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Yeti develops two carbon levels to expand its line

Published August 31, 2016
Yeti's SB5+ TURQ

FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany (BRAIN) — The demise of alloy as an option for high-end mountain bike frames has left suppliers looking for ways to lower entry price points but still offer carbon frames.

For 2017 Yeti is offering two levels of carbon frame spec that are identical in every way — the same geometry, strength and stiffness. The lower-cost carbon frame is priced about 30 percent less than the company’s top-of-the-line model, and weighs about 250 grams more. Both were shown at Eurobike this week. 

For example, the SB5+, Yeti's new 27.5-plus design built on its Switch Infinity translating pivot platform, is available as the SB5+ Carbon or the pricier SB5+ TURQ. Both frames forgo the toptube-to-seat tube bridge of last year's frame, greatly increasing standover. And internal cable runs have cleaned up builds. 

“Last year's SB5 Enduro frame was of the cheaper carbon construction, but we only offered it in one build. This year we are offering a few SB5 Carbon builds that give us more price points below where the SB5 TURQ start,” said Chris Conroy, Yeti's CEO.

SB5+ TURQ is the company's top carbon design that receives running changes as Yeti tweaks the design. An SB5 TURQ frame sells for $4,699 and builds start at $6,499 going up to $10,499.

The SB5 Carbon has a simpler carbon layup and receives at most an annual update. This saves the company money, translating into cost savings for the consumer. SB5 Carbons start at $3,400 for a frame and run $4,600 to $7,000 for complete builds.  

The first models out with the two frame options are the SB5, SB5 Beti and SB5+, but the company will roll out the program on all its models.

“Going into enduro strong and our race team doing so well was the right move. Coupled with some great reviews, the bikes have given us much better pull-through at dealers,” Conroy said.

And he noted that the frame inventory problems that plagued the company over the past few years have been resolved, allowing Yeti to focus better on dealer service. Yeti worked hard to streamline its model offerings. 

“Where sales have been slow for the big brands, we've noticed a healthy increase in our business. The high-end customer focuses on best-in-category bikes, and that's where we are now,” Conroy added.

 

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