2020 Yeti SB165 T2

Vital Rating: (Outstanding)
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2020 Yeti SB165 T2 (Turquoise)
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Vital Rides the All-New Yeti SB165, Replacement to the SB6

It's bigger, badder, and radder in every way. This is the slackest bike in Yeti's lineup with the most travel. It's also tuned for a coil shock. Meet the SB165.

Rating: Vital Review

The Yeti SB6 has been around since bikes with 27.5-inch wheels were first raced by top enduro pros. In practical terms, a long time. Its life officially began in 2014, when Jared Graves rolled up to the Winter Park EWS on a brand new bike and took the win. One year later he built "The Internet Killer," a dual-crown-equipped SB6c that stood atop the podium at a National DH race in Australia. Capability proven. Years passed, technology progressed, and with the things Yeti learned during the development of the SB150 and SB130, it's time for a major update to Yeti's most-loved 27.5 bike. The new SB165 is the SB6 all grown up. And yes, you can swap out the already burly 180mm FOX 36 fork for a dual-crown if you'd like. Let's dive in.

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Excellent front end feel

The Yeti SB6 has been around since bikes with 27.5-inch wheels were first raced by top enduro pros. In practical terms, a long time. Its life officially began in 2014, when Jared Graves rolled up to the Winter Park EWS on a brand new bike and took the win. One year later he built "The Internet Killer," a dual-crown-equipped SB6c that stood atop the podium at a National DH race in Australia. Capability proven. Years passed, technology progressed, and with the things Yeti learned during the development of the SB150 and SB130, it's time for a major update to Yeti's most-loved 27.5 bike. The new SB165 is the SB6 all grown up. And yes, you can swap out the already burly 180mm FOX 36 fork for a dual-crown if you'd like. Let's dive in.

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Excellent front end feel and braking control
  • Predictability and ease of tuning shine
  • Great support from suspension
  • Super planted feel on the pedals
  • Solid pedaler given the bike's travel
  • Well chosen components spec
  • Easy to ride and welcomes you to charge
  • Expensive

SB165 Highlights

  • 27.5-inch (650b) wheels
  • 165mm (6.5-inches) rear travel // 180mm (7.1-inches) front travel with shorter offset fork
  • Coil-specific Switch Infinity suspension system with two-piece wishbone-style shock extender
  • High-end TURQ and more affordable C-Series carbon models (220g frame weight difference)
  • Tapered integrated headtube (41mm/52mm)
  • Custom downtube protector and chain guards
  • Internally molded carbon tubes inside of the frame for improved cable routing
  • Integrated axle and derailleur hanger system
  • Boost hub spacing front and rear
  • Press-fit 92 bottom bracket with ISCG05 mounts
  • 180mm direct rear brake mount
  • Clearance for a standard-sized water bottle inside the frame
  • Lab tested to Yeti's more rigorous downhill standards
  • Lifetime warranty and crash replacement program
  • Actual Weight: 32.6-pounds (14.8kg, size XL, without pedals)

"These are the bikes that happen when race tape boundaries are ripped down and set on fire. When speed is judged by feeling. When the only rules of competition are written by your whack-job friends. These are the bikes that happen when the full spectrum of mountain biking is present and accounted for. Where ability meets bottomless capability and riders are well-versed in the currency of expression sessions and life lessons. And if you think you can still race ‘em, guess what? You’re damn right you can." - Yeti Cycles

Geometry

Compared to the SB6, the SB165 is a good deal slacker and longer. At 63.5-degrees, this is now the slackest bike in Yeti's lineup. It's paired with a shorter 37mm offset fork that now goes hand in hand with bikes built for speed. Reach values have increased as well, up to 430 to 505mm across the size range. The seat tube, which is now lower and uninterrupted for dropper compatibility, is also steeper at an effective 77-degrees.

Suspension Updates

Coil-specific? That's right. The bike sees a significant increase in progression to provide good performance with a coil shock. Over the 165mm of travel, it sees 27.5% progression with a pretty consistent rate change throughout. Yeti takes things a step further with a custom-tuned shock that takes inspiration from motocross.

"We spec'd a coil-shock for its active feel over small bumps, but the inherently linear progression of a coil can make for a sluggish feeling climb. Doubling the leverage ratio allows the bike to have that supple coil-shock feel but still rip and pop on the trail," says Yeti.

Leverage Curve
Anti-Squat
The SB165 is the one I'd call on when things are likely to get steep and deep, when you want to throw your bike around with ease, and when you want to mash through the rowdy bits without abandon.

The bike uses the latest version of the Switch Infinity suspension design, which allowed Yeti to make room for a water bottle and have a tunable platform to carry into a wide variety of bikes. It also shares a lot of hardware with the newest generation of Yeti bikes.

Switch Infinity uses a translating pivot built by FOX that switches direction as the bike moves through its travel, helping to dial in anti-squat and suspension performance across the entire stroke. With the up and down movement of the translating pivot Yeti aims to provide good pedaling traits across a large range of sag values, but have things fall off deeper in the travel to prevent pedal kickback.

Build Kits, Pricing & Availability

Yeti has five complete builds, including C-Series bikes starting at $5,599 and the higher-end carbon TURQ Series starting at $7,199. TURQ frames save 220g (0.5-pounds) over more affordably made C-Series frames. Both types of carbon achieve the same stiffness ratings according to Yeti.

C-Series C2 Build
Frame Only Option

View C-Series Builds | View TURQ Builds

  • C-Series C1 (GX) - $5,599 USD
  • C-Series C2 (X01/GX) - $6,199
  • TURQ T1 (XT) - $7,199
  • TURQ T2 (X01) - $7,699 (Tested)
  • TURQ T3 (XX1) - $8,799
  • TURQ Frame + Shock - $3,999

The SB165 is available now.

What's the Bottom Line?

I came to Slovenia knowing there was room for improvement on Yeti's premiere 27.5 bike, and I left thinking the SB165 not only met but far exceeded expectations. Impressive suspension performance and dialed geometry allow you to put full confidence into the SB165.

Yeti doesn't like to have redundancies in their lineup, so what void does this bike fill? The SB165 is the one I'd call on when things are likely to get steep and deep, when you want to throw your bike around with ease, and when you want to mash through the rowdy bits without abandon.

Will Richie Rude and the boys race the SB165 at the Whistler EWS in a month's time? Given what I experienced, I think it would be a really good choice for the terrain.

Visit yeticycles.com/bikes/sb165 for more details, and be sure to watch Richie ride this thing far better than I ever could. Thanks to H+I Adventures for the amazing first ride experience.

Vital MTB First Ride Rating: 4.5 Stars - Outstanding


About the Reviewer

Brandon Turman - Age: 33 // Years Riding: 18 // Height: 5'10" (1.78m) // Weight: 170-pounds (77.1kg)

"I like to have fun, pop off the bonus lines on the sides of the trail, get aggressive when I feel in tune with a bike, and really mash on the pedals and open it up when pointed downhill." Formerly a mechanical engineer and Pro downhill racer, Brandon brings a unique perspective to the testing game as Vital MTB's resident product guy. He has on-trail familiarity with nearly every new innovation in our sport from the past several years and a really good feel for what’s what.

Photos by Ross Bell // Video by John Reynolds and Brandon Turman

Specifications

Product Yeti SB165 T2
Model Year 2020
Riding Type Enduro / All-Mountain, Freeride / Bike Park
Rider Unisex
Sizes and Geometry
S, M, L, XL View Geometry
Size S M L XL
Top Tube Length 567.0 598.5 621.5 649.4
Head Tube Angle 63.5° 63.5° 63.5° 63.5°
Head Tube Length 104.8 110.4 121.6 132.8
Seat Tube Angle 77.0° 77.0° 77.0° 77.0°
Seat Tube Length 380.0 410.0 450.0 495.0
Bottom Bracket Height 344.9 344.9 344.9 344.9
Chainstay Length 433.0 433.0 433.0 433.0
Wheelbase 1197.7 1230.2 1255.2 1285.2
Standover 710.4 716.3 723.4 746.7
Reach 430.1 460.1 480.1 505.1
Stack 594.9 599.9 609.9 619.9
* Additional Info Measurements are in mm unless otherwise noted
Wheel Size 27.5" (650b)
Frame Material Carbon Fiber
Frame Material Details TURQ series carbon fiber with internal cable routing and molded rubber frame protection
Rear Travel 165mm
Rear Shock FOX Factory DHX2, 2-position lever, with FOX Factory DHX2 SLS spring
Spring weights on size S: 350lb, M: 400lb, L: 450lb, XL: 500lb
Fork FOX 36 Factory GRIP2
Fork Travel 180mm
Head Tube Diameter Tapered
Headset Cane Creek 40 Integrated
Handlebar Yeti Carbon, 35mm x 800mm
Stem Race Face Turbine Basic, 35mm x 50mm
Grips ODI Elite Pro
Brakes SRAM Code RSC with SRAM Centerline 200mm rotors
Brake Levers SRAM Code RSC
Drivetrain 1x
Shifters SRAM X01 Eagle
Front Derailleur N/A
Rear Derailleur SRAM X01 Eagle
ISCG Tabs ISCG 05
Chainguide OneUp Bash Guide
Cranks SRAM X1 Eagle, 170mm
Chainrings 30 tooth
Bottom Bracket SRAM DUB BB92
Pedals N/A
Chain SRAM GX Eagle
Cassette SRAM X01 Eagle 1295 10-50 tooth
Rims DT Swiss Custom EX1700 wheelset, 30mm
Hubs DT Swiss Custom EX1700 wheelset
Spokes DT Swiss Custom EX1700 wheelset
Tires Front: Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5" EXO+
Rear: Maxxis Minion DHR II 2.4" EXO+
Saddle WTB Volt Custom
Seatpost FOX Transfer, travel on size S: 125mm, M: 150mm, L-XL: 175mm
Seatpost Diameter 31.6mm
Seatpost Clamp Standard single bolt
Rear Dropout / Hub Dimensions Boost 12x148mm
Max. Tire Size
Bottle Cage Mounts Yes
Colors Black or turquoise
Warranty Lifetime frame
Weight N/A
Miscellaneous Upgrade options:
- DT Swiss XMC 1200 wheels, 30mm inner width
- SRAM XX1 AXS drivetrain
Price $7,699
More Info

www.yeticycles.com

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