You've seen the spyshots, now find out how the new Yeti SB160 rides.

Product Overview

Yeti SB160 T1


  • Great shape and feel. Big bike suspension with efficient pedalling characteristics. Lots of little tweaks that make it a little better.


  • If you’re racing you’ll need a Double Down casing rear tyre. It’s spendy. Heavier than the SB150.


Yeti SB160 T1 first ride review


Price as reviewed:


The first generation Yeti SB150 was an instant classic and one of the best enduro bikes of its time, winning our hearts and minds from the very first pedal stroke. So can the latest SB160 follow in its father’s footsteps?

Need to know 

  • Same, same but different: The new SB160 get 10mm more travel
  • Switch Infinity suspension has been updated with improved reliability
  • New compact wishbone and ultra-compact link
  • Five frame size with size specific chainstays from 337mm to 445mm in 2mm increments
  • Captured cable guides eliminate rattle and rub
  • Prices start at £7,299 for C2 model 
Yeti SB160

To Switch Infinity and beyond! The parallel sliders live on, despite Yeti’s e-bike adopting the new Sixfinity design.

Every frame design has a shelf life. In the past, brands would typically let the same model run for three years before refreshing it. But in the current climate, it seems like two years is all you get from a design before it falls from favour. Fast fashion? To a degree, yes, as the frame designs don’t actually change that much year to year. And when they do, it’s often more about making the new model standout from the noise, rather than showcasing a genuinely innovative design.

Yeti SB160

Twisted shock link drives a Fox Float X2.

So the fact that Yeti managed to get four good years out of the SB150 platform, goes to show just how right the original was. Thanks to Richie Rude, it also has the race results to prove it. And if everyone wasn’t expecting a new version to drop 12 months ago, sales probably wouldn’t have started to wane on the SB150. Because, let’s face it, no one wants to buy the outgoing model, especially when the frame price alone is north of £4k.

And while we’re talking money, I would have bet the farm on Yeti switching to the six-bar Sixfinity suspension design that it recently introduced on the 160E. And I’d have lost it all, as the latest SB160 retains Yeti’s signature Switch Infinity design. 

Yeti SB160

Same coveted head badge, new internal cable routing.

The obvious pattern to the evolution is that the bike gets 10mm more frame travel than the model it replaces, but there are some subtle changes too that run through the range. Like the switch to threaded bottom brackets, shorter shock links and size specific chainstay lengths. The bike also features size specific seat angles, which should make a big difference to the climbing characteristics, especially on the larger frame sizes.

Yeti SB160

Sneaky cost-cutting in the shape of a pinned SRAM cassette.

Yeti has long been a proponent of having more fork travel than frame travel on its SB bikes. And that’s because a 170mm fork that’s attached to a 64º head angle only gives about 150mm of vertical travel. So on the SB150 the 170mm fork balanced travel perfectly. So has fork travel increased on SB160 to compensate. In short, no. And that’s probably because there’s a limit to how short you can make the head tube to offset taller forks. Also, given that you tend to run more sag on the rear suspension than the fork, typically 30% vs 20% the new bikes should still feel very balanced. 

Yeti SB160

Turq indicates the top carbon lay-up.

So what else has changed? Looking back though my notes when I tested the SB150 in 2019, it’s clear that the weight has crept up by almost 2kg, to 15.91kg. Some of that weight increase is due to the beefier Fox 38 fork, bigger rotors, tougher EXO+ casing tyres and the addition of a chain guide. So all positive changes that make the bike even more fit for purpose. Less acceptable is the cheaper and heavier pinned SRAM GX 12-speed cassette. 

Yeti SB160

Threaded BB shell will keep mechanics smiling.

The cable routing has also been modified, where anchor points on the main pivot eliminate cable rub and rattle. Suspension pivots all run standard size cartridge bearings where the T series models also get improved sealing, bearings and hardware on the Switch Infinity assembly, arguably the Achilles’ heel of the old bike. 

Yeti SB160

Size specific chainstays are a new addition, but only vary by 2mm between sizes.

In terms of geometry, the SB160 is half a degree slacker in the head angle, a full degree steeper in the seat angle, 8mm higher at the BB and almost 20mm longer in the wheelbase than the SB150 I tested. And while brands like Specialized and Trek are adding ever increasing amounts of adjustment, there’s not so much as a flip-chip on the SB160. The seat tube is also a little shorter, which makes it easier to fit a longer stroke dropper post.

So probably the biggest difference from the SB150 that I tested back in 2019 is that the price has shot up from £7,199 to £8,999, which, to be fair, is inline with everything else. 

Yeti SB160

Putting the SB160 through its paces on the trails of Exmoor.

How it rides

For a big travel bike the SB160 masks its weight and suspension travel remarkably well. And it only took a couple of pedal strokes before I was reminded why I fell head over heels in love with the original SB150. 

Just like its predecessor, when you stomp on the cranks the SB160 reacts with all the eagerness you’d expect of a high-level race bike. Which in turn makes you feel fitter and stronger than you really are. As such, the SB160 makes relatively light work of climbs and when you do need to inject some pace into flatter trails, or maintain speed against the clock, the bike reacts with gusto. 

Yeti SB160

The new Yeti SB160 is still a bike focused on racing, rather than comfort.

Now, I’ve read other reviews where test riders have gushed about the ultra-plus suspension on the SB150. And while I’d agree that the suspension is very effective at carrying speed, ultra-plush it ain’t. And it’s the same on the SB160. You feel very connected to the ground, so you know exactly what’s going on beneath your tyres, but when it’s super rough and fast, it can feel a little like information overload. 

And that’s not a slight on Yeti’s Switch Infinity suspension, it’s just a consequence of having a bike with 162mm travel, yes, I measured it, that pedals so darn well. It’s also what allows the SB160 to hold its shape when the terrain beneath you is anything but straight line. 

I also like the fact that the Switch Infinity rear suspension isn’t super progressive so you can actually use the available travel without the Fox Float X2 shock choking up on bigger hits. Yeti’s no compromise approach means the SB160 is optimised for an air shock, rather than claiming its coil and air compatible, but optimised for neither.


So in terms of suspension response, the SB160 feels very similar to the SB150, just a bit more capable. That’s not to say that both bikes are identical though. That extra 20mm in the wheelbase and extra travel on the size L SB160 when compared to the size L SB150 definitely adds some straight line stability and speed, but it also makes the SB160 feel bigger and less agile on tight, steep, twisty trails. Cutting the 800mm bar down to 780mm and swapping the 50mm stem for a 42.5mm helped me duck and weave a little faster, but for the very first time I would maybe consider downsizing to the medium SB160 just to reel in the wheelbase a touch. And before anyone accuses me of simply copying Richie Rude, his current size M SB160 is only 5mm shorter in wheelbase than the old size L SB150. So if anything, he’s catching up with me, right?


Frame:T1 carbon, 160mm travel
Shock:Fox Float X2 Factory
Fork:Fox 38 Float Factory, 170mm travel
Wheels:DT Swiss hubs, EX1700 30mm rims, Maxxis Assegai/Minion DHR II 29 x2.5/2.4in EXO+ tyres
Drivetrain:SRAM X1 Carbon 30t chainset, SRAM XO1 derailleur and GX 12sp shifter and 10-52t cassette
Brakes:SRAM Code RSC 220/200mm
Components:Yeti 800mm carbon bar, Burgtec Enduro MK3 50mm stem, Fox Transfer 200mm post, WTB Silverado Custom saddle
Sizes:S, M, L, XL, XXL
Weight:15.91kg (35.1lb)
Size ridden:L
Rider height:5ft 11in
Head angle:63.9º
Seat angle:72.9º
Effective seat angle:77.1º (@ 750mm)
BB height:351mm
Front centre:827mm
Down tube:750mm
Seat tube:445mm
Top tube:620mm