The SB130 LR climbs like a welterweight but descends like Mike Tyson (minus the whole ear biting thing.)
As if we don’t have enough, I’m going to pull a Mike Levy (guy who came up with “Downcountry”) and coin a new term for a category of bikes — Funduro. From now until the end of time, bikes that can hang with the big kids without actually being a big kid, shall be called Funduro bikes. They have less travel, steeper geometry, a more playful demeanor, but when it comes down to the nitty gritty, they can shred as hard as the 10th graders. To further help define the category, here’s “Funduro” used in a sentence — “Dang Billy, the Yeti SB130 Lunch Ride is such a cool Funduro bike!” Got it?
GEOMETRY AND BUILD Yeti SB130
Like the trend goes, the SB130 LR is big. It’s a long bike with a long wheelbase and a long reach. While the steep seat tube helps it feel normal when sitting down and climbing, the reach and wheelbase become apparent on the tighter, bendier sections of trail. It’s not the bike to duck in and out of really tight trees and rocks — thinking east-coast style riding here. It likes wide open spaces and leaning its way around a corner rather than steering. The geometry is modern and progressive without going overboard. It ticks all the boxes on the geometry checklist — slack but not too slack head tube angle – check, 76°+ seat tube angle – check, short-ish chain stays – check, short-offset fork – check. All the buzzwords to keep the angriest Pinkbike comment trolls busy for days.
With some of Yeti’s newer bikes I’ve fallen between L and XL frames. I’m 6’2” with orangutan arms and the XL is very roomy, but the L is too small. I shortened the stem up to 35mm and that seemed to do the trick. Here’s my nit to pick — the jumps between sizes are pretty big. It might make it hard for some of those frame size interlopers like me to find the perfect fit. If you fall between sizes I’d definitely suggest getting on both before you buy.
The build kits in the Lunch Ride edition are limited to two — the CLR $5,499 and the TLR $7,599. The CLR version runs on a Carbon series frame and comes with a GX Eagle drivetrain and Fox Performance suspension. It has more alloy parts than carbon, but it’s a solid build that maximizes value. The TLR uses Yeti’s Turq series frame and has all the nicest bits and bobs. It comes with an X01 drivetrain, Fox Factory suspension and oozes carbon. It’s the build to make all your riding friends green with jealous rage.
Now if you want the Ultra Fancy “Conor Barry Lunch Ride” you throw on an AXS X01 drivetrain, Rockshox E-verb (AXS Reverb), sacrilege Santa Cruz Reserve 30 wheels, CushCore XC in the rear tire, and a super hip Evoc
Bike Purse Frame Bag.
The regular SB130 is a great climber. The Lunch Ride is a good climber — It’s heavier and a little slacker, but it still keeps a lot of what makes the SB130 such a great uphill bike. Namely, the Switch Infinity suspension platform. If you haven’t tried a bike with it yet, get in here and test one out. It has a lot of “get up and go” without feeling too stiff or getting hung up while under power. It remains fairly active in the first third of travel, allowing the rear wheel to move up and over obstacles while climbing. But, it isn’t so active that you feel like you’re bobbing up with every pedal stroke. I never felt the need to use the lockout lever. Rather, I needed traction for the techy climbs on my test trail. Keeping the shock in open mode provided the most traction and kept me from bouncing off every rock on the climb.
The SB130 LR’s geometry keeps your weight nicely centered while climbing. It keeps your hips above the bottom bracket for good power to the pedals. The front end is a little slack and the front wheel can tend to flop around like most bikes in the 65° range. It’s not extra floppy due to the steep seated position keeping enough weight over the front of the bike, though. The Lunch Ride is a really long bike. It made some of the tighter sections of the climb more difficult. One section in particular gave me a tough time. It was a steep bump-littered pitch with a tight 90° right turn at the top. I couldn’t for the life of me get the bike around it — mostly due to my lack of skill, but the long bike certainly wasn’t helping. If you live in a place with really tight uphill turns, this is something you’d want to consider.
The last thing keeping the Lunch Ride form being a great climber is the weight. I’m not one to be too picky about how much my bike weighs, but an extra pound or two can be felt. My bike weighs a good 32 lbs. ready to ride. It’s not super heavy but it’s not a flyweight either. I could go lighter with the build (thinking of tires here), but I don’t think I want to. Over the years I’ve come to find that a heavier bike might slow you down on the climbs, but a flat tire will ruin your ride.
And just to help you find where the SB130 LR fits amongst a random assortment of other bikes you may have ridden, consult the chart below.
The SB130 LR excels at most things once it’s pointed downhill. It is confident and stable, yet playful and jibby. It strikes a very fine balance between plow and play. If Switch Infinity is great on the ups, it’s amazing on the downs.
The small bump performance of the Lunch Ride is so good. It pitter patters through the chatter keeping the bike very calm and collected. It gets hung up less on obstacles allowing you to keep your momentum — and who doesn’t love free speed? Because it only has 137mm of travel, you can still “feel the trail.” It doesn’t mute the terrain and do all of the work for you. It requires an active and engaged riding style to get the most out of it. There’s a whole lot of mid-stroke support for pumping and jumping. It encourages you to pull up for that double you’ve always been too timid to hit. The bike has enough hops you’re most likely going to clear it, if not, you’ve got enough travel back there to save your bacon. That same mid-stroke support is what keeps things lively in the corners. Instead of wallowing through all the travel, the bike gains speed and pops out of a corner better than most bikes I’ve ridden. I do wish the Lunch Ride was a little more progressive through the last third of its travel, however. With the supplied 0 volume reducers, I was able to get through all the travel a little too easily. I put the 0.4 cubic inch spacer in my shock and it helped quite a bit with the bigger hits. None of the bottom outs I experienced were particularly harsh, I’d just prefer to save that last bit of travel for some bigger hits and mistakes. The Lunch Ride allows you to ride very hard and with only 137mm of rear travel, you need a little progressivity to keep up — not a big complaint here, and one that’s easily corrected.
At first, the Lunch Ride feels pretty much like an enduro bike. It feels big, stable and confident. It’s not quite as plush and planted as the SB150 or the Santa Cruz Megatower, but I never felt I was getting in above my head. It’s the kind of bike you can take on any trail you’d like and not be too worried about not having enough bike. It does all of this without feeling like riding a big squishy couch. It still has a lot of personality and rides like a lively trail bike. You don’t have to be going mach-chicken to get it to come alive like a lot of enduro bikes. That’s my favorite thing about it. Kudos to Yeti for finding the right balance between “big, stable and confident” and “fun, lively and snappy.”
Here’s another chart to help you get a feel for where the Lunch Ride falls in downhill capability.
The all arounds Yeti SB130
You probably aren’t looking at a Lunch Ride because you want to win the next I-Cup XC race. You’re here because you dig the way longer travel bikes have a way of letting you go so fast your eyes start to water. Well, you wont be disappointed in the 130 LR — It will go as fast as you dare. But, it’s not always about going fast is it? Or else you’d be looking at an SB150. You understand the subtleties of mountain biking. Not everything is about monster trucking over 8’ boulders. You can appreciate the highly technical double from this rock to that one. You also love the sound your tire makes when you schralp that corner. You’re no chump though. You’re fast enough to podium at the local enduro, but you don’t need to prove it. You ride terrain that’s way over your head from time to time — although, you’re a cool cat and would never admit it. You’ve got a full-face helmet at home but it’s just getting dusty and you should probably just put it on Craigslist already. Man, did I just paint a vivid picture or what?
The way I see it, the SB130 LR is for two kinds of people. One is the person above. The Funduro rider. The rider that bikes aggressively, goes fast, takes chances but isn’t all about racing all the time. The rider that wants a fun yet capable bike. The other rider is the person looking for the well-rounded all purpose bike… with a little extra cushion. A rider who climbs all day, descends tough trails, rides park from time to time, but wants a little more forgiveness. Maybe they want the bike to erase a few mistakes too.
If you’re not the extra cushion style of rider or the Funduro person, the regular SB130 is probably a better option for a well-rounded trail bike. It climbs better, is more maneuverable and weighs less.
Where it falls in Yeti’s lineup
Well this one isn’t going to be too hard. On both the ups and the downs it falls right in the middle of the SB130 and the SB150. I’d say it’s quite a bit closer to an SB 150 than it is a regular SB130. It has more of that plush off the top feeling of the SB150 than it does the sharp and snappy feeling of the SB130. If you are looking for a more well-rounded ride, the 130 is probably the better option. If you want a full on race rig, go with the 150. If you want a blend of both… see what i’m saying? Get the Lunch Ride.
Yeti SB130 Comparison to the Santa Cruz Hightower
Recently I rode the regular SB130 back to back with the Santa Cruz Hightower. You can watch our SB130 vs Hightower video here. The quick recap of that showdown goes as follows: Climbing – The overall win goes to the SB130 but the Hightower climbed better when things got more technical. Descending – The Hightower wins the capability battle and the SB130 wins the maneuverability contest.
So how does the SB130 LR compare? I still think the overall climbing win goes to the Yeti — it’s more efficient. In the techy bits, they are close, but I think the Hightower will still handle them better due to the minutely shorter wheelbase and the increased traction. On the descents the SB130 LR is more supple in that first third of its travel allowing you to ride a little faster with more control. The Hightower is no slouch, though, as it is more planted through the bigger hits. The Yeti might take the cake in the play and pop department. There’s a little more mid-stroke support for getting the bike in the air, where the Santa Cruz sits into its travel and hugs the ground. Both are respectable offerings in the newly coined Funduro category and you can’t go wrong with either.