YT Industries’ new Izzo brings an aggressive attitude to world of XC

Lighter, shorter travel and more pedal-efficient, YT has adapted its gravity focus to make a bike that excels on big rides, but is still tough when it matters

The new range of Izzo full suspension mountain bikes

Direct-sale giants YT has always positioned itself firmly at the hardcore end of the market – think Red Bull Rampage, World Cup race wins and its ever-popular Capra enduro rig.

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But now, with the introduction of a new 130mm travel 29er, it’s taking its first pedal strokes into the world of cross-country/ trail riding.

Not wanting to disregard what it’s best at, YT hasn’t set out to build a featherweight racing whip, but rather has focused on adapting its aggressive geometry and progressive suspension platforms into something capable of ripping both up and down hills.

YT Izzo frame and suspension details

‘Fast, agile and sharp’ is the tagline for Izzo’s campaign, and YT has taken the symbol of the deadly sharp Japanese Katana sword as a metaphor for the ride attributes it’s hoping to achieve.

The form of the frame follows this idea of a sleek, elegant instrument, with crisp angular lines moulded in carbon.

What most noticeably sets this bike apart from the rest of YT’s range is the use of a four-bar linkage instead of the Virtual Four-Link design seen on its Jeffsy, Capra and Tues bikes.

The Izzo full suspension mountain bike uses a conventional four-bar suspension layout
The Izzo is the first time we’ve seen YT using a conventional four-bar suspension layout, as opposed to its patented Virtual Four-Link design.
YT Industries

YT says it’s done this simply to achieve the right balance of progression and anti-squat for pedal efficiency, but an additional benefit of the shock now being positioned vertically is that it’s left YT space to fit its new 800ml Thirstmaster Fidlock water bottle, which is an extra you can buy for the bike.

A rear shock setup with 25 to 30 per cent sag is recommended and YT says that anti-squat remains high past this point to minimise wasted effort when you put the power down.

Every Izzo model, even down to the base level Comp (at £2,599) comes with RockShox’ bar mounted Twistloc Sprint remote for stiffening up the rear shock, but we’ve been promised that with a dialled-in suspension kinematic we won’t feel compelled to use it in most situations.

YT Izzo geometry details

Geometry for the range of the Izzo full suspension mountain bikes
Geometry for the range of the Izzo full-suspension mountain bikes.
YT Industries

In the past we’ve criticised YT for its conservative sizing, but this is not a complaint you can make about the Izzo.

There are five sizes in the range and, with reach measurements spanning 429 to 513mm, we’d say all bases are covered.

As on its other bikes, YT has chosen to proportionally size up chainstays lengths as the bike size increases. From small through to large, the Izzo’s rear-end is relatively compact at 432mm, but this increases by 5mm to 437mm on the XL and XXL bikes.

Seat tube heights have been kept low across the range, giving riders the options to upsize too.

The Izzo’s hard-riding heritage shows through in the head angle, which at 66 degrees is slack for a bike of this calibre.

Keeping the rider’s weight positioned low for confident corner railing and high-speed stability, the bottom bracket sits 35mm below the axles and can be dropped even lower to minus 40mm by rotating a flip-chip in the linkage.

This gives the option of steepening the already fairly upright effective seat-tube from 77 to 77.5 degrees.

YT Izzo components and specifications

YT has released four models of the Izzo, all with carbon frames and all with 130mm travel Fox Float 34 forks and Fox Float DPS shocks.

All the bikes come with SRAM Eagle 12-speed drivetrains, SRAM G2 brakes, DT-Swiss wheels and Race Face finishing kit, and the level of componentry jumps up as the bikes go up in value.

The top drawer ‘Launch Edition’ bike – which is limited to 150 units worldwide – gets the full boutique treatment, with an electronic SRAM AXS drivetrain, Reverb dropper post and e*thirteen wheels and bar/ stem.

At £5,699 / $6,499 / €6,499, this doesn’t come cheap, but given the array of elite-level parts you’re getting, it’s a good deal compared to many brands.

The Izzo range of full suspension mountain bikes use SRAM G2 disc brakes
SRAM’s G2 brakes are a fixture across the range.
YT Industries

The bike we’ve got our hands on is the second from top spec ‘Pro Race’ edition, which retails for £4,599 / $5,299 / €5,299 and still boasts an impressive selection of kit with Kashima-coated Fox Factory suspension, Transfer seatpost, plenty of carbon, DT-Swiss XMC 1200 Spline wheels, Race Face Next handlebar and SRAM X01 crankset.

In the large size we’ve got in it weighs 12.37kg / 27.27lb without pedals.

YT Izzo Pro Race initial ride impressions

Unfortunately, the Izzo arrived at our offices just one day before the UK went into lockdown, so time aboard the bike was limited to a quick spin in the local woods before government regulations mandated a halt in all testing.

However, initial impressions are that it certainly fulfils the brief of being a light and fast climber, and I found it made easy work of loose climbs and flat singletracks that other bikes would have had to try considerably harder on to carry speed.

Male cyclist riding full suspension mountain bike over dirt track
Slack angles and a low-slung centre of gravity should allow the Izzo to attack when gravity takes over.
YT Industries

For me, getting the right pressure in the rear shock took a little bit of fine-tuning and it feels as though there’s a definite sweet spot.

With only 55mm of shock stroke to play with, it’s a fine balance between going too hard, which tips you into a slightly harsh, front-heavy riding position, or going too far the other way, where the bike’s ability to be pushed and stay balanced through rougher terrain is compromised.

Once I can get out testing proper, it’ll be interesting to play around with volume spacers. But first impressions so far are once you’ve dialled in the sag, the bike is super fun, and even though it’s designed to cover ground fast, it encourages you to play around on the way.

Male cyclist riding full suspension mountain bike over dirt track
Focusing on both anti-squat and progression, YT’s sought to build a bike that climbs as well as it descends.
YT Industries

A good deal of this is probably down to geometry, which I think YT has got spot on. With slack angles and a very low bottom bracket, it’s easy to forget you’ve only got 130mm of travel below you and get urged into riding perhaps a bit too aggressively. I secretly think this is how YT wants the bike to be ridden, though.

The 35mm to 40mm of bottom bracket drop, depending on the flip chip’s setting, will perhaps be a contentious issue for some, though.

Personally, I got on well in the lowest setting, but riders of a more cross-country leaning that want to pedal over rocky ground may have issues with pedal clearance. Even the higher BB setting of -35mm is still pretty low.

Male cyclist riding full suspension mountain bike over rocks
Given the current situation, we’ve not been able to get out testing on the bike yet, but rest assured we’ll be giving the bike a proper thrashing when the time comes.
YT Industries

The Izzo’s XC intentions are reflected in the fairly flat 20mm rise / 760mm wide bar, which I personally found a bit narrow. Even so, this doesn’t detract much from the bike’s fun feeling ride and I’m already looking forward to some bigger epics out in the hills when the time comes.

YT Izzo models

YT Izzo Launch Edition

YT Industries Izzo launch edition full suspension mountain bike
No expense was spared when it came to choosing kit for the limited run Launch Edition bike.
YT Industries
  • Frame: YT Izzo carbon fibre 130mm travel
  • Fork: FOX 34 Float Factory FIT 4, 130mm travel, 44mm offset
  • Shock: FOX Float DPS Factory 210 x 55mm with remote lockout
  • Headset: Acros AZX
  • Stem: E13 Plus 35mm clamp, 50mm length, 0-degree rise
  • Handlebar: E13 Race Carbon Custom, 760mm width, 20mm rise
  • Grips: RockShox TwistLoc Sprint Remote
  • Crankset: SRAM X1 Carbon, 32-tooth. 170mm (S), 175mm (M-XL)
  • Cassette: SRAM XG1295 Eagle
  • Rear derailleur: SRAM X01 Eagle AXS
  • Shifter: SRAM Eagle AXS
  • Wheels: E13 XCX Race Custom, 29in
  • Tyres: E13 Optimus 29 x 2.4in Trail Casing, Endurance Compound
  • Brakes: SRAM G2 Ultimate, 200mm front / 180mm rear rotors
  • Seatpost: SRAM Reverb AXS 100mm (S), 125mm (M), 150mm (L), 170mm (XL-XXL)
  • Saddle: SDG RADAR MNT
  • Colour: Carbon black
  • Price: £5,699 / $6,499 / €6,499

YT Izzo Pro Race

YT Industries Izzo Pro Race model full suspension mountain bike
The second in line Pro Race model is the one we’ll be testing. It’s got lots of top level componentry on board, but comes in a good deal cheaper than the Launch Edition at £4,599
YT Industries
  • Frame: YT Izzo carbon fibre 130mm travel
  • Fork: FOX 34 Float Factory FIT 4, 130mm travel, 44mm offset
  • Shock: FOX Float DPS Factory 210 x 55mm with remote lockout
  • Headset: Acros AZX
  • Stem: Race Face Turbine R 35mm clamp, 50mm (S-M), 60mm (L-XXL)
  • Handlebar: Race Face Next, 760mm width, 20mm rise
  • Grips: RockShox TwistLoc Sprint Remote
  • Crankset: SRAM X01 Carbon, 32-tooth, 170mm (S), 175mm (M-XL)
  • Cassette: SRAM XG1295 Eagle
  • Rear derailleur: SRAM X01 Eagle
  • Shifter: SRAM X01 Eagle
  • Wheels: DT Swiss XMC 1200 Spline, 29in
  • Tyres: MAXXIS Forecaster 29 x 2.35in, EXO, TR
  • Brakes: SRAM G2 RSC, 200mm front / 180mm rear rotors
  • Seatpost: FOX Transfer Factory, 100mm (S), 125mm (M), 150mm (L), 175mm (XL-XXL)
  • Saddle: SDG RADAR MNT
  • Colour: Titan silver
  • Price: £4,599 / $5,299 / €5,299

YT Izzo Pro

YT Industries Izzo Pro model full suspension mountain bike
YT wants the ride experience on the Izzo to be the same across the range, so has kept the parts spec as consistent as possible.
YT Industries
  • Frame: YT Izzo carbon fibre 130mm travel
  • Fork: FOX 34 Float Performance Elite, 130mm travel, 44mm offset
  • Shock: FOX Float DPS Performance Elite 210 x 55mm with remote lockout
  • Headset: Acros AZX
  • Stem: Race Face Turbine R 35mm clamp, 50mm (S-M), 60mm (L-XXL)
  • Handlebar: Race Face Turbine R, 760mm width, 20mm rise
  • Grips: RockShox TwistLoc Sprint Remote
  • Crankset: SRAM GX Eagle, 32-tooth, 170mm (S), 175mm (M-XL)
  • Cassette: SRAM XG1275 Eagle
  • Rear derailleur: SRAM GX Eagle
  • Shifter: SRAM GX Eagle
  • Wheels: DT Swiss M 1700 Spline, 29in
  • Tyres: MAXXIS Forecaster 29 x 2.35in, EXO, TR
  • Brakes: SRAM G2 RS, 200mm front/ 180mm rear rotors
  • Seatpost: YT Postman, 100mm (S), 125mm (M), 150mm (L), 170mm (XL-XXL)
  • Saddle: SDG RADAR MNT
  • Colour: Ghostship green or black magic
  • Price: £3,499 / $3,899 / €3,899

YT Izzo Comp

YT Industries Izzo entry-level Comp model full suspension mountain bike
For the money, the entry-level Comp model looks like a great setup, with a carbon frame and a solid array of parts.
YT Industries
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  • Frame: YT Izzo carbon fibre 130mm travel
  • Fork: FOX 34 Float Rhythm, 130mm travel, 44mm offset
  • Shock: FOX Float DPS Performance Elite 210 x 55mm with remote lockout
  • Headset: Acros AZX
  • Stem: Race Face Aeffect 35mm clamp, 50mm (S-M), 60mm (L-XXL)
  • Handlebar: Race Face Aeffect, 760mm width, 20mm rise
  • Grips: RockShox TwistLoc Sprint Remote
  • Crankset: SRAM NX Eagle, 32-tooth, 170mm (S), 175mm (M-XL)
  • Cassette: SRAM PG1230 Eagle
  • Rear derailleur: SRAM NX Eagle
  • Shifter: SRAM NX Eagle
  • Wheels: DT Swiss M 1900 Spline, 29in
  • Tyres: MAXXIS Forecaster 29 x 2.35inch, EXO, TR
  • Brakes: SRAM G2 R, 200mm fron t/ 180mm rear rotors
  • Seatpost: YT Postman, 100mm (S), 125mm (M), 150mm (L), 170mm (XL-XXL)
  • Saddle: SDG RADAR MNT
  • Colour: Dune grey or black magic
  • Price: £2,599 / $2,999 / €2,999