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Discussion Starter #1
I need help,

I was pretty much set on the Bandit until I realized that a Yeti SB66 can be bought with pretty much the same price as the Bandit with a very similar build.

Now, I dont need more than 150/160mm of travel, and I do realize the Bandit has less travel than the SB66 but I dont really mind as my last FS bike had 130/140 and im changing from a 140mm HT back to FS. I DO need the bike to be as good a climber as a descender

Ive heard awesome reviews of the Bandit, and have always heard amazing things about Yeti's, but i havent heard about this one in particular.

Though the builds are very similar, the top of the line Fox suspension is the selling point for both, I prefer the 15mm axle on the Bandit's fork instead of the 9mm QR on the Yeti's. Also, I prefer the X9 rear mech on the Yeti. I also prefer the 142x12mm rear axle on the Bandit. Cockpit components make no difference as theyll probably be gone by the end of the year. Maintenance on the Yeti does seem like a potential issue.

Which would you choose???
Has anybody ridden the Yeti?? Need to hear actual ride reports, is it a good climber??

Id love to hear any feedback on this... and yes, sorry for another VS thread, although to be fair its my first since 2007!!

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #2
BTW

Here are the spec sheets:

Transition Bandit:

Fox RP23 BV Kashima
Fox 32 Float 140 RLC Tapered w/Kashima QR15
Truvativ AKA 60mm
Kore Torsion Trail 740x35mm
FSA Gravity 1/DX Pro
SRAM S1400 GXP 10S 175 38/24
Avid Elixr 5
Kenda Small Block Eight 2.1 Folding
Truvativ Stylo
TBC Park N Ride Diamond Stitch
ODI Cross Trainer X Lock-on
SRAM PG-1050 10SP 11-36
TBC Revolution 25
SRAM X7 10SPD
SRAM X7 2SPD
SRAM X7 MEDIUM CAGE CARBON
SRAM X7 HIGH CLAMP
FSA Team Issue 10spd


Yeti SB66 (From Jensonusa.com)

SRAM X9 rear derailleur
SRAM X7 front derailleur and shifters
Stylo X7 triple crankset
SRAM PG-1050 10 speed cassette, SRAM PC-1051 chain
Cane Creek Forty headset
Avid Elixir 5 disc brakes
Truvativ Stylo stem, handlebar and seatpost
Yeti Lock-on grips, WTB saddle
DT Swiss M1900 wheelset 15qr front, QR rear w/ Schwalbe Nobby Nic tires 26x2.25

On Jenson they spec a QR15 fork while on the Yeti website they specify a 9mm QR fork & wheelset, is this a mistake??
 

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I need help,

I was pretty much set on the Bandit until I realized that a Yeti SB66 can be bought with pretty much the same price as the Bandit with a very similar build.

Now, I dont need more than 150/160mm of travel, and I do realize the Bandit has less travel than the SB66 but I dont really mind as my last FS bike had 130/140 and im changing from a 140mm HT back to FS. I DO need the bike to be as good a climber as a descender

Ive heard awesome reviews of the Bandit, and have always heard amazing things about Yeti's, but i havent heard about this one in particular.

Though the builds are very similar, the top of the line Fox suspension is the selling point for both, I prefer the 15mm axle on the Bandit's fork instead of the 9mm QR on the Yeti's. Also, I prefer the X9 rear mech on the Yeti. I also prefer the 142x12mm rear axle on the Bandit. Cockpit components make no difference as theyll probably be gone by the end of the year. Maintenance on the Yeti does seem like a potential issue.

Which would you choose???
Has anybody ridden the Yeti?? Need to hear actual ride reports, is it a good climber??

Id love to hear any feedback on this... and yes, sorry for another VS thread, although to be fair its my first since 2007!!

Cheers
You're comparing two pretty different bikes. The SB-66 is a much more aggressive bike than the Bandit. I think a more fair comparison to the Bandit would be the Yeti 575, which is awesome.

The SB-66 climbs unreal, probably better than any All Mountain bike, and really comes alive when descending. It's long and low and keeps you in an aggressive position when descending. The frame is also nice and stiff and tracks perfectly. The suspension platform does a great job of keeping the bike firmly planted to the trail. It's smooth, but not overly plush. The Covert would be the Transition bike I would compare with the SB66. Me, I'm biased and believe you can't go wrong with a Yeti.

The 9mm axle is only on the entry level SB66. Me, I would't buy it. For what the bike is made to do, it just does't fit it at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I know the bikes are different, but they will see the same use. I do hit DH trails with my bikes so a little travel is nice, although with 130/140mm i can perfectly ride them (I used to do so with a Jamis Dakar XAM, turner 5spot and my TransAM).
FWIW, I know exactly what im comparing, im not trying to compare similar frames, more like similar builds and pricepoints.
As I said, the suspension is the seller for both bikes, I cant get that suspension on the Covert unless I pay 4400 bucks (instead of 3200) The build will be the entry level SB66 as it s what I can currently afford and I will be replacing parts in time.

What about the reliability of the more-complex suspension of the SB66??
 

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I haven't had any problem with mine and I have it set up as free ride as I can and beat it a few times a week. I know there was a delivery of frames that had the wrong bearings installed that Yeti warrantied but aside from that I haven't heard anything.

You're going to get more bike for the same money with the Yeti, but Transition makes great biles. I'd love to own a TR250.
 

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Not familiar with the transition but the 66 is definitely a super bike. I disagree about the 9 mm being bad for the bike. I have it and coupled with great wheels it is plenty stiff. 142x12 is probably even better
 

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Can't comment on the Yeti. I ride a Bandit and if you want a nice, funn trail bike that climbs amazing and is even better downhill you can't go wrong. I just love it.
 

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I tried out an sb-66, rode it back to back with a covert. and was pretty unimpressed, it climbed well, not much better than the covert. but once you started going downhill and really getting aggressive it just didnt feel anywhere near as good as the covert. with sb-66 i felt like the bike was the limiting factor to my riding. with the covert I was the limiting factor, like the bike never felt like it wasnt capable of something. plus it was way more fun and poppy feeling. i even adjusted the suspension a bit and went for another ride on it and still didnt improve it much. it was set up pretty damn well.

anyway, with how unimpressed i was with the 66's descending ability, id go with the bandit.
 

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transition is one of those frame manufacturers that uses high quality components, in the hopes that it will make up for lack of technology, heavy gauge tubing, and poor bearing/bushing and frame component quality. go with the yeti. The bandit frame looks like a rough ride. personally i think the Giant Trance X is your best bet. The suspension design on the Bandit looks like a rough ride too.
 

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transition is one of those frame manufacturers that uses high quality components, in the hopes that it will make up for lack of technology, heavy gauge tubing, and poor bearing/bushing and frame component quality. go with the yeti. The bandit frame looks like a rough ride. personally i think the Giant Trance X is your best bet. The suspension design on the Bandit looks like a rough ride too.
What!? Have you ever seen a Transition in real life or ridden one? Bandit...rough ride? Sorry but no.
 

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My bandit is a much better ride than my trance X sir!

I've heard the yeti sb95 is an excellent climber and I've heard the sb66 is an even better built bike, so I imagine it's still a good climber. What you may find is if you buy the bandit you will probably buy a new set of tires, new chain if the FSA one is bad and maybe a sadde, so straight up you are spending a bit more money, I may be wrong though and this may be the same case with the yeti.

The bandit is a really fun ride, I find with RP23 propedal ON it climbs better than my last bikes more complicated "maestro" suspension design. It still climbs well with propedal off, and sometimes I leave it off for certain terrain.

Honestly I would buy from whoever is going to give me the most bike support.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Groundpounder: Ive owned 2 transitions up to now. Frames are top notch even though their designs are not overly complicated. Personally, im a follower of the K.I.S.S mentality. That being said the Sb66's long term reliability has me thinking still.

Of all the ride reports ive read/heard from the Bandit, none of them was less than impressive, and the words rough or poor quality never came up in any of them (ive read a ton)

I've yet to hear a "less than impressive" report for the Yeti as well (except for the comparison given by mrsa101) which won't help my indecision..


Would you call the Yeti's stock 9mm QR dropouts front and rear dropouts a dealbreaker??
Converting them would mean dropping a lot of coin.....
 

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The components on the bandit just seem too good to be true for the price, like fezarri. I remain skeptical. It sucks too, because when i saw the bandit 2 a few months ago, i planned on buying one at the end of the summer. A trail bike designed by a company that deals primarily with gravity, what could be better? my heart was almost broken. maybe this thread will restore my original plan to buy one.
 

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transition is one of those frame manufacturers that uses high quality components, in the hopes that it will make up for lack of technology, heavy gauge tubing, and poor bearing/bushing and frame component quality. go with the yeti. The bandit frame looks like a rough ride. personally i think the Giant Trance X is your best bet. The suspension design on the Bandit looks like a rough ride too.
This is the kind of speculative misinformed blanket statement that characterizes the worst of MTBR.


My bandit is a much better ride than my trance X sir!

I've heard the yeti sb95 is an excellent climber and I've heard the sb66 is an even better built bike, so I imagine it's still a good climber. What you may find is if you buy the bandit you will probably buy a new set of tires, new chain if the FSA one is bad and maybe a sadde, so straight up you are spending a bit more money, I may be wrong though and this may be the same case with the yeti.

The bandit is a really fun ride, I find with RP23 propedal ON it climbs better than my last bikes more complicated "maestro" suspension design. It still climbs well with propedal off, and sometimes I leave it off for certain terrain.

Honestly I would buy from whoever is going to give me the most bike support.
Like Joel I've ridden both the Bandit and Trance but only a SB95 and NOT a SB66 so decline comparisons. I rode the 2012 TranceX and it was a different ride - not better or worst - just different. Otherwise Joel makes sensible observations
 

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Groundpounder: Ive owned 2 transitions up to now. Frames are top notch even though their designs are not overly complicated. Personally, im a follower of the K.I.S.S mentality. That being said the Sb66's long term reliability has me thinking still.

Of all the ride reports ive read/heard from the Bandit, none of them was less than impressive, and the words rough or poor quality never came up in any of them (ive read a ton)

I've yet to hear a "less than impressive" report for the Yeti as well (except for the comparison given by mrsa101) which won't help my indecision..


Would you call the Yeti's stock 9mm QR dropouts front and rear dropouts a dealbreaker??
Converting them would mean dropping a lot of coin.....
I dont necessarily think the sb66 is a bad bike, it climbs very well, its just that its a 6 inch AM bike and compared to the many AM bikes i demoed when i was looking for one the 66 was one of if not the worst when it came to DH and freeride type stuff. however it was one of the best when it came to XC riding.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well I need something that is fast and fun going down as well as going up.

Thankfully, ive got time to make up my mind.

To those who have tried out both 15mm front axles as well as 12mm rear axles, is there THAT much of a difference???
 

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If your concerned with the QRs on the Yeti, opt for the Plus or 36 kit which will get you the 12x142 and 15/20mm for a little more cost. It would be cheaper than buying new forks and hubs/wheelsets after the fact.

I was in the same boat deciding on the SB66 and Covert and neither are available in my area to test ride. All the research I did on them resulted in both were a good choice and just pick one. I opted for the SB66 and no regrets so far. I am also sure I would have been happy with the Covert.
 

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You sound like a great candidate for the TR bandit 29er. For riders that aren't planning on leaving the ground more than a few feet or seriously shred hard down a mountain, the FS 29ers that are out right now are great for the AM category. I sold mine and bought an enduro because I needed more travel for huckin. The 142x12 is a must in my opinion for a 29er. The frames flex a lot more.
 
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