Yeti SB95 Head Angle Mod
So what if I was to take a Yeti SB95 install a Cane Creek Angle headset and steepen the head angle 0.5 to 1.0 degrees?
What would be wrong with this in the handling dept? Any negitive effects of the bike itself? Would it create toe overlap?
Chim in here all you technical guys.
I like everything about the bike and from test reports it rides like a XC bike except for the head angle I would like to see steeper.
You could run a RS 120 fork and would get the head angle close to 69 degrees without the angleset. If you are looking for an XC bike, the SB95 frame is pretty hefty at 7.5+ lbs.
You can certainly do that but I agree with what Colin said: the bike does not ride like an XC bike and steepening the headtube angle won't change that. It's a heavy frame (7.8lbs for a medium with the Float CTD shock) and you can't be lazy on it: it truly rewards an aggressive stance on the bike. On the other hand, it is extremely well balanced between front-center and rear-center and the front end is planted on steep climbs and a hoot on steep descents.
I would recommend sticking with a 51mm offset fork like the Fox 34 and not run a shorter offset fork: the steering will stay quicker and wheel flop reduced. The bottom bracket with a Fox 34 120mm fork is already close to 13in and I would not recommend going to a fork much shorter than that or pedal strikes will become an issue (unless the trails are really smooth but then you would be better off with a different bike to begin with).
I recently rode the SB-95 at a spot that is ideal for my hardtail because I needed to bleed the brakes on the Yelli Screamy. The trails felt boring and flat and the bike was a pig to lug around. Horses for courses!
Good input and I will take your thoughts into consideration. My plan was to buy the new SB95C which is about 2 lbs lighter and do a nice light build and should be able to hit a sub 28lb bike; however I might need to consider where I will ride it as you stated. I like the reliability of the Yeti's and they can go just about anywhere and I have heard a lot of guys say they don't feel like a 5" travel trail bike, only when they need too! Its odd that Yeti doesn't look at the XC market and design a bike for that application besides a HT. I have ridden 29ers for the last 10 years so I am sold on the wheel and currently ride a carbon HT. Perhaps I should consider a more XC friendly 4" travel 29er bike. Thanks! Keep this going love the input.
I do think you should demo and make your own judgement.
The wheel build, tire selection, and shock setup together will have a really big influence on how XC-ish it feels. I've ridden mine with lighter tires (like the stock Maxxis rubber) and heavier (current Schwalbe 2.35" stuff), with the suspension setup 20-25% sag and 25-30% sag, and the bike really tunes to feel different.
I wouldn't drop the fork out to 140mm travel for someone looking for a more xc-oriented ride, you don't lose much on the downhill handling but it IS definitely more tight-snappy for tight turns.
I would NOT confuse the '95 as an XC bike, but I really don't feel it's a "pig" either.
I've run my fork at 120 and definitely had more pedal strikes than I liked, here in NE PA anyway. Wasn't so much it was a problem, and when I ran the suspension closer to 20% sag it was a lot less, but definitely more than with the fork at 140.
Disclaimer: My last "XC" FS machine was a 6" 26er ... but my current tame-XC bike is a Niner MCR9, so I may not be completely off base.
I second (third?) what everyone here is saying. I've got my fork at 130mm now (for a 68 degree HT angle), and it's the perfect all-around trail bike. That said, I have a Niner SIR9 singlespeed with with their rigid carbon fork (HT angle of 72 degrees) for ripping around on XC days.
However, if I was going to own a third bike for the sweet spot you're describing, I LOVE the Turner Sultan. It builds up light with a 120 fork, has quick handling and a really balanced (more XC feel), but is still stiff and assertive. I actually love the geometry of the Niner RDO 4 inch travel bike, but the number of tiny pivots in that linkage scares the crap out of me (the one I rode at Outerbike creaked like crazy).
There are a bunch of other 5" 29ers that have the head angle you are talking about. Since the SB95 doesn't really seem like what you want, why get it?
Turner Sultan, Niner, Santa Cruz, all have bikes with about the same travel, similar performing suspension, similar price and 70deg head angles.
I'm probably going to get a SB for exactly that reason: the rest of the market is over-steep. I have no need for road bike geometry on a trail bike.
short is the new black
Turner Csar is the bike you are looking for- not the Sultan - I have owned two and would differently say they are more trail than XC . The 95 is too much bike for 90% of us and the trails we ride. The new 95 carbon might improve your ride - but i understand the angles are quite similar to the current version. You would be more at home on a 3-4 inch XC 29er by the sounds of it.
I dont really get on with the whole slack head angle 5 inch do everything bike. I currently have a Yeti 5 and while I like it alot - I have had other bikes that suit my riding better. I am 6.4 and this is the first 26er in 6 years - so you could say I am sold on the bigger wheels - but disliked the dull, truck like feel of early 29er FS models.
I liked my Flux more than my Spot, my TNT Sultan more than my DWL, Intense Tracer more than the 6.6, Titus motolite more than a Spec Enduro and the Yeti 5 more than the 575.
It is seriously horses for courses and I get to ride long travel terrain once a year if lucky otherwise the trails are fast, flowy with small stunts and drops and relatively flats by US mountain standards.
A few people I have spoken to say while the Yeti 95 pedals great it really needs to be ridden hard to get the most out of it, is weighty and alot of bike for XC trails.
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