SB165 Carbon C2 GX Eagle Mountain Bike
While 29-inch wheels seem to be the obvious choice for the majority of modern bikes, there’s still many proponents for 27.5-inch wheels in the gravity world — and for good reason. When it comes to maneuvering tight corners, yanking over massive doubles, or getting styley on the jumpline, it's hard to beat the highly responsive feel that the smaller wheels offer. While the 29-inch wagon wheels may cover ground a little more efficiently, the 27.5inch wheel is still an obvious choice for many due to the undeniable fun-factor. Yeti hasn't forgotten about our fun-loving friends, and for those of you who like to ride hard and go big, they've created the SB165, and anyone who’s ridden it knows that it's here to stay. The SB165 Carbon C2 GX build boasts 165mm of Switch Infinity rear travel driven by a Fox coil shock, a 180mm Fox 38 fork, slacked-out geometry, intended to clear big gaps and blast down the burliest and most technical trails you can find. Sure, it'll work great as an enduro race bike, especially on steep courses with chunky rocks and tricky corners, but compared to its race-bred sibling the SB150, the SB165 likes to fly just as much as plow, a playful combination that's sure to put a smile on any shredder's face when you're ripping laps at the bike park or blasting down your local DH trails.
The SB165 is essentially the replacement for the SB6, a bike that dominated the Enduro World Series for a number of years at the hands of Yeti's team riders. The SB165 builds on that foundation, but Yeti pushes the geometry into fully modern territory to stay ahead of the current crop of long-travel sleds. The reach has grown by 40mm in size large compared to the SB6, landing at a whopping 480mm, and the head angle was slackened by a full 1.5-degrees down to 63.5-degrees. These numbers are pretty close to what you'd find on downhill race bikes, which means riders can enjoy absolute confidence carrying speed through treacherous rock gardens and steep, washed-out chutes. The longer reach and slacker angles mean the wheelbase has also grown considerably compared to the SB6—a full 1.6-inches to be exact—but Yeti keeps that in check with a short offset fork that maintains excellent steering precision, ensuring you'll have no trouble threading the needle in tricky terrain. Yeti also did the requisite steepening of the seat tube angle, which at 77-degrees puts the rider in a nice forward riding position to help keep power to the pedals and the steering quick and nimble while climbing. While the SB165 is certainly a big bike, Yeti's progressive geometry and the remarkable efficiency of the Switch Infinity suspension platform means this bike climbs with the best of them (if not the best) in the uber-long-travel 27.5 category.
Speaking of Switch Infinity, we would be doing you a disservice if we didn't talk about just how well Yeti's rear suspension works. It's plush throughout the 6.5-inches of rear travel, soaking up everything from chattery brake bumps to harsh landings and square-edged hits with a smoothness and composure unmatched by most designs, yet it remains supportive when you're hammering on the pedals or pumping rollers to gain speed. 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 SB165, Yeti tuned the leverage ratio for coil shocks, and considering this bike is meant to be ridden hard, the SB165 is equipped with one right out of the box so that riders can enjoy better heat management and more consistent performance on long descents. 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. Yeti was able to achieve this ideal leverage ratio in part due to the wishbone shock extender, which also allows for a lower standover height and room for a water bottle in the front triangle.
Yeti specs this build with its more pocket friendly carbon fiber, that still offers the stiffness and durability of its revered Turq 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. It's also worth mentioning that there's enough clearance in the rear triangle for up to 2.6in tires.
Yeti gave the SB165 some useful custom bits that cater to the gravity-hungry nature of this bike. DT Swiss E 1900 wheels with a 32-spoked configuration provide the stiffness and durability needed to withstand repeated hits on aggressive, rocky terrain. There's also a custom OneUp Bash Guide that protects your chainring from impacts and keeps your chain from derailing when you're throwing in some pedal strokes on a rough section of trail. On that same note, Yeti puts shorter 170mm crank arms on all build kits for some extra clearance against pedal strikes—something we truly appreciate on a low-slung, long-travel bike like this where you might be more likely to smash your cranks in certain situations.
This SB165 Turq C2 GX Eagle Mountain Bike is equipped with a high-quality build kit that is friendly on the wallet compared to some of the higher spec builds. The suspension includes a Fox Performance 38 fork for support and tunability, paired with a Performance Elite DHX2 coil shock that offers impressive small-bump compliance and a consistent feel on long, technical descents. The rear shock comes with a 2-position lever that acts as a climb switch, letting you firm up the rear suspension to eliminate any pedal bobbing on extended fire road climbs. SRAM’s GX Eagle drivetrain handles acceleration duties, giving you a wide range of usable gears with crisp, reliable shifting at an excellent price point. Code R 4-piston brakes with 200mm rotors front and rear offer impressive modulation and stopping power, working with the meaty Maxxis Minion EXO+ tires to dig deep and scrub speed before you drop into a sketchy section of trail. Yeti rounds out the kit with Race Face bars and stem, a trusty Fox Transfer dropper post, and a custom WTB Silverado saddle with turquoise accents that match the bike perfectly.
- Yeti's longest travel bike for DH tracks, big jump lines, and good times
- 165mm of plush Switch Infinity suspension driven by a coil shock
- 180mm travel Fox 38 fork soaks up big hits with confidence
- 63.5-degree HTA for unwavering stability on high-speed descents
- Steep 77-degree seat tube offers an efficient pedaling position
- Frame accommodates full-size water bottle and up to 2.6in tires
- DT Swiss wheels welcome massive hits thanks to burly construction
- Fox Performance suspension is highly tunable to your riding style