A solid, well-detailed, carbon frame with a good shape and excellent rear suspension
This YT Capra 27 CF Pro version is entirely carbon (there’s no alloy rockers or chainstays as before) to save grams and refine the look.
YT Capra 27 CF Pro review
YT has refined every aspect of its original enduro bike that helped explode the direct sales model in the UK. It’s introduced another wheel size and the significantly lighter chassis has more length, more travel, and more standover clearance.
The top dollar Pro ‘Race’ Capra uses a longer 180mm Fox fork and longer stroke shock, but this and other cheaper models (rather unusually) offer less travel, meaning it’s got 170mm at both ends.
It’s a RockShox suspended bike, the 4-bar Capra uses an excellent RockShox Lyrik fork and a long, 250mm x 70mm, Super Deluxe RC3 shock. The latter’s compression lever firms for climbing, and its Debonair air spring helps overcome static friction and move into the travel. The latest, top-end, Metric shocks ride a little higher in the mid stroke, so YT increased the starting leverage ratio and reduced end progressivity for more plushness and sensitivity.
The 170mm Lyrik has the top-end RC2 damper, but came with a too short steerer, which prevented sufficient stem spacers and meant the front end felt too low. We measured actual bar height and axle-to-crown differences with rivals and this sensation wasn’t entirely logical, but if your feet feel high compared to hands too, you’ll need to buy aftermarket riser handlebars. Going forward, YT could always just leave the fork steerer longer for more rider adjustment.
Aggressive e*thirteen tyres come in the LG1 downhill tread, albeit in lighter, 1.5ply, enduro casing. The rubber is good, but they don’t roll that fast, and the low-profile centre strip isn’t the best at scrubbing speed. YT’s wheels are also LG ‘downhill’, rather than TRS ‘enduro’, but rollover quickly, and the extra strength is welcome on a 170mm travel bruiser.
Elsewhere, Code RS disc brakes have the added benefit of a Swinglink cam that eliminates ‘dead’ lever throw and pull smoother. The 12-speed GX Eagle drivetrain is a notch below top-level kit, but it’s hard to detect added weight making much difference on the trail. Lighter, XO1, X-Dome machined cassettes do last way longer than GX Eagle ones in our experience though.
At the latest Capra launch in Portugal we loved the ride quality of the carbon Pro Race using top-tier Fox suspension, bigger 180mm fork and shorter stem. This test reminded us YT has done a great job with the chassis and suspension, but, as mentioned, the CF Pro’s bars weren’t high enough. On steeper tracks a 170mm enduro rig ought to thrive on, rider weight felt pitched forward, and this upset confidence and security.
The steering felt a bit off too, although we easily cured that by swapping the stock 50mm RaceFace stem for a 35mm to increase reactiveness and shift centre of gravity rearward.
With these tweaks the Capra really rips. The suspension balances bump munching with solid support in G-Outs and turns, and trucks on over rough ground. There’s tons of room to move around the low top tube, so it’s easy to chuck sideways and pull shapes. The Capra isn’t heavy and pedals with a neutral cranking cycle too, so climbs well and isn’t too much bike for everyday riding or pedalling.
Marginally more information gets transmitted from the same bump edges and holes than on the Canyon Torque, and the Capra also feels less isolating and ‘glued’ to the floor. This translates to extra vibration in hands and feet, and less grip smashing berms or holding off-cambers. At high speeds, it essentially felt more intense trying to ride as fast downhill as on the Canyon.
The Capra’s easy to set up and has great parts, but we can’t help but think the longer travel Pro Race version we’ve tried felt better balanced and more capable, with minimal disadvantages in terms of do-it-all performance. A longer travel air spring shouldn’t cost YT any more cash, so you have to wonder if this model’s been downsized purely for more mass appeal.
YT’s Capra CF Pro delivers a solid, well-detailed, carbon frame with a good shape and excellent rear suspension. The parts are very high quality and the brand’s refinements ensure the latest Capra is a great machine, but it’s found itself up against one of the fastest 27.5in enduro bikes we’ve tested (the Canyon Torque). This 170mm model feels slightly front heavy and unbalanced on the steepest tracks, and needs some tweaking out of the box to garner maximum performance. YT’s sizing also feels smaller than bikes with equivalent reach numbers, so it’s worth trying to get a go on one if you’re close to size boundaries.