Thursday, December 30, 2010

Canfield Brothers Yelli Screamy short term review

The Yelli Screamy is a frame designed by Canfield Brothers out of Utah. Mostly known for producing some well thought out and interesting looking downhill frames, the Canfield Brothers (Lance and Chris) have expanded their line up to include 2 new 29er hardtail frames. Their first frame offering is the Yelli Screamy, designed to be an aggressive trail/all mountain bike, and they have a 4130 steel single speed version called the Nimble Nine coming out in a couple of months.

I had been looking for the "perfect" steel all mountain 29er hardtail for a few months and was getting nowhere. I had looked at the Yelli a few times but blew it off because it was made of aluminum which I figured would make the ride to harsh. After trying to make a couple of steel XC frames work I decided I needed to do something different. I contacted Chris Canfield and sent him a racing resume and he hooked me up with a pro deal on a frame, so i couldn't pass it up. By the way, Canfield Bros. is a super small company with great customer service and a ton of bike knowledge. When you call them, one of the brothers will answer, as I think they are the only two employees. I actually called with a build question on a Thursday night around 6pm and Chris answered and gave me a few suggestions for the problem I was having! If you are using a Shimano crankset you will need to run two spacers on the drive side between the BB and the frame. The middle ring doesn't clear unless you do. I am running a 34 tooth single ring and it clears with just a couple mm's to spare. It seems that this frame was designed to have an extra spacer as now the crankarms clear the chainstays by the exact same distance on each side.

My first ride on the Yelli was on good old trusty Green Line #6 in Capitol Forest. For those who don't already know this is the local super d race course with a 2000' descent in 6 miles. Lots of flowy corners mixed in with a couple small climbs and technical sections. My very first thoughts about the way this bike rides were, snappy, a little harsh (aluminum), stable, and very slack compared to the bikes i've had in the last 2 years. I knew it would take some getting used to but I enjoyed the comfort of the slacker HA and quickness of the shorter wheel base instantly. My next test, Dry Hill in Port Angeles! Dry Hill is a little riding area outside of Port Angeles that has mostly short advanced downhill runs. Since I was up for the holidays I figured it would be a good time to do a couple hot laps on some more rugged DH terrain. The Yelli handled well in steep technical sections, only giving up a little in the rough rooty sections which I expected with a hardtail anyway. Ladder bridges and wheelie drops were actually a joy on this bike, which I can't say about the other 29ers i've ridden. This thing rocks the slower, more technical trails! The fast rough DH stuff, not so much, as should be expected from a hardtail trailbike. I did learn though that this thing loves to jump and rail berms! I did about 6 laps on the 4 cross track and rode it just as well as I did 6 or 7 years ago when I last raced there. This thing does not handle like a "regular" 29er! Much quicker through corners and easier to jump. I actually forget that i'm on a big wheeled bike when i'm jumping with it.

I took it back up to #6 yesterday to see how a familiar trail felt after putting some time in on the bike. I was blown away by the handling this time. I feel as fast as I did last time I rode #6 on my 29er dually. I forgot how confidence inspiring it is to have a slacker trail bike. I'm never going back! Three rides in and I am completely used to the feel of the aluminum frame now, and the initial perceived harshness is gone. I like how there is instant power to the pedals with aluminum. The weight is also a plus. I did notice on some really steep climbs that the front end wants to lift up a bit. This issue is easily fixed by sliding forward in the saddle and weighting the front end. On that note, this bike likes to be ridden with a more aggressive, weight over the front type body position while descending. The slack angles make it so you don't always have to lean back as far as you can on the steep stuff while descending. The lofty front end is very beneficial when you are climbing technical trails and need to get the front over obstacles.

I'm looking forward to getting some more time in on it this winter and shredding everything from local XC races to Super d races with this thing. I will be riding just about everything on this bike in 2011, and i'm super pumped about it! I will be posting a mid season review later this summer after I get a couple races under my belt with it.

Medium Yelli Screamy frame Ano black
Fox F29 Talas 120 15mm axle
Stans Flow rims, Hope hubs, super comp spokes
Thomson 50mm stem
Thomson Post
WTB silverado saddle
Panaracer Rampage 2.35 tires (soon to be replaced with WTB Bronsons)
Race Face Atlas FR bars, 29.5 inches wide!
XO rear der. and shifter
XTR crankset, MRP Lopes chainguide with 34 tooth ring
XTR pedals
Weight, not sure yet, but i'm guessing 28lbs.

68 degree head angle (yessssss!)
16.7 inch chainstays("")
12.7 BB height
23.75 inch top tube
43 inch wheel base
40 inch handlebar height


  1. Sounds like the first true all mountain 29er frame. I've been wondering when the Crusty-Bearded-XC-Gary Fisher-Is-God-Influence-On-Design would start to wane. The may be hope for the 29er yet!

  2. I think it's great that sub-17" chainstays are available to the masses. Now they need to work on increasing spoke angle on the drive side of rear wheels, without increasing q-factor.

    To do this I think we should go to a shortened freehub and make up the difference by moving the cassette cogs closer to the spokes, and possibly make spoke protectors cool again if necessary. People have already been doing this wtih "singlespeed" hubs by machining their cassette spiders. Its a great solution and should be mass-produced.

  3. interested in how you set up your 34t 1x....

    - what's your chainline for the 34t 1x?
    - what's the largest cog you have? any issues shifting to the larger cogs?
    - what rd are you using?