Alex’s Yeti SB165 long-term evaluation
After spending almost two years with my final long-term take a look at bike, the Orange Stage 6, I used to be struggling to discover a alternative. I wasn’t positive if I needed kind of journey, whether or not I needed 27.5in or 29in wheels or if I even needed a path, enduro or all-mountain bike.
Though I wouldn’t precisely name my state of affairs a complete bind – and there are a lot worse issues to have in life – it did depart a little bit of a query mark over the form of bike I wanted, and needed, for 2020 and 2021 to fulfil my love of gravity-fed driving whereas nonetheless with the ability to pedal about.
So ending up with a 165mm journey, coil shock, 27.5in-wheeled rig took me a bit of without warning to be completely trustworthy, however I’m hoping that reverting again to the smaller wheel measurement and greater journey received’t be a hindrance out within the woods.
The Yeti SB165 is at the moment the Colorado model’s most radical bike on supply, with probably the most journey and slackest head tube angle, it’s even suitable with twin crown forks. Meaning it’s a gravity-focused rig and, due to that, has been examined to Yeti’s downhill energy requirements.
Together with loads of journey and trendy geometry – it’s bought a 77-degree seat tube angle and a 480.1mm attain – bottle cage mounts, inside cable routing and a full carbon fibre body it seems prefer it ticks loads of my ‘must-have’ packing containers.
Clearly going for an uber-expensive bike wasn’t a aware selection, and I’d have been simply as completely happy on a body price half or perhaps a quarter of the worth, however as soon as I’d secured the frameset, it appeared becoming to construct it up with a bunch of high-spec components befitting of Yeti’s boutique fame.
The spec positively fulfils a necessity, too, and isn’t simply lavishly luxurious with out cause, however extra on that beneath.
Yeti SB165 specs and particulars
How has the SB165 ended up trying, then? And why did I select these components?
Yeti SB165 Turq Sequence frameset
As I mentioned, the SB165 is Yeti’s burliest bike.
It’s bought 165mm of rear-wheel journey that’s been meticulously tuned by Yeti’s engineers to offer what it deems to be the perfect performing suspension on the market.
That is achieved with its Swap Infinity system, which modifies the bike’s anti-squat by shifting the primary pivot’s location vertically upwards because the suspension compresses by the primary a part of its journey, then vertically downwards because it will get deeper into its stroke.
That is claimed to provide low ranges of pedal bob firstly of its journey – with a rise in anti-squat – and extra suspension compliance deeper into its journey because the anti-squat drops off.
The system makes use of a set of stanchions side-by-side with the primary pivot within the centre of a ‘shuttle’ that strikes up and down the stanchions.
The SB165 frameset is simply out there in Yeti’s top-of-the-range Turq carbon fibre, which is claimed to supply the “excellent stability of stiffness and compliance” and to cut back weight over commonplace carbon.
My SB165 frameset with Fox Manufacturing facility DHX2 shock and coil spring weighs 3,690g.
Fox 38 Float Manufacturing facility GRIP2 fork
With a price ticket worthy of the SB165’s, the Fox 38 is the American model’s newest hardest-hitting enduro single crown fork.
Bolted to the entrance of my long-termer is the 27.5in-wheeled model with 180mm of journey and a brief 37mm offset to extend path, which ought to additional calm the bike’s steering on steeper and sooner tracks.
Coupled with the GRIP2 damper – that has exterior high- and low-speed rebound and compression damping – and float EVOL air spring, it makes for a slightly luxurious and extremely managed journey.
As the biggest diameter stanchion single crown fork I’ve ridden because the Totem, I’m excited to see the way it performs.
- Fox 38 Float Manufacturing facility GRIP2 fork: £1,299
TRP TR12 rear derailleur and shifter
Touted as a real various to Shimano’s and SRAM’s mech and shifter, TRP’s TR12 mech and shifter was launched back in May 2020.
I pounced on the probability to bolt it to my brand-new long-term take a look at bike and see how the package designed by world cup downhill racer Aaron Gwin’s mechanic performs.
Standout options embrace an adjustable clutch, chain size and b-tension arrange guides and the Corridor Lock, which helps to restrict the mech’s physique from rotating forwards over bumps.
The derailleur’s cage and higher hyperlink is made out of carbon fibre. The rear mech weighs 292g.
The shifter’s ergonomics have been designed with enter from Aaron Gwin, too.
The cable launch lever has a linear motion, as an alternative of a pivoting movement used on most different shifters, that’s claimed to imitate a rider’s thumb’s motion.
The cable pull paddle’s place might be rotated to go well with rider preferences, too.
- TRP TR12 mech: £220
- TRP TR12 shifter: £110
Shimano XT M8100 cranks, cassette and chain
As a result of the TRP TR12 mech and shifter don’t kind a part of their very own groupset, I’ve fitted Shimano’s M8100 12-speed 170mm lengthy XT cranks with a 30-tooth chainring and 10-45t cassette, together with matching XT chain.
I had to make use of Shimano’s smaller 45-tooth cassette as a result of TRP’s TR12 mech is simply formally suitable with as much as 50-tooth cassette sprockets. This implies Shimano’s bigger 51-tooth and now SRAM’s new 52-tooth cassettes aren’t supported.
I do have a 51-tooth XT cassette to strive with the mech to research what limits compatibility and can report again as soon as I’ve managed to take a look.
- M8100 cranks: £199.99
- M8100 cassette: £144.99
- M8100 chain: £41.99
Race Face Turbine R 30 27.5in wheelset
I’ve all the time favored the texture aluminium wheels have on the path and have had good experiences with Race Face’s ARC wheels up to now on my previous long term test bike.
Sadly, the ARC rims weren’t out there as full wheelsets once I was constructing the bike up so needed to go for Race Face’s Turbine R 30 wheels as an alternative.
The Turbine R 30s have a 30mm inside width which, for me, appears like a very good compromise for lowering the tyre carcass roll typically felt with narrower profile rims, whereas sustaining a extra rounded tyre profile to enhance lean angles in turns earlier than the tyres lose traction.
The Turbine R 30 rims are constructed onto Race Face’s Vault hub that boasts 120 factors of engagement utilizing straight-pull spokes.
Though Race Face claims the wheels are greatest suited to path and all-mountain makes use of, I think they’re going to be loads sturdy sufficient for a yr’s price of abuse on the SB165.
The pair, with Enhance 12 x 148 rear spacing and MicroSpline freehub and entrance 110 x 15mm Enhance spacing, weigh 1,710g.
TRP DH-R EVO brakes
Complementing the TRP TR12 drivetrain are these DH-R EVO brakes, designed for world cup degree DH racing.
The lever our bodies are CNC machined and polished to a shiny end. The lever blades have small depressions to enhance grip and their attain has tool-less adjustment.
Together with four-piston calipers, energy is supplied by the two.3mm thick rotors.
The brakes use mineral oil, like Shimano programs, and I discovered them fairly tough to bleed appropriately in comparison with SRAM’s DOT fluid brakes with its Bleeding Edge bleed system.
I opted for 203mm rotors back and front on the Yeti.
The DH-R EVO brake levers weigh 133g every, a caliper with 190cm hose weighs 199g and a 203mm TRP rotor tipped the scales at 244g.
- Entrance and rear brakes with 203mm rotors: £490
OneUp Elements V2 Dropper Put up, Carbon Handlebar and EDC Stem
OneUp’s natty EDC steerer-tube-stashed tool propelled the Canadian model into the limelight by offering a sublime resolution for an annoying drawback; how one can carry instruments in your bike.
Since its device was launched, it’s labored on a bunch of different components together with dropper posts, handlebars, stems, pedals cassettes and chainrings.
After being significantly impressed with its V2 Dropper Post, awarding it 5 stars, it appeared logical to suit a 210mm journey model to my new long-term take a look at bike.
Managing to squeeze a 210mm-drop submit onto the Yeti means my saddle might be completely out of the way in which on the descents whereas nonetheless rising to the proper peak for climbing.
With the OneUp submit’s efficiency impressing me once I reviewed it, I’m hopeful its reliability will proceed on the brand new bike.
I’ve caught on a set of OneUp’s Carbon Handlebars, which it claims have been tuned to offer nice ranges of consolation by minimising the width of its 35mm clamping diameter and having a profile that flattens into an oval form the nearer it’s to the bar’s bend.
The 35mm rise bars I’m utilizing weigh 226g.
As somebody who prefers to not combine and match manufacturers an excessive amount of, I’ve caught OneUp’s 35mm EDC Stem on the bike, too, with the thought of becoming its EDC device without having to faucet threads into the steerer tube at a later date.
- OneUp Elements V2 Dropper Put up (with distant): £221
- OneUp Elements Carbon Handlebar: £119.50
- OneUp Elements EDC Stem: £69
Cloth Funguy 31mm diameter grips
Cloth’s Funguy grips have rapidly change into my subsequent favorite set of grips to make use of after becoming them to a different bike.
They’re smooth, they’ve solely bought one lock-on ring so can twist barely, they usually really feel like the right diameter for my fingers.
This set of marble colored grips won’t everybody’s cup of tea however I believe they’re superior.
- Cloth Funguy grips: £16.99
SDG Bel Air 3.0 Lux-Alloy saddle
Though the Bel Air 3.0 wouldn’t be my first selection saddle – after I confessed my undivided love for SQlab’s 610 ERGOLUX Active 2.0 in 2019 – it’s ended up on the Yeti.
With a 140mm width and quick 260mm size, I figured I’d give it a go. Additionally, it seems extra standard than SQlab’s providing and solely weighs 236g.
- SDG Bel Air 3.0 Lux-Alloy saddle: £79.95
Cane Creek 70 Sequence Hellbender bearing improve
Formally the Yeti SB165 is simply suitable with Cane Creek’s 40 Sequence IS41/28.6 IS52/40 headset that retails for £49.99. Nevertheless, as a result of a few of Cane Creek’s bearings are interchangeable it was attainable to improve the 40 Sequence headset with 70 Sequence Hellbender bearings.
Though it’s a small improve, it’s one which’s price it given the grotty UK circumstances this bike goes to must endure.
Hellbender headsets begin at £74.99.
Vittoria Mazza tyres
Rounding off the Yeti is a pair of Vittoria Mazza 2.4in vast tyres that use Graphene 2.0 of their 4 compound rubber to enhance grip whereas sustaining good rolling resistance.
Up entrance I’ve fitted the two.4in vast Path casing Tubeless Prepared (TNT) tyre that weighs 930g. On the rear, I’ve gone for the harder 2.4in vast Enduro casing TLR tyre which ideas the scales at 1,140g.
As a brand new tyre to the market firstly of 2020, I used to be eager to provide them a go on my bespoke Yeti construct.
- Vittoria Mazza Path casing Tubeless Prepared (TNT): £59.99
- Vittoria Mazza Enduro casing TLR: £59.99
Yeti SB165 customized construct value and weight
Had I gone to the outlets and acquired this beautiful customized construct Yeti SB165, I might have needed to half with £7,904.38 – making it inexpensive than Yeti’s top-spec SB165 T3 TURQ full bike, particularly if I needed to suit DT Swiss carbon wheels and SRAM’s AXS drivetrain.
It’s nonetheless impressively costly, although.
For the cash, I’ve managed to land myself a fairly light-weight and significantly succesful 180mm journey fork, 165mm rear journey enduro bike.
With out pedals the complete construct weighs 14.67kg / 32.34lb.
Yeti SB165 geometry
Because the burliest bike Yeti at the moment sells, it’s not a shock to see the SB165’s geometry sitting on the extra progressive finish of recent.
The scale massive I’m driving has a 63.5-degree head tube angle, a 77-degree efficient seat tube angle and a 480mm attain determine.
It’s bought 433mm chainstays (the identical size throughout all sizes) and a 1,255.2mm wheelbase.
In keeping with Yeti’s website, my 178cm peak is on the very backside of the scale massive’s match vary, however I believe that somebody with a peak of 173cm would match a big body comfortably.
- Head angle: 63.5 levels
- Seat angle: 77 levels
- Chainstay size: 433mm
- Seat tube size: 450mm
- Prime tube size: 621.5mm
- Head tube size: 121.6mm
- Wheelbase: 1,255mm
- Stack peak: 609.9mm
- Attain: 480.1mm
Why did I select this bike?
After spending almost two years on my 29er Orange Stage 6 I used to be uncertain which wheel measurement of enduro bike I needed to journey into 2020 and 2021.
After discounting shorter journey rigs due to the terrain I’m going to be most steadily driving, the lengthy journey, small-wheel sender Yeti SB165 turned a forerunner fairly early on due to its progressive geometry, relative mild weight and big curiosity issue ignited by its price and Swap Infinity hyperlink, plus Yeti’s long-standing fame for making high-end bikes.
With all of these parts coming collectively, and my love for driving steep and quick tracks – fuelled by my current transfer to the Tweed Valley – the SB165 appeared like the right selection.
Yeti SB165 customized construct preliminary setup
Constructing a motorbike up from scratch could be a irritating expertise, particularly for those who’re lacking key instruments like a headset press or have ordered barely incorrect parts like a chainring that’s designed for a distinct chainline than the one your bike specifies.
I used to be subsequently very cautious to analysis the precise components I wanted to verify the construct and subsequent arrange course of went with out a hitch.
I in all probability ought to have been a bit of extra sensible with my expectations although, as a result of it wasn’t all easy crusing.
Whereas getting the vast majority of the components to suit was a doddle, together with the forks, cranks, wheels, bar and stem and even the dropper submit – with a notable point out going to the Yeti’s inside cable routing guides that made feeding the dropper, gear and brake cables easy – just a few bits had been much less splendid.
I discussed the brakes had been significantly tough to bleed earlier than. I spent round 5 to seven hours actively purging the hydraulic system of air after trimming the brake hoses to suit the body and forks.
Even when following TRP’s brake bleed guide to the letter utilizing TRP oil and syringes, I nonetheless struggled to get the brakes to really feel good.
I attempted bleeding them in a large number of various methods, finally getting some success with the old-school system of bleeding them by pressurising the lever, opening the caliper bleed port, squeezing the lever then closing the bleed port and at last releasing the lever and topping up the lever reservoir earlier than repeating the method no less than 50 instances. On every brake.
Now, despite the fact that I don’t profess to being the perfect mechanic on the planet, and far desire hammers over torque wrenches, I’m not completely inept and have been working by myself bikes for 20 years.
With that in thoughts, I used to be a bit of upset with how tough it was to bleed the TRP DH-R EVO brakes, particularly contemplating how simple it’s to bleed SRAM’s Code or Information G2 brakes.
The forks and rear shock have loads of adjustment – each with exterior low- and high-speed rebound and compression adjusters – and had been fairly simple to get to some extent the place I used to be completely happy. Extra tweaking is required, however setting a motorbike up is all the time going to be an on-going course of.
Yeti SB165 customized construct journey impressions
It’s secure to say the SB165 revealed itself to be a complete bruiser on its first journey.
The 180mm journey Fox 38 fork felt plush and compliant, impressively absorbing tough chattery bumps whereas offering a strong platform to push towards in corners, bigger compressions and up takeoffs.
The fork’s composure and confidence is mirrored by the rear finish’s Fox DHX2 coil shock, though my preliminary ideas are that the inventory 425lb spring is a bit of too smooth for my preferences, regardless of it giving me the correct quantity of sag.
The 480mm attain determine gave me loads of area on the descents and mixed with the slack head tube angle and lengthy wheelbase makes the bike really feel impressively composed when making progress on steep, technical and quick tracks.
The SB165 definitely comes alive when it’s being fed by gravity and it gobbles up roots, rocks and bumps like they’re non-existent, and swift path adjustments and exact line decisions are effectively throughout the bike’s bounds.
Its suspension makes it really feel a bit of torpid on flatter sections of path, however the low weight helps to mitigate this to some extent.
The 77-degree seat tube angle is sensible on the climbs and it’s simple to overlook how a lot journey it has as soon as the climb lever has been activated and also you’re ascending.
As soon as the TRP DH-R EVO brakes had been working, they proved to have monumental quantities of chunk and energy, feeling significantly extra punchy than SRAM’s Code brakes.
The TR12 drivetrain has up to now shifted precisely, however chainslap is kind of dangerous. I’m going to handle this by tightening up the mech’s clutch and examine additional.
Yeti SB165 customized construct upgrades
I’ve bought no speedy plans to alter the Yeti’s spec, however shall be on the hunt for some extra winter-specific tyres as soon as the climate closes in.
I’m additionally going to be testing e*13’s new Vario dropper, so anticipate to see the OneUp submit take a small vacation.
I’d like to research completely different spring charges for the rear shock within the not too distant future, too.
Keep tuned for extra updates quickly.