Yeti’s new SB-66 C greeted us at the front door of the company HQ (Matt Pacocha)
With all of the buzz surrounding Yeti Cycles’ carbon and alloy SB series ‘super
bikes’, not to mention the new 303 WC Carbon downhill rig, we decided a look inside their headquarters in Golden, Colorado was long overdue.
BikeRadar met up with Yeti president and co-owner Chris Conroy for
a tour of the 12,000sq ft facility, which they plan to swap in just a couple of months for a larger 18,000sq ft space just across the street.
Although Yeti seem to have pumped out new bikes at a feverish pace
for the past 14 months or so, in the grand scheme, model changes are rare
for the brand. They usually happen every couple of years or so, when they improve upon a
technology or bike from their existing line. This is perfectly illustrated by
the 303 WC’s development timeline – only after three years have Yeti
decided that it’s ready for large-scale sale in 2012.
Yeti are an iconic brand, steeped in mountain bike history and lore, and this is apparent from all of the classic rigs hanging around the place. It’s not just bikes that the company produce, though. They also own
and promote both a classic cross-country and downhill race series, and a new-for-2012 enduro series, both of which are run by their Colorado staffers.
Though the company seem to be in a good spot now they’ve had their
fair share of trials and tribulations. The current owners, Conroy and Steve
Hoogendoorn, met when Schwinn sold the brand to Volant in 1999. Two years
later, the duo bought the business from Volant, with the help of a small number
of private investors.
This final purchase brought stability to the company and they’ve now hit their stride with the new line of Switch Technology
equipped trail bikes. We spent an afternoon hanging with Conroy and his crew,
riding bikes and having a look around the place. Here’s what we saw.