[Editor’s Note: When our reviewers aren’t out testing various frames and forks and whatnot, what do their own personal builds look like? Our Reviewers’ Rides series asks some of our riders to detail their setups, and explain why they’ve chosen these particular frames and components.]
Marshal Olson, 6’2″, 210 lbs.
2015 Yeti ASR-C 29, Size XL
I have recently shifted my trail riding emphasis from gravity focused to a more subtle, controlled program. I am looking for overall high speed and efficiency, without sacrificing the ability to charge through rough trail spots. While my showings at the occasional bike race remain only slightly up from mid-pack, it’s really just about riding my bike more, covering more ground, and riding singletrack.
My bike has become focused on 90% of the trail experience: climbing, holding speed on flat sections of trail, and rallying corners.
In the steep, technical, and rough sections that comprise 10% (at most) of my trail time, I rely more on physical riding (i.e. suspension = knees and elbows), and general bike handling skills (I used to ride a lot of trials and rigid mtb’s, and tend to rely on suspension and super slack angles less than some).
Frame: 2015 Yeti ASR-C 29
Seat Tube: 20.5”
Effective Top Tube: 25.7”
Bottom Bracket Height: 13.4”
I like a stiff frame that will not flex under a heavy pedaling load, and pedals neutrally while climbing and on the flats. The Yeti has a planted and stable feel, with an active suspension platform.
The Build (with links to reviews)
Frame – 2015 Yeti ASR-C 29
Rear Shock – Rockshox Monarch RT3 6.5×1.5
Fork – DT Swiss OPM ODL
Brakes – Sram Guide RSC w/ Formula 180mm SL rotors
Drivetrain – Sram 11spd
Cranks – Race Face Next SL cranks
Pedals – TIME XC8 Pedals:
Cockpit – Race Face SIXC bars, Turbine Stem
Seatpost – Thomson Stealth Post
Grips – ESI Racer’s Edge Grips
Seat – SDG Falcon Ti Seat
Wheels – Sram XO Hubs, Sapim Laser Spokes, WTB KOM i23 Rims
Tires – WTB Trailboss 2.4
Rockshox Monarch RT3 6.5×1.5: I decided to swap the stock 2015 Fox Float CTD shock out to find something that does not hang up on squared edges quite so much while descending. I find the RT3 to have a more useable range of compression adjustment than the Fox Float CTD.
To me, the CTD feels underdamped in the D position, over damped in the C position, and I could not find a setting to leave it in for the T position.
I feel comfortable riding in any position in the Monarch RT3 range, but generally climb in the Climb setting and descend in the Descent setting.
DT Swiss OPM ODL: The DT fork might fly under the radar, but it’s a really good fork. Despite having stanchions that are only 32mm in diameter, the fork is stiff, largely due to its crown design.The fork is very sensitive to small bumps, and the damping and spring rate match my needs very well. All in all, this fork absolutely rips, and does it in a package that comes in 300g lighter than the Rockshox Pike I would otherwise be riding on this bike.
Sram Guide RSC w/ Formula 180mm SL rotors: These brakes are a nice package: competitively light, affordably priced, great modulation, and excellent power. They are paired with the light, inexpensive, and durable Formula 1pc SL 180mm rotors front and rear.
NEXT: Drivetrain, Cockpit, etc.