Review: 2023 Yeti SB160 – The Revised Racer

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Frame details

Between lunches, the design team in Golden, Colorado has been busy simplifying the packaging of the SB160, though its looks still make it unmistakably a Yeti. In fact, most of the changes to the bike hide in plain sight, like the streamlined suspension linkage, second-gen Switch Infinity link, universal derailleur hanger, and cable management.

Under the paint there is a concrete reason why the shape of the frame has not changed drastically. Yeti sculpted the round top tube differently from the smooth square shape of the downtube to retain certain stiffness characteristics throughout the bike. This downtube now places the bottom bracket junction farther out of harm’s way for clearance over more objects, while also allowing room for a full-size water bottle inside the front triangle. As for weight, a mid-size Turq frame comes in at 3806 grams with a Fox Float X2 attached.

If you really get disconnected from the line, there’s a replaceable dual-density protector that unlocks without peeling the paint and provides access to guide the dropper post housing into place, instead of revealing an area of tool storage. All of the cable ports snap onto the cases to hold them securely in place as well, including those that follow the motion of the Switch Infinity pivot.

These aren’t the only rubberized bits Yeti has stuck to the SB160, either. The ramped fins on the top of the chainstay go all the way to the chain guide and you will also find additional parts on the underside of both chainstays.

Longevity was an area Yeti sought to improve with the SB160, and it started with improved seals, hardware, and bearings throughout the Switch Infinity link, but only on the more sophisticated Turq series frames. The service interval for these two Kashima-coated mini stanchions is every forty hours of riding and is as simple as plugging a grease gun into the ports on the link. Previous-gen Yetis owners will be pleased to know that the second-gen Switch Infinity Link is backwards compatible and available shortly after launch as an aftermarket upgrade through their retailer.

To combat the complications of servicing larger gear, Yeti moved the location of the seat bearings from the carbon wishbones to the aluminum linkages. Not only do the floating-clamp pivot axles provide perfect alignment on the Enduro Max bearings, but it also makes the replacement process a smaller chore, physically too. Like all 2019 or newer Yeti frames, the warranty policy covers the original owner against manufacturing defects for the life of the bike, including the Switch Infinity Link.

Behind this link, the bottom of the split seat tube protects the link, but that doesn’t leave much room for debris to pass through the chainstay yoke. It wasn’t an initial concern for me when the dry summer conditions dragged into the fall, but a boulder managed to squeeze through it on a descent. The ensuing cacophony and carnage was enough for me to quickly hit the brakes and come to a stop. Fortunately, only the driving flow was interrupted and some paint was lost. Clearance is tight in this area. A fender covering that gap could have been handy here.

To top off the finish, quite literally, our test bike came with clear vinyl cutouts that cover some of the high-friction sections of the frame that will be available as another aftermarket purchase. Personally, I would prefer all or nothing for the cover. Attempting to wrap halfway usually leads to paint brightness mismatch on the road.


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