Eleven speed is so last year, and you're finally flipping the switch on a new trail bike now that 12-speed is mainstream. That wait brought about more good things than just an extra gear with the 2017 Yeti Cycles SB5 Turq X01 Eagle Complete Mountain Bike, as the flagship trail bike gets updated with a dose of all-mountain attitude. This SB5 also gets the new Turq designation, calling attention to the most advanced construction Yeti is able to create. Turq means strength where it's needed and less weight where it isn't courtesy of a more precise carbon layup that's carefully molded to reinforce key stress points without adding bulk. This weight savings plays to the tune of a claimed reduction of 350g compared to the regular SB5 Carbon.
The geometry changes for this year's SB5 manifest 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 stiff, stubby rear triangle that keep handling responsive and snappy as you deftly navigate tricky root systems and washed out trails. The seat tube is also steeper, which keeps you on top of the pedal stroke.
The Switch Infinity suspension system is the figurative backbone of 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.
Apart 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 worked with FOX for the shock tune, focusing on the mid-stroke and making it lighter off the top.
- Yeti's trail bike gets longer and leaner for expanded capability
- 5in of smooth Switch Infinity suspension
- Longer, slacker geometry sends bigger lines
- Tight rear triangle maintains agility in terrain
- Features Yeti's most advanced Turq carbon construction
- Boost axles increase efficiency and improve tracking
- SRAM's X01 Eagle drivetrain adds the ultimate bailout gear
- Yeti continues to push the boundaries between standard trail bikes and enduro sleds
More SB5 builds
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SB5 size by rider height
|150mm Travel Fork|
Effective Top Tube
Head Tube Angle
Seat Tube Angle
Bottom Bracket Height
Reviews & Community
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Lightweight and Nimble, this bike is a trail slayer for sure. I love the evolution of shorter travel trail bikes that pedal well, but have an aggressive geometry for really getting after it on steeper and nastier trails. The gearing on this bike is optimal for all day epic rides too. With the stock 30t chainring and 10-50 cassette gearing, you get a bike that does not easily run out of steam on the descents, unless you are a pro rider or spend your time bombing fire roads. But super easy gearing for epic alpine climbs. The Switch Infinity design that Yeti uses is remarkable in its ability to pedal well, and soak up the trail chatter. The 127mm of rear wheel suspension, does not dictate where you can ride this bike either, it manages the travel well and you do not get harsh bottoming either. If you are looking for that everyday trail bike that wouldn't be outgunned for some lift riding, but will handle your local single track without wearing you out, look no further.