Yeti’s new SB-66

Yeti unveil the new SB-66.
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Yeti have pulled off the impossible…they somehow managed to keep their new SB-66 a secret. That takes some doing these days. Anyway, I got to have a ride on this new ‘Super Bike’ whilst I was over at Sea Otter, and although the track we got to ride the bike on wasn’t exactly the most challenging it still managed to prove a few points about the SB-66. First of all for a 6” travel bike it climbs incredibly well. Yes the full XTR build and 27lb weight obviously helped, but the suspension only ever moved when it needed to, even with the rear shock left fully wide open.
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Secondly they’ve got the geometry pretty much spot on, it felt far more up to date with its 67 degree head angle than their 575 (which Yeti will continue to make despite the travel similarities, it’ll just sell for less than this bike). Finally, despite a distinct lack of rocks and roots on the track I did manage to hunt out the odd one and found the suspension to be very composed and efficient. By efficient I mean that it only seemed to use as much as was needed, leaving some in reserve, just like a good system should. I think it can only be a good thing that I ended the ride thinking ‘I really want to take this bike somewhere gnarlier’. It definitely felt like it had the potential to take on some serious terrain, but at the same time I loved the fact that it felt like it had plenty of life in it unlike some other big hitters that are more sofa like than fun and lively. Basically I really want to ride this bike some more.

So, you know it’s a very promising proposition, but how does it work? Well, the key feature is the ‘Switch Technology’ that from a distance just looks like a single pivot with a linkage driven shock, but is in fact a main pivot that’s mounted on an eccentric pivot that rotates throughout the travel. Why? Cos it lets Yeti fine tune every aspect of the suspension (chain growth, leverage curve, anti-squat, pedal feedback, etc) in what is essentially a very simple and neat package. Pretty clever stuff really and it seems to work. Throw that suspension design in with some trademark Yeti build quality and you’ve got a very impressive bike indeed. Perhaps one of its greatest rivals will be the carbon version which will be available later on this year and will shave another pound off the already impressive 7 lb frame weight. With the aluminium one looking like it’s going to cost around the two grand mark for the frame though, the carbon one will probably need to involve the sale of a kidney.

Anyway, here’s some more info from Yeti on the new bike, including some graphs for all the tech heads/geeks out there…

· Custom butted hydro-formed 6000 series aluminum
· Tapered inset head tube
· Over-sized pivots with Enduro Max bearings (17mm thru axle angular contact for the top link and 15mm thru axle for the main pivot)
· Fully-sealed eccentric system
· Switch Technology – patent pending suspension system
· Yeti Chip System for an interchangeable 9mm x 135mm qr hub or a 12mm x 142 thru axle hub
· Internally routed cable guides on the rear triangle
· Seat dropper cable guides
· Direct mount front derailleur tab
· Custom elastomer chain slap guards
· Post mount disc tabs
· ISCG removable 03/05 chain guide tabs
· Air or coil over shock compatibility

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