A custom Yeti build for a moto guy with homeland roots
Even as the demand for bicycles and parts continues to be at an all-time high, we’ve seen an increasing number of custom bikes being built up, typically with whatever is available. Some riders are fortunate enough to have their dream ride become a reality without the constraints of a budget. With a plethora of brands producing must-have parts, the choices can become mind-boggling, especially when money is no object.
For this “Reader’s Rides” feature, the builder, Rory Craig, was approached by his boss, Guido Rietdijk (owner of EVS Sports), who wanted to have a capable trail bike taken to the next level. People at the EVS office know that Rory is the textbook definition of a bike nerd who loves to build bikes from the frame up. With only a few guidelines, Rory started searching for every piece necessary. Ultimately, the goal was to assemble a sleek, one-off, lightweight build capable of blending a mixture of aggressive trail riding with a lightweight cross-country feel.
This hard-to-miss orange build is based on an extra-large carbon 2021 Yeti SB140 frame in the Inferno color option. Guido is from the Netherlands, where orange symbolizes national unity, so the Dutch show national pride by wearing orange. With that in mind, Rory took this a step further by incorporating bright vermilion red, white, and cobalt blue as a representation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands flag.
The frame is intended to run 27.5 inches at the front and rear; however, Guido has a moto background and is all too familiar with a larger wheel up front and a smaller one in the rear. To make that change and follow the mullet-wheel trend, Rory used a 29-inch fork and wheel up front. The fork’s 160mm of travel was dropped by 10mm to 150mm to compensate for the larger wheel and to help minimize some of the geometry changes. Keep in mind that this does make the SB140 slacker and is not what the bike was designed for.
As with all of the latest Yeti models, the frame uses Switch Infinity suspension technology. Fox and Yeti have worked together on this patented suspension design, so naturally a Fox Factory DPX2 rear shock comes on this SB140. Choosing a different brand at the front, Rory went with a plush Lyrik Ultimate fork. If you look closely, you’ll notice the Fox stickers were removed from the shock to show off the Kashima coating and add some color that ties into the drivetrain.
To keep weight down, Rory chose the hottest electronic drivetrain available with the all-new, 12-speed SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS. To match the rear suspension color, there is a copper XX1 10-52t cassette with a matching chain. Although it did not make it in time for our photo shoot, Rory also upgraded the XX1 Eagle AXS rear derailleur with Kogel’s 14t oversized pulleys. Not only did this help reduce friction, it also added a pop of color while tying into the theme of the Dutch flag.
Industry Nine was tapped for a completely customized pair of carbon EN315, 32-spoke rims, which are laced to Industry 9’s Hydra hubs with a six-bolt rotor mount. The wheels are tubeless-ready and feature a 31.5mm inner width (hence, the “315” after EN). Yet again, red-, white- and blue-anodized accents were used on the spokes and nipples, keeping the essence of this build alive.
When it came to rubber, Rory chose to set Guido up with some German-made Continental tires. He placed a 29×2.4-inch Trail King in front with a 27.5×2.4-incher at the rear. With lightweight trail capability in mind, these tires have proven to be fast-rolling while maintaining grip in the rear, even with this slimmer tread design, which works well for our Southern California conditions. The 31.5mm rim width of the Industry Nine wheels bumps up the front tires slightly above a 2.4-inch width, but the Yeti SB140 has plenty of clearance if a rider wants to go even bigger, up to 2.6 inches.
Trying something new, Rory went with Finish Line’s FiberLink sealant. It’s noteworthy that there is no liquid latex or ammonia in this sealant. This makes the product non-toxic, hypoallergenic and safe for carbon fiber rims. Additionally, Rory had an accidental spill with the FiberLink sealant when opening the container and was able to clean it up with water; it left no residue or stain. This is noteworthy, since now Rory doesn’t have to scrape the cured latex from the tires and rims, as has to be done with other sealant brands.
To ensure Guido’s dream bike had plenty of stopping power, Rory went with brake brands that also had motocross backgrounds for the SB140. For starters, he built the bike with Magura MT7 brakes and an HC3 lever upgrade. Designed for more than just trail riding, the brake set comes with four-piston calipers at the front and rear. The HC3 brake lever upgrade makes it possible to adjust the reach at the end of the blade with an Allen key, and the ratio can be custom-tuned to balance the stopping power per degree of lever action. For an optimal balance between weight savings and performance, the builder went a step further with Galfer Wave rotors, with 203mm for the front and 180mm at the rear. Finishing it off, there are orange covers for the calipers, with red, white and blue rotor bolts.
At the bars
At the cockpit for this build, Rory went with a mix of quality parts from ODI, Industry Nine, and ProTaper. The ProTaper carbon handlebar has an 810mm width, with a 1/2-inch rise. For more theme-color pop, Industry Nine was contacted again for a custom-colored 50mm stem. Notable is the knurl pattern on these ODI grips that alternates from a smooth to sharp texture. We tested these and found they provided more traction for your hands.
Sticking with the sleekness of electronic components, Rory installed RockShox’s electric Reverb AXS post with 170mm of travel. There is nothing quite like having the ease and convenience of a dropper post with no cables. That being said, it is important to remember to keep your batteries charged. Guido is a rider who prefers maximum comfort, so Rory chose to go with an SQ Lab 611 Ergowave, which produces the exact width needed for Guido’s sit bones. Not only does it have orange accents, but it will fit the bill for the type of technical trails where this bike will be ridden.
For pedals, Rory went with HT AE03 flats. The body is made of aluminum that is CNC-machined, along with a spindle that is CNC-machined chromoly. These are not the lightest pedals, so more weight could be saved, but we were impressed that Rory was able to keep this X-large trail bike right at 30 pounds.
Estimated value: $11,000
Weight: 30 pounds as shown
STOCK GEOMETRY ON X-LARGE
Head tube angle: 65º
Seat tube angle: 76.9º
Chainstay length: 433mm (17”)
Reach: 505.9mm (20.1″)
Bottom bracket height:
339.9mm (13.3”) ο