With summer in full swing and our focus shifting to backwoods adventures coupled with lakeside hangouts, we’ve found ourselves reminiscing over bikes past and present. Harnessing the power of this nostalgia, we’ll revisit some of our favourite builds and brands from over the years. The first stop on our spin down memory lane brings us to the brand Yeti and the models BSC staff have had the pleasure of riding.
Yeti (not the cooler company) has been producing handmade, race bred machines since the mid-80’s. Yeti’s ethos of rider-driven development and passion for performance produces unique and innovative designs that you won’t find elsewhere. Since the brand’s inception in 1985, Yeti’s constant innovation has propelled mountain bike technology forward. From oversized alloy tubing in the ’90s, to the iconic Zero Loss suspension on DH bikes and modern-day developments such as the superb Switch Infinity system, Yeti has built its reputation on blazing the trail.
Way back in 2015, long before pandemics and global bike shortages, BSC began its partnership with Yeti. Parker was fast to hop aboard an iconically turquoise steed, opting for the Yeti ASR-C (Active Suspension Racing- Carbon). Thankfully, Yeti put much more energy into the bike’s design than the name. The ASR-C was ahead of its time, effectively creating the space now dubbed “down country”. Achieving a seemingly impossible feat, the ASR-C is a capable cross-country bike that shreds as hard on the downs as on the ups! Featuring four inches (101mm) of rear travel and a ludicrously light one-piece rear end, the ASR-C was Parker’s weapon of choice for XC racing, hot laps in the Dump, or staring pensively at the brick wall behind the shop.
Flash Forward to 2017, wider tires are gaining traction and the progressive geometry movement is in full swing, with bikes getting longer and slacker. Cue the Yeti SB5+. Borrowing geometry from the SB5, the SB5+ showcased the wide rubber and rims at the forefront of MTB design. People seemed to enjoy the cushy traction, as bikes these days all have space for big tires and wider rims!
Resident tall guy and chat master, Andrew Flowers meticulously spec’d out his SB5+ in 2017 to be a do-it-all trail bike. At the heart of the bike is Yeti’s TURQ series carbon frame; the TURQ designation means this bike is seriously light and stiff, with Yeti using all their carbon engineering knowledge to shave grams wherever possible! Yeti continues the TURQ series of bikes to this day for bikes such as the SB130. Other bling bits on this build included a pink Chris King headset, pink Industry 9 hubs and a very rare, pink Straitline seat post collar. Rounded out with some gold Kashima stanchions to match the Switch Infinity link near the BB (more on those later), this rig was ready for anything Island riding had to throw at it!
Roll forward to present day, Yeti has ditched imperial measurements and continues to push the boundaries of bike design in their latest enduro race bike, the SB150. Designed for EWS racing’s gnarliest tracks, 150mm of supportive rear travel is sure to inspire confidence in any rider!
Max Gallant, BSC’s golden retriever in spirit, has had the pleasure of riding the 150 and putting it through its paces. From techy moves in the dump to flat out sections in Gnarnaimo, the SB150 inspired Max to go fast (faster than he should have) in all situations. Yeti utilized their property Switch Infinity suspension system on the SB150, giving this shred sled its distinctive well supported, bottomless feel, while still offering plenty of traction. The biggest surprise of the 150 is its climbing prowess, pair the 150 with some grippy rubber and a big cassette, you’ll be able to winch yourself to the top of near-vertical rock faces. Max finished his SB150 build off with a plethora of robust parts. Suspension duties were taken care of by a Fox Factory 38 fork and X2 rear shock, while it rolled on the ever-reliable Santa Cruz reserve wheels (a shop favourite for anyone looking to go big). Max finished off the build with Hope 4 pot brakes and the crisp-shifting XT 8010 12 speed drivetrain.
Stop by the shop if you want to chat about Yetis past, present, or future and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for our next spin down memory lane!