Demo'd a Yeti ASR5 today, with an eye towards upgrading my two-wheel drive. My impressions- Holy Smokes! Don't believe the Man when he says it's not the bike, it's the rider. That must only apply for those who've won 7 Tour de France or something, cause the 5 was simply stellar this AM.
The ASR5 tips the scales a full 7-8 pounds lighter (29#) than my current xcountry/AM hybrid- I could feel it throughout the entire ride. Believe it or not, the 5" travel 68d headtube climbs better than my current 4" travel 70d headtube ride, even better when you flick the Fox RP23 propedal on- partly on account of the 7 pounds I'm thinking.
As for the downs and steeps, jeezopete I couldn't believe it! You read about how this or that bike is like riding on rails, now I know what they're talkinaboud! The extra inch of travel feels like a whole another dimension than my current rig, I was carving turns and blasting thru rockgardens at speeds I simply could not match on my current ride.
Loved it! Testing the 575 tomorrow- 575 is purpose-built for more aggressive riding with its 5.75" of travel, wondering if that's just a bit much for my riding preferences. Can't wait for the second stage of the great Yeti Shootout!