German direct-sales brand YT has launched its newest Capra model with not one but two versions, designed with enduro and bike park riding in mind respectively.
YT says the new Capra is the brand’s most important bike since its launch in 2014, and back then it received massive praise from the MTB media for its performance and price.
The bike industry has progressed quickly over the last seven years, though, so does the latest model keep YT relevant in a demanding marketplace?
5 things you need to know
- Two models: the Capra 29 (29in wheels) and Capra MX (650b rear wheel, 29in front). Each shares the same front triangle but has individual seatstays and yokes for different kinematics and geometries suited to their intended uses
- Five sizes available for each bike: from S to XXL
- Core 4 and Core 3 editions for each bike. The Core 4 models use YT’s Ultra Modulus carbon frame, while the Core 3 models use its High Modulus carbon frame
- There is also a 100-piece (worldwide) limited-edition Capra MX Launch Edition
- The frames now fit a water bottle inside the front triangle and every bike comes with a 620ml bottle and cage
YT Capra MX and 29 frame details
Not wanting to compromise on either, YT has built two frames – the park-ready Capra MX and enduro-focused Capra 29 – with geometries and kinematics to suit each bike’s demands.
The Capra MX is built around a mullet bike setup with different wheel sizes front and rear (29in front, 27.5in rear), whereas the Capra 29 is, as the name suggests, built around 29in wheels at both ends.
Unsurprisingly, both the MX and 29 are longer, lower, slacker and steeper than the outgoing Mk II models, reflecting the latest trends in mountain bike geometry to improve rider position on the bike.
Five frame sizes are available from small to extra-extra-large across both models.
Construction-wise, YT uses two different carbon lay-ups across both the Capra MX and Capra 29, depending on the build.
The Core 3 build uses YT’s more cost-effective, high modulus carbon fibre, while the Core 4 and limited-edition Launch models use YT’s ultra modulus lay-up, which is claimed to provide the same strength, stiffness and ride characteristics as the high modulus carbon fibre but at a lower weight and, of course, higher price.
New tube profiles lower the frame’s centre of gravity, while the cross-sections of the down tube and chainstays have been increased, and the top tube and seatstays slimmed down.
The new bikes still sport the very familiar Capra silhouette and the frame ‘wing’ that connects the down tube and seat tube for added stiffness. However, it’s now only used on the driveside, allowing space for YT’s Thirst Master 6000 water bottle to be fitted within the front triangle – a welcome addition for anyone wanting handy hydration on their enduro bike.
YT’s HeadBox is used to stiffen the head tube and acts as a neat cable entry point for the internal cable routing through the front triangle. On the underside of the top tube, two rivets act as a tool mount for storing spares on the frame.
All 2021 Capra frames use SRAM’s Universal mech hanger, which should be easy to source if you need a replacement in a hurry.
There’s new chainstay protection to help prevent damage from chain slap and the associated noise, and the down tube has a bolt-on to fend off rock strikes and the like.
For frame longevity and ease of maintenance, an additional layer of seals has been added to the bearings too, to help minimise water and dirt ingress – a feature found on the YT Tues downhill bike.
YT Capra MX and 29 geometry
They also use a flip-chip located in the Yoke, which gives you the option of running the bike in a high or low geometry setting; changing the head tube and seat tube by 0.3 degrees and raising the bottom bracket 5mm.
Bikes are delivered in the low position.
Capra 29 geometry
The biggest update to both bikes is the steeper effective seat tube. The Capra 29 ditches its slouchy setup for an upright 77.6 degrees (low position) and gets almost one degree shaved off the head tube angle for a pretty aggressive 64.2 degrees.
A subtle 2mm bottom bracket drop and 7mm increase in reach numbers across the board give reach figures ranging from 427mm to 507mm in 20mm jumps from size S to XXL.
The chainstays have increased by 3mm and now measure 438mm for the S to L sizes and 443mm for the XL and XXL frames.
|YT Capra 29|
|Head tube angle (degrees)||64.2/64.5||64.2/64.6||64.2/64.7||64.2/64.8||64.2/64.9|
|Seat tube angle (degrees)||77.7/ 78||77.6/ 77.9||77.6/ 77.9||77.6/ 77.9||77.5/ 77.8|
|Seat tube length (mm)||395||420||445||470||495|
|BB height (mm)||349/354||349/354||349/354||349/354||349/354|
|Top tube (mm)||563||586||606||629||652|
Capra MX geometry
The Capra MX’s geometry is tweaked slightly due to the 5mm shorter seatstays and smaller back wheel, but still has a steeper effective seat tube angle at 77.5 degrees (low setting), a 64-degree head tube angle, and reach values that range from 424mm to 504mm, also in 20mm jumps across the five sizes.
The chainstays are shorter, too, at 433mm for the S, M, and L bikes and 438mm for XL and XXL.
For both models, the XL and XXL frames also lose height off of their seat tube lengths, so riders can upsize more easily or can run longer dropper posts.
|YT Capra MX|
|Head tube angle (degrees)||64/64.3||64/64.3||64/64.3||64/64.3||64/64.3|
|Seat tube angle (degrees)||77.5/77.8||77.5/77.8||77.5/77.8||77.5/77.8||77.5/77.8|
|Seat tube length (mm)||395||420||445||470||495|
|BB height (mm)||346/351||346/351||346/351||346/351||346/351|
|Top tube (mm)||567||587||607||630||653|
YT Capra MX and 29 suspension details
The Capra MX has more progressive suspension to help with the bigger park features and jumps this bike is designed to handle.
The Capra 29 has less overall progression and is claimed to suit enduro laps that aren’t lift-assisted.
Both bikes produce an anti-squat of over 100 per cent at sag, so they should be pedal-friendly enough.
The anti-rise has also increased, meaning the bikes should better maintain their geometry under braking but possibly lose some suspension sensitivity.