Rcycld.com’s “SUPERBIKE 75” Yeti enduro bike buildPosted on 04 Sep 00:39
Welcome to the build notes for rcycld.com’s latest bike build. This build holds a special place in my heart. I got my first job at the corner bike store in Uptown Minneapolis in the early nineties. There is something from that era of my mountain bike life that has stuck around, really made a positive impression on me, and is still going strong: Yeti Cycles.
In the early nineties mountain bikes were still in what is now considered their golden years. The dominant paradigm had switched from a fully rigid steel frame and fork to an alloy hardtail with 50mm of elastomer sprung suspension. Yeti was the first builder to work with Easton alloy tubing which would become very popular for next decade or so. Later in life when attending school in New York I would meet Frank the welder, the man that built the first Easton frame. He was working for Spooky cycles at the time another celbrated mountain bike brand from the east coast. Frank is still in the business and has also had a very colorful career. To me the Yeti ARC (Alloy Racing Composite) was about as nice of bike as you could do back then. Not only did Yeti have one of the nicest bikes, but they had this cool brand image of that was a mix of ski resort culture and old mining town nostalgia. It was Yeti monsters and ice picks on race bikes. I seemed to connect with this imagery from the couple years I spent living as a ski bum in the ski resort and former mining town of Park City, Utah. Lastly, Yeti Cycles had probably the best race program of that era. Names like John Tomac, Myles Rockwell, and Missy Giove become heros of mine. Yeti was also involved in racing full suspension bikes and downhill from the very beginning. Alot has changed since then - John Tomac had an exciting and successful career going on to lead the race efforts for larger companies. These days John Tomac’s son Eli is something special to watch on a dirt bike and John has his own bicycle brand. Myles and Missy both went on to superstar status also with the Cannondale race team in the mid to late nineties. The Cannondale team was arguably the first well funded corporate mountain bike race team. Unfortunately, at its peak Cannondale played it’s hand at building an american made 4-stoke dirt bike that didn’t turn out to be as successful as their alloy bicycle business (I will save that story for another day). Myles and Missy both went on to have separate but similar legal troubles, but have both stayed connected to cycling. People tell me Missy is going to make a bid for a world cup race win again. The Yeti brand has changed hands a few times, but I am very stoked to see the brand with it’s current owners and think they deserve a lot of credit for saving this brand and returning to its former glory. Yeti cycles are still some of the most sought after bikes and have some of the most loyal followers. Many other brands aspire to have the authentic mountain bike race heritage that Yeti Cycles had and still has today. I should mention Re.Cycle.D LLC has no connection to Yeti Cycles or it’s current ownership. This bike build is my attempt to honor anyone who has loved the Yeti Cycles brand old or new. I think this is an appropriate time to do this given that Yeti Cycles is celebrating its 30th anniversary as a brand. Having said that, let’s move on to the bike!
About our Yeti build: We know many Yeti enthusiast have done restoration projects or race bike replicas on a level much more indepth than our build. We also know the current Yeti Cycles has put out both 25th anniversary and this year is putting out a 30th anniversary bike in the classic race bike paint schemes of the early nineties. We will include some our favorite pics at the end of our build notes here showing some of our favorite bikes in classic Yeti colors. Our bike is not meant to be a replica or anniversary bike. We began collecting parts for this project long before we knew Yeti was releasing a 30th anniversary bike. We have no connection to the current Yeti Cycles other than we have bought and sold a good number of used Yeti’s and we are stoked to serve many of Yeti Cycles’ customers when they need a upgrade or spare parts here and there. We have sold more than our share of blue anodized goodies and bling. Our bike was build for fun and to recognize we are Yeti Cycles fans also. We think our bike is cleanly executed, simple, and would make a very fast enduro race bike. Rcycld.com’s thinking on most of our builds is also to tilt things towards value components as we think the heart and soul of mountain biking lives in the people who ride just for fun and are looking for a good deal. Rcycld.com loves racing and we love our racing customers, but we also love delivering great value and good deals to anyone who hears the call to shred!
If you're interested in learning more about Yeti’s authentic heritage here are few good places to start:
If you missed it, you can check out our downhill bike builds here:
Also, check out our enduro builds:
Our “Superbike 75” build came in at a respectable 30.5 pounds. A 30.5 pound enduro bike does not register in the lightweight bike zone these days, but we think that weight is not bad. The only carbon fiber part used was the Race Face SixC handlebar as we think the handlebar is an excellent place for carbon. If we built up a full carbon fiber bike we could certainly lose 20% or more of the weight, but we wanted something respectable in the weight department that wouldn’t break the bank and above all else would still ride awesome!
Spec & Notes
Frame: 2014 Yeti SB75 (bought on closeout)
We acquired this frame new on closeout from another mail order company. When this frame arrived it looked like it was just throw in random box (not well packaged in a frame box) and the rear derailleur was, I kid you not, bent at a 45 degree angle. To be fair the mail order company overnighted us a new hanger, but not exactly the start you want to have on a new build. This did made us wonder about the current state of mountain bike mailorder.
We choose the Yeti SB75 for a few reasons. We wanted to try for ourselves the “Switch” style suspension. Yeti’s SB66 line had been extremely successful and popular using this style suspension. The “Switch” in our minds is fairly unique in that the main pivot is mounted on a rotating eccentric cylinder. We think this design is similar to a virtual pivot in that it is a mechanic way to address some of the “pedal bobing” effects that counter forward momentum while pedaling hard. The success of this patented unique design also shows this brand is not done innovating. At the time when this model was release it was Yeti’s first 27.5” wheel bike and the first 27.5” bike to have the “Switch” suspension. The other thing we liked about this bike is that is alloy. We still love aluminum frames for two reasons, first they have just gotten better and better over the years, the Yeti SB75 has a lot of great shaping in the tub set, and secondly alloy is still much more affordable than carbon. We are aware Yeti Cycles has updated it’s “Switch” suspension to a new system called “Switch Infinity” that has a second shock instead of the eccentric cylinder. the new system is being done in carbon 5” and 6” inch travel bikes currently. We are guessing they brought the Switch link 27.5” to market in alloy first because they were probably still refining the newer system and tooling up for the carbon bikes. That is OK with us as we think this alloy bike with the single shock is durable, simpler, and still has shred set to 11!
A second detail we should mention here is this is RCYCLD.COM’s first posted build using 27.5” wheels. For the record we were never against any wheel size, but have made the argument that if you have a nice 26” bike there isn’t a strong argument to upgrade your whole bike immediately just to have the larger wheel size. We also have a large place in our heart for 26” wheels, we hope they never go away in the market, and we will support the 26” size as long as parts are available. 26” IS NOT DEAD! :)
Ridding the 27.5” was a lot of what we expected. We think a lot has been written in the sometimes heated wheel size debate, so we don’t know if we have much to add here. We did feel like the 27.5” wheel held speed and momentum a little better and rolled over rocks and bumps a little easier than 26”. We noticed these similarities to 29” wheel benefits. We were early adopters of 29” wheels on our fully rigid steel single speed bikes. The 27.5” platform does retain a lot of the “playfulness” of the 26” wheel. You do feel a little higher off the ground on a 27.5” wheel bike (we were on a 5” travel 27.5” bike vs our usual 6” travel 26” bike), but that is balanced out by a positive feeling of “sinking” into between the wheels in hard cornering. We choose the 5” travel SB75 over other 6” travel 27.5” bikes because we wanted to attempt to keep a lower center of gravity.
The correct color for a Yeti race bike is Yellow with Desert Turquoise trim and blue anno parts ;)
We did swap out the stock rear shock. The SB75 came stock with a 7.5” x 2” Fox CTD which we changed out for a 2015 Marzocchi 053 S3C2R 7.5”x2” shock. The main reason for doing this was we wanted a air shock with a piggyback. We think that Fox’s CTD line is not bad, but we think is a little bit of “dumbing” down suspension adjustability for the masses with it’s 3-mode compression switch. The Marzocchi suspension is highly underrated, It had the piggyback we wanted (think 2 pistons is better than 1 for “extreme” or enduro style riding) and 2015 Marzocchi suspension had just gone on sale (we like to find our customers deals). These things won us over to Marzocchi on this one. We are aware Marzocchi is up for sale and anything could happen to the company, but we will hope for the best. We think Marzocchi is another authentic mountain bike brand that should be saved like the original Yeti Cycles brand was.
Looking for a deal or upgrade on a rear shock? check out our deals:
Got questions on upgrading from a inline shock to a piggyback shock?
Fork: 2015 RockShox Pike RCT3 Solo-Air Damper -1 token
Allot has already been said about how great the Pike is. There is a reason why people call the Pike the “Gold Standard” of enduro forks. Is it as good as everyone says? Yes
Besides being a solid performer that was noticeable lighter weight than our older 2010 Fox 36, there is two things we love about the Pike, first they are produced in large number so if you wait you know there is a sale or closeout around the corner so you can get that $1000 Pike for $750-850, and secondly we love the “Token” system of tuning the progressiveness. This system of adding or subtracting “token” works really well in letting a rider easily tune the fork. For the record we started with 2 token in the 160mm travel fork because the rider is a clydesdale (over 250lbs) and thought we would need a lot of ramp up, but after a couple rides we dropped it down to one token and found the sweet spot. We think this shows a very large range of tunability that is easily reached with minimal effort or adjustment.
The other thing noteworthy about our fork choice is how the fork travel effects head angle. The Yeti SB75 stock complete bike come with a 140mm travel fork and with that fork the bike has a 67d head angle. We wanted to keep the travel lower in the rear for snappy pedaling and little lower center of gravity, but on the fork we went a little longer with a 160mm fork. This brought the front end up just a little and slacked the head angle out by about a degree giving us a little more “enduro-ish” angles and the travel to push the front a little harder out of the saddle. When we do the math we think adding or reducing small amounts of travel can fine tune a bike’s ride qualities without the rider noticing a dramatic change in handling.
Hail to the king!
Headset: Cane Creek zero stack 44mm upper and 56mm lower
We are pretty stoked on Cane Creek wide range of headsets. Headsets for “Tapered” forks have never had so many external diameters for so many different frame sizes, add to that internal and zero stack options and it can get very confusing fast. Check out this nice little headset finder tool from Cane Creek and send us a message if you need help getting the right headset size for your frame and fork combo.
Stem: Spank Spike 50mm
Don’t know if there is a lot to say about a stem but we like the looks of the Spank Spike, the graphics makes us feel like a rock star, the stem is well made, and is a little cheaper than some of those other big brands.
Check them out here:
Handlebars: RaceFace SixC ¾” rise 785mm
We love Race Face’s SixC line. The SixC line was originally intended for downhill but we see a lot of enduro riders snapping this stuff up because it light enough for enduro. The cranks were so popular this year Race Face stopped taking orders for them, here’s hoping for a bigger production runs in 2016!
Check it our here:
Saddle: SQLabs 611 active Ti -
WOW! we love this saddle - We often feel most bike saddle science is more sales pitch than science, not here. If you follow the fit process and get the right size this saddle does a better job of putting your weight on the “Sit” bones and not on the soft tissue. The saddle seems to flex side to side at the right times to give more comfort. There are some cool features here also, the saddle came with two color trim kits: orange and black - we swapped ours out for the black trim (see photo) also there are 3 elastomer like inserts for the back of the saddle we started with the medium kit thinking we would would swap out to firm as the rider is 250lb but we ended up swapping out to the soft kit because it seemed to give the saddle more of the flex it has. That was even more of the good stuff. After riding with the saddle our test rider felt noticeably less sore in the lower back area. This saddle line is definitely worth a try. There is some interesting tech here:
Brakes: Sram Guide RSC -
We think this is THE BEST value in 4-piston hydro disc brakes. 4-piston give you the power and modulation you want and price won’t bust the wallet. Check out the deals we have on Guide brakes here:
We think the R model at $199 a pair is a smokin’ deal - and the RSC model at $285 a pair is not bad either- The silver models say “Bling” to us (see the photos)
The RSC model (as opposed to the RS and R) has a new feature called contact point adjust which allows you to dial in the point where pads make contact - We are still playing with this one but we will let you know what we think.
Rotors: Brakco 203mm front / 180mm rear -
Brakco is a high quality parts company. Like Shimano they are located in Japan. We are trying out a set of their floating rotors and we are considering importing them. We like their chunky motocross looks and they would be more affordable than other companies floating rotors.
Drivetrain: Sram GX and X1
Here is the big story: Sram has just release their new GX component group. The GX shares all the same standards as the other 1x groups: x1, x01, xx1. Sram X1 group has been a favorite of ours so we have been pretty excited for the GX. We ended up running a x1 rear derailleur and shifter as we already had these in the shop. For the cassette we went with the GX level 1150 pinned cassette. This cassette is half the price of the X1 level 1180. Yes, it uses a pinned designed to save cost over the 1-piece billet X1 cassette, but we found it still performs great and the value is off the chart at half the price. The GX group uses the same chain at the x1 group, but it is one of the more affordable performance chains. The four main GX pieces: shifter, derailleur, cassette, and chain come in at a $200 discount to X1, awesome deal in our book. We know GX and X1 will have some competition this year with the new XT group coming, we will continue to let you know how we think it stakes up.
Check out our deals on the new Sram GX: http://recycledmountainracing.com/search?q=sram+GX
Crankset: Sram X1 1400 175mm 68/73mm crankset
We decided to give the Sram X1 1400 crankset a try. We were not thrilled with a new bolt circle standard as we think the 104mm BCD is already very good and easy to find chainrings and guards for. The 94mm BCD could be a long term winner because Sram has announced they will be putting out affordable chainrings for the 94BCD cranks at a MSRP of $19.99. The chainrings will be made of steel instead of alloy but all indications are they will be well made. We think the X1 1000 and the slightly higher end X1 1400 represent strong values in alloy cranksets and we are looking forward to checking out the GX crankset.
The extras: Grips, Crankarm Boots, and Seatpost: Blue and Desert Turquoise
The correct color for a Yeti is yellow, and the correct trim is desert turquoise, and the correct parts color is anodized blue. We tried to keep our Yeti build some what authentic. We have blue anno Brakco rotors and Pro-Max seatpost to match the blue anodized parts in the dropouts and “Switch” suspension. We also ran RaceFace turquoise crank boots and grips to match the turquoise graphics on the frame. We did like the way crank boots deaden the feel of a pedal strikes and keeping your crank tips scratch free is not bad either.
Pedals: CrankBrother’s Candy
We have always been a fan of Crank Brother’s pedal design and low profile cleat. This is the chromoly spindle version and we think it is a good value. We have a gold finished spring because we think it matched the yellow Yeti frame
Tires: Maxxis Highroller II 27.5” x 2.4” EXO single compound
Maxxis tires is our best selling tire line and the HighRoller II is our best selling model. I don’t think this will come as any surprise to anyone as we have noticed these tires don’t stay in stock long at any of our major suppliers. The Highroller II translates very well into a 27.5” tire. We also think this tire matched well to our wider 35mm external width rims. We love the ramped center knobs that keep things rolling and the chunky side knobs for cornering.
Check out the HighRoller II:
Wheelset: Syntace w35 MX 27.5” 15mm front and 142x12mm rear
We are really stoked on this Syntace wheelset. We also think Syntace might be one of the most underrated brands in the USA. The wheels are noticeable light weight for alloy wheels. We opted for the faster engaging MX rear hub. We passed on the 40mm Syntace rims for the 35mm rims because we don’t think standard tires will fit well on the 40mm, but this could change as we understand Maxxis and probably other brands are working on 2.4”-2.5” tires that will have a specific design for wider rims. We think the Syntace w35 rim is the best alloy rim on the market currently for enduro and all-mountain riding and we think it works very well with standard 2.4” tires. We are going to assume on this one you have already heard all the arguments for lightweight wheels and wider rims. The Syntace rims and wheels aren’t cheap, but are still a lot more affordable than most quality carbon rim wheelsets and the wheels are a good place to spend some extra $$$ for lightweight and quality.
Check out the Syntace W35 here:
We think we built a super fun Yeti enduro bike here
We saved $$$ by going with a combination of used, closeout, and high value parts!
We love Yeti Cycles vintage and new!
The RockShox Pike is the gold standard
Sram GX delivers the value in 1x drivetrains
We still love the 4-piston Guide brakes
Syntace makes great rims and wheels
Thanks for checking out our build - Let us know if you have any question:
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Thanks for checking out our build! Happy Shreddin’!