First Look: YT Capra All Mountain bike

YT Industries enters the North American market with the highly touted Capra

27.5 Enduro
Still of bike on top of the mountain.

Still of bike on top of the mountain (click to enlarge).

Intro

The Capra has arrived. YT Industries‘ enduro machine is finally available to US and Canadian customers, courtesy of Cam and Howie Zink. They are the North American representatives for YT’s full line of bikes and they bring experience from Cam’s extensive riding background. The Capra has consistently received very high marks, competing against bikes that are nearly two times the price. Mtbr was invited to their Reno headquarters to see the bikes and find out if the Capra lives up to its mountain goat namesake.

Consumer Direct Model

Some consumers might shy away from ordering a bike without a dealer handling assembly, but fear not – they arrive nearly assembled, cables even cut down. YT USA also understands that many riders need to swing a leg over before opening the wallet, so they are ramping up their demo tour, attending many of the west coast gravity oriented events. The full schedule will be posted on their website soon.

Tues, just pulled out of the box.

Tues, just pulled out of the box (click to enlarge).

As these bikes are new to this market and in demand, inventory turns over quickly. Fortunately, their ordering web page dynamically updates based on real time orders, cancellations and shipments.

Geometry

The frames have a fairly slack head tube angle, specified at 65.2 degrees. Combine that with a chainstay of 430mm for a wheel size of 27.5, you’re in for a good time. The seat tube is fairly steep at 75 degrees, helping keep the nose planted during climbs. With the bottom bracket sitting fairly low, 170mm crank arms were selected. Sizing recommendations for the Capra are slightly different from many counterparts, with large targeting 6′+ riders.

Capra Geometry Capra Geometry Chart

Geometry diagram and accompanying numbers, sourced from YT website (click to enlarge).

Frame Details

All bikes tested have carbon frames, which are immaculately crafted. The suspension uses YT’s V4L suspension linkage, which keeps forces linear during mid-range, and quickly ramps up deep in the travel. This allows for better small bump compliance, while reducing bottom out for large hits. The frame and seatstays are carbon fiber, with alloy chainstays for durability. The frame is fitted with a PF30 bottom bracket and has a tapered head tube. Both the chainstay and seatstay have integrated protectors to reduce damage from chain slap.

Non-drive side cable routing.

Non-drive side cable routing (click to enlarge).

Cable routing is split between internal and external. Derailleur cables are internal to the down tube, and the rear derailleur continues inside the chainstay. The dropper cable routes inside the seat tube after traveling down the outside of the down tube, parallel to the rear brake line. There is one oddity with the cable routing – the dropper cable routes down the rider’s left side. Prior to shipping bikes to customers, the Zinks take time to swap the dropper lever over to the rider’s left for 1x drivetrain builds to satisfy customer preferences. With a hydraulic dropper being standard, the resulting tight cable bend is less of an issue, and the left-side routing is easy to look past. The single item that impacted my normal riding style is the lack of a water bottle mount. For quick spins that’s an issue, yet isn’t a problem on longer rides, shuttling, or sessions in the woods where a pack will likely be worn.

Builds

The Capra has multiple builds to fit rider preferences. However, the builds are more than just different components. I’m referring to BOS vs. RockShox – both with very different damping characteristics and travel (f/r travel: BOS 170/170mm and RockShox 160/165mm). The resulting builds have completely different personalities. We rode the BOS build on this trip (CF Pro), but returned to Santa Cruz with both BOS and RockShox (CF Comp 2) versions for further testing and comparison.

Cable routing and chain guide/crank.

Cable routing and chain guide/crank (click to enlarge).

The remainder of the build kits are dialed. Even the need to replace stem and bars is gone. For example, the CF Pro includes Renthal Fatbar bars, e*thirteen wheels, bb, cranks and chain guide, SRAM guide RSC brakes, X01 derailleur and Reverb dropper post. The only issues I anticipate riders having related to the builds would be personal preferences, such as liking Shimano drivetrain or brakes over SRAM. The components included get the job done without question. The e*thirteen hubs have worked well and I love the sound – no, they’re not quiet. Chain guides are standard with all builds. The 1x carbon bikes are 28.x and 29.x lbs, 2x is just over 30 lbs, and an alloy frame adds one pound. Additional carbon items (bars, cranks) would be nice to see in the RockShox builds.

Prices for carbon builds range from $4,395 to $5,495. Yes, these bikes are affordable! Full build-outs can be found on the YT website at http://us.yt-industries.com/cat/index/sCategory/260.

Continue to page 2 for ride impressions and full photo gallery »

About the author: John Bennett

With 210 lbs of solid, descending mass, John is a good litmus test of what bikes and components will survive out there in the real world. And with a good engineering mind, John is able to make sense of it all as well. Or at least come up with fancy terms to impress the group.


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  • turbodog says:

    Do they have a build with 26″ wheels? Otherwise no sale.

  • ColinL says:

    What exactly is the V4L suspension, a four bar? I’d like more specifics about it, and riding impressions of the pedaling efficiency, pedal kickback, mid-stroke support, etc.

    • james moro says:

      @colinL the bike is extremely well-supported in the mid-stroke–so much so that it’s hard to remember if you’ve got the shock locked or not….yet all the 170mm of travel is still available for when you need it.

      the bike has practically ZERO pedal bob during seating climbing…obviously, out of the saddle is different due to fork bob.
      seated…feels like an XC bike with a short stem/relaxed head angle.

      this bike really can replace all of your other bikes…it replaced my XC bike, and I’m going to be doing laps at Trestle Bike park next week. so DH action as well, as trail.

  • bing trinidad says:

    Ive had mine since March, can’t be more pleased on the handling and composure.

  • Chris says:

    @turbodog: I’m a 26″ guy as well, but seriously don’t hold your breath on a mftr ever coming out with a 26″ rig. At least not in the forseeable future.

  • Chris says:

    Really, really, REALLY looking forward to a more comrehensive review after a month or two of riding. The Capra has me quite intrigued, and may just be my very first intro to 650b. Are all the Capra frames running the exact same size rear shock — 222×69? That’s a weird size.

  • turbodog says:

    @Chris: I intend to do exactly that – wait until the industry figures out that 27.5″ is a sales failure and offers me a 26″ bike worth buying. I just bought and built up a Yeti SB66. The 26″ market is very tight right now, there’s not many deals to be had. High end new 26″ forks are selling very well though.

  • Chris says:

    @turbo: buy the Capra and throw 26″ wheels on it then. Boom!! =)

  • turbodog says:

    @Chris: I did actually look at the geometry and considered that, but the static bottom bracket would end up around 13″. I’m at a bit over 13.5″ right now, which is too low.

  • Chris says:

    @turbo: you’re a hard man to please!!

    I’ll bet this Capra is a sick ride though. Thing looks wicked and the build specs seem legit for the $$

  • Stanborn says:

    Yeah, 26″ are archaic man, like al those thousands of miles we’ve ridden on those dark age wheels must’ve been dreary, and to thing we IMAGINED we were having a blast… nope ya gotta keep up with the new marketing strategies, or should I say OLD mktg strategy, planned obsolescence, gotta keep forcing us to spend, upgrade, spend, toss out that old junk that still looks & works GREAT and buy buy BUY the newest, latest, greatest whooziewhatchit, gotta have it, Gotta Have It, GOTTA HAVE IT!!!!

    NOWWWWWW!!!!!!!

    AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

  • Stanborn says:

    Sorry about my typos in the previous post, I USED to be perfect…

    Oh, did I happen to mention that I’m buying a Capra?

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