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Thread: SB95 or SB66?

  1. #1
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    SB95 or SB66? And the answer is?... SB95c!

    Hi


    I'm considering buying one at the moment but I'm not able to get a test ride on either, so I'm left relying on the bikes great reviews and videos that are all over the net.

    I'm looking for some advice from people who have ridden both bikes as I currently ride a 29er trail FS bike and I love it, but I want the best of the two bikes, I'm not adverse to going back to the smaller wheels if it means the SB66 shreds better than the 95. What's important to me is comfort, climbing and the ability to cover ground as quickly as possible. I'm not a gravity or air time hero though.

    So is there anyone willing and able to chime in please?
    Last edited by Just J; 04-23-2013 at 01:52 PM.

  2. #2
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    At the Yeti demo here I had the chance to ride both on the same trail and I have to say it just boils down to whether you like 29 or 26. Personally, I thought the 66 was more fun, but a friend liked the 95 better. Either bike is great so you can't really go wrong.
    James

    "Never pass up an opportunity to ride." - Anthony Sloan

  3. #3
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    Thanks Crazydad, I think it'll probably be the 95 for me but I'll probably wait for the carbon...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just J View Post
    What's important to me is comfort, climbing and the ability to cover ground as quickly as possible. I'm not a gravity or air time hero though.
    I have NOT ridden the SB66, so keep that in mind.

    I think the '95 "wins" on the "cover ground quickly" based upon better bump rollover, and the fact that you're not a DH/FR rider too.

    I think it's a toss-up on the climbing, I think either bike may be better than the other in specific circumstances, but in the end bike setup and rider habit will play in MUCH more than any mechanical differences in the machines.

    I think the 66 wins on overall weight, tire selection, possibly burliness, and probably repeated accelerations (smaller/lighter wheels).

    I find my '95 eminently playful, but then I was riding a 35+ pound Titus 6" bike with 2.5" tires before-hand so having a 32-pound 29er doesn't really change much for me in the bike and wheel weight factors.

    I am sure they'll be equivalently comfy.

    I currently have Stan's Flow rims on my bike, but hope to put carbon rims on it next winter and drop some rotational weight so that I can happily run 900-1000 gram tires. But I do tend to have a more aggressive trail riding profile (lots of AM-style rock play, bomber downhills when I can get them, etc.) not so much smooth XC stuff.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bear View Post
    I have NOT ridden the SB66, so keep that in mind.

    I think the '95 "wins" on the "cover ground quickly" based upon better bump rollover, and the fact that you're not a DH/FR rider too.

    I think it's a toss-up on the climbing, I think either bike may be better than the other in specific circumstances, but in the end bike setup and rider habit will play in MUCH more than any mechanical differences in the machines.

    I think the 66 wins on overall weight, tire selection, possibly burliness, and probably repeated accelerations (smaller/lighter wheels).

    I find my '95 eminently playful, but then I was riding a 35+ pound Titus 6" bike with 2.5" tires before-hand so having a 32-pound 29er doesn't really change much for me in the bike and wheel weight factors.

    I am sure they'll be equivalently comfy.

    I currently have Stan's Flow rims on my bike, but hope to put carbon rims on it next winter and drop some rotational weight so that I can happily run 900-1000 gram tires. But I do tend to have a more aggressive trail riding profile (lots of AM-style rock play, bomber downhills when I can get them, etc.) not so much smooth XC stuff.

    Very interesting thank you. See when I read this kind of review which seems pretty typical of what the SB66 receives I get kind of nervous about having to push it to get the most.

    2013 Yeti SB66 Carbon Race ? Reviews, Comparisons, Specs ? Mountain Bikes - Vital MTB

    Don't get me wrong I love to ride fast and when my skills allow I love ripping a bit of singletrack apart however it just worries me a little that you have to ride the tyres off the bike to get the most out of it.

    Does the 95 exhibit those same characteristics?

    Also I've owned a few VPP bikes and I don't like the way they seemingly suck some of the energy out of you whilst transferring it to the trail, I think this is called pedal feedback? I currently have an Orange Gyro which has a single pivot and I love the way that the bike just knuckles down and tightens under power as the chain growth occurs yet remains supple on the rougher stuff. How does the SB95 ride in this respect, is it easy to jump and manual?

    Thanks for taking the time out of your day to read and answer my ramblings!

  6. #6
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    I own a SB66 and recently rode a SB95 for the first time. The 95 is really fun to ride, much more than I thought it would be. Both are going to be great all around bikes and perform similarly. If you primarily ride XC with some mixed in flowy single track the 95 would probably be my choice. On the other hand if you're rolling steep technical sections hitting jumps and drops I would lean towards the 66.

    I'm planning on purchasing a SB95 for the days that I want to change it up a bit or maybe ride more XC type trails. It's an impressive bike.

  7. #7
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    I currently own a SB66c and previously (a few months ago) owned a SB66a and SB95a. I liked them both a lot and while there was some overlap, the SB66 felt more capable when it got rough and didn't give up much on faster, smoother trails. When I went to Colorado this past October I asked a friend at Yeti which bike to bring and he said I'd have more fun on the 66 - he knows how/what I like to ride. As it turns out I had a great time on the 66 and kind of fell back in love with it. So when I got back from that trip I decided to consolidate and got the 66c. The 95 is a great bike too and I'm sure the carbon version will be awesome, but for me the 66 is the best fit as my "one" bike.

  8. #8
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    You guys are helping me out massively thank you. I wish I could get a ride of both bikes as I know that I'd be able to decide then.

    Dogboy your incite is particularly interesting as I recently sold my 26" FS trail bike (Santa Cruz Nickel) as I just didn't enjoy it as much as my Orange 29er which is almost the exact opposite of what you ended up doing. Do you think maybe that the lure of the carbon of SB-66c helped?

    Do you find that you have to push the 66 to have fun? Or can you just ride it normally too?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just J View Post
    ...however it just worries me a little that you have to ride the tyres off the bike to get the most out of it....Does the 95 exhibit those same characteristics?
    I don't feel like I am "not getting it all" out of the bike when I am not "ripping" - sedate rides are still quite pleasant.

    I've taken the bike from mellow XC rides to nearly-DH riding and had a ball all the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Just J View Post
    ... pedal feedback ...
    Could be pedal feedback. One of the reasons I stay away from single pivots (no matter how articulated) is I just don't personally mesh well with the pedalling characteristics in rough stuff (up, over, or down). I don't like the simpler systems' braking characteristics either, but that is less of an issue with modern versions of the single pivot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Just J View Post
    ... I love the way that the bike just knuckles down and tightens under power as the chain growth occurs yet remains supple on the rougher stuff. How does the SB95 ride in this respect, is it easy to jump and manual?
    That's two questions. ;^)

    Easy one: jumping is no problem, bike flies even and true. I don't have any issue with pulling wheelies or manuals, but I've never been a start at it so don't feel like I am an authority on that. I am lucky to ride a wheely 20' on an ideal trick-bike. The chainstay on the '95 is 17.5" and I feel it works great, never feel like it has a long "tail." How easy it is to pull/keep the front up I think bears more on how forward your body is ... how long the stem, wide the bar, etc. There's a big difference in feel between a 90mm and 70mm stem, all other things equal, for example.

    I find that the SB works fabulously in the chunk, up over and down. I've configured mine with the fork at 120 and 140, and I like it a bit more at 140 overall, at a slight reduction in turning quickness (all other things equal). I've also played with setting sag from 20-30%, and that makes a significant different in feel of the bike. I'm currently running about 25% (fork and shock).

    The bike climbs excellently, but is a bit more active at 30% sag, for obvious reasons. More pedal technique required to avoid pedal strikes in my area though. At 20-25% sag the bike is subtly more crisp in climbing and acceleration, the best adjective I can apply is that it has a "taut" feel. Still, I get full travel on bigger hits and the machine works itself mighty well in the rocks.

    If you want more of a "barc-o-lounger" feel then run towards 30% sag, if you want more of a "taut" feel then run 20-25%.

    I think this difference comes from where the Switch sits, at sag, in relation to it's inflection point (where it reverses motion).

    If I were spending the day lift-assisted, or really just at the top of a huge downhill run (think South Boundary Trail in NM) i'd probably "drop" the bike down towards 30% sag. For my general trail riding I'm probably sticking with 25%. This includes notable climbs, both smooth and technical.

    Here's some rock-based pics of the bike at Sourlands Nature Preserve in NJ from last weekend to give you a feel for what I mean when I talk about rocks ...

    SB95 or SB66?-img_2019.jpg

    SB95 or SB66?-img_2020.jpg

    SB95 or SB66?-img_2021.jpg

  10. #10
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    If you like to ride in straight lines fast and like to roll over terrain easier, get the 95! If you like to ride a mountain bike the way they really are intended, get the 66! In my experience, 29ers are lazy in turns and railing berms, goofy and awkward while jumping, manualing etc! The 26" wheel is simply more fun to ride! I have yet to try a 27.5! It comes down to your riding style!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bear View Post
    Here's some rock-based pics of the bike at Sourlands Nature Preserve in NJ from last weekend to give you a feel for what I mean when I talk about rocks ...
    Now they are ROCKS!

    Thank you for this, this basically tells me that I'm going to love the SB-95 that's for sure! I love those rock pics, I take it the bike is very confidence inspiring?...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by socalMX View Post
    I have yet to try a 27.5!
    Or a half decent 29er so it would seem!

    It's not about wheel size to me, it's all about what rides the best and suits my style, any good 29er trail bike won't act like you've described, there are A LOT that do however.

    I'm not a DH boy by any means but I do enjoy a good DH if that makes sense. I'm no XC whippet either so both these bike appeal massively to me.

    I rode a Tracer 275 for a weekend back in February, the bike was fantastic but no better than a normal 26" Tracer, I just don't really see the point in that wheel size although I've only ridden one so I'm not expert. My conclusions on riding the T275 were if you like 26 stick, if you like 29 go with that.

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    I was a 29er hater until I rode the 95. I now own one. I was about to sign on the dotted line for a 66 because I wanted a trail bike that would be great on descent and also climb well. I test rode the 66 and the AS-R 5. I liked the 66 a whole lot more. I decided to just try out the 95 and was floored. It climbs well, handles well, and descends well too. I can't imagine a more perfect bike.

    If you're already happy with how 29ers feel, you will love the 95.
    That creep can roll, man.

  14. #14
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    I am happy with how 29ers ride, they flatter and as I say and good one is just as much fun as a 26er.

    It's definitely looking like the 95 is going to be the winner, I'm think some Pikes set to 140 should be nice on this bike, not a fan of the Fox CTD's...

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    Just to throw in my $.02: I bought an SB-95 after demoing 2 years ago (still prototypes at the time!) at Outerbike. I rode both bikes, and at the time was riding an Ibis Mojo. The wheelbase on the 95 is plenty short, and I NEVER wish I was on a 26er. I take this bike everywhere from local trail rides with a TON of vert, to the Mac River Trail, to Oakridge, to BlackRock (freeride area), and I'm not missing the Mojo a bit. This bike is plenty confident in the air, climbs extremely well, and gives you an edge when you're tired after 30 miles. I can manual it with no problem, and it just eats terrain. Consider the fact that people are now WINNING enduro races on 29ers, and you'll agree that the new batch is plenty capable. The only weakness I ever perceive is in tight switchbacks, which accounts for maybe 1% of my time on the bike?

    I actually just escalated my commitment to the 95 and ordered a set of King hubs, Sapim spokes and Carver carbon 29er rims. I'm also putting a 10mm spacer in my Float (FIT damper) fork to balance the bike at 130 mm. Every time I ride this thing, I still think about how awesome it is...and it's about to get better.
    Keith in Corvallis

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    I've been watching this thread and have a 575 that I like a lot. I rode a 66a and 95 two years ago. I'm still leaning towards a 95 and just waiting for a carbon. My 575 fits my 26 need and the 95 was a great bike and I demo it every chance I get. I'm 6'4 240 so 95 fits me great

  17. #17
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    I've got no input on the 95. I'm an old, grump retrogrouch that has no interest in bigger wheels.

    However, I've got a dirty aluminium 66 that I'm really starting to enjoy. I read the link to the supplied test article and that was interesting. Most of my time on the 66 has been riding up a paved road then riding downhill. It whispers in your ear, 'go faster, push it. launch that rock'. I definitely agree that the bike wants to be pushed and ridden hard. It just feels better when you're going a wee bit faster and pushing it.

    Oni

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    Haven't ridden an SB66 but my main trail bike was/is an Ibis Mojo HD. LOVE that rig. Bought the SB-95 last year with the thought that it'd be a great bike for mellower Super D races, long XC rides in Park City, and basically just longer/less tech rides. Turns out, with a 120 fork the SB95 can do everything the Mojo HD can do. In fact, I think it does it better. I like the geometry better, I like the cockpit, I like how it mows down anything with the big wheels and gives up just a fraction of the poppy funtimes you get with 26" wheels. The thing is just sick. It's like riding my DH bike everywhere, but it can climb. In the air, it's so stable and smooth... just silly. I've hit the same 20' gaps I hit on my big bike, NBD. Both will be great, but gotta give the 95 some props for converting a 29er skeptic last year.

  19. #19
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    This thread is doing a great job of making my mind up for me. I keep looking at the 66 as its the only bike I'd consider going back to small wheels for but so far the 95 guys have done a great job of assuring me that I'd be better off sticking with the big wheels. The Mojo HD is a heck of a bike, akin to the 66 I'd hazard a guess so that in itself speaks volumes to me.

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    Got my SB95 in June 2012. It does it all, often ride with guys on 6" 26ers and 650b's and have absolutely no issues leading or following, and I'm not incredibly skilled. I Even took it to MountainCreek in NJ.

    I'm 6'1, 200 lbs with long reach. I like to get some air and love drops, it has yet to let me down or have me wondering If i purchased the right rig.

    Small learning curve with fork and rear psi, but once I dialed it in it climbs great and floats thru chunkyness. I am really really happy with it.
    (aside from the stock racing ralphs and triple, converted to 1x)

    Do not believe riders who say a 29er is hard to huck or handle, total biased b.s. The benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. Stick with your gut and commit, you will not be disappointed.

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    and even easier choice if you want a SB95c! Arrives end of month!

    btw at the Demo today I rode 66c and 95 again and still want the 95, since I have a 575 already
    Last edited by yeti575inCA; 04-13-2013 at 09:30 PM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by yeti575inCA View Post
    and even easier choice if you want a SB95c! Arrives end of month!

    btw at the Demo today I rode 66c and 95 again and still want the 95, since I have a 575 already
    Yeah I am absolutely sure the carbon will sway me to be honest, I've already told my local dealer to find out as much about it as he can once Yeti release the details.

    Quote Originally Posted by Polygraf View Post
    Got my SB95 in June 2012. It does it all, often ride with guys on 6" 26ers and 650b's and have absolutely no issues leading or following, and I'm not incredibly skilled. I Even took it to MountainCreek in NJ.

    I'm 6'1, 200 lbs with long reach. I like to get some air and love drops, it has yet to let me down or have me wondering If i purchased the right rig.

    Small learning curve with fork and rear psi, but once I dialed it in it climbs great and floats thru chunkyness. I am really really happy with it.
    (aside from the stock racing ralphs and triple, converted to 1x)

    Do not believe riders who say a 29er is hard to huck or handle, total biased b.s. The benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. Stick with your gut and commit, you will not be disappointed.
    I'm 6ft and 200lbs during the summer months, also have a long reach and 34" inseam so the numbers on the 95 all seem about right for me. Which tyres do you run as I am a bit concerned about mud clearance as our winter months have a LOT of mud?...

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    I've been test riding both bikes SB66 and SB95 quiet a few times. Riding both bikes on the same day, on the same tracks, with similar weather conditions really gave me a good feel of the differences. I was very lucky to be in a position where I could test both bikes this way.

    Both bikes were fantastic, but had a totally different feel to them. The 66 was a fun, playful, agile feeling bike with amazing climbing abilities (for the kind of bike it is). The 95 felt like a fast rolling, more directional kinda bike. Also a great climber.

    I ended up with a 66c as I felt it was more of a fun bike and suited my local tracks best. The bike basically feels like an extension to my body and I can do whatever I want with it. The 95 was definitely smoother rolling, but the dictional feel took some of the fun away for me. I like the bike to be playful. Going with the carbon keeps my rig light and stiff.

    In the end I think it just comes down to personal preference. Pick a bike that suits your riding style and riding conditions best. Whichever bike you go with will be fun and whoever is having most fun is doing best!
    Last edited by nils77; 04-14-2013 at 05:12 PM.

  24. #24
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    Hans Dampfs 2.35 Front
    Nobby Nics 2.25 Rear
    Unfortunately I had a hans dampf 2.35 rear, lots of lower chainstay rubbing and would not clear the front d.

    Which brings up the only real issue I have, would love to run a 2.35-2.4, impossible, very tight clearance.

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    It's too bad you don't have the opportunity to demo both bikes on the same day. I was fully prepared to go with the 66 myself, but the 95 just seemed to fit me better. Demo'd both and the 66 cockpit seemed slightly cramped to me, just didn't feel as natural as the 95 did. Yes, I realize that could have been dealt with but the 95 'fit like a glove' and left a lasting impression on me after the ride.

    I will fully disagree with those saying the 95 is not agile and not able to throw the bike around. The 95 handles great and I am in no way disappointed with my choice...this was also my first 29. Transitioned over from a very nicely built 26" hardtail that I could throw around with ease. I am in no way dissatisfied with the handling capabilities of the 95. Trail preference = fast and technical.

    I think Bear touched on this but pay attention to the wheels that come with the bike, if you are going with a complete, and consider a LBS upgrade to something more of your liking. A number of complaints on the DT SWISS 350/XR400.

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