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  1. #1
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    My ride for the next 3 days (SB-95)

    Just picked up one of the pre-production SB-95s for the weekend. University Cyclery here in Austin has a M, L, and XL for the next month for test rides; will post impressions after tomorrow.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Bacon Jr View Post
    Just picked up one of the pre-production SB-95s for the weekend. University Cyclery here in Austin has a M, L, and XL for the next month for test rides; will post impressions after tomorrow.
    I'll be reading!
    2012 Intense M9
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    You lucky SOB. I want to ride one real bad, can't wait to hear your reports.

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    Please post ride impression over varied terrain and if you have pictures of the terrain you rode over please post. I got to ride one for ~30 minutes but the terrain wasn't representative of my home turf (terrain was too easy, didn't get to exercise the bike's abilities). Much thanks!

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    You're going to have a blast. I rode one for about 2 hours earlier this week and loved every second!

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    Quote Originally Posted by XJaredX View Post
    You're going to have a blast. I rode one for about 2 hours earlier this week and loved every second!
    second that! I rode one at a demo and was sold....saving started!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by yeti575inCA View Post
    second that! I rode one at a demo and was sold....saving started!
    The SB-95 is perfect for you! And it's got the guides for your Reverb...

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    SICK! You said they have it for the next month, do you know if Yeti is sending these out to select shops for a short period of time for demos?

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    I ran into you on the Greenbelt today. He was nice enough to let me hop on for a minute. Good looking bike but he outweighs me by a good bit and the rear shock was too pssurized for me so it felt super stiff on the backend.

    anyways. Just posting because I thought it was a cool bike.

  10. #10
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    SB-95 first ride impressions

    As promised:

    Short version-
    Rides like a Yeti, which from me, is high praise for a 29'er.
    Will buy- I will put my name on the wait list as soon as I return the bike to the shop on Monday.

    Long Version-

    Background- 6'5", 218 lbs, 46, have ridden for most of my life, starting road bikes in 1979 or so, and moving to mountain in 1991. Raced in the early-mid 90's here in Central Texas on the NORBA circuit. Have ridden Yetis since 1994. PRO Fro, 07 575, 10 575 (current ride)

    I have hated every 29'er I have tried- Specialized, Santa Cruz, Gary Fisher, Niner (to be fair, the Niner RIP was OK, but just did not wow me). The SB-95 is a completely different experience. It rides like a mountain bike should, IMHO. Stiff front and rear. Goes where you point it, climbs like a goat, and inspires confidence in descent. Rides like a Yeti should; no odd handling caused by being a 29'er, and just flows over the trail. My subjective impression was it really made riding my usual Sat ride much easier.

    Rode on Barton Creek Greenbelt here in Austin, which has just about every type of trail; smooth, flowing single track, loose, rocky ascents and descents, and rock garden sections. Rode 24 miles, 1,500 feet of climbing over 4 hours in the saddle or so- descent amount of time with the bike. Will ride again tomorrow and Monday AM; will post additional impressions.

    (JHM123- Yeti is sending the bikes to select dealers for about a month at a time for them to allow demos- ask your shop)

  11. #11
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    Not to incite a riot, but I'm seeing a lot of "I only ride Yeti's and I used to hate 29ers, but this is the best bike I've ever ridden!"

    It's hard to believe people that feel this way have actually given 29ers a fair shot.

    Long time 29er aficionados seem to like the SB-95, too, but most of them don't see it as a quantum leap from other 29ers.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Bacon Jr View Post
    As promised:

    Short version-
    Rides like a Yeti, which from me, is high praise for a 29'er.
    Will buy- I will put my name on the wait list as soon as I return the bike to the shop on Monday.

    Long Version-

    Background- 6'5", 218 lbs, 46, have ridden for most of my life, starting road bikes in 1979 or so, and moving to mountain in 1991. Raced in the early-mid 90's here in Central Texas on the NORBA circuit. Have ridden Yetis since 1994. PRO Fro, 07 575, 10 575 (current ride)

    I have hated every 29'er I have tried- Specialized, Santa Cruz, Gary Fisher, Niner (to be fair, the Niner RIP was OK, but just did not wow me). The SB-95 is a completely different experience. It rides like a mountain bike should, IMHO. Stiff front and rear. Goes where you point it, climbs like a goat, and inspires confidence in descent. Rides like a Yeti should; no odd handling caused by being a 29'er, and just flows over the trail. My subjective impression was it really made riding my usual Sat ride much easier.

    Rode on Barton Creek Greenbelt here in Austin, which has just about every type of trail; smooth, flowing single track, loose, rocky ascents and descents, and rock garden sections. Rode 24 miles, 1,500 feet of climbing over 4 hours in the saddle or so- descent amount of time with the bike. Will ride again tomorrow and Monday AM; will post additional impressions.

    (JHM123- Yeti is sending the bikes to select dealers for about a month at a time for them to allow demos- ask your shop)
    How come you have hated all the other 29'ers from the major brands? What was so bad about them? Are you talking only FS 29'ers, hardtails or both?

  13. #13
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    My ride today confirmed my initial impression- rides like a Yeti. I'll be on the wait list tomorrow.

    Here is my impression of the 29'ers I rode before the SB-95 (this was before I knew Yeti was coming out with a 29'er)

    <SNIP>
    I rented the Stumpjumper 29 FSR last Wednesday. Not a bad fit, but has the feeling of sitting way up on top of the bike. I have had people tell me riding a 29er was more like sitting "in" the bike. Not here. Not a bad geometry, but I had the wheel wash out multiple times, smacked into a tree, and got a massive bruise on my right bicep (big enough my wife wanted to know why I had a knot on my arm). And to top it all off, f-you brakes. No modulation, no control, just off and f-you. On your ass.

    Got a Santa Cruz Tallboy on Sunday for my weekly BCGB ride- what a disappointment. Simply would not go where I told it to (is this a difference in rotational moment issue, or a design issue? All three bikes did this to one degree or another). Combine that with bad tire selection for CTX, and I ended up riding the main stem of the GB, with no side trips. As an aside, a buddy of mine rode the Tallboy last weekend independently, and had the same impression.

    Last night, however, was the worst of the bunch thus far. Gary Fisher Rumble Fish. Horrible riding position (very upright- clown bike extrodinaire) terrible tires (no traction at all in the loose dirt that is trail norm right now), and truly awful handling. The bike simply would not go where I told it to- an order of magnitude worse than the Tallboy. End result was catching my bars on a cedar, and ending up with the bike in tree, and me on my ass.
    </SNIP>

    Clearly some of my dislike for the above bikes stems from tire and component selection, but geometry and handling played a big part. I want a bike to go where I point it, not wander when I climb; basically not get in the way of riding. Add that to my familiarity and comfort with the way a Yeti handles, and I am sold (IMHO, every Yeti I have ever ridden has a similar feel. I may be sold on the 95 because it feels familiar, but I do like it)

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Bacon Jr View Post
    My ride today confirmed my initial impression- rides like a Yeti. I'll be on the wait list tomorrow.

    Here is my impression of the 29'ers I rode before the SB-95 (this was before I knew Yeti was coming out with a 29'er)

    <SNIP>
    I rented the Stumpjumper 29 FSR last Wednesday. Not a bad fit, but has the feeling of sitting way up on top of the bike. I have had people tell me riding a 29er was more like sitting "in" the bike. Not here. Not a bad geometry, but I had the wheel wash out multiple times, smacked into a tree, and got a massive bruise on my right bicep (big enough my wife wanted to know why I had a knot on my arm). And to top it all off, f-you brakes. No modulation, no control, just off and f-you. On your ass.

    Got a Santa Cruz Tallboy on Sunday for my weekly BCGB ride- what a disappointment. Simply would not go where I told it to (is this a difference in rotational moment issue, or a design issue? All three bikes did this to one degree or another). Combine that with bad tire selection for CTX, and I ended up riding the main stem of the GB, with no side trips. As an aside, a buddy of mine rode the Tallboy last weekend independently, and had the same impression.

    Last night, however, was the worst of the bunch thus far. Gary Fisher Rumble Fish. Horrible riding position (very upright- clown bike extrodinaire) terrible tires (no traction at all in the loose dirt that is trail norm right now), and truly awful handling. The bike simply would not go where I told it to- an order of magnitude worse than the Tallboy. End result was catching my bars on a cedar, and ending up with the bike in tree, and me on my ass.
    </SNIP>

    Clearly some of my dislike for the above bikes stems from tire and component selection, but geometry and handling played a big part. I want a bike to go where I point it, not wander when I climb; basically not get in the way of riding. Add that to my familiarity and comfort with the way a Yeti handles, and I am sold (IMHO, every Yeti I have ever ridden has a similar feel. I may be sold on the 95 because it feels familiar, but I do like it)
    Thanks for sharing your experiences. It's true, some of the complaints with those other bikes could have been remedied by component changes. I think a lot of it has to do with rider preference. There are countless people in the world riding the hell out of all the bikes you mentioned. No doubt the SB-95 is a killer bike and Yeti did a good job keeping you in the family. What's the sticker price on the Enduro build anyhow?

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    Yeah- I think different component choices would have mitigated several of my dislikes- biggest factor is probably the fact I have 20 years on 26" bikes, and to me, that is what a mountain bike should feel like.

    Unofficial word is the price point for the SB-95 will be similar to the SB-66, so 3,500 of so for the Enduro build. Would love a carbon version, but don't want to wait, and am sure the price will be painful.

  16. #16
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    So why a 95 over a 66?

    (Personally I wouldn't guess a 66 would be that well suited to Austin, but I'd like to hear your take.)
    Since when did Need have anything to do with this?

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    I was told the MSRP of the Enduro build was $3,900 by my LBS. I ended up ordering a Stumpjumper FSR Expert EVO 29 instead, but it was a very tough call for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hillharman View Post
    Not to incite a riot, but I'm seeing a lot of "I only ride Yeti's and I used to hate 29ers, but this is the best bike I've ever ridden!"

    It's hard to believe people that feel this way have actually given 29ers a fair shot.

    Long time 29er aficionados seem to like the SB-95, too, but most of them don't see it as a quantum leap from other 29ers.

    I have to say that I just bought my first yeti ever this fall and have never had some sort of love affair or kinship with the brand. 100% impartial. That said, I bought a Big Top after test riding one as I do believe the Yeti geometry on it felt different than the other 29er hardtails I had ridden. I think it is the generally lower BB, shorter stays and slacker head angle vs say, Niner, that made the difference for me. I think these comments hold true for the SB-95 in looking at the geo charts as well. Different strokes for different folks.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by icegeek View Post
    So why a 95 over a 66?

    (Personally I wouldn't guess a 66 would be that well suited to Austin, but I'd like to hear your take.)
    The shop put an order in with the factory this morning for me. Black XL SB-95. However, the demo trailer is coming here to Central Texas before my 95 frame would ship, so I am going to test ride an SB-66 to see if it is the 29'er part or the switch part of the bike that really makes a difference. Long way of saying I am getting an SB, just not totally done with my research.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by XJaredX View Post
    I was told the MSRP of the Enduro build was $3,900 by my LBS. I ended up ordering a Stumpjumper FSR Expert EVO 29 instead, but it was a very tough call for me.
    Got quoted pretty much the same cost for an SB-95 as an SB-66 this AM at the shop. Will post up as I get more details.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smithrider View Post
    I have to say that I just bought my first yeti ever this fall and have never had some sort of love affair or kinship with the brand. 100% impartial. That said, I bought a Big Top after test riding one as I do believe the Yeti geometry on it felt different than the other 29er hardtails I had ridden. I think it is the generally lower BB, shorter stays and slacker head angle vs say, Niner, that made the difference for me. I think these comments hold true for the SB-95 in looking at the geo charts as well. Different strokes for different folks.
    The Tallboy has short chain stays and a low BB. It has a steeper HTA, but that's because it's a racier, XC oriented bike. So when you say it handles poorly, it makes your review look a little biased. It doesn't handle in the manner you are looking for, but tons of people love how nimble it is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hillharman View Post
    The Tallboy has short chain stays and a low BB. It has a steeper HTA, but that's because it's a racier, XC oriented bike. So when you say it handles poorly, it makes your review look a little biased. It doesn't handle in the manner you are looking for, but tons of people love how nimble it is.
    Every review is biased; it is, by nature, a subjective exercise. You are clearly biased toward the SC Tallboy- you love it, you ride it, your bias. I did not find it particularly nimble; I found the handling vague. Again, my opinion of the TB I rode; a rental, only minimally set up for me.

    Interestingly enough, the TB and the SB-95 have exactly the same length chain stay (17.5 by each manufacturers specs). Difference in handling is in the head tube angle (71 vs 68.5) and BB height (12.8 vs 13.2). Other geometry differences exist, but IMHO, those are the salient ones in the differences in handling.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Bacon Jr View Post
    Every review is biased; it is, by nature, a subjective exercise. You are clearly biased toward the SC Tallboy- you love it, you ride it, your bias. I did not find it particularly nimble; I found the handling vague. Again, my opinion of the TB I rode; a rental, only minimally set up for me.

    Interestingly enough, the TB and the SB-95 have exactly the same length chain stay (17.5 by each manufacturers specs). Difference in handling is in the head tube angle (71 vs 68.5) and BB height (12.8 vs 13.2). Other geometry differences exist, but IMHO, those are the salient ones in the differences in handling.
    Here's the difference: I've ridden a Tallboy that was set up for me. I've read probably 100 reviews, and not a single one has said the handling was vague, and the vast majority described it to be the opposite. This is why I found it difficult to take your review seriously. I have no doubt you liked the SB-95. It looks like an awesome bike! But based on your description of the Tallboy, it's hard to believe there wasn't something else going on. For what it's worth, I do agree the stock Crossmax tires are borderline dangerous for some types of riding. I wasn't a huge fan of the Stumpjumper FSR I rode, either.

  24. #24
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    I demo'd one for about 3 hours, liked it but didn't love it. It made me love my ASR5c.


  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by hillharman View Post
    The Tallboy has short chain stays and a low BB. It has a steeper HTA, but that's because it's a racier, XC oriented bike. So when you say it handles poorly, it makes your review look a little biased. It doesn't handle in the manner you are looking for, but tons of people love how nimble it is.
    Not sure I understand your post. I didn't say anything about a tall boy and finished my statement by saying different strokes for different folks (aka) some 29ers don't handle in a manner I am looking for but may work very well for others. I would agree with you that the tall boy appears to be more xc focused whereas Yeti's are more aggressive trail in orientation. I prefer the later, you seem to prefer the former. That is why options are so great!

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    Quote Originally Posted by smithrider View Post
    Not sure I understand your post. I didn't say anything about a tall boy and finished my statement by saying different strokes for different folks (aka) some 29ers don't handle in a manner I am looking for but may work very well for others. I would agree with you that the tall boy appears to be more xc focused whereas Yeti's are more aggressive trail in orientation. I prefer the later, you seem to prefer the former. That is why options are so great!
    Reviews are subjective, sure, but some are more reliable (i.e. likely to be held by other people) than others. To be frank, I'm questioning the reliability of anyone who describes the Tallboy's handling as vague. It's fine if that is your opinion, but if it is, it is likely you have highly nonstandard opinions of mountain bike handling that don't likely translate to other people, in which case, interpreting your description of the SB-95 becomes difficult.

    What makes the SB-95 a more aggressive trail bike is it's slacker HTA. This should slow down the handling of the bike, all other things being equal. So your opinions, while they may be legitimately yours, don't jive with either the described purposes of the bikes or what their geometry numbers would suggest. You may like one more than the other, and you are certainly entitled to that, but your descriptions don't make sense.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by smithrider View Post
    Not sure I understand your post. I didn't say anything about a tall boy and finished my statement by saying different strokes for different folks (aka) some 29ers don't handle in a manner I am looking for but may work very well for others. I would agree with you that the tall boy appears to be more xc focused whereas Yeti's are more aggressive trail in orientation. I prefer the later, you seem to prefer the former. That is why options are so great!
    It occurs to me I've conflated your posts and the OPs. My apologies.

  28. #28
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    I'll chime in and agree 100% with Bacon. I've got lots of time on a Niner Rip, Fisher Superfly, SC Tallboy, Tracer 29, Yeti Big Top, and both 2010 and 2011 Stumpjumpers. The poorest handling IMO is the Tallboy. If I could only own one bike it'd be a toss up between the Yeti and the Fisher, both of those bikes, again IMO, handle both XC & trail riding like champs. For some reason I was never able to get the Tallboy to handle like I think a bike should and it was ridden with both a 100mm and a 125mm fork. I know others love theirs, I really disliked it. The best of the bunch is the Tracer but would be overkill for most people on most trails.

    All bikes mentioned were or are owned by my brother. Once his SB95 arrives the parts on the Tallboy will be stripped and moved to the Yeti.

    Thanks for the bike info Bacon; anyone have any idea when the Yeti demo's will be happening in central Texas?
    Calvin

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by okie_calvin View Post
    Thanks for the bike info Bacon; anyone have any idea when the Yeti demo's will be happening in central Texas?
    shop thinks late March or early April- we get an early times lot since we don't get snow. I'll post up exact date when I hear it.

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    I'm going to get killed for this....

    So my first post here is going to get flamed.......
    I'm keeping a close eye on this thread since I'm anxiously awaiting reviews and details on this bike. My buddy owns the yeti dealer by my house. I've ridden an ASR5C out in Oregon on my trips and loved it. Bottom line, I'm a yeti fan.

    But....

    The Tallboy is a fantastic bike that is renowned for it's handling. I had one for a year built up with a 120, arch wheels, wide bars and it was a knife of a trail bike. Don't just take my 2 cents. read Bike magazines review from last years bike bible and I believe Seb kemp (former anti 29er, bike handling bad ass) said it was a bike destined to become a classic. The reviews hailing it as a years best, etc. is long.

    Sooooo, kill me if you want. I am stoked about the SB-95 can't wait to throw a leg over it. You're a luck man to have it for 3 days and glad to hear that the Switch is getting positive reviews

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by velez3000 View Post
    So my first post here is going to get flamed.......
    I'm keeping a close eye on this thread since I'm anxiously awaiting reviews and details on this bike. My buddy owns the yeti dealer by my house. I've ridden an ASR5C out in Oregon on my trips and loved it. Bottom line, I'm a yeti fan.

    But....

    The Tallboy is a fantastic bike that is renowned for it's handling. I had one for a year built up with a 120, arch wheels, wide bars and it was a knife of a trail bike. Don't just take my 2 cents. read Bike magazines review from last years bike bible and I believe Seb kemp (former anti 29er, bike handling bad ass) said it was a bike destined to become a classic. The reviews hailing it as a years best, etc. is long.

    Sooooo, kill me if you want. I am stoked about the SB-95 can't wait to throw a leg over it. You're a luck man to have it for 3 days and glad to hear that the Switch is getting positive reviews
    You aren't going to get flamed for having an honest (and very accepted) opinion of the Tallboy. I own one as well and it's going on two years now - maybe the longest I've kept a bike in recent history. It is indeed a fantastic bike and ridden for its intended use/within its limitations, is unrivaled. I also own a SB66 and it is also a phenomenal bike. If it didn't overlap with the SB95 I would consider one of those as well, but as it is I have nice separation between the two bikes.

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    yeah, I miss having a FS bike. I'm digging the geo #'s on the SB-95. Short head tube, long TT, short CS, good stand over
    If I could get a TB on roids (plan on building with a F29 34 140) then I'll be happy camper.

    All the best,

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    Quote Originally Posted by okie_calvin View Post
    If I could only own one bike it'd be a toss up between the Yeti and the Fisher, both of those bikes, again IMO, handle both XC & trail riding like champs.
    Are you talking Superfly Hardtail or the 100 FS bike? I was amazed when I saw the HA on the Superfly HT, it's slacker than the Big Top. I currently ride a Big Top for my hardtail and a 12' Superfly100 Pro Al for my FS bike. I need two bikes and for the riding I do, those two nail it.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFCuddy View Post
    Are you talking Superfly Hardtail or the 100 FS bike? I was amazed when I saw the HA on the Superfly HT, it's slacker than the Big Top. I currently ride a Big Top for my hardtail and a 12' Superfly100 Pro Al for my FS bike. I need two bikes and for the riding I do, those two nail it.
    I'm talking about the FS Superfly 100; it handles our rocky über technical trails extremely well along with the smoother flowing trails I've ridden it on.
    Calvin

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    Quote Originally Posted by okie_calvin View Post
    I'm talking about the FS Superfly 100; it handles our rocky über technical trails extremely well along with the smoother flowing trails I've ridden it on.
    Right on, I agree 100%. I live in Wissahickon park in Philadelphia. There is some rugged technical rocky climbs/descents and the SF100 rips it. I would like to see how the SB95 does in that stuff. I never got my 08' 575 dialed in for those climbs. The front end always got too light and vague making the climbs seem impossibly long and hard to manage. Ping ponging side to side until the inevitable pride damaging unclip and dab....The downs were killer with it though.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by icegeek View Post
    So why a 95 over a 66?

    (Personally I wouldn't guess a 66 would be that well suited to Austin, but I'd like to hear your take.)
    I haven't ridden the SB-95 but I've been on an SB-66 here in Austin for a few months. Its done well in the chunky goodness. I think it blends the best of the 7 with the 575's I've owned. My 66 is getting a pushed monarch plus very soon which I think will be a good match for the bike.

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    Hope all of you went for a dip in the springs after! I've been to Austin a lot recently as my sister went to UT... I typically spend a day riding the Greenbelt on a Tallboy that Bicycle Sport Shop rents me. I'll most likely be heading down there this spring and will, if it seems necessary, add my thoughts on the SB95. 6'5", 180 pounds, straight up XC non-racer lookin to get an FS bike finally. Skole!

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    Replies: 3
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