Yeti SB5 Carbon First Impressions

The not-so-minor details


Yeti SB5 Carbon


Rowney Sports






Very light, very adaptable.
Unique suspension system.


Water bottle mounts are under the down tube.

Over the last few years, Yeti Cycles have been kicking goals with both feet. First the SB66 and SB95 pushed all our feel good buttons, and then came a new version of the legendary 575 which nailed the balance of nostalgia and progression perfectly.

The SB75 was good too, if not quite to the same standard as the 66 or 95.

We’ve since published our final review of this bike here –

yeti sb5 4
Gorgeous. We have a dropper post coming to complete the picture soon. And some less blurry suspension.

And now it looks like Yeti’s their form is holding, with the new SB5 Carbon. Jared Graves and Richie Rude have already demonstrated in no uncertain fashion what this bike is capable of in the right hands, so let’s see how it goes in the wrong hands then.

Read our other recent Yeti reviews:

Yeti SB95

Yeti SB66 Carbon

Yeti 575

Yeti SB75

At the heart of the SB5 Carbon lies the new Switch Infinity suspension system, which was developed in conjunction with FOX. It’s unlike any other suspension design on the market – a kind of mash-up of the original Switch design and the rail system which has been a feature of Yeti’s downhill bikes in recent times.

Describing its operation in words is like trying to explain iMessage to your elderly mother, so take a look at Yeti’s excellent video below to get a feel for the system’s mojo.

The frameset is filthy light, coming in at 2.3kg including shock, which helps keep our test bike to just 11.46kg. (That figure will increase by a couple of hundred grams once we add a dropper post, but it’s still very impressive).

yeti sb5

On of the talking points of the SB5 is the adaptability of frame to take on a wide range of riding styles and an equally wide range of fork travels. Our bike is set up with a 140mm fork (compared to 127mm out back), but Yeti are planning on speccing this bike with a 150mm fork. Jared Graves has been racing his SB5 with a 160mm-travel FOX 36 up front too, which seems like a fair travel disparity, but it clearly works!

You may have noticed that we’ve given the fork and shock the ol’ swirly treatment in the pics above too. There’s a good reason for that – all will be revealed soon. To the trails!


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