ENDURO 2015 Long Term Test | First Look: YETI SB6c XO1
The 2015 Long Term Test fleet is filling up fast and it’s now time to introduce our newest bike – the beautiful Yeti SB6c. From the moment I checked out Jared Graves’s EWS winning SB6c, I pushed hard to secure my position as the long term tester. I had already riden the SB5c at the launch in Valloire, and was really impressed with the Switch Infinity Technology. Those two small rails give the bike a capability and grip that I had not expected.
As we hit rough alpine terrain on the 127 mm SB5c bikes it was crazy – big hits were going in, but somewhere inside the bike some witchcraft was happening and it simply leapt forward – in terrain that it really should not. As soon as the SB6c was launched – the SB5c’s ‘roided up’ bigger and more aggressive brother – there was a new player in the EWS superbike ranks, which was piloted to an overall EWS Championship title by Jared Graves. The 152mm travel SB6c is a 27.5 inch wheeled enduro rocket aimed squarely at those who want to pedal to the top again and again, but who will not compromise on outright downhill performance.
The heart of the new bike is the Switch Infinity pivot – three years in the making – a translating pivot that is free to move and switch direction as the bike moves through its travel. The aim of the system is to provide improved anti–squat characteristics for superior pedaling performance, while maintaining a responsive suspension action throughout the travel. We were so impressed with the performance of the SB5c that we awarded it a Design & Innovation Award 2015. It will be interesting to see how it performs on the bigger bike.
The build kit on the bike is all you would hope for on a near £6000 bike. The Fox 36 and Fox Float X are a class act and have been proven to offer very high performance and composure. This will be my first time testing the DT Swiss 350 Hub and Wex 471 Rim’s and it will be interesting to see how they hold up to a season of racing. The Thomson Elite Dropper Convert post offers a touch of distinction to the build.
The SRAM XO1 11 speed drivetrain is expected on a bike of this purpose, and Yeti include a removable front mech mount if you would like to run a dual ring set up like the new Shimano XTR Di2 drivetrain. Easton Havoc bars and stem are always a welcome addition and the WTB Yeti seat and grips are good contact points. It would have been nice to see twin clamp lock on grips but we shall see how they hold out.
Sizing of the bike is long and low – at 180cm I am two centimeters taller than Jared Graves (who the medium size is basically built for) and I went for the same size. With a 50 mm stem, the 605 mm top tube is roomy and comfortable and the standover height is very good. The 65.5 degree head angle is perfect for the crazy steep trails of Scotland and the 44.2 cm chainstays should offer good high speed stability. The 1180 mm wheelbase is right on point for an aggressive trail slayer and I am looking forward to throwing it down something bonkers.
Yeti offer a five year frame and two year swingarm warranty, and are 100% confident that the new Switch Infinity is durable and resilient. I will be racing this bike in the EWS, International races and some national events, as well as putting in plenty of adventure miles – and look forward to seeing how the 12.88 kg (28.5 lbs) bike holds up to the rugged trails of Scotland.
There is little that needs changing with the SB6c, you could roll on to the start line of any EWS on this bike and feel prepared. I will be swapping the tyres for some Maxxis Shorty’s as they offer bit more bite and mud-clearing in the deep Scottish mud. I normally switch out the seat on long term bikes but the Yeti branded one has been comfortable on the setup ride. I will keep the bars at a whopping 800 mm for now, though my little fingers may not thank me for it on the tree lined trails. Aside from that the SB6c is good to Rock and Roll.
About the tester
Born: 1978 | Biking since: 1990’s | Height: 180cm | Weight: 76kg | Job: UK Editor | 2015 Aim: EWS Racing
The SB6c will go through a year of racing, adventuring and general shenanigans and you can follow its progress (and all the rest of the bikes) on our Long Term timeline
Words and photos: Trev Worsey