In our bike park group test, YT enter the race with the third-generation Capra 29” Core 4, which the German brand claim to be a hard-hitting bike park rig, ready to shred straight out of the box. Can the stock build handle the abuse of the roughest bike park tracks and does the low weight ensure playful handling? Or is it actually a disadvantage?

Get an overview of the grouptest here: The best bike park bike of 2021 – 6 models in review

YT CAPRA 29 CORE 4 | 170/165 mm (f/r)
15.3 kg in size XL | € 5,999 | Manufacturer’s website

At the beginning of 2021, YT unveiled the third generation of their legendary Capra, claiming to have created the perfect rig for rough enduro stages and long, epic park sessions. The mullet build with its small 27.5” rear wheel would likely deliver the most fun at the bike park. Unfortunately, the MX model wasn’t available at the time of our bike park test, so we were provided with the 29” model instead. YT sent us a stock Capra 29” Core 4, which retails at € 5,999. The clean carbon frame features internal cable routing, a massive seat and chainstay protector and comes standard with protective tape covering all critical spots. In this review we will tell you whether YT promised too much and how the Capra handles big jump lines and nasty root carpets.

Straight out of the box – The spec of the YT Capra 29” Core 4

For the Capra 29” Core 4, YT rely on bling FOX Factory suspension with a 38 GRIP2 fork and Float X2 shock, controlling 170/165 mm travel at the front and rear respectively. The stock spec includes an alloy cockpit with 800 mm Renthal handlebars and matching 35 mm stem, as well as an E*thirteen LG1+ chain guide with a bash guard. For a tidier cockpit, YT use SRAM Matchmakers to attach the brake levers, dropper remote and shifter to the handlebars. Unfortunately, the cables are too long and the plastic inserts that are supposed to clamp them down at the cable ports get dislodged, sliding down the cables and causing them to rattle loudly against the frame. SRAM Code RSC four-piston brakes with 200 mm rotors provide powerful and reliable deceleration. For the wheels, the German direct-sales brand combines a Crankbrothers Synthesis Enduro alloy wheelset with MAXXIS tires, consisting of an ASSEGAI with the soft 3C MaxxGrip rubber compound at the front and Minion DHR2 with the harder 3C MaxxTerra compound at the rear. Unfortunately, both tires come in the puncture-prone EXO+ casing, which doesn’t offer adequate puncture protection and wasn’t sturdy enough to prevent our rear tire popping off the rim several times due to the high cornering forces typical of bike park trails. Whether you’re ripping gnarly bike park tracks or cruising down your local trails, the Capra calls for more robust tires. And if YT don’t offer them, then you should fit them! We recommend MAXXIS’ robust DoubleDown casing, which offers increased pinch flat protection and ensures better stability – and at 15.3 kg, the Capra could really do with the extra weight!

The all-round carefree package?
The E*thirteen chain guide and bash guard keeps everything in place and protects the chainring from impacts – awesome!
Perfect
The extensive, soft seat and chainstay protector covers all critical spots and ensures a quiet ride. Some manufacturers could learn a thing or two from YT
Limiting factor
The puncture-prone tires don’t do justice to the potential of the bike. In our test, the back tire popped off the rim several times. More robust tires reduce the risk of punctures and make the Capra more stable.

YT CAPRA 29 CORE 4

€ 5,999

Specifications

Fork FOX 38 Factory GRIP2 170 mm
Rear Shock FOX FLOAT X2 Factory 165 mm
Seatpost YT Postman 170 mm
Brakes SRAM CODE RSC 200/200 mm
Drivetrain SRAM X01 Eagle 12-Speed 10–52
Stem Renthal Apex 35 mm
Handlebar Renthal Fatbar 35 800 mm
Wheelset Crankbrothers Synthesis Enduro Alu 29"
Tires MAXXIS ASSEGAI 3C MaxxGrip Exo+ / MAXXIS Minion DHR II 3C MaxxTerra 2.5 / 2.4

Technical Data

Size S M L XL XXL
Weight 15.3 kg


Standard
The frame comes with frame protection covering all critical spots as standard. This also helps maintain the resale value – perfect!
Wanderlust
Despite putting the small plastic inserts back in place countless times, they kept slipping out, causing the cables to rattle loudly against the frame.
Curse and blessing
The stiff rear suspension of the Capra MK3 offers lots of support, making it easy to pop off ledges and pump through berms. However, on technical terrain, running slightly less sag will let you generate more traction.

The geometry of the YT Capra MK3 at a glance

The new Capra MK3 is available in 5 sizes from S to XXL. Since the bike is relatively small, we asked YT to send us the XL frame size, which has a reach of 487 mm. For our test riders measuring between 183 and 190 cm tall, this was a great fit. With a stack of 643 mm in size XL, the Capra has a fairly high front. In proportion to the short reach, the 470 mm seat tube is quite long, significantly restricting the freedom of movement in the attack position. In typical ENDURO fashion, we rode the Capra almost exclusively in the slack geometry setting.

With taller berms and bigger jumps, the YT lacks smoothness and, with its high seat tube, conveys little confidence. Nonetheless, those who dare will jump further and higher!

Size S M L XL XXL
Seat tube 395 mm 420 mm 445 mm 470 mm 495 mm
Top tube 563 mm 586 mm 606 mm 629 mm 652 mm
Head tube 100 mm 110 mm 110 mm 120 mm 130 mm
Head angle 64.2° 64.2° 64.2° 64.2° 64.2°
Seat angle 77.6° 77.6° 77.6° 77.6° 77.6°
Chainstays 438 mm 438 mm 438 mm 443 mm 443 mm
BB Drop 27 mm 27 mm 27 mm 27 mm 27 mm
Wheelbase 1,204 mm 1,228 mm 1,248 mm 1,277 mm 1,302 mm
Reach 427 mm 447 mm 467 mm 487 mm 507 mm
Stack 625 mm 634 mm 634 mm 643 mm 652 mm
Helmet POC Coron Air SPIN | Goggle POC Ora Clarity | Jersey POC Essential DH LS
Pants POC RHYTHM RESISTANCE | Gloves POC Essential Mesh

How the YT Capra MK3 performed in our bikepark test

Without a doubt, the YT Capra MK3 is in its element on flowing trails. Here it impresses with precise and intuitive handling. Despite the 29” rear wheel, the new Capra feels nimble and the centred riding position distributes the weight evenly between the front and rear wheel, generating good traction at both ends. The suspension harmonises with the rear end of the Capra and provides lots of support. The light Capra eagerly pops into the air on small waves and generates lots of speed in berms. During our test, the rear tire couldn’t handle the high cornering forces the Capra is capable of, eventually popping off the rim and dousing our photographer in a shower of sealant! On flowing trails, the Capra responds to steering inputs quickly and directly, and is easy to navigate along dense forest trails. Only the Specialized Status 160 is nimbler, faster and even more fun through tight corners.

The stiff suspension and intuitive, precise handling make the YT Capra MK3 a mean cornering machine on flowing trails – provided the tire stays on the rim.

Tuning tip: more robust tires for increased puncture protection and more stability at high speeds

On big jumps, the supportive suspension ensures good pop. However, once in the air, the light Capra doesn’t inspire confidence and leaves you longing for more stability. At the same time, the long seat tube restricts freedom of movement and requires good riding skills and long legs to pull off stylish tricks. In our group test, only the Specialized Status felt comparably insecure. Bikes like the Propain Spindrift and Nukeproof Giga are far more stable, inspire more confidence and thus encourage you to go sideways much more. On technical trails, you’ll have to set up the progressive suspension differently if you want to make full use of the travel and generate sufficient traction. That’s not a problem, because the FOX X2 shock offers plenty of adjustment range. Even on steep terrain, the YT is pleasantly agile but never threatens to throw you over the bars. This allows for spontaneous direction changes and makes the bike easy to ride even after a long day in the saddle. When things get very rough, the Capra has to admit defeat to the Propain Spindrift, Norco Shore and Nukeproof Giga, which offer far more reserves and generate more traction.

Conclusion

Unlike other manufacturers, YT decided not to take us up on our offer to customise the bike for our bikepark group test. Unfortunately, this left us stuck with the standard tires which are flimsy and prevent you from unlocking the full potential of the bike – not just at the bike park. On flowing trails, the YT benefits from its stiff suspension and precise handling, but in our test, the tire popped off the rim several times through high-G corners. On big jumps and steep trail sections, the high seat tube offers limited freedom of movement and makes it hard to find a good position for technical trails with big jumps.

Tops

  • intuitive handling saves energy, both physically and mentally
  • precise handling
  • protective frame tape as standard

Flops

  • weak tires
  • poor stability at high speeds and over big jumps
  • long seat tube limits freedom of movement
  • progressive rear suspension complicates setup

The testfield

Get an overview of the grouptest here: The best bike park bike of 2021 – 6 models in review

All Bikes in this group test: Canyon Torque:ON 9 (Click for review) | Norco Shore 1 (Click for review) | Nukeproof Giga 290 Carbon Factory (Click for review) | Propain Spindrift CF Mix (Click for review) | Specialized Status 160 (Click for review) | YT CAPRA 29 CORE 4

You can find out more about at yt-industries.com

Words: Peter Walker Photos: Peter Walker

About the author

Peter Walker

As a technical editor, Peter is as much a man of action as he is of words. This expert, screw-driver-flexing two wheeled-whizz has many envy-inducing characteristics, including a background in motocross, several EWS race plates to his name, and more than 150 recorded days at Whistler Bike Park. However complex the bike and however steep the trail, he’s probably already nailed it, twice. Oh, and he can do it all on skinny tyres too. When it comes to guiding consumers, Peter cut his teeth at Vancouver’s oldest bike shop and now puts pen to paper on the daily translating this know-how into our editorial plan. When not tearing up Stuttgart’s local trails while testing bikes, he loves nothing more than loading up his self-renovated VW T5 and hitting the road. The fact that he’s a trained paramedic gives his colleagues reassurance out on the trails. So far we haven’t had to call him by his alias ‘Sani Peter’, so here’s hoping he keeps it right side up for the rest of his time here!