The new Yeti SB130 vs the new Evil The Offering, two very similar bikes as far as geometry and travel numbers go, but show off some very different personalities on the trail. We’ve already done a handful of Yeti and Evil matchups because they make some seemingly similar bikes (Following vs SB4.5, Wreckoning vs SB5.5, etc.), but answering the question of which one is better is almost nearly impossible. The overall result is that these bikes are very similar, but let's dive into the differences before we come to a conclusion.
Let’s briefly cover what these brands are about. Yeti is a race-oriented brand looking to make a very efficient podium machine. They like to cut weight and develop geo numbers and suspension kinematics to go fast. Evil is a bit different. Their bikes are built burly, with a balance between speed and fun. You might be able to set downhill PR times, but also might want to hit every side jump on the trail. Yeti is like the guy who shows up to the party with a bottle of wine and cheese to match, while Evil is more like the guy who shows up to the party with a kickass IPA variety pack, with a few gone and he is already buzzed. Nothing wrong with either, just two different styles.
The Yeti SB130 is an insane all arounder. Our size large test bike has a 480mm reach and a 76.9-degree seat tube angle. It gives you lots of room to move around in the bike while still having a very efficient climbing position. One thing to note is the seat tube is a very straight tube and as you get more extension on the seat post, you maintain that steep angle. Chainstay length on the SB130 is a short 433mm, which is a 5mm reduction from previous Yeti 29er models. Another difference from previous Yetis is the head tube is a slack 65.5 with 150mm fork on the SB130. All of these numbers come out to make a very aggressive trail bike with 150mm travel up front and 130mm travel in the rear.
The Offering has some very similar numbers. Our test bike was also a size large with a 150mm fork. Note, we did ride it with the 140mm fork, but for comparison reasons and just simply how we like the bike, we kept the 150mm fork on for most riding. Reach is just 3mm shorter than the Yeti at 477mm and the 76-degree seat tube angle nearly matches its competition as well. However, the seat tube angle is an effective measurement and while it seems pretty steep, the actual is quite a bit slacker. Once the seat post is extended to full height if feels slacker than the SB130 while only being one degree different on paper. One advantage the Evil has over the Yeti is the ability to adjust its geometry. The Offering can vary its head tube angle from 66.6 in low with a 140mm fork to 65.6 with a 150mm in x-low. We found the 150mm fork in low felt the best at 66.2 degrees. This setup is a little steeper than the SB130 but nothing to hold it back. As far as chainstays go, the SB130 is longer than the Offering at 433mm. In low mode, the Offering gives you 430mm chainstays while the x-low mode gives you a little extra length and stability at 432mm. The rear ends felt pretty similar when riding and moving it around the trail.
To us, the biggest difference is the suspension kinematics. Yeti uses their Switch Infinity design, where the main pivot moves up and down on two Kashima coated rails. A redesign higher up on the frame results in a shock extender, which allows Yeti to add some much sought after progression. Evil stays with their DELTA linkage here, designed by the man Dave Weigle himself. The DELTA linkage may look crazy, but it's really just a fantastically designed single pivot that provides very predictable movement and a very good amount of progression as well. Both bikes are able to run air or coil shocks, and the stock shocks come without any volume spacers, allowing riders to add as much progression as desired.
The personalities of each bike are immediately noticeable. The Yeti climbs like a goat and has great control when it gets steep and tight. While The Offering is no slouch on the climbs, it’s not quite in the same league as the Yeti SB130. I would say, however, that it’s the best pedaling Evil I’ve ever ridden. The climbing position is much improved and you are able to get the bike moving and up and over stuff with just a little effort. I'll admit, it's really not a comparison on the climbs, but that isn't what either of these bikes is meant to excel on. Both of them will get you to the top of the trail and riders who are in decent shape will have very little to complain about when going up.
Where these bikes are meant to shine is going down, and they both do that with ease. Either one of these bikes can be fast, and depending on your riding style, can make you faster and more confident. The Evil inspires you to lift off into the air as it has a more playful personality while still keeping control and holding a line. We rode the Evil with both a Rockshox SuperDeluxe shock and a Push Industries ElevenSix coil. The SuperDeluxue lacks nothing as far as riding and what it offers, but with the Push, I found something that I really haven't felt in many other bikes. Plush, yet playful. You get an insane amount of small bump compliance while still having that playfulness to jump and take the fun lines. But when desired, you can point the bike and plow through a section. That has a lot to do with the short chainstays and DELTA suspension design.
The Yeti is certainly more of a race bike; it begs to go fast. Every pedal or pump into the bike allows you to pick up speed. It almost makes you feel like you are riding on Cloud Nine. While the bikes are close in weight, the SB130 rides just a little bit lighter. You can still jump and throw this bike around without any issues, but it's not quite as natural. I found myself taking the fast lines, inside often, staying low to the ground, and maybe pumping instead of airing it out. I had some faster times back to back on the SB130 vs the Offering, and I think that is due to the personality the bikes take on. This isn’t to say you cannot be fast on the Offering, though. The bike is extremely capable and will take any and all abuse thrown at it.
Yeti SB130: Good
Evil Offering: Good
Yeti SB130: OK’s
Evil Offering: OK’s
Both of these bikes are front-runners for modern mountain bikes. With long reach numbers, steeper climbing positions, and slack head tubes, these bikes will stay up top for a while. Also, both bikes are capable of going fast while also having fun down the trail. Which one is best for you? If you do not care about setting Strava times or are rarely going to enter a race, the Evil Offering gets everything done and has a great time doing it. You show up to the party with a buzz and look to keep that going. If you want to go fast, beat all your friends’ times, maybe enter a few races, and try to get to the top of the climb first, SB130 all day. It’s the guy who pairs a bottle of wine with dinner but gets up at 5 am to ride the next day. Either of these trail bikes can really do it all, so I would look to match the bike with your preferred riding style.