So the Giant Anthem is getting a little long in the tooth and is starting to cost me more in repairs than it's worth. Also I'm finding that is ust not cut out to do what I want it to do. Don;t get me wrong it's still an AWESOME bike but I need to move on.
So test bike time. This time around I have a little bit of an idea of what I'm doing so rather than walking into the bike shop and going yeah that will do I'm doing a lot of research on my options and doing a lot of test rides before handing over a big wad of cash ( which I don't have anyway).
So this weeks weapon of choice was the YETI SB66. All the reviews on it rave about it. First impressions it's white and it's a bike. And that's about it. Runs a 2 X 10 setup with out a bash guard which I found strange considering it's meant to be an All Mountain bike. 6 inch travel with a FOx up front and an RP23 in the rear.
(Stupidly I took no photos of it DOH!)
So first ride was a spin around Daisy to get it all setup and get a feel for it. Going up the first hill I wasn't impressed, It felt heavy and sluggish but at the same time very responsive when you mashed the pedals. Now a lot of this could be the fact that it was a medium frame but that's what I had to ride so. After mucking around with the fork setting I started getting a bit more out of it and was desperately missing my dropper post. Hitting up the water bars adn a few drop offs this thing just floated it was so stable in the landings so inspired confidence but at the same time I had trouble getting used to lifting the front up due to the weight so any jumps which I was used to chucking the anthem thru was hard work on the YETI. So I left Daisy feeling uninspired by the whole affair but first ride on a 6 inch travel bike we'll hold final judgement on it for now.
Saturday afternoon was test ride number 2. The location Cornubia forest. I had higher hopes for the Yeti in here and wasn't disappointed. Again climbing was hard work and I hate climbing at the best of times. But coming down Wallum Froglet was a HOOT the bike was so much more solid than the anthem so feeling good I went for the Jump and well lets just say I had an encounter with the rocky wall after the jump. Again the weight and travel of the bike got me and I ended up whacking my leg and arm into the wall. So after laughing thru the pain I dusted myself and went onward thru the tricky tight and fast section that is the bottom fo Wallum. The bike just felt good thru here and I was starting to warm to beast. After a run down ressurection and Stupidly The Yeti was starting to look better but still something wasn't quite right about it. I'm not overly impressed with the brakes. 180 F & R with Deore XT calipers. Don't have the grip of the Elixirs on the anthem withe 200 front rotor. But I was loving the rear deraillieur and the 2 X 10 setup although a Bash guard is a must for me these days.
By the end of Ressurrection decided to start smashing into the logs rather than jump over them and the forks just glidewd over them with ease which is quite impressive. I like 6 inch travel!
Next stop the mighty YARRABILBA. Now this is where I really need the six inches and was time to really test the YETI out. We did our usual fast warm up track and it was feeling good. So off to the rough stuff we headed. I think I finally had the settings right for me , Nice and soft. I started pushing it a bit to see how it handled. And it stepped up nicely after smashing down the "Quarter Mile" which is a fun rough, if you choose the right lines, bit of fireroad down from the top of the hill. The Yeti was starting to do what it was supposed to do. But again as we climbed up to the next track I was feeling it lacked something for me. After a few more big rocky decents which the Yeti just swallowed up we got to "Super Sketchys". Now this is an awesome bit of track, MENTAL but awesome.
Sketchys is a 600m or so track with about 90m of decent fireroad. Now when I first rode it it was a groomed but very rocky track but was very uniform in its rockiness so you just pointed and shot down it just hanging on and letting the bike do the work. But now it's a nightmare inducing jumble of rocks of varying sizes, drop offs, logs and 4 x 4 wheel ruts. Making it an amazing adrenaline filled 6 minutes of terror as you hold on for dear life trying to avoid the larger rocks and ditches while attempting to steer whike your wheels are bouncing a foot each adn every way without notice. BUT oh my god what a hoot it is. It has to be one of the most technical trails around and it's a fireroad. And every time we go back out it gets worse. The Yeti soaked it up as best it could using every inch of travel available but even an 8 inch Downhill monster would have trouble tracking down there.
SO in conclusion what do I think of the Yeti? Well it's a great bike and it absolutely loved being abused on the rocks but is it for me. No it just didn't yell at me "I'm the one" Maybe a lot of this was because it's the first 6 inch travel bike I've ridden and that it was a medium frame. Oh well the search will continue.
Forgot to say a shout out and huge thanks to Tim and the FTR shop for letting em ride the Yeti and to everyone who joined me for the weekends riding.