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Chilling out
6,038 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Y'all have made one STONKING AWESOME bike.

i was finally able to PRY it out of the hands of my LBS last Saturday afternoon, after waiting since March when the deposit was put down. Talk about anxious!

I've BARELY begun to put real miles on it, only got three rides on it over the weekend, but it's already got me all super giggly all day long whenever I think about it ... and that's PRICELESS.

I've ridden a ton of bikes over the years and HOLY CRUD but this is one awesome machine.

Now, if only the NE PA weather would shake loose and give me some long trail ride conditions and time I'd be able give it a REAL shakedown ... but I guess keeping it shorter during the week isn't a bad idea.

Keep the rubber side down!

Obsessive Bike Nerd Info

My build is mostly stock Race kit (Shimano XT 3x10), changes from that are ...

- Ergon gx1 grips
- Bionicon chain guide v.2
- Cromag seat collar
- Time Z Strong pedals
- Stock 24/32/42 rings replaced with 28/38
- ISCG mount
- MRP XCG 40t double/triple bash guard
- Garmin Edge 705 mount
- Fork travel-limiter spacer removed, running at 140mm stroke (new pixels coming)
- DT 36pt ratchet upgrade
- XR400 rims replaced with Stan's Flow - nice and solid wheels now!
- Cute little bear mojo on h-bar

Weight as shown 32 lbs 4 oz.

Build notes:

Weekend of 6/16 I ended up replacing the rims, as the rear wheel was just NOT hanging in there, apparently I'm too much of a lard-butt. Whatever. The Stan's Flow have served me well on the hard-tail so I expect they'll do the same on the SB. 17 miles of climbing and hard and fast descending on Sunday tells me they're MUCH nicer than the XR's for my use.

LBS ran the front brake hose out-board around the fork leg, easy to re-route it in-board when I was swapping shift/brake lever arrangement (I like my shifters in-board).

LBS has left a ton of shift housing length, and rear hose ( see image, note big loops at head ). Up-side is there's no frame rub. Down side is there is knee-rub during standing-climbing. I may fix this one day, but as it operates fine I'm too lazy to do so right now.

The DT 36 point ratchet upgrade was a drop-in. No issue with the 350 hub. Great upgrade, plenty of pedal-ratchet work in NE PA rock gardens (especially with low bb of this bike) so worth every penny to me. update: after some ~50 miles of riding I had an intermittent skip here I think, upon examination I found two chipped teeth on the ratchet and a mess of small metal filings in the grease. Cleaned out and replaced with 2nd 36t ratchet and used a teflon/silicone oil to lube the ratchets. Zero issues after another 50 miles of riding.

Stan's kit was easy drop-on to the stock rims ... I've done more than a few though ... one wrap of thin yellow tape over the spoke bed, drop on the rubber strips, spritz bead with suds, use compressed air and "foop". I am told that the 21mm yellow tape alone is enough, but based upon the fitment with the rubber strip it would take very tight tire beads to make me comfy with that - they were NOT tight enough with these tires for floor-pump inflation.

I have the Bionicon guide mounted possibly further back than some people would, however where it is keeps it away from the tire - preventing additional mud build - and it's working great with all rings. No chain break/re-size required for mounting.

The MRP XCG was a clean bolt on, no muss no fuss. Works great. When I moved from the 24t to 28t inner ring I had to add spacer (1mm I think, taken from spares from my Diabalous) between the DS crankarm and bearing to keep the chain clear of the bash. Was not an issue with 24t, *may* not have been an issue with 26t but I do not know.

The e13 guide ring works great with the drive-train EXCEPT shifting back onto it from granny is sketchy to nil. Thus ended up changing to Shimano 785 ring set (28/38) as I find the 24t too small for my taste and I miss the shifting.

Future changes:

- Playing around with headset spacers / stem orientation. The 90mm length feels fine BUT for some of the more XC-pedally time I can't decide yet if I want a slightly lower/more-forward bar. It's taken four days of riding but I think I have the saddle height where I want it, but there's just a little "twitch" that tells me I'm going to want a slight bar adjustment for the LOOONG pedally rides.

- Maybe put a volume spacer shim in the rear shock ... not sure it's needed as yet ... more mileage required ... but maybe.


Chilling out
6,038 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Nice Bear! How does that Bionicon guide work? Is the chain on a roller or does it just slide across it?
The Bionicon guide works very well - no drag - no noise - all gear combos (even cross-geared small-small and big-big just to test pathological cases).

Tested with chain moving in both directions, but obviously more in the forward direction.

There's no roller, just the tube that the chain slides through.

Installation was a snap - one small hex bolt holds the guide together, so remove that and it splits apart. Reassemble it around the chain, then zip-tie in place. Could only be easier if someone else did it. Note that the included zip ties did NOT fit the SB chainstay - but it's not like it is hard to find longer ties.

I put the guide just inside the rim diameter on the stay so that it would not attract mud/crap off the tire - NE PA riding gets that - and it's been great.

Much cheaper than upgrading to a shadow+ derailleur (although it would work well with that).

FWIW, I've had Blackspire, e13, and Straitline guides on various bikes - so far this is by far the easiest to mount and the most unobtrusive and silent in operation.

I'm going to assume it will hold up over time

551 Posts
...And yeah, everything on the front range is cool, including the bike companies.
I'll disagree with that...have you read the posts on the CO Front Range Forum...some people are complete tools. Alot of xenophobia here in CO, too...

I don't even post there anymore. :madman:

The T.I.T.S. crew is awesome, though! Great riders and people...

I am on the BT :)

I do enjoy this here forum on Yetis, though! :D

Now, tell us more about your 95!!! (I am living vicariously until the 95c hits next year :p)

Chilling out
6,038 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
first week riding review - warning - long post!!!!

... I'm curious to see what he blows up first ....
Well, I've tried REAL HARD to find a weakness over the past 9 rides ... as far as what Yeti has produced I have not succeeded in finding a general weakness ... for what Yeti has spec'd I've found few issues. The only thing I've "blown" up is one DU bushing (rear shock eye) - I think it went in a hard hit dropping clumsily to a flat landing with not enough PSI in the shock. I replaced the DU on Thursday afternoon immediately before riding and have no issue so far.

I've totalled up about 110 or 120 miles of riding since I picked up the bike a week ago Sat (6/2) over 9 rides of varying length and conditions. Most of the rides have featured wet conditions intermittently, this weekend (6/9-6/10) represent my first "dry" trail rides on the bike.

So, lead with the bad ...

... as others have noted, the bike is "low" - it has what I consider a low bottom bracket ...

I've seen one "angry post" about this on this forum and my experience bears this out. As i'm getting accustomed to the bike I AM Having significant pedal strikes. Two notes on this 1) I iive in NE PA where rocky-rooty trails dominate, and the trails tend to be narrow and often have hidden stumps/rocks/etc in the undergrowth within pedal range. 2) My other FS bike is a mutant - a Titus Super-Moto that when I have it setup for AM riding has a 16+" high BB - it takes complete Art to pedal strike this machine. My other 29er is a Niner MCR-9 with a Reba XX 4" travel fork. The interesting bit is that the SB95 and the MCR-9 (no rider on either) have a BB that is whithin about 1/2" of each other. I figure the MCR could drop as much as 1.75" or 2" while riding whereas the SB will drop all 5" (I have fork at stock 120mm stroke).


If this would bug you, don't buy the bike. I figure I just need better pedalling skills. My rate of strike is sinking quickly, I only had about five over this weekend (where I put in a over 50 miles of riding in two rides).

The up-side of the design is the superior stability and cornering - I'm sure the bike is more capable than I am right now. I find it super stable at speed, whether straight-up on a dirt road or on singletrack, buff or otherwise.

Okay, that's the only "down-side" to the bike I can figure out (well, other than it's not free, of course), from the first week of ownership.

related: The bike is NOT a shorty ... at nearly 46" wheel base it's not a short machine, however with the short chain stay and balanced setup it is easy to work through the tight and twisties whether leaned-over or doing rear wheel pivots. Needless to say climbing/descending turns (as IMBA would put it) are no issue.

the good that others have already written about

okay, confirmed. stiff frame in all the right ways. solid. active suspension. Go read the other reviews, I don't need to waste more electrons waxing poetic on what others have said OTHER than to throw my hat in saying ...

The Yeti Switch suspension system is the Real Deal - it Just Works in all the right ways - the SB-95 is a fabulously fun bike - adjective pool: flickable, balanced, fun, trail-worthy, rides light, a climber, invisible yet connected.

things I was surprised by

Holy freaking knobby tires, this bike is SWEEEET!

It makes me go faster. During trail rides (still working on not blowing out on more turns - working on my cornering mostly) and on the road home - did a 11m ride and rode home on the road and at some point I realized I was clocking 17mph up a slight grade - I'm not *that* fit - I blame the bike.

The bike holds a line at speed in the chunk in ways I am totally surprised by ... near as I can tell I had a max velocity today at Bald Eagle State Forest in conspicuous chunk (8-12" tombstones with crossing roots and such - Top Mountain Trail going E->W just past the Scenic View in case anyone is familiar) that near as I can tell from my GPS was over 20 mph. It wasn't all straight trail, some was down some long s-turn style stuff, I was definitely rolling the bike at a lean through the chunk. I finished a couple sections and thought to myself "crap, if I'm going to do that much more I'm going to need body armor!"

Note that I am running the fork at 120mm. I don't know if the extra 20mm would make any more difference and I'm PRETTY SURE I don't WANT to go faster ... yet.

The bike does great at slow speed work, be it straight and picking through an obstacle field or twisty and tight. Somehow, it's ALSO does incredibly well at speed in the crud ... I was getting fatigued at a couple points on 6/9 and 6/10 and between bike and luck pulled out some near crashes as rollers.

As Krispy has so eloquently demonstrated, it likes to fly...I can't wait to get more air time on it...most of my local trail don't have that much opportunity though...but plenty of short drops and over-log air though.

Get caught-up by surprise on a log-over or other bump? Assuming you've been balanced so far - just lighten up the front and let the bike fly.

Similarly, if you find yourself surprised by a rock garden at speed then lighten up the front and let the bike walk you through the park ... too fun!

"east coast" rock roll-overs, climbs up and traversal of wheel-base or near-wheel-base stuff is just fun.

I "know" the bike must be moving in reaction when I stand and hammer a climb, or go for a burst of speed to climb up a rock face, but I'll be hanged if the bike just doesn't seem to convert that effort into forward velocity. I am *NOT* the best lurch-climber ... I really should lose 15 or 25 pounds of the rider - ha ha ha ... but I have found some things easier to get up with the SB than my MCR ... I assume because the rear end is not getting hung up or bounced off-line. I'd love to hear how some of the Austin crew are finding it behave at City Park trail.

things I have NOT run the bike through yet

quantities of square-edge ledge climbing (ala City Park trial in Austin TX)

significant air time / jumps / etc (but it seems like Krispy has that covered)

buff trail (maybe next weekend...or maybe July at Blue Marsh Lake)

bike setup tweaks

saddle / h-bar height - natch - there was a lot of discussion about whether a large size was appropriate for me ( 5' 9", ish, 31" pants inseam, ideal "road bike" size 55cm ) and large is DEFINITELY correct. smaller would definitely be too small. I am in fact considering playing with putting a 100x0 stem on the bike (currently has the stock 90x10, flipped). The saddle-to-hbar is almost a whole inch shorter than my prevoius 29er (MCR-9, medium, 90x5 stem). This may or may not happen. We'll see. The inch shorter is KILLER for downhill/technical for sure, but for long rides/climbs, well, maybe not so much. I'm pretty sure I can feel the tighter cockpit in my back, just not sure I feel it enough for a change in the bike vs a change in me.

I've mounted a MRP XCG double/triple 40t bash guard. Works great. Mounted trivially easily with the 3x10 cranks. With 2x10 (having 48mm chain-line instead of 50mm as the triple) you'd need a 1mm spacer or so between the back plate and the ISCG-5 mount to get the same gap to the smaller ring.

I put in the 36t DT ratchets on Wednesday - and when checking up and cleaning it after Saturday's ride I found small bits of metal in the lube. I don't know where it came from BUT I did have some noisy feedback a couple times when crank-ratcheting on Saturday. I tweaked the rear-d adjuster a notch or two, lubed the chain, and cleaned the ratchets and so forth AND changed to a lighter lube than grease and no issues on Sunday's ride in Bald Eagle - just noisier free-wheeling. I'll be checking it again in a couple days maybe adding a LITTLE slick-honey to the ratches - just a touch though!

component comments

Stock Race kit has 3x10 (m780 cranks), blech, I am currently running 2x10 with an e13 Guide Ring. Shifting granny (24t) to bigger (38t) is sketchy to nil, but most-reliable when chain on rear cogs 2-4. Debating spending on m785 rings. We'll see.

Ice-Tech brakes (180F, 160R) never faded on Sunday, BUT, I could have used a bit more heat dissipation. Thinking about getting Ice-tech rotors at the same size and see. I'm accustomed to the Magura Louise BAT using Venti-Disc rotors, one size larger on both ends. The XT Ice-Tech with smaller rotors is NOT FAR behind the Magura is power at all, if at all, but with the one-finger-only lever I may want a bit more. Again, not rushing, as for most riding they are MORE than enough. Quieted down quickly after getting wet too, which is nice.

XT 10sped DynaSys rear shifting is great. Better than I remember shimano 9spd. Front shifting with DynaSys middle/big is almost as light and reliable and quick and quiet as the rear. Really. Crazy. Definitely misss it, even though a part of me says I just need to man-up and deal with going 1x10. That's a Big Commitment here though, without dropping sizable down to a 34t or 32t ring. I'd miss the flat-land speed, at this point, that the 38t gives me.

Stan's Tubeless kit on the XR400 is proving supah-reliable (29er XC kit, 1 wrap thin yellow over the spokes + rubber strip) - stock tires.

The front wheel is in perfect shape, no issue, no surprise.

At just over 1 week and 120 miles of trail the rear wheel is starting to go out of true, some preventative maintenance (truing) easily solved this. Raised overall spoke tension a bit to as the NDS spokes seemed awefully light on tension. We'll see if this helps the wheel endure longer. Either way, I have axle adapters for my "backup" hub set installed and am ordering spokes (DT Alpine III) and rims (Stan's Flow) RSN to build up the 2nd wheelset.

Stock Ikon 2.2 doesn't like wet dirt/rock ... but is great in dry. 2.4 Ardent seems solid in all conditions. Debating putting a 2.4 Ardent on the back when the Ikon is "done" but losing the EXO sidewalls (or equivalent) is not an option for me.

rides' summaries

pick-up day - sat jun 2 - 11.9 miles at Moosic Mountain Conservancy as the break-in ride, good balance of climbing, descending, some rock moves, one significant rock drop (about 2') plenty of wet dirt, plenty of super grippy congolomerate rock, some granite. Trail more medium-bumpy with embedded (e.g. not moving) rock. Some open granite descending that was just super-fun. Google Map for ride track-log

sun jun 3 - social ride in Mountain Top PA - tight singletrack, some creek crossings, some fire-road, lots of small-rock on the trail, some undergrowth encroachment into the drive-train. Some pedal strikes with hidden rock/root/stumps (very narrow trails).

sun jun 3 - (yes, a 2nd ride) solo ride in Roaring Creek PA - wet conditions, apparently they got significant rain over-night and morning. Some more-extended downhill sections, along with attendant extended climbing. Legs getting tired but holy crud does the bike "haul butt."

mon jun 4 - bad t-storms, no riding. boo.

tues jun 5 - ride over road to Francis Slocum SP - stop n go with the group for a while - finish solo and rode home via alternative route.

wed jun 6 - post-work (short) ride at Moon Lake County Park - rear tire not holding well on off-camber dirt/rock or when leaned over in the wet areas - straight up traction good though for both accelleration and braking.

thurs jun 7 - post-work (short) ride at Moon Lake County Park (again) - slow stop-n-start with the social group for a while then finish solo. Very greasy/slick in areas.

fri jun 8 - evening social ride at HCGA property - lots of climbing and rock work, including sizable up-n-overs. bike "rails" - so fun!

sat jun 9 - 25m "epic" solo ride at Rattling Creek trails (near Lykens PA, in Weiser State Forest). Lots of climbing, lots of rock gardens. Had to ride "Rocks Ridge" trail three times just because it was fun. Setting up Shreffler Trail to Dry Run to Rattling Creek trails as overall-downhill finish was F-F-F-FAAAAST and Su-Su-Su-Super Fun! High speed carved turns, hopping roots drops, zooming rock gardens. WOo--hoooo! Google Map Link for ride track-log

sun jun 10 - 31m "epic" solo ride at Bald Eagle State Forest out of RB Winter State Park. Shared some of the route today with the Trans-Sylvania Epic route. Notable portions include Grosses Trail (drops over 1000' in less then 1 mile), Top Mountain Trail (sup-ah chunk-a-lic-ious downhill sections going e->w). SB saved my butt more than once on this ride - clearly muscle fatigue showing! Google Map Link for ride track-log

1,001 Posts
Great write up.

Setting the fork at 130 or 140 will give you a little bit more pedal clearance. It will also lengthen the effective top tube so maybe you won't need to lengthen the stem. I find the seattube to be a bit too slack though. I've found 130 to be the best all around.

112 Posts
SAWEET! Great write-up as usual Bear.

On using a 2.25 Ardent... just remember that only the 2.4 has the EXO. I've had darned good luck with my sidewalls and punctures since putting on the 2.4 ardents after a calamitous few weeks with Cedric Gracia XCs. Is it because of the EXO? Can't say for certain but a few of my tire destroying riding buddies swear by the 2.4.

Chilling out
6,038 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Anita: I'm actually more than surprised that I didn't destroy the Ikon last weekend ... I should get some pix of the sidewall scuffs (on both tires) ... but apparently the exo on that is holding up well ... I can NOT switch to a non-exo rear tire (or similar) just too many rocks and edges here in NE PA.

Krispy: Noted on all counts, going to think about the fox travel change. Today is recovery day (no trail riding) and Tuesday looks like it may be rained out so a bike maint evening may be called for.

331 Posts
I'd love to hear how some of the Austin crew are finding it behave at City Park trail.

things I have NOT run the bike through yet

quantities of square-edge ledge climbing (ala City Park trial in Austin TX)
Feedback thus far on City Park- have raced my SB-95 out there 3x for the Dirt Remedy Series (think crit on the dirt- 6-8 laps of an approx 1 mile course)

First race I ended up on my a$$ twice because I had the handlebars too high, and the wrong front tire. Dropped the bars 1", put a Nobby Nic on the front, and good to go the next week.

Climbs well over square-edge ledges. Lift the front wheel, slight weight transfer, and you loose very little (if any) momentum. Even if you blow the weight transfer, you will almost always clean the ledge; almost like somehow the Switch suspension nullifies the square edge.

Racing for the final time out there tomorrow night- I'll race the crit circuit, and then do the final race of the season, which will be a XC-style full loop of the course. Yikes- Triple B!tch and all.
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