YT’s Capra Uncaged 6 enduro bike is the brand’s most expensive, highest-specced model of the Capra, retailing for £8,992.23 once the bike box, shipping and VAT costs have been added onto the £7,799 raw bike price.
The latest Mk III version of the Capra, first launched in mid-2021, underwent some important changes over the outgoing model, including geometry and chassis updates.
It’s made from YT’s Ultra Modulus carbon fibre, and for the first time in Capra history has space for a water bottle inside the front triangle.
Bringing it closer to other 170mm front-, 165mm rear-travel enduro bikes, its geometry was also updated, now featuring a 64.2-degree head angle and 77.6-degree seat tube angle. The range has five sizes, from small to extra-extra-large.
It’s fitted with RockShox Flight Attendant, which is an automatic, wireless, on-the-fly suspension adjustment system, and the Capra Uncaged 6 is one of only a handful of bikes available to buy with the new tech. Other models include Specialized’s Enduro, Trek’s Slash, and Canyon’s Spectral.
YT Capra Mk III Uncaged 6 frame and suspension
YT claims the Ultra Modulus carbon fibre the Uncaged 6 is built from offers the lightest but highest-performing frame by using “exclusive” carbon fibre in its construction. There is a lower-spec High Modulus carbon fibre construction used on the Capra Core 3, costing less than this top-spec version. The Uncaged 6 model has a 130kg system (bike plus rider) weight limit.
Its head tube has YT’s iconic ‘head box’ design, where the top and down tubes have been widened near the head tube to improve stiffness. It features a zero stack integrated headset, said to optimise load transmission and improve durability. Riders can reduce their bike’s stack height to the lowest possible figure, compared to frames with external headsets.
To accommodate a water bottle inside the front triangle, YT redesigned the Capra’s tubes and developed an asymmetrical member called The Wing. This connects the down and seat tubes to add stiffness and strength to the frame, while allowing space for the brand’s 620ml Thirstmaster 6000 water bottle, or most other 625ml bottles.
Aside from the frame’s high-tech carbon construction and looks, it’s also feature-packed. On the underside of the top tube is a tool and accessory mounting point and it uses SRAM’s UDH, running a Boost 148x12mm rear axle.
It has internally routed cables with full-length internal tubing for easy cable installation. There’s a chain suck (where the chain sticks to the lower portion of the chainring, rotating around the ring) plate on the chainstay to protect the carbon frame from damage, too.
There’s extensive chain slap protection integrated into the chainstay and seatstay, and a down tube protector to guard against rock strikes. Its bearings are double sealed, and each pivot has a third seal to help keep water and dirt out.
The Capra Mk III uses a multi-pivot Horst-link style design with 165mm of travel that’s claimed to offer off-the-top sensitivity, impressive mid-stroke support, and plenty of progression towards the end of its travel.
According to YT’s own leverage curve graph, the Capra Mk III is 33.22 per cent progressive. This makes it one of the more progressive bikes currently on sale, rivalling the Yeti 160E in terms of how much its suspension ramps up. However, the latest model’s suspension progression is less than the Mk II Capra, which, according to YT’s graph, was 40.84 per cent progressive.
This level of progression should make the Capra’s suspension design best suited to coil shocks with linear springs, or high-volume air-spring shocks with no or very few volume reducer spacers installed.
YT says it has a 100 per cent anti-squat value 55mm into its travel, which, in theory, means it should pedal neutrally, where its suspension neither compresses nor extends when a rider pedals.
Its suspension has been tuned with between 75 per cent and 57 per cent anti-rise figures from full extension to bottom out respectively. This should mean the bike’s suspension extends under braking forces, which can make it feel more active compared to a bike with 100 per cent or more anti-rise.
Finally, the rear wheel’s axle path moves just over 2mm rearwards as it compresses to 45mm into its travel. From 45mm to bottom out, it travels upwards and forwards, finishing just over 16mm further forwards from its fully extended position. While that amount of forward movement might sound extreme, it’s a typical figure for a low-pivot full-suspension design.
YT Capra Mk III Uncaged 6 geometry
With enduro bike geometry getting closer to downhill bike figures, the changes to the Capra were welcome, but its figures aren’t extreme by any stretch of the imagination.
The five-size range of bikes (from small to extra-extra-large) get proportional chainstay lengths, where the small, medium and large bikes are 438mm, while the extra-large and extra-extra-large bikes have 443mm stays. Reach figures span from 427mm up to 507mm across the sizes, with the size large getting a 467mm figure.
In addition, the Capra Mk III has a geometry flip chip on the swingarm shock mount with low and high settings. This changes the head angle from 64.5 degrees (high) to 64.2 degrees (low), a 0.3 degree difference. Bottom-bracket height changes by 5mm, from 349mm in the low setting to 354mm in the high position. Equally, the seat tube angle shifts from 77.9 degrees in high to 77.6 degrees in low.
|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|
The Capra’s figures certainly don’t look out of place on an enduro bike, but aren’t as modern or extreme as quite a few bikes on the market, even compared to some with less travel such as Orange’s Alpine Evo, Specialized’s Stumpjumper EVO and Pole’s Stamina 160 Remastered.
A 467mm reach figure is on the smaller side for a large-sized bike, especially when accompanied by a generous 445mm seat tube. Across the sizes, seat tubes increase, so riders with shorter legs and longer torsos, or shorter riders who want to size up to access a longer reach figure might struggle to get the seat low enough on the next size up.
YT Capra Mk III Uncaged 6 specifications
The Uncaged model, according to YT, represents “the best there is” in terms of spec, performance and technology.
It comes as no surprise that the Uncaged 6 is fitted with RockShox’s latest ZEB and Super Deluxe Ultimate Flight Attendant forks and shock. Along with the Flight Attendant wireless electronic suspension adjustment system, the newest ZEB gets an updated DebonAir+ air spring that improves on the widely reported sensitivity issues of the 2021 update to the spring.
Brand new ButterCups also feature on the ZEB. These are small rubber ‘pucks’ fitted between the damper and spring push rods and fork lowers, and are claimed to absorb trail chatter. Finally, the new ZEB gets pressure-relief valves on the back of its lowers, similar to Fox’s latest 36 and 38 forks.
Along with Flight Attendant, the Uncaged 6 gets RockShox’s Reverb AXS dropper post with 150mm of drop (size large), and SRAM’s X01 Eagle AXS 12-speed electronic wireless shifting drivetrain.
It’s fitted with Crankbrothers’ Synthesis Enduro Carbon wheels that are claimed to blend the stiffness needed for steering accuracy and strength with a softness to reduce harshness and improve comfort and control. These are wrapped in high-spec Maxxis rubber, with an Assegai 29×2.5in WT EXO+ 3C MaxxGrip tyre up front and a Minion DHR II 29×2.4in WT EXO+ 3C MaxxTerra at the rear.
Stopping is taken care of by SRAM’s Code RSC disc brakes, with 200mm rotors front and rear.
Elsewhere, the Uncaged 6 has a Renthal Fatbar Carbon 35 bar and Renthal Apex 50mm-long stem. It’s specced with ODI Elite Motion V2.1 grips and an SDG Bel Air III saddle.
My size large test bike without pedals weighed 15.23kg.
How I tested the YT Capra Mk III Uncaged 6
I received the Capra Mk III Uncaged 6 in December 2021, which meant I tested it in mostly wintery conditions in Scotland’s Tweed Valley, host to the UK’s round of the Enduro World Series (EWS) and famous Glentress trail centre.
Because of the bike’s intended use, I focused testing on enduro-style trails used for the EWS in the valley. These ranged from steep, rutted and rocky bombed-out descents with large on-the-brakes sections through to longer, flatter and more technical runs requiring plenty of pedal strokes to maintain speed lasting nearly five minutes. Of course, there was every terrain type in between, too, with softer, fresher trails and fair amounts of swoopy loam thrown in for good measure.
I also rode it at the Glentress trail centre to test its range of performance on man-made, surfaced runs with as much undulating pedalling and climbing as descending.
Over the test period, I got a great flavour of how the Capra Uncaged 6 rides.
YT Capra Mk III Uncaged 6 ride impressions
YT Capra Mk III Uncaged 6 setup
YT provides a suspension setup guide on its website, where you input your bike model and weight and it provides you with optimal suspension pressure, sag, and rebound and compression settings.
For my 76kg kitted-up weight, YT’s recommended settings were close to the final figures I ended up using.
I initially set the ZEB to 60psi with two volume reducer spacers, but later upped that to 64psi, while retaining the spacers to provide a little more front-end support.
I set the low-speed compression damping (adjusted via the SRAM AXS app or the buttons on the top of the Flight Attendant Charger damper) fully open, preferring the feel of using the spring to prop the fork up rather than the compression damping. I also set the rebound to taste, adjusting it on the trail, and ended up with the adjuster fully open.
These settings gave me roughly 23.5 per cent sag, a little less than YT’s recommendations. I had to make this measurement myself because the ZEB Ultimate Flight Attendant fork no longer has sag gradient markings on the stanchions.
It was a similar story for the shock. I initially set it to 143psi with the single stock volume reducer spacer. I later increased pressure to 150psi to make the bike ride a little higher in its travel because I was struggling with pedal strikes on flatter, chunky and pedally terrain despite the average bottom-bracket height at 349mm in the low geometry setting.
With the higher pressure, I had 29 per cent sag, and still used full travel. I set the shock’s low-speed compression damping and rebound to fully open, preferring the feel of a free-moving shock.
I changed the Flight Attendant’s bias between -2 (more inclined to leave the lockout open) and +2 (more inclined to close the lockout) depending on the trails I was riding. The neutral 0 bias point felt like it offered the best compromise and was the setting I ended up using the most.
The EXO+ casing rear tyre required higher pressures to reduce carcass squirm, burping and the risk of punctures compared to a thicker DoubleDown style casing tyre. I gradually inflated the rear tyre up to 29psi, the pressure at which it stopped burping. The front tyre’s EXO+ casing was more than adequate, however, and only needed 25psi to feel good.
YT Capra Mk III Uncaged 6 climbing performance
The Capra Mk III Uncaged 6 climbs impeccably, from the lack of suspension bob through to its well-proportioned geometry, where its uphill performance defies its headline suspension travel figures and enduro intentions.
Thanks to its steep seat tube angle, my hips felt well centralised over the bottom bracket, making winching up long, smooth fireroad drags or tackling steep, winding singletrack climbs comfortable, helping to preserve energy for the descents.
On steeper climbs, I didn’t have to excessively shift my weight fore and aft on and off the saddle’s nose to juggle rear-wheel traction with front-wheel lift. Instead, I could focus on picking lines or maintain smooth pedal strokes to keep the bike moving.
Where the ascents were flatter, most of my body’s weight was placed through my sit bones rather than into my hands, helping further reduce fatigue. The seat tube angle, reasonably high front end (634mm size large), and 606mm top tube combine to give the Capra its comfortable seated position.
Its geometry is further preserved thanks to the Flight Attendant’s firm lockout. Once the electric servo switches the rear shock to the lock setting, the rear end is propped up in its travel, sitting higher than the sag point once the suspension has extended.
On steep climbs, where more of my weight was pivoted onto the back wheel, the Capra’s suspension resisted further compression and its dynamic geometry remained unaltered, vastly improving comfort.
This was most marked once the suspension switched back to open mode and the bike relaxed down to its sag point.
Even without the lockout engaged, the Capra pedalled well however, with no significant pedal bob at either low or high cadences whether I was standing up or sitting down. In fact, the suspension’s lack of movement was impressive given the bike’s intentions.
Along with the geometry, this furthered its climbing prowess, with Flight Attendant positively contributing to the formula even more.
Does RockShox’s Flight Attendant help the YT Capra Mk III Uncaged 6 climb?
Arguably, Flight Attendant is the cherry on the Capra’s climbing cake. Without RockShox’s latest tech, the Capra is no slouch, but with it, it’s closer to a 130mm-travel trail bike in performance than an outright enduro rig.
With its bias set to zero, Flight Attendant was quick to switch between its modes when the terrain permitted. It switched to the lock mode on smoother fireroad climbs, and steeper less chunky singletrack sections.
Once the ground got a bit rougher, Flight Attendant swapped regularly between lock and pedal. The change was matched with a corresponding increase in plushness, but each mode wasn’t intrusively disparate in feel to interrupt pedalling rhythms or flow. The only sign modes were changing was the consistent buzz of the compression adjuster motors.
As the fork hit a bigger bump, the system opened up. While that meant the fork didn’t absorb the bump as well as an already unlocked one would, it did prime the rear end to smooth out the terrain.
Arguably, it felt as though the ZEB ButterCups and Crankbrothers Synthesis wheels did play a part in reducing some of the harshness that could have been otherwise transmitted into my hands with the locked-out front end.
Set like this, the Capra was a true banshee to climb, and howled up fireroad ascents with Flight Attendant doing an awesome job of enhancing its performance.
Biassing the ride
Set with a higher lock bias, the system’s threshold for unlocking became greater, and it was quicker to lock out as soon as the trail smoothed out. Like this, the lockout was a bit too keen for my preferences and I found there was a lack of grip and comfort.
I didn’t think this bias setting felt better or made the bike ride faster than the zero bias setting, especially when most of my climbing was done on smooth fireroad. But depending on the type of terrain you ride, it could work for you.
When set with an open bias of -1 or -2, I found the system tended to get a bit confused, and its unlocking and locking process didn’t always happen when I expected it to. The smallest bump or vibration would cause it to unlock, even when riding along a paved road, then a fair amount of time would pass before it locked out again.
While that wasn’t problematic in itself, mostly thanks to the superbly behaved pedalling characteristics of the Capra not slowing it down, it was the timing of the re-locking that proved to be frustrating.
After 30 seconds or so of smooth ground, Flight Attendant would move to its locked position, but this invariably happened as I was about to hit another section of slightly bumpy ground, where it would unlock again. The lag between unlocked and locked was the source of my frustration when it was set with a -1 or -2 bias.
I didn’t think the open bias setting was best suited to fireroad climbing, and neither was it amazing on trail centre runs.
The first bump on a climb or flat section would unlock the suspension, but then it would stay unlocked as long as there were enough small bumps on the trail. While this was good for comfort, I felt it defeated the object of having a quick-to-react lockout system to improve uphill and flat pedalling performance.
This wasn’t an issue in the zero or positive bias settings, however, and the zero setting is how I would expect most people to tune Flight Attendant.
In its zero bias setting, Flight Attendant was impressive.
The whole package
The lighter-weight EXO+ casing tyres helped the enduro-focused Capra feel nimble and get up to speed quickly on all types of terrain, while the SRAM X01 AXS 10-52t gearing had plenty of range, with the 32t chainring for combatting all but the steepest climbs.
Despite only having 150mm of travel, the Reverb AXS post extended far enough at full travel to not need manually raising in the seat tube to be set for the correct pedalling height.
A magic formula
It’s clear the Capra’s climbing performance is a true sum of all its parts. Its geometry and specification combine with its bob-free suspension, enhanced by Flight Attendant, to extend its pedalability beyond the winch and plummet style of riding usually tackled by bikes with 160mm of travel or more.
But what does this mean for its descending ability? It’s pointless having a long-travel enduro bike that can pedal around trail centres or to the trail head if it can’t handle the most technical descending on offer. Read on to find out whether the Capra can do both.
YT Capra Mk III Uncaged 6 descending performance
The Capra’s descending ability isn’t defined by its Flight Attendant suspension, where the electronic wireless and automatic lockout doesn’t play a part in how well it performs. And that’s a good thing.
Once descending, and after the first bump has been hit, the lockout remains open for the duration of every descent, tallying with my desire to have the suspension remain as free to move as possible.
That’s to say the system never erroneously selected its pedal or lock modes when it shouldn’t have.
In this respect, Flight Attendant is very much fit, set and forget. Not remembering to manually unlock your bike’s suspension before a descent after a hefty climb is no longer a problem because the bike will remember to do it for you.
A vastly improved ZEB
The Flight Attendant ZEB performs much better compared to the other models in the burly long-travel fork’s range.
Increased initial stroke sensitivity even at higher spring pressures, but also improved mid-stroke support when the fork is run with less air are the significant performance improvements the updated DebonAir+ air spring brings.
This gives increased comfort on trail chatter because the front wheel is able to track the ground better, but also means that high-loading scenarios in berms or through compressions are handled with much more composure, where the bike’s front end stays propped up.
It was great on steep drop-off sharp radius corners, where most of the turning is done as the front wheel is loaded up. The spring helps preserve the bike’s geometry because the fork doesn’t bomb towards bottom out as easily. This reduces the need to counteract the fork’s inefficiencies with drastic rearward weight movements, not expending energy or causing the rider to get into awkward and weak shapes.
The Capra’s geometry figures mean its ride is mixed, excelling on certain terrain types but falling short of expectations on others.
Its 438mm chainstay figure and 467mm reach (size large) meant it was easy to whip around turns, where changing direction was a pleasingly fast and responsive affair. A small flick of the hips, followed by dipping an elbow and shoulder, made the bike dive into turns with confidence, backed up by the massively progressive rear suspension that refused to gobble its mid-stroke travel unnecessarily.
With a lively feel, the Capra was great fun to ride on swooping trails with successive turns, where extra speed was easy to generate from the ground.
Amplifying those feelings was the poppy and supportive rear end, its traits especially marked when the Capra was pumped hard into the ground on terrain that would normally need to be avoided or danced over.
However, because the hand-to-feet relationship felt quite cramped when the trail got steeper and faster, I began to feel perched rather than at one with the bike.
Its shortness reduces confidence and makes overweighting the front or rear wheels too easy, where the central sweet spot of weight distribution can be tricky to find and maintain.
Heading into steep corners gave it a slight twitchiness that was tricky to tame, and meant I struggled with confidently loading the front wheel as on bikes with longer reach figures and slacker head angles. This caused me to bias my weight to the back of the bike in a bid to compensate.
The shorter chainstays meant that when I did lean back, I was a long way over the back wheel much quicker than on bikes with longer stays. This made the front wheel go lighter than it needed to and gave the bike a rearward-feeling bias.
Consistent, not rapid
The geometry was only compromised at the more extreme ends of the bell curve in terms of terrain type. Riding average terrain, the Capra was consistent and predictable to ride.
It was fun and intuitive to hustle along at a pace on the majority of trails I tackled, which was down mostly to its supportive suspension creating very neutral handling. I knew that I could predictably hit a section of trail in the same way repeatedly without the Capra throwing up any surprise suspension quirks.
I never thought I’d complain about a bike’s suspension kinematics being too progressive, given the insatiable desire for increasing mid-stroke and bottom-out control, but the Capra is bordering on being a bit too firm.
Even when set softer with plenty of sag, I didn’t experience any harsh bottom outs despite using all the bike’s travel regularly. However, set like this, I struggled with pedal strikes so increased pressure to raise the bottom bracket a fraction.
The pay-off was a firmer rear end, while not feeling at all harsh – in fact, it was veritably plush at the start of its travel. It did struggle to iron out the chunkiest bits of terrain with the lavish smoothness I expected.
The Capra felt as though it had less travel than the 165mm figure. Comparing it on the same trails to an old long-term test bike, the Yeti SB165, with the same amount of rear travel, the Capra’s rear end is much less forgiving than it could be, not absorbing the big bumps a bike like this should. The initial stroke’s plushness and eagerness to compress is juxtaposed with the later portions of its travel’s resistance.
However, the front-to-back suspension balance, especially with the settings I ended up with, was impressive, with both the fork and shock using very similar amounts of travel on any descent. This hinted that my setup was spot-on for the terrain I was riding.
Even though removing the final volume reducer spacer in the rear shock did get it to use the last bit of its travel more easily, it wasn’t at bottom out where I felt the bike wasn’t as plush as I’d hoped. The problem was at, and just a bit deeper than, the mid-stroke, and removing that volume reducer spacer didn’t improve that crucial portion of its travel’s suppleness.
While I’d always prefer more progression over less, I think the Capra maybe takes it one step too far. Suspension with 33 per cent progression might work on a weighty ebike such as Yeti’s 160E, but the lightweight nature of the Capra means accessing the later portions of its suspension travel is just a bit too difficult unless you run it softer, but in turn you risk pedal strikes.
Maybe slacker, longer and lower geometry would make riding at higher speeds easier on the Capra, and could warrant needing the amount of suspension progression the bike has.
YT Capra Mk III Uncaged 6 bottom line
The Uncaged 6 version of the Capra Mk III is a tech nerd’s dream come true. Flight Attendant is marvellously simple to use in terms of its setup and fit-and-forget functionality, but it extends the realm of technology’s ability to enhance performance in real-life situations. Impressively, it doesn’t appear to negatively impact the way the bike rides downhill, but neither does it improve it.
What it does do, in the context of the Capra Mk III, is expand the model’s scope beyond enduro-style winch and plummet riding. The Uncaged 6 will be at home looping trail centres just as much as it is hitting enduro tracks, and that’s impressive.
Its geometry and suspension kinematics extend that further, once again striking a middle ground between outright descending performance, where slacker head angles and longer reaches are preferable, and all-day pedal-friendly geometry conducive to comfort.
If you’re the kind of person who never wants to be under-biked on a shorter-travel rig at the occasional uplift day, trip to the Alps or a bike park, but also spend plenty of time riding flatter trail centres, enjoy cutting-edge technology, and can afford it, the Capra Mk III Uncaged 6 is undoubtably for you. Just make sure you understand it’s not the rowdy enduro thrasher its travel figure would have you believe.
|Price||AUD $12999.00EUR €8999.00GBP £7799.00USD $9499.00|
|Weight||15.23kg (Large) – Size large, without pedals|
|What we tested||YT Capra Uncaged 6, size large|
|Features||Geometry flip chip|
|Headset||Cane Creek Hellbender 70|
|Tyres||Maxxis Assegai 29x2.5in WT EXO+ 3C MaxxGrip TR (f), Maxxis Minion DHR II 29x2.4in WT EXO+ 3C MaxxTerra TR (r)|
|Stem||Renthal Apex 50mm|
|Shifter||SRAM AXS Rocker Paddle|
|Seatpost||RockShox Reverb AXS|
|Saddle||SDG Bel Air 3.0|
|Rear Shocks||RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate Flight Attendant|
|Rear derailleur||SRAM X01 Eagle AXS|
|Handlebar||Renthal Fatbar Carbon 35|
|Available sizes||Small, medium, large, extra-large, extra-extra-large|
|Grips/Tape||ODI Elite Motion V2.1|
|Frame||YT Capra ultra modulus carbon fibre|
|Fork||RockShox ZEB Ultimate Flight Attendant|
|Cranks||SRAM X01 Eagle Flight Attendant|
|Cassette||SRAM XG1295 Eagle|
|Brakes||SRAM Code RSC, 200mm rotors|
|Bottom bracket||SRAM DUB|
|Wheels||Crankbrothers Synthesis Enduro Carbon|