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Compact wheels, modern geometry, eagerness to conquer even the most challenging terrain. These are some of the strengths commonly attributed to Yeti SB140 – allegedly one of the finest rip bikes you can currently get, which has just recently replaced another Yetis bestseller – model SB5+. Should you invest in this ride? Probably yes, although there are some particular types of riders that should probably avoid it. Our Yeti SB140 review will help you decide which of these options applies to you.
A good mountain bike is always a lot of fun. But each experienced rider might probably define a ‘good mountain bike’ quite differently. What are your preferences? And how does Yeti’s fully suspended, 12-gear, carbon-framed SB140 with small wheels and long reach fit into your riding style and budget?
In this review, we’ll focus on all the attractive advantages this ride offers. We will describe the features that make it unique, but we’ll also mention several downsides you surely want to know about before buying yours.
Let’s start with a summary of Yeti SB140’s key specifications and features:
Key Specifications of Yeti SB140
- Brakes: SRAM G2 RSC hydraulic disk brakes OR Shimano SLX 4 Piston brakes
- Drivetrain: SRAM GX Eagle OR Shimano SLX 1X with 12-speed transmission
- Wheel size: 27.5″
- Travel: 140mm/160mm fork
- Headtube angle: 65°
- Chainstays: 433 mm
- Weight: 28.83 – 30.35 lbs (based on the size and add-ons)
- Reach: 16.1 – 20.1 (depending on the size)
- Gender: Unisex
- Price: For the latest price quote, click here
Features of Yeti SB140
- Full-suspension mountain bike with premium Fox Factory suspension
- This bike is equally suitable for male and female riders
- The frame is made of carbon fiber and comes with a lifetime warranty
- Yeti SB140 is available in five sizes from XS to XL for bikers between 4’11 and 6’7″ of height
- The suspension contributes to the bike’s excellent anti-squat characteristics
- It comes in three available colors: Inferno, Grey, Turquoise
- Suitable for all types of outdoor terrain
- Yeti SB140 comes in two different builds with SRAM or Shimano component groupsets.
- Equipped with a comfortable WTB saddle
- Small size wheels for improved responsiveness in rugged terrain
- Perfectly dependable on climbing/fun and extra fast on the downhill ride
- Recommended replacement for discontinued model Yeti SB5+
Pros of the Yeti SB140
Yeti SB140 has many strengths and attractive features that can easily appeal to various types of riders. Here’s a list of the most important qualities this bike has:
Sleek Design and Modern Geometry
Although most bike enthusiasts will probably claim that outer beauty is not that important for mountain bicycles, we are all just humans and inclined to choose attractive products over generic designs. Yeti certainly knows this, too, since its new bikes are almost always natural-born head-turners, and Yeti SB140 is no different.
The bike’s design boasts just the right balance of aggressiveness, playfulness, and originality. The frame is made of carbon fibers and comes in three basic color styles: Inferno (bright orange), Grey, and Turquoise. If you’ve been a fan of Yeti’s bikes for some time already, you certainly recognize these colors from some of the older models. Nevertheless, in combination with SB140’s sharp curves, long body, and smaller wheels, they now look even better than before.
The original, eye-catching proportions of this bike certainly contribute to the distinctive riding qualities (we’ll get to them shortly), but they also make this bike look modern and sleek. Moreover, the frame is also very lightweight (lighter than most other comparable bikes), and it comes with a lifetime warranty.
Suits (almost) Everyone
Sometimes, if you want a specific model or type of bike, you must settle with a size or build that was not entirely designed for your weight, height, or body type. In this regard, Yeti SB140 is a great all-rounder since it comes in five different sizes between XS and XL that should fit all riders between 4’11 and 6’7″ in height. Moreover, all these bikes are designed in a unisex style that fits both men and women.
Thanks to Yeti’s detailed size chart, you can easily check which size will most likely suit you the best. Some of the parameters stay the same throughout the available range of sizes (e.g., headtube angle, axle to crown, and offset), whereas others (including top tube length, seat tube length, wheelbase, weight, etc. standover) can differ quite radically.
If you’re new to these bikes, you should probably stick to Yeti’s recommendations. Still, many experienced users decide to go with their preferences and instincts and choose the size that fits their tastes, even if it’s slightly smaller or bigger than recommended. In any case, you will certainly appreciate all the options you have here.
Great for Climbing
We all love the freedom and adrenaline of a downhill ride, but unless you’re taking advantage of some funicular, you must first make your way up to the top of the hill. Even if you’re just trail biking in mixed terrain, some portion of your way will undoubtedly lead upwards. The good news is that that’s where SB140 is surprisingly robust and reliable.
The upright position in the seat of this bike might not fit you in all situations, but it indeed feels helpful when you’re climbing. The pedaling platform is firm, and the traction is strong enough to make you feel stable when you’re maneuvering around the scattered rocks, slippery roots, or on loose gravel.
Although the long front of the bike might take some time to get used to (especially in sharp downhill bends, etc.), all in all, this bike will get you to the top of the hill smoothly and reliably while leaving you with plenty of remaining energy to enjoy the rest of your ride.
Super-fast on Descending
Yeti’s SB stands for ‘superbike. Those who would based on this, expect SB140 to be fast will surely be pleased. In fact, riding this bike downhill at full speed is probably the best way to unlock and appreciate its full potential.
But, what is probably even more important, speed comes hand in hand with stability here. The gravity-focused construction of this bike shows off its exceptional balance, especially in situations when you need it to hold on tight and act predictably. This truly adds to your sense of security and confidence in the saddle.
Full of Premium Components
Yeti bikes are definitely on the more expensive side, but at least you know what you’re paying for when you look at the long list of SB140’s components. Moreover, these components are not only randomly added to create a luxuriously appearing package, but they are thoughtfully selected to complement each other and provide the bike with a nicely balanced and compatible set of features.
To mention just a few of the ingredients that contribute to SB140’s qualities, I will highlight the Shimano SLX 1X drivetrain with a 12-speed transmission that provides an incredibly good shifting and perfect performance (as well as the alternative SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain installed mostly in the newest SB140s). The premium Fox Factory suspension leaves very little to be desired too, and the same applies to Maxxis Minion DHF tires with wonderful traction.
Some of the components are optional. Besides the drivetrain mentioned above, this applies, for example, to the brakes, too – you can choose between G2 RSC Brakes by SRAM and Shimano SLX 4 Piston brakes. While both options are undoubtedly good, some bikers will probably prefer Shimano more – we’ll get to that in detail shortly.
Cons of Yeti SB140
Most experienced bikers will probably agree that any of the mighty Yeti superbikes is undoubtedly a great choice. Nevertheless, some types of users might probably prefer some other model to Yeti SB140 in the end. These specific factors might discourage you from the purchase:
The Long Front Reach Might Not Suit Everyone
SB140 feels like a long bike. This comes with some advantages for sure, but if you never rode a bike with these proportions before, be prepared that it will take some time to get used to. That being said, some riders probably won’t get used to it at all, and they will still find the bike’s front too long and feel uncomfortable whenever they need to maneuver it in demanding terrain.
Small Wheels are Not Good With Large Obstacles
SB140 sports 27.5” wheels. They’re certainly one of its most distinctive features – but some users may also find the wheels to be one of the bike’s greatest disadvantages. If you, for example, speed down an exceptionally treacherous terrain with large boulders and holes, small wheels might have a considerable problem coping with these obstacles, and it will take you lots of energy and effort to stay on the right track.
Moreover, just like with the exceptionally long front portion of the bike’s frame, some users simply won’t get used to these small wheels and will miss the larger wheels they were used to before. I definitely advise you to test a bike with such small wheels before investing in your own.
SRAM G2 Brakes Might Not be the Best Choice
SRAM’s G2 RSC brakes, which are standardly installed on these bikes now, are sometimes criticized for their not-so-perfect performance on very steep downhill rides – particularly if the rider is on the heavier side. Experienced users often claim that they had to upgrade these brakes at least to SRAM Code (or something similar) in order to feel secure on Yeti SB140.
Of course, you can always opt for an SB140 with Shimano SLX piston brakes. Just like SRAM’s G2, these brakes are among the more affordable choices, but they truly don’t leave much to be desired. If you can find SB140 with these brakes, you shouldn’t hesitate. Nevertheless, it looks like the newest (2021) version of the bike is equipped exclusively with SRAM brakes now, so finding a Shimano version might be problematic.
Yeti bicycles are, in general, pretty expensive, so if you’re not ready to spend several thousands of dollars on your new bike, you shouldn’t probably even consider getting yourself a brand new Yeti SB140. Is this price truly justified? The answer, of course, depends on how much you will or will not enjoy riding this bicycle in practice. Nevertheless, it is quite probable that the price at least partially reflects the hype around the brand itself more than this particular bike.
Yeti SB140 Alternatives you Might Like
If you found some of the aforementioned disadvantages of Yeti SB140 really discouraging, maybe you should take a look at the following alternatives instead. They all have something in common with SB140, yet they also differ in some important details:
If you’re looking for a proper racing bike and you are a fan of Yeti’s beautiful designs and reliable features, SB140 is definitely not your only option. Yeti SB150, for example, is a great alternative for those who cannot (or don’t want to) get used to SB140’s extra small wheels.
This bike comes with 29” wheels instead, and many riders prefer it as a more comfortable and easygoing option, especially for fast downhills. Yeti SB150 offers excellent traction, lots of control, and better brakes too (SRAM Code RSC). On the other hand, it is going to cost you even more than the somewhat smaller SB140.
Devinci Spartan C29 XTR
Another great full-suspension mountain bike that should be on your radar if you’re looking for a fast and aggressive ride is Devinci Spartan C29 XTR. This premium enduro bike is perfectly equipped for any terrain you might come across during your adventures. It has an acclaimed Shimano XTR M9100 12-speed drivetrain, tubeless-ready 29” rims & tires for the smoothest ride, and Shimano XTR brakes.
Experienced users claim that this bike is an exceptional climber and perfectly stable racer too. Currently, you can put your hands on the newest version of this model, which comes with a brand new high-pivot suspension technology.
Marin Palisades TRAIL 2
Are you discouraged by the SB140’s extra-small wheels? We have a great alternative for you that will let you try out small wheels at a much lower price. Marin Palisades TRAIL 2 is an affordable yet popular and acclaimed bicycle built particularly for trail riding and fun on the dirt. Like SB140, it sports 27.5” wheels equipped with WTB Trailboss Comp tires which provide you with a lot of security in sharp bends and steep downhills rides.
Given its exceptional price (compared with other bikes from the same category), this bicycle will probably attract mostly novice riders with limited budgets. Nevertheless, it has a lot to offer even to experienced riders.
Frequently Asked Questions
Need more information on this popular mountain bike? Check out the most commonly asked questions & answers on this topic for more interesting details:
Question: Is Yeti SB140 a Good Trail Bike?
Answer: Yes, Yeti SB140 boasts a thoughtful design and many technical features and components that are particularly suitable for trail riding. This is a full-suspension enduro mountain bike that is mostly used for downhill riding and provides you with just the right amount of agility, aggression, and stability that you need to enjoy riding trails.
Question: How Do you Size a Yeti SB140 Bike?
Answer: Yeti SB140 comes in five different sizes. According to the official size chart, XS should suit riders measuring 4’11” – 5’3” in height; S is intended for 5’1” – 5’7” riders; M fits 5’5” – 5’11”; L is designed for 5’10” – 6’3” people, and XL works well with 6’1” – 6’7” high riders. If you cannot decide between two sizes, experienced users recommend going with the smaller one.
Question: Are Yeti SB140 Bikes Made in the US?
Answer: Yes, Yeti Cycles is an American bicycle manufacturer. The company resides in Golden, Colorado.
Conclusion: Is Yeti SB140 a Good Bike for you?
Yeti SB140 is definitely a great trail bike with impressive performance both uphill and downhill. It comes with an attractive design, a sleek yet aggressive geometry, and numerous features that will keep you entertained for many exciting miles of riding. If you’re always searching for something new, you might also be attracted to this bike due to its relatively rare combination of long reach and small wheels.
On the other hand, most of the strengths of this bike can also be viewed by some users as its weaknesses. Some riders claim that they cannot get used to the proportions of this bike. Others, particularly heavier users, might feel like this bike doesn’t have sufficiently powerful brakes for a safe race down the steepest hills. Another downside of this bike is its high price.
So, what are your options in case that you cannot settle with some of the weaker points above? If you’re more comfortable with traditional sizes of wheels and need to feel completely in control, maybe you’ll be more satisfied with some of the 29” alternatives like Yeti SB150 or Devinci Spartan C29 XTR. If, on the other hand, your main problem with SB140 is financial, you should try Marin Palisades TRAIL 2 – an affordable 27.5” alternative with great reviews and attractive features.