The 'Enduro' bike category is a fiercely competitive place for manufacturers right now. There are a tonne of good bikes out there. But when you're paying a premium for a bike like the Yeti SB150 you don’t want a good bike. You want a great bike. Something that sets itself apart from the rest both in looks and ride. So have Yeti, with over 30 years of racing pedigree and experience at the top of the game pulled it off with the SB150?
As the name hints the SB150 has 150mm of rear travel. Paired with a 170mm travel front fork, a 65.4 degree head angle and 1223mm wheel base (medium) the bike’s intentions are clear. It wants to go downhill, fast. Make no mistake about it.
My bike on test here is built around the SB150 Turq series GX build although some notable upgrades have been made. Fox factory suspension front and rear featuring the 36 Grip 2 fork and Float X2 Factory rear shock (did test DT Swiss forks temporarily). Wheels have been upgraded to Race Face Arc30 rims on the super reliable DT Swiss 350 hubs. With a carbon bar upgrade to top it off this build has been upgraded to maximise performance whilst not over extending on costs where it isn’t essential.
Special mention has to be made to Yeti’s suspension setup guide on their website. You just plug in your height and weight for the bike and it will generate recommended settings for you from psi down to rebound and compression clicks. After that first ride you may want to adjust your settings to your personal preferences and local trail conditions. However, this kind of setup advice is next level and to go on that first ride with your setup already in the ball park is a huge bonus.
No one gets on their enduro bike and starts pedalling uphill loving life, grinning from ear to ear. The reality is if you’re buying an enduro bike you love descending. But, climbing is a necessary part of this sport and it shouldn’t be any harder than it has to be right?
Despite it’s downhill orientated components and travel riders will be pleasantly surprised when they point this bike up hill. With the new shorter 44mm fork offset controlling the longer travel bike on the climbs is a lot easier. The 77 degree seat tube angle is steep enough to allow for comfortable power transfer when grinding up those climbs. And that 150mm of travel out the back? Yeti’s switch infinity linkage artfully manages the suspension whilst climbing. Rarely did I feel the need to reach down for the climb switch as pedal bob was under control already.
Let's be honest, this is why you're reading this review. Over the past seven months I’ve ridden the SB150 in a range of trails and conditions. From the local dusty MTB trails in Brisbane to wet, slick roots in Rotorua and the hero dirt in between.
The stability at speed on this bike removes any excuse for getting on the brakes when things pick up in pace. This can be accredited to the slack head angle and long wheel base of the SB150. This amazing stability is almost to be expected but, what was more surprising, cornering the bike. Despite its length I had no issues cornering this bike. In fact, it was a strength. With a confident approach tipping the bike into corners felt natural and easy, hero dirt or not. The new shorter fork offset helps you get your weight over the front of the bike to hold traction on the front tyre. I found this especially beneficial over the loose local trails in Brisbane.
The unique ‘Switch Infinity’ linkage deserves a few words. I was impressed by how still the suspension was on climbs when sitting down slogging to the top. I’m also pleased to report that this appears to have no negative effect when descending. Small bumps were absorbed smoothly without hesitation. As the bike moved deeper in its travel there were no surprising suspension movements that put me in an awkward position. This enabled the bike to not only hold great traction but kept the bike remarkably composed in rough terrain. All these traits greatly appreciated when riding with mates but even more so when out racing.
As you can probably tell by now, I’m a fan of the SB150. It opened my eyes to how usable a long travel enduro bike of today can be on a variety of different trail styles. Being realistic, although more than capable on XC / trail areas this isn’t where the bike is supposed to be and rides a little ‘dull’. If you’re riding these kinds of trails look at the SB130 for a livelier bike or even the SB100. But, if you live for the descents, going fast and charging the rough stuff the Yeti SB150 deserves your full attention.
If you want to find out for yourself just how good this bike is book a demo bike to sample the goods.
Or, if you have any questions or want to get on a SB150 of your own get in contact and we’ll look after you.
Frame only $5490.95
Completes from $7890.00