Canfield Yelli Screamy Final Review

by FatBob on May 16, 2011

The Canfield Brothers Yelli Screamy is a unique hardtail in today’s industry cookie cutter hardtail segment. The 29eronline testers have been pleading to get their hands on a 29er hardtail for months now. The Yelli Screamy did not disappoint.

We need to make a couple of notes on geometry. The Yelli Screamy is Canfield Brothers’ take on an All Mountain hardtail. Our take on “All Mountain Bikes” needs to be defined. All Mountain, to us, means the bike is able to climb, but is really focused on technical riding ability, searching out new lines, and is designed with better descending manners than climbing. For us, All Mountain is based on having fun, not overall speed.

With a hardtail, efficiency is kind of redundant. It pedals “like a hardtail”, right? It, evidently, is not that simple. Charlie Storm, our resident XC professional makes some interesting comments, if you listen to his video clip in our tester video. Not all hardtails are ideal for efficiency and they are definitely noticeably different handlers. The Canfield is all about fun. I am sure you could race it but it is really about playing in the woods not so much about all business, efficiency.

The Yelli Screamy handles quickly. It is the tester’s unanimous opinion that the Yelli Screamy gets rid of the negative traits that many people associate with 29ers compared to 26ers. The Yelli Screamy is excellent in slow speed, technical terrain, and hopping moves. It is very easy to lift the front end of this bike. My first experience getting the bike on it’s rear wheel had me grabbing a handful of rear brake to prevent my butt from meeting the trail. It is the easiest 29er to get the front wheel airborne 29eronline’s crew has tested to date.

The test crew, myself included, settled in on the fork at 120 mm travel. At this setting, the bike seems to climb with not much incidence of a light front end, as well as offering our preferred bottom bracket height and playful handling. No problems on switchbacks - either climbing or descending; the Yelli Screamy’s wheel base and balance where great.

Speaking of climbing, this is probably the most asked question we get as regards the Yelli Screamy. It probably arises due to the bike’s short chain stays combined with it’s slack head angle. On a 26 inch wheel bike, this combination is usually a handful in climbing situations. On a 29er it is not as much of an issue. Unless you love a completely glued down front end, the Yelli Screamy climbs well. I would say its strength is on technical climbs littered with rocks and step ups or climbs that have a lot of switchbacks.

I am not sure why, but for some reason people thought the Yelli Screamy got up to speed better then other 29ers we have ridden. Add it’s ability to respond quickly, and the Yelly Screamy scales step-ups and obstacles with authority.

While descending at high speed, the rear end skips and skitters like all other hard tails. However, the short wheel base never exaggerated this, and is easy to keep under you and in control. This ease of control combined with the slack head angle make it very manageable at speed. While I would not say high speed descents are its strength, there is nothing holding the Yelli Screamy back in this area. Confidence is quickly gained, probably due to it’s responsiveness to rider input. I never felt out of control. At some point, most other hardtail 29ers send me off into the woods while I am learning their handling limits. The Canfield, happily, kept me on the trail and out of the brush.

Slow speed tech is where the Yelli Screamy really shines. It is well balanced and responds quickly to any pedaling or weight changes. This responsiveness surpasses any other 29er I have ridden to date. If you want to challenge your skills at technical riding, or rock crawling, the Yelli Screamy is your bike.

Who should own the Yelly Screamy? If you want the reliability of a hardtail, and your focus is on playing in the woods not on breaking speed records or shattering ride times at your local loop, the Canfield Yelli Screamy will work well for you. This is a great bike for exploring new trails and for pushing your riding skills to the next level. The Yelli Screamy did everything we wanted it to do very well and on some things it went above and beyond any expectations we had. This is a great candidate for a one bike rider that doesn’t want to deal with dual suspension.