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First Look: 2021 Yeti SB115

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The SB100 was released two years ago, a short travel rig that was aimed at XC riders looking for something a little different than a pure-bred race machine. It wouldn’t be a stretch to call it a downcountry bike, and Mike Levy did just that in his review, inadvertently putting a name on a category that seems to have stuck.

The new SB115 is cut from the same cloth as the SB115 (literally – the two models share the same front triangle and swingarm). It’s closer to one of Yeti’s Lunch Ride creations, where they take an existing model, eke a little more travel out of it and adjust the build kit accordingly, as opposed to being something that was developed entirely from scratch. That extra travel comes via a new shock link as well as a longer stroke shock that measures 190 x 45mm.

Yeti SB115

• Intended use: cross-country / trail
• Wheel size: 29”
• Rear wheel travel: 115mm
• Fork travel: 130mm
• 67.6-degree head angle
• Switch Infinity suspension
• Carbon front and rear triangles
• Weight: 27.17 lb / 12.3 kg (T2 model, size L)
• MSRP: $4,700 – $8,000
• Frame MSRP: $3,400 USD

That 115mm of rear travel is paired with a 130mm fork. According to Yeti’s press materials, that’s because their “115mm of rear suspension outperforms similar travel forks.” Sure, the Switch Infinity suspension design works really well, but that sentence made me roll my eyes. The Switch Infinity suspension layout uses two Kashima-coated rails to control the bike’s axle path – Pinkbike’s Dan Roberts recently wrote an in-depth article that provides more insight into how the system works. On the SB115 (and the SB100) the rails are positioned next to each other, a 90-degree difference from the orientation used on Yeti’s longer travel bikes.

A 130mm Fox 34 puts the head angle at 67.6-degrees, a smidge slacker than the SB100’s 67.8-degree head tube angle. The reach on a size large measure 450mm, and the seat angle is 74-degrees.

Those number are a touch conservative compared to bikes like the recently launched Specailized Epic Evo and the Revel Ranger; they’re more in line with the numbers found on the Cannondale Scalpel SE. What’s that translate to out on the trail? Well, all of those bikes, along with Transition’s new short travel option, were put to the test during our recent XC Field Test – you’ll be able to watch and read our findings in the near future.

The SB115 build kits reflect its more all-around intentions. All models come with a 50mm stem and 780mm handlebar, along with four piston brakes and a 2.5” Maxxis Minion DHF / 2.3” Maxxis Aggressor tire combo.

The frame alone is priced at $3,400, with complete bikes starting at $4,700 USD for the C1 model, which uses a slightly heavier frame than the Turq series models. The C1 has Shimano SLX 12-speed drivetrain, Fox Performance 34 fork, and DT Swiss M1900 wheelset.

At the other end of the price scale is the T3 version, which has a SRAM XX1 drivetrain, Fox Factory suspension, and DT Swiss XM1700 wheels. Want to get even fancier? There’s also the option to upgrade to SRAM’s AXS wireless drivetrain or DT Swiss’ carbon wheels.

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