SB5 Turq Mountain Bike Frame
Sustained climbing on tedious fire roads or unrelenting steep trails may not be the most enjoyable part of mountain biking, but unless you're shuttling or riding a resort with chairlift access, they're a necessary evil to reach the flowy descents, technical rock gardens, and high-speed singletrack that we all dream of. For this, you need a bike that is nimble and efficient on the climbs, with the capability to slay any descent. The SB5 Turq Mountain Bike Frame fits the bill, a bike that's equally at home putting in serious miles on epic all-day adventures as it is ripping steep, chunky lines in the backcountry. It uses Yeti's highest-grade carbon fiber, with smooth and efficient Switch Infinity suspension that leaves us blown away every time we ride it.
Like its predecessor from 2016, the SB5 is versatile, lightweight, and truly excels in all kinds of terrain, but it did see some tweaks last year to update the geometry, making it even more capable than before. Starting at the front, the head tube angle was slacked out about a half a degree, to a long and low 66.5-degrees, allowing for confidence inspiring geometry on descents. With the shift of the head tube, the seat tube was pushed forward, upping the angle to 73.6-degrees (medium), keeping you forward in the cockpit for improved control on descents, as well as laying the power down on climbs. The rear end saw a big makeover, with the previously used 142mm non-boost hub spacing being stretched to a generous 148mm boost hub spacing. By widening the hub, not only does boost spacing allow for a stiffer wheel to be built, but it also clears up space closer to your seat tube, enabling the shortening of chainstays to a stubby 17.2-inches, to tuck your wheel in closer to the frame. Translating this to your ride, it means a snappier and more nimble rear end that's powerful under pedaling force.
Yeti's Switch Infinity suspension design is among the best we've ridden. It's plush throughout the 5in of rear travel, offering a smooth ride quality that makes it feel like you've got more travel than the numbers dictate. It maintains impressive traction across chattery small bumps and square-edged hits alike, with enough ramp to confidently soak up sizeable drops. Climbing abilities are equally as important, and Switch Infinity doesn't disappoint. The beauty of this design is the translating main pivot, aka the "infinity link." The link moves upward in the beginning of its travel, creating a rearward axle path, before sliding back down as you progress through the rest of the travel. This initial rearward axle path is what makes the Yeti an amazing technical climber, preventing the rear wheel from getting hung up as you power up chunky climbs. Of course, the pedaling platform is supportive too, with almost no bob when you get out of the saddle to hammer up a steep incline. We found ourselves leaving the shock in open mode for most climbs, except for sustained grunts on mostly-smooth fire roads.
Pairing the Kashima-coated stanchions of Switch Infinity with more of that silky-smooth coating, the SB5 Turq frame comes along with Fox's Factory DPS, Kashima-coated rear shock. Offering supple support as you roll down the mountain, the Factory DPS gives you 127mm of bottomless-feeling travel with adjustable tuning and rebound for quick changes you need to make when terrain switches from miles of bouldery downhill to a long and punchy climb back to the top.
Adding to the bells and whistles, this frame is made from Yeti's highest-end carbon fiber—the Turq series. Meticulously laid carbon fiber bonds around a mold to cure with minimal resin pooling, reducing weight, and increasing strength in joints without excess material being added. Turq is the cream of the crop in the world of carbon fiber bikes, with minimal margin for error and exceptional weight savings, Turq frames ride with unsurpassable durability for a solid and smooth ride on any trail. Starting in 2019, Yeti includes a lifetime warranty on all their carbon frames.
- Take on XC, trail, or enduro rides with this versatile Yeti frame
- Switch Infinity offers 5-inches of plush yet efficient suspension
- Short chainstays give you a playful and nimble ride
- Slack head angle provides stability and confidence on the descents
- TURQ-series carbon offers lightweight, reliable stiffness
- Fox Factory DPS shock yields smooth, adjustable travel
- Yeti includes a lifetime warranty on 2019 or newer frames