SB130 Carbon GX Eagle Complete 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 with speed and composure, 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 Yeti's new SB130. With its stiff carbon construction, an incredibly plush and 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. This particular build, the SB130 Carbon GX Eagle Complete Mountain Bike, comes with a smart list of components that hits a sweet spot in value without sacrificing the performance you expect from a premium trail bike.
Modern trail bikes continue to get longer, lower, slacker and on the SB130 the geometry numbers lean towards a skilled descender that can still pedal all day when it's time to earn your turns. The 65.5-degree head tube angle is remarkably slack for a bike with this much travel, delivering unwavering stability when descending steep technical terrain. With a head tube this slack you'd normally feel some sluggishness on tamer sections of trail, but that's not the case with the SB130 as it's designed to pair with a 44mm offset fork, a way of bringing the front wheel closer to the rider so that the slack head angle doesn't create an unusually long wheelbase. This improves traction and makes the front wheel less likely to wander on slow speed trails or while climbing. Yeti went a step further by making the seat tube angle a steep 77-degrees, moving your weight further forward on the bike to provide more control over the front end and putting you in a better position to put power down on the pedals on steep climbs. To compensate for this, the reach was increased to maintain a roomy cockpit with plenty of space to shift your weight around on the bike while descending. Due to the long front-center and forward leaning riding position, Yeti gave the bike stubby 17.0in chainstays for nimble handling in corners and quick power transfers to get the front wheel up and over obstacles more easily.
The signature Yeti ride quality of smooth suspension action paired with an efficient pedaling platform is retained on the SB130, but the Switch Infinity suspension has been reconfigured. Yeti now uses a brilliant wishbone shock extender paired with a metric shock to free up space in the front triangle, finally allowing them to fit a water bottle inside the main triangle, one of the only things critics could find to criticize Yeti in years past. The shock extender also allows Yeti to make the suspension curve a bit more progressive, delivering more control in the mid-stroke while keeping the small-bump compliance supple, all while maintaining compatibility with a coil shock. What remains unchanged is the Switch Infinity link itself, the main pivot with two Kashima-coated stanchions that translates throughout the stroke of the Kashima-coated Fox Factory DPX2 rear shock to adjust the leverage ratio from smooth, bump-sucking plushness, to mid-stroke, anti-squat pedaling support, to a mild ramp up near the end that gives the travel a bottomless feel. This bike descends with impressive stability, bobs way less than other designs on the climbs, and maintains its momentum adeptly by refusing to get hung up on obstacles.
Compared to the older SB4.5 that had a bit less travel, steeper geometry, and required a little more finesse to get around obstacles, the SB130 is happy to take the straight line, plow through everything approach. The ideal SB130 rider is one that finds the SB100 a little under-gunned for their typical riding, but doesn't quite need the sheer monster truck handling of the SB150. Instead, the SB130 finds a nice balance between trail and enduro. We'd call it an aggressive trail bike that's fast both up and down the mountain, and is happy to dabble in the occasional enduro race. 130mm of rear travel may not seem like much, but it's designed to pair with a 150mm travel fork up front which is a better indication of the bike's intentions. Simply put, the SB130 flies down flowy singletrack with both playfulness and composure, but is ready to save your hide when things get rough and rowdy.
The frame itself is constructed from Yeti's C-Series carbon fiber, delivering plenty of stiffness, just enough compliance, and responsive handling. There is a modest 250g weight penalty compared to the TURQ-series frames, but nothing is lost as far as ride quality. The design is tested for durability by Yeti's hard-charging enduro rider Riche Rude, and Yeti is confident enough in the frame to include a lifetime warranty to the original owner against defects in materials or workmanship, which includes the Switch Infinity link as well. The frame comes with molded guards to protect the downtube and chainstay, and incorporates full-length cable tunnels to simplify maintenance since the housing slides easily through the frame and pops out in the same place every time. Lastly, it's worth mentioning that there's enough clearance in the rear triangle for 2.5in trail rubber.
The component spec on this bike is a solid mix of parts that finds a sweet spot between performance, reliability, and considerable value. The GX Eagle drivetrain offers the same precise shifting, wide gear range, and 50t bailout gear as its higher-end XO1 and XX1 siblings, but with some differences in material composition that comes with a minor weight penalty while helping to keep the cost down. The Fox Performance suspension leaves nothing to be desired, offering smooth damping and the necessary adjustments to dial in the suspension for your individual weight and riding style. DT Swiss wheels with proven Maxxis rubber keep your rig rolling true with plenty of grip, and your newfound speed is easily controlled by SRAM Guide R brakes offering plenty of power as well as smooth modulation that lets you fine-tune your speed without immediately breaking traction.
- Yeti's new carbon 29er trail bike slays any trail
- 130mm of plush travel eats bumps and levels bigger hits
- Progressive geometry adds DH stability without losing climbing prowess
- Switch Infinity platform is smooth & efficient across any terrain
- Shock extender allows room for a bottle cage in the front triangle
- Carbon frame is stiff and responsive, backed by lifetime warranty
- Fox Performance suspension damps the trail for confident handling
- GX Eagle drivetrain offers a wide gear range with a 50t bailout gear