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By Eddie Clark
Finally, the day has come for Yeti’s industry-changing all-mountain steed the SB-66, aka The Super Bike, to no longer be shrouded in secrecy, covered beneath gray tarps, and hidden behind the blacked-out R&D shop windows of Yeti Bikes.  For the past 2 years, Yeti has been secretly developing and testing the ‘Super Bike’ at its Golden, Colorado headquarters, which is nestled against the Rocky Mountain Front Range. 
The Yeti SB-66 features a completely revolutionary suspension design to get 6-inches of travel.     To break it down, the moniker SB-66 is short for Super Bike, twenty Six inch wheel, and Six inches of rear suspension.  What makes it so different and especially so damn super is the Switch Technology in the rear suspension.  Basically it is a unique dual-link suspension that relies on a concentric sealed-bearing pivot/micro-link that the main pivot actuates on- a pivot within a pivot. 
     [LINK TO IMAGE]It may sound like a lot of monkey motion and marketing hyperbole, but unlike any other current design available, Yeti is able to control the rear wheel travel path, chain stay growth, and the leverage ratio throughout the full 6 inches of travel, which is quite a remarkable feat.  Besides Yeti’s own 303 DH rail suspension, which is weight prohibitive for the all-mountain and lighter classes of bikes, nobody else is even coming close to delivering this sort of all-around performance in their suspension designs.
     The first benefit of the design is the rearward travel of the swing arm in the initial travel stages. This motion counteracts chain forces and provides excellent anti-squat characteristics, allowing the bike to pedal very efficiently- think cross-country pedaling efficiency.  Once into the travel, the concentric changes direction (the inflection point) to control chain stay growth that eliminates dreaded pedal feedback and provides uninhibited travel of the suspension.  Throughout the course of its travel, the suspension rate goes from falling to rising and back to falling to give an unmatched ride that is efficient yet completely active throughout the entire 6 inches of travel. 
     From its inception, Yeti has worked closely with Fox Racing Shox to tailor the rate and shock tuning for this very capable all-mountain bike.  It also helps that Yeti has been building bad ass mountain bikes for 25 years. They used every bit of that experience to build this be-all, do-all machine. Truly ONE-bike of your dreams.










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Throughout the course of its travel, the suspension rate goes from falling to rising and back to falling to give an unmatched ride that is efficient yet completely active throughout its entire 6 inches of travel.       Fortunately for me, I was one of the select few media personnel who got to throw a leg over this fine frame, and ride it on the very trail it was designed for and rigorously tested on by Yeti’s crew of heavy hitting riders and racers.  Without divulging their testing location secrets, I’ll just say the trail features nearly 1000 feet of climbing and descending over plenty of rock gardens, steep grades, water bars, North Shore-esque wooded sections, and best of all buff, ripping fast singletrack.
     Regardless of never having ridden the trail before, I followed Yeti’s own race mechanic and R&D test pilot Dave Ziegman.  Well, I followed Dave as best I could, but still was able to watch his lines and put this bike through the paces.  At first I played with the different Boost valve settings to see what sort of difference it made in the bikes ability to pedal efficiently and climb up rocky trail.  My consensus was that of the Yeti crew, leave it off- you don’t need it.  The bike doesn’t bob and suck energy from your legs, it simply goes forward in a most efficient manner. 
Photo     My test ride was fitted with a Shimano XTR 2x10 drive train and a Fox Racing 32 FLOAT with 15mm axle and 150mm of travel.  Combined with a slack 67 degree head tube angle, it climbed surprisingly well without the flip-flopping that is commonly associated with longer travel forks.  The Yeti crew claims the slacker head tube angle allows the fork to more readily do its job of eating up bumps in the trail, which was quite noticeable.  Running a Fox 36 with 160mm of travel would definitely turn this bike into a Super D assault weapon, or at the very least, would enable you to go downhill much faster than you might expect.
Once pointed down, the SB-66 really comes to life and easily eats up any obstacle you can throw at it without any hitching or flexing.  With a full XTR build, my test bike tipped the scales at 27 pounds, and displayed the nimble qualities of substantially lighter carbon hardtails that I used to race cross country on.  The lightweight flickability of the bike allows instant line changes, and makes tight singletrack seem not only wider but more fun, too. 
Photo     Perhaps the most noticeable, and my favorite quality, of the SB-66 is its liveliness without being squirrely.  The Super Bike just wants to eat everything in its path and propel you up or down the trail. Big hits and jumps that normally consume your speed seem to have the opposite effect because of the Switch Technology. Going faster, up and down hill just became easier.

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According to Yeti, Switch Technology
An Optimized Dual Link Design
Though it looks like a single-pivot design, Switch Technology is actually a unique dual-link suspension design that switches direction as it moves through its travel. This allows us to create a bike that has excellent anti-squat characteristics for crisp pedaling, but still maintain suspension independence throughout the bike’s travel.

How it Works
Switch Technology uses an eccentric assembly to create a micro link that continuously repositions the lower pivot of the swing arm throughout the range of travel.

Pedaling Efficiency
In the early stage of travel, the micro link is guiding the lower pivot of the swing arm rearward. This rearward direction counteracts chain forces and gives the bike excellent anti-squat characteristics.

Plush, Controlled Travel
As the bike moves past sag, the micro-link rotates in the opposite direction. This switch in direction controls the rate of chain stay growth, which is necessary to eliminate pedal feedback, and allows for uninhibited suspension performance.

Suspension Rate
The suspension rate has been optimized to work with Switch Technology. The rate switches from falling to rising to falling (dual inflection point) in order to achieve ideal anti-squat and suspension characteristics. We have worked extensively with our friends at Fox Racing Shox to tailor the rate and shock tuning. In its current configuration, it is optimized for six inches of travel but can be modified for different travel.

Other Advantages of the Switch System
• The eccentric pivot assembly is low-maintenance, fully sealed and provides a stiff interface between the swing arm and front triangle.
• It is patent pending and has been tested in the field and in the lab for nearly two years.
• The minimized distance between the eccentric assembly and link pivot enables us to design these into a single forged part. This allows us to hold tight tolerances and ensures the suspension characteristics are the same on every bike.

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The 7lb, aluminum Yeti SB-66 frame features:
  • Custom butted hydro-formed 6000 series aluminum  
  • Tapered inset head tube  
  • Over-sized pivots with Enduro Max bearings (17mm thru axle angular contact for the top link and 15mm thru axle for the main pivot)  
  • Fully-sealed eccentric system  
  • Switch Technology – patent pending suspension system  
  • Yeti Chip System for an interchangeable 9mm x 135mm qr hub or a 12mm x 142 thru axle hub  
  • Internally routed cable guides on the rear triangle  
  • Seat dropper cable guides  
  • Direct mount front derailleur tab  
  • Custom elastomer chain slap guards  
  • Post mount disc tabs  
  • ISCG removable 03/05 chain guide tabs  
  • Air or coil over shock compatibility  


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Visit www.yeticycles.com for more information on the new SB-66




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