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Yeti launches two women's bike models

Published June 22, 2015
The carbon Yeti Beti SB5c retails for $6,899.

GOLDEN, Colo. (BRAIN) — Under a bluebird Colorado sky, Yeti Cycles quietly showed two women's bikes for the first time to racers and spectators attending the 6th annual Beti Bike Bash, held June 14th. A longtime supporter of the Bash, Yeti was onsite with a full range of demos for women to test on the trails at Phillip S. Miller Park in Castle Rock, Colo., where the popular race was held.

The new models, which will be sold under the Yeti Beti moniker, mark the brand's first foray into the women's bike category. Yeti launched its line of women's cycling apparel last year, and its immediate success was a driver for creating a bike specifically for the ladies.

"The biggest push for us was the acceptance of the apparel," said Chris Conroy, Yeti co-owner and president. "Based on the sales success of the apparel, we knew there was something that resonated with what we were doing on the women's side, so it was an obvious step for us to get in on it on the bike side as well."

Yeti built, Beti approved

About a year ago, Conroy and Yeti co-owner Steve "Hoog" Hoogendoorn began to consider launching a women's model. They consulted the best sounding board they knew: the eight-member Yeti Beti women's race team, which Yeti has sponsored for nearly a decade.

"The market was growing on the women's side, and there was an opportunity there," Conroy said. "We looked at it and asked the Betis if it was legit or just marketing bullshit."

"And the feedback we got from them is that some of the features on women's-specific bikes are legit, but that they liked the fit of our current frames," he added. "So we took that feedback and applied it to the spec you see on the Yeti Beti. It's an existing platform they already loved."

The Yeti Beti SB5c and the Yeti Beti ASRc are derivatives of existing Yeti models, but the company said they've always made frames to fit smaller riders. Yeti's cross-country ARC and ASR models, for example, were designed with 27.5-inch wheels in the extra small and small sizes, while the M-XL sizes are spec'd with 29-inch wheels.

Yeti's longer travel SB5c and SB6c frames are available in extra small and small sizes, something that, along with maximizing standover heights, Conroy said has been key to accommodating female riders.

"We've always made bikes that fit women, and the Yeti Beti line is a nod to the women we've worked with for years who have helped us create our products and community," he said.

The 6th annual Beti Bike Bash drew nearly 400 female racers and a variety of vendors and sponsors.

With the help of the Betis, Yeti instead focused on improving component spec to better suit smaller riders, taking care not to 'dumb down' the quality. Yeti Beti models are spec'd with a WTB Diva saddle, smaller diameter grips and slightly narrower 720mm handlebars. Extra small, small and medium frames come stock with shorter 170mm cranks. The shocks on both models are also valved for lighter riders.

A touch of Beti

When it came time to name the new women's line, Yeti turned once again to the Betis. "I think any name we, a bunch of guys, would have come up with probably would have been stupid," Conroy said, laughing. "The name Yeti Beti originally came out of the women's community, and it was natural progression to use the same name for the bikes. I think it resonates, especially with people in Colorado."

Finally, also with the help of the Betis, Yeti used a different color palette inspired by the success of its best-selling women's Norrie short. 

The Yeti Beti SB5c frame is painted a glossy coral color with Yeti blue and white accents. The shorter-travel Yeti Beti ASRc frame is black with splashes of coral and white.

"It's funny, when we asked the Betis about using matte black, they preferred a gloss black over a matte finish because they thought it looked cleaner," said Conroy. "Those are the kind of details we needed help with!"

The 102mm travel Yeti Beti ASRc full carbon frame is spec'd with a SRAM XO1 drivetrain, Fox Float 32 fork and Shimano XT brakes. Extra small and small frames are designed around 27.5-inch wheels; medium and large sizes use 29-inch wheels. The Yeti Beti ASRc will retail for $5,799.

The 127mm travel, 27.5-inch Yeti Beti SB5c carbon frame features Yeti's Switch Infinity suspension link, designed to maximize pedaling efficiency and small bump sensitivity. It is spec'd with SRAM's XO1 drivetrain, a Fox Float 34 fork, Shimano XT brakes and Thomson's Covert dropper post. It will retail for $6,899.

The two Yeti Beti models will be available June 25.

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