SB130 Carbon C1 SLX Mountain Bike
Mountain bikes have seen huge improvements in recent years. From refinements in suspension technology to advancements in frame design and geometry, full-suspension trail bikes are more capable than ever. At times it feels overwhelming trying to decide on your next bike with all the different options in suspension designs, wheel diameters, and variations in travel out there. Many of us are simply looking for that one bike to rule them all, and one category of bike that seems to offer the best do-it-all performance is the mid-travel 29er group. These bikes can tackle a huge variety of terrain while remaining stable and composed, all without bogging you down on the climbs. Aided by the speed and rollover benefits of wagon wheels, these bikes excel on everything from huge backcountry epics on raw, gnarly singletrack, to fast laps at the bike park or a quick spin on your local flow trails. While there are more than just a handful of good all-rounders out there, one that could quickly make the rest of your stable obsolete is the Yeti SB130. With its stiff carbon construction, a plush yet efficient Switch Infinity suspension platform, and geometry that makes the bike feel like an enduro sled on the descents without sacrificing pedaling performance on the way back up the mountain, the SB130 rips any trail with a perfect balance of stability and playfulness.
Longer and slacker continues to be the name of the game, and on the SB130 the numbers lean towards the trend of a more capable descending bike that can still pedal when it's time to earn your turn. Its 65.5-degree headtube is a full degree slacker than the brands 5.5, a bike that already pushed the boundaries of a long-travel 29er. Of course, this contributes to unflappable stability when descending steep, technical terrain, but usually, a headtube angle so slack would be a bear on climbs and have lazy handling manners on the rest of the trail. This simply isn't the case with the SB130 as it employs a 44mm fork offset to bring the front wheel in closer to the rider so the contact patch is more aft than fore, for improved traction and a front wheel that's less likely to wander when the trail points up. Further helping in this regard is the 77-degree seat tube angle centering you right over the pedals letting you put the hammer down on the climbs. Further harnessing the watts and contributing to positive handling is the frame's Boost spacing placing the hub's flanges further apart and improving the spoke's bracing angle for a stiffer wheel and combining with the 1x-specific frame to allows space for tire clearances in the neighborhood of 2.5-inches with 433mm chainstays, the shortest we've seen yet on a full-suspension 29er from Yeti for quick power transfers and the ability to get the front wheel up and over obstacles easier.
A Yeti wouldn't be a Yeti without its signature Switch Infinity suspension and the SB130 utilizes some revised linkages and a metric shock that frees up some precious real estate allowing for the fitment of a water bottle inside the main triangle, unlike previous SB models. What remains the same are the two silky-smooth Kashima-coated stanchions housed just above the bottom bracket that translates throughout the stroke of the Fox Factory DPX2 shock to adjust the leverage ratio from supple, bump sucking plushness, to mid-stroke, anti-squat pedaling support, to a mild ramp up near the end responsible for its bottomless feel. You'll find that it bobs way less than other designs on the climbs and because its axle path isn't nearly as rearward as some platforms, it doesn't get hung up over square-edge hits letting you take speed and momentum over the obstacle. Whereas the older 4.5 required a little more precision when it came to line choices and favored maneuvering around obstacles, the new SB130 is tuned for full send and is happy taking on a point and shoot approach.
The ideal SB130 rider is one that might find the SB100 a little under-gunned compared their riding buddies' rigs or on their typical riding terrain, whereas an SB150 is simply more bike than what's needed and is just extra weight and travel to pedal around. We feel that the geometry, suspension package, and build kit on this SB130 are all responsible for that neutral, well-rounded position adding confidence on every ride with the ability to work so well in a wide variety of trail conditions. It's certainly a bike we'd have no reservations about pulling off our rack at the trailhead and question if we had the right tool for the job. It simply carves buff, flowy singletrack with aplomb while not backing down on drops, rock gardens, and jumps in the park if that's your thing too. The 130mm of rear travel might not seem like a lot, but with a 150mm FOX Factory 36 up front and 29-inch wheels, this bike can save your hide when the going gets rough.
The frame is constructed from Yeti's C-series carbon fiber, which offers a fine balance of strength, stiffness, and compliance with a modest 220g weight penalty compared to the TURQ carbon frames. This is achieved through a modified carbon layup schedule that helps keep the cost of the frame down without sacrificing strength, stiffness, or quality, and you're still covered by Yeti's lifetime warranty. The frame incorporates full-length tunnels for the cable routing, ensuring a rattle-free ride and easier cable changes when you need new cables or housing.
- Yeti's 29er trail bike is fast both up and down the mountain
- 130mm of Switch Infinity travel is plush, supportive, and efficient
- 150mm travel Fox Performance fork eats up square-edged hits
- Slack head angle and longer reach lend stability at high speeds
- Short chainstays and steep seat tube keep handling nimble and sharp
- C-series carbon rides like TURQ without breaking the bank
- Frame will fit a full-sized water bottle and up to 2.5in tires
- Shimano SLX 12-speed drivetrain for smooth and reliable shifting