• Head to the bottom of this article to read our First Ride review •

The dust around the Great Wheel Size Debate has settled with 29ers dominating nearly every category of mountain biking. But there are some things inherent to wheel size that 29ers simply can’t do.

There’s main lines and race lines. And then there’s the completely unexpected lines that requires a rider with a different headspace all together.

27.5-inch wheels handle effortlessly, are more precise, accelerate quicker, and corner with ease. They pop and play, they dodge and weave. If big wheel bikes are the math nerds calculating maximum speed and efficiency, then 27.5” bikes are the art students painting, exploring, and expressing their way through the trails.

The SB135 is for riders who factor their rides in fun over feet gained, who rate their rides on quality, not quantity. For riders who measure the immeasurable.

Yeti’s goal with the SB135 was to employ the feature and technology updates that debuted on the SB120, SB140 and SB160 last fall, to make the most agile trail bike we could. We experimented with different wheel size combinations and dual 27.5-inch wheels gave us the fun-factor we were after with this bike.

Dual 27.5-inch wheels are also ideal when creating the best fit for smaller riders. This was one of the chief design goals of the SB135. The engineering team actually went so far as designing a totally different frame for the small and XS sizes that minimizes standover height, maximizes dropper post travel, and allows for a water bottle inside the frame.

Throw out your preconceptions and throw a leg over the SB135. The small-wheel revival starts now.

First Ride and Release: The New Yeti SB135

2023 SB135 LR


Lunch Ride (LR) builds featuring:

• 160mm Fox Factory 36 Fox Float X, Maxxis ASSEGAI 2.5 & DHR II 2.4 EXO+ casing, and more powerful brakes with larger rotors
• Fox Transfer dropper post
• DT Swiss CUSTOM EX Wheels
• 4 piston brakes
• ODI Elite Pro grips
• 200 front and rear rotor


$6,900 – SB135 CLR C2 (C-series Frame)
$9,500 – SB135 TLR TRANSMISSION T3 (Turq Series Frame)

2023 SB135


SB135 the classic trail bike with 150mm Fox fork.
Ready for fun, poppy singletrack.

• Builds featuring 150MM Fox Factory 36 Fit 4, Fox Float,
Maxxis DHF 2.6 EXO & Maxxis Rekon 2.6 EXO
• Fox Transfer dropper post
• DT Swiss XM Wheels
• 4 piston brakes
• ODI Elite Pro grips
• 180 front and rear rotor


SB135 C/Series | $6,700 (C2) – $6,400 (C1)
SB135 TurQ | $10,300 (T4 TRANSMISSION) – $8,000 (T2) – $7,500 (TXT)
SB135 TurQ Frame Only: $4,300

First Ride and Release: The New Yeti SB135


THE 2023 YETI SB135 LR

First Ride by Robert Johnston

It’s been a while since I’ve last spent good time on a bike with two 27.5” wheels – my 2015 Trek Slash 7 to be exact, if we exclude the Cube Stereo Hybrid eMTB from last years eBike shootout, but that heavy and ultra-plush beast was quite different. That’s a whole lot of 29” wheels under my hands and a big question mark left over the abilities of a 27.5”-equipped bike to support descending in rough and rugged terrain.  

Testing commenced with a super fun session on some dirt jumps and flow trails, where the SB135  LR I was provided to test was every bit as fun as I had hoped. Agility in waves, enough support to generate speed through pumping, and reasonable bottom out support to forgive some overshoots. The chassis is stout enough to make berm ripping a pleasure, and the standover combined with a long dropper made for ample clearance to allow for some seriously dynamic movements. Playbike credentials confirmed. 

The SB135’s climbing manners surprised me. With the comfortable seated position and efficient platform in true Yeti style, the “playbike” notions instantly disappear and you’re left with a good trail bike. The smaller wheels feel to spin up a touch quicker than a 29er, offsetting their tendency to hang up a little in the holes. When the going gets very steep, you can feel the reduced energy required to re-accelerate during each pedal stroke. It goes uphill very competently.  

First Ride and Release: The New Yeti SB135

In my stint in Oregon, I have become familiar with Trail 1 at Cline Butte. It is super loose now and has several chunky rock sections that require precise line choice to maintain speed and stay on track. Having attacked it on a longer travel enduro mullet the day before, I was nervous to do the same on the SB135, but upon exiting the second notable feature with good momentum, my guard dropped, and I was left in awe of how I was able to attack on the small-wheeled Yeti. It turns out, good suspension far exceeds the size of those wheels when it comes to charging through rough terrain, though I would still suggest you are likely to have less margin for error compared with a similar 29er. 

I have not had the time to truly push the limits of the new Yeti SB135, but from first impressions I can safely say that it is a surprisingly capable bike both up and down the hill, whilst providing that dual-slalom mindset when you hit up the local flow trail. So far, it has been a seriously fun test and I look forward to more time on board this and other 27.5” fun machines.  

First Ride and Release: The New Yeti SB135


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