Thanks to our NW Yeti rep Dennis, the new SB5c was rolling around Mountain Bike Oregon for folks to test ride. My love of Yeti began in the mid 90’s so I was excited to get a few minutes alone with the their fresh SB5c and most importantly the updated Switch platform, Switch Infinity.
Yeti and Fox have invested over three years developing the next generation of their suspension technology. The original Switch design, an over-sized eccentric lower pivot, had been their most advanced design to date, providing great anti-squat and suspension feel. Yeti looked to the famous 303 Linear Rail suspension design that utilized a similar rail-bushing system as the Infinity, just on a larger scale. After all those years of development and testing, we have a finished product whose design saves over 100 grams and is more efficient. Plus, no bearings to get dirty. Only the industries finest coatings and bushings that were tested extensively in a slurry bath consisting of the nastiest, grittiest materials around to ensure durability and a long life.
After snapping a few photos detailing the suspension and cable routing (something of increasing significance), I disconnected the read shock and shot this little video of the rear end running through its full range of motion. I was specifically curious to see how Yeti’s new Switch Infinity link articulated.
This isn’t another shock or damper… Those Kashima Coat rails are simply glides for the lower bushings. Having those rails angled slightly rearward allows the swingarm to kick back against the chain tension created while pedaling, just enough to provide significant anti-squat. As the the rear end compresses further, the bushing slides back down allowing the suspension to do it’s job when things get choppy.
The overall feel is an active-while-climbing sensation, but without any physical energy loss. This is due to the instant firming of the suspension when the chain, while pedaling, tries to pull the swingarm up and forward causing the Infinity link to rise. Then soft when you’re not putting power down or hitting bumps. Sounds like a contradiction, but the feeling is definitely unique!
As for the geometry – the headtube angle and chainstay length slot this bike in-between a XC racer and an Enduro rig. A very capable all-rounder that can climb efficiently and get you down a hill without concern. Generally all you need for playing on your favorite PNW trails.
We have a few SB5c complete bikes heading our way soon, but for now enjoy the gallery below and email us with any question, or to reserve your own!