Editor’s Note: With these Ride Impressions Twenty Nine Inches riders do not imply that these bicycles are ultimately good, bad, or indifferent for you. We do mean to convey through our many hours of riding lots of different 29 inch wheeled bicycles over a period of years to give you, the reader, an indication of what you might expect from these new rigs. In other words, this ain’t no review, but hopefully it points you in the right direction.

Yeti SB 95 Ride Impressions: by Grannygear

I was quite excited to get onto the newest Yeti with the Switch rear suspension and I took my place in line at the Demo Days booth and waited..and waited…and…well, waited. To say that the SB 95 was popular is an understatement for sure, but finally I got an XL ready to go out of the gate. I liked the set-up of the shorter stem and wide bar and after some intro into shock settings, I was off.


My focus this Demo Days was on the latest 120mm bikes (and two 100mm bikes too) so several bikes had already been ridden (and one was still to come) so the Yeti had some work to do. Within the first 100 feet I knew I was in ‘like‘. By the time I was halfway through the loop I was in love. When I was headed back to the Yeti tent I was wondering how much one of these would cost me (and I know it would not be cheap). Yeah, I think it is that good.

For one thing, keep in mind that poor set-up can make or break a test ride of 30 minutes in duration. Even a poor stem or handlebar choice can tilt a ride into the so-so zone, so I have to say that this bike fit me perfectly. But beyond that, it was just so darn dialed feeling. I was going very fast on a difficult trail nearly right away, in fact it was like I had been riding it for days. The only other bike that came off that way to me was a DW link Turner I rode at Demo Days a couple of years ago and in my opinion this Yeti spanks the DW rear end as far as inspiring you to go fast down the trail. Like most good designs these days, whether by pivot placement or shock platform or both, the pedaling was steady and smooth and just slightly firm. In that it was more like the Horsethief which I had already ridden, but the Yeti was just a bit spunkier feeling and the shorter rear end made it simple to loft the front and carry it over rollers and such. Jumps and dips were a hoot. Yeah, buddy. The wheels were clad with 2.1 Racing Ralphs and not some 2.3 trail tire like the Horsethief had, so credit some of the speed to a light rubber choice. I doubt that many riders would choose that tire on a 120mm trail bike, so keep that in mind.


120mm of travel on this bike felt like a bit more and I was hitting some of the moderate drops on the loop with not even a wiggle and rocketing over the top of the following climb. After just riding the FSR 130mm Project Long Legged XC at Mammoth Mtn Bike Park, I would have guessed the Yeti had more than 120mm if I had not known better. I was told that the suggested limits of fork travel are still being discussed so whether or not you can go to 130mm or 140mm is up in the air as of test day.

So what did I not like? Well that 2.1 Racing Ralph was already looking snug in that chainstay. Having a short rear end is good (to a point) but the price seems to be a lack of room for a truly big trail tire. I am not sure if the 2.3 Geax Sturdy I have on the FSR test bike would even fit (it barely fits on the FSR). There is only one bottle cage mount, but that is common these days.

Other than that? Well, Yetis are expensive, so expect to pay a lot more than say, the Salsa 120mm Horsethief. A lot more. But price is still being decided as I was told. Now whether that extra cost is worth it to you is for you to decide and really, although the intent of the two bikes are the same, the average audience may not be. This is a boutique frame in the way that Turners and Ellsworths and Ibis are so they cost a bit to play. But if I were writing a check today and I had the clams in the bank, I would have Yeti Cycles on the ‘PAY TO THE ORDER OF’ line.

And Now…. A short video/interview with Stretch from Yeti and Luke from Sotto Design: Click Here

Stay tuned for the Salsa Cycles Horsethief ride impressions and more coming soon!