Yeti Cycles SB-66 All Mountain Full Suspension

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Yeti Cycles SB-66 All Mountain Full Suspension 

DESCRIPTION

Apex is a trail that starts right in Golden and culminates after a few miles at the top of the ridge some 1,500 feet higher, and it's the prime artery into the county open space for the Yeti crew when they take their lunch rides. Considering this, their focus on hard climbs makes logical sense, which in no small part led to the development of the Yeti SB-66 with its 152mm (6") of rear suspension travel. It climbs with the unflinching prowess of a full-on XC race bike. And true to the old adage, "what goes up must come down," the SB-66 is a truly inspired descender. The key to its multi-faceted ability is the distinctive Switch Technology rear suspension design. Technically, it's a mini dual-link system. While there are a number of iterations currently on the market, Yeti's application offers something a bit different, and from our ride experience this translates into a "best of" ride quality. And quality is one of the words we heard the Yeti crew use to speak about the SB-66, as in "quality of travel".Switch Technology refers to the rotational movement of an eccentric that houses the lower pivot. So it's a pivot within a pivot, with 12mm separating the centers, and that is the effective length of the lower "link". As the rear suspension compresses into its travel, the eccentric (and the pivot) rotate counter-clockwise as viewed from the drive-side of the bike. It moves this way through the first 100mm or so of travel, providing plenty of anti-squat that keeps the bike stable and neutral as your weight shifts rearward due to the grade of the trail and with the acceleration of each pedal stroke. You'll feel as if the bike has a built-in pedaling platform, and since it comes as an effect of the linkage placement and movement, the bike does not rely on heavy compression damping to eliminate excess suspension motion caused by your body. At the same time, the SB-66 is highly responsive to bump input from the trail, even when pedaling hard. You'll experience reliable traction and control through challenging sections of trail, in the big ring or small and with zero pedal feedback. The supple midstroke is controlled and predictable through boulders and high speed berms. This is remarkable since you often can't have great performance in both situations because of the different way these high- and low-speed compressive events load the rear suspension. Near that 100mm point in the travel, the eccentric reaches the inflection point, where it changes direction and rotates clockwise. This is part of Yeti's focus on what they call dCSL, or the rate of change in the chainstay length. They knew that excessive chainstay growth through the stroke can affect the rear suspension performance, even when standing and coasting. By limiting the rate of chainstay growth and at the same time ramping the leverage ratio from what is, for the most part, a flat curve, the SB-66 rear suspension can be pushed all the way through its travel without requiring excessive

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 22  
[Dec 20, 2014]
Ian Harvey

Strength:

Descends nearly as well as a DH bike but can be used as an all day xc bike.
Suspension works really well once set up!

This is a fast bike always asking for more
Once the right kit has been fitted onto the bike it can be used for EVERY THING.
I take it on uplift days long xc days and anything else I can ride.

Weakness:

I have cracked the rear swing arm, but it was replaced with no questions asked.
rear shock set-up can take a bit of time (use a fox air tuning kit £20).

There's a lot of (early) bad press about the bearings failing.
This problem was sorted for the later frames as was the rear swing arm problem.
Again the later bikes coming with a stronger version (I've not broken this one).

With a Shimano XT build, Pikes and Easton wheels my bike is sub 30lbs
It climbs like a goat (better than my ex9.9) and descends faster than any 100mm-180mm bike I've ridden.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
[Mar 30, 2014]
Smitty

Strength:

Bike corners ok.

Weakness:

Frame will crack. I have seen several crack in just a month of riding. Swing arm bearings are VERY cheap quality. They wear out extremely fast and cost about $120 just for bearings. Aluminum frames are very heavy. Bikes does not climb well and feel very sluggish when attacking a climb. Buy any other brand you will be happy you did.

DONT BUY!!!!!!!!!!!

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
[Mar 19, 2014]
Uberbox

Strength:

Descending, pedaling, jumps, rough terrain, cornering, moderate climbs. Great handling in general well suited to Front Range Colorado. Enough travel to let you bomb almost anything and efficient enough to make the climb. Reliable.

Weakness:

1 water bottle cage on underside of downtube. Expensive to rebuild the rear suspension linkage. Geo not great for climbing--but if I wanted a climber I would have bought something else.

I honestly don't understand all the haters reviews on this bike. First let me say I purchased this bike as an end of season demo bike. Its been ridden and abused by who knows how many people before me and it runs flawlessly. The paint does seem a little fragile but that's about the only issue mechanically I've had with the bike.

This bike definitely feels best when ridden hard, so I'd recommend this for a more "aggressive" rider. Spend some time getting your suspension dialed in and it will reward you with a sporty, lively ride. It's more BMW than Cadillac in terms of ride character.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Mar 08, 2014]
Chris

Strength:

Rides great. Did a custom build with fox 36 and it descends like a monster kind of heavy but it's a burly build. Rode the aluminum version for a year and swing arm cracked!

Weakness:

Frame strength, pivot bearings, weight, yeti service and warranty absolutely terrible. What ever you do don't buy yeti. This bike only last one year and it cracked and local shops won't do a dang thing. Call yeti they say go to a local shop. I live in Colorado and May have to drop this over priced turd off to them.

Don't buy yeti. Service is terrible there dealers are stuck up and don't care and I live in Colorado!

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
[Oct 14, 2013]
SO Rider

Strength:

Great Geometry (slack angle, handling), Proper Suspension, Great All Mountain Rig, Fast and Agile

Weakness:

Low BB, Pricey, Paint a bit weak, Expensive Pivot Rebuild kit

I have had the bike for over a year, road it on trails from Utah to Oregon. I changed some things such as a dropper post (a all mountain must have), I also have upgraded the rear to a 12mm X 142 axle (definately stiffer on bigger stuff). The front is a Fox 34 160 Talas, great when you have to climb the steep stuff. I run some custom tubeless CK/Mavic rims, CK headset/BB, XTR shadow plus rear Derailleur, XT brakes/crank/front derailleur. I worked with the suspension and I believe this thing flies (it can go faster than I take it), I can climb for hours then turn it downhill and have a blast. No creaking at the pivots, I have taken great care (weekly cleanings) of this bike since it was a sizable investment, but I also understand a pivot job will be in the future (as Yeti recommends), and that is another pricey spend as well as complicated. I enjoy this bike and would buy it again. I would recommend this bike to someone looking for a higher end All Mountain bike. I would like to see a more duable paint job, but they took care in designing the bike, the intergrated rubber chain/seat stay protectors are a nice touch. I see people have previously mentioned the low BB, but it is partly the slacker angle that leads to that, but I haven't had many issues with it (a few pedal strikes in a year). The suspension works fantastic for me, I run it alittle stiffer than the 30% Fox recommends, but I have always prefered alittle more rigidness in my suspension.

Similar Products Used:

Cannondale Jekyll, Specialized FSR

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Aug 16, 2013]
Simonsenx
Downhiller

Strength:

This bike is great as it climbs great, then comes down great. I replaced my 8 year old Freeride bike that I had to push up many hills (or ride really slowly) with this bike and this one climbs and comes down as good if not better. I ride fast flowy trails and I wanted a bike with some pop of the bumps and something that digs into berms and this bike delivers.

Weakness:

Now for the problems...I have not had any problems with the frame whatsoever. Paint is still there and there has not been any squeaking. I have hard problems with many of the components that are on the bike. I got the Enduro package, not only because shelling out $4500 on a bike is enough, but I was really happy with my SRAM derailer on my last bike (Enduro package is all SRAM parts in one form or another, Avid, mavic, SRAM, except for the fork and shock). Well I have not had problems with the derailer, but have broken a spoke, broken the dropper seatpost (ok I added this when I bought the bike, but it sucks and was made by SRAM/Rock SHOX), and had the loud Avid brakes from hell (there are a couple of other forums on it). The dealer that I bought it from has been really good and is going to fix the wheel and the seatpost (either under warranty or at his cost), but it does make a person wonder how you can spent so much for a mountain bike and get such crappy parts.

BTW I fixed my brake problem with an Alligator / Gusset rotor for $25

I find that overall the bike makes me really happy and makes me want to ride a lot more. If you are in the market for an all mountain bike that climbs and rides good, then I would consider this bike. I compared to the Nomad and the Transition Covert and found there was more technology for the money with this bike.

I have also found that I get more pedal strikes with this bike, but I assume that is the trade off for having that sucked in surfy feel when going around berms. I figure that a decent set of pedals are pretty resilient these days and if I have to buy a new pair every couple of years, $80 is a small price to pay (compared to the bike) to have fun.

Similar Products Used:

None really, Last bike was a Cannondale Gemini

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
[Jul 28, 2013]
Inuitbiker

Strength:

Fun geo for the front range
Switch provides an adequate stable platform for pedaling
Fun to jump and moderately poppy bike

Weakness:

Okay for descents
Maintainence Nightmare
Weak OEM Shock eyelet bushing
Pivot bearings
Weak Rear triangle
Frame Design is a dirt trap/magnet around pivots
Does not like very wet or very dry conditions
Must go thru dealers for customer service

It is a fun bike to ride despite the fox suspension component warranty issues. It needs to be pushed hard. Switch provides an adequate stable platform for pedaling but it is no DW link nor 4X4. Climbing traction is good. The frame is stiff enough for cornering at speed. Descending was mediocre when compared to bikes in its category.

However, the frame itself is a maintenance nightmare. The pivot points as well as the Switch area of the frame are dirt magnets. It requires constant cleaning and re-lubing especially during dry conditions or it will creak to no end.

Rear triangle is not strong, broken while riding trail with tiny curb size to 1 foot drops. Replacement was similar to the original. The frame's reliability is uninspiring and does not provide confidence. Given all the warranty and dealer issues, I found the customer service lacking as well but turnaround time was quick on Yeti's part. I got really good at taking the bike apart, fixed/replace parts, and reassembling (akin to driving a Ford from what I've heard).

At this price range, there are better valued and better designed offerings than the SB-66. Like most things in CO, its. more hype than reality.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
2
[Jun 24, 2013]
Geno

Strength:

True all mountain bike. Switch tech is magic. Geometry. Lateral stiffness. Sexy.

Weakness:

Low BB. Occasional squeeking from pivots (I live in super dry/dusty southern Idaho). Enduro set up could be a bit higher end for the money.

Bought my 2013 Enduro set up when they first became available about 9 months ago. This is THE all mountain bike. The most reactive bike I've ridden on any type of trail. For a full suspension bike, it climbs like Reinhold Mesner. On fast flowy trails this bike inspires me to take lines faster and harder than I think I can. In the tight, technical stuff the SB66 gives great feedback and reacts exactly as you want to. The bike climbs like no other (short of a hardtail). Southwestern Idaho trails are hard packed with a bit of sand in the mix, but even on tight, steep switchbacks, this bike sticks and keeps climbing. As for downhill, the SB66 took me to 38mph on a rocky cat track at Park City last weekend. I know that's not true DH but it was the smoothest I could ask for for my ride style/ability.

I haven't had any bearing issues short of a bit of squeeking from the pivot points. That's not surprising considering I live in a very dry/dusty climate. After a good cleaning, the squeeks have always gone away. The BB doesn't feel low, but I do get more pedal strikes than on previous bikes. I'm not sure if that's the BB height or the fact that I ride this bike harder than any other.

Some have said the pain scratches easily. It's a mountain bike. I can hardly be upset about scratches if I'm willing to blast through rock gardens and launch off logs in to a forest.

Overall, this bike is pure pedal metal.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
[Apr 04, 2013]
sjmc
Cross Country Rider

Strength:

Great ride downhill.
Looks good until the paint falls off.

Weakness:

Pivot bearings wear out rapidly
Rear pivot broke along weld after moderate use
Poor paint quality that wears off rapidly
Terrible customer service from local distributor (kh cycles Malaysia) and Yeti in US are no help at all; wont deal with public direct.
Climbs like a dog and weighs alot more than the competition

A complete waste of money. There are far better bikes out there that do a far better job! Dont buy a YETI and buy from a dealer that provides service.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
2
[Apr 03, 2013]
Pedro

Strength:

Climbs like a champ. That's about it

Weakness:

THought I was lucky when I picked up one of the first batch of 66s that Yeti put on the market. Not so much. Stock SRAM 2x10 drivetrain was crap. Went through 3 X0 derailleurs due to the chain getting wrapped up in the pulleys. Chain would consistently pop off top ring on rocky descents, even with MRP Chainguide. Converted everything to shimano 1x10 and no more drivetrain problems. BB sets way too low. Always clipping rocks with pedals. Creaks because of bad pivot bearings. Cracked the rear triangle. Blah blah blah.

My first and last Yeti. Will beat this into the ground and buy an IBIS or Turner. Yeti customer service sucks. I've ridden Apex trail outside of Golden, CO where rumor has it Yeti tests their bikes. Its a plush, flowy trail. The worst damage it can do to your bike is scratch some paint. Have them come out to the Southwest and take some turns in the rocky, gnarly high desert of Moab or Hurricane and see how their bikes perform. Bring the duct tape.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Showing 1-10 of 22  

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