Yeti SB4.5 Review: Is This The Do It All Bike?

Is there a bike that can be considered a do it all, one and done, ultimate quiver killer?  The Yeti SB4.5 is our best answer to that. A bike that can pedal five hour days, keep up with the XC guys, handle the rough, chunky trails, and even take a shuttle day. The SB4.5 is as good to ride as it is to look at with the clean Yeti look. Clutter-free internal cable routing, swooping top tube, down tube, and rear triangle and of course, the classic Yeti turquoise color. The SB4.5 will have you drooling before you even throw a leg over it.

Yeti SB4.5 Review

The intended use of the SB4.5 is XC and trail. Having 114mm of travel in the rear and spec’d with a 140mm fork, this bike fits perfectly in these categories. A 67.4 degree headtube angle paired with a 437mm chain stay length and a 334mm BB height creates trail geometry that is hard to beat for this bike’s purposes. One thing that makes the 114mm of rear travel so efficient is the Switch Infinity link, a translating pivot designed by both Fox and Yeti to help control the axle path through the suspension travel. Some other specs to consider is the 95mm head tube length and the 421mm reach on our medium demo bike. With 29 inch wheels, having a short head tube is something I have found to be extremely useful in keeping the front of the bike from feeling too tall. The medium to long top tube length means running a short stem still feels great when climbing and pedaling this bike all day. Keeping up with the always changing standards, the SB4.5 uses Boost spacing front and rear, helping to maintain chainstays short and both ends of the bike stiff.

Yeti SB4.5 Review

Riding the SB4.5 is nothing short of amazing, climbing like an XC race bike that has lots of rear wheel traction while pedaling. The Switch Infinity link helps with this tremendously by providing sufficient anti-squat in the beginning of the travel to give this bike great pedaling performance with little pedal “bob” while still keeping small bump sensitivity. As you would imagine, this bike can climb like a mountain goat, but what you would not initially think is that this bike can rip your local trail a new one!  Don’t let the 114mm of travel fool you, paired with a 140mm fork up front this bike feels very balanced and helps you build that dare devil, let-off-the-brakes confidence that is extremely addicting. The SB4.5 lets me push so hard that I found myself charging sections that I would normally only attempt on a 6” bike. Without having insane slack geometry like some new 29ers, this bike handles like it’s on rails, taking corners, jumps and rock gardens, leaving you more than impressed.

 Although it has almost nothing to complain about, there is one very small issue with the SB4.5: no option to run a chainguide. Without having any ISCG 05 tabs, you do not have the option to run a chainguide system. We have not had any dropped any chains on this bike, but it is easy to see how this might be a problem for a few riders. Some might also find issue with the 1x drivetrain only option, but with new systems like Sram’s 12-speed Eagle, riders will find it hard to argue for a front-derailleur mount.


Does this bike fit into the one bike do it all category?  We would like to think so, having the best of both worlds by climbing efficiently and downright killing the descents. With dialed geometry, a clean look, and the always awesome Yeti details, this bike is a blast to ride!  It is an instant favorite around the shop and with our customers. We have built many stock and custom rides and everybody has loved their SB4.5.

As an official Yeti dealer, we are one of the few dealers in Southern California where you can demo a Yeti bike! We typically have a number of different models and sizes available for demo, just contact us and we can get you set up with a demo immediately! Buying a new bike is a huge decision and we definitely want you to feel comfortable on a bike before you pull the trigger and buy one. Click here to read more about our demo program.

Yeti Cycles - Worldwide Cyclery

January 03, 2017

Bike Review › SB4.5 › Yeti ›

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