Yeti showed off its new Big Top 29er hardtail at this year's Sea Otter Classic and from the looks of it, the Golden, Colorado-based company is aiming the big wheeler at a broad target audience.
Yeti builds the Big Top with a welded aluminium front triangle and a bonded-on carbon fibre rear end. Before you pigeonhole it as a pure race machine, though, consider that it also features a tapered head tube up front plus ISCG tabs down below. As such, steering precision and front end strength is expected to be quite good and more aggressive riders will be able to mount chain guides and bashguards as desired.
Out back, the carbon fibre seat stays and chain stays are joined with a short section of alloy at the dropouts, partially to retain Yeti's signature looped aesthetic but also to lend more diversity to the setup options. Interchangeable 'chips' will allow for either 135x10mm quick-release or 142x12mm thru-axle hubs, and singlespeeders will also be able to trade out the dropouts completely for sliders with built-in adjusters – and the derailleur housing guides are even removable for a cleaner look, too.
Sorry, we weren't able to secure retail pricing or expected availability on the first day of the show but we'll update you when we receive the information.
The carbon rear end helps damp vibration for a slightly smoother ride
The chain stays bond to the front triangle at a beefy wishbone joint for stiffness - but it also provides a big shelf for collecting mud
Short alloy sections are bonded in to the carbon tubes to retain Yeti's signature looped stay appearance
The Big Top will include ISCG tabs for riders that want to run a chain guide or bashguard - or perhaps even a Hammerschmidt?
Swappable 'chips' will accept conventional 135x10mm quick-release rear wheels in addition to 142x12mm thru-axle setups. If so desired, you can also swap in horizontal dropouts for singlespeed applications