AM Yeti SB5C - Rejoining the Tribe

Discussion in 'Post Your Ride' started by Zaf, Jun 1, 2017.

  1. Zaf

    Zaf Likes Bikes and Dirt

    So I picked up a Yeti SB5C out of the US on special. My Stable was comprised of a Canyon Strive, Specialized Stumpy FSR and a Kona Honzo Ti, and after coil shocking and throwing some Fox 36's on the Stumpy I was finding that it covered most of what I asked of the Strive. The initial plan was to transfer the Strive's build kit over to the new Yeti, and just be a straight plug in a new frame, but after I was able to let it go for a good price and a mate hooked me up with ENVE's for it, I decided to start from scratch.

    I just finished building the bike tonight!! So time to list the build kit and I'll get her out for a ride tomorrow.

    Yeti SB5c Large

    Rims: ENVE M70 Thirty​
    Hubs: DT Swiss 240s 142x12 / 20x110​
    Spokes: DT Swiss Aerolite Bladed Spokes​
    Tyres: WTB Convict 2.5 @ 25PSI / Trail Boss 2.4 @ 28PSI​
    Decals: ​

    Forks: Suntour Durolux R2C2 150mm
    Pressure: 105PSI​
    Settings: HSC 4 Clicks, LSC 10 Clicks, HSR 2 Clicks, LSR 6 Clicks out.​
    Shock: DT Swiss R414 200x51
    Pressure: 280PSI​
    Settings: 5 Clicks out rebound​

    Seatpost: Specialized Command Post IR 125mm
    Saddle: WTB Silverado
    Handlebars: Chromag OSX 35 FuBars 800mm with 30mm rise
    Grips: Ergon
    Stem: Easton Haven 35, 40mm
    Pedals: Shimano XT M785​

    Brakes: Shimano Saint M820
    Rotors: Shimano XT Ice-Tech 203/180mm
    Cranks: Shimano SLX M7000
    Derailleur: Shimano SLX M7000
    Shifter: Shimano XT M8000 i-spec B
    Cassette: Shimano XT M8000 11-42
    Chainring: OneUp 34t Oval for Shimano XT/SLX
    Chain: KMC 11.93
    Guide: OneUp​


    Just one shitty image for now, but I will talk about a few things with the build choices and notable mentions.

    The Durolux forks are marketed as a very reliable pair of forks. They don't run a bladder type damper, but a coil sprung IFP as well as big coil negative spring. Reducing the travel on the forks was amazingly easy! The lowers drop off without much fiddling, and are designed to run with just suspension grease inside the lower, rather than any synthetic fluid, so it's a relatively clean affair the first time. On Suntour's recommendation, I have added 10CC of Fox Gold w30 to each leg just to keep them running smoothly; something that can be added even with the lowers kept on, as there are bleed ports to the Foam Rings that can just be opened and a threaded syringe used to fill them. Anyway, once you unscrew the cap to the air leg, it's just a matter of popping clips on the top of the coil negative spring (same ones used to clip onto the air shaft to volume space that spring curve). The whole process took all of 10mins.
    I'll report on ride quality later, but positive feeling with the little stuff in the drive way I did tonight. It's not the lightest fork, but you can feel that stoutness holding it, the lowers fork arch is MASSIVE and has very little honeycombing in the back of it.

    Choice of Shock was a bit left of center. I knew I wanted an air-shock for this bike, and something with decent oil volume. I did want to go matchy matchy and try and get the Suntour UNAir LO-R, but couldn't find anyone who stocked/sold them. The DT Swiss won me over after sifting through lots of German reviews (pretty much couldn't find a single native English speaker who'd used one). The DT Swiss shocks run on a Spherical bearing on their eyelet hardware, the intent being that lateral forces across the shock body are now taken up with the bearing which reduces sensitivity loss due to side loads on the bushings and shaft inside the shock. Also means you can do this to the shock while everything is done up to spec (see video). The long 200hr service interval on it kind of fitted in with the theme of serviceability and reliability in regards to the suspension package in general, but it's also quite a high volume inline shock, both oil and air-wise so it should be able to run pretty aggressively.

    Anyway, enough of a blab from me. I will get some better photos of it tomorrow as these dingy little poor lit things don't really do it justice; that is of course assuming I can stop riding it for long enough to take a photo. Really keen to get it out on the trails and see what I can do.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2017
  2. hifiandmtb

    hifiandmtb King of his castle

    Cheers Zaf - thanks for the incredible amount of info you put into nearly every update.

    Question: If the SJ fills the Strive void, what does this SB5C do? I'm guessing something more poppy & playful?
  3. teK--

    teK-- Eats Squid

    Congrats on the new rig Zaf! Interesting selection of parts look forward to hearing more about the fork and shock.
  4. Zaf

    Zaf Likes Bikes and Dirt

    I really can't properly describe how good the Stumpy is. Put some light wheels and the stock shock on it, and it's pretty playful, put some Fox 36's and a Coiler on it and it performs on par with big rigs! (I'm honestly not surprised that Gravesy runs on for EWS, they are an extremely versatile bike).
    So I'm HOPING this will be as you say, the poppy and playful trail rig that I can do some of the local XC races on without feeling like what one of those guys who Enduro's on DH rigs. That might make some of my componentry look awkward, "why go the HUGE fork and Saint brakes?!". The Saint brakes I had leftover from my Yeti SB66c, and they're brilliant, even having used Guide RSC's, I would go Saints over them for brake feel and power. I'm also 6'1", 90kg with an ex-butterfly sprint swimmer's body (think Richie Rude if he were taller, slower, and with a Portuguese background) I can flex equipment a bit; so I've come to appreciate front end stiffness a lot more since I've used the "big" forks.
    That said, it's something I notice more when i go BACK to a flexy fork, not so much when going the other way. It's a stiffness you realise once it's gone, not while it's there.

    Yeah, I'm hoping for good things!!! I hear that the negative spring assembly can rattle in the tube a little under successive hits, and the damper controls don't have a HUGE range of adjustment like that Fox's. High Speed Compression and Rebound are a five and four click adjustment (respectively) that have a more profound jump between clicks. The Low Speeds dials each have 18 clicks to them, really good feeling knobs too. The High Speed adjust dial on the Fox 36's can feel a little vague as to if it has clicked in or not, especially if you've got gloves on and are on the bike, but these ones are really clear to fiddle with.

  5. slider_phil

    slider_phil Likes Dirt

    Love the yellow on the Yeti. It's a nice change from the usual blue everyone gets.

    Curious about your experience buying from the states. I've bought new out of the states before and from memory it was about $250 to get a frame shipped. Did you run into problems with a seller saying they were forbidden from selling to Aus? Or was this second hand.

    Looking good! Keen to hear how it compares to the rest of the stable.
  6. Zaf

    Zaf Likes Bikes and Dirt

    There was certain process of shipping this frame... all I can only say is "a mate did me a solid" in order to get it into country.
    That said I bought it from the same place that I got the SB66c (, and with that frame I shipped it into country via more mainstream methods; using a postal forwarding company within the States. Back then it cost about $250 in express TNT shipping but they got it to me within 7 days!!! I think the forwarder was called "shipitto" or something like that, I haven't had much call to use it since other than the broken dogbones on my SB66c.
  7. Miguel75

    Miguel75 Likes Dirt

    That bike looks rad Zaf.
  8. aanon

    aanon Likes Dirt

    Obviously a diet high in fibre, carbon fibre.
  9. k3n!f

    k3n!f Likes Bikes and Dirt

    I haven't made up my mind if you are incredibly indecisive with your bike choices, or incredibly decisive with your bike choices.

    Either way, love it when I get to live vicariously in a new Zaf thread!

    Interested to hear how you find the switch infinity to ride/maintain.
  10. Spike-X

    Spike-X Grumpy Old Man

    He's very choosy. He just makes lots of choices.
  11. Zaf

    Zaf Likes Bikes and Dirt

    I usually have a shortlist of things going on in my head at all times, and also a spreadsheet and everything which I update with the latest parts deals I'm seeing and then has cost of some of the frames. I had purchased, in full, a Ghost SL AMR 9 from Germany in October last year (that was going to replace the Stumpy) but after production hold ups still had the bike not existing in March 2017, and some wise counsel from a mate, I cancelled that and refreshed the Stumpy's suspension. Which put me in a position to sell the Canyon which opened up space for another bike. To be honest, I was looking at trying to grab an SB4.5c, but couldn't find a frame in my size at a cost I could justify, then the SB5c's came on sale.

    First Ride
    I got out for the first ride last night and then proceeded to crash on a track called Jew Bear. Jew Bear is one of the classic Alice Springs technical tracks, tight, really rocky and lower speed (avg 12-13km/h for fastest times) with really loose gravel/rocky corners at the top. It starts with some of these loose switchbacks over a few rocks around tight corners before a small techy climb, and then you drop into the main descent of the track which has rock slabs and tight little lines between rocks that want to eat derailleurs. Anyway, at the peak of the short techy climb is a hairpin right hand turn around/over some awkward rocks (yeah, it didn't even have the decency to throw my off at high speed), in which I slipped the rear, and then toppled into said rocks!! I have a recurring shoulder injury after I dislocated it in Rotorua two years ago (also on a Yeti), this landing subluxed the joint again and left me winded at the top of the hill for a good 10mins...and I scratched one of the only areas not protected by a frame skin, right behind the chainstay guard (and for that matter, on my leg right between sock and knee pad). So the frame got blooded on it's first ride!!!

    Gloves are off now, I don't need to baby ride it!! But it also cut the ride short, which was a bit of a shame.

    Impressions and Adjustments
    Initial impressions, my fork settings were out a bit. The spring rate actually feels quite good though I had to back off a bit of compression damping, and they ramp up sooner than the Fox 36's/Pikes, so I was only using half of the travel. I didn't get to hit anything that I'd expect to bottom the fork out, but the o-ring was sitting lower than I think it deserved to be given some of the compressions. Reviews have said that the bottom out spacers have a much bigger effect on this spring than with other forks. I had the one installed and have now removed that, taken off 3 Clicks of LSC and 2 Clicks of HSC and dropped 5PSI (mainly for while the shoulder fully recovers). I washed the front a few times out on the trail, nothing more than requiring a quick dab to correct, and probably just from having a difference in how the fork loads in and learning the lean angles of the bike.

    The rear end felt great! Very supple suspension with great tracking, and I was glad to find that there wasn't the noticeable pedal kickback like the SB66c had. I think the plushness of the rear and that classic "feels like more than it is" was on exaggerated by the front running too stiff in relation to it, but there were no complaints about how it felt underneath me or how it absorbed the trail.

    The ENVE's are amazing to get up to speed. Might be a little bit also that my other two bikes of late have been a Stumpy and Honzo decked out with DHRII and DHF rear tyres on solid built wheels, so my legs are currently calibrated to a rotational weight significantly more than what I was on last night. But holy shit the bike was zippy, even seemed to get turbo boosts of speed off the smallest incline or roller.

    I've got strength back in the arm this morning, and the pinch points appear to be more in raised arm positions. So I'll strap it up and head out again tonight, that said I'll still be avoiding the super techy loops until next week.

    Why do we make money if not to spend it!?
  12. slowmick

    slowmick Likes Bikes and Dirt

    loving your right ups / reviews of stuff and your willingness to try new stuff. try and stay right side up today and enjoy.
  13. Zaf

    Zaf Likes Bikes and Dirt

    I stopped for pictures because a bike deserves to be dirty when photographed.


    I was stuck back late at work, so only managed to punch out a quick 20km loop, kept her rubber side down tonight although I didn't really hit anything tricky.
    The fork was using travel a lot better but I will still need to play around a bit more with it. It might also be a combination of just the stiffness in the front end there accentuating it (20mm axle, 36mm stanchions, stiff alloy handlebars, and ENVE wheels is no joke), but small bump compliance isn't there. I might try running my Chromag Carbon bars, as they have a great deal more deflection in them than the alloy variant; as well as switch the Ergon grips, which are a little thin for my big mits, to some Renthal Kevlar compounds. It's be good if I can address this without changing the spring pressure, because the current settings actually feel REALLY good on bigger hits, and as you can see, still has enough in reserve for getting properly stupid. It feels like it sits high in the travel as well, the handlebars trace a really even path rolling over obstacles and you can just load into things and feel the fork soak it up.
    That said, I wasn't noticing the lack of small bump compliance yesterday, and there's always the option of installing tokens and dropping pressures to try help it out. I get the feeling this is going to take a fair bit of trial and error to get to a place that I like it. But was feeling like my hands took a fair beating on the ride tonight.

    I might invest in a longer stem, noting on out of the saddle efforts that it feels like my weight is getting over the bars, but not the wheel. The cockpit doesn't feel cramped, but I think I'll like some extra room in it all the same.
    Shoulder felt good too. It has been a niggling issue since the major injury in Rotorua, occasionally tweaks and gives me a reason to feel pain. The last decent hit took a few days to get strength back in the arm, so glad that this has strength back within 24hrs and manageable pain levels.
  14. k3n!f

    k3n!f Likes Bikes and Dirt

    Great looking bike, really like that paint job.

    If they could figure out a way to move the shock to the top tube so a drink bottle holder would fit inside the main triangle I would buy a SB4.5 immediately.

    Have you run Enve wheels before? I noticed when swapping from carbon rims back to alloy Stans rims how much the wheels themselves absorb the chattery bumps.

    Out of interest, what tyre pressure do you run?
  15. nzhumpy

    nzhumpy Likes Dirt

    Shirley an offset dropper before a longer stem, that might buy you an extra 20mm before compromising reach up font.
  16. Zaf

    Zaf Likes Bikes and Dirt

    A lot of people get bent out of shape about the water bottle mount, but I really don't have a problem with it. If anything I find it less of a fiddle to get back in the cage down there, and out in the dry desert conditions I don't run the contamination risks that other climates might. But even then, I think you just switch to a bottle that has a cap or dust cover to offset those risks.

    First time on ENVE's, and in general I've been migrating back to Alloys. The wheels on the Stumpy are a pair of EX471's that I built, and I did a trade of my Roval Carbon's and a Cane Creek shock to a mate for a pair of Wheelworx alloy wheels; he'd just bought them for his Ibis Ripley, then he replaced the Ripley for an Evil Following and I couldn't let him sell the Ibis with such a brand new, well built wheelset hanging off them.

    I actually forgot to post Tyre Pressure and have edited it into the original post; but for reference here on rims around 25mm width I run 25-26PSI in the front and a 28-30PSI in the rear.
    I've also had a re-think of my fork setup, I don't like being on the extremes of my compression settings, and I was dialing off all of my compression with the noted harshness tonight to try and offset too high a spring pressure. I think Suntour's suggested pressure charts are a little high as well...and I don't know how I was measuring 20% sag with 100PSI in that chamber, because I dropped it down to 80PSI to get the 30mm (20%) tonight, and I was making sure to cycle fork (not that it's equalising anything with a coil negative spring) and then let it come to rest in my attack position before setting the o-ring.

    Soooo, new fork settings are as follows:
    Spring: 80PSI with 2xBottom out tokens (20% sag)
    HSC: 3 clicks
    LSC: 8 clicks
    HSR: 2 clicks
    LSR: 8 clicks out

    Already has an offset dropper installed!! Specialized Command Posts have a 25mm (I think? Might be 20mm??) rearward offset. But hopefully the new fork settings tame things up front a little, can't change too many variables at once or else you never know what has actually done any good.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2017
  17. BT180

    BT180 Eats Squid

    Wow nice! Great to see things being done differently and not just a copy/paste of 90% of the other builds. I really can't handle that water bottle position either, but each to their own. If it works for you, then that's all that matters!
  18. wkkie

    wkkie Likes Bikes and Dirt

    Nice build Zaf. Out of curiosity where did you pick up the durolux from? Anywhere local?
  19. Zaf

    Zaf Likes Bikes and Dirt

    Bit dusty sometimes. Certainly less of an issue on social rides where I drink when I'm stopped and can just wipe it down. I do genuinely find it easier to get in and out of the cage than my Stumpy or Honzo.

    I picked the Durolux up out of Germany. Not from lack of trying to source it within country. I contacted the importer but the response was "Thank you for your email. Unfortunately we will not be bringing in this fork to Australia." soooooooo I gave my money to someone who would take it!

    The new settings have made a MASSIVE difference. I can certainly confirm a user error with initial setup, but with the settings from my last post the Durolux is far more plush and controlled in it's stroke with plenty of bottom out resistance. It's also a noisy fork! Now one of the noises is just the oil squirt as you can hear it cycling through the damper, and this noise I love! However on chattery sections of trail, and repeated compressions that come from the top of the stroke (as opposed to the sag point) you can hear the negative spring rattle around a little. It's not something you can feel through your hands, and it does seem to only be under certain terrain conditions; but I'm wondering if I can makeshift a fix by using a few foam rings within it's housing on the air shaft, because I don't like rattles.

    I was also getting a small squeak from the suspension, ended up being cable routing over the dog bone. Fixed a little by moving a spacer around a little, but I'll try source some velcro tape for that area this weekend as a more permanent solution.
  20. Zaf

    Zaf Likes Bikes and Dirt

    Mint355 organised a race through the local club over the weekend in what was essentially a Gravity Enduro styled event. The club out here is pretty XC focused with most things they do, so it was good that we were able to get a solid turnout onto a format people aren't used to, but was really well received and ran smoothly (even with fairly archaic timing equipment). Minty took out 2nd and I grabbed myself a 5th spot overall, we'll hope to turn it into a series down the track and grow it a bit more I think.

    Anyway, I took the Yeti along for the blast and it was fantastic. It's become a bike that you don't need to think about to control, the front end is extremely confident now that it's tuned properly. The Durolux feels a more damped than the Fox 36, but that feeling off sitting tall in the travel is really really prevalent on the fork. Which is appreciated when you start getting into larger rock features, never gives that feeling like that the front is dipping in. That being said, before the race yesterday, I was feeling a little indifferent to the Yeti on account of it not really doing anything all that much different from the Stumpy. I would have raced the Stumpy had it not been for some shifting issues that I'm hoping to resolve with a new cable and just being too lazy to switch it out yet. That said, the Yeti performed brilliantly, and had I had a big grin on my face all day riding it!!


    Also, neither of us usually ride with a backpack these days. But we were carrying radios, first aid, food, timing gear as well as our usual water and repair gear; understandbly it couldn't be avoided.

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