2012 Yeti SB66 Enduro Mountain Bike Review

Yeti SB66 Enduro

Yeti SB66 Enduro as been one of our most popular bikes for years. It’s extremely versatile – built up with lightweight wheels and a triple crank set, it feels like a cross-country bike with loads of travel. Throw on burlier wheels, a single chainring, and a longer travel fork and the bike is transformed into an all-mountain machine.

Yeti SB66 Enduro

They call it the Super Bike. Really, they do. Yeti, a mountain bike company based in Colorado, shook the mountain bike world with their SB66. The SB, of course, stands for Super Bike, and the 66 represents 26 inch wheels with six inches of travel in the suspension. But what really makes this bike “super,” is the revolutionary frame that has what they call Switch Technology in the rear suspension. It’s a complicated mess to explain, but essentially the Switch Technology it is a dual-link suspension that relies on a concentric sealed-bearing pivot/micro-link that the main pivot actuates on a pivot within a pivot. Did you get all that?

Yeti SB66 Enduro Switch Technology Dual Pivot. (Photo: Jared Hargrave)

I first took the Yeti SB66 Enduro to the Emigration Canyon trailhead for some leisurely riding on the Shoreline Trail, then up Dry Creek and back. The beginning of the ride starts out very steep, which is a great place to test the climbing prowess of a bike. I’d read other reviews that trumpet the climbing abilities of the SB66 Enduro, even going as far as comparing it to a hardtail 29er. While I wouldn’t go quite that far, I was seriously giddy with the lack of pedal bob when rapidly pumping my legs to get to the top. Pedal bob is the nemesis of everyone riding a full suspension as that rear shock absorbs every pedal stroke, seriously killing momentum. But the with the Yeti SB66, that dual pivot kicks in as soon as it senses the increased forces in the chain.

Ok, so uphill is great and all, but mountain biking is really about the down, and boy does the Yeti SB66 Enduro perform. The Enduro model I rode comes with Fox Float RP32 shocks that have 150mm of travel, more than enough for killing any rocks, roots and ruts that lay in its path. A slack head tube (67 degrees) also angles the front tire in a way that makes the bike feel more stable, and inspires confidence that you would have to actually try to go over the handlebars. But compared to other bikes I’ve ridden, stability is the number-one aspect that made me smile wide when zipping around banked turns on the Bobsled, or jumping the bike over berms on the Rush Trail in Corner Canyon. Not once did I feel any felxing in the frame, or rattling of parts when the going got rough. Cornering is a dream as the bikes relative light weight allowed me to make tight turns with instant reaction.

Yeti SB66 Enduro- (Photo: Jared Hargrave)

However, on the race course, the Yeti SB66 Enduro shined. Sure, she didn’t climb quite as fast as the single-speed 29ers, but she did climb much better than any full suspension bike I’ve ever demoed, and once on the downhill, I thanked my stars that I was on my Yeti as she devouered terrain that made the competition slow down to a crawl. In a nutshell, I may have looked foolish racing on the Yeti SB66, but I sure didn’t feel like it.

I have few complaints with the Yeti SB66 Enduro, except that the bike feels really low… and it is. The bike is very low to the ground, which is by design. The lower profile allows the bikes to stick to corners and be more reactive with better ground-feel for the rider. I get that, and can feel the difference. But one drawback is that I get a lot more pedal strikes on rocks as a result. Not a huge issue, but I foresee a future when I’ll be replacing my pedals more often.

Yeti SB66 Enduro-(Photo: Jared Hargrave )

Overall, the Yeti SB66 Enduro not only made riding easier, it also turned me into a better mountain biker. The stability, climbing ability, amazing downhill performance, and the unprecedented dual-link design mix together to create a do-it-all bike that straddles the lines of downhill, cross-country and all-mountain bikes. Yes, I’d say the Yeti SB66 is can really be called a Super Bike as it really is a bike that can do it all.

Yeti SB66 Enduro- Ridding (Photo: Jared Anderton)

Specs  Yeti Enduro :

Frame Material: aluminum
Suspension: Switch Technology
Pivot Type: cartridge bearing
Rear Travel: 6 in
Rear Shock: Fox Float RP23 (high-volume Kashima-coated Factory Series)
Headset: 1.125 – 1.5 in Cane Creek 40
Rear Axle: 135 x 10 mm quick-release
Fork: Fox Float FIT RLC (Kashima-coated, tapered steerer tube)
Front Travel: 150 mm
Wheelset: DT Swiss M1900
Front Derailleur: SRAM X.7
Rear Derailleur: SRAM X.9 (10-speed)
Shifters: SRAM X.7
Crankset: SRAM X.7
Chain Rings: 22 / 33 / 42 t
Crank Arm Length: (medium) 175 mm
Bottom Bracket: SRAM GXP
Brake Levers: Avid Elixir 5
Brake Calipers: Avid Elixir 5
Rear Rotor: 160 mm
Front Rotor: 185 mm
Handlebar: TruVativ Stylo Race
Handlebar Width: 680 mm
Handlebar Rise: low
Grips: Yeti lock-on
Stem: TruVativ Stylo
Chain: SRAM 1051
Cassette: 11 – 36 T SRAM PG-1050

For more information, visit YetiCycles.com


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