Yeti ASR5C

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The Yeti ASR5C is constructionally similar to the existing 4in travel ASR – two models will be available with either a carbon fibre or aluminium front triangle. Both versions share a carbon fibre rear end. According to Yeti, the full-carbon ASR5 weighs 4.75lb while the aluminium one is 5.5lb – a substantial difference. The all-carbon frame is also claimed to be 30% stiffer in torsion, although as we’ve only ridden the carbon one it’s hard to say how much a difference that is in real life.

interbike09_yetiasr5_2_hAt the back, the carbon fibre swingarm has notably large-volume chainstays for stiffness. The seatstays are deliberately slimmed-down, as the bike relies on a hint of flex in the stays to allow the swingarm to match the radius of rotation of the upper link. Yeti has designed dropouts that can accommodate either a conventional 135mm rear hub or the new 142x10mm through-axle standard that features recesses on the inside of the dropouts into which the axle can locate for easier wheel fitting.

interbike09_yetiasr5_3_hAs well as the increased travel compared to the existing ASR, the ASR5 has slacker geometry. It’s supposed to have a 68° head angle with a 120mm travel Fox fork, although we measured the demo bike at 67. If that’s not relaxed enough for you, the frame is rated for a 140mm fork.

Out on the trail and there’s a lot to like. The ASR5 has the confident handling feel of a big bike but with considerably less heft and a livelier suspension performance. It’s not the most sophisticated rear suspension in the business in pedalling terms – use of the ProPedal lever on climbs was recommended by Yeti, which is something we’ve got used to doing without – but it sucks up trail imperfections of all scales with aplomb.

interbike09_yetiasr5_4_hYeti’s 575 is a popular bike in the UK, but it’s quite a lot of bike for a lot of the uses to which it’s put. With broadly similar geometry but a pound less weight in the frame, we suspect that a lot of people would be better served with an ASR5. You’d give up a bit of rear travel, but with a 140mm fork up front we suspect that the real-world differences in capability would be slight. Expect to see plenty of these on the trails when they reach the UK…


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