SB130 Carbon LR C1 GX Eagle AXS Mountain Bike
What happens during lunch hour is rarely magical. On an average day, it means shoveling a sandwich down the gullet as quickly as possible in hopes that we'll have a few minutes to spare for a quick jaunt on the old bicycle, and when we're lucky we get some solid lunch laps in on tacky dirt, getting back in the office with a couple of mud splatters in our money-makers. We suspect that lunch laps at Yeti Cycles come with a little more deliberate focus, or at least that's what the brand's Lunch Ride bikes tell us. Take Yeti's SB130 Carbon LR C1 GX Eagle AXS Mountain Bike, for example, with its beefed up suspension that lends itself to even slacker, more capable geometry than before. It packs what seems like a nominal 6mm of extra suspension in the rear, and partners it up with 10mm of plush goodness in the front, shifting the geometry outwards for more confident handling on the roughest terrain, all the while keeping the seat tube perched for lively handling, and pedal-friendly climbs. It rides a fine line between enduro sled and nimble trail 29er, soaking up big hits that challenge the sum of its numbers, while still providing snappy pedaling for versatility when you point the bike skyward. And since a bike built to this be capable needs components to match, Yeti pairs this SB130 LR up with powerful SRAM Code brakes, workhorse SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain, and custom DT Swiss EX1700 32-spoke wheels that are made to take a beating. But Yeti doesn't stop there — the drivetrain gets a serious upgrade beyond your regular-old GX with SRAM XX1 AXS shifter and rear derailleur that provides next-level shifting and handling, plus the tidiest cockpit you'll find on a mountain bike.
Now, you'll still find the same frame as the SB130 — think of the SB130 LR as the punkrock twin brother, who, minus the band tee, studded jacket, and mohawk, has the same stock as its more conventional sibling. That means it features the same longer, slacker geometry for taking on the steeps, and steeper seat tube for pedaling up long climbs to earn your turns. Its 65.1-degree headtube is over a full degree slacker than the brand's 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. To push 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 new-reconfigured SB130 LR utilizes some new linkages and a metric shock that frees up some precious real estate allowing for the fitment of a water bottle inside the main triangle, and packs in an extra 6-millimeters of travel beyond the standard SB130. 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 Performance 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.
To expand the bike's capabilities, Yeti specs the LR with a beefier 160-millimeter fork to soak up more trail chatter, and offer a bit more of an enduro-ready feel than its trail-hungry sibling. It still provides a neutral, well-rounded riding position, but is a little bit more ready for action, soaking up drops to flat, or wheel-gobbling rock gardens. The 136mm of rear travel might not seem like a lot, but with a 160mm FOX Performance 36 up front and 29-inch wheels, this bike can save your hide when the going gets rough. Yeti furthers the build with SRAM's GX Eagle drivetrain, that's supercharged with SRAM's XX1 AXS derailleur and shifter, wirelessly operating so you can skip cables and housing in your cockpit.
Compared to mechanical Eagle groupsets, the Eagle AXS derailleur has been contoured around the frame design a bit more. This translates to increased chain wrap, which improves both load distribution and durability, reducing wear and tear on your chain and cassette for better longevity of components. Dually, this new positioning offers a whole 10-millimeters of increased clearance over mechanical Eagle rear derailleurs. Speaking of clearance, the two-clutch system offers a whole new safety mechanism for when you just don’t have quite enough space, and your derailleur takes a knock. The first clutch is the traditional type-three that you’ll find in most SRAM MTB derailleurs, this keeps your chain in check and tensioned, the second is where things get exciting. The Overload clutch protects your geared motor by disengaging the motor all together in the event of impact, allowing the derailleur to move whichever direction it needs to in order to protect the motor against a rock or a low-hanging branch. As soon as the impact is over, the derailleur automatically reengages and shifts back to where you were, without skipping a beat. This built in protection gives you some serious peace of mind when you’re dropping big dollars on a groupset.
Up front in your cockpit you’ll find the AXS shifter, which uses a completely new profile with three buttons. First, there is a main paddle at the thumb that pivots up and down when you engage it. The shifter is programmed out of the box to shift into your harder gears when you press upward on the paddle, and into your easier gears with a press downward. In addition to the paddle, there’s a trigger shifter that can be accessed when you’re hammering up climbs to get into the perfect gear for your sprint. Both paddle and trigger can be fully programmed with SRAM’s AXS app, allowing you to switch what each button does, and customize how many shifts your derailleur can make when you hold down on the shifters. The shifter pairs with your rear derailleur using SRAM’s own wireless network, which they claim to be completely secure, preventing tampering with from anyone but you. With that said — the shifter also uses both Bluetooth and ANT+ to connect to head units and smart phones, which allows you to program it, view battery life, and see a maintenance schedule. If on race day you find many other derailleurs and shifters popping up on your AXS app, you need not worry. In order to adjust shifting with the app you must be physically holding your bike and pressing the shifters to make any changes to its programming, keeping your ride safe from tampering.
Yeti specs this build with its more pocket friendly carbon fiber, that still offers the stiffness and durability of its revered Truq line, but with a little more material than its sibling, enabling price to be dropped, while a couple of grams are gained. It scales in at about 220-grams heavier than its Turq counterpart, which is a moderate price to pay for the savings your bank account will gain. 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 up to 2.5in tires.
- Yeti's all-mountain 29er takes on deeper, gnarlier trails
- Plush Switch-Infinity suspension is stretched to 136mm
- Yeti's staff spec this build with their go-to 160mm Fox GRIP2 fork
- Updated trail geometry climbs and descends extremely well
- Carbon fiber frame is light, stiff, sheds price down from Turq carbon
- Supple and supportive Fox suspension soaks up rocks, roots, big hits
- Custom DT Swiss EX1700 32-spoke wheels are ready to smash rock gardens
- SRAM's GX Eagle is upgraded with XX1 AXS wireless shifting for precision shifting and the tidiest cockpit you've seen short of a fixie