Yeti Cycles ARC Review: the return of the Mighty Hardtail MTB


The Alloy Racing Composite semi-rigid mountain bike launched the Yeti Cycles brand in 1985. But after a 4-year hiatus in the range, the ARC is back in force!

Back then, Yeti’s ARC, ARC AS, and ARC AS LT hardtail bikes were the bikes to beat. They dominated the cross country, downhill and doubles slalom races with Missy Giove, Juliana Furtado, Kurt Voreis and Miles Rockwell at the helm.

Then, in 2016, obsessed with his new Switch Infinity and full suspension, Yeti ditched the ARC, much to the chagrin of Yeti fans. Stop by the Yeti headquarters in Golden, Colo today, and you’ll see the original ARC hardtail sitting in the lobby next to a gallery of abandoned bikes.

Now the ARC is back with 29-inch, full carbon, non-alloy wheels. The new bike mimics the feel of Yeti’s SB 130 and SB150, and it promises to be just as popular as the original ARC. The 35th anniversary edition sold out in 12 hours. Now anyone can get one in the standard Yeti colors and builds.

The CRA is back

According to Ryan “Rocket” Thornberry, bike category manager at Yeti Cycles, although the latest generation of ARC left in 2016, demand has continued. This was especially true in Europe and parts of the United States that don’t have as much elevation as the Rockies, where the Yeti is based.

A shorter trip makes some trails more lively and more fun. And there are too many biking for some trails. So when the trails you take aren’t all made up of bulky shelves and baby-headed rocks, this bike will have you screaming and screaming – and it won’t hold you back.

Yeti’s new ARC

“A hardtail is a whole different beast,” Thornberry said. “We started with the question: ‘What is a hardtail that rolls like a yeti? “”

The team tried to build the ARC with the same geometry as its 29-inch long-travel, but the rear wheel lost traction and the ARC didn’t have the calm, composed feel of other Yeti bikes.

Yeti engineers reduced the reach by 15mm to control the rear. This brought the rider’s center of gravity further down on the bottom bracket shell so you can use your legs as a shock absorber as you descend and stand.

Because the Yeti family of bikes are all about ripping downhill, the brand updated the angle of the ARC’s head tube from the original 70 degrees to 67 degrees more downhill. Next, Yeti specified a 130mm Fox suspension fork with 2.6 inch tires.

Semi-rigid bike frame

Yeti ARC first round review

To make the sitting position on the ARC the same as on any other Yeti bike, the sitting position is roughly the same as on an SB130 or SB150. The ARC top tube length is 604mm (size M) which is pretty close to the 602mm top tube length on these bikes.

The smooth and stable 67-degree head tube and 76-degree seat tube angles put you in an efficient climbing position that lets you hammer Yeti’s lightest bike at the top of any climb.

It’s a hardtail, but it’s not a cross-country bike, and the ARC’s 2.6-inch tires reflect that. The ARC is delightfully stiff without being shocking. On the trail, the bike was loose and playful, easy to maneuver, provided precise steering, and was so much fun. It was smooth and fast, with clean lines and a sleek simplicity unique to RIBs.

On technical rocky trails, the high volume tires absorbed chatter and allowed me to ride aggressively, aerate the tables and stimulate the kickers. As the Yeti promised, it was like every other Yeti bike I rode when I got on board. So I didn’t hesitate to roll over rock slabs and jump over every item I saw on the trail.

Precise direction of the semi-rigid

Adaptable ‘UDH’: specifications and components

Cyclists who buy this bike will ask different things of it. Runners can use a large front chainring, for example. So the Yeti used a 55mm chainline on the crank – a new standard that allows the ARC to accommodate more teeth up front – big tires and a derailleur cable with Boost spacing, not Superboost. . So if you are planning to upgrade your ARC with your existing carbon wheels, for example, you still can.

The ARC also specifies SRAM’S UDH (Universal Derailleur Hanger), which SRAM and Yeti claim will be adopted worldwide by all brands. This means that the next time you fold your derailleur hanger in Nepal, Quebec, Argentina, or Australia, you won’t need to find a Yeti dealer to purchase a new one.

Because the brands predict that all bike shops will carry UDH, Yeti plans to design it in future models as well. According to Thornberry, however, it cannot be retroactively traded on existing models.

Other cool features include a brake mount on the seatstay – an aesthetic decision, not a functional one. Thornberry told me that Yeti wanted to keep the brake off and keep the bike clean.

The bike uses full internal tubes for cables and ports, designed to prevent these cables from rattling. Buy a version with an AXS dropper or gearshift, and the bike comes with port covers. An extra thick finned chain chatter protector provides additional noise reduction.

“Bikes these days are so good that if a bike makes a clicking noise, you think the bolts are coming out,” Thornerry pointed out. “We have done everything to keep this bike quiet.

Yeti ARC: Features

Point your wheel down and let it roll

It’s a Yeti, and superfans of the brand love to ride Yeti bikes. So we asked Thornberry if he expects the same from this hardtail, which already has 130mm suspension, which is fine with me.

“Oh, yeah,” he said. “There is a team out there that is committed to ‘lunch on horseback’ on everything we make. Check your social media feed. It is only a matter of days.

ARC is simple and classic, and for me riding a hardtail took me back to the origins of mountain biking and reminded me that you don’t need the most complicated tool for the job. Get out, point your wheel down and let it roll.

The new Yeti ARC is available in Carbon and Turq versions, ranging from $ 3,600 to $ 6,800. Find the full specifications here.



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