YT reckons the new Capra is the best of both worlds

DH bike-like on the downs, trail bike-like on the ups, apparently

It surely has to be the Holy Grail of any longer travel enduro bike - one that descends like its super long-travel DH brethren, while also climbing like its more agile sibling, the trail bike. YT claims that its latest generation Capra does just that.

While not quite hyperbolic, YT certainly come across as confident that its new enduro bike is nigh-on as capable down the hills as its World Championship winning Tues DH bike, and as climbable as the Jeffsy. Phrases like "we created a full-on downhill machine crossed with the uphill performance of a trail bike," and "incredible combination of trail bike agility and traction and downhill standard" litter the press release. It almost makes you wonder why YT bothers with any other model.

The Capra's metric length shocks (250mm on the 27.5in bike, 230mm on the 29er) mean low leverage ratios for an easily controlled suspension stroke, while the design and testing means it's approved for full-on bike park use. 

The frame uses YT's 'Virtual four-Link' system, which it says it's tuned for better off-the-top sensitivity and increased mid stroke support, for better grip and a neutral pedalling platform. 

The launch video for the new Capra could not be more unlike the usual 'dude-bro' shredit

29 and 27.5

The 2018 YT Capra 27 CF
The 2018 YT Capra 27 CF

The new Capra comes in versions with both wheel sizes (and both alloy and carbon frame versions).

YT says that the 27.5in bike is designed for those looking for a playful enduro bike, which has the gravity genetics of a DH bike. What this means is a more maneuverable, slightly longer travel bike that is aimed at more aggressive riders.

The 29er option is more suited to those looking for a little bit more from their trail bike, and want that longer travel and slacker stance on the trail. Stability and confidence down hills are met by efficient climbing, apparently.

Geometry

The range has effectively four different platforms: alloy 27.5in, alloy 29in, carbon 27.5in and carbon 29in. They all have different geometries, with even more on offer on the two 29ers, as they have a flip-chip to adjust geometry. So that's six different shapes, in total, across the range.

27.5in bikes come in S-XXL sizing, while the 29in option is M-XXL.

The differences between the 27.5in bikes is just the front end length (reach, top tube, front centre and therefore wheelbase) - the carbon versions are 5mm shorter than the alloy ones. For a size Large you're looking at a reach of 460mm (alloy) or 455 (carbon). The 65-degree head angle and (effective) 75-degree seat angle are constant.

The 29er also has the same 5mm split between alloy and carbon models, though overall they're a touch longer - 465mm reach in alloy, 460 in carbon. 

The flip chip alters the key angles by half a degree, though alongside the alloy being a touch longer than the carbon, the alloy is also, overall, a touch steeper angled. 

Confused? It's quite a bit to get your head around (certainly after a long day in the office!)

You'll want to have a good study of a geometry chart before you commit to a purchase
You'll want to have a good study of a geometry chart before you commit to a purchase

The key 29er geometry figures are;

  • 29" alloy head angle - 65.5 OR 66
  • 29" carbon head angle 65 OR 65.5
  • 29" alloy seat angle - 76 Or 76.5
  • 29" carbon seat angle - 75.5 OR 76

This difference in angles, and therefore reach (as slackening a head angle shortens reach) looks to have come from the shorter, slacker carbon models running a 10mm longer travel fork (180/170 in the 27.5in bikes, 170/160mm in the 29in bikes). This has the knock-on effect of bumping the bottom bracket up by 4mm too on the longer travel bikes.

YT says that it runs with shorter seat tubes than most - this allows longer dropper posts to be fitted. It also means that most riders will be able to select their bike from two different size options, and some may even manage to pick from three. What's clear is that you'll want to have a good study of a geometry chart to see what you fancy before you buy.

Bear in mind though, that picking a smaller bike and running your post further out of the frame will slacken that effective seat angle - fortunately there's a fair amount to play with, as the effective angles, on paper, are relatively steep.

Eleven+

Much like we saw with the recently released Jeffsy trail bike, YT is sticking with a Shimano / E13 drivetrain, which it says gives a better 511 percent range across the 11 gears (9-46t cassette)

YT Capra range

There will be five options per wheel size, two alloy and three carbon.

Up through the range, the 27.5in and 29in bikes share the same prices and kit levels.

YT Capra AL 27 / 29 

YT Capra 27 AL
YT Capra 27 AL

  • £2,299 / $2,499
  • RockShox Lyrik RC
  • RockShox Super Deluxe R
  • Race Face Aeffect cranks
  • Shimano SLX mech and shifter
  • E13 TRS+ cassette
  • DT Swiss E 1900 Spline wheels
  • E13 TRS+ dropper
  • SRAM Code R brakes

YT Capra 29 AL
YT Capra 29 AL

YT Capra AL Comp 27 / 29

YT Capra 27 AL Comp
YT Capra 27 AL Comp

  • £2,699 / $2,999
  • RockShox Lyrik RCT3
  • RockShox Super Deluxe RC3
  • Race Face Turbine cranks
  • Shimano SLX mech and shifter
  • E13 TRS+ cassette
  • DT Swiss E 1900 Spline wheels
  • E13 TRS+ dropper
  • SRAM Code RS brakes

YT Capra 29 AL Comp
YT Capra 29 AL Comp

YT Capra CF 27 / 29

YT Capra 27 CF
YT Capra 27 CF

  • £3,399 / $3,699
  • RockShox Lyrik RCT3
  • RockShox Super Deluxe RC3
  • Race Face Turbine cranks
  • Shimano XT mech and shifter
  • E13 TRS+ cassette
  • E13 TRS wheels
  • E13 TRS+ dropper
  • SRAM Code RS brakes

YT Capra 29 CF
YT Capra 29 CF

YT Capra CF Pro 27 / 29

YT Capra 27 CF Pro
YT Capra 27 CF Pro

  • £3,899 / $4,299
  • Fox 36 Performance Elite fork
  • Fox Float X2 Performance Elite shock
  • Race Face Next R cranks
  • Shimano XTR mech and shifter
  • E13 TRS+ cassette
  • E13 TRS+ wheels
  • Fox Transfer Performance Elite dropper
  • SRAM Code RSC brakes

YT Capra 29 CF Pro
YT Capra 29 CF Pro

YT Capra CF Pro Race 27 / 29

YT Capra 27 CF Pro Race
YT Capra 27 CF Pro Race

  • £4,699 / $5,199
  • Fox 36 Factory fork
  • Fox Float X2 Factory shock
  • E13 TRSr Carbon cranks cranks
  • Shimano XTR mech and shifter
  • E13 TRS+ cassette
  • E13 TRSr wheels
  • Fox Transfer PFactory dropper
  • SRAM Code Ultimate brakes

YT Capra 29 CF Pro Race
YT Capra 29 CF Pro Race

So, that's the range for 2018. The geometry looks pretty conservative from where we're sitting, but we know that it's far from the be-all and end-all, so we're looking forward to slinging a leg over a Capra in the not-too-distant future. Let us know what you think of them in the comments though!

Tom Marvin

Technical Editor, Tech Hub, UK
Tom's been riding for 15 years, and has always chopped and changed bikes as soon as his budget allowed. He's most at home in the big mountains, having spent nigh on 30 weeks riding the Alps, as well as having lived a stone's throw from the Scottish Highlands for four years. Tom also enjoys racing events like the Strathpuffer and the Trans Nepal.
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Steep and super tech or fast and flowy
  • Current Bikes: Canyon Spectral, Pivot Mach 429SL, Mondraker Vantage R +
  • Dream Bike: Transition Scout
  • Beer of Choice: Gin & tonic
  • Location: Bristol, UK

Related Articles

Back to top