2014 MOUNTAIN BIKE OF THE YEAR - Vital MTB Shreddy Awards 14

If there's a Shreddy Award that's sure to stir up more controversy than any other, it's the Bike of the Year. With hundreds of fresh rides introduced each year, it's our job to narrow down the list to the top contenders, ride them all, and choose the best of the bunch. This year's top performer immediately stood out the first time we hit the dirt. It’s no secret that today’s trail bikes are very good, and many of them are capable of being ridden like a downhill bike. This particular ride sports just 5-inches of travel (that's 127mm), yet it's every bit as confidence inspiring as a well-tuned bike with an inch of travel more. And you don't have to just take our word for it, the bike's results under a powerhouse of a rider on the highly contested Enduro World Series speak for themselves. Which bike are we talking about? The Yeti SB5 Carbon. There are hundreds of 5-inch travel trail bikes on the market, but none work like Yeti’s newest creation with their “Switch Infinity” suspension technology. The bike’s front to back balance is superb, seemingly calming down the trail and letting you look further ahead. From the long and low geometry to the shock tune, details throughout are dialed. Now toss in the fact that it climbs like a mountain goat with sticky rubber hooves and you've got a bike that suits pretty much any rider on any day, putting it over the top.

SB5c Highlights

- Full carbon frame - 5-inches (127mm) of rear wheel travel - Switch Infinity suspension technology - 27.5-inch wheels - Tapered headtube - Molded downtube and chainstay protectors - Internal seatpost routing - Removable ISCG05 mount - Front derailleur direct mount with optional cover - Press Fit bottom bracket - 12x142mm rear axle - Post mount disc brake tabs - Available in XS, S, M, L, and XL sizes - 5.1-pound frame weight (Size Medium) - Black and turquoise color options Are we gushing? Damn straight we are. The SB5c is that rad. We’d rate it among our top five 5-inch trail bikes of all time, and we’ve pretty much ridden them all. Congrats on making a great ride, Yeti. The SB5c is a winner.

Vital MTB's FIRST LOOK feature on the Yeti SB5c

Credit: gordo / Brandon Turman / Yeti Cycles
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  • Rtb

    12/24/2014 2:54 PM

    Lot of emphasis on front and rear balance, is that with any fork, shock combination?

  • shawnca7

    12/24/2014 1:26 PM

    What about the SB6c? Is it not as good as the 5?

  • bikeboardorblade

    12/24/2014 2:31 PM

    I'm guessing the 5 was chosen for versatility? Not that the 6 isn't versatile, I'm thinking that the 6 might be more "Enduro Specific" (shudder shudder)

  • ScotCove

    9/19/2015 12:26 PM

    I reckon so,as the 5 has been said to be a better climber.
    With all the attributes of the 6 thrown in

  • Rdot84

    12/23/2014 11:47 AM

    I've rode the Yeti and it's a good bike. I'm looking for a bigger hitter though. Almost a new year and there isn't a proper review of the Devinci Spartan anywhere. Anyone have any experience on one.

  • bturman

    12/23/2014 1:01 PM

    Due to high demand the Spartan hasn't been available for media tests yet. We'll be riding it this spring, though. Hang tight.

  • Rconroy

    12/23/2014 1:48 PM

    I've ridden one of the first Alloy ones earlier this year, and my local shop has a carbon demo ready to be built up. The alloy version was a bit on the heavy side, and a bit sluggish on the climbs. Climbing was fine, and had tons of traction but acceleration was a bit slow. On the downhills the bike felt like a mini downhill bike, almost scary fast. I think the alloy version would be awesome for a gradual climb, like up a fire road (like what youd see all over the PNW), and then a long descend. Around my local trails it was a bit of a pig, since they are short uphills and short downhills. I'm hoping that the shedded weight of the carbon version will alloy it to perform a little better.

    I just noticed the bike is finally on the review page, and ill do the full write up tonight, with pics and such.

  • Big Bird

    12/23/2014 5:26 PM

    I'm drooling over either the cheep carbon Nomad or a Gorilla Gravity Mega Trail. Can't decide. Got time to think though.

  • wydopen

    12/23/2014 9:28 PM

    Megatrail....I've been on it for about 6months now and it still blows me away...so good

  • Big Bird

    12/24/2014 7:18 AM

    I've been giving the boys and girls there some input on an XL size. Can't wait.

  • ratchetnator

    12/25/2014 8:42 AM

    I recently spent a week on the Spartan. It was an alloy version that had high end parts so 29lbs. Imo the bike rides like a dream. The platform was great pedaling both sitting and standing and the bike was a mini dh bike on the descents. I currently have a Troy and the climbing was on par witb that albeit the heavier weight. I have a carbon one ordered

  • emsley

    12/23/2014 9:24 AM

    For the love of all that is holy...please post some vids of your guys ripping the damn thing!

  • bturman

    12/23/2014 11:17 AM

    Haha! We hear you buddy. Just having too much fun riding the thing. Here's some great footage to tide you over.

  • The Catalan Rider

    12/23/2014 1:43 PM

    Oh! nice edit, a sort of life cycles homage.. a work of art.

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