Yeti is a legacy brand. They’ve been there for just about every major evolution our sport has witnessed. But really, that’s not why people buy their bikes. Nostalgia is just a bonus for anyone old enough to remember seeing that turquoise color or that steezy abominable snowman back before they had kitsch value. For the past few years, those have really been the only two throwbacks Yeti still leans into. Really, the brand is much more interested in the future. Their geometry, materials and suspension are the stuff of a science fiction epic, not a period piece. But today, to honor their 35th year, Yeti announces a notable exception to their pure forward thinking.
The original Yeti ARC hardtail hit the scene in 1991, sporting Easton Pro Taper tubing and helped usher in the era of aluminum and straight kick to the curb the era of chromoly. Now returning in glorious carbon fiber, the brand new ARC brings back the classic name, the classic yellow and the classic turquoise that defined Yeti’s bikes in the nineties. It also brings back the anodized aluminum that defined everyone’s bikes in the nineties. But look closely, and it’s clear this bike was not made just for the novelty of it.
Every cleverly customized bit on the Yeti ARC is top-notch. The XX1 AXS derailleur has a turquoise pulley cage plate. The Race Face Turbine stem is anodized turquoise, as is the SRAM front ring, Race Face dropper remote lever and Chris King headset. The Level brake calipers, the grips, and even the saddle rails have a touch of turquoise. And it all rolls on custom anodized and laser-etched Yeti-edition Chris King hubs that themselves are laced to some mysterious carbon 29-inch rims covered with Yeti’s trade dress. Yeti assured us that this was not a sign Yeti was getting into the wheel business, and told us they’ve got a 29-millimeter inner width, a ceramic coating to protect the graphics, and are made in the USA. But that’s all they’d tell us. Now you know what we know.
The ARC uses the same standards as the rest of Yeti’s frames. PF92 bottom bracket, 31.6-millimeter seatpost and an integrated headset. Modern stuff. The geometry is also modern, but not post-modern. It isn’t here to subvert your perceptions of what hardtails are meant for. It’s here to live up to them. 130-millimeter fork, 67-degree head angle, 76-degree seat angle, 433-millimeter chainstays and a 465-millimeter reach on a large. It’s, like, almost a normal bike.
But of course, it’s not a normal bike. Partly, because it’s $9,900. But also because this is a very special edition. Only 100 will be made, and then, this trip down memory lane is over. That’s 100 bikes in total, spanning sizes small through XL. They’ll probably sell out by Thursday, and then, I don’t know, I guess Yeti is planning on melting down all the molds to make hoop earrings and pogs?
You can get the rest of the details at yeticycles.com/arc