We can’t recommend the Capra AL Comp 1 highly enough. What a bike! - €2,799

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Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 10

YT Industries Capra Al Comp 1

Weight:
Weight:

Pros:

  • Race-ready straight out of the box

Cons:

  • Needs an XXL frame size!

Product:

YT Industries Capra Al Comp 1 (2016) review

Manufacturer:

This product is featured in: The best enduro mountain bikes.

Note: YT Industries only list and sell their bikes in Euros so an accurate £ price is not feasible to show here.

You won’t find hybrids, road bikes or fixies among YT’s model range. It’s a mountain bike brand to its very core, and the fact that it only makes downhill, enduro, trail riding and dirt jump bikes gives it a laser-sharp focus that few brands can rival.

>>> Canyon Strive AL 6.0 Race (2016) review

Yes, it helps that its bikes represent amazing value for money, but it was clarity of purpose, not just price, that made the carbon Capra an instant hit when it launched in 2014.

Buy now: YT Capra AL Comp 1 from YT Industries for £1,899

The alloy version of this formidable enduro bike shares the same geometry and rear end; which is why the AL Comp 1 sports carbon seatstays. There’s one distinct difference though; the alloy bike comes in four frame sizes instead of three.

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The addition of the XL frame brings the maximum reach measurement on the Capra up to 460mm, which still isn’t that long by modern standards, but it’s big enough to provide a good fit for anyone around the 6ft mark.

Another feature, that long-legged riders will really appreciate, is the 150mm drop Reverb with a right-hand remote tucked neatly under the left brake lever.

Suspension

By using shocks with different strokes, but maintaining the same eye-to-eye length, YT can change the amount of travel its V4L suspension design pumps out without messing with the proven geometry of the frame. As such, all Capras running the RockShox Monarch Plus have 165mm travel, while the Fox Float X2 equipped bikes get 5mm more oomph.

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Switching to the mid setting improved the response on flat trails

It’s a similar story up front too. The top-end Capra CF Pro Race comes with a 160mm fork to sharpen up the steering, while other models get bike park-friendly 180mm forks.

The Comp AL1, tested here, splits the difference with a 170mm RockShox Lyrik. What’s great about this option is, if you want to tweak the fork travel, you just need a Lyrik Travel Change Air Shaft that costs £34.99.

Components

Given that the parts adorning the Capra are better than most bikes costing twice the price, it seems churlish to complain about some of the component choices, but hey, that’s what we’re here to do.

The Race Face Atlas bar has a great profile but it’s 10mm shy of our 780mm benchmark, and the Sensus lock-on grips don’t have enough meat for butcher’s hands.

e*thirteen guide and guard keeps things spinning

e*thirteen guide and guard keeps things spinning

We’d also like to see YT fit the grippier 3C version of the High Roller II up front to increase traction on flat, loose corners.

Even with these little niggles the AL Comp 1 isn’t going to hold you back or dampen your spirits; we really are just nit-picking.

Performance

Throw a leg over the low-slung top tube of the Capra and, before you even set off, it’s obvious that it’s a totally different proposition to the Canyon.

With a slack 64.1° head angle and long 1,222mm wheelbase, the Capra is designed for shredding — its vital stats more in keeping with the Giant Reign and Orange Alpine than the Strive.

On flatter, more sedate trails, the Capra is the mtb equivalent of a gun at a knife fight, but this is where the mid-compression setting on the Monarch Plus RC3 shock comes in handy for tightening up the response of the rear suspension.

Whopping 200mm rotors bring the best out of SRAM’s excellent Guide R brakes

Whopping 200mm rotors bring the best out of SRAM’s excellent Guide R brakes

An added bonus being that, by propping up the rear end it’s noticeably easer to load the front tyre for grip on flat corners.

It’s when gravity has your back however, that the Capra is the perfect weapon of choice. And it’s in steep, nasty terrain where the big rotors, heavy-duty wheels and the extra travel all make perfect sense. The more sophisticated RCT3 damper and stronger negative spring on the 170mm Lyrik also meant that the Pike RC on the Canyon struggled to keep up.

So the Capra offers an eye-wateringly fast ride on the descents, yet at 14.4kg, it is still light enough to pedal all day. More importantly, it’s agile enough that you can still pop the bike into the air and land anywhere on the trail with pinpoint accuracy. And it’s this light touch that makes the Capra such an engaging and fun bike to ride.

>>> YT Capra vs Canyon Strive – which is best?


Video above: YT Industries Capra vs Canyon Strive


Need to know

  • SRAM Guide R brakes with massive 200mm rotors offer ultimate stopping power and control
  • Three compression settings on the Monarch Plus RC3 shock mean you can fine-tune the damping to match the terrain
  • E*thirteen’s TRS+ chain guide and integrated taco keeps the chain on and helps protect the chainring from rock strikes
  • The new RockShox Lyrik has 170mm travel and a bigger negative chamber for better small-bump sensitivity

Buy now: YT Capra AL Comp 1 from YT Industries for £1,899

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Verdict

Once again, YT has proved that you don’t need to drop the best part of £4k to get a race-ready enduro bike. In fact, with the Capra AL Comp 1 you’ll have plenty of change left over for race entries and travel expenses. Be warned though, this bike has a lot of firepower, so if you’re not hunting down abandoned DH tracks or tearing up every descent, you’d probably be better off on the more efficient Canyon Strive. With that caveat out of the way, we can’t recommend the Capra AL Comp 1 highly enough. What a bike!

Details

Frame:Capra aluminium, 165mm travel
Shock:RockShox Monarch Plus RC3
Fork:RockShox Lyrik RCT3, 170mm travel
Wheels:DT Swiss E1900 Spline, Maxxis High Roller II 60a, 27.5x2.4in tyres
Drivetrain:Race Face Turbine chainset 32t, SRAM GX r-mech and shifter, e*thirteen TRS+ guide
Brakes:SRAM Guide R, 200mm
Components:Race Face Atlas 35 770mm bar/ 50mm stem, RockShox Reverb Stealth 150mm, SDG Duster YT
Sizes:S, M, L, XL
Weight:14.4kg (31.7lb)
Contact:yt-industries.com
Size ridden:XL
Head angle:64.1°
Seat angle:71.1°
BB height:345mm
Chainstay:431mm
Front centre:791mm
Wheelbase:1,222mm
Down tube:718mm
Top tube:620mm
Reach:460mm