Yeti SB115 Mountain Bike Assessment: ‘Down-Nation’ 29er Slays Ups AND Downs

Yeti launched the SB115 as a robust contender within the new class of down-country bikes. We put the SB115 to the check for this assessment.

Down-country bikes, a brand new class of doped-up mountain bikes with cross-country geometry and almost enduro spec, are the new pattern for 2020.

Mild and quick, with quick suspension and relaxed sufficient geometry that you would be able to hop, drop, and rail, they’re the flip aspect of the coin from the megatravel 29ers that nabbed riders’ consideration over the previous couple of years. With out sacrificing weight, a down-country bike — like Yeti’s SB115 — has sufficient journey to hit most trails, with out the burden penalty of an even bigger bike.

Yeti SB115: A Bike That Likes to Social gathering

Yeti SB115 with rider in air

Yeti’s new SB115, which we’ve been driving for the previous month, is a celebration animal. It has a 67.6-degree head angle, notably suited to when the occasion goes uphill in addition to down.

The 27-pound, short-travel 29er SB115 has 115mm rear journey and 130mm entrance journey. It has the geometry of the model’s BC Bike Race-winning 100mm journey 29er. Extra squish makes it much less teeth-rattling than the SB100 and simpler to maneuver in additional terrain, with out sacrificing velocity and agility on climbs.

In the event you’ve adopted Yeti Cycles, you understand the model likes to “Lunch Journey” fashions — including extra suspension to an current bike to make it extra succesful in additional terrain. Functionally, think about the SB115 a Lunch-Rided SB100 that doubles as a substitute for the now-discontinued SB4.5. And actually, that SB4.5 could have been the primary down-country bike, though the class didn’t exist on the time.

Consider down-country bikes as a journey with the body, weight, and geometry of a cross-country bike. Then, sass it up with extensive bars, massive tires, and extra suspension to assist it punch above its weight class on quick, techie descents. And — that is key — all with out compromising the climb.

When the SB100 launched, riders began swapping their 120mm forks for 130mm and 140mm, which impressed Yeti to check out the SB100 and what it may develop into. Although the SB100 doesn’t use the complete stroke of the rear shock — many bikes don’t use their full rear journey — it wasn’t doable to only give it an extended shock stroke.

The bike additionally wanted new pivots to maintain the suspension intact, and a brand new hyperlink to maintain the geometry environment friendly and vigorous, so the SB100 Lunch Journey turned a brand new mannequin as a substitute. The bike additionally received new Change Infinity — a threaded model with a washer and locking nut on the within and the identical protecting fender used within the SB100.

YETI SB115 Assessment: The Journey

The SB115 takes what Yeti discovered from making big-travel 29ers and the short-travel SB100, and packing one of the best climbing and descending options of each right into a rowdy however not ridiculous journey.

A lot of the SB115 specs are per the SB100. The wheelbase is three mm longer, as is the entrance heart. There’s a zero.2-degree head angle change. However total, the SB115 places you in the identical assault place because the SB100. And the SB115’s entrance tire receives an agro 2.5 Maxxis Minion (up from a 2.three), whereas the handlebar goes to a really aggressive 780 mm, versus the SB100’s 760 mm.

Climbing

Whether or not you like uphills, otherwise you journey them to get to the downs, this bike will take you locations. Nobody needs to really feel spent earlier than the day’s massive downhill. As a result of this bike is so gentle and environment friendly climbing, it helps you save vitality when you’re pedaling uphill. There’s no bobbing, no must lock the shock, simply your energy translated via the pedals into ahead movement, even when the up is punchy, rocky, and technical.

Yeti SB115 climbing

Descending

Whenever you high out and it’s go time, you and the SB115 might be able to rally — simply drop your saddle and roll. Whereas this bike isn’t as slack as Yeti’s SB130 or SB150, it’s designed for quick, technical descents, whether or not you’re carving berms or straight-lining a rock backyard.

Although the pinnacle angle is inside half a level of the SB100, it’s extra succesful on the downhill as a result of it has extra suspension. Twenty-five miles of east coast single monitor in, I used to be smiling till my face harm.

Leaping

Need air? So does the SB115. The place the SB100 has a considerably severe wheels-on-the-ground persona, the SB115 likes to hop, whip, and sail via the air.

It slithers via tight corners like a snake, each up and down. On an old-school climbing path that had been rerouted as a result of its hairpin flip was so tight, I cruised via then crushed a machine-built bounce line, pedaled again up via the hairpin flip, and swooped via berms, rock hops, technical rolls, river crossings, and extra earlier than climbing one other 750 toes of technical vert dwelling.

Yeti Signature Suspension

The SB115 isn’t a mini enduro bike. It was responsive and energetic, with sufficient suspension and Yeti magic that it stored us from moving into hassle when the downhill went from rolling to raging. It smoothed out the path, however we nonetheless felt the path — in a great way.

Yeti SB115 frame

The particular Yeti suspension really feel comes from pairing the rear shock with Yeti’s Change Infinity, a translating pivot that switches instructions as you utilize extra of your rear suspension to provide the bike’s journey a bottomless really feel.

Driving this bike, and most Yetis, you’re spending most of your time within the high to mid a part of journey, and saving the top of the stroke for large hits. So the help doesn’t really feel as poppy as another shock designs, however while you do knock the rubber ring off the shock shaft, you received’t backside out.

As you get deeper into your journey, the Change Infinity modifications instructions and strikes down, not up. That drops the anti-squat dramatically by decoupling the chain forces on the suspension, which lets the suspension work extra effectively to soak up impacts.

Yeah, yeah, yeah — translation: Yeti’s received your again and your touchdown. And while you don’t fairly nail your touchdown, most of the time, Yeti’s suspension will prevent.

Weight-Particular Settings

One factor we appreciated concerning the SB115 and all Yeti bikes is that the corporate offers detailed rider weight-specific advisable settings for entrance and rear compression and rebound, in addition to tire and shock air pressures.

The numbers are beginning factors. They assist this bike journey nice from the second you roll it out the door of your store, with loads of adjustment factors to customise the texture as you get to understand it higher.

Yeti SB115 Notes

With the SB115 launch, Yeti upgrades the SB100 with threaded Change Infinity suspension. It additionally introduces a brand new measurement in its geometry charts, vertical fork journey, which signifies how a lot precise up-and-down motion a fork yields.

Up to now, Yeti has been accused of over-forking its bikes. This quantity asserts that Yeti’s fork specs are spot on. As a result of whereas rear wheel journey is a vertical measurement, entrance journey isn’t, attributable to a motorcycle’s head angle. Within the SB115, vertical fork journey is 120.2.

In the event you’re beneath 5’1”, you’re out of luck with the SB115. It doesn’t are available XS.

YETI SB115 Mountain Bike: General Impression

My solely beef with the SB115 is the rear tire. As an east coast rider, I’m aggravated when the very first thing I’ve to do to my new $7,000 bike is spend one other $70 to swap rubber.

Yeti specs a Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5 entrance and a Maxxis Aggressor rear. The Aggressor is nice for Rockies and West Coast driving. Within the east, it slips and slides. I instantly swapped it for a Vittoria Mazza. A Maxxis DHRII could be one other good selection. Each are acceptable for the way and the place I journey.

I think Yeti didn’t go to the larger, heavier tire on the SB115 as a result of it provides important weight. That is without doubt one of the first specs riders take a look at. Placed on tires to match your journey fashion, and this bike received’t maintain you again.

Yeti SB115

It’s additionally one of many cleanest-looking bikes in the marketplace. Tube-in-tube know-how retains cables out of sight contained in the body, besides on the handlebar and the place they come out beneath the underside bracket for a scorching second. And there aren’t additional mounting factors for instruments, racks, or baggage. Yeti likes to maintain their frames smooth and clear.

Like all Yetis, the tougher you journey this bike, the extra it offers again. The SB115 particularly hits a candy spot. It truly is one bike that may do all of it, with out sacrifice or compromise.

Yeti SB115 Specs

Value: Beginning at $four,700
Weight: 27 lbs. with a carbon water bottle cage (T2 dimension M)
Body materials: Carbon
Model: Down-country or All Mountain/Path
Journey: 115 rear, 130 entrance
Groupset: T2 construct examined
Wheel dimension: 29 in.
Sizes: S-XL

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