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On The Pedals

The Daily Grind

Over The Bars

Bike Review: Yeti 575 Race Disc
By MBT Staff

Doing the Legend Proud

The Abominable Snow Man Strikes Back

Why We Like Long Legs
If there’s anything the MBT test crew can be guilty of by association it would have to be our undeniable attraction to long-travel trail bikes. It makes sense too, if you take a moment to think about it. With gains in technology, bikes today can weigh the same with 4, 5, even 6 inches of travel as bikes with 2 or 3 inches from yesteryear. Bring it on we like to say, so long as this additional travel doesn’t come with a weight penalty. Enter the 575 Race Disc from Yeti; as the name suggests we’re talking about a chassis that boasts 5.75 inches of travel, an overall weight under 30 pounds, and a price tag of just about $3500. When our local dealer read down the spec sheet in effort to convince us to take one for a spin we grabbed our helmets. Does the 575 do on the trails what its specs do on paper? Read on to find out.

The Set Up
While Yeti offers seven factory build options (wearing a price tag from below three grand up to nearly six) our test rig was purchased by the dealer as a frame and shock kit (for $1500) and built up using his own trusty components from an older Santa Cruz. The end result looked like a who's who of top shelf componentry. Fox, SRAM X.0, Avid and XTR trimmed out the machine.

Yeti 575 Race
Fork Fox Float 130 RLC
Shock Fox RP3
Brakes/Brake Levers Avid Code
Crankset/BB Shimano XTR
Shifters SRAM X.9
Derailleurs (F&R) Sram X.9/Sram X.0
Saddle WTB PowerV V
Seatpost Truvativ
Stem Truvativ
Handlebar Race Face Next Carbon
Wheels DT Swiss X455
Tires (F&R) Maxxis Ignitor
Contact Yeti Cycles

The Mount Up
We might as well come right out with it- The Yeti 575 feels tall at a standstill. Not quite topple over and take out the entire row of bikes tall, but definitely tall enough to put our testers on their toes when swinging a leg over the top tube. This sensation is nothing new (especially to our free ride and downhill aficionados) but the 575 lacks that long stretched out feel that normally accompanies a long travel chassis. Rather the geometry of the Yeti feels slightly compact, stubby even. We aren’t quite sure why this is either considering the fairly slack 69 degree head angle. All we do know is that the first impression of the 575 from a non-moving perspective is that the bike will be right at home in the technical stuff albeit perhaps a bit twitchy in the process.

The Ride
We were half right. The bike devours the clutter that is standard fare here on the East Coast but does so without revealing a hint of chassis instability. Instead the steering input is quite light at the bars (even more so than the slack head angle would suggest) and the frame follows the steering arc with confidence inspiring precision. It is very easy to forget exactly how much travel the 575 is actually packing on account of its brisk acceleration and lack of rear-end wallow when spinning the cranks. However, it all comes back to you the moment you get sucked into a square edged riser or shadowy rain rut. One past the initial inch or two of travel, the Yeti’s personality transforms instantaneously. Rather than the bone jarring thud that you find yourself bracing for, the Yeti playfully takes the impact and keeps on rolling. Don’t be surprised to find yourself looking back over your shoulder on well-known trails as if to say “did I really just plow through that?”

There are two ways to corner the 575. On flat terrain, slow speeds, or both we found the bike responds best to heavy weighing of the outside pedal and minimal torque on the handlebar. In these situations it’s best to avoid fighting the chassis and to allow it a chance to seek out its own line through (don’t worry the suspension has you covered there). Failure to do so results in a slight “jack-knifing” of the front wheel and an instantaneous dead stop. The whole process flips once you add speed to the equation or find yourself railing a rutted camber. Suddenly the 575 becomes a gun and run chassis in which you can feel confident in going in hot, grabbing a handful of brakes, and powering on out. That long travel suspension which likes to be finessed at slow speed really comes alive when the going gets rough.

We appreciated the even modulation of the Avid Code’s and actually came to rely upon them heavily on the moderate downhill trails we sampled with the 575. Normally the goal is to avoid locking up the wheels but the Yeti feels strangely at home to the power-slide technique. This is not a bike to break in on public trails!

Complaint Department
Our build weighed in at roughly 29 pounds- which is actually quite light in terms of long travel trail bike standards. Interestingly enough every one of our test riders over-guessed the weight (most guessing it was in the low to mid thirty pound mark). We believe this stems from the bike’s tall feel we mentioned in the beginning of the report. This isn’t a chassis that carries all of its weight down low and can feel a bit cumbersome as a result. The key to mastering its slightly top-heavy demeanor is to talk yourself out of wrestling with the bike right from the beginning and to allow the suspension to erase your doubts. Foot dabbers will be initially disappointed until they learn how to flow with this beast.

The Bottom Line
The Yeti 575 is an undeniably fun rig to bomb around on. We sampled it on a variety of terrains and were really impressed with its ability to gobble up chop. The bike simply does not feel (or behave) like a typical long travel trail bike as indicated by its responsiveness and technical abilities. However, the first drop, g-out, rut, or downed sapling will have you thinking otherwise. The price tag is admittedly on the steep side of the weekend warrior spectrum but there is little to argue about when it comes to having this much fun.

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