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Thread: SB66 vs SB95

  1. #1
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    SB66 vs SB95

    I've never ridden a 29" bike so I am seeking opinions.

    I have been on an ARC forever (2001) and want to make the move to FS. I was thinking about a 575 for years but now the SB is available. my riding partner has an SB95 and loves it. he climbs very well and descends equally well on it.

    I can get a current year 66 used (mnimal use) for a pretty decent discount over new so it's an enticing proposition.

    would the 95 be that much better? I know for the past few years everybody has been singing the praises of the 29 but now people think the 27.5 is the new holy grail. I personally don't think the 26" bike will ever disappear but I do see a lot of 29ers on the trail now.

    if I'm not going to buy another bike for 3-5 years minimum, should I hold out for a 29 or pull the trigger on a the SB66 to take advantage of the savings?

  2. #2
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    Yeti_Rider,

    I'm still riding 26" bikes and love them and I just purchased an SB66c and it rocks. I have not ridden a 29" bike yet nor am I in a big hurry to do so since I just picked up the 66c.

    My suggestion is ride each and see which only you like the best or if that is going to be too hard the 66 will rock for you as well for the 3-5 years you are looking at.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
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    +10 for demo riding. I've been on a few 29ers, rigid, HT, and FS but come from a long time background riding 26er FS (6" travel).

    I *freaking*love* my SB95.

    I doubt I would be unhappy with an SB66, but I have a 7" travel 26er FS for heavy-duty stuff (currently with Boxxer fork) and it would be too much crossover functionality.

    For me, the 5" FS 29er is the perfect trail machine for me and where I live.
    ,
    The only down side to the bike is the relatively smaller options for tire selection, and the rear tire clearance could be better (anything over 2.2" can be a tight fit for the chainstay, depending upon the tire).

    It's also not hard to bottom out a phatter rear tire against the seat-tube on the main triangle, on flatter landings and the like.

    Word on the street is the carbon '95 has more tire clearance, i've no idea if anything else has changed.

    Good luck making the choice.

  4. #4
    oot & aboot in Colorado
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    +1 for the Demo Ride.

    I came from a Yeti 575.

    I had my mind made up - I wanted an SB66c. I went to the Yeti demo truck to try and decide on a medium or a large SB66; they set them both up for me and I rode them back to back. On a whim I took an SB95c for a ride... I didn't want to give it back!

    I ended up buying the SB95c even though I'd never been on a 29er before and I'm absolutely loving the thing.




    That said, I'm sure if I'd bought the 66 I'd love it to.
    Every time I ride my buddy's the thing feels great.

  5. #5
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    Word on the street is correct in terms of tire clearance. Much more than the alloy version.

  6. #6
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    This might help from when I asked a similar question:

    SB95 or SB66?


  7. #7
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    I just got done riding a 95a for 12 miles on unfamiliar trails. Loved it. I have a 575 and it was just as fun and faster. I'm. XL but all they had to rent was large, definitely to small. (6'4 34") inseam.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin+M View Post
    Word on the street is correct in terms of tire clearance. Much more than the alloy version.
    Hmm. I wonder if the carbon rear triangle will bolt on to the alloy front. *insanity*

  9. #9
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    I spent two weeks riding a friend's SB-66 last year and have been on a SB-95 this season. In my opinion, the choice between the two bikes (other than the obvious different wheel size) comes down to terrain. The SB-66 thrives on being ridden at high speed, especially in wide open terrain. The long top-tube and slack angles (especially when built with an appropriate 545-555mm a2c fork) reward an aggressive stance and cornering from the hips. I live in the Northeastern US and often ride tighter terrain where it is hard to keep the bike at speed and sweeping corners are few and far between. In these conditions, I found the longish rear end and wheelbase to be a handful to push around most of the time. I was forced to run a 530mm a2c fork to bring the geometry to a point where it was working with me instead of fighting me. In my mind, this defeats the point of the longer rear travel and capable frame. Again, I suspect I would have enjoyed this frame quite a bit more on one of the trips to Sedona, the Front Range, or Moab.

    The SB-95 is more balanced and has been designed around the fork chassis that makes the frame shine. At 120mm fork travel, it is a brilliant trail bike that can tackle the steepest technical lines with wheels on the ground with ease. I have not yet ridden the bike with a 140mm fork but that will be the next test to see if it can complement my 26in bike for more pedally enduro races. The top tube lenght is more conventional and the geometry is quite compact for a 29er with 125mm of travel.

    I did not get along with the 2013 Fox CTD shock (I feel it's underdamped in its stock setting and the bike uses too much travel all the time). It works well for low speed rock crawling because of how compliant it is, but at any kind of speed over rough terrain it gets overwhelmed. I had a Push Monarch RT-AM from a previous frame with similar leverage curve, and it is a brilliant shock. The compression stack needs to be lightened up a bit but even like this it transforms the frame and gives the chassis excellent stability and control.

  10. #10
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    nybike1971: FWIW I just replaced the stock RP23 from my '95 with a CC DBAir. I've the bike setup with more sag than previously but are having no more pedal strikes, and the bike just works amazingly well in this setup, to me.

    "rock crawling" as you put it is still totally cool, but the higher speed over rough terrain rides ever so wonderfully well.

    Even though I'm using more PSI in the tires than before (35-40 psi from 20-25 psi with 2.3~2.2" tires), which pays benefit in rolling resistance and rock-guarding the rims even better.

    I'll be interested to hear in your feedback after changing the fork spacing. I have mostly run my fork (stock '13 Fox CTD) w/o the travel spacer in it, assuming it was at 140mm travel. When I serviced the fork during the shock change-over two weeks ago I put in a 10mm spacer. I was surprised to find that during suspension setup that the fork was bottoming out with about 142mm of stroke. Yes, I double checked the spacer install and it is correct. My advice is to zero-air check the stroke on your fork before and after.

    Where in NY, btw? I'm in NE PA so we could be "virtual neighbors" as it were.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bear View Post
    nybike1971: FWIW I just replaced the stock RP23 from my '95 with a CC DBAir. I've the bike setup with more sag than previously but are having no more pedal strikes, and the bike just works amazingly well in this setup, to me.

    "rock crawling" as you put it is still totally cool, but the higher speed over rough terrain rides ever so wonderfully well.

    Even though I'm using more PSI in the tires than before (35-40 psi from 20-25 psi with 2.3~2.2" tires), which pays benefit in rolling resistance and rock-guarding the rims even better.

    I'll be interested to hear in your feedback after changing the fork spacing. I have mostly run my fork (stock '13 Fox CTD) w/o the travel spacer in it, assuming it was at 140mm travel. When I serviced the fork during the shock change-over two weeks ago I put in a 10mm spacer. I was surprised to find that during suspension setup that the fork was bottoming out with about 142mm of stroke. Yes, I double checked the spacer install and it is correct. My advice is to zero-air check the stroke on your fork before and after.

    Where in NY, btw? I'm in NE PA so we could be "virtual neighbors" as it were.
    The CCDB Air would be my first choice for a quality air shock on the SB-95 and SB-66. It plays very very well with the linear leverage curve of these frames with the high-flow can (not XV). I have a lot of experience tuning this shock as I have been running it for over a year on my Knolly Chilcotin and I spent a week on a Ibis Mojo HD with the CCDB Air and one week with a Push Monarch Plus. The difference was quite striking in favor of the CCDB Air for me. You will absolutely love it.

    I am not sure I understand what you mean about the fork bottoming out with 142mm of stroke with the 10mm spacer. Could you please elaborate on that? Feel free to send me a PM if you feel this is off topic for the thread.

    I live in the Capital District and ride all over NY state; if you find yourself headed out my way give me a shout and I'll make sure to show you some quality trails! I'll be spending more time in the DE/PA area this Summer and will probably hit you up for some trail intel.

    Cheers,

    Luca

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by nybike1971 View Post
    ...You will absolutely love it...ride all over NY state ... time in DE/PA ..
    nice to hear. so far I do, only have about 120 trail miles on it though....noted...always feel free to give me a holler, hopefully I can oblige helpfully.

    pm sending for other stuff. ;^)

  13. #13
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    I can't speak to Yeti's, but I have been primarily riding a 29er for 7 years, and recently rented a 26er (full squish Specialized Stumpjumper) to see how it would compare to the full suspension 29ers I've been demoing and renting, and I was surprised by how much I disliked it.
    The frame size was correct for my height (6ft even), but something just didn't feel right. It climbed like a tail heavy dump truck.
    Of course, this could be due to a bad fit, bad geometry, etc.

    My conclusion was that for us taller folks, 29er geometry is better. Whether that's true or my mind leading me to believe things, who knows... but my decision to stay with 29ers was reaffirmed, and I'll be on a SB95 in a few weeks!

  14. #14
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    I rented a SB66 last year in Moab. It was a great bike, but not enough for me to come home and replace my 575 with one. Fast forward one year, I demoed a SB95 on our local trails here and within two weeks ended up buying one. I found the differences between a 26 and 29 significant. I'm not sure I would ever go back to a 26er.

    To the OP's question on keeping a bike 3 to 5 years, I'm going to say that I am of the opinion that there will be a migration off 26in bikes to 27.5 and 29ers. 29er's are becoming quite popular here (Colorado) and my own LBS stated the SB95 is outselling the SB66 2:1. Once Yeti comes out with the SB(27.5) - which will be a great bike, I question the longevity of the SB66, since the bikes will ride very similar. This is all conjecture on my part based on what I see happening. But I've certainly been wrong before

  15. #15
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    I switched the fork to "130 mode" about a month and a half ago. The bike really gave up nothing on steep climbs, etc., but the descending feels MUCH more balanced and the slightly slacker headtube angle is a win.
    Keith in Corvallis

    Yeti SB-95 Race
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ridetheridge View Post
    I rented a SB66 last year in Moab. It was a great bike, but not enough for me to come home and replace my 575 with one. Fast forward one year, I demoed a SB95 on our local trails here and within two weeks ended up buying one. I found the differences between a 26 and 29 significant. I'm not sure I would ever go back to a 26er.

    To the OP's question on keeping a bike 3 to 5 years, I'm going to say that I am of the opinion that there will be a migration off 26in bikes to 27.5 and 29ers. 29er's are becoming quite popular here (Colorado) and my own LBS stated the SB95 is outselling the SB66 2:1. Once Yeti comes out with the SB(27.5) - which will be a great bike, I question the longevity of the SB66, since the bikes will ride very similar. This is all conjecture on my part based on what I see happening. But I've certainly been wrong before

    +100!

  17. #17
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    Hey Luca, have you heard about the Wilmington bike fest, up here(near lake placid) weekend of 6/14-6/16,lots of activities including leadville qualifier on the 16th. take care

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    nybike-interested to hear your thoughts on riding it with the 140mm fork as well. Demoed the 95c in Grand Junction and really liked the way it rode on the trail...however on the fast and chunky downs it just felt undergunned with the 120 fork setup. Looking to replace my Mojo HD for Enduro racing and really wonder how this bike would compare with a 140mm Pike charging something like the Whole Enchilada. My gut tells me it would be awesome.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by robnow View Post
    nybike-interested to hear your thoughts on riding it with the 140mm fork as well. Demoed the 95c in Grand Junction and really liked the way it rode on the trail...however on the fast and chunky downs it just felt undergunned with the 120 fork setup. Looking to replace my Mojo HD for Enduro racing and really wonder how this bike would compare with a 140mm Pike charging something like the Whole Enchilada. My gut tells me it would be awesome.

    I ride with, actually I follow, Ny1971 on a Sb95. I love the bike, and prefer it to my sb66 and Mojo HD 650b hands down. I have the front set to 130mm, but I too, may bump it up to 140mm for hard charging days (jumps/drops/shuttle).
    Last edited by bpnic; 06-06-2013 at 11:24 AM.
    I'd hit it, but I bruise like a peach.

  20. #20
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    I have "charged" more than a few steep and rocky downs in PA (Rothrock SF, Bald Eagle SF Michaux SF, Wiser SF), and a few others semi-near-by, and the one thought that keeps coming up to me is how much I should be wearing some body armor on these rides.

    The first time I noticed that I was carving a turn through some moderate rock field in Bald Eagle, and later found my gps had recorded me at over 20 mph in that area, I started shopping for "xc armor."

    The only negative I can say was that there were times when the stock '12 RP23 felt under-gunned, at speed.

    Now, with a dropper post, I swear the bike handles a lot of DH better than my Titus SuperMoto that has a Boxxer fork. Faster, smoother, more in control ... to a point. There's definitely a point where 7-8" of travel takes over.

    I keep thinking I need to get a set of the new Maxxis phat tires (Minion DHF 2.5 front / High Roller 2.3 rear) and put them on my spare wheels and go to Mountain Creek Bike Park and do some exploring.

    Just don't tell the Mrs. :^)

  21. #21
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    I will crack it open and change travel in the next few days. I have been racing Enduro and Super D races on a Knolly Chilcotin but in all fairness, the courses are just not burly enough to make that bike shine and I feel that a 29er would have a speed advantage. I agree with you that at 120mm I am not particularly comfortable getting loose at lift-serve mountains where these races are held (Plattekill, Killington, Sunday River, etc). On the other hand, Krispy from Go Ride raced the Whole Enchilada enduro last Fall on a SB-95 (I don't know if he had the Fox set at 120mm or 140mm) and took third in the Amateur category.

    The major shortcoming of the Fox 34 is bottom out protection. I weigh 160lbs and am forced to ride the fork at least 65psi in Trail mode to prevent metal on metal bottom out on 3 foot drops or so to flattish landings. This gives a pretty harsh ride for most conditions. If I understand correctly where the spacer is inside the fork, removing should shorten the negative air spring and make the fork more progressive, which should help all around.

    The Pike 140mm definitely looks like an interesting option. Avalanche should be releasing their cartridge damper for the Fox 34 platform in the next few weeks. That would be very hard to resist for me as it made the Lyrik on my Chilcotin into pretty much the best fork I have ever ridden and that includes Fox 36 (VAN, Float, and TALAS), Fox 40, RS Revelation, Boxxer (R2C2 and WC), Marzocchi 66 and Z1, and a variety of short travel forks.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by nybike1971 View Post
    I will crack it open and change travel in the next few days. I have been racing Enduro and Super D races on a Knolly Chilcotin but in all fairness, the courses are just not burly enough to make that bike shine and I feel that a 29er would have a speed advantage. I agree with you that at 120mm I am not particularly comfortable getting loose at lift-serve mountains where these races are held (Plattekill, Killington, Sunday River, etc). On the other hand, Krispy from Go Ride raced the Whole Enchilada enduro last Fall on a SB-95 (I don't know if he had the Fox set at 120mm or 140mm) and took third in the Amateur category.

    The major shortcoming of the Fox 34 is bottom out protection. I weigh 160lbs and am forced to ride the fork at least 65psi in Trail mode to prevent metal on metal bottom out on 3 foot drops or so to flattish landings. This gives a pretty harsh ride for most conditions. If I understand correctly where the spacer is inside the fork, removing should shorten the negative air spring and make the fork more progressive, which should help all around.

    The Pike 140mm definitely looks like an interesting option. Avalanche should be releasing their cartridge damper for the Fox 34 platform in the next few weeks. That would be very hard to resist for me as it made the Lyrik on my Chilcotin into pretty much the best fork I have ever ridden and that includes Fox 36 (VAN, Float, and TALAS), Fox 40, RS Revelation, Boxxer (R2C2 and WC), Marzocchi 66 and Z1, and a variety of short travel forks.
    I would also consider new 2014 fox talas in the mix of those forks along with xfusion trace if it ever ships

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by nybike1971 View Post
    If I understand correctly where the spacer is inside the fork, removing should shorten the negative air spring and make the fork more progressive, which should help all around.
    I can't speak to anyone else' fork, but this link for older gen stuff shows exactly how mine was setup.

    Mine had the 20mm spacer in place exactly as shown.

    2002-2012 & 2013 80 - 120 FLOAT/F-Series Travel Adjust

  24. #24
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    I have ridden a Fox 34 and RS Pike back to back. I can tell you buy the Pike /discussion. The 34 is not even in the same zip code regarding performance.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by bear View Post
    I can't speak to anyone else' fork, but this link for older gen stuff shows exactly how mine was setup.

    Mine had the 20mm spacer in place exactly as shown.

    2002-2012 & 2013 80 - 120 FLOAT/F-Series Travel Adjust
    That spring shown in the picture is the negative spring. Fox does not use an air neg spring.

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