I Can't Drive 5.5.
Yeti Cycle's finger on the pulse of mountain biking is pressing down harder than ever and they have been in the game just about as long as anybody else. Trends come and go and designs advance to ultimately allow riders to push their limits and go faster on more difficult terrain. The 2018 SB5.5 Turq is the culmination of everything Yeti has learned in over 3 decades of building frames. The suspension design on the SB5.5 gives it the ability to happily pedal and climb with XC bikes but the geometry pushes its capabilities in gnarly terrain that Yeti's Enduro team will occasionally call into action for EWS races. This 5.5 frame carries the Turq appointment, which is plenty burly enough to handle tail-gate shuttles and rugged trails, yet light and agile enough that you'll forget how durable the frame is. The SB5.5 Turq construction contains the highest quality carbon fiber that Yeti uses allowing it to precisely layup the carbon where extra strength is needed, reinforce highly stressed areas, and reduce the weight by 240g versus the standard carbon version.
Key to Yeti's get-up-and-go response is a firm pedaling platform and we can't get over just how great this 140mm 29er climbs. We don't perceive any turbo lag or inefficiency on this one. Maybe it is the Boost spacing or the Switch Infinity platform or something Yeti adds that is as mythical as an abominable snowman, whatever it is, we like it. The big wheels roll along picking up speed and momentum and always encourages us to push the pace to the next ridge knowing the shit-eating grin we will have on the way back down.
Egging on the go-anywhere, crush-everything attitude is the bikes 66.5-degree head tube. Picking a line through a creek bed that mostly resembles a minefield becomes an afterthought. Switch Infinity is Yeti's propriety suspension design and it really shines on the SB5.5 since it has a knackering for conquering long ascents and steep descents. Keys to its success are its ability to stay completely active absorbing trail imperfections while maintaining enough anti-squat so you don't lose efficiency or pedaling response. Working in close collaboration with Yeti, Switch Infinity naturally works well with the custom tuned Factory DPX2 that comes stock on this frame.
Making this frame unique is its ability to more than satisfy the hard-chargers without leaving the endurance rider feeling like they are riding a pig. If you live for big mountain adventures or find yourself strapping a super-d or enduro number plate on the front of your bike, you can be certain that the SB5.5 can handle the task at hand and be ride along unperturbed. The SB5.5's Switch Infinity suspension doesn’t quite have the sport's car tune of the SB4.5 nor the bottomless feel of the SB6 but what it does have is a great balance and synthesis of the two. The 29in wheel's rollover ability gains back a little on the 1-degree slacker head tube angle on the SB6 so it will absolutely maul over rough terrain with great aplomb. If you find yourself finessing the bike through steep terrain or a looking for a slightly peppier pedaler, the SB4.5 might be more your speed.
- Conquer big mountains or enduro stages with the SB5.5
- Send-it confidently with 5.5in of Switch Infinity travel
- Slack head tube angle leads the charge through hairy descents
- Shortened chainstays stay agile in twisty terrain
- Turq frame carbon construction is airy and enduring