SB4.5 Carbon XT/SLX Complete Mountain Bike - 2018 by Yeti Cycles
The enduro scene has been getting a lot of love lately, with ever deeper travel and ever slacker geometries defining industry trends. Yeti's decision to discontinue its SB95 without a replacement seemed to confirm this trend; however, the SB4. 5 Carbon XT/SLX Complete Mountain Bike proves that there's still a space in the tribe for trail riding. It's a moderately slack 29er with 4. 5in of travel that's designed for stability and speed on descents with plenty of snappy climbing for those who prefer to be the engine on climbs. Though it was created to fill the trail niche in Yeti's line, the SB4. 5 has a noticeable focus on losing weight, which combines with the wagon wheels to keep it versatile enough for straight-up XC riding. The carbon fiber frame is stiff and light, with a relaxed 67. 5-degree head tube angle and stability-enhancing 17. 2in chainstays that don't get in the way on climbs. The FOX Performance 34 fork also provides confidence on descents with 140mm of plush, forgiving travel that gives you the option to pick a line when you feel like it and just point the bike downhill when you don't. Yeti uses its relatively new Switch Infinity suspension in the SB4. 5, which keeps the pedal stroke consistent and reduces squat by using a pivot system that switches direction as you move through the bike's travel. Yeti's inclusion of Boost axles also contributes to the SB4. 5's stiff, efficient pedaling platform, and the departure from the 142mm rear standard allows for more space between the hubs for better tire clearance and shorter chainstays--dimensions that are especially relevant for 29ers. With a greater hub distance, you also get a better spoke bracing angle, which creates a stiffer wheel and chassis platform. Finally, the hub's bearings themselves will experience less damaging torsional forces with the wider footprint, prolonging their lifespan and leading to a more efficient rear triangle as a whole. This stiffness and Switch Infinity's pedal-ability ar...
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