Friday, July 29, 2011

Dealer Camp New Products Report 5- Yeti SB66, XT brakes: Revelations of the Show

So many people are interested in the new Yeti SB66.  At first look, Fahzure was unimpressed by the seeming complexity, weight and lack of necessity.  Who needs an arcing swingarm pivot? This is different from the aforementioned arcing shock driver, though maybe these folks should get together.

 Well, my preconceived notions were dead wrong.  Not only Fahzure, but Flo and several others remarked about the total neutrality of the suspension with respect to pedal forces. Almost unbelievable.

At first, I assumed that it was an I-drive ripoff.  While similar in mechanics and action, rather than rotating the bottom bracket to compensate for increasing effective chain growth, under compression, as does an I-drive, the SB66 (Switch Bike 26 in Wheel, 6 inch travel) Switch Technology arcs the main pivot to change the axle path and control chain growth.  Through the initial phase, to about the sag point, the axle moves slightly rearward and up, followed by an upward and froward arc in the later two thirds or so of it's travel. A very robust rear end keeps torsional and lateral loads in check.

Yeti will next be working on a "59" or is it "95?";  a 29er with 5 inches of travel.  Recognize that short-mid travel platforms are probably optimal, as this mechanism would grow in size as suspension travel increases.  While not impossible to overcome, the mechanism is near the BB clusterf**k, creating space limitations, and other travel options might require different bearings and dimensions, as well .

Yeti Joe is always hanging with the finest folk. 

Many bikes, like this Intense, featured the new XT brakes:
Now you can go ahead and poo-poo the brake 'cause of its cheesy Deore-esque blackness, but then you'd be poo-pooing blackness.  What really matters is they way they work especially when combined with larger rotors (Fahzure has ridden XTR's, but always with pah, pah, pinner rotors).  The braking performance is nothing short of phenomenal.  1 finger levers and a massive increase in power meant a total retuning of finger modulation.  With $45 pads cooling fin pads, ICE rotors, and a redesigned master cylinder, who needs 4 pot calipers?  A very worthy upgrade. 

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