29eronline had a whirl wind tour of Sea Otter this year. Of course we did not to get near as much done as we wanted to. So the next couple of posts we are doing is on the items and company’s we felt were our priority and why.
The first company I am writing about is Yeti Cycles. Yeti is the first because I wrote down a bunch of info and dont want to forget any of it. I am trying not to be partial here or make a bigger deal out of one company over the other.
Rumors of a Â Yeti 29er were circulating around the Internet and with the trails by Yeti’s home base in Golden Colorado being so heavily used prototypes were being reported on. Â I contacted Yeti Cycles and heard that they would be releasing the 29er at Sea Otter so I strolled by the booth.
One thing I noticed at Sea Otter is that some company’s were just kind of rude. This is a shame. I did not introduce myself in the beginning. UnfortunatelyÂ this is how these company’s treat the average fan/ enthusiast.
This is not the case with Yeti Cycles. As usual the staff at Yeti was attentive to everyone passing by! Â They were friendly and answered every ones questions. They even included passersbyÂ in the conversation I was having about the Big Top with Phil Cramer. This is the kind of service I expect from any company. I understand that in the begining of 29ers they were opposed to the concept but as a customer based buisiness I can not and never have been able to fault them. They are a good company to buy a bike from.
Yeti Cycle is entering the market with an Aluminium hard tail they have named the Big Top. It is a 7005 Aluminium front triangle with a solid carbon fiber rear triangle. The Rear chain stay and seat stay employ the classic Yeti “loop“.
The Big Top comes with removable drop outs for single speed or geared options. The geared options have the international standard spaced disc brake mount and the single speed drop out is a “slot” style with a 74mm disc brake mount. The shortest setting gives a 17.1 inch Chainstay length.
At the bottom bracket you will notice in the picture a black chain guide mount. The Big Top has a removable ISCG mount for use with a Truvative Hammer Schmidt, or a chain tensioner. I love the idea of the tensioner coupled with the single speed slot drops, this should be a pretty trick single speed or 1×9 set up.
Due to the ISCG mount I asked about the max fork travelÂ recommended. Â Phil Cramer from Yeti asked an engineer and at this time testing has not been completed. Hope fully it will be cool to run a 120mm fork for a heavy duty trail build. I will follow up soon but don’t expect an answer to soon. With the carbon rear end this heavy duty set up Â may not be a popular set up however it is always cool to have options. One fact I do know is that the Big Top is designed to be run with a 100mm fork.
Yeti speced the 29er with a direct mount frontÂ derailleur for the best clearance for the rear tire. should you choose not to use a front derailer there is a cool Yeti man engraved on the bolt on cover.
The front head tube is a 1 1/8 upper to 1.5 lower taperd variety. Yeti is using a press in style set up. This is good and I hope otherÂ manufacturersÂ Â follow. This set up allows the user to pick there favorite headset in there favorite color for there bike. You may be thinking Big Deal. But to me it is not about showing off a high dollar nugget of bearings in your favorite pastel color. It is about longetivity. I would rather ovalize and clap out a $150 head set then destroy my frame.
Next question should be ” Dosn’t that add height to the front end?” Â Yes it does. At 29eronline we are using a 15mm riser bar on our test bikes. We have zero rise stems, 120mm forks a 2.4 front tire and most of the time we still need head set spacers. Some times up to 25mm of them. Front end height is not as much of a problem as most people think. Worst case use a flat bar and a negative rise stem. Most of the time this is done only on our small size bikes. The racer types are the ones having problems. most riders can’t ride a bike with a 4″ drop from there saddle to the handle bars. The average rider’s back would be killing them plus it is much harder to pull up on the bars and feels like you are decending a road bike. Dont buy your bike because of what the racers are riding.
Back on point. The external head set bearing Yeti is using is great Â for frame longetivity and is fine for most riders comfort.
The frame was not designed as a race bike. This was a suprise to me as Yeti is known for it’s race bred lineage. The Big Top is designed as a do all go any where type of bike. It has a 70 degree head angle, that is slack for 29er. It will also have two water bottle cage mounts. The pre production version you see in the pictures is not showing that but Yeti assured us it would have 2 in it’s production version.
People will have mixed views on the Yeti 29er Big Top(geometry is listed on Jensons buy page). But really what’s not to like about the bike itself. It is a jack of all trades hardtail 29er designed with versatility in mind. We want to test one and are working with Yeti to get one. Pricing starts at$1100 for a frame only. Yeti will sell this as a frame fox f-29 rlc fork and a headset for $1800. Complete’s will be available also but kit’s and pricing have not been completed.
Why do we want to test one? Â It is our type of bike.This should appeal Â to the average guy who loves riding and doesn’t want a single purpose bike. Isn’t that why we like 29ers in the first place?