Yeti Cycles Big Top 29'R 29er Hardtail

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Do you want to have fun? Do you like the circus? Who doesn't? For a long time the folks at Yeti called 29'rs clown bikes. Well that has changed thanks to a few employees in the back rooms of Yeti. In came Yeti BigTop 29R! They were having Shane, their welder, build them custom 29'rs; Trying to keep it under the owners (Steve and Conroy) radar for fear of being labeled clowns. Well Steve and Conroy noticed and saw how fast these bikes were. No longer a clown bike and hidden in the back, Yeti decided to bring into production one of the fastest hardtails ever seen. Keeping in good fun the new bike was dubbed the Big Top. People may try to make fun until they try to keep up. Features: -Sizes: M, L, XL -Colors: Black -Head Tube: Tapered (44mm/56mm) -Front Triangle: 7005 Alloy -Rear End: High Modulus Carbon -Tire Clearance: 26 x 2.5" -Front Travel: 100-120mm (4-5") -Rear Hub Spacing: 135x10 QR or upgrade 142x12(thru axle included) -Dropouts: Replaceable Derailleur Hanger-Optional Single Speed Dropouts (adjust from 17.1"-17.8")

User Reviews (12)

Showing 1-10 of 12  
Aunt flip   [Dec 06, 2013]
Strength:

Solid frame. Seems really well built. Multiple whippings, and never cried once. Reasonably light. Stable on descents.

Weakness:

Kinda sluggish on tight single track.

Rode it all last season. It did well on not real technical single track, especially stable on descents. Significant lack of hip steering, but i'll trade it for the speed elsewhere. Seemed to hold its own in races. Sweat spot for maneuverability was with the seat all the way forward, and bars rotated to forward max. Northern Mi trails, 6'1", 200 lbs. 52 years, riding for almost 30 years. Tryin to keep the wheels on the ground! Yes I'd buy it again.

Similar Products Used: Stumpy FSR 26, miyata elevation 5000' (still kickin)
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Available At:
simian23   All Mountain Rider [Oct 05, 2012]
Strength:

- Stiff where it needs to be stiff - steering, rear end laterally
- Flexy where it needs to be flexy - rear end vertically
- Good geo for rough, twisty trails with very tough technical features and small drops
- Future proof with tapered headtube, ISCG tabs, dropout chips for every possible config (SS, Geared, Thru-axle, QR, etc)
- Great cable routing - simple and out of the way
- Yeti quality and pimpness

Weakness:

- Chainkeeper can be tricky to mount without interfering with rear tire clearance
- Bloody expensive for a hardtail frame these days
- Rear tire clearance isn't great...can't run 2.4 Ardent for example
- Blah color on new model - I am so glad I found a leftover blue/white combo

Exactly the bike I was looking for. It's one bike I can use for virtually any kind of adventure short of downhill/freeride. With 1x10, E-13 chainkeeper, and chunky tires it is set up as a technical trail slayer right now. But swap some stuff and I could turn it into a fun single speed road commuter. Beautifully versatile bike that I'll likely keep until it dies.

The ride is buttery smooth and stable. It has a "just right" feel to me - not to slow or fast to turn. It holds a line extremely well and the very stiff front end means it goes where you point it. The top tube feels really short - I've got long arms and legs for my 5' 8" height but even with the setback seatpost the cockpit feels a tad short.

I struggle to think of negatives...I think the seatpost slips a little. A bit more standover clearance would be appreciated. It costs a hell of a lot but then it is a complicated frame.

Similar Products Used: Niner EMD9, Vassago Jabber, Spec. Stumpjumper 29er, Kona Unit
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
Elfbkr50   All Mountain Rider [Sep 02, 2012]
Strength:

Strength, and incredibly stiff laterally.

Weakness:

Creaks, but I found the sources of mine to the drop out chips. The frame comes with a transformer type drop out thing that can make the bike a single speed, and a helicopter and a blah blah. I won't utilize that feature, and so it was especially irritating that the very irritating creaks were coming from them.

I bought this bike from a great shop in Anchorage, and had it built up with ZTR Flow's on the 350's and an XT build. The bike is 26-27 lbs down from 36 from my fs bike. I have wanted a 29r for a few years to have something lighter and more efficient for a bulk of the rides I do up here. This bike has been that go to bike, plus can handle the stuff I used to think would only be fun on my fs bike. Long days on this bike are made easier by being so light, forgiving so much in the rear end, and set up to handle technical stuff without feeling like I'm on a hard tail. I'd buy the bike again, despite the creaking problems. I was able to get mine to go away by greasing the threads on the drop out chip bolts after my shop greased everything else they could think of. The Big top is a very capable bike and I'm happy to have it in the stable. Yeti designed the perfect frame for a big dude. (6'2'' 220) I'm on a large.

Similar Products Used: Lots of other bikes
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
IntenseClint   Cross Country Rider [Oct 31, 2011]
Strength:

All of the fast rolling trates of hardil 29" bikes but with a slacker head angle to enjoy the downhill meanwhile being more comortable and controleable on the trail.Highly adjustable rearend.SS,through axle. ISCG tab, Direct mount Front D for 1X setup.

Weakness:

none yet.

I bought this bike to ride mostly cross country and for winter. After riding alot im seeing how versatile it can be for trail use also. Yeti's attention to detail, strength and Yeti History make it a favorite !

Similar Products Used: Santa Cruz Blur LTc, Intense Tracer VP, Yeti Arc X
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
scombridae   Cross Country Rider [Oct 29, 2011]
Strength:

Smooth, Predictable, Climbing, Descending

Weakness:

Tight singletrack, accelerating

This bike does just about everything well. It has incredible traction climbing probably due to the short chainstays, 29er tire contact patch and added suppleness of the carbon rear triangle. For a 29er I think they may be some of the shortest chainstays out there. By far the best climbing bike I've ridden. I think Yeti spent a lot time getting the Big Top correct. For example the Niner has faster, steeper steering which is nice when going slow uphill. It's easy to change lines and the bike doesn't weave on those slow long climbs. But the Niner never felt comfortable descending at high speed, especially technical steep and rocky ones. The Big top feels very solid on descents and doesn't weave while ascending either. Rather than being extreme with the design, they picked geometry than is somewhat of a compromise and it helps the bike handle like butter. One of the drawbacks of this sweet handling geometry is a shorter cockpit than what I'm used to. I think this is a combination of the 29er (higher head tube in relation to the seat), shorter stem, and shorter top tube to facilitate the short wheelbase. If the wheelbase were much longer I imagine it would be a bear to handle in tight off camber switchbacks. I put on a slightly longer 100mm stem and have since changed my riding style, bending my arms at the elbow instead of locking them stretched out, especially on climbs. This has greatly improved my comfort and is also better on my stiff back. The only other complaint is that the wheels are on heavy side of what I'm accustomed to. Though with all the drawbacks that heavy wheels possess, they have their merits. They are sturdy and I can't detect any flex which leads to a boat load of confidence. The more surprising aspect is the stability that is created when spinning these slightly heavier 29er sized wheels. There are times when flying though singletrack or descending at speed and an obstacle comes up and the bike just plows through like full suspension, not being affected at all. I weigh 190lb and I feel like the DT Swiss 470 rims are bombproof. It may sound weird but because of this stability, I feel slightly more confident on the Big Top than the ASR-5. It may just be 29er sized wheels smoothing out the terrain. It's like the difference between taking a truck with stock tires offroad to one with slightly oversize tires on the dirt. Theres so much more grip, compliance, and confidence from have more rubber contacting the ground. If I were to catorgize this ride I would say it's in between a trail bike and an XC funmobile. If one is doing mostly XC riding, I can't see much of a reason to go 26". There is so much gained by the 29er. Ever since I got this bike I've ridden the ARC once and will probably retire it. The only place the 26" is better is on technical singletrack, but as I ride more I'm getting more proficient on the Big Top. Thank you Yeti for taking the care and time to make one magical, wonderful ride!

Similar Products Used: Niner Air 9 Carbon, Yeti ASR-5, Yeti Arc
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
TheFCuddy   Cross Country Rider [Oct 09, 2011]
Strength:

Very solid, stable, and precise ride. Climbs very well and descends very well too. Heavy duty hard tail with a 15mm TA on front and 12x142mm on rear. The "Enduro" kit is a solid get-it-done build.

Weakness:

Rear tire choice: One needs to be mindful about tire size on the rear. There is potential for the rubber to rub/eat away at the carbon chain stays if too big of a tire is selected. Currently running a Slant Six 2.2 and I would not go any bigger.

This bike is awesome. I am 6'6" 245 lbs and it does not flex under my load. I feel very good on it, the geometry works great for me. The front end comes up very predictably and the rear end always finds traction. It blows my mind. Easily the most heavy duty, rugged, solid riding hard tails on the market.

For clarification on the rear end, stock this bike comes with a 10x135mm thru axle, if you want to go 12x142mm you need to buy the correct drop outs and thru axle, Shimano makes it (Yeti #200020172). It's a real easy conversion. The 10x135mm TA setup is great because you can also use standard QR setup that most bikes use. I went 12x142 because I pulled out all the stops for my size and heft.

Similar Products Used: Motobecane Fantom Pro 29'er
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
mick49157   Cross Country Rider [Jun 30, 2011]
Strength:

The bike climbs very well, and descends even better. Stable at speed without have a sluggish feel to the steering.The headset and crankset potions of the frame came machined square, so the bike was completely ready to assemble.

Weakness:

I bought the bike as a frame and built it up. The frame price is high, but worth every penny, build quality is outstanding.

Probably the best mtn bike I have ever owned. The combination of the carbon rear triangle and the 29" wheels make it seldom that I miss the full suspension. I love how stable the bike is at speed in tight descending single track. In this rider's opinion using an 80mm stem keep the steering as quick as a 26" bike. All and all I couldn't be happier with the bike.

Similar Products Used: Santa Cruz Nomad, Rocky Mountain Slayer, Rocky Mountain ETSX 70, Redline Monocog Flight 29
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Available At:
jmk   Cross Country Rider [Apr 11, 2011]
Strength:

Strong, perfect geometry and dimensions, rear triangle (carbon) really helps your body and make a silent ride. Beautiful looks (with a black fork).

Weakness:

Not much stand-over clearance. Ambiguity regarding use of HammerSchmidt.

I bought the frame ($1100)then I built it myself with a moderate budget. The frame is exactly what I wanted: a non-race oriented sturdy hardtail 29er to do everything built around a 120mm travel fork/69 degrees with 17 inch chainstays (no more no less, 17 is perfect, even for 26ers). It fits me like no other bike and I ride better. The bike is heavy but that's more the components' fault than the frame's. The carbon rear triangle is there not to make the frame lighter, but to make this hardatil more comfortable and less harsh. That's good not only for your butt, but also for the rear wheel (the spokes and hub don't suffer that much). It also amkes the bike more silent. With the HammerSchmidt in the 1:1 position and the medium cage rear derailleur the ride is 100% silent, uphill or downhill, it's amazing.

Similar Products Used: Full aluminum 26ers, both hardtails and full suspension. Other 29ers only for demo.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
tgh24   Cross Country Rider [Nov 11, 2010]
Strength:

Fast, stable, sturdy, handles great, swiss army pocket knife of 29ers.

Weakness:

None that I am aware...it's a bit heavier than your typical willow 29er racer, but I like the stable feeling of the bike

It's been described to me as an "all mountain 29er hard tail". It's super fast on smooth flowing single track, but also handles rooty, rocky semi technical stuff too. Great compliment to my AS R 5. I'm totally gay for Yeti!

Similar Products Used: Scott Scale 29er
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
DownhillDanny   Racer [Oct 22, 2010]
Strength:

Super stiff front end, ability to fly over all obstacles, really rolls very fast. Comfort of 29'er wheels on bumpy terrain

Weakness:

Frame & fork could be lighter, none otherwise

Rode the bike for 20mins to check set-up and then went straight into a local race. Immediately felt 100% comfortable in the bike. Impressed by how fast the bike allows me to go downhill, even when compared to ASR-C bike, would even say this bike is faster / more stable on downhills. Do not feel any lag on accelerating the big wheels, handling through twisty single track is also as fast as anything else I have ridden. For a single speed bike this bike is very quick, able to ride with other geared bikes without too much additional strain over what I would be doing on a 26'inch geared bike. Against the Big Rig, there is a 1kg weight saving which is noticeable when riding, also the front end on yeti is stiffer than Big Rig. I am so happy with this bike & the feel that i am also adding in a geared build as well.

Similar Products Used: Gary Fisher Big Rig 2009 29'er. Also own a Yeti ASR-C & Seven Sola custom, both 26'inch.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
Showing 1-10 of 12  

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