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YT Capra Mk III Core 2 review

YT’s Mk III Capra Core 2 is the brand’s most affordable race-ready enduro bike

GBP £3,199.00 RRP | USD $3,399.00 | EUR €3,199.00
YT Capra Mk III Core 2 enduro mountain bike-21

Our review

The Capra Mk III Core 2 strikes an almost perfect price-to-performance ratio for the cash-conscious enduro rider
Pros: Easy to set up; supportive suspension; intuitive ride feel and addictive cornering
Cons: Geometry could be slacker, lower, and longer; tyre casings thin for enduro use
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YT’s Capra Mk III is the most recent iteration of the brand’s enduro race-ready bike and is offered in both 29in wheel and mullet wheel (29in front, 27.5in rear) configurations.

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This aluminium-framed Core 2 model features all the updates made to the carbon fibre frame and bundles them into a more affordable performance-focused, budget-friendly build.

On paper, the latest Capra looks impressive. We took to the trails to find out just how good it is.

YT Capra Mk III Core 2 frame and suspension

Despite it being made from alloy, the Core 2 resembles its carbon siblings.
Ian Linton / YT Industries

Made from hydroformed aluminium tubing, the Capra Mk III Core 2 retains the carbon fibre model’s distinguishable looks, including the asymmetrical member that spans the down and seat tubes.

This design means – for the first time in an alloy Capra – there’s enough space within the front triangle beneath the shock for a 630ml water bottle, while on the underside of the top tube are accessory mounts.

The shock is mounted high enough in the frame so that a water bottle can fit beneath it.
Ian Linton / YT Industries

Gear and brake cables are routed internally through the front triangle, while the asymmetrically constructed rear end is claimed to have an impressive strength-to-weight ratio. The driveside chainstays and seatstays feature chain-slap protection, and there’s a rock strike pad on the underside of the down tube.

The cables are routed internally.
Ian Linton / YT Industries

The 29in wheel version of the Capra has 165mm of rear-wheel travel and, just like the carbon bike, uses YT’s V4L Horst-link design. According to YT’s own suspension leverage rate graph, it’s approximately 33 per cent progressive, making it well suited to coil- or air-sprung shocks.

YT Capra Mk III Core 2 geometry

The shock yoke features a geometry-adjusting flip chip.
Ian Linton / YT Industries

The Core 2 has adjustable geometry, just like the carbon bike it sits alongside. The shock yoke flip chip changes the head angle by 0.3 degrees, between 64.2 and 64.5 degrees, and the seat tube angle also changes by 0.3 degrees, depending on the high or low setting. Its bottom-bracket height is altered 5mm depending on setting, too.

The size-large test bike has a modern 467mm reach and shares the 438mm chainstays with the small and medium frames. The extra-large and extra-extra-large bikes get longer 443mm stays and on the large, the wheelbase is a generous 1,248mm.

Although its figures aren’t Pole Stamina progressive, they’re still in the right area for a modern enduro bike.

YT Capra Mk III Core 2 29 geometry chart
Sizes  SM  L  XL  XXL
Top tube (mm)563586606629652
Reach (mm) 427447467487507
Stack (mm)625634634643652
Seat tube length (mm)395420445470495
Chainstay (mm)438438438443443
Head tube angle (degrees)64.2/64.564.2/64.564.2/64.564.2/64.564.2/64.5
Effective seat tube angle (degrees)77.7/ 78.077.6/ 77.977.6 / 77.977.6/ 77.977.5/ 77.8
Actual seat tube angle (degrees)71.3/ 71.571.3/ 71.571.3/ 71.571.3/ 71.571.3/ 71.5
BB Drop (mm)27/2227/2227/2227/2227/22
Wheelbase (mm)1,2041,2281,2481,2771,302
Head tube length (mm)100110110120130
BB Height (mm)349/354349/354349/354349/354349/354
Standover height (mm)745 737 735 746 743

YT Capra Mk III Core 2 specifications

There are plenty of enduro-ready parts fitted to the Core 2, including Fox’s 170mm-travel Performance 38 fork and Float X Performance shock.

It has SRAM’s NX Eagle drivetrain and Code R brakes. The Crankbrothers Synthesis Enduro alloy wheels are wrapped in Maxxis rubber with an Assegai up front and a DHR II out back, both running on EXO casings and dual-compound rubber.

E*thirteen parts take care of the cockpit and YT’s own-brand Postman dropper with 150mm of travel is fitted.

I was unable to weigh the bike at the trails, however YT claims a 16.4kg figure for the small bike set up tubeless without pedals.

YT Capra Mk III Core 2 ride impressions

Cornering on the Capra was one of the most exciting elements of its ride.
Ian Linton / YT Industries

Despite only having a single day on the Capra Core 2, I was lucky enough to ride it on my home trails in Scotland’s Tweed Valley, where I do all my bike testing. This meant getting meaningful riding impressions was much easier than if I was riding unfamiliar terrain.

For my 76kg kitted-up weight, I inflated the fork to 90psi and set the rebound damping to fully open. I initially set the rear shock to 180psi, but later reduced that to 173psi to increase sag. The front and rear tyres were set to 24psi and 27psi respectively. The geometry flip chip was set to the low position for the test period.

YT Capra Mk III Core 2 climbing performance

Despite the 165mm travel figure, the Core 2 climbed very well indeed.
Ian Linton / YT Industries

Hustling along undulating singletrack was a remarkably efficient affair, where the fast-rolling tyres and minimal suspension bob gave the impression most of my power was being fed into forward motion rather than being wasted.

This efficiency was backed up by the comfortable and upright seated pedalling position, the bike’s seat tube angle placing my hips over the bottom bracket rather than behind it. This natural riding position not only made climbing comfortable, but also helped reduce front-wheel lift on super-steep sections because my weight wasn’t distributed too far over the back wheel.

Climbing was an efficient affair.
Ian Linton / YT Industries

Its lack of pedal-induced suspension bob meant I didn’t need to use the climb lever, and the super-progressive rear end reduced rearward weight transfer on steep inclines stopping excessive sagging.

Not only did the rear end provide a solid platform, but it also proved to be fluttery enough to iron out most of the trail chatter, offering plenty of comfort and grip.

There was little pedal bob.
Ian Linton / YT Industries

The Core 2 climbed much better than its travel figure would suggest, broadening its potential beyond just enduro-style winch-and-plummet riding.

YT Capra Mk III Core 2 descending performance

The progressive rear end meant there was plenty of support in turns and through compressions.
Ian Linton / YT Industries

Like its carbon fibre sibling, the Core 2’s suspension and easy-to-ride geometry defined the Capra’s descending ability.

Combined, these two elements made the Capra seriously easy to jump on and ride quickly.

The modern but not overly extended hand-to-feet relationship didn’t require a weight placement re-calibration when loading the bike in turns, and the rear suspension could be pushed hard to generate speed or grip without blowing through its travel.

In an ideal world, we’d like to see the Capra’s figures stretched and lowered to extend its downhill potential.
Ian Linton / YT Industries

Turning into and leaning over in corners felt addictive, where the bike held its line with impressive accuracy. Its dynamic geometry remained relatively unchanged compared to bikes with less progressive suspension designs, making it massively predictable.

Generating speed in turns or through compressions felt repeatable but also intuitive and didn’t require any compensatory weight shifts.

It felt incredibly intuitive to jump on and ride quickly.
Ian Linton / YT Industries

Thanks to that progression, I found I could run the Core 2 slightly softer than I would other bikes, improving traction and comfort over rough terrain. This also reduced the chances of the thinner-casing tyres puncturing because the suspension was doing a large amount of shock absorption rather than relying on carcass deformation.

This made it particularly confidence-inspiring to ride over most types of terrain.

It only came unstuck, as the Uncaged 6 Capra did, on the steepest, gnarliest trails, where a slacker head tube angle, longer chainstays and a bigger wheelbase would make it even more capable.

The Core 2 could be the privateer enduro racer’s bike of choice.
Ian Linton / YT Industries

The Core 2’s spec is impressive, too. The Fox 38’s GRIP damper offered plenty of support without choking on trail chatter, and the Code R brakes had immense stopping power. Crankbrothers’ Synthesis wheels could well be a magic ingredient in furthering performance, arguably contributing to grip, and creating a damped feel.

The Core 2 had plenty of agility.
Ian Linton / YT Industries

To improve performance further, I’d like to see grippier-compound, thicker-casing rubber fitted. Although it’s likely this would come at a cost and weight penalty, I believe it would be worth it given swapping out the tyres would be a high-priority post-purchase upgrade.

How does the YT Capra Mk III Core 2 compare to the YT Capra Mk III Uncaged 6?

The Capra’s geometry sits in a middle ground between dated and modern.
Steve Behr / Immediate Media

Even though YT has more than halved the cost of the range-topping Uncaged 6 Capra with the Core 2, arguably the impressive performance of the top-flight model has barely been impacted by the price drop.

That’s mostly thanks to a well thought-out spec offering performance where it matters and a total mirroring of the carbon frame’s design, geometry and suspension.

The difference between the Flight Attendant suspension and Fox’s basic Performance units wasn’t noticeable on the descents, where, arguably, the GRIP damper is as good as RockShox’s Charger.

Yes, X01 AXS Eagle gears are better than NX Eagle, and the AXS Reverb is way more refined than the YT Postman, but these are all upgradeable items and, despite that, the kit fitted to the Core 2 worked well.

Although this Capra also suffered from some of the geometry-based issues I highlighted in the Uncaged 6 review, given the respectable asking price and easy-to-access performance, I’m inclined to be more lenient and forgiving for the Core 2 model given it’s not intended to be the brand’s best-of-the-best halo bike.

YT Capra Mk III Core 2 early verdict

Enduro-ready for £3,199.
Ian Linton / YT Industries
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The Core 2 made quite a first impression, especially when I found out the retail price. Although further testing is required to see how much more YT’s budget enduro rig has to offer, if my limited time on it was anything to go by, it strikes an almost perfect price-to-performance ratio for the cash-conscious enduro rider.

Product Specifications

Product

Price EUR €3199.00GBP £3199.00USD $3399.00
Weight 16.4g (Large) – Claimed, size small, tubeless tyres
What we tested 2022 YT Capra Mk III Core 2
Year 2022
Brand Yt industries

Features

Available sizes Small, medium, large, extra-large, extra-extra-large
Headset Acros AZX-576
Tyres Maxxis Assegai EXO TR 29x2.5in f, Maxxis DHR II EXO TR 29x2.5in r
Stem e*thirteen Base 35, 50mm
Shifter SRAM NX Eagle
Seatpost YT Postman
Saddle SDG Bel Air 3.0
Rear Shocks Fox Float X Performance
Rear derailleur SRAM NX Eagle
Handlebar e*thirteen Base 35
Bottom bracket SRAM DUB
Grips/Tape ODI Elite Motion V2.1
Front derailleur e*thirteen TRS Plus chain guid
Frame YT Industries Capra Mk III
Fork Fox 38 Performance
Cranks SRAM Descendant 6k, 32t
Chain SRAM NX Eagle
Cassette SRAM XG-1230
Brakes SRAM Code R
Wheels Crankbrothers Synthesis Enduro Alloy