Yeti 4X for all-around love?

Hi Lee – wondered if I could ask your advice on a bike?

At the moment I mainly ride a hardtail – I’ve worked backwards from a really big bike, and have got to a point where I just ride a chameleon, with a pike fork, and i LOVE it! This change came about from your advice about riding bikes that are too big for the job – it’s SOOO right!

I’ve been offered a good deal on a YETI 4X – I know you do some work for Yeti, and wondered if you thought this would make a good all-round bike – just a bit more capable than the hardtail? Or is it too focused to use for anything other than 4X?

Also, is a FOX 36 set to 130mm overkill?

Thanks again for your help Lee.

Best wishes – Chris

PS – It’s cool to see how things have settled down for you – I’m glad you’re happy!!

The more you click, the more I can post. Lee Likes Groceries dot com!

Hey Chris,

Thanks man. Life is rocky singletrack. Pick a direction, adopt a neutral attack position and let it roll! I remind myself of this every time my front wheel pings toward a tree …

The Yeti 4X is a sweet bike. You can use it for all your hardtail stuff, plus more trail riding. It’s analogous to a Specialized SX, another 4X/DS bike that rips pretty much everywhere. Because these bikes have interrupted seat tubes, they’re most versatile with telescopic seatposts.

The 4X is designed for a 100mm fork. With a FOX F100 or Rock Shox Argyle, you get a 69-degree head angle and a 13-inch bottom bracket. Perfect! Your 130mm 36 will slacken the head angle and raise the BB, turning this cunning carver into a ponderous pooper. Run a 100mm fork.

You’re not trading your hardtail are ya? Keep both bikes …

— Lee

6 replies
  1. Jeff Kendall-Weed says:

    I agree with Lee, go for it! I went from a Chameleon to a Specialized SX (longer size, 12.2 BB, 68° head tube, 43.7″ wb) and I love it! It can still do 60 mile epic singletrack adventures, race mild DH and super D, race 4x/slalom, hit the steep and deep BMX dirt jumps, and race at the BMX track. My Chameleon was 28lbs, so I raced it in a bunch of cross country races, but the Enduro is a good 4 lbs heavier, and isn’t nearly as efficient, so it hasn’t seen any XC racing. It is, however, a lot more comfy. So yeah, give the 4x a shot, but might as well keep the Chameleon with a cheapie single speed dirt jump set up

    For pics of the SX in action, check out

  2. Jonas says:

    I ride a 4X Bike too as an every day bike, a Blur 4X. This is awesome, because it rides like a XC bike on the uphills (not very amazing since it’s based on a Blur 4X). Down the hill it turns into a mean machine, it carves round turns like nothing else, is very stable I think due to it’s slack angles and low bb. It accelerates out of corners can be pumped better than any other bike because that is, what it’s designed for. So I think, a 4X frame is amazing for a trail bike, if it meets the following criterias:
    – possibility to lower the seat at least 6″
    – if you want to be able to ride up steep hills you should be able to run a front derailleur
    – the top tube should be long enough, about as long as on a xc bike so you can ride uphills comfortable with a short stem
    – it should be light, not more than 3.5 kg
    I’m not sure,if the Yeti meets all of these criterias, but if it does, go for it.

  3. Zack Henderson says:

    I’m sorry, but I have to disagree with Lee’s statement that the bike will handle like poop with a 130mm fork. When I was at Crankworx, one of my friends was riding an ASX. His shock blew, so he rode his 4X on everything. He had a Fox 36 Talas by the way. He put the fork in the 130mm setting and although it couldn’t turn as well with the fork raised, it was by no means slow. The thing destroyed A-Line, Dirt Merchant, and most of the other trails on the lower mountain. The 130mm setting raised the BB a little for the gnar, and slackened the head angle so that the bike could hold a line better. I swear to god, I couldn’t believe a bike with only 3.25 inches of travel could handle so much.

  4. leelikesbikes says:

    >> I couldn’t believe a bike with only 3.25 inches of travel could handle so much.

    Watch a great rider on a hardtail …

  5. Brad says:

    I have the Specialized Enduro SX like the one in the book and I really like it with the 36. I ratchet it down most of the time, but let it out to full travel for the gnarlier stuff. I think that is such a great little bike. I ride it more than any other bike I own.

    Also, I think it’s kind of strange what you were saying about the Yeti with a 36 up front. Big House and Gravesy both run that set up and do VERY well on it (looking back at Sea Otter over the past few years: Houseman eliminating Lopes and Graves winning DH).

    I get your point though.


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