The YT CAPRA 29 CF Pro Race looks fast just standing there. Its stealthy looks, the oversized tubes and the low slung top tube hint at what the bike was designed to do.
For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best enduro bike 2020
YT’s customers are spoilt for choice. Once you’ve decided on your budget and the appropriate build spec, you’ll have to choose between 27.5″ and 29″ wheels, one of two colour options and the frame size. Because of the short seat tube on the CAPRA, you can usually choose between two frame sizes for the desired top tube length. The last time we had this bike in our group test, we chose a size XL and found it somewhat cumbersome, so we went one size down to an L this time around. Since YT haven’t yet introduced their 2020 models we had to resort to the 2019 model for this group test. As usual for YT, the € 5,299 carbon bike comes specced with top-notch components, pairing an 11-speed XTR drivetrain with an E13 cassette. The wheels and tires also come from E13. Only the best would do for the dropper post and suspension, with YT speccing FOX Factory components throughout. The package is rounded off by a Renthal cockpit, which matches the look and the dimensions of the bike perfectly.
YT Capra 29 CF PRO Race Gr. L
Fork FOX 36 Factory GRIP2 170 mm
Rear Shock FOX FLOAT X2 Factory 170 mm
Seatpost FOX Transfer Factory 150 mm
Brakes SRAM Code RSC 200/200 mm
Drivetrain Shimano XTR / E13 32 (9-46)
Stem Renthal APEX 40 mm
Handlebar Renthal Fatbar Carbon 35 800 mm
Wheelset E13 LG1 EN Race 29
Size M, L, XL, XXL
Weight 14.52 kg
Geometry and size of the YT
At YT, riders are spoilt for choice. Not only with the wheel size, but also with the frame size. This is made possible by the short seat tubes of the CAPRA. On size L, the reach is rather short, but if you choose the go for the XL, things start looking a lot better. If you’re particularly tall, there’s even an XXL model available. The CAPRA’s seat tube angle is rather slack, but we still wouldn’t recommend the flip chip’s steeper setup.
|Seat tube||420 mm||445 mm||465 mm||490 mm|
|Top tube||584 mm||621 mm||645 mm||667 mm|
|Head tube||95 mm||105 mm||115 mm||120 mm|
|Chainstays||435 mm||435 mm||440 mm||440 mm|
|BB Drop||25 mm||25 mm||25 mm||25 mm|
|Wheelbase||1,203 mm||1,227 mm||1,256 mm||1,279 mm|
|Reach||440 mm||460 mm||480 mm||500 mm|
|Stack||621 mm||630 mm||639 mm||644 mm|
The YT CAPRA 29 CF Pro Race 2019 on the trail
At 180 cm tall, the pedalling position on the size L is neither too compact nor too stretched. However, you’re sat very far over the rear wheel, making you feel like you’re pedalling the bike from behind. Apart from that, the E13 tires are slow-rolling and although you’ll get to the top of every trail, you’ll have to take your time doing so. On the descents, you’re still nicely integrated between the big wheels on the size L, making you feel unstoppable. As with the RAAW and Norco, YT don’t spare any costs in varying the chainstay length to suit the frame size. On the size L, the chainstays measure 435 mm, which is perfectly suited to the somewhat short 460 mm reach. In open corners, the weight distribution on the bike is spot on, ensuring plenty of grip on both wheels. However, the tread profile of the E13 tires is very square, making them lose grip suddenly.
The YT CAPRA remains a fairly priced, hard-hitting enduro bike.
Despite having gone for the smaller size, the plush suspension of the YT demands a lot of input from the rider to successfully navigate tight sections. However, there is little that will slow it down on fast, demanding sections of trail and the bike impressed our test team with its enormous stability. The suspension swallows up obstacles and holes of any size, making the CAPRA stick to the ground. The tuning of the progression is very good, allowing you to effectively use all of the available travel without harshly bottoming out. If you want to launch off small lips or rollers, you will need to work hard to get the bike airborne – it isn’t very playful.
L or XL? As plush as the suspension is, we recommend size L for riders as tall as 180 cm.
How does the YT CAPRA 29 CF Pro Race compare to the competition?
The YT CAPRA 29 CF Pro Race is comparable to the Nukeproof Mega 290C. You’ll find both at the front of the pack in very demanding terrain. The geometry of the size L CAPRA is a little more agile but the suspension of the Nukeproof is more supportive. Ultimately, neither of them are very playful. The Nukeproof has the upper hand on the climbs with its steeper seat tube angle.
Tuning tip: swap the tires | if in doubt, we recommend going for the smaller size on the CF PRO Race model
The YT CAPRA 29 CF Pro Race eats the roughest trails for breakfast. It impressed our test team with its enormous stability and carries tons of speed through the most demanding terrain. The components and workmanship are top, and the value for money is good too. If you like going fast, this is the bike. But don’t expect to be in a hurry when going back up.
- very stable in rough terrain
- plush suspension
- top spec and workmanship
- good value for money
- seat tube angle too slack
- the E13 tires lose grip very suddenly
You can find out more about the YT CAPRA 29 CF Pro Race at yt-industries.com
The test field
For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best enduro bike 2020
All bikes in test: Canyon Strive CFR 9.0 LTD | CUBE Stereo 170 SL 29 | Giant Reign Advanced 29 0 | Ibis Mojo HD5 | Norco Sight C1 29 | Nukeproof Mega 275C RS | Nukeproof Mega 290C Pro | Orbea Rallon M-LTD | Pole Stamina 180 LE | RAAW Madonna V2 FOX Factory Built | Rocky Mountain Slayer Carbon 90 29 | Santa Cruz Megatower CC X01 Reserve | SCOTT Ransom 900 Tuned | Specialized S-Works Enduro 2020 | Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert | Trek Slash 9.9 X01 AXS | Yeti SB150 T2 | YT CAPRA 29 CF Pro Race
This scale indicates how efficiently the bike climbs. It refers to both simple and technical climbs. Along with the suspension, the riding position and the weight of the bike all play a crucial role.↩
How does the bike ride and descend? How spritely is the bike, how agile is it through corners, how much fun is it in tight sections and how quickly can it change direction?↩
Is the bike stable at high speeds? Is it easy to stay in control in demanding terrain? How composed is it on rough trails? Stability is a combination of balanced geometry, good suspension and the right spec.↩
This is all about how balanced the bike is and particularly about how well it corners. Balanced bikes require little physical effort from the rider and are very predictable. If a bike is unbalanced, the rider has to work hard to weight the front wheel to generate enough grip. However, experienced riders can have a lot of fun even with unbalanced bikes.↩
How sensitive is the suspension over small bumps? Can it absorb hard impacts and does it soak up repeated hits? Plush suspension not only provides comfort and makes a bike more capable, but it also generates traction. The rating includes the fork and the rear suspension.↩
This aspect mainly comes down to the suspension. How much pop does it have, does it suck up the rider’s input or is it supportive, and how agile and direct is the bike?↩
We don’t calculate value for money in an excel spreadsheet or based on how high-end a bike is specced. We are more concerned with how a bike performs on the trail and how the bike benefits the rider. What good are the best components if the bike doesn’t perform well on the trail? Expensive bikes with a lower-end spec can offer very good value for money – provided they excel where it matters. Just as supposedly cheap bikes with good components can get a bad rating if they don’t deliver on the trail.↩
No, it’s not about racing, it’s about efficiency. Fast, fleet-footed and efficient – those who want to speed along flowy singletrack and gravel roads need a defined and spritely bike that accelerates with ease and efficiency. Nevertheless, reliable components are important too. We interpret XC more like the Americans do: big back-country rides instead of a marathon or XC World Cup with the ultimate in lightweight construction! Uphill-downhill ratio: 80:30 (not everything has to be 100%!)↩
...also known as mountain biking. Classic singletrack with roots, rocks and ledges – sometimes flowy, sometimes rough. For this, you need a bike with good all-round qualities, whether climbing or descending. Uphill-downhill ratio: 50:50↩
Even more extreme and challenging compared to Trail riding, riddled with every kind of obstacle: jumps, gaps, nasty rock gardens, ruts and roots. For this, you need (race)proven equipment that forgives mistakes and wouldn’t look out of place on a stage of the Enduro World Series. Climbing is just a means to an end. Uphill-downhill ratio: 30:70↩
Strictly speaking, a 200 mm travel downhill bike is the best choice for merciless tracks with big jumps, drops and the roughest terrain. Those would be the black or double-black-diamond tracks in a bike park. But as some of the EWS pros (including Sam Hill) have proven, it’s the riding skills and not the bike that define what you can ride with it. Climbing? On foot or with a shuttle, please! Uphill-downhill ratio: 10:90↩
Words: Christoph Bayer Photos: Christoph Bayer / Finlay Anderson / Markus Frühmann