Yeti SB66 - First look

New suspension system aimed at aggressive riders

Colorado-based Yeti Cycles have today announced the launch of a new bike on their Twitter feed – the SB66. Two years in the making, this 6in-travel (152mm) all-mountain rig uses a new, patent-pending suspension system called Switch Technology, described as an 'optimised dual-link design'.

Essentially, the SB66 looks a linkage-activated single pivot. However, rather than being fixed in place, the main pivot is mounted eccentrically (off-centre) on a rotating 'micro link' housed in a large bottom-bracket-style shell built into the seat tube — the design effectively (and technically) makes the SB66 a dual-link design.

This means that the lower pivot is continually repositioned, with the swingarm actually changing direction about 100mm into the bike's travel. Yeti say the initial rearward path of the SB66's rear end gives a linear feel and aids efficient pedaling (anti-squat), while the forward movement towards the end of the shock stroke stops the suspension being impeded by chain growth or pedal feedback over bigger hits. 

Yeti sb66: yeti sb66
Yeti sb66: yeti sb66

The upper linkage pivot uses a 17mm axle and angular contact bearings; the lower main pivot relies on a 15mm axle, which pierces the eccentric Switch link

Yeti say this gives the bike "a more aggressive, sportier feel" than the 575, which will stay in their lineup for those who prefer a plusher, more comfortable ride. "The SB66 works best when it's pushed hard – into berms, over jumps and blasting through rough terrain," they say."[It] encourages more rider input and has a decidedly more 'performance' feel."

Other features of the new bike include a tapered zero stack head tube, a bottom bracket shell compatible with splined ISCG 03/05 adapters (thus removable), oversize pivot pins with Enduro Max bearings, post mount rear brake tabs, internal cable routing on the rear triangle, cable stops for a dropper seatpost, a direct-mount front derailleur fitting and a choice of 135mm quick-release or 12x142mm through-axle rear end (via Yeti's chip system).

Head and seat angles are 67°/70.9° with a 150mm fork and 65.9°/70.9° with a 160mm unit. Claimed weight of the alloy frame is 7lb (3.17kg); a 1lb-lighter carbon fibre version is set to follow in December. The SB66 is available in four sizes (S,M,L,XL) and four colours (black, lime, turquoise, white). The alloy frame costs US$2,200 with a Fox Racing Shox RP23 Kashima shock.

Yeti sb66: yeti sb66
Yeti sb66: yeti sb66

Four complete bikes are available in the US, starting at $3,500 for the 'Enduro' build with Fox 32 F150 Kashima RLC fork, mainly SRAM X7/Truvativ Stylo kit, Avid Elixir 5 brakes and DT Swiss M1900 wheels. The top-end 'Pro XTR' upgrades to the titular groupset, a Chris King headset, DT 240/XR400 wheels and a mix of Thomson and Easton finishing kit for $6,150. There's no word yet on UK pricing or options, although a July launch has been mooted.

This article was published by BikeRadar, the world's leading source of bike reviews, gear reviews, riding advice and route information
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