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  1. #1
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    Yeti SB95 or Banshee Prime?

    I currently ride a '10 Pivot 429. I'm 6'4" and really like the way XL 29ers fit. I love the way the Pivot climbs, but I'm starting to push it into sketchy territory on the way down. It's becoming a safety issue. Having a bike built for the trails I ride seems like a good idea. I'm In New Mexico riding some pretty gnarly chunk, but both climbing and descending these trails. So I need a bike that climbs and descends well. The geometry of the Yeti and the Banshee seem similar with a nod to the Yeti for climbing and a nod to the Banshee for descending.

    Any opinions? I'm even considering an SB66c... I do miss the playfulness of 26" wheels...

  2. #2
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    Are you gonna keep the 429 too?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nater View Post
    Are you gonna keep the 429 too?
    No, I can only afford to have one nice bike. That's why I need a "do it all"...

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    do you like climbing or descending more?
    It's all downhill from here.
    (There's a **** of a lot of climbing left.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash-VR View Post
    . I do miss the playfulness of 26" wheels...
    Turner Burner 650b....better rollover than 26" wheels, yet more playful than 29" wheels. Plus it's DW link just like your current pivot which you seem to like.

  6. #6
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    Just did what you are contemplating and bought Yeti SB95. My previous two bikes were a Pivot 429 & Giant Anthem 29. I too was getting sketched out on sone of the more technical downhill trails. I bought the aluminum and will upgrade next year to the carbon if I'm psyched on the balance it provides. Should have in a month or so. Good Luck. J

  7. #7
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    Hard to lose with either, but I would go with the Banshee.
    konahonzo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Mailloux View Post
    Turner Burner 650b....better rollover than 26" wheels, yet more playful than 29" wheels. Plus it's DW link just like your current pivot which you seem to like.
    I do like the DW link...

  9. #9
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    If owned both (prime proto) and my vote goes to the Banshee. The suspension is so smooth yet doesn't seem to wallow.

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    I would appreciate some help here. Has anyone ridden both the Prime and the SB95? I've narrowed my search down to these two. Bottom line I'm sure both will be great but I want to prioritize long(1 to 2 hours) climb prowess and as much "in the bike" feel as possible. It's a tough one and besides the Yeti being manufactured in NA, I'm leaning towards the Banshee.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash-VR View Post
    I currently ride a '10 Pivot 429. I'm 6'4" and really like the way XL 29ers fit. I love the way the Pivot climbs, but I'm starting to push it into sketchy territory on the way down. It's becoming a safety issue. Having a bike built for the trails I ride seems like a good idea. I'm In New Mexico riding some pretty gnarly chunk, but both climbing and descending these trails. So I need a bike that climbs and descends well. The geometry of the Yeti and the Banshee seem similar with a nod to the Yeti for climbing and a nod to the Banshee for descending.

    Any opinions? I'm even considering an SB66c... I do miss the playfulness of 26" wheels...
    I would seriously try to ride both of these bikes. Both of these options have very slack HTA's and the steering was poor (for me) - especially as a 1 bike do it all if you are used to riding a Pivot. It sounds like maybe something in the Pivot HTA or a degree maybe slightly slacker but with more travel is what you are after?

  12. #12
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    Price range? Carbom or alum?

    Price range? Carbom or alum? I know you said the other two bikes, but...The Intense Spider 29 Comp is the same geo as the SB-95 but in carbon.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by stoats View Post
    I would appreciate some help here. Has anyone ridden both the Prime and the SB95? I've narrowed my search down to these two. Bottom line I'm sure both will be great but I want to prioritize long(1 to 2 hours) climb prowess and as much "in the bike" feel as possible. It's a tough one and besides the Yeti being manufactured in NA, I'm leaning towards the Banshee.
    I'm not sure, but I do not think that Yeti is made in the USA anymore. I think they moved overseas but still do quality checks and finishing touches in the US. So I don't think that should be a deciding factor for you either way.

    The Yeti is a more efficient bike and has a more stiff suspension feel whereas the Prime still pedals very well but is way more plush in my experience.

  14. #14
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    I have a pre-production Prime and demoed a SB95. My take is that the SB95 is a trail bike and the Prime is a AM bike. By that I mean the Yeti is more of an all-rounder. The Prime climbs well, but it's no XC rocket, and you climb it for the descent. If you want to sprint up the climbs, go with the SB95. I didn't think the SB95 was comparable to my Prime in stiffness.
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    Thanks Colin. The made in NA thing is just a keep jobs at home philosophy, and I'm pretty sure Yeti still does their aluminum frames in the States(?), but plush is what I like to hear. I'm coming off of a Yelli and Surface(both great bikes) . You said in an earlier post that the Prime doesn't wallow-did you find that withe the Yeti?
    GSJ,I'm on Vancouver Island and there aren't any stocking dealers around here. I've had a 429 and thought it was a very nice bike but a little too xc and need something more burly. I have a Moots Mooto X to address my xc needs and it makes me a real happy camper.
    SaxMan, cost is not an issue, not really interested in carbon, although the Intense does look like a
    great ride.

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    The Yeti pedals better, period. It's a great "one bike fits all" bike. The Prime is a stiffer ride, but it also weighed considerably more ( mine was the Proto). If you want a bike than can "handle" the downs but accelerates like a rocket, go Yeti. If you merely see the uphills as a ticket for admission for shredding it downhill, go Prime.

    You honestly can't go wrong with either. It's a great "problem" to have It really comes down to what type of riding you prefer.

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    If you want a playful 29er trail bike it is really hard to beat a 2012 Transition Bandit Two9.
    Mine climbs great w/o a platform shock, running a Pushed Monarch +, and it is hard to convey with words how well it descends. Unfortunately, you may have a hard time getting one, as the XL size has been sold out for a while. Sorry, but my XL is not for sale...

    The 2013 Covert Two9 from Transition has just washed up on these shores and I'm pretty certain that it will be able to put a solid hurt on either the Prime or SB95 in the gnarly chunk that you speak of. You can get it with a F34 with either 140 or 150mm of front travel. I'll bet that with the Float CTD shock it will climb just fine as well. Mine will be wearing a DHX RC4 coil shock when it arrives in about ten days.

    Just not a big fan of twin short link rear squish bikes. YMMV.
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  18. #18
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    I think the Covert will be an great addition to the market, but for a rider who says he's looking for an XL, it's worth remembering the sizes aren't equivalent. The Covert XL (reach/stack = 435mm/637mm) is about the same size as a L Prime (440mm/633mm). The XL Prime is 475/633.
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    Yeti isn't made in NA anymore. Still love my Big Top though! As a poster said above, the Spider Comp would be worth considering if you can get over the carbon thing. I was planning on waiting for the SB-95 carbon but pulled the trigger on the Spider as it is very similiar and available now.

    If downhill was my top priority over all around prowess, definitely would have taken a hard look at the prime! Any of the abovementioned bikes will be way more capable on the downs than your Pivot.

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    Thank you everyone. This forum has always been a great source of accurate information and recommendation. Anyway, a true all-rounder is what I'm after and as Colin+M said it's a great problem to have to figure out. I'll sleep on it but the Yeti should do just fine.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    . My take is that the SB95 is a trail bike and the Prime is a AM bike. By that I mean the Yeti is more of an all-rounder. The Prime climbs well, but it's no XC rocket, and you climb it for the descent. If you want to sprint up the climbs, go with the SB95. I didn't think the SB95 was comparable to my Prime in stiffness.
    This is where I was going with the question about keeping the 429 too. If you were planning on keeping it, I would say Prime. Since you're not and you'll be asking the new bike to do everything, I'd say the Yeti.

  22. #22
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    I vote yeti, I have not ridden a prime but the yeti seems to be a more all around bike. I wish I had such a tough choice to make....

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    I think the Covert will be an great addition to the market, but for a rider who says he's looking for an XL, it's worth remembering the sizes aren't equivalent. The Covert XL (reach/stack = 435mm/637mm) is about the same size as a L Prime (440mm/633mm). The XL Prime is 475/633.
    I'm 6' 3" and my XL B29 fits me very well with a TBC 50mm stem and 750mm wide bars. TBC has said that the B29 and C29 were designed to be nearly the exact same fit across the sizes. So, unless the OP has both a long torso and long arms, I'd guess that the XL Prime would be too long for him also.
    Last edited by 29erchico; 11-20-2012 at 09:40 PM.
    Abandoned the 26" wheel in May '03

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by 29erchico View Post
    If you want a playful 29er trail bike it is really hard to beat a 2012 Transition Bandit Two9.
    Mine climbs great w/o a platform shock, running a Pushed Monarch +, and it is hard to convey with words how well it descends. .
    This is really good to hear 29erchico. I'm going this route and should find this out as soon as the bike arrives and I build it up.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by 29erchico View Post
    I'm 6' 3" and my XL B29 fits me very well with a TBC 60mm stem and 750mm wide bars. TBC has said that the B29 and C29 were designed to be nearly the exact same fit across the sizes. So, unless the OP has both a long torso and long arms, I'd guess that the XL Prime would be too long for him also.
    TBC doesn't make a 60mm stem. Only 50mm.
    konahonzo

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    I had a crush on the Mach 429 for a long time until I rode one. When ridden hard it felt way to nervous and dainty.

    Rode a sb95 in a parking lot and made a decision to buy it. I like to earn my turns so
    Pedal effiency is a must. When ridden hard the bike seems to like it. Its stiff and gives me the confidence to try whatever lines I want.

    The prime looks sweet and I think it would be the next steep up in bike category.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by eurospek View Post
    TBC doesn't make a 60mm stem. Only 50mm.
    Thanks for setting me straight on that. I have corrected my previous post.
    Abandoned the 26" wheel in May '03

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by 29erchico View Post
    Thanks for setting me straight on that. I have corrected my previous post.
    No worries. These days it's hard to find a 60mm stem anyway. It's either 50mm or 70mm. Truvativ and some other companies make a 60mm, but nothing from key players like Thomson or Chromag. It's a nice stem, I have one on my other bike.
    konahonzo

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by eurospek View Post
    No worries. These days it's hard to find a 60mm stem anyway. It's either 50mm or 70mm. Truvativ and some other companies make a 60mm, but nothing from key players like Thomson or Chromag. It's a nice stem, I have one on my other bike.
    IIRC, MartinS convinced Chromag to do a 60mm. You might email them if you're looking.
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  30. #30
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    One caveat no one has mentioned is that if you happen to like to run a decent sized tyre for a bike like this, then the Yeti, as usual, falls short. It cannot safely run anything over 2.2" without the possibility of the tyre rubbing/contacting the seattube, the Prime on the other hand will fit as big a tyre as you desire for currently produced 29er tyres.
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    True, I was just looking for a 60mm stem and couldn't find much on the market. Ended up with another Thomson 70mm.

  32. #32
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    Not sure about the lack of 60mm stems, maybe for fancy ones, but even then there's some nice ones if you check Components > Handlebars and Stems > Stems | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop
    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    True, I was just looking for a 60mm stem and couldn't find much on the market. Ended up with another Thomson 70mm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    One caveat no one has mentioned is that if you happen to like to run a decent sized tyre for a bike like this, then the Yeti, as usual, falls short. It cannot safely run anything over 2.2" without the possibility of the tyre rubbing/contacting the seattube, the Prime on the other hand will fit as big a tyre as you desire for currently produced 29er tyres.
    Really good point about tire compatibility. Lots of nice things to like about the Prime. Do you see yourself throwing down anytime soon for a production Prime?

    I was very happy to find out that my B29 could roll a Dissent on a Gordo rim out back w/o any issues. Since the Dissent is no longer being produced, I assume that it is not included in your above statement. Do you know if the Prime will handle a Dissent?
    Abandoned the 26" wheel in May '03

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by 29erchico View Post
    Really good point about tire compatibility. Lots of nice things to like about the Prime. Do you see yourself throwing down anytime soon for a production Prime?

    I was very happy to find out that my B29 could roll a Dissent on a Gordo rim out back w/o any issues. Since the Dissent is no longer being produced, I assume that it is not included in your above statement. Do you know if the Prime will handle a Dissent?
    No problem on the pre-production. I have Dissents front and rear until the Minions hit the shelves. LyNx asked in the Banshee forum about the production version and I think they are a mm or two narrower (LyNx?) but I don't think that's enough to cause a problem. I don't have a closeup picture of the stays and a Dissent, however.

    Yeti SB95 or Banshee Prime?-chevyprimemtaresize.jpg
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  35. #35
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    Honestly I wish I had the cash to get a production version, but honestly right now not in the near future. What I'm looking for now is something slack like my Paradox, but lighter and carbon (more forgiving) that won't kill me to build up to make life a bit easier keeping ahead of all the guys I'm riding with on SpecialED S-Works, Cdale Ultimates, Trek SFs, 10-13lbs lighter than my Prime

    Regards to the stays, can't imagine a Dissent is that much bigger than a 2.4" Ardent to take up the extra space available (check the photo to see clearance with 2.4" Ardent on Flow). Pre-Production Primes stays were 83/87mm, according to the guys with production those numbers went down a bit IIRC to around 80mm, so still loads of clearance.

    Quote Originally Posted by 29erchico View Post
    Really good point about tire compatibility. Lots of nice things to like about the Prime. Do you see yourself throwing down anytime soon for a production Prime?

    I was very happy to find out that my B29 could roll a Dissent on a Gordo rim out back w/o any issues. Since the Dissent is no longer being produced, I assume that it is not included in your above statement. Do you know if the Prime will handle a Dissent?


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    Ahh

    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    One caveat no one has mentioned is that if you happen to like to run a decent sized tyre for a bike like this, then the Yeti, as usual, falls short. It cannot safely run anything over 2.2" without the possibility of the tyre rubbing/contacting the seattube, the Prime on the other hand will fit as big a tyre as you desire for currently produced 29er tyres.
    Thanks. That's a deal breaker. Why do all that work and not leave enough room for an appropriate tire?

  37. #37
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    It's too far out on the horizon for anyone thinking about buying a new bike next year, but Keith mentioned in the Banshee forum that coming year will a see 29er prototype that's more akin to the Spitfire.
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    No problem on the pre-production. I have Dissents front and rear until the Minions hit the shelves.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Minions are narrower than Dissents by at least 3mm.

  39. #39
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    I've run a specialized Purgatory 2.4 and a Nobby Nic 2.35, both on flows, both on my prime. Both cleared with a plenty of room, and rear fender that runs clear down to my bottom bracket.

    As for the bike comparisons, to help put it in perspective... I got just a bit of ride time on a buddies Bandit 29'er built almost identically to my prime proto. Both are great bikes, but different. It would be like comparing a Blur LT to a nomad. Now transition has the covert 29'er which will be more comparable to the Prime.

    The prime is the type of bike you want if there are any jumps/hucks/drops or shuttling. It is truly a 29" bike that does great on terrain where most will be riding a 160mm 26" bikes. The more trail-oriented 29'ers do have an advantage when the terrain is a bit more XC flavored- tighter or rollier, long climbs. Bottom line, they're all 29'ers.. a burly 29'er still climbs & pedals easier than a light 26'er in my opinion, so I don't mind some extra weight... especially when the trails get spicy!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Minions are narrower than Dissents by at least 3mm.
    As pleased as I've been with Hans Dampfs on my Middle -Northern Rockies trails, getting back on the Dissents this fall really drove home the point that there's no substitute for big aggressive rubber.
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  41. #41
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    The minion 29er that I saw seemed plenty larger then my 2.4 Ardent. But I was to busy suffering from tire envy on a ride with a group of friends. I even offered to pay retarded amounts of money for said tire......haha.

    That is bad news on the Yeti only taking a 2.2 tire, that is a deal killer for me as I like big rubber.

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    I am 6'4 and 245 and rode both a Spider and SB95 same day, and hands down liked the SB95 better...

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    Have about 1,200 hard, off road miles in central Texas on my XL SB-95. I am 6'5", 215 lbs, and think it is a great all-around trail bike. Climbs like a goat, and descends like a banshee. Have no issues with tire clearance (run a 2.4 Hans Damf in the front and a 2.35 Knobby Nic in the rear). Nice ride, and really rails when you want it to. I test rode about 6 or 8 different 29ers before I bought the SB-95, and it was hands down my favorite. Not quite as 'flickable" as a 26", but pretty damn close.

    As an FYI- none of Yeti's bikes are made here in the US anymore. The frames components (front and rear triangles) are made overseas, and then the frames are assembled by hand, by one guy, in Golden, CO. Dealer assembles all of the components to the frames, so getting a good dealer (local or mail order) is key.
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  44. #44
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    A light 29er can give you some of that nimble and fun feeling. A springy bike can also be kind of fun and nimble too. Problem is, the lines between too flexy and too stiff, or too much travel, or whatever, is different for different people. I honestly like 29ers with shorter travel, that give the feel and capability of a 26" bike with more travel, since I don't really like the pogo feel of long travel bikes for all-around riding.

    First off, you need to pick a bike that suits your trails and skill level perfectly. It needs to be capable to ride it all relatively confidently, yet allow for some challenge to make it fun and interesting, Too much travel, too stiff, or just simply too "big" won't be that much fun. If you ride with regular riding buddies, you should take their rides into consideration too.

    Since you can only afford one bike, it's better to go with the all-rounder. I would say forget alum frames, but there are some notable top class all-rounders out there that don't have carbon versions, like the SB95 and Trance 29. SB95c prob won't be released until mid '13. Giant has huge carbon experience (it's rumored that they make the high end carbon frames for Yeti and many others), so there likely will be a Trance 29c, especially if they want to keep giving their racers the edge, Carl Decker and Adam Craig, in these Super D and Enduro events. If I didn't already buy a bike recently, I'd definitely have Intense Spider 29 Comp on the top of my list, with price only holding me back. Cube bikes, like their Stereo models (29 and 650b) certainly interest me, but you really can't find them in the US.

    Last but not least, go with whatever looks good. A bike that not only rides well, but also looks good, can make you happy too. I might be biased, but those Yetis are really sexy bikes (SB66c pic, taken from VitalMTB, and my SB95)

    Do note what the others said about the SB95. You can't really fit more than 2.2 tire in the back, without it possibly rubbing the back of the seat tube, and that's a deal killer for many. If you don't plan on running tires that big... there are instances where you will wish you could, and, well, that SB66c doesn't have that problem.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varaxis View Post
    SB95c prob won't be released until mid '13. Giant has huge carbon experience (it's rumored that they make the high end carbon frames for Yeti and many others),
    Yep. Giant actually got it's start as an OEM manufacturer of bikes; they are the largest manufacturer of bikes in the world, and most of the bikes they make are for other brands.

    Additional piece of trivia- one of the reasons aluminum bikes are often made overseas is there are no hydro-forming facilities in the US.
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  46. #46
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    I thought that was a given, but since people think of Giant as the aluminum experts, I thought I'd point out that they actually have lots of carbon experience too. Was just saying, for those people wonder who's the OEM that makes [carbon] frames for Yeti and other high end brands overseas, giving some credit to Giant carbon, since some may have ridden "Giant-made carbon" without knowing it. Those other brands might have exclusive advanced manufacturing methods that are kept secret. A lot of "black magic" going on in there, which outsiders aren't allowed to know about. Just saying, I trust Giant carbon to be well done, offering great performance for the price, and that I expect the Trance 29 to have a carbon version soon.

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    Just did what you are contemplating and bought Yeti SB95.

  48. #48
    mtbr member
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    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    2,723
    I loved the SB95 after demoing one but I ended up liking the Bandit 29 better- one of the reasons is that, as mentioned, the SB95 has like no tire clearance for anything larger if you need to.

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