Yeti Cycles AS-R 7 Frame - RP23 - $1,259.97

The ASR-7 and SB-66 weigh the same, and can easily break the 30lb barrier with similar component packages. They also share the same bottom bracket height -- but the similarities stop there. The ASR-7 is a seven-inch travel bike, equipped with a full inch more travel than the SB-66. But, the defining differences between the SB-66 and ASR-7 are the suspension system and geometry.The SB-66 has a unique eccentric pivot design that provides an axle path with a rearward motion, where the ASR-7 opts for Yeti's proven Active Suspension -- a simpler 'single pivot' design that has an arcing axle path. Don't let the single pivot designation place this bike in the same category of flexy single-pivot bicycles, though. Yeti's AS design relies on a 'dog bone' link, that's constructed of high modulus carbon, to prevent side loading of the Fox RP23 rear shock.This, along with the heavy-duty bearings, offers ultra-smooth action, and ideal pivot locations give the ASR-7 distinct, ride-enhancing characteristics. The stout dog bone ties together a hydroformed main triangle and rear swingarm for a stiff, line-holding chassis. An added benefit of the AS design compared to multilink systems is a lack of complicated, flex-permitting, and chainstay-lengthening links. Because of this, the ASR-7 is not only incredibly stiff, it has relatively short 43cm chainstays.The chainstays are about 5mm shorter than the SB-66, and keep in mind that the ASR-7 has a full inch more travel than the SB-66, too. Now consider the arcing axle path of an ASR-7; it further shortens the chainstay length when compressed vs. the lengthening of chainstays with the SB-66. Shorter chainstays combined with more travel give the ASR-7 a noticeably livelier nature when negotiating technical downhill terrain. The SB-66 may pedal better over sharp bumps and be less fatiguing on 40-mile backcountry adventures, but when the trail favors tough descents we're throwing a leg over the ASR-7. - $1,259.97

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