Even with a 170mm fork the Tyee's geometry is fairly middle-of-the road for this style of bike. It's not super long and slack, or overly steep and short. I'd describe its trail manners as energetically neutral - it's peppy enough to get airborne off smaller obstacles without a struggle, but the overall handling feel is calm and balanced. I never felt like I had to fight to place it where I wanted, no matter whether I was picking my way through jumbles of pointy rocks in Pemberton, or logging some air time in Whistler.
Compared to the Commencal SX that we tested last year, another mixed wheel bike in this travel bracket, the Tyee doesn't require as much effort to manuever, likely due to the steeper head angle and shorter reach, figures that give it a 20mm shorter wheelbase.
Some of the extra-efficient feel that the Tyee demonstrated on the climbs bleeds over onto the descents, where it's not quite as beneficial. It can handle big hits with ease, and it has a nicely planted feel when touching back down to earth, but this is a bike that feels more poised than plush – it doesn't have ton of sensitivity at the beginning of its travel. I experimented with running more sag, and ran a SuperDeluxe coil shock for a while, but no matter the setting the Tyee never transformed into a plush, ultra-sensitive machine.
The Tyee's flip chip is mainly designed to allow the use of a 29” or 27.5” rear wheel while preserving the geometry, but it can also be used to create slack and very low option – with a 170mm fork the head angle drops to 63.2 degrees, and the bottom bracket feels like it's hovering just above the ground.
I took a handful of laps in the Whistler Bike Park with the Tyee in configuration and found it to be very enjoyable on high speed jump trails. The increased stability is noticeable, and the low bottom bracket height made it even easier to push into tall bermed turns. The downsides to the setting become evident almost immediately when venturing into more technical terrain – with 170mm cranks I had a number of semi-scary pedal strikes. I'd say that it's a usable option, but shorter cranks are highly recommended unless you're content to always coast on technical trails.