yeti sb66 vs SJ evo- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    7

    yeti sb66 vs SJ evo

    hey guys can you give me some feedback / advice about these bikes.

    I've ridden the sb66 carbon and loved it, I wanted to get out every day and go riding that I had it.

    My only other spec bike I tried was the enduro which I liked but started to get a flat tyre at the top of the mountain so I couldn't really do much on the DH sections

  2. #2
    Trail Ninja
    Reputation: Varaxis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    5,862
    Tough choice. I've demoed the SB66a and SB95a, and later bought the SB95a. I also own a SJ FSR Carbon EVO (26") and have been riding it all this winter in SoCal. Haven't ridden the SB95 since summer (rode a HT during the fall).

    The SB66 gave me loads of control and confidence, allowing me to comfortably go fast, and seems to roll a bit smoother and easier when it comes to pedaling. Very behaved and trustworthy, like a close companion. I was going fast and big like it wasn't much of a big deal. The SB95 took that feeling a bit further. The Switch platform is my favorite and Yeti's geo and ride feel seems to be balanced for a hard charging trail rider. In contrast, the SJ feels very demanding. I built it lighter, about 25.5 lbs and it surges on each pedal stroke, but it also slows down a lot in between pedal strokes, so it kind of encourages ya to hammer hard to keep that surge even, which leads to some memorable moments especially if you ride it full tilt like that. The steering is a bit sluggish, but this bike feels like one that asks to be thrown around. Took me a few weeks to figure out how to do high speed cornering on it, without going wide, to a point comparable to my other bikes, but when I got back on my HT today, I noticed some of my technique used on the SJ crossed over and I was drifting through corners on my HT and cutting a few kind of tight. The SJ's geo and ride feel seems to be balanced for a rider with a background riding smaller-tighter bikes, maybe like BMX bikes. I find that it likes a slightly crouched (relatively tall) rearward position, ready to manual, and liking to pump the terrain with a very light touch on the handlebars, while the Yeti seemed to like a crouched low and centered position where you would absorb everything and take straight shots on the straightest and fastest line. The Yeti felt like it wanted to get Strava KOMs from XC stuff to DH stuff, while the SJ simply wanted to play. Uphill performance, I'd say it's a wash. The SJ likes to sprint up short hills like a HT and has great traction, but not so great when it gets kind of tight and technical where you need to go up a bump, steer, and avoid hitting pedals and handlebars. The SJ's front didn't feel like it wanted to lift, at least with 1x drivetrain, but every bump I hit with the front wheel caused the front to wander. The SB66 hid its weight really well on the climbs, with sort of a springy feel (like a delayed surge feel) that made it feel fast, and really drew every bit of your cardio system to get up the hill (your heart felt that weight). It did much much better on the bumps and technical section. It was super easy to keep my balance on it (the SB95 even more so). I had far more trust in the Yeti in a luge style descent, than the SJ. I'd brake check the SJ before hitting a hard berm, since it felt rather unwieldy while cornering, but after a few weeks, I turned off that mental block and it railed it just fine. It just lacks the confidence I'm used to, and I didn't feel like I had the proper technique down before. On descents, the SB66c just picks up speed and with a low centered position, absorbing bumps and following the contour, it can just steamroll, while the SJ seems to like to find grooves and would send itself off of little bumps due to the rearward and tall position it prefers. You can use the same low and centered position and steamroll straight lines, but good luck turning it from that position. You'd need to quickly transition from different positions... again, the bike definitely demands a lot from ya, while the SB66c seems to tame the chaos to be more manageable.

    In the end, I stopped riding the SB95a because it made my trails too easy. I got some high rankings on Strava segments not even really trying. I don't really have the fitness to really contest the top positions, nor the drive to train to improve it. I could literally ride the trail by moonlight and trust that the bike could handle it all, as long as I stayed centered on the bike; I actually did this quite a few times, and ground down a chainring tooth going over a big rock. I spend more time looking at the scenery, than I do paying attention to the challenge of the terrain. I went to a HT, which got me the challenge back, but it doesn't seem to be pushing my cardio as much. The SJ feels like it's in between, and because it's so sketchy the rides are more memorable and thrilling. I've had quite a few almost crash moments on it. I know I'm going to regret it when I eventually get injured, but this risk v reward relationship feels satisfying to me right now. Despite how the SJ likes to sprint, I doubt I have a chance at Strava on it at all. I don't even run GPS while I'm on it anymore; I'm focusing on developing technique and breaking down mental blocks. Call it a stupid choice, but I don't really feel that the SJ was a bad decision for me. I don't have doubts about the SB66c being a better bike overall, judging from the alloy model. I see it's on sale for 30% off too. I'm sure people will be saying Spec is evil and 26" wheels are dying, but pick according to what you value. Perhaps later I'll think that the SB95 was too much of a good thing, and that the SB66c would've been that "just right" thing, once I'm longing for that confident feel after riding this SJ. I feel that if I can master this SJ, I'm going to be pretty well off as far as handling skills go. It is wild.

    I'd say if your area is relatively tame with quite a few features you can pop for air, and optional fun lines, go SJ. If your area is really technical, chunky, and definitely requires a good amount of travel to make it manageable, the SB66c would be the better "tool". You'd have to be a masochist to take the SJ for such terrain, or have the skills to pay the bills and want a challenge. It takes quite some willpower and mental strength to overcome the fear though, I must say. I think my SoCal trails are relatively tame. The traction is really low though, and the camouflaged pockets of loose sand can toss ya off the bike if you slack off. If Spec made their Camber like this (or like their Enduro 29), I probably would've went that route, honestly.

  3. #3
    Trail Ninja
    Reputation: Varaxis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    5,862
    A little addendum: learning to ride the SJ was rather weird. Common sense and intuition didn't really work, but such worked fine on the Yeti. The SJ would penalize you for not riding it well. We had some Santa Ana winds providing gusts up to 50 MPH, and oh man, I experienced what riding "fully moto" felt like when I got the SJ up to speed with those tail winds. Holy shit was that fun. Probably would've been fun on the SB too, but I was really on the edge on that SJ and decided to run it full open. While the SB gets a pretty thrilling roller coaster experience with some solid Gs, I literally felt like I had a rocket strapped to my bike on the SJ, propelling me forward. I was getting massive air and I really appreciated the travel then when I landed to flat. The rebound on my SJ's suspension is still way too fast for that (Pike 150 and stock Auto Sag CTD). I got used to the bike's wheels being off the ground though. It's also kind of mismatched. With so little weight on the front, the Pike is pinballing off of everything (no more than 5 clicks from full slow). A mere 2 months and the rear tire is getting kind of bald too. I'm bunny hopping over stuff I would've plowed. It really demands an active riding style for sure. It's just so different. I need to train up my engine/cardio and find some gravity to really experience some of the thrills this bike can offer again, without relying on the wind. Going to find some heavier rubber up to put front too, maybe On-One Chunky Monkeys.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    7
    Thanks heaps for the input,

    Hopefully spec have a 26 SJ at their test day this weekend.

    When I rode the yeti it felt like warm blankets on a cold morning. I wanted to ride it on bigger and harder stuff than on any other bike.

    Lots to think about..

    I have a trip to Europe in 2 weeks so maybe i'll hold off until I get back

Similar Threads

  1. 2012 Yeti SB66
    By Dusky21 in forum All Mountain
    Replies: 33
    Last Post: 04-22-2015, 09:05 PM
  2. Yeti sb66 problems?
    By tom34 in forum Yeti
    Replies: 48
    Last Post: 03-18-2015, 01:01 PM
  3. Best place to buy yeti SB66
    By weeman80 in forum Yeti
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-20-2013, 11:07 AM
  4. Yeti Sb66 video
    By Dagonger in forum Yeti
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11-19-2012, 12:31 AM
  5. YETI SB66!!! Anyone know what it's made of?
    By jwcfolife in forum Yeti
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-19-2012, 12:02 PM

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.