2016 Yeti SB5.5C

Words Dave Tolnai
Photos Dave Smith
Date Jul 18, 2016

It wasn’t supposed to be like this.  We’ve seen this bike before.  Like a BMW from the 80’s, each Yeti looks pretty much the same, just in a slightly different size.  The SB6c looks like an SB5c and this SB5.5.c certainly isn’t all that different.  Cam had to talk me into taking the damn thing.

2016 Yeti SB5.5C

A Yeti SB5.5c in a sun-dappled forest.

But as I pulled it out of the box…oh my god.

“What is that!” came the cry from the other room.  Silence.  Some confused looks.

“But you hate that colour?”  No.  I don’t.  Not any longer, anyhow.

2016 Yeti SB5.5C - non driveside - cable routing

Oh man.  Look at those curves.

Everything about this bike is just sort of correct.  The comically large wheels fill the gaps in nicely.  The swingarm arcs and swoops into all the right places.  All the linkages are tucked away so as to not bother the aristocracy.  This, people, is a nice looking bicycle.

We’ll see though.  This whole switch infinity thing…I mean, follow the linkages and you’ve essentially got a single pivot that moves around a tiny little bit, chasing a theoretical point slightly above the chainring.  Can it make that much of a difference?  Is it worth the bother?

2016 Yeti SB5.5C

The switch infinity link tucked in behind the swingarm.  The chips in the paint aren’t our fault

Whatever.  Who cares.  Just look at that bike!  I thought Dave was going to club me over the head, leave me to die in the woods and take off with it.  It’s gasp inducing.  Stomach churning.  Crotch tingling.  And it’s unfortunate that the gods have conspired so that I haven’t been able to ride the thing yet.

Parts.  Rather than talk about parts, let’s look at some photos.

2016 Yeti SB5.5C - Race Face Turbine cranks take usurp SRAM in this key drivetrain position

Race Face Turbine cranks take usurp SRAM in this key drivetrain position

2016 Yeti SB5.5C -DTSwiss SM481 29er rims hold the Maxxis Aggressor 2.3 (rear) and Minion DHF 2.5 (front) in place.  A non-Eagle XO1 drivetrain is hinted at.  A finely sculpted swingarm lords over them all.

DTSwiss SM481 29er rims hold the Maxxis Aggressor 2.3 (rear) and Minion DHF 2.5 (front) in place.  A non-Eagle XO1 drivetrain is hinted at.  A finely sculpted swingarm lords over them all.

2016 Yeti SB5.5C -A Fox 36 Factory 160mm fork (boost compatible, of course) leaves little to be desired in the fork department.

A Fox 36 Factory 160mm (boost compatible, of course) leaves little to be desired in the fork department.

2016 Yeti SB5.5C -While on the back, Fox gives us the Float X Factory DPS Shock.  We’ll see how that goes.

While on the back, Fox gives us the Float X Factory DPS Shock.  We’ll see how that goes.

2016 Yeti SB5.5C - Easton has the controls.  Havoc 800mm wide bars bolted to a 50mm stem.  The 35mm diameter means I probably won’t be swapping anything in here.

Easton has the controls.  Havoc 800mm wide bars bolted to a 50mm stem.  The 35mm diameter means I probably won’t be swapping anything in here.

2016 Yeti SB5.5C -

Guide RSC brakes and a thoroughly non-surprising Reverb seatpost.  Would it have killed them to give us more than 125mm travel?

2016 Yeti SB5.5C - A Yeti branded WTB saddle prevents the post from stabbing into your body.

A Yeti branded WTB saddle prevents the post from stabbing into your body

All of that stuff bolted to the beautiful, beautiful frame.  The beautiful size large, 140mm travel, 29 inch wheeled frame with the 66.5 degree head tube angle.  You want more numbers?  Fine.

2016 Yeti SB5.5C - yeti_sb55c_geo_chart

Once again, I’m saddled with a Large where an XL would probably make more sense.  The 24.6” top tube/17.4” Reach numbers oddly mimic the longish top tube/shortish reach numbers of the Spartan that I just came off of, and I may find myself looking for a teensy bit more stem length to compensate.

2016 Yeti SB5.5C - Who doesn’t want to ride a bike with this guy stuck to the top tube?

Who doesn’t want to ride a bike with this guy stuck to the top tube?

Whatever.  That’s a bunch of numbers, specs and photos.  I’m looking forward to beating the crap out of my first real 29er test bike.  One that looks finely crafted to take whatever it is I can serve up.


Wiping the drool off your keyboard like Uncle Dave?

Comments

Captain-Snappy
0
Merwinn  - July 20, 2016, 11:50 a.m.

Hawt.

Reply

poo-stance
0
Poo Stance  - July 19, 2016, 10:34 p.m.

I'm curious to know why you feel the FLOAT X DPS might not be up to snuff without even riding the bike?

Reply

Captain-Snappy
0
Merwinn  - July 20, 2016, 11:49 a.m.

Seconded. What's the XDPS reality?

Reply

Dirk
0
Dirk  - July 21, 2016, 12:11 p.m.

There's a suggestion that it might not be up to snuff?

Reply

poo-stance
0
Poo Stance  - July 21, 2016, 7:25 p.m.

From who?

Reply

megrim
0
megrim  - July 18, 2016, 5:43 p.m.

ive only had a few rides on mine, but it's pretty fun so far. I thought I would be a bit of a plow, but it's very agile and jumps way better than it should. It seems like a great all around shore bike. Pedals like a champ, but still big enough to bail you out when you get in over your head.

Pedals similar to the Knolly endorphin. Descends similar to a nomad, without the extra travel to soak up those drops to flat or seriously rough transitions.

Reply

Dirk
0
Dirk  - July 18, 2016, 6:24 p.m.

Dude. It's a preview, not a review…

Be curious to hear your set-up. Pressures and whatnot.

Reply

megrim
0
megrim  - July 18, 2016, 6:57 p.m.

Yep, I hear yah. People were asking, so I thought I'd give a small bit of feed back.

I'm running the 36 rc2 up front at 88 psi and the rear is 214 psi (I'll double check that one). I'm 185 pounds without gear. Around 28% sag. I think it could use a volume spacer in the rear though. I'm going to toss one in the next week and try it out.

Reply

Dirk
0
Dirk  - July 18, 2016, 8:55 p.m.

I know. That was me making fun of you for outshining me.

I'm probably a touch heavier than you and working my way up to those pressures. Feels about right though. I think a volume spacer or two is definitely in the cards. Thanks for your info.

Reply

blackbird
0
tw  - July 18, 2016, 7:09 a.m.

After all that masterbating you couldn't even tell us how it rides?

Reply

blackbird
0
tw  - July 18, 2016, 7:15 a.m.

……ah sorry, I meant masturbating…..

Reply

Dirk
0
Dirk  - July 18, 2016, 7:42 a.m.

Patience. Both in bike reviews, and in your favourite pastime alluded to above.

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - July 18, 2016, 11:45 a.m.

Hey TW, maybe you aren't familiar with our masturbatory style, but this is the way we do things. We realized that bike reviews often get bogged down talking about the spec without getting to the meat of the matter; how it rides. Doing a First Impressions piece (which we always do) allows us to focus on the flesh for the full review. So we may be jerking off, but we're beating for good reason.

Reply

frank-giraffe
0
Frank Giraffe  - July 18, 2016, 12:07 p.m.

I hear that, but ideally First Impressions would be First RIDING Impressions.
Comparing impressions from first rides to long term review seems more useful than "ooo swoopy paint".

Reply

blackbird
0
tw  - July 18, 2016, 2:29 p.m.

I know the drill, but read that description again…..I didn't want it to end.

Reply

blackbird
0
tw  - July 18, 2016, 2:30 p.m.

I am still master of my domain.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
0
Pete Roggeman  - July 18, 2016, 3:21 p.m.

Insert "different strokes" reference, as well as "hey, this is our fantasy!"

Reply

Dirk
0
Dirk  - July 18, 2016, 6:23 p.m.

Hey. I'll take it over "worst review ever" from the Devinci preview.

Reply

nat-brown
0
Nat Brown  - July 18, 2016, 8:05 a.m.

Reply

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