The cross-country queen.
When it comes to cross-country prowess, Yeti's trusty steeds used to take the cake, but a bit of a hiatus left us wondering where things were going. Was XC was a thing of the past? Should we trade in our hard-tails for 160mm enduro sleds? What will become of the local XC trails? But fortunately, Yeti was quick to give us some reassurance with the release of its new SB100 Turq Beti X01 Eagle Complete Mountain Bike, letting us know that there's still a special place for conquering miles of rolling singletrack, lacing our way through tight switchbacks, and crushing our PRs on the climbs. All new, and ready to rumble, the SB100 Beti shows us that Yeti hasn't forgotten its 1985 roots, dominating the cross-country scene with aggressive geometry underneath lycra-clad racers. It comes to us with more tricks up its sleeve than a birthday party magician, like stubby chainstays for snappy climbing, a step-cast 44mm offset fork that gets clever with front-end geometry, and Switch Infinity suspension that soaks up the chunder on loose descents, while still allowing room for a lofty water bottle when you're out for laps on classic desert trails.
We have a tendency to think to cross-country bikes as one trick ponies that make going uphill a breeze, but at the price of versatility and comfort anywhere but rolling and smooth singletrack, but the ever growing desire for a one-bike quiver has designers striving to round out the XC rigs with capabilities that surpass their travel. With the SB100 Beti's lineage, it has plenty to draw inspiration from, helping Yeti's designers perfect a platform that takes notes from its enduro roots and dives deep into cross-country racing, for a featherweight feel when you're toeing the line on race day, and just enough travel to soak up the gnarlier courses you cross. This is largely is caused by its Switch Infinity platform, which is utilized on all Yetis all the way up to the EWS winning SB6, 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. By tucking the suspension neatly behind the seat tube, Yeti was able to find real estate within the front triangle to accommodate extra-large water bottles — an unusual accomplishment for a Switch Infinity bike.
The move to Switch Infinity from the ASR's single pivot suspension undeniably added a couple of grams to the frame's overall weight, but we're confident it was a move in the right direction, even if it comes with a minute weight penalty. Compared to the previous suspension design, Switch ramps up the pedaling efficiency, without infringing on its descending powers, allowing you to feel the full benefit of the 100-millimeters of travel on descents, without draining your energy on the way up. The Switch platform on the SB100 Beti 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 100mm on offer. Pair this action with the smooth as silk Kashima coated FOX DPS Factory shock that’s tuned specifically for lighter female riders, and you'll swear that the rear end is packing more travel.
Taking a hiatus from the XC scene was a little unnerving at first, but seeing what Yeti's designers were able to cook up with some time at the drawing board has us pleased as punch to hop on this new XC rig. Instead of packing in the steepest angles possible to create what most of us imagine when we think of a cross-country speed demon, a bit of a no-compromise attitude was put into the SB100. This means a moderate head tube angle, at 67.8-degrees, which at first glance could have you imagining its intended for trail endeavors, but Yeti keeps us on our toes by spec'ing it with a Fox 34 Step-Cast fork with a 44mm offset.This reduction in fork rake brings the front wheel back and takes away some of the negative attributes of a slacker HTA. By selecting this offset, it improves your weight distribution on the bike making you more balanced and confident for better handling on slow speed steering efforts like uphill switchbacks while still offering the stability you need for charging down the steeps.
In back you'll find a 74 to 74.3-degree seat tube angle (depending on size) that puts you on top and in control of your bike, and offers 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. And yet another departure from the trusty old 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.
Unlike other Yeti Beti models, the SB100 keeps the geometry true to its brother, setting you up with identical race-ready geometry, and only straying away from its build when it comes to the rear shock. That isn't to say that its shock is anything below the standard SB100, instead its just equipped with a slightly different shock tune for riders who weigh a bit less. Since women weigh an average of 35lb less than our male counterparts, the kashima-coated Fox Factory rear shock is tuned a little lighter. This enables us to enjoy the same plush feel, and appropriate ramping as we work through the suspension, without harsh jolting, and stiff rebounds through rock gardens. On this build, Yeti also pairs the bike with a women's specific saddle, not forgetting that our sit bones tend to sit wider, and a bit sharper on the saddle than the dudes on the trail.
This SB100 Beti is built using Yeti's top tier Turq carbon fiber construction. By using some of the finest, and strongest, raw materials available, Yeti is able to make its Turq frames extremely lightweight while maintaining outstanding impact resistance, exceptional stiffness, and just the right amount of properly tuned chassis flex to help the bike tame the trails without ricocheting off its line. Of course, balancing all these factors is extremely difficult if you lack mastery of carbon fiber, and the engineers at Yeti have proven that it can build lightweight frames that can handle the likes of Richie Rude and Enduro World Series stages, both forces to be reckoned with. What results is a frame that can endure years of hard riding and racing while delivering an unsurpassed ride quality that comes in at class-leading weights.
This particular build comes to you ready to carve its way into total cross-country domination.
The suspension, both front, and rear, as well as the Switch Infinity shuttles, come from FOX in the form of a Float Factory DPS shock and an all-new 120mm Step-Cast 34 Factory fork pairing weight saving sculpted lowers with 34mm stanchion uppers dropping grams without feeling twisty and flimsy under hard braking and cornering. Honestly, this fork follows the design ethos of the frame to a T. Both dampers offer amazing suppleness and a buttery-smooth stroke, with compression and rebound adjustments allowing for easy tuning if its buff hardpack, out of bounds epics, and everything in between. SRAM's workhorse X01 Eagle group offers plenty of range for taming the climbs on 5-digit elevation days while having a tall enough gear to link up the paved sections between the trailheads. The proven star-ratchet freehub system on the DT Swiss M1700 wheels flawlessly engages in forwarding movement and rolls on meaty Maxxis Minion/Aggressor rubber so you can let it hang out on the descents. If things start getting a little dicey, powerful and well-modulating Shimano XT brakes quickly scrub speed keeping you in total control.
- Yeti brings us back to XC with this speedy steed
- Moderate head tube pairs with 44mm offset for nimble control
- Short and snappy chainstays keep your traction glued to the trail
- Switch infinity offers buttery smooth suspension
- Women's specific shock tune perfects the squish for comfort
- TURQ level carbon fiber is ultra-light and stiff
- X01 Eagle groupset offers a gear for the steepest pitches
- Redesigned suspension leaves you with room for a full sized water bottle in triangle