I’m going to lead with a confession. I’ve eaten, breathed, slept and ridden bikes for well over half my life. I love all things bikes with a passion so great that it’s sometimes debilitating. For instance, half the arguments with my wife revolve around why, yet again, I’m back from a ride late or why I feel I deserve two rides in the same day instead of mowing a knee deep lawn.
You’d think with all the time, emotion, dollars and effort invested in cycling I’d have mastered a degree of mechanical or technical prowess. Sadly, I have not. I’m still mystified by much of modern bicycle technology. But while I may not be able to explain exactly how the shiny parts cycle through their actions, I sure can explain the sensation of the tech’ in motion. And luckily for both of us, I have a business partner slash copy editor that checks my facts. Bear with me, here we go….
The Yeti SB130 Lunch Ride is my favorite bike that I have ever owned. No joke, hands down, best to date. There are a multitude of reasons for this but I’ll start with the obvious one: versatility. This is likely the first bike I have ever owned that is paired perfectly with my riding style coupled with the type of rides and trails I ride.
Here in VT we ride a healthy mix of old school rocky and rooty technical terrain as well as a burgeoning wave of machine built flow trail. Most of what we ride requires pedaling to the top in order to descend. A lot of our rides consist of a series of punchy climbs interspersed with fast descents. This is where the Lunch Ride thrives!
Let’s get techy. The LR is a slightly embellished version of the standard SB130. With a little suspension doping, the Yeti crew managed to squeeze six more millimeters of travel out of the rear shock and paired that with a 160mm (10mm more than the standard) front fork. The result is a slightly slacker (.5º) head tube angle and a wee bit more to give when you push the envelope on the downs. This bike is a VERY stable descender. It begs to go fast, has no problems with a straight line approach and loves to make corners bleed. I’ve heard a few folks explain that the regular 130 begs to go fast too, sometimes beyond its capabilities. The Lunch Ride accommodates.
I’m not going to embarrass myself trying to explain the Switch Infinity platform. I’ve watched the video 50 flippin’ times and I’m still baffled. I can tell you from experience that it performs. One of my favorite sensations is the platform at work on the climbs. There is no bobbing hammock sensation. On the ups this bike is a slightly supple highly effective climber that shines when technical rock strewn root laddered ups present themselves. Add the progressive, upright seat tube angle and 29er traction to the mix and you have a modern marvel of a climber.
OK, so you think that I’ve obviously pounded the Yeti-blue Kool Aid. I will tell you there is a drawback for me. A hallmark of Yeti bikes is their low slung posture. The bottom bracket is low and pedal strikes are common. I find that after hours in the saddle, when I start to get lazy, I start to catch toes on everything. But that’s a price well worth the admission to such a stable ride.
One regret I have is not investing in a better wheel set at time or purchase. I cheaped out (all this shit is still spendy) and got the standard DT Swiss 30mm alloy wheelset. I know that a more premium setup’s better hubs with faster engagement would help when ratcheting the cranks through a lot of our old school roots and rocks. Faster engagement means better ability to ratchet and less pedal strikes… even I know that. Carbon hoops would have been nice too just to up the bike’s traffic stopper appeal.
So here’s another biggie for me. Aesthetic. I love the way this bike looks. See any “Days of Thunder” logos and racing stripes on there? Nope. And yet it still looks dope and fast as fuck. Plus that colorway! That’s prussian blue. One of the sexiest colors know to the human eye.
…and it matches my poodle.
Lastly, I just like this brand. They have great positioning. All the messaging coming out of Yeti Corporate feels like they are speaking to a core audience that they themselves are members of.
“Oh you like bikes? We love bikes! Did we just become best friends?! Let’s ride!”
So, that’s it folks. Was this a useful depiction of a bike you are potentially interested in? I hope it motivates you one way or another. And if you want to talk SB130 TLRs more, just buy me a beer and I’ll wax poetic for as long as you can listen.
For more info about Yeti Bikes and the SB130 family, hit up one of VT’s fine Yeti dealers. I recommend Ranch Camp in Stowe, VT (because I’m an owner at the joint!). Stark Mountain Bike works and Outdoor Gear Exchange are also amazing shops that know what’s up.
See you on the trails.
Yeti SB130 TLR
|TURQ Series carbon fiber frame, trail inspired geometry, Switch Infinity suspension technology, press-fit BB92, fully enclosed internal cable routing, 148mm x 12mm BOOST dropouts, sealed enduro max bearing pivots, integrated derailleur hanger, and axle.
|FOX FACTORY GRIP 2 36/160MM
|FOX FACTORY DPX2, 210 X 55MM
|DT SWISS M1700 30MM
|SRAM X01 EAGLE
|SRAM X01 EAGLE
|SRAM X1 EAGLE 30T 170MM
|SRAM DUB BB92
|SRAM X01 EAGLE 1295 10-50
|SRAM GX EAGLE
|SRAM CODE RSC
|SRAM CENTERLINE 200/180
|FOX TRANSFER 31.6MM / SM: 125MM, MD: 150MM, LG-XL: 175MM
|MAXXIS MINION DHF 2.5 EXO+
|MAXXIS MINION DHR II 2.4 EXO+
|CANE CREEK 40 INTEGRATED
|YETI CARBON 35X780MM
|RACE FACE TURBINE BASIC 35X50MM
|ODI ELITE PRO
|WTB VOLT CUSTOM