For more than a decade now, Canyon and YT have been locked in a tussle to decide who can supply the world with the best direct sales bikes. The Canyon Torque Mullet AL 6 and YT Capra Core 2 GX continue that great tradition, but which one is most deserving of your cash?


While top end bikes costing five figures are not uncommon (£20,000 one day soon?), most of us are priced out. It’s to the Germans’ great credit then, that you can still get one of the best enduro/park bikes for £3,000 – that’s not nothing, but great value it most certainly is. 

YT Industries Capra Core 2 GX

Head to head: the YT Industries Capra Core 2 GX and Canyon Torque Mullet AL 6

What you get for that, in this test at least, is a downhill bike you can pedal. With around 170mm travel at both ends, mullet wheels, powerful four-piston brakes and aggressive geometry these bikes are built for bike park laps, the steepest natural jank, or timed stages against the clock. And to return you to the top with the least pain possible they both employ steep seat tube angles, dropper posts, 12-speed drivetrains and lockout switches on the shocks.

Frame construction and weight

Canyon Vs YT

Same, same but different: Canyon Torque Mullet AL 6 and YT Capra Core 2 GX

In fact, just how similar the Torque and Capra are is quite extraordinary, until you consider that each is designed with the other in mind. So like an off-road equivalent of Lidl and Aldi, these rival bikes have remarkably similar products gracing the shelves. Both feature aluminium frames with four-bar suspension design. Both have Fox Performance level suspension, Maxxis tyres, and perhaps not coincidentally, weigh within 100g of each other.  The Canyon Torque weighing 16.6kg (36.6lb) the YT Capra 16.6kg (36.6lb).

David Vs Goliath

Canyon as a brand dwarfs YT in scale and has a bike in every conceivable category, from downhill through to downcountry. This means there are arguably three enduro bikes we could have picked from to round out this test, with the Canyon Spectral and Strive the other contenders. But we opted for Canyon’s long-travel bike park warrior, the Torque. 

Canyon Torque Mullet AL 6

Canyon Torque Mullet AL 6

YT on the other hand makes just a handful of different bikes, it is David to the Goliath Canyon, and as such the Capra is the only enduro/bike park bike on its website. To get round this there are variations of that, from coil sprung bikes to 29ers and to this mixed wheel size bike that, again, has been put together for uplifts and rowdy descents.

YT Industries Capra Core 2 GX

Shred every trail on the YT Capra Core 2 GX


So exactly how much travel do both bikes have? Let’s look at the Canyon first. Frame travel is 175mm, and it uses a Fox Float X2 Performance for ultimate control. That’s a lot of travel at your disposal, but you have low-speed compression and rebound adjustment to fine tune the ride feel, and the shock also has a climb switch for the really steep ups. The YT Capra also gets a Performance level Fox shock, but it’s in the form of the Float X.  It’s tuned perfectly for the bike and while you only have rebound adjustment and a climb switch, it’s probably all you need. Both bikes run 170mm travel Fox 38 Performance forks.

Canyon Vs YT

Fox shocks: Float X2 on the Canyon, Float X on the YT

Geometry side-by-side

The long and short of it. In size XL, both are big bikes, with very little splitting the two in terms of the wheelbase. How that length is shared between the front and back of the bike is very different though. The Canyon Torque packs most of it into the front centre, leaving a super-short 425mm chainstay out back. The YT Capra is more evenly balanced, where longer chainstays help the Capra with stability on the climbs and the descents, while the Torque proved easier to manual.

YT Industries Capra Core 2 GX

High and low geometry setting on the YT Capra Core 2 GX

The reach measurements are interesting too, because size XL means different things to both brands. The XL Capra is 25mm shorter on paper. It doesn’t feel so small when riding though, with some extra room built into a longer stem and we should note that YT also offers a XXL option for taller riders. 

Canyon YT (Low)
Size Tested XL XL
Head angle 62.9º 61.7º
Seat angle 72.1º 70.4º
Eff SA (760mm) 79.7º 77.3º
BB height 348mm 342mm
Chainstay 425mm 442mm
Front centre 863mm 852mm
Wheelbase 1,288mm 1,294mm
Down tube 776mm 760mm
Seat tube 475mm 470mm
Top tube 647mm 630mm
Reach 505mm 480mm

The Capra has an ace up its sleeve in the flip chip, this means you can steepen the bike by almost ½ a degree and raise the BB 5mm if you’re riding mellow terrain. Then hop in the car to the Lakes or South Wales and the low position puts you in the best position for flat out descending.

MX/Mullet wheels

So why go for a mixed wheel bike at all, particularly when we know how good 29ers are in terms of speed and control? Simple, it’s the new breakout trend for mountain biking, half the field at the EDR is on a mullet setup, so if you’re not having a party at the back you’re nothing. 

Canyon Torque Mullet AL 6

Mullet: Not just a dated hairstyle – 29in up front, 27.5in out back

Just kidding, there are real benefits to be had here, most obviously a lighter rear wheel corresponding to better suspension performance, easier braking and accelerating, and added wheel strength too. We dinged the rim of the mullet Capra, but perhaps the 29er wheel would have folded in half? They also offer better bum clearance when you’re off the back on silly-steep sections, and all this makes total sense on a bike park machine.

Drivetrain: SRAM Vs Shimano

In the middle aisle Canyon opts for a Shimano drivetrain, while YT’s on SRAM. It’s an ongoing battle, but SRAM clearly has the upper hand in this fight as the 12-speed SRAM Eagle GX drivetrain on the YT offers way better shifting performance, without the chain rumble you get in the bigger cogs with the Shimano SLX kit fitted to the Canyon. Improved performance comes at cost though, which is why the YT is £200 more money.

Canyon Vs YT

Shimano’s 12-speed SLX kit on the Canyon is not match for SRAM GX

Tyre Choice

This is where Canyon wins, hands down. Canyon spent a little more money speccing premium triple compound Maxxis rubber to YT’s dual compound tyres. It also has proper casings, whereas YT fitted wholly inadequate EXO casings front and rear. In fact, the tyre spec on the Canyon is almost identical to our chosen Maxxis control tyres. We opted for a 2.5in Assegai up front paired with a 2.4in Minion DHR II on the rear. We ran the mid-weight EXO+ casing up front to save weight and a DoubleDown casing on the rear for increased puncture protection. And because you still need to pedal these bikes, we ran the medium 3C Maxx Terra compound, as it offers a great balance between traction, rolling resistance wear. 

Canyon Torque Mullet AL 6

Canyon has nailed the tyre specification on the Torque Mullet AL 6


There’s a longstanding belief that mullet wheels turn in more easily and make a bike more agile, and while that’s true, the yawning chasm marketing departments would have you believe is actually more of a crack in the dirt. This test hinges on the descents then. The bike that carries better speed, provides a more engaging and enjoyable ride, and keeps you pushing, pedalling or hooking your bike on for another lap is our champion.

Canyon Torque Mullet AL 6

Mullet wheels offer stacks of bum clearance on steep descents

So in addition to local laps on both bikes, we headed to BikePark Wales for some proper back-to-back testing. BikePark Wales has a new trail called Boomslang. At the top there are berms and jumps, followed by bigger berms, while the bottom is proper off-camber roots and dirt. It’s the best trail there in ages, and ideally we’d ride the Torque up top, and have the Capra stationed halfway down for a quick bike swap.

Canyon Torque Mullet AL 6

Versatility is the name of the game here, and both bikes rock

Now, we’re not telling you this to boost BPW’s numbers (although it is a great bike park, and an ideal testing ground), instead it’s a neat way of highlighting both bikes’ best characteristics. The Canyon Torque Mullet AL 6 is one heck of a responsive ride, you can sling it high and far off the smallest trail features, while the mullet setup is great if you want to slash some cutties… which you will because it’s almost impossible not to. 

YT Industries Capra Core 2 GX

Poppy, playful and fully pinned, the YT Capra Core 2 GX does it all

The YT Capra Core 2 GX is best for downright speed and composure though, like an F1 car it’s not in its element when you’re pootling along in first gear, but the faster you go the better you and the bike respond. We genuinely nearly careered into the back of other riders while negotiating jank at speed, and its sheer cold blooded composure in gnarly conditions is addictive.

Canyon Torque Mullet AL 6

Just try NOT to slash turns on the Canyon Torque Mullet AL 6

Of course things are a lot more fuzzy than that in reality, everything in life is relative and there’s plenty of crossover between the two bikes. We also need to emphasise that the Torque is genuinely fast, and the Capra can ‘do’ bike parks too. But it does show just how different the ride quality of each bike is. Which is all the more surprising given how similar they are in so many ways, from the overall weight to the suspension travel and design, the materials and even the components. They could be twins, and not the Devito/Schwarzenegger type.


Which is the winner then? Before we get to that we’ve got to say we were genuinely shocked at how these bikes rode. In a good way. They’re not just good for entry level enduro bikes, the Torque and the Capra can hang with the best bikes in the world, from the most exclusive brands. We’ve ridden the Fox Performance level suspension on bikes before and not liked it, so the shock tune and frame design from Canyon and YT has to be recognised and applauded.

YT Industries Capra Core 2 GX

YT Industries Capra Core 2 GX

Our pick is the YT Capra, it’s more expensive but there’s an NX version if you want to drop the price down £200. The fact is, YT has built a super-versatile bike that’ll work well on any terrain and that makes it more useful for more riders. You can add a volume spacer to the shock to give it more support for the bike park, flip it into the high mode for trail riding, or thumb on some gravity casing tyres if you’re racing enduro. It’s silent to ride, there are five sizes to pick from, and the semi-size-specific chainstays really help the fore and aft balance. And with better tyres, it would have bagged a perfect 10 rating. Maybe next time. 

YT Industries Capra Core 2 GX

The YT Capra Core 2 GX is so much bike for the money


Test Winner’s Stablemates – alternatives for different budgets

YT Capra Core 3

Jumping up to the YT Capra Core 3 gets you a sleek carbon frame

YT Industries Capra Core 3 £3,999

The Core 3 introduces a full carbon frame to the Capra range. And YT reckons it makes for a more durable and stiffer bike. The Core 3 gets the same SRAM GX drivetrain and Fox Performance suspension as our test winner. More important though, you get DT Swiss wheels and finally proper Double Down casing Maxxis tyres. The bike’s around a kilo lighter as a result, and it’s also on sale for £3,599.

YT Capra Core 1

YT Capra Core 1 – same alloy frame as our test winner

YT Industries Capra Core 1 £2,699

There is currently no Core 2 version of the bike we tested. But the is the Core 1 that slashes the price to £2,699, or £2,499 on sale if you get there quickly – you get the same great frame and cockpit, with savings made from the RockShox Zeb Base fork and Super Deluxe shock, NX drivetrain, and SunRingle Duroc wheels. The tyres have been upgraded too. Bonus.