SB130 Turq T1 XT Mountain Bike
Luckily for us bike enthusiasts, mountain bike technology is better than ever. From cross-country shredders to enduro-race machines, bikes are becoming more usable on a wider variety of trails. While this versatility makes riding any bike more fun, it can make it difficult to narrow down a purchasing choice to a single bike. Hot topics such as slack geometry, wheel sizes, and long-travel make things even more confusing. Fortunately more capable bikes means the “middle of the road” category just got wider, and mid-travel 29er trail bikes now shred everything from long-distance backcountry epics to beefy bike park jump lines. The Yeti SB130 Turq T1 XT Mountain Bike sits right at the front of the pack when it comes to trail machines, with 130mm of rear travel for eating up chatter, and 29-inch wheels that make quick work of technical climbs. It remains lively and playful on smoother singletrack, but shows its true colors when you're heading into technical terrain that requires careful line choice. Factor in its lightweight TURQ carbon construction, plush Switch Infinity platform with FOX Factory suspension, and a snappy shifting, wide-range Shimano XT 12-speed drivetrain, and you have an ultra-capable bike thatâ€™s appropriate on a wide variety of trails and geographic locations.
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 new-reconfigured SB130 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. 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 Kashima-coated 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 or SB115 a little under gunned compared to 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.
This build also benefits from the lightweight stiffness of Yeti's top-tier TURQ level carbon fiber construction ensuring a strong, durable, and responsive frame. 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 220g 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 racers, 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 up to 2.5in tires.
- Yeti's ultra-capable take on the mid-travel 29er trail bike
- 130mm of plush Switch Infinity strikes a great balance of plow and play
- Modern geometry is optimized for going up and down steep terrain
- Shorter chainstays keep the handling sharp, nimble, and playful
- Shimano XT drivetrain provides a wider 10-52t range
- TURQ carbon construction drops grams and boosts stiffness
- BB92 shell and Boost rear spacing offer cornering support
- FOX Factory suspension is extremely supple and tunable