Downhilling on rails

By Steve Medcroft

Jared Graves had a hell of a season. He capped off his NORBA Nationals campaign in Mount Snow, Vermont (Aug 26-28) by winning the Downhill and Mountain Cross series.' He even performed well enough in the four Dual Slalom events that had there been a DS series winner, he would have taken that as well. We caught the twenty two year old Aussie from Toowoomba rolling his Yeti 303 through the pits between qualifying and finals the week before at Snowshoe and had to get a closer look at his team-issued Yeti 303.

Graves started by telling us about the frame. Custom made in Yeti's Golden, Colorado factory from Reynolds 7005 (front triangle) and 6061 (rear triangle) aluminium tubing, Graves says he's had a lot of input in the 303's geometry. "I wasn't too picky; I just needed a comfortable cockpit length, a forty five-inch wheelbase, a sixty five-degree head angle and a fourteen inch high bottom bracket; give or take a millimeter or two."

What's most unique about Yeti's design is not the geometry though - it's the way they integrate the suspension. Yeti says they studied video of their downhill racers to help create a design using rails instead of traditional pivots; a design that tightly controls the wheel path for maximum efficiency.

See the entire Jared Graves' Yeti 303 pro bike article here.

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