SB150 Turq Mountain Bike Frame
Watching 29ers across all mountain bike disciplines move to longer and slacker geometry paired with short offset forks, as well as the recent release of Yeti's SB100 with the updated Switch Infinity suspension platform, we've been anxiously awaiting some new long travel big-wheeled bikes from the Golden, CO based crew. That time has come, and we're happy to offer the Yeti SB150 Turq Mountain Bike Frame, the burliest wagon-wheeler Yeti has created to date. Six inches of plush travel provided by the reconfigured Switch Infinity platform now allows room for a water bottle in the front triangle rather than the underside of the frame, a not-so-minor change that keeps your water bottle clean and satisfies critics that have been bugged by the underside mount for years. But that's just one change of many that separate this bike from its predecessor, the SB5.5. The next big change is the progressive enduro geometry with a head tube angle approaching downhill bike territory at 64.5-degrees, a longer wheelbase and reach, and a steep 77-degree seat tube angle that moves the rider weight forward for more control over the front end and a better position for putting power down to the pedals while climbing and accelerating. The chainstays are shortened to a stubby 17 inches to enhance cornering and provide quick power transfers for getting up over obstacles. In addition to these geometry changes, the suspension kinematics have also been revised for slightly more progressivity, and there's an extra 10mm of travel front and rear. These changes add up to a bike that's incredibly stable on steep enduro stages and chunky high-speed descents, without sacrificing all of the nimble handling and playful pop that make tight or tame trails enjoyable to ride.
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 SB150's release, Yeti pro Richie Rude piloted the SB150 to consecutive victories at EWS Ainsa and EWS Finale Ligure, solidifying the legitimacy of this new hard-hitter from Yeti and proving that the wagon wheels are here to stay. 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 comes from their Switch Infinity suspension design. Honestly, Switch Infinity is some of the best 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, while maintaining impressive traction across chattery small bumps and 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 SB150 is also the first to employ the patent-pending wishbone shock extender, which maximizes standover height and allows Yeti to fit a water bottle inside the front triangle, all while maintaining compatibility with a coil shock.
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 as the shorter fork offset keeps the wheelbase length in check. 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 in spite of its enduro-focused geometry, 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.
This frame uses Yeti's TURQ Series carbon fiber, consisting of the highest quality materials Yeti can get their hands on, delivering a fine balance of strength, low weight, stiffness, and compliance. This makes for a ride that's fully composed over rough terrain, and surefooted when you're stepping on the gas and railing high-speed corners. By using high-modulus carbon fiber, Yeti is able to shed roughly 250 grams from the Carbon series frames while maintaining the same levels of durability. They were also able to incorporate full-length tunnels for the cable routing, giving you a rattle-free ride and simplifying maintenance since it's so easy to feed your cables through the frame. The frame is tested to DH standards, well beyond what most others do for a 150mm trail bike. It has to be strong enough for a tank like Richie Rude, who makes the earth shudder underneath him while riding, so it's certainly tough enough for the rest of us. Yeti is so confident in their carbon that they are now offering 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 rear tires if desired.
- Yeti's terrain-slaying 29er designed for enduro racing
- 29in wheels roll easily over obstacles and cover ground quickly
- 6in of Switch Infinity travel offers a plush yet efficient ride
- TURQ carbon frame is tested to DH standards for durability
- Longer, lower, slacker geometry is impressively stable on descents
- 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 water bottle in front triangle