My quick one-day trip to the Outdoor Demo came and went in a flash, so it’s quite appropriate that most of the bikes I chose to ride were carbon-fiber beauties dialed in for uptempo singletrack assaults. The all-new Yeti ASR 5 Carbon was definitely tops on my list of must-rides at the demo. After catching up with owner, Chris Conroy and domestic sales master, Seth Mukai, I got the low-down on the new ASR 5 C.

Billed as a long-legged XC bike that’s built burly enough to handle all-day adventure, yet still capable on the race course, the full-carbon frameset is superlight (4.7 lbs.) and downright sexy. Yeti knows how to build dialed-in single-pivot mountain bikes and the new ASR 5 C is no exception.

Yeti ASR 5 C Specs

The test bike was built-up with a solid parts spec including:

  • 130mm rear wheel travel via Fox Float RP23
  • 120mm Fox F-Series RLC 15qr fork (120-140mm fork recommended)
  • Shimano XT/XTR drivetrain
  • DT Swiss XR400 wheelset
  • Thompson cockpit
  • Convertible rear dropout from 9mm to 12 x 142mm
  • Weight: 4.7 lbs (carbon) or 5.5 lbs (aluminum/carbon)

Yeti ASR 5c Mountain Bike

Yeti ASR 5 Carbon Quick Review

The ascent out of the mayhem of the demo booths was met with a responsive and fast climber. This bike shows its XC lineage in its efficiency and quick handling. One onto the twisty, rocky singletrack of Bootleg Canyon, the bike continued to shine. Right at home with narrow desert ribbons winding through unforgiving rocks and “no fall zones”, the ASR 5 C took me up West Leg Trail without so much as a flinch. The rear wheel stayed firmly planted in the desert sand and rocks and propelled me with ease. Quick, steep ascents were no match for this bike.

When the trails turned downhill and the real fun began, this bike felt absolutely solid under pressure. I enjoyed railing it down the swoopy singletrack and dropping small ledges along the way. While the suspension is very compliant and can take some abuse, I still felt like I needed to be careful which line I chose to take. It’s not the kind of bike that can take the burliest line without so much as breaking a sweat–you’ve still got to finesse it down the rough stuff.

Overall, I felt completely balanced on the ASR 5 C and look forward to bringing it in for a long-term review in the Spring.

Yeti ASR 5 Carbon Mountain Bike Quick Review - Interbike 2009

Good ASR 5 C

  • Love the feel of the carbon fiber frame
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Travel sweet-spot… not too much, not too little
  • Very balanced feel both up and down
  • Tracks through winding singletrack with ease
  • Loves to be pushed hard
  • Efficient climber and cross-country trail slayer

Bad ASR 5 C

  • Gotta pick your lines through the rough stuff (not really a bad thing though)

The Bottom Line: Yeti ASR 5 C

This bike loves to be pedaled hard and fast both uphill and down. I really dig the balanced feel of this bike and its ability to ascend up virtually anything yet still give you enough confidence to tackle rough terrain.

Buy Now: Search for Yeti Bikes

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.


  1. Amazing! The ASR 5C will climb much better than the 575. Don’t get me wrong, the 575 is a good climber, but the ASR 5C is a bit more composed with less tendency to wander. It feels more efficient too and the lighter weight only helps too!

    Great climber and solid descender with reasonable limits on the down. It’s really a killer trailbike for most folks looking for XC efficiency yet enough comfort for all-day pounding.

  2. I just found this site – AWESOME reviews.

    It seems your focus is around Ibis, Santa Cruz, Yeti, and Scott… but nothing on Cannondale? Is this by design? (or I completely missed other reviews)

    Could you shed any light on the differences between a Scalpel 2 and ASR 5 C? My initial impressions strike me as similar bikes that fit into the same category – XC race machine with a little extra to push all-mountain?

  3. Hey Ryan

    Actually, I secretly loathe Cannondale. 🙂 Actually, I’ve ridden and reviewed several Cannondale bikes over the years. I most recently rode the Rize 3:

    But, Cannondale has completely re-vamped & re-named the 2010 Rize platform and will have a RZ120 and RZ140 in the lineup. Either of those bikes would compete with the ASR 5C. However, I haven’t ridden them yet (hope to this Spring), so I can’t say either way.

  4. Hello Jason, compared to 575 how does thos descend? I want some nice trailbike and 575 was my choice but now I do not know…I like fast downs through rockier terrain so “slower” bike is not a problem. Thanks for help.

  5. I’m torn between either a Titus RACER X Ti or Yeti ASR 5c. I’m a skeptic when it comes to Carbon Frames taken on the trail I worry about the tolerance levels in regards to frame and pivot integrity; Mind you..I just take take the various trails all over Marin Ca. No drives to the “ski resorts” to do down hill courses and such. So im wondering..of the two frames I mentioned ( to make a long story short..) what would be my most bang for the buck. Any and every opinion is of value in the decision making process.

  6. Jason

    Awesome reviews man, add me to the list who would like to be doing what you are… 🙂 Been looking for a replacement for my 07 Stumpy FSR Expert and have been looking real close at the Blur LT, ASR 5, Mojo SL, Fuel EX 8/9, Remedy 8/9 and Rocky Mountain Altitude. I know a large list but I have all winter. Still tossing the carbon thing around but it appears outside of the cash aspect a lot of folks are recommending its use.

    My riding style is all over the place no real big ups 2-300 foot climbs lots of rocky technical with a ton of roots ruts and twists tossed in. Based in Ontario Canada so we have some sweet classic XC single track with lots of Canadian Shield granite poking its head out.

    Anything you would push off my list? Or push to the front?



  7. Wayne… thanks for the kudos. It’s a fun niche to be in. Been doing this for a LONG time, but it’s nice to hear I’m providing some value.

    Onto the bikes, yes… BIG list there with each bike being stellar in many ways. The carbon debate is worth considering, but it’s such a nice material (light, damp, stiff) that it’s hard to deny its use in MTB applications.

    Looking at your list, your riding style and the terrain, I’d put them in this order:

    Yeti ASR5
    Mojo SL
    Blur LT Carbon (not AL)
    Fuel EX
    Rocky Altitude

    The ASR 5 is fast, efficient and perfect for the terrain you suggest. It may not absorb everything, but it will be efficient and fun. I’d put that one at the top if I were you.

    All of those are killer bikes though.

  8. Jason

    Thanks, always good to get feedback much appreciated you have confirmed the top 3 for sure. I have been flipping between the top 3, I do like a little longer travel bike, it is an age thing and the old back syndrome. I have slowed on the climbs but then again the stumpy is not a great climber anyway specially in 07. Any bike advantage to gain some speed back is so appreciated.

    Thanks again.

  9. Hello Jason,
    I was lost but found this awesome site! Would like your advise on a future purchase I want to make. I am between a Yeti 575 and the ASR5 and can’t make up my mind. I ride not very technical trails and don’t do any crazy drops/downhill. I want something light and efficient climber and maybe something I can race with in the future. I test rode the 575 (on the streets) and the suspension was AWESOME. My question is… If I was to get the 575 instead of the ASR, would I be loosing lots of climbing efficiency? How does the 575 climb compared to the ASR5? Because, if it is about 5-10% climbing efficiency I would sacrifice it for a plush ride of the 575.



  10. Yo Abe… the classic question, my friend. Both are similar in many ways, yet oh so different. Both are excellent climbers, but the 575 needs an adjustable-travel fork to be as adept as the ASR 5c. The 575 will trounce any downhill that mortals will throw at it while the ASR 5c will whimper a bit but still make it through.

    The 5c would be much more capable as an XC rig than the 575. I’d give the 5c the nod in climbing and the 575 the nod on descending. If you do go 575 you’ll definitely want an adjustable travel fork whereas the 5c can do without just fine.

  11. Wow! Thanks for your quick responce, really appreciate it! One more question… Could you recommend me an adjustable-travel fork for the 575?
    Thanks a bunch.


  12. Jason

    Mojo! Done. Found a frame very lightly used and built it out last weekend off my old ride. Will upgrade the parts over the winter.

    First impressions, WOW! Sweet and efficient as hell. Very happy I went this route although I am betting the Yeti would have been awesome as well.



  13. @Abe… I’d go with either the Rockshox Revelation or the Fox 32 RLC with 15QR.

    @Wayne… nice find man! I’m glad you agree on the efficiency. I’ve honestly been blown away by the Mojo’s ability to be both a durable trailbike and XC trail machine. Enjoy!

  14. Thanks a bunch Jason,
    It is so cool that sites/forums like this exist, were you can get GREAT help for free, can you believe that?
    Keep up the good work man and again, Thanks a lot!

    Happy Holidays,


  15. To ALL What about the Covert ?
    I’m going to start So. Cal. mountain and some XC. Not a HD (too old) but love to ride the trails.
    Thanks for your help

  16. @John

    The Transition Covert should be a contender in the AM market, but the ASR 5 Carbon is a much more race-tuned AM bike than the Covert. I need to get on the new Covert (hope to do so in the Spring) for comparison, but it’s really more akin to a 575 or ASR 7 if you want to compare to Yeti’s offerings.

  17. Thanks Jason. I like the ablitiy to use a hammerschmidt if I want to (tecno nut like myself).
    I’ve been looking at JensonUSA which seems to be a big seller of the Yeti.
    I’m 5’10 and about 200lbs and losing (hope to get and stay around 190lbs)
    So with this do you think a mediun size would be a good choice.
    Cheers and thanks for your advise

  18. So hard to say sizes outright. I like the Medium 575 and I’m about your same size (5’10 and 175 lbs). So… at first blush, I’d say yes, but you should get sized up. However, the 575 doesn’t have ISGC tabs though, so no Hammerschmidt. The Covert does though (was that what you were talking about?).

  19. Jason
    Yea I like the idea of the Hammerschmidt and how simple it is and works. Also gives me the oppotunity to change back to a 3 ring crank as well.

    There is a company JensonUSA in my area who sells Yeti but not Covert. Also learning more about different front forks as well. I don’t plan on racing down mountains or flying off the edge but would like to have a very nice ride for trails and any ruff stuff the trail might throw at me.

    Cheers John

    • The Hammerschmidt system is sweet indeed, but its got limited applications. Most trail bikes don’t have ISCG tabs, so you’re out of luck. The Transition Covert is one of the few that does.

      JensonUSA is a great shop… they should dial you in well. I know they sell a ton of Yeti’s as well as other brands.

  20. Jason, you mentioned in your tallboy review that it was the most fun bike of the show. I’m looking at either an ASR5, Blur LTc or a tallboy with a 120 up front.

    Looking for something just as confident down as up. Ther’s some great video and info on the SCblog about employees and their TB’s and that crew isn’t holding back on anything. So i’m sure a Tallboy would be a great all aorund bike for me. Just curious as to why the tall boy beat out the ASR 5? I’m still tempted at building a light 5 inch 26″ FS bike. I could get the ASR down to 24-25 pounds no problem which is the sweetspot for me for all day riding and enough weight not to skitter around on the downs. Tall boy would be 27-28? Thanks

    • Between that ASR 5c and the Tallboy, they were the best bikes of the demo in their respective wheel size. I’m quite taken by the smoothness of 29ers and the Tallboy rode like an exceptional trailbike with all the benefits of the larger hoops.

      The ASR 5c is a stellar ride with a much more fast (almost XC race) feel to it. But, it still had enough travel to make an all-day burl-fest comfortable. I’m quite taken by both bikes actually and think you couldn’t go wrong with either choice.

  21. Arrgh! Can’t decide 🙂 I’m taking a tallboy out in the spx guise out for 3 days next week. No way to demo the asr yet until competitive cyclist or my local shop get demos going. if it’s a tight XC version of the 575 then it might be hard to beat. I’d build it with a Talas 140 up front. keep it at 120 95% of the time. But when we do have extended down’s ( pisgah) then i’d crank it up to 140
    Thanks for the feedback.

  22. Hi Jason,

    How would the ASR 5 perform uphill if I install a 140mm fork. Looking at the geometry, it gives a 68deg head angle. Seem like rather slack for efficient climbing.

  23. If that fork is say the Fox 32 TALAS RLC, then it might be a pretty good match since you can drop the travel to 120mm for climbing. However, it could slacken it out so much that the steering becomes unresponsive too.

    The 68deg head angle does seem slack on paper, but let me assure you this thing doesn’t wander one bit and is as efficient as the best bikes on the market.

  24. Jason, interesting reads. I’m trying to determine myself between the 575 and the asr5. I currently ride a cannondale f 700…..yes it’s that old. I really enjoy the light weight of the bike. I’m 47 and ride whenever I get a chance….I want one more bike and think it is time to go to full suspension. I’m 5-7 180 the trails here are a mix decent drops no serious downhills but that doesn’t mean I wont be taking a road trip or two or three to get to some new areas. Anyway of the bikes I mentioned or if there is another you think would fit the bill, what are your thoughts.

    Thanks and sorry for the long write.

  25. Jason,

    Also to throw into the mix, what about the Specialized stumpjumper fsr comp. How would this bike compare handling travel and weight?

  26. Hey Paul

    You’ve picked some great bikes indeed. Both the 575 and ASR5c would be great “do-it-all” bikes. I wish I could speak to the Specialized stumpy, but I haven’t ridden a Specialized in forever.

    You never mentioned where you live and ride… that will help determine the type of bike. From what you did say, I’d lean towards the ASR5c because it is a little more XC-oriented, lighter weight and yet still capable. That bike is really going to be hard to beat as a do-it-all trailbike for the fast and efficient crowd.

  27. Jason, thanks for the input. I live in Texas in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. I test rode the ASR 5 and the 575 this afternoon. Only a parking lot ride. The 575 was really plush and the ASR 5 was just a little firmer. Coming from the bike I was riding I’m leaning towards the ASR 5 alloy. I’ m thinking of doing the enduro build and changing the shifters to XT. That way I’ll get full XT. Bikes sure have come up in price though. I’m still trying to justify the cost??? I was amazed how the bike felt so smooth.

  28. Sounds like the perfect ride for you then. Yes, nearly $3000 is a lot to spend but you sound like someone who will take care of it and have it for a long time. That will be a solid steed for you. Enjoy it man!

  29. Jason, great site!
    I’m thinking of changing my Rush Carbon for something quick, light but with more travel for more downhill fun. Think the ASR5 looks like a winner but wondered what you think about fork travel. The specs say it’ll take 120-140mm fork. Would it still be decent on climbs with 140mm Fox float? Thanks

    • As far as going 140mm, I’d recommend going with a TALAS and not FLOAT so you can adjust the travel down to 120 for climbs. The ASR5c is a killer trail slayer indeed, but I’d guess 140mm on technical climbs might cause it to wander a bit.

      Now that I’m thinking this over a bit more, I’m not confident as to whether or not I was riding a 120mm or 140mm fork on this bike. Looking at the fork and comparing that to the Fox F-Series offerings, it appears that it must have been a 120mm fork, but I’m going to check to see if they have a 140mm OEM fork just for Yeti.

  30. Yes, indeed… it has been verified. They have only spec’d that bike with 120mm forks, so that’s what I rode and what’s recommended. It can accept up to a 140mm fork, but it may make uphills a little more wandery.

  31. The Medium ASR5 has almost a 1/2″ shorter top-tube than the Medium 575… kind of interesting actually. I’m roughly your same height and I rode the Medium with much joy and happiness. Hop on one at your local Yeti dealer to confirm for yourself, but I’d think the Medium would suit you well in the ASR5.

  32. Jason,

    One additional concern. Everything we read is based on the ASR5c. I can’t afford the “C”. What characteristics if any do you give up with the Alloy version. I know it’s a bit heavier .75 lbs. Does the handling change? Is the carbon stiffer then the alloy? Also is the rear triangle on the alloy carbon? Thanks.

  33. Yes, the rear triangle on both the ASR5 and ASR5c are the same. So, the aluminum version does get the benefit of a less chattery rear end. That’s the biggest benefit of carbon fiber is its ability to reduce the small vibrations from the trail–it simply tunes them out.

    Will it be a major difference, no. It’s subtle and if you are on a tight budget and want to go alloy, you will never know the wiser. Carbon generally provides a snappier, but more supple feel (I know, sounds contradictory, but it’s true).

  34. JM

    Have you had any more experience on the ASR5 since your review? As I understand it, this was a proto and I am interested in a production review before I drop a months wages. I look at MTBR occasionally but see nothing anywhere other than the original Interbike initial. Is it all that its cracked up to be? Thanks for the tireless, thankless (not) efforts in keeping us all informed.

    • Hey Ben

      I just reached out to the crew at Yeti and they said that the bikes that were at Interbike were identical to the current production models. Killer bike indeed!

  35. Hi Jason, currently have the 2007 yeti 575 (old frame) and looking to get a new 575 but of course yeti has to throw out a bone and give you another option. I ride northern cal mountains and we climb to descend. I was wondering how much you give up on the decent with asr 5 vs 575. Is it that much of a difference? I keep the tires on the ground but like to go fast over rocky terrain, single track etc, but it is just as rewarding to beat your buddies up technical climbs. My concern is giving up the ride quality on the downhill.

    • Ahh yes, the 575/ASR 5 debate… I’m sure there are many of you in that same boat. You’ve really got to ask yourself if you want to be a part of the Institution that is the 575 or if you want to go with the new goodness. You really could go either way, my friend, and be happy. You will give up some downhill prowess with the ASR 5c, but you will be that much faster on the uphill too.

      It’s hard to say how much you “give up” though with the ASR 5c. I can say that it is a confident downhiller, but rides stiffer than the 575 for sure. It will handle anything you can throw at it, but you won’t have the cush in the middle of the stroke that makes the 575 so adept. Steering will be more precise on the ASR 5 to clear around really hairy stuff though and you’ll be faster to the top for sure.

      Tough call, but I think you’ll be stoked with either one. Sorry to really give you no direction whatsoever. 🙂

  36. Thanks Jason as always an amazing response time. you know your responsible for all our happiness so keep up the good work!!! I’m a Yeti fan so I may have to try the “new goodness” but…..then again the 575 has been very very good to me. Thanks again

  37. Hi Jason, I’m Back. Okay, I’m going to keep my 575. Can you give me a ride comparison between blur LTc and asr 5. Small/large bump compliance, climbing technical, downhill etc.., did you prefer one over the other?

  38. Dean… I haven’t ridden the Blur LTc, unfortunately. I rode the standard BLT, but not the carbon. The ASR5c and BLT are two completely different bikes… not in the same category at all. While I really like the BLT, the ASR5 is way snappier and much more agile and fun.

  39. One more question…carbon vs you think it is worth the exta cash $500 to spend to get carbon. I’m not a weight weanie. Yeti says that carbon is 30% stiffer. Also, if it takes a hit, does it chip, dent, wondering how it holds up and will look after a few years. thanks jason

  40. Carbon frames are oh so good, IMO. If you can spare the extra 5 Benjamin’s, I’d throw down for sure, but if you want to get better wheels and some carbon bits with the saved coin, I’d have a hard time convincing you otherwise.

  41. Jason,

    Liked the review, and need some advice. I ride a 2009 Blur LT aluminum fox 150 Talas, only run it in 130 mode. Ride black diamond trails quickly and take the difficult lines, Rockville in northern Ca is my local park. Haven’t been very happy with the Santa Cruz BLT bit too tight for me in the geometry – top tube length, bike is properly sized, suspension is a bit mushy, and the bike handles a bit like a pig. Will go over anything though.

    Demoed the ASR 5 last week and broke the frame within the first mile over a 14″ drop at speed while braking. Thought I had found the perfect bike, not too much travel, longer top tube, good for climbing technical single track, fast, but can still rail through the rock gardens. Rear triangle broke on the brake side and the drop out came completed unglued. Local shop has a new rear triangle coming from Yeti and I should be able to re-test later this week, but I’m very skeptable about the durability of the bike, especially over rocks.

    Anything else to consider, my wife rides a Ibis Mojo but it just seems to similiar to my Sant Cruz and is not the perfect middle between an AM and an XC race bike that I’m looking for. Any suggestions much appreciated.


  42. Jeff

    Sorry to hear about the issue with the ASR5. Uggh. With the demo bike, was it a prototype model or was it from the final production run? I’m wondering if they had some bugs to work out on some of the initial ones. Hmmm. Though I can understand your skepticism, the ASR5 is still a sweet ride, no doubt.

    I know your wife has a Mojo, but the Mojo SL could be built up ultralight for near-XC racing performance. I totally and completely dig the Mojo as a “do it all” rig.

    Some others to consider would be the Santa Cruz Tallboy (not sure how you feel about 29ers) or the new Trek Fuel EX. I haven’t ridden the Fuel EX, but the Top Fuel is a fun ride, but a tad too XC-racy for me. I’m guessing the EX would be the perfect mix of AM and XC.

    I do agree with you on the BLT2 model in some respects. Compared to some of the other bikes in its class it can seem a bit sluggish. Great bike, but a tad sluggish, IMO.

  43. Jason,
    Havent seen any followups anywhere, and am still waiting for a final review on this rig. Nobody has published anything since Inter, so wonder if this should be scrubbed for a mojo or one of the new Cruz’s… Any thoughts? (since I cant change my mind and certainly can’t afford multiple toys at these prices…)A mistake is one that I have to live with for a lloonngg time. Thx for the input. Hope your out tearing it up.

    • Ben… unfortunately, it’s still too early in the season for any long-term reviews. I’m not sure if I’ll get an ASR5 in for review this year or not. If so, it won’t be until later this Summer. The safe bet is the Mojo, but the ASR5 will undoubtedly be an astounding ride.

      The new Nickel from Santa Cruz looks sweet (but heavy). Tons of options out there, but the plushest and most fun of the bunch is the Mojo (IMO). The ASR5c is more of an XC machine than the Mojo, but the Mojo can extend down into that territory.

      In short, I don’t think you can go wrong with either one and I’m sorry there aren’t any real long-term reviews of the ASR5c yet… hang tight, my friend.

  44. Much grass senor, appreciate your work load and efforts. Just have grown impatient in my old age, and fear if I wait too long, I will find another less than healthy toy to spend on. Easy these days. Still holding out hoping on the sr5. May just take the plunge and hope for the best.

  45. Pingback: Yeti Big Top 29er Hardtail Unveiled -

  46. Jason,
    I’m 5-7 with a 29″ inseam… short legs. My current hardtail is 27″ stand over. I commetned before as I was asking about the ASR5. My new Yeti Asr 5 Alloy has a stand over of 28.1. In other words there’s not much room! I’m a little concerned; the bike is sized right because my torso warrants a longer top tube. I think the asr5 alloy comes in an extra small?? And the stand over is slightly less. I haven’t had a chance to ride yet, the bike is in this week and took nearly 4 1/2 weeks to show up. I’m wondering if I got the wrong size and need the xs with a longer stem and slight bent seat post??? Any thoughts?

  47. If you look at the geometry listed for the xs asr5, the standover is only 0.2 inches lower. In fact, the standover is the same for the medium and the small. So I’d say keep the small. A bent seatpost would make the cockpit longer, but put in you a weird position over the pedals.

  48. Jason
    For wiw…
    I have about 100 miles, albeit fire roads and only about 10-12 single, this machine is IT. I visited lbs and pieced one together, it is pretty sweet and responsive. it is early to make a true assessment but if it holds up, it is a gem. Quick, firm yet responsive and has laughed at everything I have hit so far. It seems like it taunts me to push it but I am still a virgin. Absolutely genius, Yeti hit is out! Got a lot of pressure to apply but, yup, HAPPY! One exstatic crankster!

  49. I know you reviewed and really like the Epiphany. Cost not being a factor which would you chose? The ASR5 or the Epiphany? I’ve ridden both and seem to like the Epiphany slightly better but I have not spent much time on either. Thanks.

  50. BG… the Epiphany and the ASR5c are different-feeling bikes, in my opinion. Both are lightweight and both are very capable, but the ASR5c is much more race-like whereas the Epiphany is potentially a tad more comfortable all-around. That said, the Epiphany was ridden nearly two years ago and technology and materials usage has changed dramatically since that time.

  51. Ted Hollander on

    Just got back from Fat Tire Bike Week, where I was able to demo several long travel XC bikes as well as the Tallboy. Though size and setup may have been a big influence, my favorite was the ASR-5 Carbon. It fit like a glove, was the snappiest handling of the bunch, and still was pretty comfy through the rough stuff. I want one, but can’t help but wonder if the Intense Spider 2 should be on the list as well. I currently ride the original Spider, but like the idea of a 5″ bike. From what I’ve read, it sounds very similar in concept to the ASR5. Can you shed any light on this?

  52. Ted

    Glad you loved the ASR-5c. I still come back to this bike in my mind wondering how it compares to the best 29ers as well as other trailbikes in its class.

    Intense makes a great bike for sure and I rode the Spider 2 at Interbike last Fall. Honestly, I can’t remember much about it other than I felt it was good, but unremarkable compared to the ASR5c and Tallboy. It was solid overall, but that’s about it. Carbon has a tendency of doing that to ya.

  53. Ted Hollander on


    Thanks very much for the input. You’ve made it easier to justify upgrading to the ASR5! Also, thanks very much for the hard work you no doubt put into your site. It’s one of my favorite stops on the web. Keep it up!


  54. Jason.

    Great work man! I narrowed my search, (thanks in great part to your page) and I want to go withe the ASR 5 Alloy, I know Yeti is a samll builder and takes care of the details, but what would you say about the details between an ASR 5 Alloy and a Trek Fuel EX 7 (suspension system, durability, quality), they have almost the same geometry and travl, but the trek is way cheaper, is it worth it spending that extra money?


  55. Joe

    Thanks for the props! The ASR 5 and Fuel EX 7 are comparable bikes for sure. As with any comparison between a boutique brand and a mass-production brand (like Trek), there are some intangibles that one must factor in. With Yeti, you get a smaller, more personable brand. I happen to know nearly everyone there from the top-down. With Trek, it’s a huge corporation and all that stuff.

    I’m not saying Trek is bad, but just different. You can get some serious bang-for-the-buck with the EX 7/8 vs. the ASR 5 alloy.

    The EX has a great suspension design, but the ASR 5 sports a great suspension design that Yeti has perfected over the years. If you’re on a tight budget, the EX 7/8 will get you there, but the ASR 5 would be cooler and sexier for longer, I think. There’s no way to fault you either way though.

  56. Jason.

    Thanks for the advice, I´m looking into them, but I think I will go with the ASR 5, I have an 08 ASR alloy and I really like it, but I got it with a nice price tag, that´s why I was crying about the price on the ASR 5.

    I wanted to ask you, with my ASR alloy, when I push the back brake (with my rp23 blocked) and try to get the back of the bike sliding, it just won´t slide, it begins to vibrate and stops in just a second, does it has something to do with the carbon rear end?

    What is the whole purpose of the carbon rear end? It won´t make the bike a bit fragile in terms of durability instead of having everything in aluminum?


    • Joe

      You’re gonna love the ASR 5! As far as your non-skidding rear end on your current ASR, I’m not sure I follow, but it sounds like maybe a brake issue moreso than anything to do with the frame.

      As far as a carbon rear triangle, the reasoning for it is to provide added lateral stiffness (much stiffer than aluminum) and increased vertical compliance (takes the edge off) all while reducing weight. Everyone thinks carbon is brittle and susceptible to failure, but it’s pretty durable and getting more and more durable over time. I would not worry… trust Yeti on the carbon rear. They know what’s best!

  57. Joe,

    I was in the same situation in April and bought the ASR5 alloy. Absolutley a wonderful bike. I have never had so much fun riding. I think I’m actually becoming addicted. I hit the trails 3-4 times during the week and then again on the weekend. Only change is I went tubless with the lust maxxis. Hard dirt trails in Texas……enjoy, the bike is killer, I love mine.

  58. Jason,

    Thanks for the ASR 5 C review, I am very interesting to have ASR 5 carbon comparing with alloy. Unfortunately the carbon version has only small size (no XS as alloy). I am 5-4 with inseam 29″, do you think that ASR 5 C small would still be fitted for me ? or I should take XS size alloy?. Again thanks a lot for your advise.


    • Hey TJ

      Sizing is almost impossible for me to judge, my friend. Look at the top tube and standover measurements and see how they compare to your current bike or similar bikes. have you swung a leg over the ASR5 yet? Are there other similar bikes you can size up against?

      It’s just hard for me to tell you. Good luck!

  59. Hello Jason

    Wow! You do a great job of getting back to everyone and with quality responses. I just finished reading through all of the posts about the ASR5C because I am looking to move on from my 2005 Yeti 575 to the ASR5C. I am concerned about the durability of the carbon frame. I ride mostly in WA some OR. Like to climb and then enjoy long descents. No drops bigger than 2′. I read you are from Seattle. I ride Tiger, Kachess Ridge, and Devils Gulch. My question is: should I be concerned about the carbon frame. I am 5’9″, 185#.

    Thanks a lot. Great work.

  60. Hey Glen… thanks for the props. I try my best to help everyone out as they make decisions. A nice bike isn’t cheap and I know everyone spends a ton of time researching before pulling the trigger. While I don’t know everything, I know who to reach out to should I get stumped.

    As far as carbon fiber concerns, Yeti includes a 5 year warranty on the ASR 5C, so I wouldn’t worry. Also, carbon and any frame material can break, but I think carbon gets a bad rap because of perceived durability issues. If you take care of your bike, I don’t see any issues. You’ll love the snappiness of the frame and enjoy nearly a pound lighter bike because of it.

    Yeti is a great company that’s still relatively small, so they will take care of you if something should happen. And, riding the 5C in WA and OR, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find its equal. You could opt for something with a little more travel, but the 5C will be surprisingly versatile for you. Good luck deciding!

    • Joey… thanks for the question. The ASR5C can be purchased at your local Yeti dealer, or there are several online retailers that also sell it, such as and As a first MTB, it’s quite a steed. Most first-time riders would opt for something a little less expensive, but I’d have to say that this would be an ideal bike for someone who is just getting into things. It will be very efficient and fun with good trail manners. It won’t pitch you over the bars at the first sight of drops, but it also won’t slow you down on the climbs.

      Considering all the bikes we all started off with, you’ll be getting a leg up on us all and will be riding like a pro in no time.

  61. Hello it looks like I’m in the same vote as many 575or asr5c. But I have acouple questions. First I have a manatiu super nova and looking at theses frames to build up with it. I love in the new York area known as long island. It doesn’t have the awesome landscape of some of the ones mention in other post. But it’s fun. Sorry got off topic I’m leaning to the asr5 more since the fork is 5 inch travel I’m thinking it’s a better fit. Cause it’s mainly xc /trail no mag dh. But sec question what do thing the asr5 alloy or carbon what would be the differents in them

  62. Hi Jason,
    I’m currently riding a 07 stumpy and looking for something a bit sharper for blasting trails and the occasional race. Am torn between the Trek 9.8 and the ASR5C both of which I’ve test riden and both are great. Main concern with the Yeti is damage to the downtube due to rock strikes. Have you heard of any issues with the ASR5C? Trek provide OCLV mountain carbon (claimed to be more impact resistant) and carbon armour to counter this but Yeti only seems to have a strip of copter tape. Appreciate your thoughts on the strenght of the yeti downtube. Friend of mine recently holed his giant anthem carbon downtube so its a concern.

  63. the yeti downtube has three cable housings running down the length of it in addition to the ‘copter tape’ thing, so it seems plenty burly. No problems on mine after a year of rough riding.

  64. Hi Jason,
    Here is a question that you may not have had before. I’m a triathlete. I have raced everything from local sprint distance events to Ironman. The bike is my best event and I can hold 26 mph for 56 miles. (half Iron distance) So here is the thing, I want to move onto other challenges. I have signed up for the Firecracker 50 and Leadville 100. I’m thinking of entering La Ruta in 2012. What bike should I use? I’m looking at the ASR5c and the ASRc, thoughts? Maybe Big Top? I’m open to all things. My TT bike is a Scott Plasma3. Maybe I should look at a Scott Spark or Scale 29er?

    • Hunter… Well, I’m not really sure where to start. I wish I could tell you first-hand which bike would be preferred, but I haven’t ridden in any of those races. I do ride with several folks who do and they all ride hardtail 29ers. But, other riders nail it with XC FS rigs or trailbikes like the ASR 5c. For an all-around bike, the 5c would truly be hard to beat. I think you’d have a hard time finding weaknesses.

      But, for long-run efficiency, nothing beats a 29er. The Scott Scale 29 Pro is one killer build for the price if you want to stick with Scott.

      I don’t think you could go wrong with any of the above bikes really.

  65. Hi i been driving myself crazy looking for a new ride, My top 3 bikes choices were Ibis Mojo SL-R , Santa Cruz Tr, or the Yeti Asr 5-C, As of now Ibis is out so I keep going back and forth between the SC tr and the Yeti. Any input on the direct comparison of the two?

    • Hey man… sorry for the delayed reply. As far as comparing the ASR5c to the new Blur TR, that’s a tough call. I’ve yet to ride the new Blur TR, but the ASR5c is one sweet ride. You’re on your own between those two… sorry I can’t help so much there.

  66. Pingback: Yeti Big Top 29er Review -

  67. i just got into mt. biking 2 years ago with my hardrock disc sport. now im crazy to ride i love to get air, bomb down hills, and race trails. when i was a kid i raced BMX now im 22 and like mt. biking alot better. im now getting into XC racing and want to upgrade bikes. for sure it going to be a yeti but what kind should i get the 575, asr 5 alloy, sb-66, or the asr-7? i will be using it to race, jump, all day trails, and so on i am a little crazy and hard on my bikes, but keep good care of them also. what would you recamend?

    • o yeah i live in Minnesota and its more up down up down terrain im 6 foot even 200lbs and very muscular im not a twig. i should add that but right now im looking at the asr 5 or sb-66

      • Pat… based on where you ride, the ASR5 sounds like a great bike. However, you may want to go with a 575 instead. Both are fun, but he 575 is more playful and suited to hard-charging. BUT… your terrain would likely be more tailored to the ASR5.

        I don’t think you could go wrong with either one. The SB does look nice, but I haven’t ridden one, so it’s hard to say how it compares. My guess is that the SB66 is initiating the phase-out of the 575 and ASR7, but I can’t confirm that for sure.

  68. How would the 2011 ASR-5c match up to the Scott Genius Carbon. In both the older pre 2009 and the new shock & pivot point set-up on the 2009 and newer bikes.

    • Hey Kevin. I’ve ridden both and I’d opt for the 5c over the Genius for a couple of reasons:

      1) Simplicity: The Yeti offers simple setup and performance
      2) Travel Quality: While the Genius is an amazing bike and is super-versatile, it has noticeable brake-jack (which is no fun, IMO).

      The 5c is going to be much more of a rocket compared to the Genius… they aren’t directly-comparable really, but both are great bikes. I’d give the nod to the 5c if I had the choice.

      • Thank you for the quick reply.

        Several more questions/thoughts

        Having ridden a Scott Genius 20 for the past 4 years I am wondering if or how much less plush the ASR 5c with a 140 front shock will be. Or is a more comparable bike the 575?

        I typically enjoy the up hill and all the rides around my home (Canmore) start by going up, but want something that flows over rooty sections and allows for fun on the down in the areas such as Squamish and Fruita

        Plus in your mind would you upgrade any of the components on this build?
        Groupo: full XO
        Cockpit: Easton EA70 bar & stem
        Wheels: Mavic crossmax st
        Tires: Rocket Ron 2.25
        Shock: Fox RLC 140

        for brakes would you be tempted to go with 160/160 or 160/180
        and would you get a dropper post (Reverb)?


        • The Genius is more comparable to the 575, in my opinion. I’ve only ridden the ASR 5c in the 120/120 setup. I envision that the 140/120 setup would be a little more downhill-capable while still being able to ascend well. It seems like a great all-mountain option.

          If you want plushness, however… the 575 is going to have the 5c beat. The suspension ratios and travel profile are built to feel more plush in the 575 versus more efficient on the 5c.

          That build kit looks great as well. Can’t go wrong with X0 and the supporting cast you mentioned.

  69. I am truly torn between the ASR 5 and the Santa Cruz Tall Boy. It may come down to price, but my riding is twisty and technical single track in Marin County and some rougher ad rockier XC up in Tahoe area, like Hole In The Ground on Donner Summit. What would you recommend, Jason?

    • Well… you’ve picked two very capable and comparable bikes. Tell you what, I’d have a hard time deciding between the two of those myself. You can’t go wrong with either really. To make the Tallboy sing, it really does deserve a 120mm fork (which may weigh into your budget considerations).

      I really wish I could point you one way or the other, but I’m torn. If it were me, however, I’d go with the Tallboy because I’m a 29er only kinda guy.

Leave A Reply