Frame geometry: I’m disclosing the specs for a large frame and I’m focused on only those specs that I think matters for us intermediates.
- Frame material: Carbon.
- Wheel size: 27.5″ 2.8 width tires.
- Headtube angle: 67.1 degrees.
- Bottom bracket height: 13″.
- Wheel base length: 46.9″.
- Weight (large): 28.1 pounds, the SB95 and 5.5 run around 29 – 30 pounds.
Component package: This bike was the XT build, their mid-range build for this model.
Safety, stability, and control: We had enough rain that sand pits were easy to ride with anything but I’m sure this tire would go where 2.2’s wouldn’t. I was laying it over on flow with gravel more than I would with lesser sizes. It is very stable and gives the rider more terrain / riding style options than most bikes.
I was crashing into rocks at about 10 mph trying to go OTH but couldn’t. The bike climbed over everything and I never felt like I was being thrown forward as the bike hit rocks. This is the safest bike I’ve rode.
Comfort for longer rides: It is far more comfortable in gnarly rocks than the traditional tire sizes. A rider who owns a plus tire bike told me that his legs feel the additional tire to ground resistance more than normal tires but because the tires absorb more shocks the whole body feels better. My ride was too short to confirm that but it should be true.
Design: It has the beautiful modern Yeti organic design and is coherent throughout. High pride of ownership factor.
Conclusion: If most of my riding was in tire challenging conditions such as sand / decomposed granite (Tahoe!) or rocky desert I would prefer this bike. I wasn’t able to test it on a long climb so I don’t know if it is much of a climber. My guess is that it is not-so-good on an XC climb and fantastic on ledgy rocky conditions like Hymasa on Moab’s Amasa Back trails.
My only bitch is that it comes in two forms of black and I prefer lighter colors. Black shows dust easy and to me seems brooding. However, if I lived at Tahoe or south Utah I would buy it anyway.