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  1. #1
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    Yeti SB-66 or SB-95 for a very skinny rider

    I live in Boulder, CO and currently ride a SS Trek 29er that weights around 22 lbs and has a 100mm front fork. I myself am a toothpick, albeit a very strong one with good legs and lungs. Fully geared up I weight about 130 lbs at 5' 10" tall. I can climb anything and usually pass tons of people on long climbs. I love climbing. I also love going back down but on a HT I can't ride that fast or feel that confident so I'm in the market for a FS and have decided on either the SB-66 or upcoming 95. Why? The XT setup is $4500, the same as the XT Remedy/other comparable bikes but with WAY better components. Yeti is also about 25 minutes from me and it would make me happy to have one, and the Switch link looks perfect for someone who loves climbing but wants to hang it out on the way back down.

    If you live in the area, my after work trail is either Marshal Mesa or the Doudy Draw loop. Both have moderate uphills and then flat fire road section for a while, and then flowy downhills punctuated with small rock gardens. On the weekends I've been hitting up the whole Foothills area, from the insane rock garden at Hall Ranch, to the crazy climb of White Ranch, to the cool wet forested Sourdough, to the rough Slickrock-esk Devil's Backbone up in Loveland. Basically I ride it all and I want a bike to ride it all.

    I love the "ride over anything" feeling the 29er gives me, as well as the confidence and speed, but because I'm so light, I feel like sometimes I can't compensate the gyroscopic effect and turning becomes difficult going downhill at speed. It also sometimes feels like for switchbacks, I almost have to come to a complete stop to turn the bike. Not good. But maybe Yeti has solved these issues with the slack geometry? The only other thing about my riding style, I will try to launch or bunny hop over everything I can. I never pass a water berm or angled boulder without trying to get as much air as possible from it!

    So the choice, I feel like the pros of the 66 are:
    -More fun on the DH sections
    -Can "play" with the trail better, ie launching off even the smallest berms and roots
    -Maybe better suited to my weight?
    -I can take it to bike parks/summer ski resort trails and feel at home
    -I can ride any trail with confidence that the bike will be able to handle it

    Cons:
    -While I love going downhill, 60-70% of my riding will be on trails I'll never need 6" of travel
    -Less traction for uphills
    -I'm not used to riding a 26" bike, small wheels kind of scare me to think about
    -probably not as good a climbing bike and I love climbing, or is it?

    For the SB-95
    Pros:
    -Better climber I'm guessing
    -Most of my riding will be perfect for a 29er, and if what people are saying about the 26"-like geometry is correct, the handling should be way better than on my current 29er.
    -More confidence on every part of the trail that I can get over any obstacle
    -Better for riding to and from the trails, (mostly Marshal after work) and for extremely long fire road-like trails such as the Switzerland trail network
    -I'm used to being on a 29er, I've been on one for a few years now

    Cons:
    -That gyroscopic effect I have trouble controlling because I weight 5 lbs
    -Turning on tight single track and when bombing through tight woods like on the Benjamin Loop at Betasso
    -Slower on tech downhills
    -Won't be able to launch off everything I see as well as on a 6" 26

    I know other good options exists like the Tall Boy, the Enduro, the Remedy, the Rumblefish, etc, but I'm pretty darn decided on one of the two Yetis. The SB-95 looks like one of the first 29ers that is built like an AM machine and that's what I want if I decide on a 29er.

    The only other thing I see to consider, is it seems like the SB-95 marks the turning point in terms of 26 vs 29. If Yeti is going to produce a 29er FS, I feel like it will only be a number of years before most everyone is riding 29ers, making better components, working out ways to incorporate longer travel, etc. They probably are the future like it or not. I've seen forum posts where people have both and say "Since getting my 29er FS, my 26 has been gathering dust"

    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    I couldn't help but laugh a few times when reading your intro, I will say that you did a great job covering the basics of asking for advice so thank you for that.

    Let's do start with some myth-busting:
    The forces you are feeling are probably due more to geometry than to gyroscopic force, unless of course, your tires weigh some ungodly amount.
    26" wheel bikes aren't going anywhere, they'll be around for a long time to come.

    You've chosen two bikes that are radically different to your current hardtail bike. Is there a reason you have gone with these two choices in particular? Yes, they're awesome but they're not the only fish in the sea. Even if you prefer to stick with Yeti there are some really good choices for people who like to climb but want more cusion on the DH.

    How much time do you have on full suspension bikes and have you had a chance to ride either of those bikes you mention?

    We can sit here all day long and throw out advice, but in the end it comes down to you buying the bike you like to ride the most. Either of those bikes would be an awesome choice, personally I would go with the 66 because I don't care for the wagon wheels when the trail gets tight. I think you'll find that both the 66 and 95 are going to be a completely different experience to your current bike. With 5 and 6 inches of wheel travel, the difference in wheel diameter often becomes secondary to the suspension platform. For instance, I have found that when the trail is rough my ASR7 out climbs any other bike I've been on. The wheel tracking of adding the large amounts of suspension keeps traction better than if you were on a hardtail and that's another aspect that gets overshadowed when comparing big wheels to small ones.

    I think the majority of your pros/cons are impressions that you have gathered from reading various reports of the bikes and combing them with well established prejudices against certain design choices of bikes. Your assumption that the 95 won't jump as well as the 66 may be unfounded when you consider that you are used to a HT 29er and neither of them will jump in the same way as that does. Same thing with the 95 being a better climber. Short of slightly lower travel, there is nothing that should indicate climbing prowess there.

    I don't know how many different ways I can possibly say that you need to start test riding bikes, but you need to start test riding bikes. Opening your options from hardtail to full suspension is tantamount to opening Pandora's box. It is especially more difficult to give advice when you're going from a SS HT 29er to a full on AM monster. I've made the same switch (HT -> AM) so if I can help just ask. If you're going to ask "which one is better" then you're only ever going to get each person telling you that the bike they bought is better and you'll never get an answer as to what bike is better for you.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  3. #3
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    If you love air and trail maneuvers like bunny hops I would steer you towards the small wheeled bike. Of course, that really only restates what you said above (and ignores the whole climbing part). If this is going to be a second bike to your ht, then I'd definitely go with the
    66.

  4. #4
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    I'm 5'11" and just a bit over 135. 60 pounds over. Gonna be awhile it seems like before there's a good ride available on Switz, Hall, White or anything else on the west side of town with today's snow, but if anything clears out soon hit me up and you can ride my 66 - we'll just dial the suspension down a couple hundy lbs of pressure.

  5. #5
    Jim Dunks
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    I have ridden both of these bikes. You are going to be very surprised with how the 95 handles in the corners and how quick it is overall. I was not even a 29er fan until I rode it. Both are great bikes and you need to ride them before deciding. Either way you will come out with a great ride.

  6. #6
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    ASR5c

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the responses guys! I think I've decided on the 66, but will probably test both. I realized in debating it, I already HAVE a 29er. While it isn't FS, it would probably be better to "expand my quiver" than to overlap. And thinking about the trails around here more, there are at least a handful of sections in every ride I feel like "man, I wish I had smaller wheels" even on the trails that are more XC oriented.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by boulderjordan View Post
    Thanks for the responses guys! I think I've decided on the 66, but will probably test both. I realized in debating it, I already HAVE a 29er. While it isn't FS, it would probably be better to "expand my quiver" than to overlap. And thinking about the trails around here more, there are at least a handful of sections in every ride I feel like "man, I wish I had smaller wheels" even on the trails that are more XC oriented.
    I feel I have a similar dilema as you. I'm 170 pounds, 6 foot tall, not as lean as yourself, but still lean. I live in Denver and ride a SS rigid 29r at Green Mountain, Dakota Ridge, and Red Rocks trial at least weekly during the winter when I can. I also ride the SS at Buff Creek, and Deer Creek. And I am in the market for a new FS bike, as I sold my 3 yr old 575 last fall. I recently placed an order for the 66. I, like you, wanted a 26 inch bike to diversify my stable.
    Last week we went to Moab, I brought my rigid SS 29'r, and also borrowed my brothers ASR5c. I rode the ASR5c on Mag 7, Porc Rim, and Brand trails. I rode the SS 29'r rigid on the Brand trails twice.
    I came home second guessing my order, and today I changed this to the sb-95. After riding the bigger wheels on the technical terrain of Brand trails, I had zero inclination of ever riding them again on a 26 inch wheeled bike. The 29'r just crushed those trails, i rode there twice on the SS 29'r. I don't think I like the sit down and pedal feel of the 26inch FS bike anymore. There where times on Porc Rim that I felt to high up on the ASR5c, and that I was too top heavy, meaning if felt like I was going to fly over the front wheel at any moment (which I did once, not the bikes fault). I still had an absolute blast on the ASR5c on Porc rim, I just did not have the clicheed "in the bike" feel on the 26.
    And looking back, I would prefer a 29r on Mag 7 as well. The only place I felt 26inch wheels have an advantage in a place like Moab is the tight and twisty ST at the bottom of Porc Rim. There were multiple times that I was amazed I didnt wreck my hands on rocks and made the turn, as the ASR5c had razor sharp reflexes. A 29'r will be slower in the tight twisty, but that is very rare in Colorado.
    My goal might be different then yours, but I came away realizing that I want a FS bike that can be ridden like a SS (standing and pedalling) with a slack geometry and full suspension to shred the downhills. When I look at the terrain in Colorado, I felt there are very few places that a 29'r won't have the advantage. However, I have never ridden a lift with my bike, as I'd rather pedal up.

  9. #9
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    So I ended up getting the SB-66 a few weeks ago and it is INCREDIBLE! First off, gorgeous bike. Light, extremely stiff, well thought out, and the Switch tech works perfect. Under normal riding it feels almost like a hardtail, especially with the pro pedal on position 3. It climbs way better than my 29er SS did. I'm cleaning technical climbs that before I would have never been able to make up (like at Walker Ranch) and the easy, XC style trails like Betasso are just buttery. I'm glad I got the 66 and not the 95, it really fits my riding style. I'm able to throw it through corners and over stuff so easily, and it just reacts almost without me having to think about it. The only disadvantage so far is the ability to stand up and mash the pedals at any time without slippage. I can still do this still, it just took some adjusting of body position, but the addition of gears makes up for this in spades. Downhill, it's a whole new ball game...it's just able to glide over everything. 10" tall boulders at 20 mph? No problem. It's truly amazing how well the suspension works. I feel like it can handle way more than I've thrown at it so far. Also, the one time I brought it to the Valmont Bike Park in Boulder, it was incredible. jumping on smaller wheels makes the jumps feel like the correct size, I'm now landing perfectly in the transitions every time instead of either overshooting them, or coming up short.

    Thanks for the help all who responded!

    PS...The attention this bike garners is really fun. Passing people, I'll here stuff like "Man check out that bike! That's the new Yeti!" and I've had a lot of people stop and ask about it. It's fun kind of being an unofficial ambassador for it.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Yeti SB-66 or SB-95 for a very skinny rider-533865_925185628817_39606128_38978510_1538018110_n.jpg  

    Yeti SB-66 or SB-95 for a very skinny rider-419798_914267004827_39606128_38929976_77066516_n.jpg  

    Last edited by boulderjordan; 04-28-2012 at 09:09 AM.

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