In a move that’s seemingly out of left field, Yeti Cycles has added freerider Reed Boggs to its athlete roster for 2020. Boggs joins the turquoise-laden brand after leaving a sponsorship with Trek, where he rode the Session downhill bike. Boggs has competed in Red Bull Rampage twice and won Marzocchi Proving Grounds last year, the first ever Rampage qualifier.
This is a notable departure from the typical athletes that Yeti sponsors. The brand has solely focused on enduro for most of the past decade, and largely focused on downhill racing before that.
The brand’s star athlete is of course Richie Rude. Rude and Cody Kelley, both American, formed somewhat of a US dream team from 2015 – 2017, taking bikes like the SB6 across the world. Before Kelley and Rude raced together, Rude raced the EWS with veteran racer Jared Graves.
Before Yeti’s big push and investment into enduro racing, they were heavily invested in World Cup downhill racing on their 303 downhill bike and sponsored athletes like Aaron Gwin, Eliot Jackson, and Sam Blenkinsop. Yeti has always said that racing is a huge part of its DNA and that reflects in its bikes, like the SB6, SB5.5, SB100 and the SB150.
Last year however the brand released two bikes that are tagged under the ‘rip’ category rather than ‘race.’ The SB140 and SB165 were released and marketed as play bikes, rather than competitive models. Both are on 27.5-inch wheels. The SB140 looks to be a solid trail bike, while the SB165 is said to be made for big air and big hits.
Boggs has a BMX and motocross background which has led him gracefully into the freeride community.
“Once I rode the SB165, I knew it would be a great bike for me — just enough suspension for big drops and nimble enough to flick around corners and throw whips,” said Boggs. “I’m looking forward to getting Yeti into their first Red Bull Rampage.”
Bogg’s first event on the SB165 will be the McGazza Fest in New Zealand, which commemorates the late Kelly McGarry. He’ll also be competing at Crankworx Innsbruck and Whistler, and the Oregon Black Sage Fest, but will have his sights focused on Rampage.