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Review: 2023 Yeti SB135

Jun 26, 2023
by Dario DiGiulio  
Although their lineup contains a wide variety of bikes for just about every off-road discipline, Yeti is a brand most people strongly associate with racing. They've put an immense amount of work and time into their racing programs over the years, and have the wins and speedy rigs to back it up. But fast times aren't the only thing going on there, and no bike embodies that better than their newest: the SB135, "the dopamine machine."

The most eye-catching feature on the 135 won't be its sporty travel and clean lines, but the fact that it has 27.5" wheels in the back and the front. Rejoice, all you folks bemoaning the dominance of the big wheels, as this is one of the few full-27.5 bikes still available from a major manufacturer.
Yeti SB135

• 27.5" front and rear
• 135mm frame travel, 150mm fork
(160mm on Lunch Ride)
• 65.4° head angle (65° Lunch Ride)
• 400-504mm reach
• 429-437mm chainstays
• Size-specific seat tube angle
• XS-XL, MD-XL Lunch Ride
• Weight: 32 lb / 14.5 kg
• Frameset: $4,300 USD
• MSRP: $6,400-$10,300 USD
yeticycles.com

I've been testing the very nicely appointed LR T3 Turq, which retails for $9,500 USD. It comes kitted with a Fox Factory 36 fork and Float X shock, SRAM Code Ultimate brakes, a 12-speed SRAM XO AXS Transmission drivetrain, and DT Swiss EX 1700 aluminum wheels.




bigquotesThe geometry and feel of the bike add plenty of excitement to mellower sections of trail, but with enough capability to push things into some gnarlier terrain.Dario DiGiulio




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Frame Details

Yeti's frames come in both a standard layup and an enhanced Turq flavor. The Turq models shave about 190 grams off the frame weight while retaining the same strength and stiffness as the standard frames. Regardless of which layup you choose, the frame cuts a lovely silhouette, with relatively slim tubes compared to many modern frames.

For those in the Small and Extra Small bracket, a great deal of attention has been paid to the fit and usability of those frames, with very low standover, maximized seatpost insertion, and space for a bottle all baked in. This required the engineering of a completely different front shock mount, linkage, and rear swing arm, an effort that the team at Yeti is quite proud of.

Though Yeti has yet to integrate any sort of frame storage into their frames, there's plenty of room for a water bottle, with space to strap some spares to the top tube as well. The two-layer downtube protection is very effective, and also keeps things quiet thanks to the rubber insulation behind the plastic shell.

Though I'll die on the "all bikes should have external routing" hill, the clean and easy tube-in-tube routing on the Yeti is slick enough to calm me down for a moment or two. Not only do the cables glide through the frame beautifully, but they've added cleanly integrated clamps at the entry and exit to keep things as quiet and secure as possible. The routing is free of any weird bends or kinks, and handles the movement of the suspension without issue.

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Geometry in the non-Lunch Ride configuration.

Geometry & Sizing

The SB135 has a modern, though not extreme, geometry chart that matches the character of the bike quite well. With a 160mm fork (as tested), the reach on the size Large is 475mm, and the head angle is an even 65°. Chainstays grow with each size, landing at 435mm on the Large.

The seat tube angle is a healthy 76.5° in the Lunch Ride setup, which gives a nice upright feel to the bike, despite the lower than average stack numbers. I added some higher rise bars to account for the stack, and a fresh build with a longer fork steerer might be nice for other tall folks.

We see so many geometry charts with values that reflect the changes brought on by 29" wheels that it can be hard to calibrate to a full-27.5" bike's numbers, but in this case things are fairly progressive within the category.

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Suspension Design

The SB135 uses Yeti's patented Switch Infinity design, which utilizes a main pivot that translates position as the linkage cycles, allowing the 4-bar system to be tuned for optimal anti-squat and leverage values at specific points throughout the travel. As Yeti puts it: "In the beginning and mid-section of travel – when Switch Infinity moves up – a relatively flat and high anti-squat curve ­creates an efficient pedaling platform through the entire pedaling zone. When Switch Infinity reverses direction, anti-squat drastically drops for freedom of suspension movement."

The shock is tuned to work in conjunction with the Switch Infinity's range of motion in the last 1/3 of travel, giving the bike very good bottom-out resistance, especially considering the fairly linear 14% progression.

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Specifications
Release Date 2023
Price $9500
Travel 135mm
Rear Shock Fox Float X, 210x55
Fork Fox Factory 36, 160mm
Headset Cane Creek 40
Cassette SRAM XO Transmission
Crankarms SRAM XO Alloy
Chainguide none
Bottom Bracket SRAM DUB
Pedals n/a
Rear Derailleur SRAM XO Transmission
Chain SRAM XO Transmission
Front Derailleur none
Shifter Pods SRAM XO Transmission
Handlebar Yeti Carbon
Stem Burgtech Enduro MK3, 50mm
Grips ODI Elite
Brakes SRAM Code Ultimate
Wheelset DT Swiss EX1700 30mm
Hubs DT Swiss 350
Spokes DT Swiss Competition Straightpull
Rim DT Swiss EX1700
Tires Maxxis DHF / DHRII
Seat WTB Silverado
Seatpost Fox Transfer, 200mm



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Test Bike Setup

I only swapped a couple components out for my long-term test, and that was mostly to suit personal preferences. The Yeti brand handlebar and 50mm Burgtec stem came off, and I mounted a 42mm stem and higher-rise Renthal bar in their place. The same goes for the stock Maxxis EXO+ tires, which are well suited to most trail bike applications, but felt a little squirmy on the SB135, given how fast you can corner the bike in well-supported turns. I mounted some DH casing Continentals and pushed hard in the corners without a worry.

160 psi in the Fox Float X shock put me a little above 30% sag, which suited the feel of the bike through a wide variety of terrain. Yeti provides a solid setup recommendation via their suspension calculator, but it's important to remember that this is just a starting point.



Dario DiGiulio
Dario DiGiulio
Location: Bellingham, WA, USA
Height: 6'3" / 191cm
Inseam: 34" / 86cm
Weight: 175 lbs / 81.6 kg
Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
Instagram: @danger_dario


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Climbing

The SB135 offers is composed and comfortable in the climbs, with a suspension feel that keeps things even and supportive while absorbing small hits along the way. The magic of the Switch Infinity system allows for the bike to remain active under pedaling without feeling too wallowy, giving a solid amount of grip for how efficient it feels overall.

Thanks to the fairly steep seat tube angle and balanced front and rear centers, the seated position is nice and upright, assuming you can account for the low-feeling stack height with a higher-rise bar.

It's easy to change line through technical climbs thanks to the relatively short wheelbase and little wheels. Those 27.5" wheels do get more hung up on some obstacles, but they have the flip-side benefit of being able to spin up faster to attack sections of a climb. I found myself giving tech climbs more of a stop and surge approach, compared to just motoring through like I might on a longer-travel 29er.

The sporty Yeti isn't geared towards XC racing, and the 32lb. weight reflects that, but at no point did it feel heavy on trail. The bike simply felt planted and predictable, and more than happy to pedal hard all day should you be up to the task.

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Descending

A paradoxical little machine, the SB135. Small wheels are supposed to be slower, yet it feels fast. They're twitchier and easier to turn, but somehow you can still get things to calm down at speed. Turns out, a bike is a bike, and this little Yeti is a very fun one. From a geometry standpoint, the SB135 isn't exactly cutting edge, but if you've been riding long enough to have adapted to the shape of bikes 10 years ago, you'll quickly remember that there can be quite a bit of fun in swinging off the back of a smaller bike and making it work.

Sizing plays a critical roll here, as I've been spending time on the size Large, with a relatively short 475mm reach. I could just as easily get along with the XL's 505mm length, but that would take away some of the spunky nature of the bike, biasing instead towards overall stability. If I were trying to race this bike for some reason, I'd probably go with the bigger frame, but that's really not the SB135's purview.

What the smaller bike does offer is a tight wheelbase that slots nicely into corners of all sizes, pumps effectively anywhere on trail, and catches backside in a way that longer and bigger bikes may not be able to. Many of the trails I regularly ride were built deep in the prehistoric era of the triple chainring, so modern wheelbase numbers and wheel sizes were hardly considered when constructing features. That rarely poses a problem, given how capable modern bikes have become, but the SB135 provides a very cool sensation that I haven't felt on some of those bigger sleds: the perfect two-wheeled backside. Smaller undulating features and one-off bits of tech suddenly offered an opportunity to generate a bit more speed, thanks to the shorter wheelbase and smaller wheels. Obviously there's a tradeoff when you encounter a feature that's more significant, but that pumptrack feeling is one that kept me keen to ride the Yeti on more and more of the local trails I know well.

I found the SB135 to be very easy to ride, especially if you have an active style on the bike, moving machine and body around to make the most of the trail ahead. The additional feedback you get from the smaller wheels and tighter numbers just goads you on to mess around even more, turning mundane sections of trail into a hoot and a holler.

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All this talk of fun and exciting handling has to reach its limit at some point, and the SB135 does a good job of letting you know when you've hit that ceiling. Over the course of long rides that ranged into gnarlier terrain, I found that the Yeti found its limits before I did, in steep and janky terrain where you're fighting to stay in control of the bike anyway. It's very easy to change direction and pick smaller patches of lines, but the smaller wheels and tighter geometry can get pinged out of your desired path quite easily if you're not on point.

Though the handling gives less room for error than a big truck of an enduro bike might, the suspension performance remains impressive through thick and thin. The team at Yeti did a great job of packaging the smooth and predictable feel of the Switch Infinity system into the smaller travel bracket. Grip is plentiful and support seems to be there whenever you want it on trail. This is a tricky sensation to describe, but the bike manages to pump in a way that feels efficient, while still absorbing the bumps and chatter along the way.

The harder-hitting parts spec of the Lunch Ride kit is key to some of the mannerisms I've come to enjoy on the SB135, with stronger brakes, more fork travel, and burlier wheels all playing a critical role in the end product. If you're really trying to make the most of mellower trails, then the standard spec might be enough, but for those with more serious steeps and features, the LR kit does push the Yeti a bit closer to the capability of bigger bikes on the market.

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Pivot Shadowcat review

As a Mullet

Since this is going to be a chief curiosity amongst folks, I figured I had to try the SB135 with a big wheel out front. The team at Yeti is more than okay with people opting for this setup, though they stand by their choice to keep the bike full 27.5". In order to preserve geometry as much as possible, I chose to run a 140mm 29" Pike Ultimate, though you could run a 150mm fork without things getting too weird.

The handling was generally unchanged, though I did notice that the bike lost some ability to dive into pockets with quite the same oomph as it had with the smaller wheel up front. Part of that is due to the larger diameter wheel keeping the front end up and out of smaller compressions on trail. Another element is likely the fundamental difference between the Pike and the 36 - not the ideal comparison, I know. The 36 on this bike was delightfully active, tracking well and moving quite a bit as you pumped the bike. On the other hand, the Pike is a bit more hesitant to push through its travel, valuing efficiency and chassis stability. This made for a slightly imbalanced feel, given that active rear end feel I mentioned prior.

Ultimately, this will be an experiment for SB135 owners to carry out themselves, as the preference is going to depend a lot on your terrain and how you ride. For the jumpy flowy trails here in Bellingham, the full-27.5 version felt more balanced and exciting; whether it was faster and more stable, I'm not so sure. For those who want to turn this bike into a downhill-focused enduro bike, maybe consider getting an SB160 before raking out the front end and sticking a long-travel 29" fork in there.


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Yeti SB135
HyperFocal 0
Santa Cruz 5010

How does it compare?

With a dwindling crop of full-27.5" bikes on the market these days, the options are a little slim when it comes to exact comparisons for the SB135. Pivot's Shadowcat comes to mind, though the geo and parts spec are a bit more conservative than the harder-hitting Lunch Ride-equipped SB135. Pivot touts the 140mm DW-link bike as one that caters towards fast pedaling, and I wonder how it would stack up against the smooth and active 135mm Yeti. The Transition Scout is a bit more descent-minded, with geometry and build kits biasing towards steeper and heavier terrain.

Throughout the test, the bike that kept coming to mind was the newest Santa Cruz 5010. No longer a full-27.5" bike, the 5010 now sports an MX setup, though many of the characteristics of the bikes were quite similar. Sizing hits a bit differently between the two, with Santa Cruz's numbers catering towards me a bit better - the 495mm XL fit me quite well. On other fronts, the geo of the 5010 is a bit more progressive, with a much higher stack number (even when balanced for the larger front wheel), a 0.5° slacker head angle, and 5mm longer chainstays per size.

On the descents, the nature of the bikes are both geared towards jumping, cornering, and jibbing around, though the 5010 edges slightly ahead when it comes to handling gnarly terrain at speed. That larger front wheel certainly helps, but the suspension also mutes hits a bit more, as opposed to the poppier feel of the SB135. Climbing prowess goes to the Yeti, with a more neutral feel through bumpy climbs and under harder pedaling.

Both are very expensive bikes, with the build kits I tested hovering around the $10,000 mark. Both have excellent frame quality, solid warranties, and beautiful finishing touches. All told though, I'd go with the 5010, as the added convenience of the Glovebox, the fuss-free suspension, and the slightly more capable feeling geometry made it a hard bike to beat. The SB135 may suit those with mellower terrain better, especially if you're valuing the climbs and descents evenly.

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Which Model is the Best Value?

If you've decided to commit to the 27.5" lifestyle and that the SB135 is the bike for you, then it comes time to decide on the parts package that best suits your wallet and your preference. With the frame alone costing $4,300, there are no budget-friendly options in the lineup. That said, there are a couple models that offer decent value, especially considering the quality of the frame itself.

For $6,900 you can have the LR C2 model, with LR connoting the Lunch Ride spec. I'd bias pretty heavily towards those more-capable parts choices, because I found the longer travel fork and stronger brake spec key to the performance of the SB135. The Fox Performance Elite 36 and Float X are excellent suspension items, offering the same on-trail performance as the Factory models, with simply less brown on the stanchions. The GX mechanical drivetrain is tried and true, as are the DT Swiss wheels. SRAM Code R brakes require a bit more maintenance and care than the RSC variants, but offer plenty of power and adjustability.

Again, you aren't going to be associating the Yeti brand with price-conscious models anytime soon, but they've done a good job of speccing the models with sensible parts that should last for years to come, and not require too much in the way of instant upgrades.

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Technical Report

As with all of their other newest frames, Yeti has consolidated the bearings into the linkage hardware itself, making it easier to work on and replace the bearings when the time comes. Santa Cruz has been beating this drum for a while now, and it's great to see other brands follow suit, as it really does make the process easier and less stressful - there's nothing quite like banging a seized bearing out of a carbon frame to get the fear sweat going.

On the suspension elements topic, I do have to point out one critical flaw that I've experienced with the Switch Infinity on my personal SB160. While the hardware on the bike is generally well guarded from the elements, the heart of the system - that Kashima-coated Switch Unit - is susceptible to quite a bit of wear, especially in wet environments. Yeti recommends a 20-hour service interval in wet and slimy conditions like we have here in Bellingham, which is far more frequent than most home mechanics will adhere to. This leads to premature wear and tear, with my personal bike's Switch Unit needing replacement after only a few months this winter. Obviously, my environment and ride volume is a unique use case, but this is definitely something to be mindful of. If you're riding in dry and dusty conditions, that interval is 75-100 hours, so it'll fall in line with that regular shock service that you're probably putting off.

Through the test period, the SB135's Switch Unit didn't experience too much wear, though a mysterious creak did develop in the linkage, likely due to water and grime ingress. After cleaning the linkage, and thoroughly re-greasing, I was able to chase the creak away, but it ought not occur after only a couple hundred miles of riding.

Fox Factory 36: I've had mixed results with some of the 36s I've had on test recently, but it's worth pointing out just how flawless this copy was. No CSU creaking, no extra grease in the air chamber, and fantastic performance for the duration of the test. I think the ability of this fork to handle chop at speed made up for some of the inherent rollover setbacks of the smaller front wheel, keeping the front of the bike tracking just a little bit better when things got rough.

SRAM Code RSCs: Little bikes deserve excellent brakes too, and I'm happy to see them here. That is all.

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Pros

+ Makes cornering and jibbing as fun as can be
+ Comfortable and composed climber
+ Feels fast, especially on mellower terrain


Cons

- High cost for a niche bike
- Durability concerns with Switch Infinity Unit
- Not a do-it-all bike for gnarly terrain



Pinkbike's Take

bigquotesThe SB135 is a fun-focused trail bike that can handle long days of hard pedaling as well as a day sessioning jumps and features. The geometry and feel of the bike add plenty of excitement to mellower sections of trail, but with enough capability to push things into some gnarlier terrain.

It feels like more of a pint-sized trail bike specialist than an all-mountain machine, and is quite expensive for such a niche category. However, if smaller wheels are your jam, and you want a beautifully appointed frame to connect them together, the SB135 is well worth a look. 
Dario DiGiulio






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233 Comments
  • 185 1
 "Yeti recommends a 20-hour service interval," That would be a rebuild every 2 weeks for me in winter. I suppose it's a good advert for a hardtail, or an explanation of how Orange remain popular in the UK.
  • 33 107
flag skierdud89 (Jun 26, 2023 at 8:39) (Below Threshold)
 It takes like 15 minutes to do. Hardly the most time intensive piece of maintenance on a modern day full sus bike.
  • 103 4
 @skierdud89: and yet, it's something that makes this bike less appealing, esp at their price point.
  • 53 4
 Yeah, adding yet another piece of hardware to service on top of everything else, when there are bikes that are just as good for less money. These bikes really seem like they're designed for the type who doesn't ever do their own maintenance.
  • 26 0
 @skierdud89: So in an average rainy season (Oct-April) that's another 3+ hours of spanner time. My Cotic gets new bearings once a year in May, my buddy's Megatower the same, my other buddy's Nicolai the same again. It's all well and good justifying it, but it's down time other bikes simply don't need, which is a bad look for Yeti.
  • 32 59
flag skierdud89 (Jun 26, 2023 at 9:13) (Below Threshold)
 Lol, remove wheel and 1 pivot, grease two small ports, put it back together. I'm exhausted just thinking about it.
  • 18 2
 To be fair, that's in the most extreme situation, typically it's much longer.
  • 33 1
 @skierdud89: Extra maintenance is extra maintenance.

Again, there are cheaper bikes that perform a similar level, with less maintenance.
  • 19 1
 @skierdud89: I mean, there isn't any service interval on my transition that I need to perform every two weeks other than washing my bike.
  • 9 1
 It is really a race bike and as such frequent maintenance is a must. That's why I sold the 3 I had. Got tired of servicing the bearings and switch infinity.
  • 23 0
 My SB130 went through three sets of bearings in 18 months (mine you I’m 135 lbs soaking wet) and my SI unit ate itself after I neglected it for a few weeks during a winter. It was enough for me to steer away from Yeti. Seems like a design flaw to put such a critical and sensitive component right in the firing line of trail debris without so much as a cover or fender.
  • 22 21
 it's funny - I've never heard a lot of gripes about switch infinity maintenance, until now.
  • 16 2
 @shredddr: Uh, I've heard about it for years.
  • 49 0
 What’s a service interval?
  • 37 1
 Does Yeti accept Delta Dental? I do believe this falls under "Preventative Care".
  • 6 1
 @Oxiros: Except that the SB160 is really the only "race" bike that actually races.
  • 4 3
 It's not so long ago from 25 hours for Fox lowers
  • 3 1
 And I don't really know what you guys are doing, but usually it takes few day in bikepark before I check and service more than this minute job
  • 8 7
 @skierdud89: Takes me 15 min to put the bike in the stand. No way any home mechanics are 1) doing any maintenance every 20 hrs, and 2) getting a switch infinity service done in 15 min. I also just read through the service and sorry, but not even a shop mechanic who does it all day every day is taking apart the upper and lower linkage and cleaning/greasing it in 15 min.
  • 7 0
 You can tell this bike was built and tested in Colorado with insane service intervals like that. 300 days of sunshine means lots and lots of moon dust and dry trails.
  • 52 0
 @sanchofula: yeah at this price point I’d expect the bike to service me every 20 hours
  • 9 4
 I've been riding in England, Wales and Scotland and hardly anyone rides Orange these days.
  • 8 0
 I wouldn’t call it a rebuild, you just squeeze some grease through the ports
  • 7 0
 I loved the feel of the switch infinity, I'd have the sb160 in a heart beat if I didn't have to maintain it myself. But here we are, I had three infinity links in two years on the sb165, and that's with more than regular servicing to try stave off the stanchions wearing. But that wasn't the worst part, it was the bearings in the infinity link that would seize within a month of winter riding. I'd get new ones and fill them with marine grease, but no good. after a month or so I'd feel them going notchy and stiff again. Fuck ever having one again as a DIY home mechanic.
  • 4 0
 The maintenance interval is a hard pass for me and the price is as well. Double whammy deal breaker.
  • 5 0
 @dariodigiulio: it isn’t really. Most customers I have had that have brought a yeti in, have a completed cooked switch infinity. They just don’t notice it.

20hrs is 20hrs but if you get unlucky with a bit of grit in past the seal, it becomes a lapping paste and destroys it so fast.
  • 1 0
 @bonfire: Pretty wet in Nelson too, right? My only frame of reference is Bellingham, where soil is gritty and rain is prevalent. I'd be curious to hear how desert-climate shops users fare, seems the design would benefit those areas.
  • 6 0
 it's not even enough to be a dentist anymore, you have to be the guy inventing dentistry tools to afford one of these
  • 5 0
 @olafthemoose: difficult to access. The collet bolt freezes in place quite nicely. I always had to bring to LBS who used a hammer to remove in order to grease it. I went through 2 switch infinity mechs at a cost of more than $400 each, on 2 different bikes, even though I adhered to recommended service intervals. Was quite happy to purchase a different bike I liked more, with easier maintenance.
  • 5 5
 a service interval is 2 pumps with a grease gun in two grease nipples. jt takes longer to check your tire pressure.
  • 2 0
 Solution to that? a Shadowcat.
  • 8 0
 @materials-guy: it's not just two pumps of grease, it's realising your bearings have seized again and the infinity link stanchions have worn again and then ordering a new link on warranty!

If you've been lucky enough not to have this experience like 80% of other yeti riders, great! But if not you must be wearing rose tinted glasses still and unable to admit it's a high maintenance bike
  • 2 0
 @sampo18: My Yeti is a 2017, replace bearings yes, but every 1.5 to 2 years. I keep on top of greasing the switch link cause I know of other peoples issues with it. Still on first link but I do have a spare one that I got on warranty just cause.
When I get new bearings I pull the seals and add a higher quality grease to the bearings
  • 1 0
 Why is red?
  • 1 0
 @eight-n-burly: except for this past winter and spring which has been a soggy mess throughout CO.
  • 8 1
 @tgent: I'm no pro mechanic and have had Switch Infinity for 18 months now. Takes me about 20 minutes from wheel off to wheel back on, unless I spend extra time cleaning the hard to get to spaces you can get to with the main pivot bolt removed. I went through all my bearings last winter and only had to replace the main pivot bearings and one of those could have been saved. I'm in coastal Maine, and it you don't ride often if you only ride dry trails ( I think we've had two days without rain in the last month :/ ) I was definitely worried about having do more maintenance, but its a pretty small increase compared to other designs I've had. And it works really well.
  • 2 0
 @sampo18: crazy! I guess I’m not alone. I had bearings seize insanely quickly and start indexing within a month or two. I thought I was going crazy
  • 1 1
 @sampo18: The 20hr service is two pumps of grease. I was not talking about a full service.
Unless you do shit for regular maintenance. Then I guess you should be on a hardtail.
  • 3 0
 @fpecan: yep, literally bearings were shot rapid. I must have had six orders of bearings in two years from the local dealer silverfish.

Must be my shit maintenance skills ey?
  • 3 0
 @materials-guy: I agree it is a 20-30 minute service!

But then you spin that infinity link bearing and it doesn't move... There's a reason they've updated the design and it's not because customers are having a fantastic experience with it, let's agree on that?
  • 1 0
 @shredddr: then you haven't been paying attention!
  • 1 0
 Yes GP1 suspension maintenance intervals on a bicycle. Just what consumers want
  • 1 0
 @olafthemoose: where’s the nips on this thing. My guns ready
  • 100 1
 *Novocaine Machine
  • 13 2
 Came here knowing this user would be in the comments :-) Not disappointed.
  • 3 0
 @jdejace: au contraire i bought a number plate for the ferrari instead
  • 1 0
 How many hits of nitrous oxide will the T4 Turq build get me?
  • 1 0
 @jdejace:

So...you're saying he's the Ed McMahon of Yeti threads?
  • 66 3
 With companies like Propain, Canyon, Fezzari whatever out there where you can get a fully built RS Ultimate, X01 build for about $6k I truly don't understand the desire of anyone to get a Yeti except for name recognition. I get it, local shop etc etc. but SLX and Fox Performance for $6400....ok. I make enough to afford one of these things but would never be able to justify it to myself....or to my wife for that matter.
  • 34 0
 To boot (and I say this as a recent, former Yeti owner) their bikes are exactly "good". There are plenty of bikes from other brands that are exactly as good - I didn't find any magic in the Yeti suspension design. Frankly, I switched from the Yeti SB150 to the current Spec Enduro and I much prefer the Enduro.
  • 17 0
 Propain Hugene (140/150 trail rig) - Fox Factory suspension, X01 AXS for $5800 on their build site. I rest my case.
  • 4 0
 @KJP1230: I went from the 150 to the Enduro. Never looked back Smile
  • 7 0
 People like to think we make our purchasing decisions on objective, rational data. That this company exists and continues to sell bikes is proof that we do not.

Oh well. What people buy doesn’t always come down to bang for the buck. This bike must hold some kind of value for certain people — maybe it’s brand recognition, maybe it’s the beautiful aesthetics. I don’t know what it is, but people think whatever it is they’re paying is worth it because Yeti isn’t changing its business model.
  • 1 1
 This or a fezzari Delano peak. 29 but similar use. Easy choice for my money. But yeti makes cool stuff too!
  • 5 0
 I'm seeing fewer and fewer of them on their home trails as we get out of the prior SB130/150 generation. Even in their backyard the cachet is losing out to value.
  • 3 0
 @texag: I agree - I don't see Yeti's that often anymore. Most of the bikes I see in Boise are Santa Cruz, Transition, Canyon, Trek, or Specialized.
  • 4 1
 It's not about the money, it's about sending a message.
  • 44 2
 27.5 ain't dead!
  • 58 1
 Just prohibitively expensive!
  • 5 2
 @Will762: Yeah I'm not a dentist either, that's why I keep riding my old 27.5 inch bike
  • 6 0
 There is a place for them for sure. I got a commencal clash to use at the bike park and built it up sturdy, but sensibly. I used it as a back up bike on local trails recently when my 29er was down. Flip the climb switch and it was a great climber (maybe not a Yeti climber, but still good). Super fun bike and only cost me sub- $3k. Probably for a different crowd, but I can see the appeal of the full 27.5.
  • 3 0
 Small wheels save lives.
  • 1 0
 @bashhard:
You can get a Ventana Alpino with custom powdercoat AND custom geometry for less than this. It's not suitable for use by dentists, though.
  • 2 0
 @AppleJack76: loose trucks?
  • 7 0
 Trance X 27.5 is a great option! $3800 for modern geo and fox performance elite suspension. Forget the $10,000 price tag
  • 3 1
 I’ll keep my evil calling thank you sir
  • 2 0
 Should have been slacker to make up for less rollover
  • 44 8
 Who are these for? A wholly undifferentiated bike that costs more than a domestically made Guerilla Gravity.
  • 22 2
 Ya interesting 1. Most deep pockets have moved to ebikes(50+ crowd).
And/or gna get a spesh 50% off the yeti.
  • 13 8
 It's obvious. It's for people who want the status of spending this amount on a bike (and having everyone in the vicinity know it) while riding very moderate or easier trails.
  • 39 8
 Different strokes for different folks. I would say that the GG is remarkably undifferentiated aside from the fact that it happens to be made in NA. They've had the same frame design and molds since 2018 (I think? Maybe '19), their trail bike weighs as much as a Norco Range, the suspension design is strictly average, and the axle path is straight out of 2019's playbook. And they still can't figure out how to make a carbon rear triangle.

Would I pay $9,500 for this Yeti? No, but I also wouldn't pay $6,500 or $7k for a GG.
  • 6 2
 @stravaismyracecourse: That's fair. Some differentiation for GG:
1) The front triangles are fully modular, so you can swap a small amount of parts to change the character of the bike significantly. Seatstays, shock, reach adjust, and headset cups to MX frames. One triangle's end use could be very different from another's.
2) Their website is simple to navigate. Ordering replacement parts such as bearing kits involves zero guess work, with reasonable prices, and shipping on short lead times.

Are carbon rear triangles really worth it? That's where I find my frames take the most impact from rocks, chain slap, shoe rub, etc.
If they made a high-pivot frame, would their axle path be more acceptable?
  • 13 1
 It looks like a great bike for a small female on the Front Ranch of Colorado.
  • 8 1
 @TurboDonuts: Point #1 is fair, thanks for pointing out. I forgot about that but I would also argue that the utility of modularity is severely limited when you have to swap so many different parts to have a different bike.

If I had a Gnarvana that I rode 80% of the time, it would be the extreme exception rather than the norm that I would want to switch fork, wheelset, stack height, etc. for a big weekend pedal mission. It's a cool idea in theory, but I would rather just have a second bike ready to go at any time, rather than having a downcountry wheelset and trail fork sitting around waiting for me to have the energy to rebuild my bike for a ride.

Every manufacturer has a decent website these days. I can go order replacement parts for my Evil, Norco, or Revel super easily.

Are carbon triangles really worth it? Not sure I have the data set to definitively say either way (and not even sure carbon bicycles are worth it). However it is telling to me that GG did make a carbon rear triangle for the Pistol (I think it was) and then market it as if it was better, while leaving the rest of their bikes with a 50% rear carbon triangle and 50% alloy rear triangle.

And if their claims of thermoplastic being X% stronger than alloy really are true, then worry about damage (over alloy) should be a null point.
  • 14 1
 @bbachmei: "We designed this bike to be easy to walk through the waterfall feature at North Table Mountain."
  • 8 4
 This Yeti is the MTB-equivalent of having a mid-life crisis. No sense of direction, tragically trying to hang on to ideals of the past while wholly unable to comprehend the present.
  • 4 6
 People who make money that want a boutique bike. Same reason people buy bmws, Porsches, acuras vs Hondas, lexus vs Toyotas. Why do people buy lattes instead of coffee with cream? Options are great.
  • 6 2
 @thechunderdownunder: I make money and I still want a semblance of value. Bikes are depreciating assets that age anyways.
  • 1 0
 @stravaismyracecourse: I don't know about the axle path but the kinematics look great: linkagedesign.blogspot.com/search/label/Guerrilla%20Gravity
  • 1 2
 @HB208: maybe not as much as you think then?
  • 3 3
 @HB208: I used to do pretty well getting top of the line bikes riding them for a year and selling them, especially when I got shop discounts. Now the market has changed and I imagine it’s not a winning game anymore, probably better to keep your bikes longer.

Value is truly irrelevant to some people, that’s who’s buying these. The $ value doesn’t matter as much to them. I know because I’m one of them, although even I’m not an Sworks customer anymore. Literally buy a frame and build a better “Sworks” spec for far less. It’s always been that way, but the disparity seems way more now.

But seriously. A 10-15k bike per year isn’t even a blink to many people. Downvote all you want it’s just the reality. Where I live $104,000.00 per year is considered low income. It’s f*cking nuts.
  • 1 1
 @Muscovir: that sounds like you!
  • 34 0
 Yeti is really trying to hold onto the $6k+ SLX market. At a time when Specialized and Santa Cruz are holding sales, Yeti goes the other direction.
  • 26 0
 I just spent a few days in Vermont on a rented SB160 with the full SLX build. Nearly spit out my creamee when I saw the MSRP.
  • 11 0
 @jpcars10s: maple creamee I hope
  • 9 0
 You could get a 140 AND 160 Status and have a chunk of money left over.
  • 4 0
 @jpcars10s: Was it definitely your creamee?
  • 15 0
 Who is really going to be "jibbing" on a bike that costs this much
  • 2 0
 @Dogl0rd: sponsored riders
  • 8 0
 Thats Yeti's game... high price. There is no reason or justification for the price other than brand positioning. They sell bikes that are functionally equivalent to other high-end MTBs (maybe even have been passed by most manufacturers with this most recent lack luster brand family update). $4600 for a made in Vietnam frame? Why offer two carbon layups if they are both heavy?

At this point in the modern MTB world, you would be a fool to pay the premium for Yeti.
  • 24 0
 Banshee Spitfire has been offering this recipe for over a decade. Alloy frames are very reasonably priced, build it up however you see fit. I love mine, and I think bikes like this are still totally relevant. Its not always about monster trucking and lap times. Everything doesn't have to be such an arms race. Sometimes you want to go slash some turns at the local trail center and feel like a 10 year old whopping it up in the woods. These kinds of bikes are a laugh, plain and simple. Engineers struggle when you ask them to define 'fun', but bikes like these are close. Selling bikes like this are a risk for companies to be seen as dated, but I'll always have my Spitty in the stable. When did bikes only become about speed trumping all other metrics? I'm more concerned about the sensation and emotions created when I ride, and smaller wheels make that more dynamic at less risky speeds.
  • 5 0
 Not only has the Spitfire been doing it forever, consider that a new Spitfire frame is $2800 and the Yeti frame is $4300. Now I've got an extra $1500 to spend on parts. Oh and the Spitfire frameset is only half a pound heavier.
  • 3 0
 A few years ago I was in the market for a 27.5” frame with a bit less travel than the bike I had at the time. I saw the press release for the V3 Spitfire and thought “that is exactly what I am looking for” and I bought a frame right away. 3 years later and I absolutely love it. I’ve owned a lot of bikes over the years and the Spitfire is by far my favourite.
  • 2 0
 Agree. Not all bikes should be 29" monster-truck-down-straight-lines-only bikes. I think PB needs to re-think this being a "niche" bike. Most of us aren't racing. We just wanna have fun riding on our local trails, which AREN'T Whistler or the Alps.
  • 27 1
 Love my sb140 luckily as I’m still paying for it
  • 15 0
 Why does anyone buys a Turq model? For 180g!? That’s less than standard deviation. I am sure there are some non-turq frames that are lighter than a turq one… good marketing I guess but pointless in practice.
  • 6 2
 Similar to the Santa Cruz CC frames that are a hair lighter and $1000 more than the C frames. I'm all for carbon, but I just can't wrap my head around that.
  • 1 0
 I guess the Turq now come with the upgraded bearings/bushings in the switch infinity linkage (or something along those lines), while standard carbon has the older switch infinity system. But if you're still servicing every 20 hrs, then beats me.
  • 10 0
 not sure if this is true, but I heard from a reputable source that the "turq" frames are just the lightest 20% or whatever of the frames that happen to result from the exact same fabrication process.
  • 1 0
 @steezysam: That's actually concerning. It seems like those would be more likely to fail.
  • 3 2
 Idk what company/frame you are pulling larger than 180g standard deviation from, but I guarantee no major manufacturers have that high of a range for frame weight. 10g would be more typical.
  • 3 0
 If you want frame-only because you're shocked an SLX build is going to cost you $6400, you are required to buy Turq because it's the only frame-only option. Same thing Santa Cruz does where their frames-only are CC only. Yeti is going to make their money off you however you buy the bike.
  • 12 0
 20 hour service interval is a big yikes.
  • 6 0
 That's in the most extreme situation, typically it's much longer.
  • 5 0
 My SI slider assembly is on season 5 right now and still looks and feels new. I grease it occasionally and pull it apart for full cleaning once or twice a season. I tend to ride in dry conditions almost exclusively though (the soil conditions where I live mean that riding in wet is both frowned upon and not very fun). Among Yeti user groups, the common conclusion seems to be that the bike is great and no more work than any other bike for those who ride in dry climates, but might be too much of a bother for those who ride in wet climates, especially if you're not into maintaining it regularly.

All that said, at the current pricing, I wouldn't buy another Yeti. I love my bike dearly, but there are too many other good options that come in at much more reasonable price points.
  • 14 4
 You lost me at 32 lb for a 135mm travel bike. I ride, I don't shuttle, I don't ride e-bikes, I like higher speeds of 29ers on long rides...
  • 6 5
 That switch infinity gimmick is heavy. This gen of Yetis are heavier to help with previously frame cracking.
  • 3 0
 Lol my steel XL size Cotic FlareMax is nearly 37 lbs with 125mm travel. And that's with a 1711g carbon wheelset.
  • 1 0
 Same but now that frame manufactures hate warranty returns I think it’s the new norm unfortunately…
  • 5 0
 I'm just happy to see a test rider call out some meaningful deficiencies in the bike and be taller than average. Personally, I like the look of Yeti bikes but I find their geo to not suit my preferences. I'm tall so the shorter rear ends and low stack turn me to other options.
  • 4 0
 Nice review Dario. I like my current 140 as a mullet w/ 150 fork and CC link out back (145mm travel) w/ progressive coil spring. I was hoping Yeti would come with a plug & play version or chips to facilitate such a change, but no dice. I may look into the latest 5010 though when I ride my frame into the ground. And no I'm not in the dental or oral-maxillofacial profession...
  • 6 2
 Goodness that stack height is low! I think slightly higher stack heights will be one of the next major geometry trends.

As we are learning from bizarre experiments like the Raised Reverse Stem - higher stack height can really instill a confidence inducing and more "upright" starting position for descending.
  • 4 0
 I'm betting they picked the name "dopamine machine" based on the slightly-old-skool connotation of dopamine as "the pleasure molecule", but being a Yeti, it might actually fit better with the modern denotation of "the desire molecule".

Because it turns out dopamine doesn't really help you enjoy things, it just makes you want to do things again, which is often extrapolated to mean "must have enjoyed it if you want it again".
  • 5 0
 It looks and likely performs like most others MTB's in this class: Fun and highly capable. Thus I scroll past it all to the determination: MSRP: $6,400-$10,300 USD

No thanks at that overinflated price.
  • 7 1
 How have people dealt with the BB creak? Did Yeti switch to threaded BB for this?
  • 3 0
 All the new Yeti frames are threaded bb's. My SB150 was just starting to creak in its third year of use. Popped out the Cane Creek bb and put in a Enduro Torqtite with proper prep. Comes apart like a threaded bb as the threaded inner sleeve connects the two bearing shells. It's been a year with no more issues.
  • 2 3
 Bbinfinite.com
  • 1 0
 @JDub713: When you say all, my 2022 Arc came with PF?
  • 1 0
 @mm732: Don't know why you were downvoted. Just bought one, hope it works for the money.
  • 2 0
 @icanreachit: Arc isn't new or updated design for the 2023 "model year" pretty sure it's still a press fit PF92. Only color options as far as I know.
  • 7 0
 I long for the days when $6K got you an (almost) top spec bike.
  • 5 0
 You still can. Just not one of the ones that upcharge on their name recognition. Propain Hugene (140/150 trail rig) with Fox factory suspension and X01 AXS is $5800 on their site right now.
  • 1 0
 A lot of firesale going on with high end bikes tbh
  • 1 0
 @Bro-LanDog: some of the sales have been f*cking wild. And will continue to do so.

I saw 6k off some trek e bikes yesterday and if that's yr thing, Forestal e bikes in aus$ half price lol literally 10k off on sale.
  • 3 0
 Being an owner of the 27.5 version of the SB140 and very happy with it I was tempted by upgrading to this new SB135 frame. One issue that came to light after a bit of digging is the neutered nature of the XS and S version of the SB135 which is their lack of ability to accept a piggy back shock unlike the 27.5 SB140 of the previous generation. I haven't seen one review or mention of this anywhere so even if you were to order a LR version your frankly getting an un lunch ride version of the shock. Unfortunately that's a deal breaker for me and i'm no longer considering this frame.
  • 2 0
 Not true! I spoke with my dealer about it and he ordered a small frame and mounted an Ohlins shock with a piggyback and it works perfectly! You can see the video on his FB at Boone Cycles (Iowa).
  • 3 1
 I would buy this is a second ... if I could afford it. I've been riding an SB66 for years and love how this rear suspension works. The one thing I would like to see PB do is to spread their reviews over a couple of riders. Though knowledgeable people, they are very subjective and the experience of a super-sized rider vs someone on the other end of the height spectrum would be more real world, especially when they live in the 29" world based on their personal geometry alone.
  • 3 0
 They do that for some bikes each year. They don't have time to do that for all bikes.
  • 2 0
 Man, what a beautiful bike. Amazing color, great spec and I love the heritage the brand name offers. But, I'll never own one- there are so many bikes under $6 with similar/better spec, and just as good of a review(s). Transition scout/smuggler, Commencal Tempo, Propain Hugene, Norco sight/optic, trek fuel, etc. Granted, some of these are apple & oranges comparisons (alloy, 29er, cable gears). I'm really curious who Yeti targets with their bike- Are people really buying enough ~$10k non e-bikes to move enough inventory to be profitable?
  • 4 0
 Unrelated but those silver pedals with the silver fork lowers are real nice
  • 1 0
 what pedals are these? they look sweet
  • 6 0
 @adrennan: They're the Wolf Tooth Waveforms, big fan.
  • 5 0
 Well at least its an article that isn't a spreadsheet race result.
  • 2 0
 Because the editor doesn’t race !
  • 4 0
 The power of marketing is beautiful. I'd be 6 2017 giant trances before one of these.
  • 3 0
 I randomly ran into a guy from MTB Action magazine yesterday on this bike at my local jump park and I tested it. It felt good lol
  • 1 0
 Was going to complain about how the rider is 6'3" and riding a size large, but apparently that's in the range for a size large according to Yeti. Seems kinda ridiculous if you ask me, and is definitely the source of most of the comments on handling.
  • 2 0
 The reach and whatnot are within range of most bikes I test, so the sizing doesn't have a ton of bearing on relative handling feel. I tend to prefer smaller bikes, and this is well within the typical fit.
  • 2 0
 @dariodigiulio: Fair enough. Thank you for the clarification.
  • 1 0
 Hi...i get a 2020 Yeti sb130 Slx : Fox Float X/ Fox Performance 150
I paid 4.000 euros ,like rest of Stock
In web Online
I Know Yeti you paid Brand also to.
But just first Ride and Feels the diference to any trail Bikes i tried
You can afford more than you expect.
Nice to read all You Wink
  • 6 1
 4300 for a frame.
  • 4 0
 $6,700 for a non-TURQ GX build.
  • 2 0
 Insane.
  • 4 1
 A frame that essentially needs a suspension service every 20hrs...
  • 2 0
 Since you hinted at it, a Shadowcat SB135 comparison would be sweet. Even though the geo is a bit different I think they're targeting similar riders.
  • 2 1
 I'd like to see the seat tube angle improved on the Shadowcat, otherwise it would be an interesting comparison. Definitely the same target demographic, I think.
  • 2 0
 toss the Ibis Mojo 4 in there as well. great bike.
  • 3 0
 And airdrop filter
  • 3 0
 Clean it with laces so you can reach around easier and make the switch Infinity maintenance periods longer
  • 3 3
 "The additional feedback you get from the smaller wheels and tighter numbers just goads you on to mess around even more, turning mundane sections of trail into a hoot and a holler."

I feel so bad for people who need a certain bike to "goad them into messing around".
  • 1 0
 Thank you for your sympathy...and pity.
  • 2 0
 @dariodigiulio I'm gonna correct you that your stemnis 43mm because every mm matters haha. BTW I'm also in the level bar/ no upsweep club.
  • 4 0
 616mm of stack on a size XL? What is this, a bike for ants?
  • 1 0
 27.5 front wheel, remember
  • 1 4
 @dariodigiulio: Wheel size isn't effecting stack.
  • 5 0
 @njcbps: yes it does - larger wheel requires taller fork = higher stack
  • 3 0
 @scotteh: I looked at a few more articles, and ... right you are.
  • 4 0
 $9500 for a 32 lb bike? PASS.
  • 2 1
 And alloy wheels??
  • 2 0
 Is there an agreement that reviews have to use "patented" before Switch Infinity? Yeti should just change the name to Patented Switch Infinity to remove all doubt.
  • 1 0
 At $10 000, it's heavy for a small-wheeled, small-ish travel, carbon frame machine. The finicky maintenance is not a win either but plenty of dentists will have their tools & wallets ready to roll.
  • 2 0
 Coming soon to your local trailhead: endorphin dads wielding the new dopamine machine.
  • 1 0
 it's like futurama or something
  • 3 1
 Are yeti frames still cracking, had 3 friends bikes crack while doing xc in the past
  • 2 1
 It would be a step forward to using their E bike suspension setup on analogue bikes and finally get rid of the pretty terrible infinitely shite link....
  • 4 5
 Excellent work on eking margins out of the riders who want the extra travel of the LR and want the best dampers, since they also have to deal with electronic shifting, both paying for and maintaining.

Because electronic shifting lines up so well with the lunch-ride philosophy: "Hey, quick, lets get in a few laps at lunch time. No pack, no chamois, just helmet and shred!" "Shit, I can't: my shifting battery needs a charge."
  • 2 0
 Less than 5 minutes of charging is good for multiple rides if you ever neglect it.
  • 3 0
 @Snowytrail: that's 10% of a lunch hour
  • 3 0
 Forbidden Druid is better over rocks and probably climbs at least as good
  • 1 0
 So glad I ride my evil calling every week , had over 2 years and never had to touch the bearings…..and I look after it properly
  • 3 1
 Why does pinkbike test all bikes riding the same boring enduro trails? your on 27.5's go hit some jumps neighba
  • 2 0
 The more I think of adding an agile local-trails bike to the stable, the closer I get to buying TREK Remedy…
  • 1 0
 Realistically, who is going to get the rear shock serviced every 20 hours? The whole infinity link looks like way more trouble than its worth.
  • 1 0
 They should sell this bike with a 29 fork, makes it easier to swap to a 29 front wheel if you want to and gives the fork MUCH more resale value
  • 2 3
 big wheel dominance? as we can see from the review itself, they never dominated anything except for rollover. now i'm gonna be an ass and say i'd be afraid to bottom that shock mount out, just why?
  • 1 2
 135/150 65deg is a little bike now? Damn

Figured yeti would have come out with the next gotta have widget by now. Switch infinity is not really uh viable for the mass market.
  • 2 0
 Little size-wise. Wheelbase, wheel-size, general fit numbers. Plenty of travel!
  • 2 0
 Maybe this one is for the more edgy dentist.
  • 3 0
 A Christian Bale American Psycho kinda Dentist who gets really upset if you like the font on someone else's bike better.
  • 2 0
 No motor? am I a moron or something
  • 2 0
 Airdrop Filter - Cashback
  • 1 0
 The only Yeti I got is their ARC hardtail. It's the only Yeti I can afford but I am good with it.
  • 1 0
 Did the cryptic folklore gods ever anticipate that the $ sign would play such a huge role in the meaning of the word YETI
  • 4 7
 Yeti needs to drop the switch infinity or change it’s pricing. These $4500-$5000 frames is crazy talk. So many other bikes are faster and much cheaper. The 2023 Yetis are already 25% off now. It seems like they are out of touch with the industry….a 27.5?
  • 1 1
 I went to the dentist today, and didn’t see this bike on my physicians 4Runner. Are times changing?
  • 3 1
 Dental Damm
  • 2 0
 9k for this? TF Yeti!
  • 2 1
 Durability concerns with Switch Infinity Unit


nope Smile
  • 2 0
 I am the Yeti
  • 1 0
 Deleted Instagram, showed up here, rabble rabble
  • 1 0
 Or anything narrower than 800mm
  • 1 0
 Switch Infinity appears to be an oxymoron
  • 2 2
 In what kind of physics would 104mm longer front end be balanced by 8mm longer chainstay???
  • 1 0
 Now if it only came with 26" era pricing...
  • 1 0
 'Sizing plays a critical roll here'...that's a paddlin'.
  • 2 1
 27.5 wheels? Why certainly, that will be 9.5k please.
  • 1 0
 "the dopamine machine" , is this name approved by the factory riders ?
  • 1 0
 Frame price to expensive its made on China
  • 1 0
 27.5 front wheel, remember
  • 8 9
 Frame storage is overrated, you still have to carry this parts on you regardless. Putting a hole in your frame isn't a win.
  • 9 3
 Completely disagree. In frame storage allows you to pack up everything you could possibly need for a trailside repair and you don't have to hang it off your person or your bike saddle/frame.

I'm not saying frame storage is a dealbreaker - but once you have it it's really nice. Considering how many companies offer this, it is becoming what should be a "standard" feature. Especially when you are charging $10k+ for a bike.
  • 5 0
 Frame storage seems awesome, you don't have to scratch or scuff your frame with a bag and you don't have to carry things in your pack or in your pockets which possibly allows you to have less bulk on your body. Obviously you still need to carry the things, so how is keeping them tucked away in your frame not a win?
  • 2 1
 @warmerdamj: Exactly. I rolled my eyes at frame storage....until I bought a frame that had it. Hard to go back to strapping/bolting things onto a frame
  • 2 1
 Low stack. Why?
  • 1 0
 Dope color tho
  • 1 1
 Dentists aren’t allowed to buy 27.5 bikes
  • 1 0
 Hey alright!
  • 2 3
 A 5010 is no longer a comparison. Shadowcat or Primer 275 would be better.
  • 1 0
 lateral incisors say they are! Lol
  • 1 1
 i don't like the color
  • 1 3
 Felt planted is just another way of saying heavy
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