The Beti is a direct derivative of Yeti’s SB5c trail bike, but designed to fit smaller riders, with components selected to "improve the ride experience for women". We were understandably keen to test this for ourselves.
Bottomless suspension feel
The Beti delivers 127mm (5in) of rear travel via a top-end Factory series Fox Float shock and Yeti’s unique Switch Infinity suspension system. The main pivot is mounted on two Kashima-coated stanchions, which it slides up as the bike moves through its travel, before switching direction near the end of the shock’s stroke to give a bottomless feel and stop chain forces affecting the suspension.
The full-carbon frame incorporates a tapered head tube, integrated chain slap protection and a chunky down tube protector to ward off rocks. The external cable routing is tidy, and there’s a direct mount for a front derailleur should you want to add more gears.
The main pivot slides up and down on two Kashima coated stanchions above the BB
The Shimano XT brakes on our Yeti were attached to a female-friendly (not too wide) 720mm Easton bar fitted with small-diameter grips, with a female-friendly WTB Deva saddle to perch on. It’s good to see a Thomson Elite Covert Dropper included as standard, with 125mm of adjustment.
A light bike in need of a firm hand
With a 140mm (5.5in) fork up front the medium Beti boasts a 66.8-degree head angle and a wheelbase of 1,157mm, making it relatively slack and long for a trail bike. It feels good on gravity-fed trails, though its light weight – just 11.7kg (25.8lb) – means decisive handling is required to prevent it pinging off trail features.
The SB5c Beti feels good under the influence of gravity
The 342mm BB height is higher than some of its rivals’, so the Yeti doesn’t feel quite as planted in the turns, but pedal strikes are few and far between. Coupled with the stable wheelbase, low weight and bob-free suspension, this means the Beti is eager to climb just about anything in its path.
The 72.5-degree seat angle is a little slacker than we’d ideally like but we never felt like we were positioned badly. I’m 5ft 4in / 163cm and found the 600mm top tube roomy enough, and the bike comfortable to ride.
External cable routing (dropper post aside) makes for easier maintenance
While the Fox shocks on both the Beti and the unisex SB5c have the same light compression damping tune, the women’s bike gets a light rather than medium rebound tune. This is supposed to help it work better for lighter female riders, but we had to wind off all the rebound damping to get the shock returning at a fast enough speed.
Running 30% sag, we also found ourselves using up the travel too easily in the ‘open’ mode, even in its firmest setting, so we resorted to running a higher pressure than normal. This meant the rear end didn’t feel quite as sensitive but bigger hits were handled in a far more controlled fashion.