SB100 Carbon C1 GX Eagle Mountain Bike
As the age old saying goes, you've got to get up to get down, and we think that there are few better dicsiplines in life that fully captivate the true meaning of this than riding a bike. The trouble is, many steeds are so single-purpose built that they only excel at one or the other. Featherweight cross-country steeds have the reputation of rocketing up climbs, and feeling flighty and twitchy on descents, while downhill ready enduro sleds are a but cumbersome when you point them uphill. Yeti aims to find a balance between the two with its down-country SB100 Carbon C1 GX Eagle Mountain Bike. At first glance, you may think its a cross-country race machine, and you wouldn't be entirely wrong. It's built with progressive geometry that keeps you perched nicely for attacking technical climbs, but point it downhill and you'll find a reward that many other XC bikes can't offer — pure confidence at high speeds. Its Switch Infinity suspension allows it to perform like a trail bike when pointed downward, providing a more confident ride feel than your average 4-inch travel steed, so you can rocket to the front of the pack on climbs, and drop them on the descent, so the only thing separating you from a podium is a few miles of smooth singletrack.
We typically think of cross-country bikes as one trick ponies that barely trouble the scale, which makes going uphill less of a chore. But when pointed downhill, the borderline anorexic builds can be slightly unnerving and even the most confident riders are faced with a good test of faith when pushed through the paces saddled up on a feathery whip on technical descents. Fortunately, the SB100, has some pretty good lineage to draw inspiration from and even though the geometry and suspension have cross country riding and racing on its mind as the intended purpose, it's hard not to notice the trail and enduro highlights that bleed over from Yeti's longer travel offerings.
The brief exodus from the XC scene allowed for a few reboots and allowed Yeti to truly build a no-compromise bike that could climb and descend, not just one that was great at one and mediocre at the other. A 67.8-degree headtube angle might look more appropriate on a trail bike and on paper it would appear that it would detract from the nimble handling and quick steering XC bikes are known for. Yeti has a few tricks up its sleeve, however, and spec'd a FOX 34 Step-Cast fork with a 44mm offset. After a bit of experimentation, Yeti found this reduction in fork rake improves your weight distribution on the bike, offering a bit more downhill stability without compromising its ability to clean tight switchbacks on climbs and negotiate around trail obstacles at slower speeds.
The 74 to 74.3-degree seat tube angle (depending on size) puts you on top and in control of your bike and offer maximum pedaling efficiency for marathon 24-hour stretches or for those lucky enough to have the time off work, a stage race. The wheelbase also walks the tightrope of being nimble and offering stability so you can blitz through the techy bits without wondering if you'll blow it through the berm on the next turn. A departure from the ASR, this rear end is updated with Boost spacing, which allows for wider hub flange spacing and better bracing angles to stiffen things up. It also allowed Yeti to hack off a little length on the chainstays and they now sit at 17.2-inches, so you have plenty of rear wheel traction for competent climbing while remaining agile through tight singletrack. Other notable frame features include internal tubed cable routing for silent operation and easy setup, and an uninterrupted seat tube allowing for maximum dropper post compatibility.
The Switch Infinity platform, utilized on all Yetis all the way up to the EWS-winning SB150, has been redesigned specifically for 100mm of travel on this model. It’s light, and tucks behind the seat tube, sitting in its own compartment out of the way of wheel spray and errant trail debris. This design also allows the front triangle to accommodate larger water bottles, a welcome feature for any rider. We feel like this a move in the right direction even if it does come with a few added grams over the ASR's single pivot, as every Yeti we've ridden with Switch has awesome climbing efficiency without infringing on its descending prowess. Yeti gets high marks for creating a very capable 100 millimeter travel bike, with a stiff and responsive ride that rarely feels out of place, short of trails where we'd don body armor and a full-face. Beefy pivots offer incredible lateral stiffness that tracks so confidently through blown out washboard trails and minefields that, in the back of our minds we have to remind ourselves that we are pointing and shooting on an XC bike. The Switch platform on this bike operates in the same manner as on Yeti's other bikes—meaning supple off the top while transitioning into excellent mid-stroke support before ramping up as you test all 100 millimeters on offer. Pair this action with the silky-smooth FOX DPS shock and you'll swear that the rear end is packing more travel than the numbers show.
This SB100 is built using Yeti's standard carbon fiber construction. While this might not hold the same clout as its TURQ designated sibling, it still boasts a robust, stiff layup that's lighter than an alloy counterpart, albeit with a little more carbon than the TURQ, which ads on a couple of extra grams to the over all weight. Yeti's carbon layup aims to balance stiffness, impact resistance, and light weight with the depth of your bank account, opting to save you some cash for a new kit, at the expense of scaling in with a few more grams.
- Get up to get down with Yeti's lively XC-to-trail whip
- 4in of smooth, highly efficient Switch Infinity suspension
- 67.8° head tube angle balances agility with stability
- Beefy tires, dropper post, and 34mm SC fork for aggressive riders
- Main triangle has plenty of room for larger water bottles
- Carbon frame is backed by a lifetime warranty for good measure
- FOX's Performance suspension offers plush travel to eat up rocks
- SRAM GX Eagle components balance price with performance