SB165 Turq T2 X01 Eagle Mountain Bike
It seems like most new bikes released these days are equipped with 29-inch wheels, which might give some people the notion that 27.5in wheels are a dying breed. The truth is, there's a large subset of riders that prefer the smaller wheels for various reasons, including many pro racers. While wagon wheels may roll faster than their smaller counterparts in many situations, 27.5in wheels respond more quickly to rider input, which means a tighter turning radius, a greater willingness to go airborne, and for some people, more fun. 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 Turq T2 XO1 Eagle Mountain Bike. Boasting 165mm of Switch Infinity rear travel driven by a Fox coil shock, a 180mm Fox fork up front, slacked out geometry, and of course, 27.5in wheels, the SB165 is built 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 effectively replaces the SB6, a bike that dominated the Enduro World Series for a number of years at the hands of Richie Rude. 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.
This model's frame benefits from Yeti's TURQ Series carbon fiber which consists of the highest quality materials Yeti can get its hands on and it offers up the perfect balance of stiffness, strength, and compliance while saving about 220g of weight over the Carbon-series frames. This contributes to a ride that's more composed over chunky sections of trail and surefooted in high-speed corners or anytime your stepping on the gas. For the 2020 model year, Yeti modified the carbon layup of the TURQ-series frames to increase stiffness and durability, giving riders greater peace of mind when putting the bike through its paces on rugged trails. Yeti is so confident that they've perfected their carbon manufacturing process that they offer a lifetime warranty to the original owner of the frame.
Yeti gave the SB165 some useful custom bits that cater to the gravity-hungry nature of this bike. Custom DT Swiss EX 1700 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 turquoise 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 170mm crank arms on all build kits for some extra clearance against pedal strikes—something we truly appreciate on a long travel bike like this where you might be more likely to smash cranks in certain situations.
This SB165 Turq T2 XO1 Eagle Mountain Bike is equipped with a parts kit that leaves little to be desired. Top-of-the-line suspension components include a Fox Factory 36 up front with the plush, supportive, and adjustable GRIP2 damper, paired with a Factory DHX2 coil shock that offers impressive small-bump compliance and consistent performance 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 bob on extended fire road climbs. SRAM's proven XO1 Eagle drivetrain handles acceleration duties, giving you a wide range of usable gears and crisp, reliable shifting. Code RSC brakes with 200mm rotors front and rear offer impressive modulation and stopping power, working with the meaty Maxxis Minion EXO+ tires to effectively scrub speed before dropping in to a sketchy section of trail. Yeti rounds out the kit with their in-house carbon bars, a trusty Fox Transfer dropper post, and a custom WTB Volt saddle with turquoise accents that match the bike perfectly.
- Yeti's longest travel bike for gnarly trails, big gaps, and big fun
- 165mm of plush Switch Infinity suspension driven by a coil shock
- 180mm travel fork soaks up big hits with confidence
- 63.5-degree HTA for unwavering stability on high speed descents
- 77-degree STA puts you in a comfortable position for tough climbs
- Frame accommodates full size water bottle and up to 2.6in tires
- Custom DT Swiss 32-spoke wheels can handle serious impacts
- Impressive build kit includes Fox Factory suspension, XO1 drivetrain, Code brakes, OneUp Bash Guide