I’ve been eyeing a downcountry bike for a while and the desire is starting to burn more fiercely now that its warming up outside. On the mountain bike side of the house, I currently have:
2018 Trek Stache 9.7, carbon wheels, single speed (32x18)
2020 Santa Cruz Hightower, 160mm coil fork (Lyrik with Push ACS3 kit), 160mm coil rear (Fox DHX2 + cascade link)
With the changes I’ve made to the Hightower, its really too much bike for a lot of my local riding (plus it weighs 34 lbs), but its a blast at the bike park and anywhere you pedal up the hill so you can rip down it. I can hustle it around more flat/mellow trails but aside from hitting certain features and such, its not the best tool for the job.
The Stache is a blast and half, especially single speed - its basically a monster truck bmx bike. I call it my hooligan bike, haha. That said, single speed can be annoying at times (you’re never in the right gear because you’re always in the wrong gear) and sometimes I skip certain features or drops due to the lack of rear suspension. I’ve considered putting gears back on the stache to make it a little more flexible, but I really like it as a single speed - its super light that way and just feels fun. Plus the gears won’t solve my 0mm rear travel issue.
With this in mind, I feel like there is a downcountry bike sized hole in my current quiver, and as a firm believer in N+1 I’ve been doing some window shopping. New bikes are wildly expensive IF you can find it in stock in your size, so I’ve been looking at some used options. It looks like a good used sb100 can be had in the $5k range and it seems like this bike would tick all the boxes for me, namely:
- Faster and more nimble than my Hightower that wants to be a Megatower on tight, rolling xc trails.
- Better able to handle smaller jumps/drops than my Stache.
- Be a practical bike to enter one or two XC marathon events next year (I’m all about gravel this year).
So, is buying a 2-3 year old sb100 a bad idea? I might part ways with the stache after this purchase - basically if I never ride it anymore someone else should enjoy it, but I might keep it too just have to wait and see.
Sell all those bikes, skip the SB100 and get a 120 travel bike.
I’ve gone round and round and round, 120 is where it’s at for an occasional racer who enjoys technical trails.
At the very least ride the SB100 first, I did not enjoy it. I’m glad to see the trend in XC moving to 120.
It seems the SB100 is a bit dated as far as DC bikes go. Also, the switch link is reasonably maintenance heavy (someone correct me if wrong) so would be something to check carefully when buying used/you’d want a well maintained one).
Yeti’s are very expensive for what they are, I imagine there must be plenty of other bikes in the $5k used range.
Unless you’ve always wanted a Yeti, and this is a good excuse to get one. By all accounts they were pretty good when new.
To be honest I agree with the 120 comment, but I’m keeping the Hightower haha. I really would rather have a new transition spur, but they seem almost impossible to find these days. I was hoping to pick something up in time to enjoy it this season.
I would be totally happy if my 170mm E29 with Ohlins coil was my only bike (around 38 pounds). If I had a 120-140mm bike, it would never get ridden. My Intense Sniper only gets pulled out on race weekends.
Keep the long travel bike, if you have the trails for it! I have a 120mm XCM and a 160mm Coil sprung bike, and they are not the same! The XCM can ride almost all the trails of the 160mm bike, but much slower, and much more fatiguing, and honestly the “look bro’s I’m passing you on an XC bike” is only fun for so long
My 0.02$ sell the Stache! Do not get the Spur. Get something that has more of a traditional XC geo, so you can enjoy the different feeling of the big vs small bike!
I doubt they’re any easier to get, but have you considered the Rocky Mountain Element? And it’s been out for a bit now, so less exciting, but I’ve yet to have ridden a bike I like better for general trail riding and the occasional back country race than the Ibis Ripley. I just test rode a Stumpjumper (non-EVO) and it felt quite a bit harsher to me than the Ripley. Admittedly, I think I could have improved that with some more set up time on the rear shock…
I have a SB100 and love it! i bought it used as well (frame only). I came from a series of Santa cruz tall boys and still have a highball HT. Its a great bike and at 100 mill its def more “progressive’” than many other 100mm XC rigs out there (way better than the blur, cannondale and the speci-brain) but i think still firmly an XC bike. I am actually starting to kick the tires on a SB115 which if you are looking downcountry i’d consider that. I’ve never “bottomed out” the suspension but depending on where you ride always nice to have that extra 15mm. On getting a used SB100 i would check for cracks in the normal areas but have seen them go in the carbon pivot points. Also make sure that you get a good shot of the Switch infinity. Those things go (as well as the pivot points for the SI) and need to be kept clean to be happy and should look in good shape. I don’t think its “dated” by any means, they are still using the same suspension design all the way up to their 150’s i believe and calling the bike dated is for people that have to have the latest thing. Sizing wise they fit a little weird and i’d do your research. I ride a large santa cruz but am able to barely fit my Yeti in a MD though my next will be a large (i have my seatpost maxed out) if this makes any sense. Also on tires i think the biggest you could fit in the frame (rear) would be a 2.4 if you have wide rims. Another thing to keep in mind is that it has 1 water bottle mount but i used a wolftooth side-by-side-cage-thingy and it worked great. If you are gonna race it look for the Turq (dif layup and lighter). they are not the lightest girl at the ball (those new Speci epcis are crazy light) but i got mine to 24-26ish depending on setup, which shows that as a DC rig they are not soo delicate that you need to worry a ton (again comparing to the Speci Epic evo which a strong thumb could punch through the carbon in spots or at least flex it)
I raced the heck outta it last year at Breck Epic, USAC marathon nat.s, too many XCO’s to count, a few 100k MTB-XCM’s (it brought me to the top step podium at one and a second GC podium at breck) . i think by strava i put almost 700 miles on it last year alone and i have 7 other bikes to share the work load. No problems with it! The only thing i would maybe do is put an angle set on it and try and get 1 more degree slack outta the HT angle.
I would keep the hardtail…there’s no bike as versatile as MTB hardtail…
Sounds like a great bike. Hope you can ride it this weekend.
I don’t think you’d regret getting an SB100. I went with a Specialized Epic, also 100mm. It’s a rocket.
My “trail” bike is an SC Nomad, 170/170 with a Push Eleven-Six coil. It doesn’t climb “well”, but well-enough that I do a fair amount of training on it.
Downcountry is cool, but my preference is still to have two* bikes on opposite ends of the spectrum.
*Not including my DH bike, gravel bike, dirt jumper, two road bikes, and road tandem.
I had one and really liked it, but it seemed to be either I felt like I needed more or wanted less.
What I mean by that, is that on XC riding trails, I wanted a true XC race bike and then on gnarlier trails, I wanted something more capable.
It was a fun bike, but just wasn’t exactly what I wanted.
Yeti could come out with another true XC bike, but I don’t think they will.
I’ve spent a lot of time on the SB100 and really like it, almost got one to replace my Yeti ASR-C which I built up in 2017 with 120 on the front but I couldn’t do it… i too really, really like the 120 on my XC/race bike. It fits my riding style, the trails I ride, etc.
It’s so personal though, the SB100 is a rad bike for sure.
Just to update - I ended up buying a new SB115 at my local shop after taking it for a demo. So far I really like it - definitely a fast machine! Even after just a few rides I am beginning to see why people love Yeti - the rear suspension is magical. I honestly cannot believe how plush it feels for a short travel bike yet it still pedals and climbs like a champ.
Now its time to put it on a diet - those stock wheels have got to go!
Awesome! Which build version did you go for?
They do seem portly, but I assume that’s down to extra carbon to make the frames strong enough for the intended use (they historically had cracking issues didn’t they?).
My mate has an SB6 and it’s pretty amazing watching the lack of movement of the rear shock when climbing. Super capable bike.
Nice to have a bike with no need for a lockout.
I ended up with the base C1 build due to availability. I would have liked the T1, but that wasn’t available at my shop. Oh well, I’m not complaining - I’ve got enough spare parts to swap things around how I’d like anyway. Plus it left some extra money to spring for a set of Reserve XC28 wheels, which I ordered today.
I cannot believe how easy it was to get the suspension set up on this thing - I literally just took the suggested pressures and damper settings from Yeti’s website and they seem pretty spot on.
Now to put gears back on the Stache and sell it to recoup some of the money…
Awesome! Look forward to seeing it in the Users Bike Thread .
I enjoyed the SB100 that I had, wished they would do a true XC race bike, it would be worth a look.
I tend to agree, on the SB100. I think that its a great XC bike but is more of an all-arounder/trailish bike than a true XC bike. Its definitely heavy compared to modern FS XC’s out there (ie Speci-Epic, Blur, Orbea and others) and think she should redesign to 100 as a an XC rig (from a brand DNA standpoint they used to have a great history of sponsoring XC riders…now its all endruo-bro’s) and keep the SB115 around for a few more years as a downcountry or what every you wanna label it.
Yes, they could do a great true XC bike for sure and with the Yeti heritage, I’m sure it wouldn’t take long to have racers out winning on it.