Yeti have followed up the introduction of their 6in-travel SB-66 trail bike with a new carbon fiber version that reportedly brings the chassis weight down to around 2.7kg (6.0lb) with rear shock. According to Yeti president Chris Conroy, front triangle stiffness gets a boost as well for better handling precision.
Other changes unveiled at this week's Eurobike show include a 142x12mm through-axle rear end – the aluminum version can be converted between through-axle and quick-release fitments – new collet-type pivot hardware for the carbon rear swingarm, and an additional frame protector on the underside of the down tube to go along with the ones on the driveside stays.
Carrying over intact are the clever Switch rear suspension design, the low-and-slack geometry, and tapered head tube. Conroy says final pricing is still to be determined but the SB-66c frame will likely sell for around US$3,000.
Yeti's SB-66 nomenclature (one '6' designates the wheel size and the other the rear wheel travel) also foreshadowed its new big-wheeled cousin, the 5in-travel SB-95. Key features and design elements are mostly borrowed from the 26in variant, including the Switch rear suspension design, hydroformed aluminum tube shapes, tapered head tube, convertible rear dropouts and low-slung geometry (adjusted for the bigger wheels, of course).
Yeti's new SB-95 uses a similar Switch suspension design as on the SB-66 but with an inch less travel and geometry built around 29in wheels
The front derailleur has been moved to a chainstay mount versus the SB-66's high direct mount, though, leaving room for a second upright at the front of the stays to help stiffen up the longer rear end. Claimed frame weight for the SB-95 is 3.4kg (7.5lb) with rear shock.
Yeti's commitment to top-level downhill racing has borne new fruit for 2012 in the form of the new 303 World Cup chassis. A Yeti-exclusive sliding rail-and-car system on the seat tube lends a more linear rear wheel path – the current 303 RDH is a single-pivot design with a rail controlling the shock rate only – the head tube is now tapered with internal cups, and rubber stops are built into the sides of the top tube to prevent frame damage in a crash.
Yeti's new 303 WC was derived straight out of their World Cup racing program
Most impressively, though, Conroy says the thoroughly massaged aluminum frame tubes have shed nearly a full kilogram of excess mass. Claimed frame weight is now just 4,080g including the Fox Racing Shox DHX RC4 coil-over rear shock.
Finally, trail riders on a budget will get a lower-priced 575 model for 2012. The front end is shared with the current 575 but Yeti have given this more value-oriented edition a new all-aluminum rear end. Though heavier than the equivalent carbon piece, it still retains the interchangeable dropout 'chips' for either 142x12mm through-axle or standard quick-release rear wheel fitments, sealed cartridge bearing pivots, and the same tuned flex-stay concept as on upper-end versions. Complete bikes will start at $2,750.
Yeti have added a new lower-cost full-aluminum 575 model for 2012