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.
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.
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.
Geometry diagram and accompanying numbers, sourced from YT website (click to enlarge).
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.
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.
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.
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 https://us.yt-industries.com/cat/index/sCategory/260.