Yeti SB5.5c 2016

Yeti SB5.5c
Testing the 5.5 on the Moab Brand Trails, Moab, Utah.

I demoed the 5.5 on the gnarly intermediate Styles Ranch Trail in south San Jose, California and the EZ, Lazy, and Bar B Trails at the Moab Brand Trails near Moab, Utah, my favorite testing terrain.

The bike is in the all mountain category with a 160 mm fork and 66.5 degree head tube angle.  This is a lot of bike for an intermediate but if you like bombing through rock gardens it would be a good choice.  That is what it is designed for.

Under normal intermediate conditions it behaved very much like the older SB95c but the Switch Infinity rear suspension is smoother and reacts faster than the older Switch setup.  The frame is stiff and well balanced for a comfortable ride over gnar.

Frame geometry:  I’m disclosing the specs for a large frame and I’m focused on only those specs that I think matters for us intermediates.

  • Frame material:  Carbon.
  • Wheel size:  29″.
  • Headtube angle:  66.5 degrees.
  • Bottom bracket height:  13.6″.
  • Wheel base length:  47″.
  • Weight (large): 28.4 pounds.

Component package:  This bike was the X01 Eagle build and setup with a Fox Factory 36 160 mm fork.  It was a high-end build.


Safety, stability, and control:    Excellent on intermediate rocky trails.  I hit the biggest rocks on those trails and it ate the more challenging lines with ease.  It climbed a modest ledgy trail very well and I didn’t notice much front-end drift with that HTA.

Comfort for longer rides:   I rode it about 11 miles total and would recommend it for longer rides.  The suspension absorbs shocks very well.

Design:  It has the beautiful modern Yeti organic design and is coherent throughout.  High pride of ownership factor.

Conclusion:  It is a big bike and not as sporty as the more agile 4.5.  It will certainly handle rougher terrain with ease depending on your riding skills and style.  I’ve rode it on tight rocky switchbacks and sustained rock gardens  and it handles excellent.

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