With this year’s Chris King Open House coming right after the 2023 MADE Bike Show, the event decided to shift gears and focus on the Portland area’s outdoor brands. Chris King opened its doors to the public, unveiling the process that goes into machining bike parts in the USA, while inviting the broader outdoor industry to display their products. It was a full day of bikes and more! Check out our Reportage, sent in by Chris King and let us know your favorite bike in the comments!
Our Radar Roundup compiles products and videos from the ‘net in an easy-to-digest format. Read on below for today’s findings…
Curiosity. It’s a great trait to have as a cycling journalist. An inquisitive nature is what first prompted me to throw a leg around subculture-spawned bikes, like steel full-suspension 29ers and titanium hardtails, years ago. Sometimes, you have to pedal something for an extended period to whet that appetite for the occasional oddity that arises. If you’re lucky, those experiences challenge your preconceptions, too.
Working in bike media, it’s pretty easy to get cynical about all the marketing hype and the constant push for model years by the bigger brands, particularly regarding ever-changing drivetrain technologies, incremental gains, and complex suspension designs. I still value riding a rigid 29er as much as riding a vintage 26″ wheeled steel chariot through compromising terrain: the almighty underbiking ride keeps you honest, allows for honing your skillset, and can be damn fun.
Yet, on the flip side, I am attracted to high-tech, modern carbon bikes in small doses. Hence the allure of this Yeti SB135.
Before testing out the SB135, it had been a while since I’d ridden a carbon full suspension as, in the intervening years, I’ve been enjoying sampling the steel offerings out there from smaller, bespoke builders. Yet, the appeal of the high-tech is palpable—lighter, faster, smoother-shifting sounds fun, right? Mix in Yeti’s 27.5″ platform for the SB135, and my curiosity was piqued. The last 27.5″ wheeled bike I reviewed was the Santa Cruz 5010 and the previous 27.5″ wheeled bike I’d ridden was the Transition Scout that was loaned to me for a Moab trip. It was on that very trip I realized that while I admired the 27.5″ wheel platform, it wasn’t necessarily for me nor for the terrain I enjoy riding.
Yet, the SB135 was just strange enough, foreign enough, new-and-techy enough to have me put my steel sled with cable-actuated shifting aside for a few weeks and spend some time riding Yeti Turq and SRAM T-Type shifting…
We love vintage bikes but our parent company The Pro’s Closet knows vintage bikes… and modern bikes for that matter. Spencer Powlison takes a look at the 2020 Yeti ARC limited edition hardtail and compares it to the 1992 Yeti ARC in this blog piece and what he finds will surprise you. In terms of tech, gearing, weight, price (believe it or not), and accouterment, these two bikes are closer than you’d think. If you’re into this kind of bike nerdery, give this one a read.
As you can imagine, a lot of engineering and designing goes into each bike that rolls out of the Yeti warehouse and in its new series, The Learning, Yeti lets us peek behind the velvet curtain into the brand’s inner workings as its engineers strive to make faster bikes.