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  1. #1
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    Need to test drive a SB66, Can't find one locally.

    I want to try a size small SB66, but can't find one locally around Thousand Oaks California. I'd really like to see the difference between a small and medium before making a purchase.

    Does anyone know of a small sized demo unit local here is the greater LA area?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    I really want to try a SB66 before buying one. I'm on the fence between it and a Ibis Mojo. Does anyone have experience with both? How is the sizing similarities between the two frames?

  3. #3
    Spring! Spring! Spring!
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    If you do some searching here on MTBR (not limited to the yeti forum) I DO remember reading someone doing test rides and writing extensively on both of those bikes.

  4. #4
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    Here's some snippets from a review I did earlier with a few updates.

    When I bought my SB66 I tested the SB66, Nomad, MojoHD, and Giant Reign. I went into this wanting a MojoHD and in my mind this test was to simply validate that. I was coming off a Yeti 575.

    The first bike I tested of course was the SB-66 with 160mm Talas forks, and immediately noticed how much stiffer it felt than the 575. For me it climbed much better, like night and day. Descending was a completely different feel as well. Not as muted and but much more directional. The 575 does a really good job of smoothing out the trail and leaving you feeling safe, but it doesn't have that locked in feeling and doesn't give you the feedback needed to pick the fastest lines. In no way does it rail like a SB66. The SB-66 was planted where the 575 would have a tendency to wallow a bit under pressure. The head angle of the '66 had it much more capable at speed, especially when the trail got dicey. You can push the SB66 way beyond the trail bike/all mountain realm and it responds great. It's an easy bike to ride fast.

    The next bike was the Giant ReignX. I really didn't want to like this bike and spent the least amount of time on it. In retrospect I should have spent more time on it because it was a performer to say the least. The Maestro suspension is truly great. Climbed pretty well, descended very well. It had a lot of the plushness of the 575, but railed much better. I think I was just looking for something more boutique.

    Santa Cruz Nomad. Longer travel than the SB66, but didn't feel like it. I don't know if it was because the SB66 felt longer or the Nomad felt shorter. Both climbed very well, both were extremely fun going down. The VPP seemed to me to have just a slight bit more pedal feedback when the suspension was working. It also felt like it rode a tiny bit taller to me. I actually had an opportunity to spend a week on a Nomad when visiting a friend out of town recently. The Nomad is certainly much more work on a technical descent. It stays tall and doesn't hold a line like the SB66. I heard Push Ind came out with a suspension component that helps fix this, but I've never spoken to anyone that has tried it. The VPP has a bit of a wonky feel when really active at high speed.

    The MojoHD to me was well behind the bikes above. It pedaled well, but felt tall and resistant to give up travel. It had as much or more suspension than any bike I tested, but felt the most like a trail bike of any of them. Going down it felt like a lot of work in comparison to the others and was the most difficult to throw around and control. When I started this test I assumed this was going to be the bike I would end up on and my mindset was to use this test to prove that, which is why I rode it last. I think if my riding style was long fire roads, followed by some single track with maybe a few hairy areas, this would be a great bike, but when the trails get dicey and blown out, this one would come up way short.

    Since doing this test I've switched to a Sb66C and am blown away by the bike. It has all the attributes of the SB66A, but it seems to respond to rider inputs a bit differently....much quicker allowing you to lighten your body on the bike because you never need to overpower it, if that makes any sense. A huge difference is the way it climbs and sprints. One local trail I ride requires a 2-3 mile climb, depending on which way I ride in, and the SB66C handles it like a dream. The trail has a couple short steep uphill sections and the 66C sprints up these with ease. It's night and day vs the 66A.

    Your profile says your from Thousand Oaks. I have a size small SB66a you could try. I recently broke my collarbone and had it screwed and plated, so I'm on the shelf for a couple months. It's my wifes bike so it's set up maybe a bit light for you, but she usually only rides with me and as long as I'm on the mend it's just going to be sitting here. I sent you a PM.
    Last edited by smellurfingers; 02-08-2013 at 12:12 PM.

  5. #5
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    How close is Corona or Riverside? Jenson has store locations there. Not sure if they have demos, but it's worth investigating.
    That creep can roll, man.

  6. #6
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    smellurfingers,
    Thanks so much for the review. Extremely timely for me.
    I'm right now deciding between three of those bikes -- the SB66C, the Nomad C and to a lesser degree the HD -- for my next frame.
    I'm currently on an ASR5C and just want to jump up a bit on travel, though not by a huge amount.
    My main question to you is how did you find the different geometries -- specifically the top tube lengths?
    They vary greatly. In medium, my size, there's nearly a difference of 1.5 inches (Nomad 23.8; HD 23.1 and Yeti 24.1).
    My ASR5C is 23.7 and I can't imagine being any more stretched out.
    That said, I ride a fairly short stem at 55mm and worry the Nomad may be a bit crammed (I definitely don't want to go to a longer stem BUT would consider shorter ie. For the Yeti).
    Thanks.

  7. #7
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    You can probably parking lot test one at the Path in Tustin or JensonUSA in Corona.

    I'm inclined to recommend the longer ETT for SoCal, combined with a very short stem. I believe they spec a 70mm stem on it, which is about an inch shorter than a 90-100mm stem, and you alter that another inch with a 40-50mm stem. I like the longer wheelbase for the stability, well behaved front end up climbs, less deflection over bumps, and less OTB feeling when going down steeps and on the brakes, compared to the shorter wheelbase bikes which will be more likely to wander and deflect vertically off of bumps (people call that pop and think it's fun though). Then again, I don't look for dirt jumping geo in trail bikes.

    Be sure to test the bike on the trails, if you can. Pedaling a bike in the big ring, on pavement, without the suspension tuned for your weight, can lead to misleading impressions. Switch suspension is absolutely awesome on the trails, but not so much when mashing the big ring on the road.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jon123 View Post
    smellurfingers,
    Thanks so much for the review. Extremely timely for me.
    I'm right now deciding between three of those bikes -- the SB66C, the Nomad C and to a lesser degree the HD -- for my next frame.
    I'm currently on an ASR5C and just want to jump up a bit on travel, though not by a huge amount.
    My main question to you is how did you find the different geometries -- specifically the top tube lengths?
    They vary greatly. In medium, my size, there's nearly a difference of 1.5 inches (Nomad 23.8; HD 23.1 and Yeti 24.1).
    My ASR5C is 23.7 and I can't imagine being any more stretched out.
    That said, I ride a fairly short stem at 55mm and worry the Nomad may be a bit crammed (I definitely don't want to go to a longer stem BUT would consider shorter ie. For the Yeti).
    Thanks.
    I think it's easy to get hung up on top tube, but in reality, the SB66 doesn't feel long to me. It's the complete geometry that matters. Also it's made to be ridden with a short stem. I started with a 50mm and then went to a 35mm. The 35 was really good. Recently I raised the stem height which had the 35mm feel a bit short. I swapped back to the 50mm and it's dialed.

    My SB66 feels perfectly fine for all day rides. It's not an XC frame and there's better bikes out there (ARC) for that job. It climbs very well, as good or better than any other 6 inch bike I've ridden. Where it sets itself apart is on the downhill trails. It rails high speed singletrack and shreds the chunky technical stuff. I haven't found another bike that allows me to ride faster and stay in control.

  9. #9
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    smellurfinge,

    Thank you for the get review. What year 575 were you on?

    Thx,
    Mtnbiketodd

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiketodd View Post
    smellurfinge,

    Thank you for the get review. What year 575 were you on?

    Thx,
    Mtnbiketodd
    2011

  11. #11
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    I had the opposite experience between the HD, 66 and Nomad. The 66 felt like much more of a trail bike vs. the other two. The Nomad was the most capable descender but only by a very small margin over the HD with the 66 farther behind. 66 was the best climber but not significantly better than the HD. I have seen these sentiments echoed in most comparisons between these bikes. I can say that the HD descends very very well in rocky technical terrain. I have done drops as big as 10' without issue on mine without issue as well. In the end nothing beats riding them all and figuring out what works out best for your riding style. All of them are incredible machines.

  12. #12
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    Quick update. First off, mega thanks to Smellurfingers for letting me ride both his medium SB66C and his Small SB66. After a couple of quick runs it was apparent the medium was the right size. I've got two rides in on the bike he loaned me and I have to say it surpassed my expectations. I have it until Saturday morning and hope to get a couple rides more in today if it doesn't rain.

    Doug, I hope your collarbone heals quickly. It's not everyday someone would go out of his way to loan a stranger a bike like this, and go through the trouble of making sure it was set up, all while recovering from surgery. I see what you mean when you called the bike a game changer. I truly appreciate your generosity.

    I did have a chance to demo a Nomad, and after riding it, reading a couple of magazine reviews, along with the comparison above, I've decided against it. Relative to other frames on the market, it's a great bike, but there's just something missing. It feels a bit nervous going down, like the suspension isn't sorted or something, nothing like the SB66, total different feel. I'm not sure I'll get my hands on a Mojo, or that it's even that important to me.

  13. #13
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    CDEM,
    How tall are you?

  14. #14
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    Glad to hear you're getting along with the bike. No worries on the loaner, it's my pleasure. It would just be sitting in the garage otherwise.

    Regarding the differences between the MojoHD and the SB66. The HD wasn't for me but it is a fine bike. To me it felt like a bike that a single track type trail rider would feel at home getting aggressive with, while the SB66 is a Downhiller riders Enduro/All Mountain dream bike. Comfortable enough for an all day ride, but if you're going to be looking for a super plush ride while lollygagging down steep technical trails and easing it through turns, it's may not be the best bike for you. The SB66 comes alive when your pushing it and that's where it differentiates itself from the MojoHD. It's low, long and sleek. The suspension is very linear feeling from beginning to end which helps keep your speed up through big hits as well as chatter.

    As far as the SB66 for big drops and aggressive freeriding. Google "Eliot Jackson Antarctica". That's basically my back yard and my SB66 holds its own.
    Last edited by smellurfingers; 02-08-2013 at 04:47 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salespunk View Post
    I had the opposite experience between the HD, 66 and Nomad.
    Salespunk,

    Did you ride the SB66 or SB66c?

    Thank you!

  16. #16
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    SB66 and admittedly it only had the 32 and not the 36 on it. Would love to try a 66c with either a Lyrik or 36 on it. I live in chunk central here in Socal and the rockier the better for me.

    My disagreement about descending is pretty emphatic. I rode them back to back down some descents with varied terrain from big time high speed chunk all the way to fast smooth sweepers. There was a marked difference in the two bikes. It could come down to setup, but I will say that the HD get's down the hills very well. I am not disrespecting the 66 since I do think it is a great bike. Here are a few pictures of the abuse I put my bike through.






  17. #17
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    I spent a long time on this purchase and last night made up my mind and ordered a SB66C from Competitive Cyclist. It really came down to the SB66 and the MojoHD. I was able to spend the day with a MojoHD yesterday and really liked the bike, but I echo the comments of others whose reviews I've read online. It feels tall, rides tall, and has noticeable differences in feel depending on where it is in the travel. Also, it doesn't give up the early travel very easily. That said it's an easy bike to ride and very comfortable.. I think the biggest difference I noticed with the SB66 is how much it shines when driven hard. It is noticeably stiffer than other frames in the category and felt like it needed a bit of a firm hand to get the most out of it. Cruising around on trails it was a great bike, but it was when it was pushed hard that it separated itself from the group of frames I tested. I would also add that tight turns at speed required a bit of a different approach. My first few rides had me easing it a bit, trying to get used to the feel. After a couple runs I decided to drive the bike into the corner hard and trusted that it would stick. The feeling is phenomonal. The bike just rockets out of turns when pushed. I suspect this is because of the stiff frame. This feeling alone I couldn't replicate on the MojoHD and is what tipped the scales for me. Plus hands down the SB66 descended better than any other bike I've ridden. Full disclosure, I did spend considerably more time on the SB66 than the MojoHD, but in all honesty it just fit me and my riding style perfectly from the minute I swung my leg over it. I had a great time riding the MojoHD, but after a short while wished I was riding the SB66.

    One thing of note, initially I was leery of the SB66 due to it being 150mm, while every other bike I tested was 160mm. I learned quickly that either, 10mmm isn't that much of a difference, or that quality of suspension is much more important than quantity. Understanding that your body is your primary suspension, maybe it's a bit of both. The SB66 had me well positioned and I was able to ride aggressively yet maintain a relaxed posture. It was certainly a learning experience and taught me not to get hung up on numbers.

    I made the decision and couldn't be more excited. A huge thank you to smellurfingers for your generosity. I'm looking forward to those off the map trails you've told me about. Heal quickly my friend.

  18. #18
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    Congrats on the new ride! Glad that you got to ride both of them.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDEM View Post
    I spent a long time on this purchase and last night made up my mind and ordered a SB66C from Competitive Cyclist. It really came down to the SB66 and the MojoHD. I was able to spend the day with a MojoHD yesterday and really liked the bike, but I echo the comments of others whose reviews I've read online. It feels tall, rides tall, and has noticeable differences in feel depending on where it is in the travel. Also, it doesn't give up the early travel very easily. That said it's an easy bike to ride and very comfortable.. I think the biggest difference I noticed with the SB66 is how much it shines when driven hard. It is noticeably stiffer than other frames in the category and felt like it needed a bit of a firm hand to get the most out of it. Cruising around on trails it was a great bike, but it was when it was pushed hard that it separated itself from the group of frames I tested. I would also add that tight turns at speed required a bit of a different approach. My first few rides had me easing it a bit, trying to get used to the feel. After a couple runs I decided to drive the bike into the corner hard and trusted that it would stick. The feeling is phenomonal. The bike just rockets out of turns when pushed. I suspect this is because of the stiff frame. This feeling alone I couldn't replicate on the MojoHD and is what tipped the scales for me. Plus hands down the SB66 descended better than any other bike I've ridden. Full disclosure, I did spend considerably more time on the SB66 than the MojoHD, but in all honesty it just fit me and my riding style perfectly from the minute I swung my leg over it. I had a great time riding the MojoHD, but after a short while wished I was riding the SB66.

    One thing of note, initially I was leery of the SB66 due to it being 150mm, while every other bike I tested was 160mm. I learned quickly that either, 10mmm isn't that much of a difference, or that quality of suspension is much more important than quantity. Understanding that your body is your primary suspension, maybe it's a bit of both. The SB66 had me well positioned and I was able to ride aggressively yet maintain a relaxed posture. It was certainly a learning experience and taught me not to get hung up on numbers.

    I made the decision and couldn't be more excited. A huge thank you to smellurfingers for your generosity. I'm looking forward to those off the map trails you've told me about. Heal quickly my friend.
    You're going to be stoked when it arrives. Did you change your mind and order the bike local? When does it get here?

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