Coming Down the Mountain.
Yeti had some pretty big shoes to fill after they discontinued the highly successful SB95. The 5 inches of travel and Switch Technology built a bike that pedaled well, felt better the faster you rode, and could be built up as an all-day trail bike or an enduro stage hunter. The first 29er back in Yeti's lineup, post SB95, was the 4.5. It showcased refinements to the suspension linkage (Switch Infinity) and did a terrific job of filling in as a trail bike. However, those that still favored big wheels and wanted to build up an enduro machine silently hoped that Yeti still had something in the works. Yeti certainly delivered with the SB5.5 and it's become the gold standard in which all long-travel 29ers are judged. The SB5.5 Turq X01 Eagle Complete Mountain Bike that we have here is one of our favorite builds from Yeti and packs exactly what we want and no additional fluff: TURQ Carbon frame, FOX Factory suspension, and SRAM's excellent X01 wide-range group.
Bikes like the 5.5 ushered in a movement that legitimized wagon wheels for big-hit trial bike use and Richie Rude has piloted a 5.5 to an Enduro World Series race win. Modern geometry, materials, and suspension design build a frame that is an absolute demon when the trail heads down and the clock starts, but it never works against you when it is time to head back up and do it again or transfer to the next stage. This frame benefits from Yeti's TURQ Series carbon fiber which is the highest quality material that Yeti constructs frames from and it offers the perfect balance of stiffness and compliance. This results in a bike that feels smooth, solid, and aggressive yet gives up nothing in the durability and fatigue category. The higher modulus carbon allows Yeti to shave about 400 grams from the standard Carbon series bikes which should help some on grueling technical climbs.
The heart of Yeti’s suspension design is the Switch Infinity platform. What it yields is excellent deep travel support, sensitive small bump compliance, and the anti-squat needed for efficient pedaling and solid climbing. We are blown away by how well this bike ascends. If you have the means to turn the pedals over, the 5.5 will claw its way up the steepest, most uneven terrain you can imagine. The excellent mid-stroke support keeps the bike from wallowing in its travel and gives it a playful, poppy feel and we doubt that Cody Kelly has problems getting rad on any jumps, hips, or transitions he can get his wheels on…or off.
The SB5.5 TURQ Series X01 Eagle bike brings us everything important spec wise and doesn't leave us jonesing to upgrade it in the near future. For this bike, Yeti chose the SRAM's X01 Eagle drivetrain which essentially gives you XX performance at an ever-so-slightly higher weight penalty. Guide RSC brakes have equal parts modulation and power for really good feel coming down the mountain, Fox Factory suspension, including the new custom tuned DPX2 shock, work so well that you will look for and begin charging the hardest lines as it's such a joy feeling these dampers in action. The Yeti carbon bar is 800mm wide for plenty of leverage so you can channel your inner Richie Rude and manhandle this bike like it is meant to be ridden.
- A enduro bike with typical Yeti aggression
- 5.5in of all mountain, Switch Infinity suspension
- Slack geometry handles high speed gnar
- Turq carbon construction adds strength while reducing weight
- Fox Suspension offers excellent control when you need it most
- 29er wheels flatten everything in its path
- Eagle drivetrain adds the ultimate bail-out gear