Inside Line: Yeti unveils SB5c with radical new suspension design

yeti-sb5c-1

Across the board, the staff at Dirt Rag was more than a little surprised by this new suspension design. We knew there was a new 27.5 bike in the works, but we had no clue it would be so new and unique.

Yeti calls this new design Switch Infinity, or a “translating pivot”. As the suspension moves through its travel, the main pivot, mounted to a carrier that slides on two Kashima coated shafts, initially moves up, but at the inflection point, it moves back towards the bottom bracket.

yeti-sb5c-5

This video is visualizes it well.

Yeti explains how it works:

“At the beginning of the travel, the main pivot translates upward, creating a rearward wheel path. This provides excellent anti-squat and optimum pedaling performance. While the pedaling is crisp, the linear leverage ratio and translating pivot combine for amazing small bump sensitivity. The linear movement provides unprecedented control of the kinematics and marks a significant improvement over link-based designs.

“Once the Switch Infinity system reaches the inflection point, the main pivot begins to translate downward. This linear movement prevents the chain force from adversely affecting the suspension performance and gives the suspension a controlled, bottomless feel.”

yeti-sb5c-2

Yeti’s SB series of bikes (SB66, SB75, SB95) uses a similar system (called Switch), but the main pivot was carried in an eccentric. This design is well liked, but small bump compliance is not its strong point. Since we haven’t ridden the new SB5c, we can’t comment on how well it may address that issue.

yeti-sb5c-7

Fox Racing Shox builds the Switch Infinity system, with Kashima coated stanchions and high quality bushings and seals. Yeti claims over three years of field-testing on these parts, and they are still going strong. While it looks complicated, it actually  drops 100 grams from the original Switch system.

yeti-sb5c-7

It looks like this design will eventually replace the Switch system on the whole range of SB bikes, but the first available is the SB5c, which closely mirrors the SB75 model. A carbon frame, 27.5 wheels, 127mm of travel, and aggressive but not too slack geometry should make for a great all-around trail bike with the stock Fox 34 with 140mm of travel.

Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 10.27.09 PM

The SB5c will be available to ship immediately as a complete bike with SRAM’s X01 build kit with an MSRP of $6,599, or $8,999 with an Enve M60 wheelset. Complete SB5c’s will weigh 25.5lbs with a Thomson Elite seatpost, and 26.2lbs with a Thomson Elite Dropper seatpost.

yeti-sb5c-6

 

It will also be available with a SRAM XX1 build kit with an Enve M60 wheelset for $10,599.

yeti-sb5c-4

We’re trying to set up a first ride ASAP, stay tuned.

Keep reading

You can find all our reviews and commentary on the Yeti SB bikes here, and we have a new 575 on the trail for testing, so watch for a first impression soon.