[First ride] The all new Yeti SB5c

[First ride] The all new Yeti SB5c

17/07/2014
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17/07/2014

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Yeti just introduced the new SB5c trail bike with patented Switch Infinity technology, expanding its line of ride-driven products. Built for aggressive trail riders, the SB5c rolls on 27.5” wheels and delivers 5” of plush, yet responsive rear wheel travel. The SB5c will begin shipping immediately as a complete bike with builds starting at $6599.

Yeti’s patented new Switch Infinity design allows their engineers to fine tune it’s suspension kinematics. The end result is unprecedented pedaling efficiency and small bump sensitivity while climbing paired with plush, controlled travel when descending. The Switch Infinity technology was created in partnership with FOX and features Kashima coated stanchions and FOX’s renowned build quality. It has endured Yeti and FOX’s rigorous testing protocol and over three years of on-trail testing. The system is simple, lightweight and low-maintenance.

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“Yeti has always been ride-driven brand, and the new Switch Infinity technology has been in development and testing for nearly three years.” said Yeti President and co-owner Chris Conroy. “We worked closely with FOX to apply what we’ve learned from our linear rail and Switch Technologies to produce a suspension platform that will work across a wide spectrum of terrain, disciplines, and riding styles.”

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The SB5c will be available to ship immediately as a complete bike with SRAM’s X01 Build Kit with an MSRP of $6599, or $8999 with an Enve M60 wheelset. Complete SB5c’s will weigh 25.5lbs with a Thomson Elite seatpost, and 26.2lbs with a Thomson Elite Dropper seatpost. It will also be available with a SRAM XX1 Build Kit with an Enve M60 wheelset for $10,599.

2014 Switch Infinity Explained

Switch Infinity utilizes a patented translating pivot that switches direction as the bike moves through its travel. This provides excellent anti-squat characteristics for superior pedaling performance and ideal suspension characteristics as it gets deeper into the travel.

At the beginning of the travel, the main pivot translates upward, creating a rearward wheel path. This provides excellent antisquat and optimum pedaling performance. While the pedaling is crisp, the linear leverage ratio and translating pivot combine for amazing small bump sensitivity. The linear movement provides unprecedented control of the kinematics and marks a significant improvement over link-based designs.

Once the Switch Infinity system reaches the inflection point, the main pivot begins to translate downward. This linear movement prevents the chain force from adversely affecting the suspension performance and gives the suspension a controlled, bottomless feel.

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The linear path of the patented Switch Infinity system has very little resistance as it moves through its travel. This allows the system to achieve seemingly contradictory characteristics. In the early stage of the travel it displays superior pedaling efficiency and excellent small bump sensitivity. As you move deeper into the travel, it is well supported and responds effortlessly to square edge hits. The mechanical advantage of this linear system cannot be achieved with traditional link designs.

The Switch Infinity is a simple, lightweight, bombproof system built by Fox Racing Shox from proven suspension components and engineered and tested to withstand the worst riding conditions. We only use the best components in its construction — Kashima coated stanchions for low friction and durability, seals and bushings that are used in Fox’s off-road racing division, and a lightweight forged translating pivot. We have field tested the parts for over three years and the original bushings, seals, and stanchions are still in perfect working condition. Fox has thrown the system into its testing regimen as well — spray testing, mud, dyno, and ride testing — and found the system worthy enough to be “Enabled by Fox.” The system is significantly lighter (100g) than the original Switch Technology.

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Switch Infinity is a versatile system easily adaptable to different travel platforms. The system can be mounted in any orientation and can achieve a myriad of kinematics depending on the design intent. For example, longer travel bikes require drastically different kinematics later in the travel (controlling wheel path trajectory). The Switch Infinity system can control this much more precisely than other suspension designs because of the linear

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Geometry

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Building Kits

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First Ride

[Words by MTB-MAG] After a short presentation the Yeti guys put us on the SB5c: there is no better way to figure out a bike than simply riding it. The location was perfect, high in the French Alps, on the road to the Col du Galibier, just few miles from Valloire, where the Enduro World Series stopped one month ago.

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We love trail bikes. Especially if they have a medium travel fork, like the Fox 34 with 140mm of travel. Bikes of this nature that don’t fear long uphills yes still manhandle the technical downhills are just a treat. The Sb5c is very light, this proved to be refreshing during the uphills, but what we liked the most was that we could leave the shock in the “Descend” position all the time, regardless of whether we were ascending or descending, and we found ourselves always very high in the travel. Anti-Squat at its best, the Switch Infinity was really top notch when it came to small bumps absorption. There is no pedal platform, no magic switch or complicated shock: it was a great feeling to ride a no frills suspension design that does not need any help to work properly.

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On the downhills, just get to the top, lower your seat post and the SB5c is ready to rip. The suspension is very efficient at handling big bumps, using all of the robust travel effectively. We couldn’t truly test it’s progressivity in only one day of riding, but we never bottomed out. The head angle of 67° kept the bike steady in the fast sections, without compromising it agility in the tight corners.

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We had the feeling that the SB5c is a very well balanced bike, not too downhill or uphill oriented. It’s the perfect mid duty modern trail bike. The 140mm of front travel doesn’t really even need Talas: the front wheel never lost contact from the ground even if we have been riding with one spacer left under the stem with the bars sitting comfortably high for the descents.

We can’t wait to do a long term review on this bike, but what we really want to see is the new Yeti Enduro Bike: the Switch Infinity should be even more influential on long travel bikes, and if we’re lucky we will see a famous Enduro rider with a new bike at one of the next EWS stops.

Yeti cycles
Action photos by Greg Germain

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