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Yeti SB130 TURQ X01 Review

A fantastic trail bike that blends superb climbing abilities with fun and well-rounded downhill performance
Yeti SB130 TURQ X01
Photo: Jenna Ammerman
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $7,299 List | Check Price at Backcountry
Pros:  Excellent climbing abilities, impressive downhill performance, high fun factor, tremendous build kit
Cons:  Expensive, pivots came loose a few times during testing
Manufacturer:   Yeti Cycles
By Pat Donahue, Joshua Hutchens, Paul Tindal  ⋅  Nov 19, 2018
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90
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 21
  • Fun Factor - 25% 9.2
  • Downhill Performance - 35% 8.9
  • Climbing Performance - 35% 9.1
  • Ease of Maintenance - 5% 7

Our Verdict

The all-new Yeti SB130 is a swift-climbing trail bike that makes a tremendous daily driver. This bicycle is an excellent choice for a lot of riders who want a bike that can shred a wide-range of trails while retaining top-notch uphill abilities. Three testers spent six weeks riding this 130mm travel trail bike around the Sierra Nevada mountains to learn the key characteristics and important subtleties of this flashy new bicycle. The SB130 delivers high-end performance on all areas of the trail. Dialed geometry and top-of-the-line components allow this bike to climb as well, or better, than any mid-travel trail bike we have tested. Downhill performance is exceptionally fun and capable on all trails save for gnarly, enduro-grade, terrain. The lofty asking price can be a tough pill to swallow. That said, the spectacular on-trail performance certainly helps wash it down. Still, for the average rider who simply wants to get out on the trail, there are better options for your hard-earned dollar.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Yeti SB130 TURQ X01
Awards Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award 
Price $7,299 List
Check Price at Backcountry
$5,899 List$4,300 List$5,399 List
Check Price at Backcountry
$4,599 List
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Pros Excellent climbing abilities, impressive downhill performance, high fun factor, tremendous build kitOutstanding all around performance, more capable on the descents than its predecessor, great climber, excellent buildHighly adjustable geometry, adaptable for terrain or riding style, SWAT storage, plush suspension, very stable and confident descenderLightweight, playful, well-rounded, modern geometry, solid component specificationSuper competitive pricing, awesome build for the price, dialed modern geometry, confident descender
Cons Expensive, pivots came loose a few times during testingExpensive, still not a full-on enduro bike, a touch on the heavy sideOverkill for tame trails, Fox 36 Rhythm fork, moderate weightNot a brawler, Fox 34 fork can be overwhelmedActive rear suspension-more reliant on climb switch, Fezzari name may lack "coolness factor", annoying brake pad rattle
Bottom Line A fantastic trail bike that blends superb climbing abilities with fun and well-rounded downhill performanceThe new and improved Ripmo V2 is the best all-around trail bike we've ever testedA heavy-hitting longer travel trail bike with an innovative, highly adjustable geometryWe loved the old version, but believe it or not, the new Ibis Ripley is even betterA beautifully well-rounded mid-travel trail bike at a very competitive price
Rating Categories Yeti SB130 TURQ X01 Ibis Ripmo V2 XT Stumpjumper EVO Comp Ibis Ripley GX Eagle Fezzari Delano Peak...
Fun Factor (25%)
9.2
9.3
9.3
9.1
8.7
Downhill Performance (35%)
8.9
9.5
9.4
7.8
8.9
Climbing Performance (35%)
9.1
9.0
8.0
9.5
8.5
Ease Of Maintenance (5%)
7.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
Specs Yeti SB130 TURQ X01 Ibis Ripmo V2 XT Stumpjumper EVO Comp Ibis Ripley GX Eagle Fezzari Delano Peak...
Wheel size 29" 29" 29" 29" 29"
Suspension & Travel Switch Infinity - 130mm DW-Link - 147mm FSR - 150mm DW-Link - 120mm TetraLink - 135mm
Measured Weight (w/o pedals) 29 lbs 9 oz (Large) 31 lbs (Large) 31 lbs 14 oz (Large) 28 lbs 14 oz (Large) 30 lbs 5 oz (Large)
Fork Fox 36 Factory - 150mm 36mm stanchions Fox Float 36 Grip 2 Factory 160mm Fox 36 Rhythm - 160mm Fox Float 34 Performance 130mm 34mm stanchions Fox 36 Performance Elite, 150mm
Shock Fox DPX2 Factory Fox Float X2 Fox Float DPX2 Performance Fox Float Performance DPS EVOL Fox Float DPX2 Performance Elite
Frame Material Carbon Fiber "TURQ" Carbon Fiber FACT 11m Carbon Fiber Carbon Fiber CleanCast Carbon Fiber
Frame Size Large Large S4 (Large equivalent) Large Large
Frame Settings N/A N/A Flip Chip and Headtube angle N/A Flip Chip
Available Sizes S-XL S-XL S1-S6 S-XL S-XL
Wheelset DT Swiss M1700, 30mm ID w/ DT Swiss 350 hub Ibis S35 Aluminum rims with Ibis hubs, 35mm ID Roval 29 alloy rims with Shimano Centerlock hubs, 30mm id Ibis 938 Aluminum Rims 34mm ID w/ Ibis Hubs Stan's Flow S1 rims with Stan's Neo hubs
Front Tire Maxxis Minion DHF WT 29 x 2.5" Maxxis Assegai EXO+ 2.5" Specialized Butcher GRID TRAIL T9, 2.6" Schwable Hans Dampf 2.6" Maxxis Minion DHF EXO 29 x 2.5"
Rear Tire Maxxis Aggressor 29 x 2.3 Maxxis Assegai EXO+ 2.5" Specialized Eliminator GRID TRAIL T7, 2.3" Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2.6" Maxxis Aggressor EXO 29 x 2.5"
Shifters SRAM XO Eagle Shimano XT M8100 12-speed Shimano SLX 12-speed SRAM GX Eagle Shimano SLX
Rear Derailleur SRAM X0 Eagle Shimano XT M8100 Shadow Plus 12-speed Shimano SLX 12-speed SRAM GX Eagle Shimano XT 12-speed
Crankset SRAM X0 Eagle Carbon 30T Shimano XT M8100 32T Shimano SLX 170mm SRAM Descendant Alloy 32T Shimano XT M8100 32T
Saddle WTB Volt WTB Silverado Pro 142mm Specialized Bridge Comp WTB Silverado 142mm Ergon SM Stealth
Seatpost Fox Transfer 150mm Bike Yoke Revive (185mm size large) X-Fusion Manic 170mm (S4/S5), 34.9 diameter Bike Yoke Revive 160mm X-Fusion Manic
Handlebar Yeti Carbon - 780mm Ibis Adjustable Carbon 800mm (30mm rise) Specialized 6061 alloy, 30mm rise, 800mm width Ibis 780mm Alloy Fezzaru FRD Charger 35, 800mm
Stem RaceFace Aeffect R 35 Thomson Elite X4 Specialized Alloy Trail stem, 35mm bore Ibis 31.8mm 50mm Fezzaru FRD Charger 35
Brakes Shimano XT M8000 Shimano XT M8120 4-piston Shimano SLX 4-piston Shimano Deore 2 Piston Shimano XT 4-piston
Measured Effective Top Tube (mm) 628 632 625 625 613
Measured Reach (mm) 477 475 475 475 480
Measured Head Tube Angle 65.1-degrees 64.9-degrees 63-65.5 (adjustable) 66.5-degrees 65.4-degrees H/65-degrees L
Measured Seat Tube Angle 76.8-degrees 76-degrees 76.9-degrees 76.2-degrees 77.9-degrees H/77.5-degrees L
Measured Bottom Bracket Height (mm) 335 341 340 (adjustable with flip chips) 338 345
Measured Wheelbase (mm) 1231 1238 1247 1210 1234
Measured Chain Stay Length (mm) 438 435 438 (S1-S4) 434 434
Warranty Lifetime Seven Years Lifetime Seven Years Lifetime

Our Analysis and Test Results

The 2.5-inch Maxxis Minion DHF WT front tire provides excellent...
The 2.5-inch Maxxis Minion DHF WT front tire provides excellent cornering bite
Photo: Jenna Ammerman

Should I Buy This Bike?


The SB130 delivers high-end performance with an unmistakably high price tag. Yes, $7299 for our X01 TURQ bike is quite expensive. Fortunately for Yeti, the SB130 delivers excellent on-trail performance that is among the best mid-travel trail bikes we have ridden. Folks who value stellar climbing abilities will absolutely love this bike. The downhill performance is rock-solid, but this bike prefers a more finesse approach as opposed to straight-line, wagon-wheel, plowing. This bicycle is a tremendous option for a lot of riders in a lot of locations. That said, riders who don't need the absolute best performance should look elsewhere. There are bikes that cost nearly half the price that deliver 85% of the performance of this sleek Yeti.

Want a little more bike? The Ibis Ripmo is an aggressive trail bike that retains impressive climbing abilities. The Ripmo can pretty much match the feathery and ultra-efficient climbing skills of the SB130. On the descent, the Ripmo shreds. This 147mm 29er has a big and burly 160mm fork and aggressive angles that creates a confident and capable ride. The SB130 is an excellent mid-travel trail bike that can finesse its way down gnar. The Ripmo is a more aggressive trail bike that leans towards the enduro side of the spectrum and can plow through rocks much better than the Yeti. Carbon Ripmo build kits start at $4,399 and our XT build sells for $5,899.

The SB130 shreds hard on a huge range of terrain.
The SB130 shreds hard on a huge range of terrain.
Photo: Jenna Ammerman

Not looking to spend that much? The Fezzari Delano Peak is a good option to consider. Fezzari is a consumer-direct brand that brings serious value to the table. With 135mm of rear travel and a 150mm fork, it falls neatly into the mid-travel bracket with the SB130. The Delano Peak has a great modern geometry, a versatile well-rounded performance, and stability and composure at speed and in rough terrain on the descents. It can't quite match the exceptional climbing abilities of the Yeti, but it isn't terribly far off either. The Fezzari definitely beats the SB130 on price, however, with the Elite build we tested coming in at $4,500 with a great build kit.

29-inch wheels, 130mm of travel, and aggressive angles...we love it.
29-inch wheels, 130mm of travel, and aggressive angles...we love it.
Photo: Jenna Ammerman

Frame Design


The SB130 runs 29-inch wheels and is built around 130mm of rear-wheel travel. Yeti's Switch Infinity system features pivot and link approximately halfway up the seat tube on a bulge in the carbon. The main link and Switch unit is positioned just above, and slightly forward, of the bottom bracket. As the bike moves deep into its travel, the switch unit allows the rear triangle to move upward and alters the axle path. The Switch Infinity design delivers a nice balance of bump compliance, deep stroke support, and climbing efficiency.

We measured our large test bike. The effective top tube length is 628mm and the reach is 477mm. The head tube angle is 65.1-degrees and the seat tube angles is 76.8-degrees. The chainstays measure 438mm and the bottom bracket is 335mm off the ground. The wheelbase is 1231mm. Our bike hit the scales at 29 lbs 9 oz set up tubeless without pedals or crank boots.

The Switch unit allows the rear triangle to move upward as it moves...
The Switch unit allows the rear triangle to move upward as it moves deep into its travel. There is another stanchion hidden behind the frame.
Photo: Jenna Ammerman

Note: The 477mm reach measurement on our large bike may appear quite spacious. However, when it is paired with a steep seat tube angle, it isn't quite as airy as the number suggests. Our 6'1" - 6'2" tester would have been more comfortable on an extra-large frame.

Design Highlights

  • 130mm of rear wheel travel, designed around 150mm fork.
  • 29-inch wheels only
  • Boost spacing
  • Press Fit bottom bracket
  • Available in carbon fiber only.
  • Available in small-extra large
  • Build kits ranging from $5,199 to $9,199, frame-only for $3,500

The 150mm Fox 36 Factory fork is plush, yet supportive.
The 150mm Fox 36 Factory fork is plush, yet supportive.
Photo: Jenna Ammerman

Downhill Performance


The SB130 delivers ripping downhill performance on a wide range of terrain. Handling is sharp, steering is direct, and it is downright fun. This bicycle slays fast and flowy trails as well as reasonably chunky ones. It is possible to overwhelm the SB130 on steeper enduro-grade trails. Despite the meaty fork and slack geometry, it is worth mentioning that this is still a mid-travel trail bike. The SB130 doesn't share many ride characteristics with the outgoing Yeti SB5.5 despite relatively close geometry and travel figures.

This bicycle is stable and confident on fast and flow trails. It carries speed well, remains composed at blistering speeds, and rails berms. The SB130 never feels like overkill on tame or mellow trails and that is an indication of an excellent daily driver. On buff trails, the handling is sharp and the suspension is tight enough where it doesn't mute out smaller trail features. On chunkier trails, the SB130 stands up quite well. The Yeti has the angles and suspension to remain cool, calm, and collective on some pretty nasty trails. Things can get out of hand on particularly rowdy, enduro-grade, downhills. That said, it takes some truly gnarly or steep rock gardens to get to that point. All of this is to say that the SB130 delivers excellent downhill performance on the overwhelming majority of trails.

The Yeti is agile on technical trails.
The Yeti is agile on technical trails.
Photo: Jenna Ammerman

The measured 65.1-degree head tube paired with a 150mm Fox 36 and 2.5-inch Maxxis Minion DHF WT create a confident front end. The rear end delivers a nice balance of small bump compliance and big hit support. The small bump feel may not be as buttery as the outgoing SB5.5 but it is worlds better than the old SB4.5. Still, the Yeti smooths out the chatter effectively and a nice balance of suspension setup and tire pressure only enhances this. Big hit/deep stroke support is rock solid. At 25-30% sag, it takes a huge impact to blow through the rear travel.

It is 2018 and lines are being blurred. Short and mid-travel bikes can now deliver frighteningly capable and confident downhill performance. The Transition Scout is a great example of a 130mm trail bike that is exceptionally comfortable on rowdy trails. The Santa Cruz Hightower is another bike that can punch above its travel class and has a mini-enduro feel. Despite the aggressive geometry, burly fork and high end shock, the SB130 rides like a trail bike. Although the specs and geometry figures may suggest that it is a scaled down enduro bike, it doesn't ride that way. It feels worlds different then the ever-popular Yeti SB5.5. When you get on a burly line, the SB130 benefits greatly from a finesse approach and smart line choice. You can get into trouble if you try to simply point this bike down a gnar line. If you try to simply aim it, this bike can get away from you and start kicking off line pretty easily. Not good. Instead, it prefers to be ridden like the trail bike that it is and be sliced and diced down the hill.

This bicycle benefits from a little bit of finesse. It is not a...
This bicycle benefits from a little bit of finesse. It is not a plower.
Photo: Jenna Ammerman

The SB130 is nimble and corners quite well. The 29.5-pound bike is easy to yank over obstacles. Despite the longer 1231mm wheelbase, it is easy to load up the rear suspension and hop in and out of lines. The 2.5-inch Minion DHF hooks up very well and backs up the riders aggressive movements.

The component grouping is pretty dialed with one exception. The DT Swiss M1700 wheelset is a disappointing specification on a bike that sells for $7,299. If you grab the seatpost with one hand and place your other hand on the top of the rear wheel, you can visibly flex these wheels fairly hard. When you are pushing through corners, they feel a little vague. The freehub has poor engagement and can create a loud clanking noise when in its the dead spot and your descending through chunder. Still, DT Swiss makes it easy to upgrade the star ratchet system for better engagement for about $100.

The rear suspension is progressive and offers nice deep stroke...
The rear suspension is progressive and offers nice deep stroke support on larger impacts.
Photo: Jenna Ammerman

The Fox 36 Factory fork is fantastic. The fork is exceptionally smooth, plush and supportive. The DPX2 rear shock is impressive and offers enough adjustability without being overwhelming. Shimano XT brakes are superb and offer excellent braking power. The 2.3-inch Maxxis Aggressor is a little narrow. It rolls fast and works well, but a wider tire would allow you to run a lower pressure and maybe eek out a some extra traction and damping. According to Yeti, the max rear tire size is 2.5-inches.

The Yeti is an incredible climber balancing excellent efficiency and...
The Yeti is an incredible climber balancing excellent efficiency and impressive traction.
Photo: Jenna Ammerman

Climbing Performance


The SB130 is an exceptional climber. In fact, it is among the best climbing trail bikes we have ridden. This bicycle sets you up in an excellent position to transfer power to the cranks and the suspension design beautifully balances an efficient pedal platform with an active feel for superb traction. The build kit is impressive on the uphill.

The Yeti puts you in a position to grind uphill effectively and painlessly. The 76.8-degree seat tube angle puts you in a nice position right over the bottom bracket. This positioning allows for comfortable and efficient transfer of power to the cranks. The 477mm reach measurement may seem spacious, but there is an interesting quirk emerging these days. As seat tube angles become steeper and steeper, the rider is shifted slightly more forward on the bike. Since the rider is being forced forward, the feel of the reach shrinks even though the measurement is long. The SB130 feels just a little cramped in the top tube. Riders above 6'1" may be better off an an extra large frame. This short-feeling reach sets you up in an upright position and doesn't stretch you out.

Despite a slack head tube angle, the front end doesn't wander on...
Despite a slack head tube angle, the front end doesn't wander on steep climbs.
Photo: Jenna Ammerman

The Switch Infinity suspension delivers an excellent climbing feel. It strikes a perfect balance of efficiency and traction. In the open shock position, the SB130 has a little bit of movement under seated pedaling loads. This suspension movement delivers nice amounts traction over roots and rocks as it keeps the tire in contact with the ground. The axle path is dialed and the rear wheel doesn't feel like it wants to get hung up on a ledgy climbs. We would suggest leaving the shock in the open position in most situations save for fireroad or cement climbs.

Uphill handling is excellent. Given this bike's wheelbase, it isn't the best for ultra tight and twisty climbs. Aside from that, it navigates anything you put in front of it with ease. The feathery, lightweight, feel really delivers when you need to punch up and over a technical pitch or muscle through a problem. Despite the slack-ish head tube angle, the front wheel was well behaved and didn't want to wander.

The Yeti does not need its climb switch save for super buff trails...
The Yeti does not need its climb switch save for super buff trails or road climbs.
Photo: Jenna Ammerman

The SB130 is among the best climbers we have had the pleasure of suffering on. The shorter-travel Pivot 429 and Specialized Stumpjumper were also tremendously effective climbers. We may give the Trail 429 the edge in outright efficiency while the SB130 is superior on rougher or technical trails climbs.

The components were excellent on the climb. The SRAM X0 Eagle drivetrain was quite impressive. We have ridden plenty of bikes with a GX Eagle drivetrain and unfortunately, the more expensive X01 drivetrain really is that much better. Shifting was crisp, the lever feel was great, the carbon cranks were light and stiff. If you climb a lot of loose and steep trails, you might want to consider swapping the Maxxis Aggressor rear tire. It rolls fast and is light, but if you stand up to punch it on steep and loose or gravely trails, the rear tire can spin.

Photo Tour


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Value


It can be difficult to call a bike with a price tag that is north of $7000 a strong value. Yes, this bike is expensive, but it delivers an indisputably high-end ride. The SB130 can climb with the best of them and descend as well as any mid-travel 29er. The components are top-notch and the wheelset is the only questionable specification. Despite its price tag, the SB130 X01 TURQ delivers a solid value for the right buyer.

The stock DT Swiss wheels are a little flexy. That said, it isn't a...
The stock DT Swiss wheels are a little flexy. That said, it isn't a crippling problem.
Photo: Jenna Ammerman

Conclusion


Yeti hit a homerun with the SB130. Yes this bike is expensive, but there is no denying that it delivers top-tier performance. Riders who don't demand the absolute best performance will likely want to look elsewhere. There are plenty of significantly less expensive bikes that deliver 85% of the performance of this boutique bike. That said, if you value a high-end ride, the Yeti SB130 delivers. Climbing is efficient, downhill performance is capable, and this bicycle offers a high fun-factor.

Pat Donahue, Joshua Hutchens, Paul Tindal