SB100 Turq T2 X01 Eagle AXS Mountain Bike
Whether you've spent much time watching the professional cross-country circuits, or dabbled in racing yourself, you'll know one fact for sure: the race doesn't stop when you soar past competitors on the ascent. In fact — we'd argue that the descent that follows is equally important, as those who conserved energy on the climb are chomping at the bit, looking for the right moment to pass. This can be a fatal flaw for those who put all of their eggs in one basket, but Yeti's SB100 Turq T2 X01 Eagle AXS Mountain Bike begs you to push beyond one area of expertise. While its swift geometry is built to charge up technical climbs with vigor, Switch Infinity's suspension allows it to perform like no other bike before it, pointing downhill with more confidence than most other 4-inch travel bikes can muster, earning a reputation of "downcountry" bike, as its 29in hoops and progressive geometry soar through ribbons of singletrack with the podium in mind. Yeti builds out this particular SB100 with cherry-picked components that offer you the right balance of performance and price, utilizing SRAM's new XX1 AXS wireless shifter and derailleur, paired up to an X01 drivetrain that gets a little more bang for your buck. The value is furthered with Yeti's top-tier TURQ carbon fiber, and Fox's top-of-the-line Factory suspension, so you can toe the line on race day with confidence that your machine is finely tuned for crushing your PR lap after lap.
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 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 Factory shock and you'll swear that the rear end is packing more travel than the numbers show.
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.
This SB100 is built using Yeti's top-flight 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.
Yeti spec's this particular build with a handfull of cherry-picked components designed to get the most out of your dollar, starting with SRAM's AXS shifter and rear derailleur. Despite this build claiming the X01 designation, SRAM's XX1 AXS shifter and rear derailleur are employed. If you're wondering why you should fork out the cash for wireless shifting, it starts with the simplicity. You'll never have to mess with cable tension again, and you'll enjoy crisp, reliable shifting that almost never needs adjusting. All you have to do is make sure your battery is charged and that the derailleur and shifter are paired when you start your ride. On top of that, you can customize the shifting options and monitor the system with the AXS smartphone app. Equally as impressive is the fact that the rear derailleur has 10mm more ground clearance than the mechanical versions, and is better able to withstand impacts thanks to a clutch that disengages the internal motor and allows the derailleur to move inward to brush off impacts and avoid damage. To keep your bank account in mind, this electronic shifter and derailleur are paired up with X01 components that still offer near cream-of-the-crop shifting, but while keeping the dollars a little lower than splurging on all out XX1 Eagle.
Other noteworthy parts include top-of-the-line suspension from Fox, starting with a Fox Factory Step-Cast 34 fork that handles plushly and cuts down on weight without sacrificing chassis stiffness. It's paired with a Factory DPS shock that delivers impressive small-bump compliance and consistent performance while descending. Level TLM brakes offer smooth modulation and plenty of stopping power at an XC-friendly weight, working with the meaty Maxxis tires to keep your speed in check before you go barreling into rock and root gardens. Yeti rounds out the kit with their in-house carbon bars, a trusty Fox Transfer dropper post, and a custom WTB Volt saddle with turquoise accents that match the bike perfectly.
- Yeti's SB100 offers feathery climbing with trail-worthy descending
- 4in of smooth, highly efficient Switch Infinity suspension
- 67.8° head tube angle balances agility with stability
- Turq carbon construction drops weight and bolsters stiffness
- 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
- SRAM's X01 and XX1 AXS drivetrain offers consistent, nearly maintenace-free performance