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Have you ever ridden a bike that just completely blows your expectations out of the water? Well, I’ve had two of these over the last year. The Rocky Mountain Altitude was the first, and the other, well, it was this little thing, the Yeti SB130 Lunch Ride. Sure, I’ve really enjoyed a bunch of other excellent bikes as well, but these two really stood apart from the rest.
My favorite thing about the SB130 is the geometry. The length of the front end just feels right- it’s one of the longest bikes I’ve ridden, but it’s also one of the best cornering. The head angle is spot on- not the slackest on paper, but with the long front end, it’ll hold just about any line to which you’re willing to commit. Combined with the unique feel of the rear suspension, this bike feels like a bobsled that can hover aboard the trail and re-set it’s direction when needed. Note that I’m riding the “Lunch Ride” version of the bike, which has a 160mm travel Fox 36 Grip2 fork. The rear sports 137mm of travel with the DPX2 shock.
I’ll post a full review as I can continue to log miles on this bike, but I’ve already ridden this bike in three states so I’ll give you a few thoughts now.
On flow trails, the bike rides like a canoe down a stream, gracefully gliding through the turns and with really solid mannerisms on takeoffs and landings. The rear suspension of the SB130 is unlike anything I’ve ridden before. It’s more supportive from rider inputs, and bone stock, this shock set up is plenty progressive for my needs.
I notice geometry far more than suspension- that’s been the case for me for 20 years now. And yes, your suspension can heavily influence the geometry, so they do go hand in hand. However, I would not advise a buying a bike with no reason beyond the particular rear suspension system that’s present. Sizing and geometry is king. Keep in mind, we’re discussing a short travel, trail/enduro bike here. Once rear travel gets to ~160mm or more, the differences will become more significant. That said, I have been getting along great with the “switch infinity” system on the Yeti. More importantly, the native compression ratio of the bike is EXCELLENT. It provides a great bit of end stroke ramp up. In fact, for the first time in years, I haven’t had to open this rear shock up to see how many more volume reducers I’ll need to add- I don’t need to add ANY at all. Yeti really got the progressivity right on this bike.
At only 160mm, the Fox 36 RC2 fork isn’t anything huge- I’ve been on a 170mm 36 fork on my Ripmo and a 170mm 38 fork on the Altitude. But the extra frame length of the SB130LR makes it feel almost as capable as that Altitude. The SB130 is clearly not intended to compete with the Altitude, so I shouldn’t make that comparison, but I sorta can’t stop raving about both of those bikes, so bear with me.
But what makes the SB130 really special is the feel through the rocks. That long wheelbase feels so stable and safe, and really allows for comfort at scary high speeds. The rear suspension of the bike has enough forgiveness to take the edge off the rough stuff, then it ends up riding the rear wheel pretty high in the stroke, which keeps the wheel from dropping down into the bumps. The sensation was that I was riding on the top edges of the bumps and rocks, never getting too deep into the travel on the rough. I’ve been loving that, as it means there’s enough travel on tap when there’s a drop off or big landing.
In regard to the frame’s carbon layup and torsional rigidity, I’m going to withhold any judgement until I get some rides in with my normal 32 spoke Industry Nine wheels. I’ve been trying some 24h Enduro 315 wheels, which use a carbon We Are One rim along with the aluminum I9 spoke system and a Hydra hub. Since this is a new set up for me, I’ll swap it with my usual 32h Enduro 315 wheels and can then comment on stiffness.
This bike corners amazing, and it actually rewards an aggressive hand, allowing additional cornering prowess to come out when pushed hardest. This has been a total treat- I haven’t felt a cornering confidence like this in a while now! This long, slack bikes responds awesome to leaning, pumping, and cutties. With the smaller 2.4 rear tire, that all makes sense, too. When the back end breaks free, it’s nicely predictable.
If you want to learn more about the Yeti SB130, I have a link kere to Jenson USA. Anything you purchase from Jenson will directly help suppor my channel, so thanks in advance. Thanks for your time!