The SB66 Carbon is the epitome of a true all mountain bike: Light and fast, this new full carbon frame is ready to shred. From the rocky descents of Yeti's local dirt in Golden, Colorado to your favorite local trail, the SB66 C is eager to please. The SB-66 Carbon has lost over a pound in body fat from its prediser, the SB-66 alloy, as well as gain 10% in stiffness. Add on top of that a tapered headtube, ISCG chain guide mount ( ISCG or ISCG 05 both avalible) and available 142x12 rear end. What does this mean ? It means that you have a work horse that has all of the descending power and handling that comes from the deep 25 year history of Yeti Cycles.
Strengths: For a long travel bike it climbs very well. Excellent pedaling platform. Very good traction. Can really climb technical terrain. I've caught up to 29'ers on climbs.
Of course descends like a downhill bike. Very supple suspension, never felt like I bottomed out. Have a 34 fork and makes the front end very stiff. Bike is meant to have at least a 34 fork. Very agile.
Weaknesses: Lots of pedal whacks on rocks. Just have to time your cadence. That's the only weakness in my eye. Should come with a dropper post.
Amazing all mountain bike. It can do it all. Very smooth climbing for 6" of travel. Descending is so much fun. Recommed at least a 34 fork, dropper post, and bomb-proof rims to get the most out of this bike.
Date Reviewed: October 8, 2013
Strengths: It is pretty light and climbs on moderately steep trails.
Weaknesses: I did a thorough comparison riding the SB66, a Specialized Enduro Expert, a Specialized Enduro Comp, a Liteville 601 and a Marin Attack Trail on a set of advanced trails in the Rockies including very steep and technical ups and downs. I tested each bike for multiple days. The SB66, by far, was the worst performer of the bunch. It did OK on smooth climbs but the moment when the trail got steep and loose the rear tire started to spin out. On technical descends the suspension (all dialed in perfectly, and yes, completely open) just did not feel very compliant. It was almost shocking too see how much worse, for instance, the SB66 dealt with rough descends compared to the Enduros. The SB66 suspension is pretty much the opposite of plush in spite of being comparable to the fork/shock setup of the Enduro Expert. Part of the problem, I believe, is the stretched geometry. I am pretty tall but this kind of setup just does not work well for me. On steep climbs I had to slide back to get traction making me feel way too stretched. On the descends the stretched geometry did not work well either. It made the fork feel ineffective. In spite of having quite a bit of travel this bike does certainly not feel very enduroish but does not even feel All mountainish but more like a long travel cross country bike.
All in all an extremely disappointing bike. The geometry feels as if this is aimed at cross country racers advancing from hard tails or short travel full suspension bikes to longer travel full suspension bikes. Not much bobbing but also no plush travel and compliance. If you ride for fun, and not to race, look elsewhere. Given how challenged this bike is on loose very steep or technical climbs you really do not get much usable weight benefit from the carbon. This bike is cheaper than, say, the Enduro Expert but given its performance and a pretty high price tag it boils down to a bad deal.
Similar Products Used: Specialized Enduro Expert, a Specialized Enduro Comp, a Liteville 601 and a Marin Attack Trail
Bike Setup: SB66 CARBON RACE
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: August 22, 2013
Strengths: Climbing- so impressed with the way this bike climbs. I've had a Blur and thought it was the best climbing bike ever. The SB66 C blows the Blur away-and it has more travel.
Ripping- this bike needs to be ridden fast because it just loves to rip. You can't help but ride this bike fast.
Looks- is there a better looking bike out there right now?
Weaknesses: I agree with some reviewers that it's a bit hard to clean back by the cam mechanism. Oh well. I have the XT build and it's not as light as I thought it would be (but it rides so well, you don't really need to lose any more lbs- except on your ponch).
The first few rides on this bike I found myself saying, "Oh, God!", and "Wow!" a few times. In the most technical sections, just a bit more pedal effort, and the bike just excels. I've been riding mountain bikes for over 20 years and this is THE bike that actually makes ME a better rider. It's so well balanced. I met a buddy of mine for a ride and after the ride he commented how great in shape I was. I told him I wasn't super fit but why would he say that? He said there were times on the ride where he looked up and I was just gone down the trail. The thing was: I wasn't really riding my hardest. The bike just flat out hauls. Yes, it's spendy but it's the only bike you need. X-country, Super D, and even downhill- this bike is so versatile. Plus, it's sexy as hell to look at. Just looking at it gets me out riding it.
Weaknesses: Doesn't come with a dropper post - The Thompson post is fantastic, but to really unleash the potential of this bike, it's gotta have a dropper. Price.
As other reviews have said, and will continue to say, the bike's suspension works as advertised. This bike climbs well, absurdly well. I'm coming off of a Turner Sultan, and the SB climbs light years better - it's not a hardtail, but it's damn close. On really steep climbs the front can wander a bit if you're not careful due to the long front end, but it's nothing that a bit of body positioning won't fix.
On the way down, the bike is an absolute beast. It wants to, and almost needs to be, pushed hard. Immediately after swinging a leg over this thing and pointing it down hill, one realizes just how fast it is. It's got a confidence I haven't felt on other bikes, and constantly looks for speed. It IS a bit undergunned if you're sending 20+' gaps or dropping 6+', but it's uncommon to find those features on the kinds of trails that Yeti designed the bike for (basically everything but straight up DH and Freeride trails).
The build kit on the bike is impressive, but a few mods (Dropper post, shorter stem, 1x10 w/xcx) take the bike from impressive to damn near perfect. I've been riding 3-4 days a week on it for three months and have yet to have any of the bearing issues reported on the AL frames.
To wrap up - yeah, it's a spendy bike, but what you get is unreal - a bike that's equally at home on 3,000' climbs as it is on white-knuckle, greasy PNW descents - and one that has you smiling ear to ear through it all. A fantastic bike for a wide spectrum of riders, but perfect for experts who spend the majority of their time on demanding, rough terrain. The best "All Mountain" bike I've ridden, both on the way up and down.
Similar Products Used: Ibis Mojo HD, Norco 6, Evil Uprising
Bike Setup: Full XT (1x10), Reverb dropper, 50mm Thompson Elite Stem, Easton Havoc bars, 32T ring w/ E13 XCX, Fox 34 CTD, Ardents, Carbon rims from www.lightbicycle.com, Hope Evo Pro 2's, CB Candys.
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: April 19, 2013
Strengths: climbs great, descends fantastic, Lightweight, solid and stiff.
Weaknesses: none other than it's difficult to clean the inside of the switch pivot on those muddy rides .
I love the bike , I am sure all the high end components I have on the bike add to it but I believe it has made me a better climber and better descender .I am running it with a fox float 36, x1x11 set up, reverb dropper post, and it works great. When I climb I keep it in descend mode the whole time and feel and a cant see any bob at all .It just climbs great, long, short it just goes. When it comes to going down I feel fast and very in control the Easton havoc carbon 30' wide bars with ergon comfort grips with that flat spot on them makes it feel like a fighter jet ripping and diving over bumps and into turns with ease at speeds that I was not comfortable with my other bike. I really do love this bike .I have ridden it in mud, rain, dusty, dry, rocky and yes I keep it very clean but have no issues with any creeks, moans or groans from the suspension links and that makes me happy cause my last bike would talk to me and drive me nuts. I highly recommend this bike to all aggressive riders who also like to climb or the downhiller who is getting older and taking less risks.
Bike Setup: med sb66c, chris king head set and bottom bracket,70mil Thompson stem, Easton havoc carbon bars, ergon grips, xtr brakes, fox36 float, stans flow arch ex wheels with industry nine hubs, reverb dropper post, cromag ltd seat, swallabe 2.4 hans damph front, swallabe 2.25 rear. sram x1x11 drivetrain, xtr pedals.
Strengths: This bike possesses the best of all worlds! I test rode it up against a 575 by switching back and forth between the bikes and I kept wanting back on the SB66C. I felt more in tune with the trail, turns were sharper, and I can't imagine liking a bike more...so I ordered one! The 575 wanted lift in the front end when climbing and the SB66C felt extremely efficient as a climber. Dialing in the new rear shock (uphill/trail/downhill) put me in touch with the Betasso trails outside Boulder. (I flew to Boulder to test ride the bikes at Sports Garage. Those guys did it right and gave me a great tour guide to boot)
One aspect of the bike that I can't necessarily attribute to just this frame, but the XTR braking and how the bike handled under heavy braking wasn't short of impressive. I never felt out of control and I will truly riding at a speed on trails that I didn't know beyond my skill level. The bike saved me several times.
Weaknesses: None perceived.
The switch technology works! Nuff said! Yeti and Sports Garage rock!
Date Reviewed: September 6, 2012
Strengths: Climbs great and descends even better. I had a Ibis Mojo SL and this bike weighs in about .5 lbs heavier at 26.03lbs. This is an extremely fun bike to ride and really rips going down hill. I have only had 4 rids on it but will report more after I get more time on it.
Weaknesses: Cracked the frame on the downtube on my 4th ride. Called Yeti and they told me to talk to the dealer I bought it from...glad it got it at competitive cyclist, they took awesome care of me. They sent me a paid shipping labe for the bike and built up a new one for me. I have purchased many products from them in the past and their customer service is awesome!
Great bike, hope my next one lasts longer than my 1st...
Strengths: Climbs REALLY well for such a competant AM bike. Needless to say, it descends effortlessly. Just as fast as my former Ibis Mojo XC bike going uphill and a LOT faster going downhill. Also, it can be built very light: my build is exactly 25 pounds, which is pretty darn good for such a burly 6" rig. If one really wanted to, they could go with a smaller (32 stantion) fork and lighter tires, and shed another half pound. But, in my opinion, this frame is undergunned with anything less than a 34 stantion fork.
Weaknesses: Expensive. Also, head angle is a little slacker than what I'd like. Have it set up with Fox 34 Float 160, thinking about shimming it to 150mm in order to steepen head angle slightly.
All-around deserving of its SB acronym.
Date Reviewed: July 6, 2012
Strengths: pedalling! in most situations this thing pedals as well and sometimes better than my dads 100mm full xc giant and that says a lot. it beats most xc bikes up technical climbes but on long flat climbes or fire roads it does get beaten by my dads xc bike but i believe that if you set this thing up for long distance speed and added some pro pedal it would be a different story. considering that this bike pedals so well up the hills its astonishing that it can do the things it does when the going gets tough.
It is also light: less than 12 kg.
Weaknesses: Too early to tell. I will post an updated review in a few weeks.
Great bike so far. Fabulous control in the corners and very fast.