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 https://us.yt-industries.com/cat/index/sCategory/260.

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



On the Trail

After arriving at the YT office in Reno, Nevada, Howie showed Mtbr the different bikes, how they arrive and talked shop. Then Cam showed up and within about 20 minutes got me fitted to a bike (selecting a large Capra CF Pro) and we headed to a trail.

Line-up of YT bikes in their showroom.

Line-up of YT bikes in their showroom (click to enlarge).​

The first ride was on the easy side - more about feeling the bike's geometry, and getting used to the sandy soil. There were very few concerns on the ride; the bike was very controllable sliding through turns and pedaled well. Even going too slow off a small double and into a nose case, was soaked up by the BOS Deville without drama. The trail was a 15 minute descent over fairly tame terrain, with wide grins all around. Before the ride, I wondered if there would be any pedal strikes, but none were had. Pedal bob was minimal and it felt like a bike with much less travel while climbing.

Zink, Todd, Sage before the first ride - posing with 4 Capras and YT truck.

Zink, Todd, Sage before the first ride - posing with 4 Capras and YT truck. When Cam and Howie Zink are your guides, it's on! (click to enlarge).​

Reno and Tahoe were experiencing a deluge of moisture, which changed plans slightly. Cam needed to finish up filming #lemonadeandducktapestuffs, so the next morning we headed up to Truckee and got a quick shuttle in before starting the shoot. Cam was on his Tues, another local on his V10, and I found myself on an enduro bike, chasing a pro, riding a new trail blind. What could go wrong?

Second Lap Rock 1 Second Lap Rock 2

Captures showing the bridge to rock roll on the second ride (click to enlarge).

Within 50 feet of the ride's start, they headed across a sketchy bridge then down a 10' rock roll, with me following like a lemur. It was sweet!!! The Capra held its own, the only needed adjustments involved cockpit fit - bars, levers and seat. Taking it off drops yielded a nicely progressive bottom-out and surprisingly nimble and responsive slalom action through the trees and rocks, taking advantage of the tacky conditions.

The rest of the day was spent shooting. While Zink and Sylvestri contemplated a 60 footer, I hiked to the top of the mountain with the Capra and rode the upper section of the trail. It doesn't get much better than rain/snow mix, thunder in the distance, slip'n sliding down one of the most fun trails I've ever ridden. Pushing a bike that weighs under 30 pounds was icing on the cake. The slack head tube made the steeps a much more relaxing experience.

The YT Capra bike leaning against a cliff.

The YT Capra bike leaning against a cliff (click to enlarge).​

The next day, more rain. So they recommended Northstar for opening day, with traction! Again, the Capra did great. This is at Northstar, with a 210lb rider. The lifties were quite pleased to have a sub-30 pound bike to deal with. I spent the day lapping Livewire and Boondocks, with a couple follow-laps in the afternoon chasing the fast guys. The short chain stay is apparent when you're braking and initiating a turn, which simply adds to the fun - slides are very controllable and the bike is surprisingly nimble. Again, no issues with pedal strikes, and it did great though Boondocks' rocky sections and drops (with a Northstar-rookie pilot finding plenty of offline surprises).

Author with bike after the Northstar day.

Author with bike after the Northstar day (click to enlarge).​

After the ride, Zink had a wedding to attend. He suggested I head to The Brewer's Cabinet in Reno, to sample the Sensus signature beer, "Sorry 4 Partying." A big burger, sweet potato fries and frothy beverage sealed the day.

Sensus signature beer.

Sensus signature beer (click to enlarge).​

What did we learn from the trip? The Capra handled everything thrown at it and was a blast to ride. If you want one bike for frequent grinding climbs to giddy descents and some bike park laps too, definitely consider the Capra. Then, look at the price tag, and the remaining question is simply which build to choose. If the carbon price is still a consideration, the alloy frame only adds one pound while reducing cost by $1300.

As stated earlier, we've got both BOS and RockShox builds to ride over the next couple weeks. Look for a more detailed riding review soon. The two big items to investigate: which suspension is better suited to your riding style; and, how is the durability. As far as riding goes, the Capra does not disappoint.

The Capra followed us home to our local Santa Cruz trails so expect a long term report later.

For more information visit us.yt-industries.com.