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  1. #1
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    Yeti ASR 5 (alloy) OR Specialized Camber, Stumpjumper, OR SC Tallboy, OR ?????

    I few weeks ago I bought a Yeti ASR 5 alloy bike (2010 model). It was kind of an impulse buy--good deal, very nice bike and I deviated from my plan of buying a second "learner" bike on the used bike market and popped for the Yeti. Unfortunately (??), the seat stay on the ASR cracked on my first trail ride. (Details here: ASR 5 Alloy--possible damage to seat stay?)

    The bike is currently being repaired at no cost and I now have the option to either take it back, or use what I paid for it as "store credit" on a different bike. I haven't made up my mind whether to change bikes or not, but the apparent fragility of the carbon fiber rear triangle has me really gun shy about getting another one. There are a LOT of ASR owners who have had no problems, but the fact remains this one broke and I have no clue as to how--other than a couple of "normal" crashes. I'm waiting to hear from the warranty department at Yeti as to whether they found any manufacturing defect in the broken rear, or whether it is due to some kind of "impact.'

    The Yeti dealer also carries Specialized, Santa Cruz, Kona and Felt bikes. I don't know too much about Kona or Felt, so in gathering data on what my choices are I've narrowed it done to a few possibilities:

    Specialized:

    Camber
    Stumpjumper FSR

    I'd probably go for a 29'er in either of these models--but 26" models are available also. And I probably can do either a straight trade or spend up to another $500 or so and get a model with a mid-level build. In either case, I don't think I would end up with a bike that was better-built/higher quality than the ASR, but one that is probably a lot less like to suffer major damage.

    Santa Cruz

    I don't know much about the Santa Cruz line, but I like the 29er Tallboy. Currently that is only available as full-carbon bike, but the dealer tells me that an alloy version of the frame will be available soon and that should put it into my budget, with a low- to mid-range build.

    Yeti

    I thought I would also mention that I can probabaly also get a 2011 Yeti 575 by adding $500 or so. The rear triangle on that bike has an aluminum chain stay, but still a CF seat stay. Also, I think that if I stick with Yeti, I'd like to stick with the ASR 5--it's a really nice bike and, theoretically at least, seems to be one of the best available for the kind of riding that I can/will do, with plenty of room to grow into. If only it didn't break!

    Finally, I know that a lot of this depends on a lot of variables that I can't really address at this point: how do you ride, riding style, how do you like a bike to handle, etc., etc. I'm a beginner and, frankly, a bad rider. I started out on a used Giant Reign, sold that and was looking for a second "learner" bike on the used market when I got into the Yeti, so that's where I am now and I want to choose as wisely as I can. I don't anticipate doing anything other than ride easy trails in the foothills until I have better basic skills.

    I'm going to take a 29er Stumpjumper FSR out for a ride tomorrow. And, I can probably test ride any of the potential bikes that they have demo models in. I would like to make a decision relatively quickly so the dealer isn't stuck in limbo while I figure it out. They have been great to work with, but I don't want to abuse the relationship. I think that a lot of places would just be billing me for a new rear triangle at this point!

    TIA for any pointers, including any info on hidden gems in the Kona or Felt lines that I haven't looked into.
    Last edited by Porschefan; 05-03-2011 at 10:47 AM.
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you'll crash. ~Julie Furtado

  2. #2
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    Oh Man, you have brought up a myriad of different options, and I KNOW that people are going to say "ride as many as you can" and I will certainly support that.

    I came across your post as I am looking to buy something in this vain when I get home from deployment, and I will not have the luxury of being able to ride any of these before I return.

    26 or 29 is a huge decision and one that shouldn't be taken lightly. They ride very differently. I am having the same debate myself, and all I can say, is to try and ride them if you can. If you buy a 29 and don't like it, you have to sell and then buy a whole new bike as (almost) nothing transfers from a 26 to 29. If you buy a 26 and don't like the frame, you can just swap the frame.

    OK, so my opinion should not be your end-all, but....

    The 575 is a very different bike than the ASR 5. (My top pick right now) The ASR5 has a lot shorter travel and is more XC single-track friendly than the 575 which is more of an All Mountain bike which won't be as nimble and fast, but will be better going down the mountain. If you aren't doing a lot of big mountain descending, or drops, then I would stick with the ASR5.

    Yeti and SC are both considered "boutique" bikes, where the Spesh is not. That is not to say it is not a great bike as well, (hell, they are all made in the same overseas factories) but don't expect any "ooh, ahhh", if you ride up to buddies with a Spesh as you might with a ASR5. Also resale won't be as high with the Spesh.

    Lastly, about being a "learner", no one makes a "learner" bike. There is only expensive and inexpensive. If your budget will allow for a good bike, then go for the one that is most comfortable to you, and just rip it up. The trails are where you learn, not the bike. The bike is only the "means to justify the end".

    With that said though, I would stick with shorter travel as it will behave a little easier than a longer travel bike.

    If you want my final opinion, stick with the ASR5, ride the crap out of it and figure out what you want from there. If you want another 26" bike a few seasons down the road, just but a new frame to better meet your updated riding style.

    I do love the ASR5, and Yeti will take care of you when you have problems, which you shouldn't have many of. It is a GREAT frame to work from.

    Good luck,
    Heath

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by hhuffman
    Oh Man, you have brought up a myriad of different options, and I KNOW that people are going to say "ride as many as you can" and I will certainly support that.
    Heath,

    Thanks for taking the time to respond. I haven't gotten any other feedback on this, but I'm not surprised. It's just way too general a question with no "right" answers, without writing a book! It's basically just my decision and I'll make it soon. I'll probably stick with the ASR 5 and cross my fingers that it doesn't break again!

    I came across your post as I am looking to buy something in this vain when I get home from deployment, and I will not have the luxury of being able to ride any of these before I return.
    I don't know if you've seen this thread:

    Best Value Full Suspension Under $3,000.00

    This is a pretty wide-ranging and long discussion of bikes in this general price range. Lots of choices! Since I already bought the ASR 5 I'm limited to the brands the Yeti dealer carries for exchange value. You might find some of the info useful, or fun.

    The 575 is a very different bike than the ASR 5. (My top pick right now) The ASR5 has a lot shorter travel and is more XC single-track friendly than the 575 which is more of an All Mountain bike which won't be as nimble and fast, but will be better going down the mountain. If you aren't doing a lot of big mountain descending, or drops, then I would stick with the ASR5.
    I agree. I will be either keeping the ASR 5 or moving to another manufacturer. From what I've been able to gather, 5 isn't any slouch on the downhill side, just not as capable as the 575. I'm sure that I wouldn't be pushing the 5 beyond its capabilities for a long time, if ever.

    .....but don't expect any "ooh, ahhh", if you ride up to buddies with a Spesh as you might with a ASR5. Also resale won't be as high.
    Well, at the risk of further exposing myself as a shallow poseur....I'll have to admit that the "wow" factor of the Yeti is there for me. I think they just exude a certain hard-to-quantify, quality factor. When I found this one on close-out, I couldn't resist.

    As for resale value, my original intention was to get another used bike, but that ship has sailed. Just as with cars there is a huge hit with any new bike....but the Yeti probably has a marginally better resale value than a Specialized.

    ....The trails are where you learn, not the bike. The bike is only the "means to justify the end".
    Of course you're right. It's time to just pick one and get out and ride. I'm just working in a theoretical universe until I get more experience.

    If you want my final opinion, stick with the ASR5, ride the crap out of it and figure out what you want from there. If you want another 26" bike a few seasons down the road, just but a new frame to better meet your updated riding style.

    I do love the ASR5, and Yeti will take care of you when you have problems, which you shouldn't have many of. It is a GREAT frame to work from.
    That's what is probably going to happen.... Thanks for the input, and hope you get home safe and soon and find a great bike for yourself.
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you'll crash. ~Julie Furtado

  4. #4
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    Hey Porschefan,

    Is there any chance your dealer has more closeout ASR5's? I might just pick one up from them if they do.

    If you really are a newby to the sport, I KNOW the ASR5 will get you through 99.9% of the traials you willl be able to handle. Case in point, I ride a place in the NE called Highland Mountain BIke Park which is pretty advanced (look it up on Youtube) and I regularly ride with guys on Bullets, and other 5" and less travel and although some can get sketchy, they have all survived.

    My Reign X, which is only an inch more than the 575 eats up Highland all day as that's what it is made for. There is no need to bring that out onto flat singletrack, and like the 575 it really is just too much travel for that kind of riding. What I am really saying it that unless you are doing serious DH, 3-4.5 inches is plenty (that's not what she said!) Doh!

    Thanks for the response and keep me posted.

    Best,
    Heath

  5. #5
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    Coming from an ASR5, I'd recommend the Titus X alum or carbon as they are massively discounted right now and cost exactly the same. That's the choice if you're looking for a really fast XC bike. If you're more into trail then there are other choices...
    Titux X Carbon 2010 race 9.93kg
    Titux X 2009 "Deore 2012" training 11.55kg

  6. #6
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    Hmmm, As Porschefan and I are looking for about the same thing, you piqued my interest in the Titus X. However, the X is only 105 mm of travel, and although the Titus name does lead people to believe that it is "better", it looks A LOT like the same suspension as the ASR5, but with shorter travel and different pivot location behind the BB.

    So, Iooked at their TRAIL offering and do like the FTM Carbon with 135 mm of travel for less than $2,000. I have NEVER heard anything but rave reviews for Titus frames so I will certainly put this on my radar.

    Thanks~~~!!!

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    I am not sure if its in a different price bracket, but you also might want to look into the Blur LT

  8. #8
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    Good recommendation for the Blur LT, however, I rode one of the first generation Blurs and didn't love it. I liked it, but I felt that I didn't like the ON or OFF suspension technique. There was either 5 inches of travel or none, and over a 12 mile race I found it unpredictable.

    Is the new design a better balance?

  9. #9
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    I wouldn't buy a Titus; they're out of business. They were great bikes, but if you have a problem, no one is there to warranty it, and there won't be any replacement part support.

    I have a 2006 Yeti 575. That bike was AMAZING. Yeah, past tense. Two nights ago I snapped a weld on the rear triangle and that's the end of that. They don't make that particular rear anymore and it is more economical (best bang for the buck) to go to a new frame. Please realize there were problems with these swingarms and for the most part, they've been replaced under warranty. They constantly update and refine their product, and stand behind it when something goes wrong.

    Now, I have to point out, I'm not the original purchaser of my bike, yet Yeti told me they'd extend the crash replacement discount to me if I purchased another newer rear triangle, frame, or complete bike. That's a pretty amazing thing for them to do, IMO.

    I rode the new 575 and the new ASR5. I'm going with the ASR5 because it feels nearly identical to my older 575. The new 575 is amazing, but I don't have the downhilling terrain here in TX that would really let that bike shine it ALL its glory. The slightly lighter weight and smaller frame will be beneficial for my trails, and I'm not really giving up anything in the suspension department because the linkage and shock technology have gotten better.

    The Yeti guys each make several iterations of each bike, then tweak them until they get a bike they like. Then they compare bikes, and the common ideas are implemented. All the guys are serious riders, and their 'test facility' is the mountains where the shop is located, in Golden, CO. That's real, honest, grass-roots product development by guys who really ride. I respect that. A lot.

    The new ASR5 is amazing in every aspect. It is technologically sound, if not bleeding edge. Its performance isn't open to interpretation; they're solid performers. The frames are works of art, and the passion the guys have for their bikes is truly evident in the end product.

    I like most all quality bikes, but I've seen Spec/Trek/GF/etc. turn into high dollar cash cows that simply mimic what the true 'rider companies' are developing, and they don't do it as well, and the designs aren't nearly as exciting or well thought out. I doubt very seriously they're developed by riders who are also engineers. They're more likely developed by engineers who get feedback from riders, and there's a disconnect that'll always be present in that situation. I think that's truly the difference. They're all good bikes, but it's the rider/engineer that truly separates one from the other, and I think that's why Yeti has such a rabid following (myself included; I'm a relatively recent convert).

    When my triangle broke, I decided to take a look at the mainstream bikes. What I discovered was that a bike of similar quality and capability was actually more expensive from the mainstream manufacturers, which should never be the case. Made me a little sick to have seen Specialized go from the company that Yeti is now, into this mega industry pumping out bikes and spending money on advertising that makes last year's models obsolete (whether they truly are or not) in pursuit of profit. That said, Yeti has recently started having bikes built in Taiwan as well, though there mush be a serious quality control presence there as their bikes are all gorgeous by comparison.

    And hey, there's something about that 'wow' factor. I'm totally in. There's a pride that comes with it. A Yeti tends to become a friend; a faithful trail partner. Ask guys who own them and you'll discover they generally keep them for many, many years. Often, when it comes time for a new bike, another Yeti will take its place.

    Now that I've given you way more than you asked for about Yeti's background (I thought it was important to get a history/theory about the company), I should address your concerns.

    Yeti does have a reputation for rear triangle failures. They also have a reputation for fixing them, and making changes to fix the problems as they arise in production. The 575 had far more than any other, and you're bound to have a given percentage of any product fail. The Treks and Gary Fisher bikes were having MASSIVE amounts of rear triangles fail.

    I think the ASR5 is good for what you're looking to do with it. You'll get the best return on investment among the other bikes noted when (as if... LOL) you want to sell it later. I wouldn't shy away from Yeti based on your experience. I know it's a bit unnerving, but I wouldn't expect you'd have continued problems. Even if you did, Yeti would correct it, and change the design.

    I'd stick with Yeti.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MC70 View Post
    I wouldn't buy a Titus; they're out of business. They were great bikes, but if you have a problem, no one is there to warranty it, and there won't be any replacement part support.

    I have a 2006 Yeti 575. That bike was AMAZING. Yeah, past tense. Two nights ago I snapped a weld on the rear triangle and that's the end of that. They don't make that particular rear anymore and it is more economical (best bang for the buck) to go to a new frame. Please realize there were problems with these swingarms and for the most part, they've been replaced under warranty. They constantly update and refine their product, and stand behind it when something goes wrong.

    Now, I have to point out, I'm not the original purchaser of my bike, yet Yeti told me they'd extend the crash replacement discount to me if I purchased another newer rear triangle, frame, or complete bike. That's a pretty amazing thing for them to do, IMO.

    I rode the new 575 and the new ASR5. I'm going with the ASR5 because it feels nearly identical to my older 575. The new 575 is amazing, but I don't have the downhilling terrain here in TX that would really let that bike shine it ALL its glory. The slightly lighter weight and smaller frame will be beneficial for my trails, and I'm not really giving up anything in the suspension department because the linkage and shock technology have gotten better.

    The Yeti guys each make several iterations of each bike, then tweak them until they get a bike they like. Then they compare bikes, and the common ideas are implemented. All the guys are serious riders, and their 'test facility' is the mountains where the shop is located, in Golden, CO. That's real, honest, grass-roots product development by guys who really ride. I respect that. A lot.

    The new ASR5 is amazing in every aspect. It is technologically sound, if not bleeding edge. Its performance isn't open to interpretation; they're solid performers. The frames are works of art, and the passion the guys have for their bikes is truly evident in the end product.

    I like most all quality bikes, but I've seen Spec/Trek/GF/etc. turn into high dollar cash cows that simply mimic what the true 'rider companies' are developing, and they don't do it as well, and the designs aren't nearly as exciting or well thought out. I doubt very seriously they're developed by riders who are also engineers. They're more likely developed by engineers who get feedback from riders, and there's a disconnect that'll always be present in that situation. I think that's truly the difference. They're all good bikes, but it's the rider/engineer that truly separates one from the other, and I think that's why Yeti has such a rabid following (myself included; I'm a relatively recent convert).

    When my triangle broke, I decided to take a look at the mainstream bikes. What I discovered was that a bike of similar quality and capability was actually more expensive from the mainstream manufacturers, which should never be the case. Made me a little sick to have seen Specialized go from the company that Yeti is now, into this mega industry pumping out bikes and spending money on advertising that makes last year's models obsolete (whether they truly are or not) in pursuit of profit. That said, Yeti has recently started having bikes built in Taiwan as well, though there mush be a serious quality control presence there as their bikes are all gorgeous by comparison.

    And hey, there's something about that 'wow' factor. I'm totally in. There's a pride that comes with it. A Yeti tends to become a friend; a faithful trail partner. Ask guys who own them and you'll discover they generally keep them for many, many years. Often, when it comes time for a new bike, another Yeti will take its place.

    Now that I've given you way more than you asked for about Yeti's background (I thought it was important to get a history/theory about the company), I should address your concerns.

    Yeti does have a reputation for rear triangle failures. They also have a reputation for fixing them, and making changes to fix the problems as they arise in production. The 575 had far more than any other, and you're bound to have a given percentage of any product fail. The Treks and Gary Fisher bikes were having MASSIVE amounts of rear triangles fail.

    I think the ASR5 is good for what you're looking to do with it. You'll get the best return on investment among the other bikes noted when (as if... LOL) you want to sell it later. I wouldn't shy away from Yeti based on your experience. I know it's a bit unnerving, but I wouldn't expect you'd have continued problems. Even if you did, Yeti would correct it, and change the design.

    I'd stick with Yeti.
    MC70...great advice even if after the fact a bit Yeti did replace the rear triangle under warranty and I haven't had any further damage. I think the bike is about perfect for me factoring in the riding that I do and the budget I had to work with. I had a couple of 575 owners I met at the trailhead "test riding" it around the parking lot a few days ago and they liked it a lot. If you don't need the extra brawn of the 575 then it's a great way to go.

    I'm adding the 12 x 142mm rear axle upgrade this winter and a new wheelset with DT 240's. Maybe a dropper seatpost too. But even as-is it's a bike whose ability far outstrips my skills, and it looks just great too!
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you'll crash. ~Julie Furtado

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