Christian Fairclough finds that the alloy version of the game-changing Capra has lost nothing in translation.
- Alloy version of the formidable Capra
- Available in an XL frame size
- RockShox suspension delivers 160mm of travel at the front, 165mm at the rear
- Geometry mirrors the carbon bikes
When YT Industries launched the Capra it changed the mtb retail landscape forever. While the big brands were busy pumping out £5,000 carbon enduro bikes, YT delivered a formidable race-ready machine with a dream build kit for almost half the going rate.
Fast forward one year and YT is shaking things up once again, this time with an alloy version of the Capra. The AL tag is a little misleading though, as the seatstays on the alloy bike are actually made from carbon.
Confused? Don’t be, it’s just the front end that changes material as you switch between models, and the magic numbers that made the original Capra such a capable enduro bike remain unchanged.
Well, almost. One big difference on the alloy Capra, that answers the prayers of taller riders like me, is that it’s now available in an XL frame size — the carbon bike only comes in S, M and L.
To put some numbers on the sizing, the reach on the XL is 15mm longer than the size L and the head tube is 10mm taller too. Looking at all of the models on YT’s website, it’s easy to see why 6ft-plus riders could be seduced by the size L carbon Capra, but having ridden both options, the XL alloy bike is definitely a better fit.It’s by no means massive, but at 6ft 2in the XL felt bob-on for me.
Throwing a leg over the YT Industries Capra AL1 at Bike Park Wales, I was instantly reminded what a trail weapon it is. It felt a lot like being reacquainted with an old friend and it took no time at all to find my groove.
Make no mistake though, the Capra isn’t just a point-and-shoot monster truck. There’s finesse in the handling too. Load the suspension up, and time your weight shift to coincide with the rebound stroke, and the YT Industries Capra AL1 feels like a featherweight fighter, with all the fancy footwork and a knockout punch.
And it’s this lightness to the ride that makes it such a fun, agile bike. I got exactly the same feeling when testing the carbon Capra on northern Italy’s finest enduro trails, only this time the bike wasn’t too small for me.
On most entry-level bikes you can usually guarantee there will be a couple of components that you’ll instantly swap out. Not so with the Capra AL1 — from the Maxxis tyres to the Sensus Disisdaboss grips there’s not a single hair out of place.
Another feature that long-legged riders will really appreciate is the 150mm drop Reverb, with the right-hand remote mounted neatly under the left brake lever. The guys at YT seem to have thought of every detail, so nothing distracts from the pleasure of riding.
It’s astonishing that you can have an enduro bike of this calibre delivered to your door and still have change from £2,000. Good times guaranteed.