What's the disadvantages of a YBB?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    What's the disadvantages of a YBB?

    As a newbie in the Moots realm, and my recent interest in a hardtail/softtail, I thought I'd pose the question here. Since the design has been around 20 some years, there ought to be some opinion here.
    That said, why would I not want a YBB?
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  2. #2
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    Last time I looked the geo looked not so hot.

  3. #3
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    Not a lot of bad stuff to say. Prolly the nicest bike I've ever ridden/owned.

    Things I would change...

    Rear tire clearance.
    Paragon sliders as a base.

    The other things I'd change on the model I own have already came to fruition on the newer/latest offering. 142mm rear end. Bent downtube to accommodate fork crown clearance. Designed around a 100mm fork.

    I really enjoy my current ybb, but I'm definitely tenting my fingers to see what the 2016 will have.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shooter McGavin View Post
    Not a lot of bad stuff to say. Prolly the nicest bike I've ever ridden/owned.

    Things I would change...

    Rear tire clearance.
    Paragon sliders as a base.

    The other things I'd change on the model I own have already came to fruition on the newer/latest offering. 142mm rear end. Bent downtube to accommodate fork crown clearance. Designed around a 100mm fork.

    I really enjoy my current ybb, but I'm definitely tenting my fingers to see what the 2016 will have.
    Thanks for that! I guess the YBB weighs a bit more than HT, however I would think you would gain so much more in comfort. Do you think you really lose any efficiency?


    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    Last time I looked the geo looked not so hot.
    The only thing that stood out was the HT angle at 71*. Seems steep given that the recent trend is a slacker HT. I'm at 67* now on my SB5 and it seems quick enough. I guess you could install an Angle Set headstock. What else in the geo was an issue?
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  5. #5
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    I'm not that efficient... So I've never really worried about it. You don't really feel any bob to it when pedaling. In fact, you'll catch yourself looking down at it as you're riding to make sure it's actually moving.

    My analogy would be the difference between riding an aluminum frame back in the day versus a steel or ti frame. At the end of the day, you just won't seem as used or rickety.

    The same translation goes for the ybb, whatever hardtail you're accustomed to- the ybb will make you feel a lot better with that edge taken off at the end of the day. This is a great attribute if you're spending long hours in the saddle. For touring/bikepacking, the ybb is hard to argue with.

  6. #6
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    Yes, definitely the rear tire clearance.

    On my X YBB (2013 I think, with 44mm headtube) running a 2.25 rear tire while it's muddy is a nightmare.
    I thought it was due to the softail design, but apparently not, since they are now able to do a plus version.

    The bob isn't noticeable where the bike is intended to be used (on mtb trails) but is noticeable on road sections.

  7. #7
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    I bought a 26" YBB used in.... Oh perhaps 2004?
    Loved it. Rode the heck out of it.
    Then the 29er bug hit. So I went sold the 26, went to 29.
    I laced up SS and geared versions. I love me some Ti bikes.
    As the usual carbon spaceships are praised and then discarded as old tech- I keep loving my Moots.

    I'd love to see a more modern headtube on my bikes. But issues like that are always there when you have frames still going strong that were made in 2008.

    So- Moots- perfect.
    Ti? Love it.

    And to finally answer your question-
    YBB? It's not perfect but it sure is a good thing over all.

    Heavy? No, not heavy but certainly heavier than without. That inner steel spring is dense.

    Bob? Yep. Now that I've switched to a 1x10 I find some areas have me spinning a higher cadence- and it can get a bit bobby but that could be alleviated by learning to stop leading squares. If you can really spin- you'll be fine. Me? I fear there are too many hours of bad pedaling technique behind me and too little care to change.

    Comfy? Very much so. I'm not sure they still do but- Moots used to write that their YBB design was a lock out if you crank the little clamp tight. On the rare times I've tried that- the bike feels so dang stiff back there. That little squish goes a long time by way.

    Durable? Wonderfully so. As the squishy bikes around me need new bearings and riders are chasing creaks here and there- my YBB just keeps doing its job with very little compliant. Think I'm on my third YBB insert for each frame in 8 seasons. Not so bad really.
    Although now that I write that I realize her I spend time chasing creaks here and there too. Mostly with the sliders though.

    Versatile? Yep. Sprints? Great bike. Long endurance rides? Comfy and lighter than some squishy bikes. Colorado Trail? Maybe the perfect bike in my mind. Long/short/loaded/light... It just works for me.

    Bombing downhill? In some terrain I see how little travel we really need to ride fast. In the chunkier rougher stuff I see how thin a margin I have to stay in control. While chasing my usual ridding partner I will be bleeding out my eyes to stay on his wheel. All the whole on this ragged edge between safety and cartwheeling into the trees of doom. Then I see how he's just toying with the trail where I'm flossing rock gaps and snaking lines to try to stay upright.

    Tire width? I'm not sure this is really a component of the YBB or not but- I'd love to see more room back there.
    A too wide tire can score the inside of the chain stats very fast. Scary fast of its muddy. And then, when your lifetime frame cracks at that flex point- Moots might not (and probably shouldn't anyway) offer repair work u der your warranty.
    But oh man fatter tires are always tempting. Has anyone on dirt ever really enjoyed going back to a more narrow tire? Not me. Not often. Usually no.

    Ugly? Yep. To my eye the YBB needs to be revamped. More so than their new revamped version. Still looks clunky.
    And the smaller frames they use that little brace? Ugg. Gimme some svelte curved piece please.
    Although when walking up some endless hike a bike here in Colorado I have often used it as great little handle.

    Honestly if I was offered a free Moots right now I'd be very stymied by the idea of to YBB or not!

    (Typed on a phone when I should be asleep- sorry for the typos)
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Chicken Bones View Post
    Bombing downhill? In some terrain I see how little travel we really need to ride fast. In the chunkier rougher stuff I see how thin a margin I have to stay in control. While chasing my usual ridding partner I will be bleeding out my eyes to stay on his wheel. All the whole on this ragged edge between safety and cartwheeling into the trees of doom. Then I see how he's just toying with the trail where I'm flossing rock gaps and snaking lines to try to stay upright.

    Tire width? I'm not sure this is really a component of the YBB or not but- I'd love to see more room back there.
    A too wide tire can score the inside of the chain stats very fast. Scary fast of its muddy. And then, when your lifetime frame cracks at that flex point- Moots might not (and probably shouldn't anyway) offer repair work u der your warranty.
    But oh man fatter tires are always tempting. Has anyone on dirt ever really enjoyed going back to a more narrow tire? Not me. Not often. Usually no.

    Honestly if I was offered a free Moots right now I'd be very stymied by the idea of to YBB or not!

    (Typed on a phone when I should be asleep- sorry for the typos)
    -JCB
    Great review Johnny! I find it interesting that it seems like the majority of users are in Colorado. Even Yeti doesn't have that loyal following!

    So I'm guessing your riding partner is probably on a full squish spaceship as I am. I will say that even moving down from a 6" travel to a 4" travel has left me wanting less, hence the investigation into a hardtail or softtail. Even with a full squish, I'm not trying to be the front runner anymore...I don't heal like I used to. Part of the fun for me is "flossing" the gaps and picking lines, that's why I went from a 29er to a 27.5, not faster, just more fun than rolling over the chunk. My old 26er is still even more fun but it wears me out quicker.

    I currently run a 2.25 rear at 18 psi and get adequate traction. Not sure if I'd go much bigger given the increase in weight, but it would be nice to have the option. Tires seem to be getting wider, lighter, more protection, and increasing tractive force so I'd want to go at least to a 2.35 sometime in the future.

    I did notice the HT angle is much steeper than the trending 67.5* you see on the new bikes, also the chain stay lengths are very short in comparison to the Moots. I'm a believer of the Indian vs. the arrow theory and if you know your bike and it's capabilities, you're going to be just as fast as you want to be.

    Thanks again for taking the time to answer.
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  9. #9
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    Well said SimpleMind.
    I'm not saying I built the pyramids and remember telling Tinker Juarez that he should learn to ride a bike, but I have been a rider for a long time.
    It started w/ Mom dragging me and family friends along the C&O Canal w/ large frame packs and extra jeans (in case it rained, which is always did).

    Over these years of fun I can think of many different ways that I have ridden bikes. Wanted to be fast, wanted to ride long, thought I was a tourer, wanted to be a bike packer (Hate that niche by the way. Hard to think of an easier way to make a mountain bike un-fun) and so on. The usual gringo aging mountain town clown with a body that aches in the morning, and a heart that is touched seeing a red tailed hawk coasing on the fall thermals.

    Colorado certainly does have it's share of Moots riders although after pedaling on the F range I'd still say it's Yeti that has the lion share of riders. Everywhere another amazing efficient bike that goes up and down well.

    I'm also not trying to be a front runner but it's often more fun to dice the trails up closer to a friend than off the back.
    But, it's rare when the Moots feels truly out gunned. It's quite common when I do though.
    What is it they say? Bikes aren't fast- people are.
    And there are plenty of fast people out there on capable bikes.

    A few years ago I wrote Moots thanking them for my bikes. How bizarre is that? Thanking a company for selling me expensive bikes. But- these things just work so well, in so many areas, and they just keep working well over and over. Mile after mile.

    In that letter I wrote that finding one bike to rule them all is pretty impossible. It's like trying to find a static solution to a dynamic problem. Even though there are plenty of options to get us all from A to B (and most of them do that job well), for me, the Moots are still the best solution to that question.
    I just need to wonder about gears or SS.

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  10. #10
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    "Colorado certainly does have it's share of Moots riders although after pedaling on the F range I'd still say it's Yeti that has the lion share of riders. "

    Really too bad that Yeti's are imports, not made in CO, or USA.

    "That inner steel spring is dense. "

    I wonder what could replace this heavy item? Ti coil? Carbon? Tiny dampener?

  11. #11
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    There are Colorado bikes out there but Lenz doesn't have the momentum that others do. And who wants to wait in line for a BlackSheep?

    Actually as I write this- there are bunches of small folks making nice bikes, just not in the carbon spaceship varieties that so many use nowadays.

    There actually is a small hotdog bumper inside of the steel spring. Guess it somehow slows compression down during impact. Probably doesn't do anything to help w/ rebound.

    I read a thread years ago about other spring ideas. Carbon wasn't one of the ideas. It's interesting though. Does anyone know of a source for a Ti spring? Or why such an item wouldn't work?
    Surely Moots (who isn't afraid to charge more) would offer such an option of there wasn't some issue w/ it?

    I wonder what the YBB adds in weight. A few screws, the collar and it's bushings, the spring and it's elasomer....
    I should weigh it all one day just for fun.
    I'm waiting for the SS to return from Moots so might just pull it apart and see what I can learn.
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  12. #12
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    I think most of the extra weight is the spring.

  13. #13
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    What's the disadvantages of a YBB?

    Disadvantages:

    Undamped suspension. Depends on your cadence and the gear you are in, but I felt more bob on my ybb at the saddle that my 120mm rear travel ripley. Did not like it.

    Outdated geometry: steep HTA and long chainstays.

    Laterally flexy rear end.

    Poor tire clearance. Not groovy, at all.

    Love moots and the build quality, but the YBB did not work for me and I sold it. YMMV, of course. But the DW link on my Ripley is so efficient, I hardly see the point of a soft tail anymore.

  14. #14
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    I had YBB and chose to buy my current Mooto without. Didn't do anything for me and it was just another piece to service

  15. #15
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    I have a '95 YBB mountain bike and a '99 Psychlo-X YBB. Many, many miles on both.

    On the MTB YBB really doesn't do all that much for me. It does soak up some small trail chunk, but it also does bob, and the undamped rebound is a real liability on big hits. I have had a few really bad situations due to hitting something hard enough to bottom on a descent, and having the uncontrolled rebound actually bounce the rear wheel several inches. It helps a little with climbing on certain surfaces, but not much more than running 10 PSI less in your rear tire.

    I actually like the YBB much better on the Psychlo-X. It doesn't seem to bob quite as much with the high road cadences compared to the MTB cadence, and it smooths out road cracks really well. It is also a superb gravel grinder - I laugh about all the gravel grinder bikes out there now, and how everyone thinks it is a new thing. I've been grinding the Psychlo-X YBB for over 15 years.

  16. #16
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    Curse you Honk. Curse you and that silly Psychlo.
    Why? What did you do to deserve this?
    Well, it's really my wallet cursing you.

    The Psychlo has long been my go to dream bike. Despite other purchases, I still want the ti silk greatness of that bike.
    I've tried a 1998 Salsa steel CX frame. It's amazing and has taken me on many wonderful trips. Too light for loaded touring but that hasn't stopped great long trips.

    Then in a fit of lunacy (disguised as snow covered winter frustration) I went w/ carbon CX frame. It's amazing and won't be long lived. Certainly not as long lived as your Psychlo!

    Anyway- thanks for reaffirming my want of that verstile frame.

    Oh- and perhaps to echo your thoughts- when I see anything "gravel grinding" related I read it w/ a skewed eye.
    Like gravel is new. Well, certainly it's new to Ralpha.


    -JCB
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    ******************
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  17. #17
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    Yeah, the gravel thing is a lot of marketing, but we all benefit: more tires, and a lot of bikes that are much closer to the road bikes that people should be riding as opposed to TdF fantasy bikes. We've never had more choices when it comes to drop bar bikes with generous clearances.

  18. #18
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    D Man-
    Thanks. That's a valuable perspective shift for me. You are right- there are plenty of gains to that type of riding, despite my feelings about it.

    -JCB
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    ------ (*)/ (*)
    ******************
    Running is for prey.

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