HomeCyclingFirst Look and First Rides! The All-new Yeti ASR XC Race Bike

First Look and First Rides! The All-new Yeti ASR XC Race Bike

First Look and First Rides! The All-new Yeti ASR XC Race Bike

Colorado-based Yeti Cycles is a model with a wealthy racing historical past. Actually, the primary manufacturing Yeti body in 1985 was referred to as the F.R.O., an acronym for “For Racing Solely”. And, based on the Yeti web site, “Since 1985, racing has fueled our very existence”, an announcement backed up by a scroll via their bike historical past web page which chronicles the evolution of their bikes over time, and in some ways, the game itself.

So, it has appeared a bit odd to me, and I’m certain loads of others, that Yeti hasn’t had a full-blown cross-country race bike of their lineup for the previous a number of years. Effectively, that each one modifications right now with the launch of the brand new Yeti ASR, a high-performance XC race machine meant to go head-to-head with one of the best within the enterprise and compete on the highest stage. 

Stock image of the model year 2000 Yeti ASR
The primary model of the Yeti ASR from 2000. Bikes certain seemed rather a lot completely different 24 years in the past. (Yeti)

If the identify ASR sounds acquainted, that’s as a result of the model has rebooted the identify from one in every of their hottest bikes of all time. The primary ASR got here out in 2000 and went via a number of iterations over time. For instance, Yeti began utilizing flex stays on the ASR in 2003, made the primary carbon fiber model in 2009, and continued making incremental enhancements till the ASR was ultimately phased out after they launched the SB100 in 2018.

Why is Yeti leaping again into the XC recreation now?

In lieu of an in-person media launch occasion, I jumped on a video name with Yeti’s design, engineering, and product group and so they walked me via every thing in regards to the new ASR. In keeping with the oldsters at Yeti, a correct XC bike was one thing they felt was lacking from their line, so that they launched into one in every of their most bold tasks ever, creating the lightest full-suspension bike of their historical past. They advised me that whereas the SB100 and the SB115 that adopted have been comparatively light-weight short-travel bikes, the Swap Infinity suspension design meant that they weren’t competitively gentle sufficient to be pure race bikes. In the end, they wished to make a brand new bike that was able to profitable on the World Cup stage.

Yeti ASR Body Design

An image of the Yeti ASR which shows some of the carbon layup in the frame's design
Yeti aimed to maintain weight low by lowering redundant carbon with customized ply shapes like this one used on the head tube junction. (Yeti)

Beginning with the body, the principle aim was to make it as gentle as potential whereas sustaining power and particular experience traits. To do that, the group used in-depth carbon development evaluation instruments to find out essentially the most environment friendly development potential that diminished redundant carbon, and subsequently, weight, all through the layup. They did this by utilizing “customized ply shapes, crucial materials selection, clever draping strategies, and clean transitions between each ply”, together with putting pivots strategically by utilizing current stout buildings within the body to cut back the “strong carbon” wanted to strengthen pivot factors. 

I’m advised they went via 36 completely different layups throughout improvement earlier than deciding on a closing. Additionally they chased weight within the design of the hyperlink, utilizing 7075 aluminum that’s intricately sculpted to take away extra materials, and so they even created a customized rear axle to shave grams even additional. This leads to a body that’s, the truth is, impressively gentle. The T-Sequence Wi-fi body I’ve been testing weighs in at a claimed 1,448 grams (no shock, dimension M), or 1,813 grams with the SIDLuxe Final Flight Attendant shock. The T-Sequence Wired frames are a claimed 1,552 grams, and C-Sequence frames are available in at 1,727 grams (no shock, dimension M). 

Every dimension body, XS-XL, will get its personal devoted layup to take care of the consistency of desired stiffness traits throughout all sizes. Different necessary priorities within the design of the body embody room for 2 water bottles throughout the entrance triangle and inner routing for suspension lockouts on all frames. All frames have a hangarless interface to be used with T-type (Transmission) derailleurs or a Common Derailleur Hangar (UDH) and the drivetrain of your selection. The frames settle for a customized, proprietary chain information and have clearance for 28-36t chainrings (as much as 38t on dimension M-XL), together with clearance for as much as 2.4-inch tires (on 30mm inner diameter rims). Moreover, for ease of upkeep, there may be no headset cable routing and the body makes use of threaded backside brackets. Additionally they include an built-in downtube protector and a small rear fender to maintain particles out of the hole by the decrease pivot.

Suspension Design

A look at a drawing of the flex stay design on the Yeti ASR
No Swap Infinity right here, only a easy single-pivot design with flex stays. (Yeti)

One of many extra notable facets of the ASR is transferring again to a extra conventional suspension structure within the type of a single pivot design with flex stays. Not solely is that this a confirmed design for the appliance, however it considerably reduces each complexity and weight (in comparison with their Swap Infinity), and Yeti has expertise utilizing them since 2003 on earlier variations of the ASR. 

The brand new ASR has 115mm of rear wheel journey that’s been optimized for the specified kinematics to ship 100% usable journey. The rear suspension is designed to have a near-linear leverage fee with 10% development. They selected to make use of a 40mm stroke shock to attain their desired compression ratios, together with creating customized stack and quantity structure to attain their desired efficiency traits. That’s paired with 120mm of fork journey to deal with the pains of the more and more technical and demanding cross-country programs.


The Yeti ASR geometry chart
Modern XC geometry and a five-size vary for the brand new ASR. (Yeti)

Geometry-wise, the aim was balancing it for racing on fashionable cross-country programs. This features a 66.5° head tube angle, size-specific rear middle/chainstay lengths for balanced weight distribution, and a low backside bracket for enhanced stability at velocity and assured dealing with. Moreover, efficient seat tube angles keep the identical throughout all sizes, however precise STA will get steeper as sizes improve to maintain taller riders from “feeling off the again”. Whereas not precisely into “down-country” territory, the geometry is most undoubtedly up-to-date for true cross-country racing. 

Body Choices

Yeti ASR weights and frames
A have a look at Yeti’s body coloration choices with claimed weights for frames and full builds in dimension Medium. (Yeti)

The Yeti ASR is obtainable in six full builds that span three completely different body constructions and as a T-Sequence Wired frame-only (with SIDLuxe Final 3P shock and 3P wired lockout included) for $4,000. The three body choices embody the top-of-the-line T-Sequence Wi-fi mannequin that I’ve been testing with the T5 Final XX SL Transmission construct that’s meant to be used with wi-fi drivetrains solely. This body foregoes derailleur cable routing in favor of weight financial savings and is available in a startlingly gentle weight of 1,448 grams (body solely, dimension M). This body solely comes within the stealthy black/uncooked carbon coloration with the shiny silver Yeti brand.

The first distinction between the Wi-fi body talked about above and the T-Sequence Wired frames is the addition of configurable derailleur cable ports with clamped closures to maintain cables tight and tidy. These frames don’t have guided tube-in-tube cable routing to maintain weight to a minimal. The T-Sequence Wired frames weigh in at a claimed 1,552 grams (no shock, dimension M) and can be found as a body solely (with shock) for a customized construct. 

The C-Sequence frames are barely heavier and are used for the 2 least costly builds within the line. These frames additionally function the identical configurable cable ports but in addition have tube-in-tube inner routing. The claimed weight of 1,727 grams (no shock, dimension M) remains to be fairly darn light-weight.

Each the T-Sequence Wired frames and the C-Sequence frames are available in three coloration choices together with traditional Yeti Turquoise, Greyhound, and Spruce. 

Builds and Pricing

The product group at Yeti additionally stated that they had a aim of equipping each full construct, ranging in value from $5,600 to $13,500, with parts which might be race-ready proper out of the field. For the T-Sequence builds, this consists of delicate touches like super-light Bike Yoke BarKeeper stems and seatpost clamps, distant suspension lockouts (Twistloc to cut back bar muddle for the non-FA builds), and Race Face Subsequent SL handlebars. Additionally they provide each wi-fi and wired drivetrain choices to go well with various preferences, and choices to improve the T-Sequence builds to DT Swiss XRC 1200 carbon wheels (+ $2,000) or the C-Sequence builds to Final Suspension with Twistloc remotes (+ $600). All builds include 30mm inner width wheels (wider than the norm for XC) for the added air quantity, elevated contact patch, and the advantages that associate with that. 

A look at the build of the Yeti ASR Ultimate XX SL Transmission build
You’d be fairly hard-pressed to seek out any full bike that’s extra tricked out than the T5 Final XX SL Transmission construct. (photograph/Jeremy Benson)

The highest-of-the-line ASR construct, and the one which I’ve been driving for the previous few weeks, is the T5 Final XX SL Transmission which retails for $13,900. This bike is constructed across the T-Sequence Wi-fi body and comes geared up with a construct that’s targeted completely on efficiency and/or weight financial savings. Sure, this bike could be very costly, however it comes with top-of-the-line every thing and is definitely competitively priced amongst related choices (the brand new Specialised Epic 8 S-Works goes for $14,500), however nonetheless, there’s no denying it’s costly and can possible draw the ire of loads of of us. 

That stated, this construct options the brand-new RockShox Flight Attendant XC suspension bundle, in addition to the entire different related AXS elements and a Quarq energy meter which all work collectively as a system. This construct additionally comes with the soon-to-be-launched DT Swiss XRC 1200 carbon wheels which weigh in at simply 1,303 grams for the set, together with SRAM Degree Final brakes and Centerline X rotors. Much more surprising, is that my dimension massive take a look at bike got here with a 170mm journey AXS dropper, and nonetheless solely weighs 23 lbs (measured)!

Transferring down a step or two in value (and probably lighter weight when you improve to the carbon wheels) are the T-Sequence builds. These embody the T4 XX1 (mechanical) at $7,900, the T3 X0 Transmission at $8,600, and the T2 (X0 mechanical) at $7,200. As an alternative of Flight Attendant suspension, these builds all have RockShox SID/SIDLuxe Final 3-position Twistloc distant suspension, include light-weight Fox Switch SL dropper posts, and DT Swiss XML 1700 wheels. Claimed weights for the T-Sequence Wired builds are all between 23.6 and 24.3 kilos (dimension M) and all drop under 23 kilos with the carbon wheel improve.

The C-Sequence builds are essentially the most budget-friendly with the C3 GX Transmission at $6,600 and the C2 (GX mechanical) at $5,600. The C-Sequence builds include RockShox Choose stage suspension (with the choice to improve to Final with Twistloc for $600), a Burgtec stem/handlebar combo, and DT Swiss M1900 wheels. The C2 and C3 builds are nonetheless fairly light-weight with claimed weights (dimension M) of 25.8 and 26 kilos, respectively.

Yeti ASR: First Rides

Riding the Yeti ASR cross country race bike
Driving the ASR kinda appears like dishonest and I’m okay with that. (photograph/Doug Thayer)

At this level, I’ve had the Yeti ASR T5 Final XX SL Transmission for nearly a month and I’ve had the prospect to get a number of hundred miles on it. It’s nonetheless very a lot winter the place I dwell within the mountains of California, however the foothills have fortunately provided up loads of driving alternatives not too removed from house. 

The ASR arrived at my home packaged as it might be when you ordered a motorbike immediately from the model. Yeti now does consumer-direct gross sales along with the vendor gross sales that we’re all accustomed to. This has apparently been happening for over a 12 months (I had no thought) and isn’t meant to switch vendor gross sales, however it’s out there as an choice to those that might not have a vendor close by. And, like consumer-direct manufacturers, they ship the bikes to the patron with minimal setup required.

All that basically wanted to be carried out to get it ride-ready was to connect the handlebar, orient the bar roll and controls, connect the entrance wheel, and verify tire and suspension pressures. It couldn’t have been simpler. The brake pads even come pre-bedded and the tires have been arrange tubeless with sealant. It’s value mentioning right here that whereas many manufacturers are transferring to light-weight one-piece bar/stem combos for bikes like this, Yeti has gone with separate items that can help you alter the bar roll for optimum match and luxury or swap out the bar for a unique mannequin. 

In fact, the Flight Attendant system takes a couple of minutes to arrange, however it actually isn’t too tough and is clearly well worth the time when you’re paying this a lot for the expertise. 

Riding the Yeti ASR around a turn on a smooth singletrack trail
The ASR is all about transferring quick and it undoubtedly prompts you to push the tempo. (photograph/Doug Thayer)

The ASR offers a very good first impression. It’s a really sharp-looking bike, and the T5 Final construct specifically is tremendous stealthy with pops of silver on the downtube, fork and shock, and even the logos on the wheels. It’s additionally very light-weight at 23 kilos (measured) in a dimension massive, and that’s with a 170mm AXS dropper and the added weight of the Flight Attendant batteries/parts (roughly 220 grams).

Throwing a leg over the ASR and pushing down on the pedals, it felt like I had unlocked a cheat code or I used to be driving an SL electrical bike. Each the low weight and effectivity of this bike merely make it really feel very desirous to rise up and go. On the similar time, the geometry doesn’t really feel too racy, and I immediately felt snug. In fact, it does have a decrease stack than a typical path bike, for instance, which leads to a barely extra aggressive physique place, however when settled into the shock’s beneficial 30% sag, the BB top finally ends up being pretty low and gives a way that you simply’re within the bike moderately than precariously perched on high of it. 

On the primary experience, it turned clear that the ASR is the kind of weapon that I’ve been missing in my arsenal. The outright velocity of this bike is actually spectacular, and like related bikes that I’ve ridden, it feels prefer it’s urging you to remain on the gasoline, hammer over that subsequent curler, and PR each climb. Actually, even with my so-so mid-winter health, I’ve been setting private greatest instances each experience on the ASR each up and down the hill on trails that I’ve ridden dozens if not lots of of instances. 

Riding the Yeti ASR over a rock on a singletrack mountain bike trail
For such a light-weight and racy bike, the ASR feels steady, snug, and reassuringly sturdy, assuming you don’t fall off any cliffs. (photograph/Doug Thayer)

Cross-country geometry has been evolving, clearly, and primarily based on my expertise, Yeti struck a fantastic steadiness with the design of this bike. Whereas many tremendous gentle, efficiency-focused race bikes have twitchy, nervous dealing with or really feel a bit sketchy when introduced on top of things, the ASR feels rather more composed than I used to be anticipating, whether or not bombing a fireplace highway or slashing down bermed circulate trails. As an alternative of feeling such as you’re going quick however on the sting of management, the ASR’s composure gives the boldness to push it tougher than I’d have thought. Whereas a lot of the geometry numbers, HTA, STA, attain, and wheelbase, are definitely up to date for the class, it’s actually the low backside bracket that feels prefer it’s working its magic right here.

And, regardless of its gentle weight and punctiliously curated collection of light-weight parts, I’ve been actually impressed by how not-fragile the ASR feels. I’ve been driving this bike as onerous as I’d my 30-pound path bike on the identical terrain and it hasn’t felt flimsy or like something goes to interrupt. In fact, I did flat the rear tire a pair days in the past, however that was utterly my fault. I additionally applaud a lot of their spec selections, however I notably like the truth that they’ve gone with 30mm inner-width wheels/rims throughout all the entire builds. The added rim width works higher with wider tires, like the two.4s that come on the ASR, and does assist enhance the experience high quality and traction. And, the soon-to-be-released DT Swiss XRC 1200 wheels are a factor of magnificence too.

Climbing up a chunky section of trail on the Yeti ASR
Climbing on the ASR is nice because of its low weight, effectivity, and glorious traction in unfastened situations and chunky terrain. (photograph/Doug Thayer)

I’ll cowl Flight Attendant in additional element under however the suspension efficiency has been spectacular. Within the Open place, there’s a tiny little bit of pedal bob, however barely sufficient to even discover until you’re on the lookout for it, and small bump compliance and climbing traction are glorious, even with the tremendous low-profile tread of the Rekon Race rear tire. Switching it to the Pedal place, suspension motion is just about non-existent below energy whereas driving clean surfaces however there’s sufficient give to nonetheless hook up properly over the chunky stuff. On the descents, the entrance and rear suspension have a properly balanced, supple really feel, simply absorbing small bumps and dealing with greater hits surprisingly properly. Regardless of working 30% sag within the rear shock and driving some sketchy traces outdoors of the ASR’s wheelhouse, I’ve someway managed to keep away from any harsh bottom-outs whereas nonetheless getting full journey. The traction carries over right here as properly, and even with correct XC tires the general stage of grip has been very strong. 

What about Flight Attendant?

The Flight attendant SID Ultimate fork on the Yeti ASR
Cross-country racing looks like essentially the most applicable software for Flight Attendant expertise. (photograph/Jeremy Benson)

The brand new XC Flight Attendant could possibly be a whole assessment by itself, however as a substitute of boring folks to dying, I’ll attempt to hold my impressions transient. You may also be taught extra about it in our launch article from final week if you need extra data. And, simply to get it out of the best way, there are a complete of seven batteries on the ASR! There are 4 AXS batteries (derailleur, dropper, fork, and shock), two coin cell batteries within the shifter pods, and yet another within the Quarq energy meter. 

The brand new Flight Attendant is undoubtedly some trick new expertise, and whereas it has been out there for some time on different RockShox fashions, I feel cross-country is essentially the most logical software for it. As soon as arrange and every thing is paired, primarily all you need to do is experience and the system learns and adapts to your driving whereas making modifications to the modes of each the entrance and rear suspension as you go. This protects the rider from always needing to toggle between settings and goals to make sure that you’re in essentially the most environment friendly shock setting primarily based in your energy output and plenty of different elements. You even have the choice to show it off and wirelessly shift via the settings utilizing the AXS Pod (which is fairly slick in and of itself).

A look at the SRAM XX SL Transmission drivetrain dna Quarq power meter that work with the Flight Attendant suspension system
Each the AXS derailleur and the Quarq energy meter are elements of the system that Flight Attendant suspension makes use of to adapt to your driving. (photograph/Jeremy Benson)

I’ll admit that I used to be initially barely aggravated by the Flight Attendant system. It shifts rather more incessantly than I’d by myself, it makes a bit noise each time the setting modifications, and I felt like I wished to be extra in command of the settings. So, for the primary few rides, I really simply turned it off and altered the settings myself, as a result of the ASR pedals amazingly properly already and I can really see what’s approaching the path and make modifications accordingly. 

Finally, I figured it was time to present it an opportunity, so I turned it again on and let it do its factor. Seems, it really works fairly darn properly. Whereas it generally feels a tad reactive and possibly just a few milliseconds late to open up the suspension when hitting obstacles within the path, it undoubtedly provides a stage of pedaling effectivity that I wouldn’t by myself. Whereas I in all probability wouldn’t depart it on all day, every single day, I can see it being very helpful in racing eventualities the place you’re respiration via your eyeballs and may’t suppose clearly sufficient to make suspension changes however may gain advantage from the marginal effectivity positive aspects it guarantees.

Does the ASR want Flight Attendant? No, not likely, however certain, why not? To be sincere, the ASR pedals extremely properly within the open place however firming up the rear suspension undoubtedly provides some effectivity whenever you’re placing down most effort up a climb or in a dash. In fact, you’ll be able to change settings manually with the non-Flight Attendant Twistloc setup provided on the opposite T-Sequence builds (or as an improve on the C-Sequence fashions), however Flight Attendant makes it so that you don’t even have to consider it. Whether or not or not it’s well worth the added value is totally as much as you, however it’s fairly freaking cool. 

Riding the Yeti ASR on a narrow singletrack trail above a river
The Yeti ASR is the quickest bike I’ve ever ridden and it’s certain to make waves on the worldwide, nationwide, and native racing scenes. (photograph/Canine Thayer)

In Closing

I’ve solely been driving the brand new Yeti ASR for just a few weeks now, however when you’ve learn this far, then you understand that my preliminary impressions have been very constructive. It’s clear that Yeti put an infinite period of time, effort, and assets into this bike to make it a contender on the world stage or at your native races. The ASR is obtainable now at your native Yeti vendor, choose on-line retailers, and direct from Yeti.

I’ll be placing much more time on the Yeti ASR over the following couple of months, so be looking out for a long-term assessment later this summer time. And, who is aware of, possibly we’ll be seeing them between the tape at World Cups this 12 months too.


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