SB130 Turq Mountain Bike Frame
These days there are a lot of really good bikes out there. Advancements in frame design, geometry, and suspension technology have finally caught up with the capabilities demanded by riders, but with all the wheel diameters, geometry changes, and different suspension designs out there, it can be tough to decide which one to buy. One class of bike that seems to offer the best do-it-all performance is the mid-travel 29er category. Able to tackle a wide variety of terrain without bogging you down on the climbs, these bikes excel on everything from backcountry epics littered with raw, gnarly terrain, to fast laps on your local flow trails, railing berms and popping off trail features. And while we can name a handful of great wagon-wheeled all-rounders off the top of our head, one that could quickly make the rest of your stable obsolete is the SB130 Turq Mountain Bike Frame from Yeti Cycles. With its lightweight TURQ carbon construction, the plush yet efficient Switch Infinity platform, and geometry that makes the bike feel like an enduro sled on the descents without sacrificing pedaling efficiency on the way back up, the SB130 feels right at home on virtually any trail.
Longer, lower, slacker has been the trend on modern trail bikes, 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.
Yeti bikes ride as well as they do largely because of their patented Switch Infinity suspension. On the SB130, Yeti 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 like a bat out of hell, 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 TURQ-Series carbon fiber, delivering superior stiffness, just enough compliance, and seriously responsive handling. High-modulus carbon fiber is meticulously hand laid using carefully researched and tested carbon layup structures to reinforce critical tube junctions and high-stress areas without adding excess weight or bulk. The result is a frame that is roughly 250g lighter than the standard C-Series carbon, with the same levels of strength and stiffness. The design is tested for durability by Yeti's hard-charging enduro bruiser 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.
- Yeti's well-rounded 29er that excels on virtually any terrain
- 130mm of plush travel gobbles bumps and soaks up bigger hits
- Progressive geometry adds DH stability without losing climbing prowess
- Switch Infinity suspension is remarkably smooth and efficient
- TURQ carbon construction sheds weight without sacrificing strength
- Shock extender allows room for a water bottle in the front triangle
- Designed to pair with a 150mm travel, 44mm offset fork
- Frame and Switch Infinity link are backed by a lifetime warranty for good measure