SB100 Turq Mountain Bike Frame
Tech-laden courses seem to have become the norm with cross-country racing these days, and what used to be tame enough for even the most basic hardtails now has riders diving in with full-suspension steeds left and right. And we don't blame them, full-suspension bikes these days capture nearly the same levels of pedaling efficiency as their shock-less siblings, all the while allowing us to charge through the gnarlier, more direct lines, and stay fresh for longer so we've still got the power for big moves later in the race. If all you're doing is racing, chances are its easy to justify sacrificing comfort and playful trail power for speed and featherweight builds, but if you're like us your riding keeps going far away from the starting line, hitting laps with your crew when the last thing on your mind is hanging a number plate from your bar. When you crave a bike that is just as capable of toeing the line on race day as it is diving deep into the backcountry on bikepacking missions, you want a bile built to pull double-duty like the Yeti SB100 Turq Mountain Bike Frame. Back for another season with the same lightweight layup, and four reliable inches of Switch Infinity suspension, the SB100 is eager to please once again, this time with a subdued attitude that drops loud logos for clean lines and sharp aesthetics that speak for themselves.
We can understand why mountain bikes tend to be so specialized and pigeonholed. Comparing a featherweight anorexic race whippet and it'll soar up climbs like a rocketship, and pedal through the flats with efficiency that teeters on hard-tail capabilities. But if you point the same ride downhill and it will feel nervous and twitchy, and efficiency-centric demeanor requires excessive body English that will cause you to wince through the hairy bits of technical terrain, wishing you had a little extra something to keep you off the brakes. Juxtaposed to a trail bike, you'll appreciate the point-and-shoot ability on the steep and rough sections, but take it up a climb at race pace and the gobs of travel and plushness will have you feeling as though you're pedaling through molasses. This is where the SB100 shines. Yeti draws on its XC roots and history and melds it with its current trail and enduro technology to create the proverbial quiver-killer. It shares similarities with the outgoing XC race bike, the ASR, and its current trail assassin, the SB4.5, and EWS winning SB5.5. Beefy pivots join the front and rear triangles improving the lateral stiffness and creating confidence inspiring tracking as you navigate tricky rock gardens, rooty descents, and blown out switchbacks. Switch Infinity, now utilized on every Yeti, gets the call up for suspension duties, the first time we've seen it in this travel format and is optimized for the bike. It's light and tucks behind the seat tube in its own compartment keeping it safe from the elements and allows the frame to accommodate a water bottle in the front triangle. The sliding shuttles allow for a varying leverage ratio for a very linear and smooth off the top feel before transitioning to some mid-stroke support for efficient pedaling, before finally transitioning to some progressive ramping that prevents blasting through the last bit of stroke, giving the frame and FOX Float Factory DPS shock a bottomless feel as you peg the fun meter. You'll honestly be amazed at the way you can attack the trails with only 100mm of travel.
While Yeti's hiatus from XC had us wondering if the brand had thrown in the towel on speedy race bikes for good, we were pleased to see that was far from the case, and the time really enabled its engineers to dial in geometry that's more appropriate for modern XC racing and trail moonlighting. A slacker head tube angle allows for better downhill prowess and on paper, 67.8-degrees might seem a touch slack for XC use, however, the 74 to 74.3-degree seat tube puts some of that weight further forward to keep the front wheel from wandering on steep climbs. The other thing worth mentioning is that Yeti designed the frame around and recommends the use of a 44mm offset fork. The reduced rake brings the front wheel back so more traction is on tap and it brings back the agility that is often lost with slacker head tube angles. Chainstay length sits at 17.2-inches across all sizes, and like the head tube angle, it balances confidence through rough terrain at high speed with the nimbleness needed to make quick moves on tight singletrack. Compared to the ASR, the rear end is updated with Boost spacing allowing the use of hubs with wider flanges that increase the bracing angle, improving wheel strength and stiffness for a more responsive ride.
This SB100 is built using Yeti's top tier Turq carbon fiber construction. Turq frames utilize the finest carbon fiber and resins that Yeti can get its hands on and builds up extremely lightweight frames, with outstanding durability and impact resistance. It also allows for exceptional torsional and lateral stiffness for efficiency, and just the right amount of finely tuned flex so you track through straight rock gardens instead of being deflected off your line. Yeti only builds with carbon fiber these days and its construction is a masterclass. Turq frames are Richie Rude rated so we feel if it can stand up to his strength and the demands of EWS racing, it should stand up to years of our hard riding too.
- A trail-friendly steed built to dominate the XC race scene
- Progrssive geometry handles speed with ease, and stays agile
- Switch Infinity travel is plush, and offers lively pedaling support
- 4-inches of FOX Float DPS travel soaks up rocks and roots
- Turq carbon construction sheds weight, doesn't sacrifice strength
- Moderate 67.8-degree head tube keeps things playful and responsive