Ever since the Yeti SB100 was introduced, it immediately became a shop favorite for us at Worldwide Cyclery. The bike is efficient pedaling, it will push you on the descents, and it fits in to Yeti's lineup nicely. Now that we have been riding the SB100 for a while now, we wanted to put it to the test and compare it to another leader in the cross country/light trail category. So here we are, its time to let the Yeti SB100 battle it out with the Santa Cruz Blur. You will come to find out these two bikes are very impressive and certainly cannot be labeled by their 100mm of rear wheel travel. We are going to call in one of our supported riders, Max Morgan, to see how the SB100 vs Blur was all about!
Yeti describes the SB100 as the bike they've always wanted to build. This bike is a purpose built aggressive cross country bike that is defining a new class of bikes out there. The SB100 takes Yeti's popular Switch Infinity design and replaces their previous full suspension cross country bike, the ASR. The SB100 is built to transcend the XC/trail category and we are all excited to see what it does out on the trail.
Yeti's Switch Infinity has become a flagship feature in their lineup. At first glance, you might assume the SB100 to be a single pivot but actually the frame uses a re-engineered Switch Infinity system that is rotated 90 degrees compared to the original design. This particular Switch Infinity design has been made lighter and is packaged specifically for the 100mm travel SB100. The SB100 uses internally tunneled cable routing for a quick and clean cable installation.
Just like Yeti has done in the past with previous models, the SB100 is offered in two different carbon construction frames: the TURQ and C/Series. TURQ Series bikes are made with the highest quality carbon fiber available and offer the perfect balance of stiffness and compliance. With small changes in the carbon fiber layup, Yeti is able to make a more aggressively priced carbon frame, the C/Series. The TURQ series frames are about 250 grams lighter compared to the C/Series carbon frames.
It seems a bit strange to be highlighting the fact an XC bike has a water bottle mount option inside the front triangle, but this is something Yeti customers have been asking for for years. No more mud and gunk on your water bottle.
All Yeti bikes come with a lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects to the original owner.
The Yeti SB100 XO1 TURQ build is the model tested here
This particular SB100 is Yeti's XO1 TURQ build and is fitted with the top of the line suspension from Fox. Up front is the Fox 34 Step Cast fork with the Fit4 damper. In the back is the Fox DPS shock with a 3 position compression adjust. You will see the exact same suspension setup on the Santa Cruz Blur in this comparison of XC bikes. The Yeti also comes with a Fox Transfer dropper post.
For brakes, the SB100 XO1 build out of the box comes with Shimano XT M-8000 2 piston brakes. Shimano makes a great product and these particular brakes seem to always be strong and reliable. You probably could have guessed it, but for drivetrain, this Yeti comes specced with Sram XO1 Eagle 12 speed drivetrain. The 12 speeds give you 500% range and on this bike is paired with a 30 tooth chainring.
One thing that is great about Yeti's build choice for the SB100 is that it comes with a more aggressive tire. Now because this bike is aimed towards the rider who maybe isn't going out to compete in high level cross country events, and while the bike is certainly capable of doing so, Yeti can afford to put slightly heavier tires on the bike that give you more grip out on the trail. You will find a Maxxis DHF 2.3" EXO/TR 3C MaxxTerra tire on the front and a Maxxis Aggressor 2.3" EXO/TR Dual Compound tire mounted in the rear. These Maxxis tires are mounted on DT Swiss M1700 wheels that use a 25mm internal rim width.
Check out the ISCG05 tabs hiding back there, something you won't find on the Santa Cruz Blur
The Santa Cruz Blur was designed as a pure bread cross country race bike, but with a little signature Santa Cruz flair. The Blur fills the gap in the Santa Cruz lineup where the full suspension cross country hasn't been for a while now. Even though at first glance the Blur looks to be a one dimensional machine, after this comparison you will learn that the Blur can't be labeled by its 100mm rear wheel travel.
The Santa Cruz Blur uses Santa Cruz's Virtual Pivot Point (VPP) suspension platform and is designed to balance pedaling efficiency and bump compliance. The Blur features internal cable routing but in order to save weight everywhere possible, does not use the super easy tunneled routing you find in other Santa Cruz models.
Very similar to Yeti's multiple carbon construction offerings, Santa Cruz produces their CC and C carbon frames. CC frames use top of the line materials and a high end carbon layup design. C frames are designed to give a more price friendly option to customers while maintaining the same structural integrity.
All Santa Cruz bikes come with a lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects to the original owner.
Max's personal Santa Cruz Blur is built up in a way that very similarly matches what the Yeti comes like from the factory. This Blur is fitted with a Fox 34 Step Cast fork using a 120mm of travel up front. The Fox DPS shock came from Santa Cruz with the bike and is tuned specifically to match the suspension characteristics of the VPP design. The two position remote compression adjustment has been switched to a three position lever on the shock body, same as what's on the SB100. The bike is also equipped with a Fox Transfer dropper post with 150mm of travel.
Because having a good set of stoppers is important, Max's Blur is running a set of TRP G-Spec Quadiem brakes with Galfer Disc Wave rotors and pads. These 4 piston brakes might be completely over kill for this bike but they are killer brakes. And who doesn't love that polished finish?
For wheels and tires, we have a set of Industry Nine Trail 270 wheels mounted up with Maxxis rubber. A Maxxis DHF 2.3" EXO/TR 3C MaxxTerra tire is in the front, and a Maxxis Crossmark II 2.25" EXO/TR Dual Compound tire is in the rear.
The Blur is running a Sram XO1 11 speed 10-42 tooth drivetrain with a 32 tooth chainring up front. The build is finished off with a full Deity kit from front to back with the Skyline handlebars, Copperhead stem, Knuckleduster grips and Speedtrap Ti saddle.
The SB100 was of course very efficient. With only 100mm of travel and a firm suspension platform, the compression adjustment on the shock allowed you pretty much lock out the shock if you wanted to. I chose to run the shock in the middle of the three compression setting when climbing. That seemed to do the trick, especially because I wasn't out there racing the climbs. The Yeti overall feels like a bigger bike compared to Blur, and even though the reach numbers are very similar between the two size large models, the SB100 felt like their more bike out in front of you making it a little more cumbersome on technical climbing. Keep in mind, this is only compared to the Blur. Up against your average trail bike, this bike climbs like a beast.The Santa Cruz Blur climbs like a mountain goat. It's extremely efficient and what I was assuming to find the first time I rode the Blur. With VPP suspension paired with the Fox DPS 3 position adjust shock, I didn't really feel the need to use the fully locked out mode at all. I would usually climb in the trail position, descend in the open position, and that combination seemed to be the ticket for me. I think if I was in a cross country race, then yeah I might be looking for every bit of climbing efficiency possible. But for every day riding, having a little more suspension compliance and traction climbing in the trail setting does the trick. Overall, it was easy enough to get your weight over the front axle climbing technical sections, all while maintaining traction with the rear wheel.
The SB100 is a fun bike to descend on! Of course, it's not going to be as fast down the mountain as a Yeti SB150, but the SB100 was just fun. Because the SB100 only has 100mm of rear wheel travel and 120mm up front, of course you have limits as to what your descending looks like. But when that recipe is paired with the Switch Infinity system designed specifically for this platform, Yeti gives you a bike that is exciting to ride right on the edge of traction and control. The SB100 uses a 67.5° head angle, much more aggressive than most XC bikes and 1° slacker than the Santa Cruz Blur.
I think the pup Harley has her favorite!
The spirit of the Yeti SB100 is a light weight trail bike that will get you up the hill very efficient and keep you smiling on the way down. The SB100 is a perfect bike for those adventure rides that keep you on the bike all day long! The Santa Cruz Blur on the other hand is a little bike more centered around being a pure bread XC bike. It climbs faster than you can and still gives you what you need on the descents. But like we've seen here, when the Blur is built up with the same Fox 34 Step Cast fork, it will compete and challenge the SB100 happily. In the end, neither of these bikes can be labeled by their 100mm of rear wheel travel, and they are certainly redefining what a modern XC bike looks like.
Max Morgan is 26 years old, and lives in Brevard, North Carolina. Max grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and started racing downhill at the age of 15. He has now been racing professionally for the last 8 years, competing in the UCI World Cup series and U.S. Pro GRT series. To learn more about Max, check out Max's rider spotlight here!