If you've been following the evolution of Yeti Cycles over the years, you're probably quite aware of the signature Turquoise color that was often reserved for the Colorado-based company's top-end bikes.
In 2017, Yeti split their frame and bike lineup into two levels; the TURQ Series and the Carbon Series. The TURQ moniker is a nod to their iconic color and designates their use of the highest quality materials and production process. Luckily, for those who are not a fan of the color turquoise, the TURQ name does not indicate the frame color. Carbon Series is a lower-cost option of the same high-performance and skillfully engineered bikes that Yeti offers.
There are two primary differences between the TURQ series and Carbon Series frames; the weight-to-stiffness ratio and cost. The TURQ Series frames are built to be uncompromising, high quality products proven to perform flawlessly. Turq Series frames use the highest quality carbon fiber available to optimize weight, stiffness and durability. Carbon Series uses a lower modulus carbon and simplified layup that provides the same stiffness and durability, but with an increase in weight and lower cost. This tiered approach allows Yeti to provide elite level bikes for those who demand the absolute best, and a more kind-to-your-wallet option for those looking to perfect the balance of performance and value.
While the overall ride and stiffness of the TURQ and Carbon series frames will feel similar, the TURQ Series frames will weigh between 250-350g less, depending on model. This is not insignificant and is amplified by the higher-end build options of the TURQ Series bikes. The TURQ Series frame sets and complete bikes are always paired with FOX Factory suspension for race-level performance. The Carbon Series bikes are spec'd with Fox Shox Performance suspension, a mix of solid (but budget-minded) drivetrain parts, and respectable wheels.
Simply put, the TURQ version is for elite racers and riders who crave the finest that a brand has to offer and the confidence in knowing they are riding the same frame as race winning pros on the national and world stage. With race wins coming down to less than a second difference, that weight savings can be a significant factor. For the nuanced rider there is also a lot to be said about the increased tuneability of Fox's Factory suspension over the FOX’s Performance level fork and rear shock.
For the riders who dream about having a YETI but can’t justify the price of the Turq Series, the Carbon Series bikes are a stunning blend of performance, value, and beauty. Yeti’s builds are keen on pairing solid performing components focused on bang-for-your-buck with a frame that mimics all the looks and function of its fancier sibling, with just a bit of a weight penalty. While Fox's Performance suspension lacks some of the external tuneability of its Factory counterpart, much of the internals are nearly identical. Rest assured that Yeti’s Carbon Series bikes will leave you with little to ask for.