Dreaming of technical trails.
For 2017, Yeti's SB5 Turq Mountain Bike Frame channels its trail heritage and expands its versatility with a longer, slacker profile that adds an infusion of all-mountain sass to rip bigger lines and push the limits of your capabilities. Carrying Yeti's new Turq designation, this frame represents the most advanced construction the company can create to provide strength where you need it and reduce weight where you don't. For the SB5 Turq, that means a more precise carbon layup, carefully molded to reinforce key stress points along the frame without adding bulk for a claimed weight reduction of 350g compared to the regular version.
Yeti's carbon fiber ethos maintains a focus on increased efficiency and decreased weight while dialing the geometry. For the SB5, this manifests as a slightly slacker head tube, dropping from last year's 66.8 degrees down to a 66.5-degree angle, with a slightly longer wheelbase and reach that combine for increased stability when blasting through steep rock gardens. Conversely, the longer, slacker front end is tempered by a steeper seat tube angle and stiff, stubby rear triangle that keep handling responsive and snappy as you deftly navigate tricky root systems and washed out trails.
The Switch Infinity suspension system is a the catalyst behind the SB5's versatility. Switch Infinity originally replaced the Switch Link design, which experiences a momentary harshness when rapidly successive hits kept it hovering above the 30% stroke point. The new design has a more linear travel arc, so the eccentric link changes direction without getting caught in that minute dead spot. Of course, 95% of all riders won't ever push the Switch Link hard enough to experience this dead spot, but Yeti (being Yeti) went ahead and fixed it anyway. For those of us who are our own mechanics, Yeti also simplified maintaining the Switch Infinity by including easily accessible grease ports, which do away with the need for time-consuming rebuilds.
Aside from those changes, the two suspension systems are fairly similar. Like the Switch Link, the Switch Infinity slider travels upward under the first phase of compression, when the SB5 is settling into its sag point. As the rear end compresses deeper, the direction changes, and the DH-inspired slider travels down toward the bottom bracket shell to maintain a steady pedaling platform. This change of direction is smoother, without the above-mentioned dead space, but the effect is the same. Deep in the stroke, it works in conjunction with the upper pivot to produce a vertical wheel path that effortlessly flattens big, square-edged impacts.
- Yeti's flagship trail bike gets longer and leaner
- 5in of responsive Switch Infinity suspension
- Longer, slacker geometry sends bigger lines
- Tight rear triangle improves agility
- Turq carbon construction maintains stiffness while dropping weight
- Boost rear axle increases drive stiffness
- Though it prefers to focus on play, Yeti Cycles has a long history of technical innovation