SB150 Carbon C1 GX Eagle Mountain Bike
If you live for high speeds, challenging black diamond trails, and gnarly enduro courses, take a look at the Yeti SB150 Carbon C1 GX Eagle Mountain Bike. It's a race bred machine who's sole purpose is to get you down the mountain as fast as possible, truly shining on steep trails filled with rocks, roots, and drops. Boasting 150mm of plush Switch Infinity rear travel, a 170mm Fox fork, progressive race geometry, and speedy 29-inch wheels, the SB150 makes quick work of technical trails while maintaining good pedaling characteristics for long days in the saddle with plenty of elevation gain. It's much more capable on gravity oriented trails than it's shorter travel sibling the SB130, and does a better job carrying speed over roots and rock gardens than it's longer travel sibling the SB165 thanks to the 29in wheels. So if going fast is your priority and you want a capable bike that won't hold you back, the SB150 is a worthy steed to throw a leg over any day of the year.
At this point, it's hard to question the benefits of 29in wheels when riders are winning Enduro World Series races and World Cup Downhills on them. Shortly after the initial release, Yeti factory team rider Richie Rude piloted the SB150 to a stunning victory on the steep and loose stages of the EWS at Ainsa, immediately followed by another win at EWS Finale Ligure, solidifying the legitimacy of this new hard-hitter from Yeti and proving that the wagon wheels are here to stay. Since then, the SB150 has found itself atop countless podiums at local enduro series as well as the flagship EWS. The fact is, 29ers simply roll faster and don't get hung up as easily on obstacles, making them a stellar choice for covering ground quickly on rugged terrain. Of course, all of this was brought about by changes in modern geometry, boost spacing, better suspension, and refined frame materials—all things that Yeti took full advantage of with this new bike.
The unmistakable Yeti ride quality is attributed to their Switch Infinity suspension design. Honestly, Switch Infinity is one of the best designs we've ridden. It's plush throughout the 6-inches of rear travel, delivering a smooth ride quality that feels like you've got more travel than the numbers show, and it maintains impressive traction across chattery small bumps and larger square-edged hits alike. The key to its performance is the translating main pivot, aka the Switch Infinity link, which switches direction as the bike moves through its travel, providing excellent anti-squat characteristics for superior pedaling performance, and ideal suspension characteristics as it gets deeper into the travel. For the SB150, Yeti made the leverage ratio more progressive to provide greater compatibility with modern shocks and various rider weights and styles. The refined leverage ratio also gives the bike better small-bump compliance, quicker ramp-up in the midstroke for a more playful and supportive feel, and better bottom-out control while still allowing full travel usage. The refined suspension kinematics are attributable in part to the patent-pending wishbone shock extender, which also maximizes standover height and allows Yeti to fit a water bottle inside the front triangle—all while maintaining compatibility with a coil shock should you want to throw one on the bike later on.
On paper, the long, low, and slack geometry with plenty of suspension travel make the SB150 look like a wicked descender, and that it is. By using a 44mm shorter offset fork, Yeti was able to seriously slacken the real head angle for better stability on descents and high speeds, all while maintaining excellent steering precision. The longer reach, steeper seat tube angle, and short chainstays help move the rider forward on the bike, keeping weight on the front wheel for better traction on steep chutes and chunky downhills. Paired with a metric Float X2 rear shock, this bike absolutely rips on the descents.
These geometry benefits are not one-sided though, as the steeper seat angle, short-offset fork, and forward riding position help keep power to the pedals and the steering quick and nimble when climbing. Frankly, we were quite surprised with how well this bike goes uphill, clamoring up the loosest, steepest, and most ledgy terrain we could find with relative ease, enough to convince us the SB150 is worthy of being a one-bike quiver.
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. For the 2020 model year, Yeti was actually able to shed some weight from the C-series frames by moving to a lighter swingarm that results in less suspended weight, meaning you'll enjoy smoother suspension action without any sacrifices to durability. Yeti also started using a Performance black finish on the Switch Infinity link to match the suspension stanchions, and replaced the titanium hardware with stainless steel. They were also able to incorporate full-length tunnels for the cable routing, giving you a rattle-free ride and simplifying maintenance by making it easier to feed your cables through the frame. Yeti is confident enough in their carbon that they offer a lifetime warranty on the frame, just for good measure. Also, it's worth noting that the rear triangle has clearance for up to 2.5in rubber, letting you run high-volume tires if desired.
- Yeti's long-travel 29er tackles challenging terrain at speed
- 6in of Switch Infinity travel is both plush and supportive
- C-series carbon rides like TURQ without breaking the bank
- Longer, lower, slacker geometry improves descending prowess
- Short-offset fork balances slack geometry with precise steering
- Steep seat tube angle keeps things pedal-friendly on the climbs
- Shock extender allows room for a water bottle in the front triangle
- Fox Performance suspension and GX Eagle drivetrain offer performance and value