Yeti Cycles has done it again. The brand added another high-performance, long-travel mountain bike to its lineup, only this one has a little more giddy-up in its ride. In for test: Yeti’s very first e-bike, the Yeti 160E.
It seemed as though Yeti was slightly behind their competitors in the creation of an e-bike, but to put it in Turq Terms: “It Took Time. To Make Time.” The time they are referring to was necessary to carefully consider and address the added power, weight, and unique demands of an e-bike built for racing, and also time to heed the laws of physics and create an entirely new suspension platform with infinite tunability.
First prototyped in 2016, the new Sixfinity suspension platform consists of a 6-bar linkage and lower link switches (get it? SIX…finity), the function of which is somewhat similar to Yeti’s patented Switch Infinity Technology. Built with the weight and power of an e-bike in mind, Sixfinity is very tunable, with a stiff supportive chassis that accommodates the speed, motor, battery, and mass of an e-Bike.
How it works
As the suspension progresses through its travel, the switch link initially rotates upward, providing a wide and flat band of anti-squat while pedaling. As soon as the suspension reaches its inflection point, it switches directions and rotates downward, causing the anti-squat to drop off non-linearly. This allows the suspension to move more freely when pedaling is not a priority.
Compared to a traditional bike, e-bikes use a greater range of gears when climbing and the Sixfinity suspension allows for consistency and predictability regardless of gear choice. The unique thing about the Yeti 160E is the adjustable leverage rate, which allows for a change to the rate of progression, while geometry, anti-squat, and anti-rise remain consistent. The leverage rate settings can be modified by selecting one of three “discs” placed directly into the frame below the suspension. The stock position is set at 30%, providing a nice balanced ride. However, the discs can be switched to 25% for a more supported and efficient ride, or 35% for a plush feel with more pop. I have yet to switch the stock disc, as I am a lighter rider and find the bike to be balanced as is. However, it’s nice to have the option in case I decide to take some DH laps in the near future.
|SEAT TUBE LENGTH||380||410||450||495|
|EFF. SEAT TUBE ANGLE||78||78||78||78|
|ESTIMATED BB HEIGHT||350||350||350||350|
|AXLE TO CROWN||583.7||583.7||583.7||583.7|
Built with racing in mind, this 29” shred sled is chock-full of features.
- 160mm rear travel
- Carbon fiber frame
- Sixfinity Suspension Platform
- 630-Watt hour, semi-integrated Shimano battery with remote charging port
- Bluetooth capabilities for integration with a phone or GPS
- Shimano cranks and 160mm crank arms
- Yeti thermoplastic handlebar with integrated wiring for hassle-free use and a clean aesthetic
- “Moto” brake compatible routing (left or right rear brake)
- Boost Spacing and SRAM UDH hanger
- Floating collet axels and pinch bolts on the linkage to extend bearing life and ensure optimal, consistent alignment
- Custom OneUp chain guide mount
- Custom configurable cable ports, captured hoses and housing, and ribbed chainstay guards to provide a silent ride and allow for cabled or wireless setup
- Shock drain holes to allow for water and mud drainage
I’ve been testing the T1 Series build in size small for a few weeks now, and suffice it to say, it’s fun. With Eco, Trail, and Boost modes, you can really enjoy any trail in every way imaginable. I just wish a had an extra $13K in my bank account.
Due to the current component shortage, what should be the Maxxis Double Down rear tire and EXO+ front tire have been swapped with a MAXXIS Minion DHR rear and Assegai front tire. All major components appear to be what is spec’d for the T1 Series: an e-specific Fox 38 Factory GRIP 2 Fork, in-house custom tuned Fox Float XT made specifically for the 160E, Shimano XTR cranks with a 34 tooth chainring, a Yeti eMTB-specific thermoplastic handlebar, and a Rockshox Reverb AXS dropper, to name a few. Unfortunately, because it’s a small frame there is no room for a standard water bottle cage. Bummer.
There are a few different build kits available for the 160E. The nicer of the two, the T1 Series which I’m testing, starts at a price of $12,700 and increases to $13,600 with the addition of carbon wheels. The C1 Series starts at $10,100 with the option to add carbon wheels and an extra $1000 dollars to the price tag. Both are undoubtedly an enjoyable ride and it might not be necessary to add carbon wheels to an already heavy bike, but to each their own. One additional attribute to note is that Yeti deviated slightly in the color department, offering a new hue option called “Rhino,” a more green-tinted version of the classic turquoise.
Be on the lookout for the full Yeti 160E review coming in the end of November; just in time for Christmas.