With “LIVE UNCAGED” tattooed on the chainstay, the Capra has an insatiable hunger for gravity! The € 3,199 Capra 29 COMP model is unquestionably a hooligan with 170/160 mm travel and 29” wheels. However, with a carbon frame that is pure bike porn, have YT had to cut corners in the rest of the specification to meet this price point?

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: What’s the best 2020 Enduro Bike under € 3,500 – 9 mountain bikes in review

YT CAPRA Comp 29 | 170/160 mm (f/r) | 15.2 kg in size L | € 3,199 | Manufacturer’s website

The YT Capra 29 COMP in detail

The YT Capra has quickly solidified its position in the enduro landscape. It’s not really a race bike – instead it’s a good-times machine. As a brand, YT are ruthless in the pursuit of their disruptive attitude and nothing embodies that “Live uncaged” motto more than the Capra. In reality it’s a downhill bike that can be pedalled back to the top. The 15.2 kg YT Capra 29 Comp, like the Propain Tyee, is a full carbon bike and at a price of € 3,199 strikes a hard bargain. There’s nothing budget about its looks though. The sculpted frame has burly lines but doesn’t look overweight or chunky. Instead it looks poised and ready for a fight. With 170/160 mm travel and 29” wheels it’s a massive bike. The build kit might not be the sexiest but takes a no-nonsense approach, with a 170 mm Fox 36 Rhythm fork and Fox FLOAT DPX2 Performance shock on the rear. A SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain is no surprise at this price point (with a carbon frame), while SRAM’s CODE R brakes paired with 200 mm rotors do stopping duties. E*thirteen LG1 Base EN wheels with dual-ply LG1 tires and the 150 mm YT Postman dropper post complete the build.

Not the best uphill
The YT Capra is a steady climber and you will find you often need to use the climb switch to control pedal bob.
Never shines
While the Fox Rhythm 36 fork offers good performance, the GRIP damper never really shines like the RockShox Lyrik Ultimate or Fox 36 Performance Elite.
Crazy progression
The YT Capra has a progressive leverage curve. Not even Josh Bender could bottom out this bike.

YT CAPRA Comp 29

€ 3,199

Specifications

Fork FOX 36 FLOAT Rhythm 170 mm
Rear Shock FOX FLOAT DPX2 Performance 160 mm
Seatpost YT Postman 150 mm
Brakes SRAM CODE R 200/200 mm
Drivetrain SRAM NX Eagle 1x12
Stem E13 Base 50 mm
Handlebar E*thirteen Base 780 mm
Wheelset E*thirteen LG1 EN 29"
Tires E*thirteen LG1 RACE 2.4"/2.4"

Technical Data

Size M L XL XXL
Weight 15.2 kg

Specific Features


Ruins the look
The moulded frame protection works well, but is starting to peel a little, ruining the look of the sexy frame
Slow rolling
The dual-ply E13 LG1 RACE tires have huge amounts of grip and traction, but do roll slowly on fire road climbs.
BASE but not basic
While E13 BASE components may be budget oriented, there is nothing budget about their aesthetics or performance.

Geometry of the YT Capra

On paper, the YT Capra sits in the middle of the group. With a moderate reach of 460 mm in size Large. and a relatively slack seat tube angle of 75.5°, it’s far from radical. The chainstays are on the shorter side at 435 mm (440 mm on the XL and XXL), with a 25 mm bottom bracket drop and tall 630 mm stack. The head angle is 65° which would have once been considered wild, but is now average, and the bike has a 1227 mm wheelbase. The short 445 mm seat tube length will appeal to riders who want to size up a little for a longer reach.

SizeMLXLXXL
Seat tube420 mm445 mm465 mm490 mm
Top tube584 mm621 mm645 mm667 mm
Head tube95 mm105 mm115 mm120 mm
Head angle65.0°65.0°65.0°65.0°
Seat angle75.5°75.5°75.5°75.5°
Chainstays435 mm435 mm440 mm440 mm
BB Drop25 mm25 mm25 mm25 mm
Wheelbase1,203 mm1,227 mm1,256 mm1,279 mm
Reach440 mm460 mm480 mm500 mm
Stack621 mm630 mm639 mm644 mm

Rolling into a descent on a YT Capra is a bit like drinking vodka Red Bulls. You know you’re going to end up doing something really crazy.

Helmet TLD Stage | Goggle Melon Optics Parker MTB | Jersey Cult of Shred 2Tone
Pants Endura MT500 Burner II pants | Shoes FiveTen Impact VXi

The number of the beast! The YT Capra 29 Comp on the trail

It takes a little longer to get going on the YT Capra than some of the other bikes in this test as it’s hard not to waste time admiring it. The carbon frame of the YT Capra is drop-dead gorgeous, especially in the on-trend off-white. Once you eventually get going, it doesn’t take long to realise that the YT Capra is going to make you work on the climbs. Due to the pronounced kink in the seat tube, the seated position feels further rearward than the numbers would suggest and the YT winches uphill with a laziness that suggests it’s only going to kick ass on the descents. The bike sinks into its travel while the dual-ply E13 LG1 RACE tires steal their share of watts from your legs. Climbs are more an opportunity to engage the 50 t cog and chat than they are a chance to test your fitness. However, as soon as you roll into a descent, the YT Capra snaps into its element. On paper, the Capra shares the same travel as some of the other bikes in the test, but it just feels burlier. A combination of massive tubes around the bottom bracket and supportive suspension make it feel more capable. The moderate 460 mm reach brings the riding position to the centre and the short 435 mm chainstays make manuals effortless.

At low speeds, the progressive suspension feels harsh and overdamped but as soon as things start to get wild, the Capra rolls up its sleeves and gets stuck in, staying super controlled and predictable as the hits get bigger. The big 200 mm brake rotors offer ample power when you need to drop the anchor. While a long travel 29er is never going to corner like a housefly, the central position on the Capra allows you to weight the wheels easily, flicking left and right. The Capra is a masterclass in composure but the trade off for all that stability is that it can be a challenge to get airborne. It’s also clear that a few concessions have been made to be able to squeeze in the sexy carbon fibre frame. The budget Fox Rhythm 36 fork performs adequately but it lacks the control and quick recovery over big hits that you get with a Fox Performance Elite or a Lyrik Ultimate. It’s about on par with a Yari RC. With the compression dial set to around a third there is minimal diving and good support, but the fork never shines. We were disappointed that the frame protection started to peel during our test and although the E13 LG1 RACE tires have ample grip, they do kick out if lent right over and roll quite slowly. We would look to upgrade the dropper post too. With the short seat tube even shorter legged riders could run a 170 mm post.

How does it compare to the other bikes in this test?

The YT Capra pulls no punches in this group test – it’s a gravity bike for gravity duties. It sits together with the Nukeproof Mega 290 Expert and Privateer 161 as one of the best descenders in this group, happy to take on anything you can throw at it. With the most progressive suspension in this group, if you love flat landings, you will love the Capra. In the corners it’s not as nimble as the Trek Slash or Ibis Ripmo AF but not as lazy as the Giant Reign SX. Uphill, it’s no mountain goat and while it will spin up climbs steadily, it takes more effort than the Trek, Propain and Privateer.

Tuning tips: fit a longer 170 mm dropper post

Riding Characteristics

12

Uphill

1
  1. sluggish
  2. efficient

Agility

2
  1. cumbersome
  2. playful

Stability

3
  1. nervous
  2. confident

Handling

4
  1. demanding
  2. balanced

Suspension

5
  1. harsh
  2. plush

Fun Factor

6
  1. planted
  2. poppy

Value for money

7
  1. terrible
  2. very good

Intended Use

XC

8

Trail

9

Enduro

10

Downhill

11

Conclusion

If you absolutely, positively want to get to the bottom of the hill in as short a time as possible, there are few other bikes that can keep up with a hard charging 29er Capra on tough terrain. However, in pursuit of downhill domination, the YT has sold some of its all-rounder soul to the devil – mellow terrain and climbs bore it.

Tops

  • progressive suspension kinematic is ready for the hardest trails
  • drop dead gorgeous
  • good value

Flops

  • lazy going uphill
  • bored on easy trails
  • frame protection started peeling

For more info head to yt-industries.com

The test field

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: What’s the best 2020 Enduro Bike under € 3,500 – 9 mountain bikes in review

All bikes in test: Canyon Torque AL 6.0 (Click for review)| GIANT Reign SX 29 (Click for review) | Ibis Ripmo AF Coil (Click for review) | MERIDA ONE-SIXTY 700 (Click for review) | Nukeproof Mega 290 Expert (Click for review) | Privateer 161 (Click for review) | Propain Tyee CF (Click for review) | Trek Slash 8 29 (Click for review) | YT Capra Comp 29

Words: Trev Worsey Photos: Trev Worsey, Finlay Anderson

About the author

Trev Worsey

Trevor loves adventure. Whisky, riding his bike and everything in between. Though he was born in England, he believes he should have been Scottish. Besides being accustomed to bad weather he's a specialist when it comes to steep and demanding trails. Once, he was in love with competition and raced in the early years of the EWS, but now, at 41-years-old, he no longer has anything to prove. Nonetheless, demonstrating that you can teach an old dog new tricks, he continues to hold his own against the wild and fearless youth. As a reminder of his new role as a father, the words “Think about Brook." (his son) are inscribed on his top tube as a gentle warning against unruly riding. Together with his young family and two crazy dogs, you will almost always find him outdoors. Whether it's teaching Brook to ride trails, hammering out gravel loops, surfing, skiing or canoeing, he’ll be there no matter the weather, like a true Scotsman.