SB5.5 T-Series GX Eagle Complete Mountain Bike 2018
Long travel 29ers have become increasingly more common as riders tap into the benefits of the larger wheel size, along with bike companies creating geometry that works well for trail, all-mountain, and enduro disciplines. The wagon wheels roll faster and preserve more of your momentum, helping you maintain speed and float over obstacles that cause smaller wheels to get hung up. With balanced geometry and a good suspension platform, these long-travel big-wheeled bikes corner with precision and climb with the best of them. The Yeti SB5.5 hits the mark with plush and efficient Switch Infinity suspension, a stiff carbon frame, and geometry that works well for both climbing and descending. It's already been proven at the elite level, capturing multiple EWS podiums at the hands of Richie Rude on high speed courses with long, pedally transfer stages. If you're looking for a capable all mountain bike that carries speed everywhere, with plush suspension that gobbles up the roughest lines, all while remaining efficient enough to be pedaled all day in the backcountry, look no further than the SB5.5 T-Series GX Eagle Complete Mountain Bike.
The heart of this bike is Yeti's Switch Infinity suspension, which is among the best we've ridden. It's plush throughout the 140mm 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. Paired with a 160mm Fox fork up front, the SB5.5 is unstoppable when gravity takes over and the trail points down.
Climbing abilities are equally as important, and Switch Infinity doesn't disappoint. The beauty of this design is the translating main pivot, aka the Switch Infinity Link. The link moves upward in the beginning of its travel, creating ideal anti-squat characteristics for efficient pedaling that minimizes energy lost to the suspension. We found ourselves leaving the shock in open mode for most climbs, except for sustained grunts on buff fire roads. As the suspension moves deeper into its travel, the link switches direction and moves back downward, providing buttery smooth suspension action for successive bumps and harder hits.
The SB5.5's balanced geometry is another element of the bike's success. The 66.5-degree head angle paired with a 51mm offset fork is stable on descents and high speeds, without making the bike feel sluggish on tamer trails and climbs. The reach and wheelbase are generous, but not overly long, providing a good balance between stability and maneuverability. The 17.2in chainstays are short but not too short, which is what Yeti wanted, helping the rear wheel stay tracked through rugged terrain. A low-slung top tube and fairly short standover help you lower your center of gravity for more control on descents and while cornering.
This bike uses Yeti's TURQ-series carbon fiber, consisting of the highest quality materials Yeti can get their hands on, delivering a fine balance of strength, low weight, stiffness, and compliance. This makes for a ride that's fully composed over rough terrain, and surefooted when you're stepping on the gas and railing high-speed corners. By using high modulus carbon fiber, Yeti is able to shed roughly 400 grams compared to the Carbon-series frames while maintaining the same levels of durability.
The build kit on this bike is a smart mixture of components that offer the performance you expect from a high-end bike, while remaining friendly on the wallet so you can save some cash for epic riding trips and race entry fees. Top-tier Fox Factory suspension with a low-friction Kashima coating delivers a smooth ride, with a solid range of adjustments to dial it in for your individual weight, riding style, and the terrain at hand, encouraging you to send difficult lines with confidence and composure. SRAM's GX Eagle drivetrain offers the same wide gear range and 50t bailout gear as its XO1 and XX1 counterparts but helps keep the cost of replacement parts reasonable. To keep your momentum in check, powerful Code R brakes offer plenty of stopping power and provide modulation that helps you fine tune your speed without unwanted skidding.
- Long travel 29er for aggressive trail riding and enduro
- 5.5in of smooth travel excels both up and down the mountain
- Switch Infinity suspension is impressively plush and efficient
- Geometry loves high speeds but isn't sluggish on tamer trails
- TURQ carbon is stiff, strong, and light with a refined ride quality
- Top-tier Fox Factory suspension damps the trail for a smooth ride
- GX Eagle drivetrain and Code R brakes perform reliably
- The SB5.5 is proven by Yeti's pro riders at elite levels of racing