First Impressions: Yeti ARC Hardtail

As a brand, Yeti has its finger on the pulse: Its entire lineup of bikes have definitively modern geometries. So when I was looking at the numbers of the ARC, I was a bit surprised it wasn’t longer, lower, steeper, slacker, or, in less vague words, trendier. After talking to the folks over at Yeti, however, they were clear that the numbers they chose were very deliberate. Yeti chose a more neutral geometry for the ARC because it’s a hardtail, and thus wanted its ride characteristics to be more balanced, and, in turn, or at least in theory, make it very predictable over all types of terrain. 

Before I delve into how the Yeti ARC performed for me, I’d like to note just how good I think this bike looks: It’s a work of art that lets its lines speak for itself, unadulterated by garish logos. Seriously, by looks alone, this bike is a winner. 

Ok, that bit of vanity out of the way, on to the ride:

Photo Credit: Ryan “Squirrel” LaBar

 

Climbing on the ARC is a pleasure all around. On fireroads, with the ARC’s up-friendly seat-angle (76-degrees), hardtail efficiency, and reasonably light 25ish-pound (with pedals) weight, it is an almost involuntary reaction to put power down to the cranks and test the capacity of my lungs. And when the ascent turns tech-y and trials-esque, the ARC’s stable stance makes balance easy, and the voluminous Maxxis Rekon dredge up traction on even the slickest, stair-steppiest roots and rocks.  

The bottom-bracket height of the ARC is quite low, at 310 millimeters, so pedaling through rock gardens requires a bit of care to minimize crank strikes. I’d definitely opt for crank end protectors if this was my full-time rig.