electric mountain bike

Alex’s Yeti SB165 long-term review

Alex’s Yeti SB165 long-term review 2020-09-20Leave a comment

electrical bike Alex’s Yeti SB165 long-term evaluation

After spending almost two years with my final long-term take a look at bike, the Orange Stage 6, I used to be struggling to discover a alternative. I wasn’t certain if I wished roughly journey, whether or not I wished 27.5in or 29in wheels or if I even wished a path, enduro or all-mountain bike.

Though I wouldn’t precisely name my scenario a complete bind – and there are a lot worse issues to have in life – it did depart a little bit of a query mark over the form of bike I wanted, and wished, for 2020 and 2021 to fulfil my love of gravity-fed driving whereas nonetheless having the ability to pedal about.

Yeti SB165 enduro mountain bike

A shocking bike worthy of mountainous terrain.
Alex Evans

So ending up with a 165mm journey, coil shock, 27.5in-wheeled rig took me a little bit without warning to be completely trustworthy, however I’m hoping that reverting again to the smaller wheel measurement and greater journey received’t be a hindrance out within the woods.

The Yeti SB165 is at present the Colorado model’s most radical bike on provide, with probably the most journey and slackest head tube angle,  it’s even suitable with twin crown forks. Meaning it’s a gravity-focused rig and, due to that, has been examined to Yeti’s downhill energy requirements.

Together with loads of journey and trendy geometry – it’s received a 77-degree seat tube angle and a 480.1mm attain – bottle cage mounts, inside cable routing and a full carbon fibre body it appears to be like prefer it ticks loads of my ‘must-have’ containers.

Clearly going for an uber-expensive bike wasn’t a acutely aware selection, and I’d have been simply as completely satisfied on a body value half or perhaps a quarter of the worth, however as soon as I’d secured the frameset, it appeared becoming to construct it up with a bunch of high-spec elements befitting of Yeti’s boutique status.

The spec undoubtedly fulfils a necessity, too, and isn’t simply lavishly luxurious with out cause, however extra on that beneath.

Yeti SB165 specs and particulars

Yeti SB165 enduro mountain bike

The SB165 customized construct in all its glory.
Alex Evans

How has the SB165 ended up trying, then? And why did I select these elements?

Yeti SB165 Turq Collection frameset

As I mentioned, the SB165 is Yeti’s burliest bike.

It’s received 165mm of rear-wheel journey that’s been meticulously tuned by Yeti’s engineers to offer what it deems to be the most effective performing suspension on the market.

Yeti SB165 enduro mountain bike

The Swap Infinity hyperlink tunes the anti-squat to enhance pedalling efficiency.
Alex Evans

That is carried out with its Swap Infinity system, which modifies the bike’s anti-squat by shifting the primary pivot’s location vertically upwards because the suspension compresses by means of the primary a part of its journey, then vertically downwards because it will get deeper into its stroke.

Yeti SB165 enduro mountain bike

The SB165 is Yeti’s longest journey bike in the intervening time.
Alex Evans

That is claimed to provide low ranges of pedal bob at first of its journey – with a rise in anti-squat – and extra suspension compliance deeper into its journey because the anti-squat drops off.

The system makes use of a set of stanchions side-by-side with the primary pivot within the centre of a ‘shuttle’ that strikes up and down the stanchions.

Yeti SB165 enduro mountain bike

The Yeti title is iconic.
Alex Evans

The SB165 frameset is barely out there in Yeti’s top-of-the-range Turq carbon fibre, which is claimed to supply the “good stability of stiffness and compliance” and to scale back weight over normal carbon.

My SB165 frameset with Fox Manufacturing unit DHX2 shock and coil spring weighs 3,690g.

Fox 38 Float Manufacturing unit GRIP2 fork

Yeti SB165 enduro mountain bike

Fox’s greatest single crown fork, the 38, is an actual bruiser.
Alex Evans

With a price ticket worthy of the SB165’s, the Fox 38 is the American model’s newest hardest-hitting enduro single crown fork.

Bolted to the entrance of my long-termer is the 27.5in-wheeled model with 180mm of journey and a brief 37mm offset to extend path, which ought to additional calm the bike’s steering on steeper and sooner tracks.

Coupled with the GRIP2 damper – that has exterior high- and low-speed rebound and compression damping – and float EVOL air spring, it makes for a quite luxurious and extremely managed trip.

As the most important diameter stanchion single crown fork I’ve ridden for the reason that Totem, I’m excited to see the way it performs.

  • Fox 38 Float Manufacturing unit GRIP2 fork: £1,299

TRP TR12 rear derailleur and shifter

Yeti SB165 enduro mountain bike

The TRP TR12 mech appears to be like sturdy and has an adjustable clutch.
Alex Evans

Touted as a real different to Shimano’s and SRAM’s mech and shifter, TRP’s TR12 mech and shifter was launched back in May 2020.

I pounced on the probability to bolt it to my brand-new long-term take a look at bike and see how the package designed by world cup downhill racer Aaron Gwin’s mechanic performs.

Standout options embrace an adjustable clutch, chain size and b-tension arrange guides and the Corridor Lock, which helps to restrict the mech’s physique from rotating forwards over bumps.

The derailleur’s cage and higher hyperlink is comprised of carbon fibre. The rear mech weighs 292g.

Yeti SB165 enduro mountain bike

It’s a disgrace TRP hasn’t designed an built-in bar clamp for its brakes and shifter.
Alex Evans

The shifter’s ergonomics have been designed with enter from Aaron Gwin, too.

The cable launch lever has a linear motion, as a substitute of a pivoting movement used on most different shifters, that’s claimed to imitate a rider’s thumb’s motion.

The cable pull paddle’s place could be rotated to go well with rider preferences, too.

  • TRP TR12 mech: £220
  • TRP TR12 shifter: £110

Shimano XT M8100 cranks, cassette and chain

Yeti SB165 enduro mountain bike

170mm XT cranks with a 30-tooth chainring end off the construct properly.
Alex Evans

As a result of the TRP TR12 mech and shifter don’t type a part of their very own groupset, I’ve fitted Shimano’s M8100 12-speed 170mm lengthy XT cranks with a 30-tooth chainring and 10-45t cassette, together with matching XT chain.

I had to make use of Shimano’s smaller 45-tooth cassette as a result of TRP’s TR12 mech is barely formally suitable with as much as 50-tooth cassette sprockets. This implies Shimano’s bigger 51-tooth and now SRAM’s new 52-tooth cassettes aren’t supported.

Yeti SB165 enduro mountain bike

As a result of the mech is barely suitable with as much as a 50-tooth sprocket, I’ve fitted Shimano’s XT 45-tooth cassette.
Alex Evans

I do have a 51-tooth XT cassette to attempt with the mech to research what limits compatibility and can report again as soon as I’ve managed to take a look.

  • M8100 cranks: £199.99
  • M8100 cassette: £144.99
  • M8100 chain: £41.99

Race Face Turbine R 30 27.5in wheelset

Yeti SB165 enduro mountain bike

The Turbine R 30 rims are 30mm huge.
Alex Evans

I’ve all the time preferred the texture aluminium wheels have on the path and have had good experiences with Race Face’s ARC wheels up to now on my previous long term test bike.

Sadly, the ARC rims weren’t out there as full wheelsets once I was constructing the bike up so needed to go for Race Face’s  Turbine R 30 wheels as a substitute.

The Turbine R 30s have a 30mm inside width which, for me, looks like a great compromise for decreasing the tyre carcass roll typically felt with narrower profile rims, whereas sustaining a extra rounded tyre profile to enhance lean angles in turns earlier than the tyres lose traction.

Yeti SB165 enduro mountain bike

Race Face Vault hubs are laced to Turbine R 30 rims.
Alex Evans

The Turbine R 30 rims are constructed onto Race Face’s Vault hub that boasts 120 factors of engagement utilizing straight-pull spokes.

Though Race Face claims the wheels are greatest suited to path and all-mountain makes use of, I think they’re going to be a lot strong sufficient for a yr’s value of abuse on the SB165.

The pair, with Increase 12 x 148 rear spacing and MicroSpline freehub and entrance 110 x 15mm Increase spacing, weigh 1,710g.

TRP DH-R EVO brakes

Yeti SB165 enduro mountain bike

The DH-R EVO brakes are burly!
Alex Evans

Complementing the TRP TR12 drivetrain are these DH-R EVO brakes, designed for world cup stage DH racing.

The lever our bodies are CNC machined and polished to a shiny end. The lever blades have small depressions to enhance grip and their attain has tool-less adjustment.

Together with four-piston calipers, energy is supplied by the two.3mm thick rotors.

Yeti SB165 enduro mountain bike

TRP’s DH-R EVO brakes have massive four-piston calipers.
Alex Evans

The brakes use mineral oil, like Shimano programs, and I discovered them fairly difficult to bleed appropriately in comparison with SRAM’s DOT fluid brakes with its Bleeding Edge bleed system.

I opted for 203mm rotors back and front on the Yeti.

The DH-R EVO brake levers weigh 133g every, a caliper with 190cm hose weighs 199g and a 203mm TRP rotor tipped the scales at 244g.

  • Entrance and rear brakes with 203mm rotors: £490

OneUp Elements V2 Dropper Put up, Carbon Handlebar and EDC Stem

Yeti SB165 enduro mountain bike

I’ve managed to suit a 210mm journey dropper put up to the Yeti which suggests I can get my seat decrease for the descents.
Alex Evans

OneUp’s natty EDC steerer-tube-stashed tool propelled the Canadian model into the limelight by offering a chic resolution for an annoying downside; find out how to carry instruments in your bike.

Since its device was launched, it’s labored on a bunch of different elements together with dropper posts, handlebars, stems, pedals cassettes and chainrings.

After being significantly impressed with its V2 Dropper Post, awarding it 5 stars, it appeared logical to suit a 210mm journey model to my new long-term take a look at bike.

Managing to squeeze a 210mm-drop put up onto the Yeti means my saddle could be completely out of the best way on the descents whereas nonetheless rising to the proper peak for climbing.

With the OneUp put up’s efficiency impressing me once I reviewed it, I’m hopeful its reliability will proceed on the brand new bike.

Yeti SB165 enduro mountain bike

The OneUp bar’s profile is obvious.
Alex Evans

I’ve caught on a set of OneUp’s Carbon Handlebars, which it claims have been tuned to offer nice ranges of consolation by minimising the width of its 35mm clamping diameter and having a profile that flattens into an oval form the nearer it’s to the bar’s bend.

The 35mm rise bars I’m utilizing weigh 226g.

Yeti SB165 enduro mountain bike

The brief 35mm OnUp stem feels spot on.
Alex Evans

As somebody who prefers to not combine and match manufacturers an excessive amount of, I’ve caught OneUp’s 35mm EDC Stem on the bike, too, with the thought of becoming its EDC device without having to faucet threads into the steerer tube at a later date.

  • OneUp Elements V2 Dropper Put up (with distant): £221
  • OneUp Elements Carbon Handlebar: £119.50
  • OneUp Elements EDC Stem: £69

Material Funguy 31mm diameter grips

Yeti SB165 enduro mountain bike

Material’s Funguy grips are significantly snug.
Alex Evans

Material’s Funguy grips have shortly develop into my subsequent favorite set of grips to make use of after becoming them to a different bike.

They’re smooth, they’ve solely received one lock-on ring so can twist barely, they usually really feel like the proper diameter for my palms.

Yeti SB165 enduro mountain bike

The marble sample won’t be to everybody’s style, although.
Alex Evans

This set of marble colored grips won’t everybody’s cup of tea however I believe they’re superior.

  • Material Funguy grips: £16.99

SDG Bel Air 3.0 Lux-Alloy saddle

Yeti SB165 enduro mountain bike

SDG’s Bel Air 3.0 saddle appears to be like good, however I’m nonetheless not satisfied it’s going to be as snug because the SQlab perch I like.
Alex Evans

Though the Bel Air 3.0 wouldn’t be my first selection saddle – after I confessed my undivided love for SQlab’s 610 ERGOLUX Active 2.0 in 2019 – it’s ended up on the Yeti.

With a 140mm width and brief 260mm size, I figured I’d give it a go. Additionally, it appears to be like extra typical than SQlab’s providing and solely weighs 236g.

  • SDG Bel Air 3.0 Lux-Alloy saddle: £79.95

Cane Creek 70 Collection Hellbender bearing improve

Yeti SB165 enduro mountain bike

Cane Creek – one other iconic model.
Alex Evans

Formally the Yeti SB165 is barely suitable with Cane Creek’s 40 Collection IS41/28.6 IS52/40 headset that retails for £49.99. Nonetheless, as a result of a few of Cane Creek’s bearings are interchangeable it was doable to improve the 40 Collection headset with 70 Collection Hellbender bearings.

Yeti SB165 enduro mountain bike

I swapped out the usual bearings for Hellbender ones to scale back service intervals.
Alex Evans

Though it’s a small improve, it’s one which’s value it given the grotty UK situations this bike goes to must endure.

Hellbender headsets begin at £74.99.

Vittoria Mazza tyres

Yeti SB165 enduro mountain bike

Vittoria’s Mazza tyre has confirmed to work effectively in dry situations.
Alex Evans

Rounding off the Yeti is a pair of Vittoria Mazza 2.4in huge tyres that use Graphene 2.0 of their 4 compound rubber to enhance grip whereas sustaining good rolling resistance.

Up entrance I’ve fitted the two.4in huge Path casing Tubeless Prepared (TNT) tyre that weighs 930g. On the rear, I’ve gone for the harder 2.4in huge Enduro casing TLR tyre which suggestions the scales at 1,140g.

As a brand new tyre to the market at first of 2020, I used to be eager to provide them a go on my bespoke Yeti construct.

  • Vittoria Mazza Path casing Tubeless Prepared (TNT): £59.99
  • Vittoria Mazza Enduro casing TLR: £59.99

Yeti SB165 customized construct worth and weight

Yeti SB165 enduro mountain bike

Designed in Colorado, USA.
Alex Evans

Had I gone to the retailers and acquired this beautiful customized construct Yeti SB165, I’d have needed to half with £7,904.38 – making it inexpensive than Yeti’s top-spec SB165 T3 TURQ full bike, particularly if I wished to suit DT Swiss carbon wheels and SRAM’s AXS drivetrain.

It’s nonetheless impressively costly, although.

For the cash, I’ve managed to land myself a fairly light-weight and significantly succesful 180mm journey fork, 165mm rear journey enduro bike.

With out pedals the complete construct weighs 14.67kg / 32.34lb.

Yeti SB165 geometry

Because the burliest bike Yeti at present sells, it’s not a shock to see the SB165’s geometry sitting on the extra progressive finish of recent.

The dimensions massive I’m driving has a 63.5-degree head tube angle, a 77-degree efficient seat tube angle and a 480mm attain determine.

It’s received 433mm chainstays (the identical size throughout all sizes) and a 1,255.2mm wheelbase.

Based on Yeti’s website, my 178cm peak is on the very backside of the scale massive’s match vary, however I believe that somebody with a peak of 173cm would match a big body comfortably.

  • Head angle: 63.5 levels
  • Seat angle: 77 levels
  • Chainstay size: 433mm
  • Seat tube size: 450mm
  • High tube size: 621.5mm
  • Head tube size: 121.6mm
  • Wheelbase: 1,255mm
  • Stack peak: 609.9mm
  • Attain: 480.1mm

Why did I select this bike?

Yeti SB165 enduro mountain bike

Fox’s DHX2 is a worthy counterpart for the Fox 38 fork.
Alex Evans

After spending almost two years on my 29er Orange Stage 6 I used to be uncertain which wheel measurement of enduro bike I wished to trip into 2020 and 2021.

After discounting shorter journey rigs because of the terrain I’m going to be most regularly driving, the lengthy journey, small-wheel sender Yeti SB165 turned a forerunner fairly early on because of its progressive geometry, relative mild weight and big curiosity issue ignited by its value and Swap Infinity hyperlink, plus Yeti’s long-standing status for making high-end bikes.

With all of these parts coming collectively, and my love for driving steep and quick tracks – fuelled by my latest transfer to the Tweed Valley – the SB165 seemed like the proper selection.

Yeti SB165 customized construct preliminary setup

Yeti SB165 enduro mountain bike

The Yeti’s cockpit appears to be like good.
Alex Evans

Constructing a motorcycle up from scratch is usually a irritating expertise, particularly for those who’re lacking key instruments like a headset press or have ordered barely incorrect elements like a chainring that’s designed for a unique chainline than the one your bike specifies.

I used to be subsequently very cautious to analysis the precise elements I wanted to verify the construct and subsequent arrange course of went with no hitch.

I most likely ought to have been a little bit extra practical with my expectations although, as a result of it wasn’t all easy crusing.

Whereas getting the vast majority of the elements to suit was a doddle, together with the forks, cranks, wheels, bar and stem and even the dropper put up – with a notable point out going to the Yeti’s inside cable routing guides that made feeding the dropper, gear and brake cables easy – a couple of bits had been much less perfect.

I discussed the brakes had been notably difficult to bleed earlier than. I spent round 5 to seven hours actively purging the hydraulic system of air after trimming the brake hoses to suit the body and forks.

Yeti SB165 enduro mountain bike

It’s received a down tube protector.
Alex Evans

Even when following TRP’s brake bleed guide to the letter utilizing TRP oil and syringes, I nonetheless struggled to get the brakes to really feel good.

I attempted bleeding them in a mess of various methods, ultimately getting some success with the old-school system of bleeding them by pressurising the lever, opening the caliper bleed port, squeezing the lever then closing the bleed port and at last releasing the lever and topping up the lever reservoir earlier than repeating the method not less than 50 instances. On every brake.

Now, regardless that I don’t profess to being the most effective mechanic on the planet, and far choose hammers over torque wrenches, I’m not completely inept and have been working alone bikes for 20 years.

With that in thoughts, I used to be a little bit dissatisfied with how troublesome it was to bleed the TRP DH-R EVO brakes, particularly contemplating how straightforward it’s to bleed SRAM’s Code or Information G2 brakes.

Yeti SB165 enduro mountain bike

I set up MudHugger’s FRX mudguards to all my bikes.
Alex Evans

The forks and rear shock have loads of adjustment – each with exterior low- and high-speed rebound and compression adjusters – and had been fairly straightforward to get to some extent the place I used to be completely satisfied. Extra tweaking is required, however setting a motorcycle up is all the time going to be an on-going course of.

Yeti SB165 customized construct trip impressions

Yeti SB165 enduro mountain bike

The Yeti’s at house on steep trails.
Ian Linton

It’s secure to say the SB165 revealed itself to be a complete bruiser on its first trip.

The 180mm journey Fox 38 fork felt plush and compliant, impressively absorbing tough chattery bumps whereas offering a strong platform to push towards in corners, bigger compressions and up takeoffs.

The fork’s composure and confidence is mirrored by the rear finish’s Fox DHX2 coil shock, though my preliminary ideas are that the inventory 425lb spring is a little bit too smooth for my preferences, regardless of it giving me the right amount of sag.

The 480mm attain determine gave me loads of house on the descents and mixed with the slack head tube angle and lengthy wheelbase makes the bike really feel impressively composed when making progress on steep, technical and quick tracks.

The SB165 actually comes alive when it’s being fed by gravity and it gobbles up roots, rocks and bumps like they’re non-existent, and swift path adjustments and exact line selections are effectively throughout the bike’s bounds.

Yeti SB165 enduro mountain bike

I’m is eager to see how a lot abuse the Yeti can take.
Ian Linton

Its suspension makes it really feel a little bit torpid on flatter sections of path, however the low weight helps to mitigate this to some extent.

The 77-degree seat tube angle is sensible on the climbs and it’s straightforward to overlook how a lot journey it has as soon as the climb lever has been activated and also you’re ascending.

As soon as the TRP DH-R EVO brakes had been working, they proved to have monumental quantities of chew and energy, feeling significantly extra punchy than SRAM’s Code brakes.

The TR12 drivetrain has up to now shifted precisely, however chainslap is sort of unhealthy. I’m going to deal with this by tightening up the mech’s clutch and examine additional.

Yeti SB165 customized construct upgrades

I’ve received no fast plans to vary the Yeti’s spec, however will probably be on the hunt for some extra winter-specific tyres as soon as the climate closes in.

I’m additionally going to be testing e*13’s new Vario dropper, so count on to see the OneUp put up take a small vacation.

I’d like to research completely different spring charges for the rear shock within the not too distant future, too.

Keep tuned for extra updates quickly.

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