They aren't all turquoise you know
There are a modest amount of Yeti mountain bike models in the current line-up but that can make it harder to choose a specific one. We’re here to help.
Yeti mountain bikes in 2018
Yeti are one of the most iconic brands in mountain biking. There are also one of the very few brands who have managed to retain their kudos and desirability. There hasn’t ever really been a time when people didn’t lust after owning a Yeti.
And yes, that turquoise. It helps. You can of course get a Yeti that isn’t turquoise. Black and orange models appear to be the new colourways being offered. The inspiration for Yeti turquoise was a 1971 ‘desert turquoise’ Chrysler by the way.
As we’ve already mentioned, there aren’t actually very many different Yeti models in the modern era. There are arguably just five Yeti models in total if we roll the women-specific Beti models in with the unisex versions (more about Beti later).
Yeti have stopped doing hardtails. They’ve stopped making all-out XC race machines. They no longer do quirky cyclocross bikes. They no longer make a Downhill bike either.
Yeti is now fundamentally a trail bike and enduro bike maker. All of which feature Yeti’s signature Switch Infinity suspension configuration.
What kind of mountain bike are you after?
Therefore, if you’re looking for a hardtail, XC bike or a Freeride/DH ‘gravity’ bike, you’re out of luck. Move on. Yep, even the shortest travel model – the Yeti SB 100 – is very much a bike for cross-country trails as opposed to XC race courses.
If you’re unsure as to what all these modern genres and classifications actually mean, head over to our feature What to look for in a mountain bike for quick refresher.
The relatively limited array of Yeti mountain bikes to choose from does make it easy in terms of narrowing the questions down that you must ask yourself. Namely, what wheel size do you want and how much suspension travel do you want?
Yeti full suspension mountain bikes
There are three 29ers and two 27.5 bikes currently offered by Yeti. The 29ers have models named after their suspension travel in millimetres (SB 100, SB 130 and SB 150). The 27.5in wheel Yetis are named in their inches of travel (SB 5 and SB 6 being 5in and 6in travel respectively).
As mentioned above, all Yeti bikes share the same suspension design called Switch Infinity. This is a system that has a main pivot location that moves around as the suspension compresses/extends. The idea being that the suspension interacts with the drivetrain in differing ways/amounts at different points in the travel. Firm under pedalling when around the sag point but a tad more soaking-uppy when deeper into the travel.
Yeti SB 150
The enduro bike 29er
Yeti’s very first proper 29in wheel enduro bike. Packing 150mm travel at the back and specc’ed around a whopping 170mm travel fork up front. Sporting a very modern shape; truly contemporary geometry that marks out the Yeti SB 150 as a new era of Yeti.
Yeti SB 130
The trail bike 29er
Released pretty much at the same time as the Yeti SB 150, the Yeti SB 130 is arguably the bike that Yeti expect most people to buy after being inspired by the EWS success of the Yeti SB 150. 130mm rear travel with 150mm fork rolling on 29in wheels. The consummate modern day trail bike.
Yeti SB 100
As XC-as-it-gets bike
Sure, the SB 100 only sports 100mm (4in) of suspension which could place it into the XC race category to some eyes, but the SB 100 has a stance and suspension kinematic that is designed for speedy real-world trails rather than twitching/thrashing between race tape. The SB 100 is the one to go for if you’re after a bike closer to 25lbs than 30lbs.
Yeti SB 5
The 27.5in wheel trail bike
Where the 29er Yetis are the big shifters in America, in the UK and Europe it’s the Yeti SB 5 that has been the bread and butter model. If you’re perfectly happy with the playfulness of 27.5in wheels and you’re not sold on running more travel up front, then the SB 5 is the Yeti you want.
Yeti SB 6
enduro burly trail bike
The modern mountain bike world would have you believe that everyone interested in going hard and fast is on big wheels these days. Go any enduro event though – including the Enduro World Series – you’ll see the majority of people opting to stay with 2.5in wheels. Regardless, the Yeti SB 6 is a capable and fun rig.