Yeti SB 5.5C – 29er

Words Cam McRae
Photos Dave Smith
Date Apr 17, 2016

Yeti SB5.5c

Last year at Sea Otter you could have come to the conclusion that the 29er was an endangered species. The bikes that most riders were excited about at Sea Otter 2015 were all 650b. Or at least riders at the aggressive end of the trail spectrum. And in 2016 we have bikes like the YT Jeffsy, Evil’s Wreckoning, Santa Cruz’s Hightower, Norco’s Optic and now Yeti’s SB5.5c.

Somebody at Yeti wanted to call this colour anthracite. Yeti decided that was a little too posh for the brand and it became gray. But it’s an epic gray. One of the sweetest looking bikes I’ve seen in a long time.

I’ve caught the 29er curious bug myself while testing our custom build Trek Remedy 29er – dubbed the Shremedy. Early big-wheeled bikes weren’t much fun to ride. They cornered poorly and were unruly at low speed. They often took a fun section of trail and sucked the life out of it. But they climbed well and rolled over obstacles better than smaller hoops. Fast but not fun was the conclusion many riders came to. The Shremedy is undoubtedly fun, and that’s a word that riders have been using about the bikes I mentioned above as well.

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The Switch Infinity Link may look different but it has proven to be reliable and low maintenance.

Boost has allowed engineers to shorten rear stays for a livelier feel. Head angles have become increasingly slack for DH performance and a low bottom bracket keeps the centre of gravity down and aids cornering. All these things together and several years of monkeying about with things like custom fork off-sets and shorter wheelbases (the SB5.5c has a shorter wheelbase than the SB6c).

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Kashima! A FOX FLOAT X FACTORY DPS takes care of the 140mm of rear travel. Up front you’ll find 160mm of squish served by a Fox Factory 36 fork.

Fast; that’s what we’re hearing about this bike. We’ve got one on the way and we’re pretty excited about it after our experience on the SB6c.

Getting rad.

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LIke other Yeti Switch Infinity bikes, the SB5.5c looks even better in person. The frame with rear shock weighs 6.0 lbs. (2.72 kg). Despite larger wheels, the SB5.5c has a shorter wheelbase than an SB6c in the same size (large SB5.5c  is 1168mm while the 6c is 1215mm).

A size large SB5.5c will be following us home from Sea Otter in a week or so and we’re pretty curious about how this one rides. Stay tuned for our first impressions piece.


Which one is your favourite?

 

Comments

dimitri-nichols
0
Dimitri Nichols  - May 15, 2016, 9:33 p.m.

Review the Shremedy vs. the sb 5.5c, please!

Reply

Vikb
0
Vik Banerjee  - April 21, 2016, 5:40 p.m.

27.5 is dead. Time to move on folks! 😉

Nice looking bike. 🙂

Reply

steve-low
0
steve low  - April 20, 2016, 10:51 p.m.

This is everything the SB95 nearly was. Longer lower and slacker! 29ers are taking over. 27.5 will be DH long travel only in another couple of seasons! 437 chainstays on a 29er!

Reply

craw
0
Cr4w  - April 18, 2016, 8:04 a.m.

That is a beautiful bike. I think we have officially reached that point where we no longer have to say stuff like "suprisingly nimble for a 29er". It's not 2001, by definition 29ers are awesome now.

Reply

jonathan-harris
0
Jonathan Harris  - April 18, 2016, 9:23 p.m.

I'd agree with that. Interesting that it's shorter than SB6c but makes sense when you take into account the greater giroscopic effect of the bigger wheels adding to the stability.

Reply

dan
0
Dan  - April 17, 2016, 7:37 p.m.

This looks properly capable. Everything being the same I'd take this over the Jeffsy for its 36 fork.

Reply

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