I remember the first time that I saw a Canfield Yelli Screamy bike. It was around 11yrs ago. I was
walking down an aisle during InterBike (worldwide bicycle trade show). Suddenly I saw Chris Canfield, co-owner of Canfield Brothers Bikes, walking with a wild looking new hardtail bike. He saw me & waved me over. We greeted each other & then he said, “Hey bud, check this new frame we’re debuting. It’s going to be a game changer, a hardtail twenty-niner that you can rip on.” I looked at him skeptically.
An Innovative 29r, In A World of Unimaginative Copy Cats:
‘Till that point, I’d been one of those “29r bikes are douchey; I’ll never ride one” kind of guys. But I’m also open to new products & tech in the industry…& till that point, I’d never seen a 29r that wasn’t so overly-conservative that the geometry was good for nothing but climbing. Yet, the bike Chris proudly showed me was a radical departure from that 29r heritage. Back then, its slack 67 degree head angle nicely highlighted a fork with 140mm of travel (very raked out for bikes back then). A quick look at the bike's rear triangle showed incredibly short chainstays. The rear tire was practically tucked under the rider. This bike was an entirely new beast. We headed outside & I rode the bike in the parking lot & over some landscaping. Damn. This wasn’t a conservative climb-only bike. It was a snappy climber that was VERY reactive to a trail’s environment. But its low stand-over & long front end fulfilled the promise of a rippy & playful descender. I wanted one!
Soon after, I purchased a gold anodized Yelli Screamy frame. Mojo Cycling did a custom build on this weird new 29r frame. Truth be told, I can’t remember much about that build. But I can remember that bike attracted lots of attention. Other riders loved the way it looked. I loved its snappy pedaling & the ability to have a bike that was light enough to ride for miles & miles. But I also loved how rowdy the bike could be. Someone on the trail once told me that a 29r wasn’t built for shreddy descents. My response was to use my Yelli to blow him away (he was on a full suspension bike) on a jumpy & rocky descent. I finished my rebuttal with a tabletop jump of over 25ft.
Suddenly, we were building lots of Canfield’s Yelli Screamy bikes at Mojo. Increasingly more riders have looked for a hardtail 29r that isn’t just a one trick pony. They want a bike that does the grunt work, but also helps them play. Over the years I’ve had 3 Yelli’s & my wife, Becci, has had two (including the red one that she now rides…after confiscating it from me). There have been some small updates to the bike’s frame. So, let’s look at the 3rd gen Yelli Screamy to unravel why it’s such a great trail bike for NWA’s varied trails.
The Generation Three Yelli Screamy: A Great Bike . . . Reimagined!
Of the third generation Yelli, Canfield’s website says:
Long before “downcountry” was a word, the Yelli Screamy was an XC bike with an identity crisis. Slice & dice singletrack. Rail pump tracks & jump lines. Load it with frame bags & get lost. Keep up with your spandex-clad friends on the climbs & embarrass them on the descents. Do whatever you want on the Yelli Screamy, just don’t tell it that it’s a short-travel 29er hardtail.
Canfield posts this bike as “a Trail/All Mountain hardtail.” Starting with 16.7” chainstays, it has the geometry to fulfill this assessment. It was the first 29r bike to boast chainstays with less than a 17” length & the Canfield team has chosen to stay-the-course with this aspect of the bike. For readers who aren’t geometry gurus, the reason this measurement is so important is that it
adds a few very noticeable performance benefits: 1) It helps the bike to pedal fast, snappy 2) It helps the bike to rip corners almost like bikes with 26” wheels & 3) Short chainstays, combined with a longer top tube, help the bike to be poppy on jumps & extremely easy to wheelie.
The frame was first imagined with a 67 degree head angle. But, times have changed. Riders want even more wheel out front these days. Canfield has obliged. The gen 3 bike now comes with a 65.5 degree head angle when used with a 130mm fork. Running a 140mm fork rakes it out to an even 65 degrees. Perfect! This enables the bike to still climb like a billy goat, while helping it track well on even faster descents than the older models.
There are some other changes that bring the gen 3 Yelli up to modern standards. The frame now boasts a 30.9mm seat tube, a serious upgrade from the years when they had a 27.2mm tube. The frame is now plumbed for internal dropper post routing…Yay! The boss for a front derailleur has now been removed, giving the frame a more clean look. The rear drop-out now has boost spacing, allowing builders to install wheels with wider hubs. As always, the frame has an ISCG 05 guide mounting platform, a must for riders who like to use some form of chain retention system. Other great carry-overs include the three water bottle mounts…a must for riders who don’t want to wear their hydration on their body, & the 44/56 tapered head tube.
Mojo Cycling Has ‘Em: Come Git You One!
The folks at Canfield Bikes know that I’m one of the top supporters for this bike. Months before they announced the re-release of the Yelli Screamy, they called to let me know the news . . . & to give Mojo a jump on ordering a few. We’ve now got frames in-stock & ready for your custom build. If you’re looking for a hardtail bike that performs as well as it looks, one that stands out from the crowd of boring look-alike trail bikes, the Yelli Screamy IS your ticket to ride.
Seriously . . .