Bike Check: Yeti SB4.5c


Bike Check: Yeti’s SB 4.5c

Yeti turned heads when they first introduced their Switch Infinity suspension design, developed in conjunction with Fox Racing Shox. Initially limited to the 27.5″ wheeled versions, the rowdier SB5c and SB6c, Yeti’s recently expanded the SB lineup to include more aggressive 29″ bikes, the SB 4.5c and SB 5.5c.  The SB 4.5c is designed to be an aggressive 29″ bike that can handle anything from XC racing to ‘out there’ back country trail riding, to full on Enduro racing. Based in Golden, Colorado, Yeti is well placed to design and test a bike for all of the above conditions, directly out their back door. Add to this their 3 decades of experience designing and building bikes that push the  limits of mountain bike technology and it’s easy to see how their bikes develop a loyal, borderline cult-ish following: the Yeti Tribe. Not that Yeti is relaxing, or banking on past success: they continue to push to produce better, faster bikes capable of topping the podium at any Enduro World Series event. For the second year running, Richie Rude has ridden a Yeti to win the EWS overall in dominant fashion, and with an insane amount of raw style.


With everything from XC to Enduro in the SB 4.5c’s ‘intended use’ spectrum, it’s definitely pushing the boundaries of a normal ‘trail’ bike. An aggressive 140mm of front wheel travel is paired with 114mm (4.5″) rear travel and modern long-and-low geometry, including a slack 67.4 degree head angle, produces a bike that still excels at climbing anything you put in front of it, while absolutely destroying high speed descents on the way back down. Yeti’s fanatic attention to detail, and years of frame design experience, produce a sub-30 lbs. machine that’ll keep you riding on even the most absurd all-day backcountry adventures, or at the sharp end of your next steep, BC technical XC race.


A proper metal headbadge from one of the biggest names in mountain biking


Definitely pushing the ‘trail’ category, a 140mm Fox 34 has plenty of room for bigger tyres


Yeti has a long history of small, very successful race teams. From XC, to DH, and now Enduro


The classic Yeti yeti, still crushing after all these years


Like all Yeti’s, the SB 4.5c has incredibly smooth lines throughout


Yeti’s smooth lines make for a very tidy looking back end to the SB 4.5c


Yeti’s nailed all the little details on the SB 4.5c – like chainstay guards that wrap up to the seat stays


Fox 34 Factory 140mm Boost equipped fork definitely helps push the ‘trail’ bike category


A 12 x 148mm thru-axle is neatly tucked into the rear triangle


Fox’s Kashima coated Float shock gives 4.5″ of rear wheel travel


SRAM’s reworked Guide brakes mounted to the stylish Yeti rear triangle


Yeti’s Golden, Colorado home means these bikes have been tested on some big mountains


Yeti’s one of the older names in mountain biking. Bikes looked a bit different in ’85


The smooth swooping lines of Yeti’s Switch Infinity linkage


Very tidy internal routing for all the SB 4.5c’s cables, from dropper to derailleur


A closer look inside the Switch Infinity box at the dual Kashima-coated rail system from Fox


Side view of the Switch Infinity, with insanely clever hydro-routing for the rear brake


Yeti worked together with Fox to develop the Switch Infinity linkage


A solid bit of frame protection, and up-to standard Boost 148mm spacing on the SB4.5c


Plenty of protection against wayward rocks and debris


As a whole, the SB 4.5c’s rear triangle is one good looking piece of carbon


Yeti’s built the SB 4.5c up with a full SRAM GX 1x drivetrain


SRAM’s narrow wide tooth pattern has worked it’s way down to the GX level


SRAM’s GX wide range clutch derailleur


Enjoying a bit of a renaissance, North Vancouver’s Race Face outfits the SB 4.5c’s cockpit


60mm Race Face stem, and carbon spacers — little thing’s get the SB 4.5c it’s light weight