What are Yeti Mountain Bikes?
Yeti mountain bikes have a great reputation. Many who haven't ridden a Yeti mountain bike ask what is so special about these bikes. Experienced riders who have ridden a Yeti bike often claim that they are the best mountain bike they have ever taken on the trail.
Yeti Cycles has a patented suspension system that they call ZeroLoss Technology or linear guide technology. The suspension system consists of two gliding pivots. The wheel path follows the direction of the impact so it transfers directly into the mountain bike suspension system and goes into the shock rather than flexing the frame, making it easier to roll through the impact, keep your speed, and have more control.
More recently, Yeti has patented a new suspension design called Switch Technology, which is basically a dual-link design that utilizes an eccentric mechanism that switches direction as the bike moves through its travel. This type of suspension is found on their newer mountain bikes, the SB-66 and the SB-95.
Yeti mountain bikes are available in different build kit options, such as Enduro, Enduro Plus, Race, and Pro, which range in price.
Types of Yeti Mountain Bikes
Yeti has a great line-up of mountain bikes. It is difficult to categorize their bikes into traditional categories because some of their bikes overlap into more than one category. For example, the SB-66 is a trail bike, but has the suspension and descending capabilities of many all mountain bikes made by other companies. The ASR 5 is lightweight like a xc race bike, but has suspension comparable to most xc trail bikes.
is the upgraded version of the former 303 RDH, which replaced the 303 DH. The Yeti 303 DH was the winner of the "Dirt 100", which is Dirt Magazine's pick of the best products for 2009. The 303 RDH received raving reviews and brought home many medals for the Yeti Team.
The 303 WC (which stands for World Cup) mountain bike was built with downhill racing in mind. It is made to ride quickly through very rough terrain and not lose momentum when hitting big obstacles, pedaling, or braking.
Features of the Yeti 303 WC include:
- A burly 210 mm (8.25 inches) of travel
- Customized Hydroformed aluminum main frame and swingarm, which makes it lighter without compromising strength
- Frame weighs in at 9.9 lbs
- Patented linear rail technology
- Inset 1.5 head tube - Angleset compatible
Trail / All Mountain
SB-66 and SB-66 C
Yeti SB-66 Enduro Bike 2011
is one of Yeti's newer bikes and has been marketed as the ultimate trail bike. SB stands for "super bike". The first 6 in 66 designates the wheel size, 26, and the second 6 represents the amount of travel, which is 6 inches.
The SB-66 was the first bike to include Yeti's patented Switch Technology suspension. The SB-66 bike has 152 mm (6 inches) of travel. It is designed to be an excellent all around bike, whether you want to ride it all day on epic rides with climbing involved or do aggressive all mountain riding.
is the carbon version, which weighs in at an amazing 6 pounds.
has historically been one of Yeti's best-selling bikes and is Yeti's longest standing full suspension mountain bike in their line-up. The 575 is comparable in efficiency and weight to most 5" travel bikes, yet competitive with bikes having 6 or more inches of travel on the downhill. It is sort of a cross between an all mountain and xc trail bike.
The Yeti 575 has 146 mm (5.75 inches) of travel, which is why it is called the 575.
The ZeroLoss single pivot suspension design allows for a straight line when pro pedal is locked in. This design is very efficient and stiff when climbing and minimizes pedal bob. When pro pedal is unlocked, the link drops so you sit more into the sag and have a more active suspension.
Build kits for the Yeti 575 include the Enduro, Enduro Plus, Race, and Pro option.
Upgrades to the newer 575 include a custom butted rear triangle to increase strength and stiffness of the rear end, an inset tapered head tube to increase front-end stiffness, and a redesigned down tube with greater fork clearance.
In 2011 Yeti featured the limited edition 25th anniversary 575, which was produced in a batch of 250 frames/bikes, each one individually numbered.
is designed to be a fast, efficient climber and also an extremely capable descender. I have heard nothing but good things about the ASR 5 through reviews and ASR 5 owners.
The ASR 5 comes in either carbon or alloy. The carbon frame is 4.75 lbs, which is lighter then many of the lightest cross country bikes on the market, yet it has the capabilities of many all mountain bikes. The alloy frame is 5.5 lbs.
The ASR 5 has 5 inches (127 mm) of travel and their award winning active suspension design.
Build kits for the ASR 5 include the Enduro, Race, and Pro options.
New in 2012, the
is Yeti's sweet dual-suspension 29er mountain bike with 5 inches (127 mm) of travel. The SB-95 features Yeti's patented Switch Technology suspension which sits low and allows for a progressive geometry (slack and low) that Yeti claims makes the bike climb extremely well but descend even better.
Big Top 29er
Yeti's 2011 line-up added a hardtail 29er mountain bike called the
Big Top 29er.
Yeti ARC-BT Big Top Enduro Bike 2012
The Big Top has an aluminum frame with a tapered head tube and carbon chain stays and seat stays. The shortened seat stay is designed to give a snappy feel and also allows you to have your weight over the rear wheel so you do not spin out as easily. The front derailleur is directly mounted on the frame to allow for better tire clearance.
One nice feature of the Yeti Big Top is that it has dropouts that allow it to be compatible with either a geared setup or singlespeed.
The ASR Carbon is Yeti's lightweight carbon fiber mountain bike that is built for racing. This Yeti mountain bike was given the Outside Buyers Guide 2009 "Gear of the Year" award, claiming that it is not cheap, but you'd have to spend a lot more to find its equal.
Some of the features of the Yeti ASR Carbon include:
- A solid carbon seatmast, which is lighter than a regular seat post setup and also provides a stiffer front triangle for greater power transmission to the pedals
- 98 mm travel
- Build kit options include Race and XTR models
The Yeti AS-R Alloy has an aluminum frame with a carbon swingarm. This option is not as stiff as the AS-R Carbon.
Other features of the AS-R Alloy include:
- 98 mm travel
- A unique feature of the Yeti AS-R Alloy is that it comes in XX-Small and X-Small in addition to Small, Medium, and Large sizes
- Build kits for the ASR Yeti mountain bike include Enduro, Race, and Pro XX
The ARC is Yeti's hardtail mountain bike.
Features of this bike include:
- Racing geometry
- Yeti loop stays
- Optimized Yeti Pure Tubing
Company History and Information
Yeti mountain bikes have been around since 1985 when Yeti Cycles was founded by John Parker. Parker was a welder who built movie sets in Hollywood and later became a mountain bike designer and racer.
Yeti Cycles originated in California during the time mountain biking was getting started. The first mountain bike World Championships took place in Durango, Colorado in 1990. In 1991, Parker moved the Yeti Cycles factory from California to Durango to be closer to the action.
In 1995, Schwinn bought Yeti Cycles company and later sold it to a ski company called Volant in 1999. During this time, not a lot happened with Yeti mountain bikes. In 2001, two Yeti employees bought the company and revived the Yeti name.
Chris Conroy was one of these employees and is currently the president and general manager of Yeti Cycles. The factory is now in Golden, Colorado in the foothills of the Rockies.
Yeti Cycles do not make road bikes, only mountain bikes. The employees are passionate about mountain biking and go out and ride on the nearby trails during their lunch hour. Yeti mountain bikes are ridden, tested, and designed for riding the rocky singletrack found in the Rockies of Colorado.
The Yeti bike company sponsors annual gatherings in various locations, such as Fruita, Crested Butte, and Winter Park, Colorado during which enthusiastic owners of Yeti mountain bikes from around the world gather to ride and party together. Sounds like a really fun time. These passionate mountain bikers are referred to as the Yeti Tribe. There are also annual Tribemeets in the UK.
Yeti mountain bikes are a reputable and well-known brand, and I have heard good comments about their customer service. I have never met a Yeti owner who had a negative thing to say about their bike. On the contrary, those who ride Yeti bikes seem to love them.
Yeti cycles recently added a couple of 29er mountain bikes to their line-up. They do not include women specific designs; however, the component and frame fit options are great for women. I have demoed the ASR-5 and it fit me well at 5'4". I have seen many women riding Yeti mountain bikes out on the trails.
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