SB5 Carbon LR GX Eagle Complete Mountain Bike
The crew at Yeti Cycles is fortunate enough to incorporate a daily lunch ride as part of their work routine, a way of staying true to their heritage of building bikes they love to ride. The trails near their headquarters in Golden, CO are riddled with stiff climbs and blazing technical descents, encouraging them to reach for a bike that is nimble and efficient on the climbs, but sure-footed and stable on the descents. The most popular choice among Yeti employees is the SB5 Carbon LR GX Eagle Complete Mountain Bike. The frame is the same as their quintessential SB5 trail bike, but the "LR" designates the Lunch Ride kit, consisting of a 10mm longer travel fork, more capable rear shock, wider bars, and Yeti's favorite tire combo in a slightly narrower width. What they've created is a bike that climbs and pedals with the urgency of the original SB5, but with downhill prowess that approaches the territory of their SB6 enduro bike. Yeti says even their pro riders will opt for the SB5 Lunch Ride on certain enduro courses, proving the bike's wide range of capabilities.
On the SB5 Lunch Ride Yeti takes advantage of the increased chassis stiffness of the Fox 36 with its burly 36mm stanchions and adds another 10mm to the travel, bumping it from 150 to 160mm to slacken the head angle and help the front end track better through chunky terrain. The rear shock is upgraded from a Fox Float DPS to a Fox Float DPX2. The DPX2 uses a piggyback reservoir with higher oil volume, delivering more sensitive bump-absorption, as well as better heat management for more consistent performance on long descents. The wider bars give you more leverage, allowing more steering control to accommodate the bike's slacker geometry. Lastly, the 2.5in Minion/2.3in Aggressor tire combo is simply a favorite of Yeti employees, and the narrower width doesn't feel quite as sluggish as the rock-crawling 2.6's they spec on other SB5 models.
Being that the frame itself is identical to the SB5, the Switch Infinity suspension remains the same. It's simply one of the best platforms we've ever ridden, attributable to the translating pivot that switches direction as the bike moves through its travel. It provides excellent anti-squat characteristics for efficient pedaling performance, with ideal suspension behavior as it moves deeper into the travel, able to rocket up technical climbs and smooth out sketchy downhills like few others can. The suspension curve is more linear for minimal resistance as the shock moves through its travel, contributing to the characteristic sensitivity of the Switch Infinity platform and ensuring the climbing capabilities are equally matched with downhill mastery.
The frame is constructed of Yeti's C-series carbon fiber, finding a good balance of strength, durability and a reasonable weight. It comes in bit heavier that Yeti's TURQ-series carbon, but offers the same ride quality and helps keep the cost of the complete bike down. The extra weight is hardly noticeable, and it is still backed by Yeti's new-for-2019 lifetime warranty on the frame and the Infinity Link.
The component spec doesn't leave much to be desired, with a smart arrangement of parts hand-selected to match the intention of the Lunch Ride kit. SRAM's GX Eagle drivetrain offers a wide gear range and adept shifting, with an XO1 derailleur as a nice bonus. Brakes are Shimano's new XT 4-piston with a 203mm front and 180mm rear rotor setup, delivering plenty of power to keep your newfound speed in check. Fox Performance suspension works with the Switch Infinity platform to provide an unmistakably plush ride, while DT Swiss wheels keep you rolling true.
- A burlier take on Yeti's versatile SB5 trail bike
- Lunch Ride kit pushes the bike's capabilities into enduro territory
- Longer travel fork & stout DPX2 shock handle gnarlier trails
- Mid-sized tires deliver plenty of traction without feeling sluggish
- Switch Infinity is a top performer up and down the mountain
- C-series carbon rides like TURQ without breaking the bank
- Frame now has clearance for up to 2.8in plus tires
- Yeti now offers a lifetime frame warranty on all 2019 frames