its for racing.
  • 1 0
 Rode an ASR 5 (still have it) for years and just purchased an SB130. Absolutely worth every penny.
  • 2 1
 The enthusiasm for their ' mission ' shows in their eyes. These guys are committed! It's nice to see.
  • 3 2
 I don’t get it. Why everyone so excited and fapping on china boutiques even if they assembled in us warehouse??
  • 2 0
 Absolutely no knee pads were worn that day !
Kashima coated knee caps ?
  • 13 13
 Unpopular opinion : Disposable bikes for people with a lot of disposable income
  • 6 0
 Meh. Their bikes really aren't that much more than the competition plus in places like CO they hold their value pretty well.
  • 4 3
 Not like those cheap Pivots, Evils, Scott's, Ibis, or Santa Cruz bikes.... Give me a break, this is a sport for disposable income. The idea that Yetis are markedly more than other non mass produced aluminum bikes is just silly.
  • 1 0
 Awsm article.thanks Pinkbike. !!
  • 1 0
 Got an ASX up for grabs if anyone wants it?
  • 1 0
 hope for a new dh bike and a new dh team!!!
  • 1 0
 Aluminum - Made In USA ...FTAC = Fudge the asian carbon Smile
  • 2 0
 Yeti for ever!!!
  • 1 0
 loving the 165. thing shreds.
  • 1 0
 So glad I didnt waste time reading the advertisement
  • 1 0
 Inside Dentist Teeth Factory.
  • 1 0
 Field test let’s go
  • 3 3
 Turquoise ....aka Pepto Blue
  • 6 9
 "Their pairing of Jared Graves and Richie Rude at the time proved deadly. "

Understatement of the year, did you think we´d forgotten ? Or worse, believed the bullsh1t excuses?
  • 1 1
 They need more water bottles - or other athletes
  • 1 0
 Their bikes are dope
  • 4 6
 Guess everyone forgot that Jared an richie got caught cheating.. Sure that has nothing to do with their first place wins. Steroids dont help that much.......
  • 7 8
 The American flag on the wall is backwards.
  • 9 12
 ^ This. Also the Colorado state flag is larger than the American flag. This is another flag etiquette breach.
  • 7 0
 @Saiyan66: that is unacceptable
  • 1 1
 If the flag is rotated 90 degrees, do the stars still have to be in the upper left corner..?
  • 3 1
 @DutchmanPhotos: Yes, the stars should always be on the upper left hand corner. At least when displaying a flag. It's different for the flags on soldiers shoulders.
  • 3 4
 @yeticycles Please fix this isuue. The Union in the flag should always be in the upper left whether displayed horizontally or vertically, No other flag when displayed together with the US flag shall be larger than the US flag or above it

@ubermodelr thanks for pointing this out. I was getting ready to post it, but I scanned the comments and to had beat me to it.
  • 6 3
 @Saiyan66: TF cares? Our president humped a flag on television. They sell flag bathing suits and beach towels.
  • 4 2
 @moutnbiker: Chill out, it’s just a flag..
  • 1 0
 @moutnbiker: what about when the US flag is displayed in another country ?
  • 1 0
 @matttauszik: exactly , the idea that Americans who voted for Trump get their pants in a knot about any of this is just amazing.
  • 2 0
 @DGWW: as an American, I agree, it’s gotten kinda stoopid down here, upset over things like flags and guns, when the cost of living is forcing families onto the streets. It should be embarrassing, but instead of doing the right thing, they are focused on conceal carry, flavored vaping, and controlling women’s bodies. I say f*ck em all, I wanna move to Canada!
  • 2 0
 We make our flag into beach towels and boxer shorts.
  • 9 9
 Best bikes made.
  • 7 3
 I'm not so sure about that. I know too many friends that have cracked multiple front and rear triangles both turq and non-turq. And dont let them fool you into thinking the frames you ride are the same as their pros. the factory team are not riding stock frames. They are beefed up layups and they still crack.
  • 5 1
 @privatejoker: you know that the team riders ride beefed up frames for a fact? I have had multiple carbon Yetis. I only cracked one. All bikes can be broken. I have seen SC carbon frames crack, Intense’s fail catastrophically, etc... I really don’t get too frazzled about failed frames provided the manufacturer provides hassle free expedient service. Yeti goes above and beyond when it comes to warranty service.
  • 4 2
 @privatejoker: “the factory team are not riding stock frames. They are beefed up layups and they still crack.”
So is this true for EWS or National team riders? oh and the Regional riders, and all their ambassadors?
Your an idiot
  • 5 1
 @truehipster: when calling someone an idiot , you REALLY need to be careful to use correct grammar , no way around it.
  • 1 2
 @DGWW: correct me with an English class! He is still an idiot!
National pride?
  • 1 2
 Update the ARC-X you cowards. You'd sell more than you could make.
  • 2 3
 And not one dentist in the writeup
  • 3 4
 Yeti mechanic; snap-on, airpods, and shitty park tool. Sums up the brand.
  • 6 9
 that awful turqoise color and effeminate frame style is over half the reason i dont buy yeti
  • 4 7
 Yeti is doing away with switch infinity and there flexy flaxy ass..
  • 24 3
 Like you're doing away with grammar...
  • 9 1
 And spelling...
  • 7 0
 So a brute like Rude is hampered by these flexy flaxy stays and SI system, huh?
  • 5 0
 I hate flaxy ass. Always was too much fibers in them seeds.
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