Interbike 2011: Yeti 575 first ride review

Latest evolution of their alloy allrounder

Yeti have had one of the busiest booths at Interbike's Dirt Demo this year and, having already tested the SB-66, we jumped onto the latest evolution of it’s evergreen relative, the 575.

With 5.7in (146mm) of rear wheel movement, the 575 has slightly shorter travel than the SB-66 and thanks to the new changes it’ll also be significantly cheaper than that exotic, eccentric bearing based bike.

The main change (and cost reducing element) is the move to alloy chainstays from the previous carbon stays. You’re still getting a flex system rather than a full rear pivot, but this time you’re looking at chunky right angle welds at the dropout heading up to a thinner ‘flex section’ to allow the rear wheel to move. The acutely angled swing link set up stays the same but critically our sample bike also got a Kashima coated Fox RP23 shock. This immediately offsets the inevitable small bump stubbornness of the swing link system and introduces reasonable small bump sensitivity.

The alloy chainstays of the updated Yeti 575

Mid stroke to full travel response is impressively controlled too, with no sudden rush through at any point. The back end isn’t the most accommodating of sudden square edge slaps though, which led to early innertube replacement. It can also kick up if you’re cranking hard on loose or lumpy ground but drive is direct enough to get up a good gallop. Other frame tweaks include an inset rather than outside tapered headset, and the ISCG tabs stay too. We reckon those tabs will be used more for XC style 1x10 set ups than a full bash and roller set up though, as even with the new shock the feel is definitely long travel trail rather than plush drop plunderer.

The reason Yeti’s booth is so busy at demo day isn’t because of suspension semantics - it’s because their bikes have great balanced handling that you can’t help but have fun on. That’s certainly the case with the 575, where front end tracking is perfect for getting the tyres scrabbling, with none of the old mid section or rear end twist of the original frames either. Add a strikingly un-Yeti neon sulphur colour and this new affordable all alloy chassis looks to be a great package. 

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