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Shred Magazine tested the Yeti SB-66 alloy bike which features Yeti's own Switch technology to give it 150mm of smooth rear wheel travel.

Bike Test: Yeti SB-66

Shred doesn't have a massive budget and so we miss out on the Las Vegas Dirt Demo held at the Interbike show every year. Of all of the bikes that we saw images of it was the SB-66 and it's leggier sibling the SB-95 that we really wanted a go on. Yeti bikes have a untouchable reputation in the world of mountain biking. In truth there's nothing any better about a Yeti ARC hardtail than an offering from Trek or Specialized but the name carries firepower and ownership of a Yeti suggests a person that has served their apprenticeship twofold on the trails.

The SB-66 is a 26 inch wheel bike (yes these still exist), it uses Yeti's new eccentric pivot system which claims to harmonise pedalling efficiency while delivering a plush ride, in basic terms the pivot sits within an eccentric pivot which then allows the whole pivot point to move dependent on the forces going through the chain. It tightens and shortens the back end for climbing and stretches the whole thing out downhill. It looks neat and if you check out their website you can get a clearer and more scientific explanation of how it works rather than me wasting page space trying to sound like I am some king of white coat engineer.

In the UK the SB is available as either a frame, a frame kit or as a whole bike. Your dealer has the option to order the bike in different build levels ranging from a reasonable X7/ X9 build through to a more pricey XTR option. The bike we tested belonged to Darren, the owner of the UK distributor Silverfish, and seeing as he regularly claims to be 'shredding the gnarl' we know we could unashamedly batter this bike and still not event get close to his daily commute. The first ride we did was a real mixture, road, street, some eye popping climbs and wet rooty downhill's and immediately the bike felt good. A bit of tweaking with the shock pressures and the bike came alive, it's not the lightest ride on the planet scraping in around 28Ibs but with a little extra muscle comes the ability to conquer a wider range of adventures and it was this in mind that we took the SB-66 to Gawton DH track to see if we could get anywhere close to pear shaped.

I haven't ridden a proper DH track for years and Gawton has three, fortunately for me, my health insurers and Devon Air Ambulance two of them were really wet and basically out of action, this just left the super flowy HSD trail, a minute or so of blazing trail that can be ridden in any conditions - absolutely flat out. If this bike had been called the Yeti-HSD I would not be surprised, this bike is meant for exactly that type of trail. I had a run at the trail in the 160mm [Ed - forks]setting and it felt confident, sure footed and fun, the I rode back to the top (it's really steep) and had another blast at the trail but with the Talas 36 fork dialled down to 120mm. The SB felt great on 120, faster through the turns thanks to the slightly steeper ride and no slouch on the straights either.

With a growing trend towards "Gravity Enduro" the SB-66 is a perfect companion for all day riders, holidays in the mountains and could easily be used to race local DH races and Enduros. You could jump it off chalet roves one week and it pedal well enough up hill to be a good endure and 12/24 bike for those that don't really care about winning. In a word, FUN.

Silverfish UK Ltd. Units 3a-3c Woodacre Court, Saltash Parkway Industrial Estate, Burraton Road, Saltash, Cornwall, United Kingdom, PL12 6LY
Silverfish UK Ltd. (Registration No. 4075057).

Technical specifications are for guidance only and cannot be guaranteed accurate. All offers are subject to availability and while stocks last. Errors and omissions excepted. Silverfish UK Limited acts as a credit intermediary and only offers credit products for Close Brothers Retail Finance. Its registered office is: Close Brothers Group plc, 10 Crown Place, London EC2A 4FT. Credit is subject to application and status.

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