Ignore the grey paint; YT's Capra Core 3 has an exuberant ride that's vibrant with colour.

Product Overview

YT Capra 29 Core 2


  • Great value for an entry-level enduro bike. Easy to set up, fun and addictive to ride.


  • BB could be lower and the head angle slacker for enduro riding. EXO tyre casings aren’t robust enough


YT Capra 29 Core 2 first ride review


Price as reviewed:


YT’s Capra has always been one of the hottest enduro bikes on the market, and this latest entry-level option makes a versatile step up for plenty of trail riders.

Need to know

  • New Core 2 model comes in 29er or mixed wheel (29in and 27.5in rear) MX options
  • 29er bike gets 165mm travel, MX uses 170mm, and both have 170mm forks
  • Aluminium frame uses Side Wing design, water bottle, and flip chip geometry adjust
  • MX bike has a shorter back end and increased progression, the 29er here gets more linear performance
  • Five sizes: S-XXL
  • MX model gets different chainstays, shock yoke and kinematics, with more progression and anti-squat
YT Capra Core 2

The Capra is less cutting-edge enduro bike, and more long-legged trail bike, but it has an easy-going ride that’s hard not to love.

Petrol, gas, cars… crisps. Everything’s going up in price this year, but not the Capra Core 2, which incredibly costs less now than at its launch in the spring. True, only by £100 but YT has also rejigged its pricing structure, so now all the taxes you pay as a UK customer are included in the list price, with no nasty surprises at the checkout page.

The Core 2 was already YT’s most budget-friendly Capra to date, and now at just north of £3,000, on paper it’s great value.

YT Capra Core 2

Asymmetric frame design makes room for a bottle.

As you’d expect from a bike at this kind of money, the Core 2 is made from aluminium. YT has done a good job echoing the layout of the latest carbon Capra, launched in 2021. The redesign centres around an asymmetrical Side Wing brace that makes space for a water bottle.

There are also a ton of cosmetic changes that make the bike prettier, while the head angle is a smidge slacker and the seat tube a hair steeper. All frame details are bang up-to-date too, with mounts under the top tube for an enduro strap for your banana, a SRAM UDH hanger, threaded BB and internal cable routing.

YT Capra Core 2

Bolts for a gear strap under the top tube.

Most importantly now though, you can go for a 29in bike like the one I rode, or an MX option (click here for our Capra Core 3 MX review). YT says the main difference is that the 29er bike gets 165mm travel while the MX bike gets 5mm more. The MX bike also has a shorter back end and increased progression than the more linear-feeling 29er I’m riding here.

YT Capra Core 2

There’s plenty of manipulation to the alloy frame.

The Capra is in no way a progressive bike in terms of sizing. I rode the size Large and found its diminutive 467mm reach measurement way too cramped for my 6ft 1in size. There are two sizes bigger in the range though, step up to XL and above and the bike also comes with a longer chainstay to ensure the front to back bias remains in balance.

YT Capra Core 2

Flip chip gives a slight geometry change.

Geometry wise the bike is decently low and slack, but nothing out there in the modern era of sub-63º head angles. Of course there’s a flip-chip just like on the carbon bike, located on the shock yoke and that changes the head angle a smidge (0.3°).

More importantly, it will also lengthen the back end of the bike and drop the BB height by around 5mm, so while the head angle adjustment is pretty pointless I think being able to raise or lower the ride height will prove useful.

YT Capra Core 2

Fox 38 fork dominates the front end.

Direct sales bikes have a habit of being greater than the sum of their parts, and the Core 2 is no exception, with great components pretty much throughout. The bike comes with a 170mm travel Fox 38 Performance fork, where the easy and cheap option would have been to spec a less aggressive 36 Rhythm. You’d be hard pushed to buy that fork for less than £800, meaning it’s almost a quarter the value of the entire bike. It’s matched to Fox’s newest shock, the Float X Performance, and backing it up are alloy Crankbrothers Synthesis wheels, SRAM NX drivetrain, and SRAM Code R brakes.

The only real problem is that the excellent Maxxis Assegai and Minion DHR II tyres only get lightweight EXO casings, which are great for the scales but less so for keeping air in your tyres when riding rough tracks or racing enduros.

YT Capra Core 2

You can’t help but get a little loose on the Capra.

How it rides

I spent a year riding the second generation Capra in 2018, it had plenty of good points but pedalling was not one of them. YT has sorted that out with the third generation Capra here, the upright riding position shunts you forward over the BB so your front wheel stays sensibly grounded on steep climbs. That forward position takes some pressure off the shock too and avoids the yo-yo sensation of the old bike when you were grinding up a climb. Most telling of all though, there’s a lockout lever on the shock that I didn’t feel the need to flick.

YT Capra Core 2

Sometimes a smaller bike feels like the way to go.

That poise carries over onto the descents too, The Capra 29 Core 2 is well balanced on the ground and in the air, and the suspension cuts a good balance between being supportive and sensitive. The main takeaway is just how easy the bike is to ride, I really felt I could just jump on and go without having to mess around raising or lowering the bar height or even fettle the suspension too much. It just feels right.

YT Capra Core 2

Although you do end up off the back more than you would on a longer bike on steeper descents.

Partly it’s the supporting architecture doing that. The sorted e13 handlebar and stem and ODI grips, the functional NX drivetrain, the superlative Maxxis tyres and the reliable Postman dropper: all serve quietly in the background and without distracting you from the business at hand.

YT Capra Core 2

If you like slashing turns and railing ruts, the Capra is a manipulative partner.

The other part giving the Capra that easy rider feel is the fact there’s not much to change on the Core 2 model though. The Performance level Fox 38 fork has a three-position compression damping dial giving you Open, Medium and Firm, but sticking it into Open mode is optimal for the plushest ride.

There’s less on the Float X Performance shock too, with just the red rebound dial and the Firm lever position for pedalling. That’s OK here though, because YT has nailed the tune on the shock.

YT Capra Core 2

YT has spent its budget wisely, with superb suspension that inspires confidence.

As it is, the Capra Core 2 feels light and easy to ride despite its hefty 16.4kg weight, and I felt like I could really snap it around on fast, loose corners without losing grip. Turn the terrain up a notch and hit something chunkier and the Capra is happy there too, calming the trail down when you need it to yet still ready to be playful and light when you want to hop a root or change lines.

I don’t miss the carbon frame from the posher Capra Core 4, and the glitzier drivetrain I can do without. What is missing though is the Fox Float X2 Factory shock that proved so buttery smooth and effortless on the more expensive bike.


And while I didn’t get enough time on the YT Capra 29 Core 2 to know it properly,  what I can say is that the bike is greater than the sum of its parts. The spec is brilliant on a bike costing just £3,000. The geometry is decent, it’s adjustable and the bike really has a just-ride-it feel. All it needs is a tougher casing rear tyre.


Frame:alloy, 165mm travel
Shock:Fox Float X Performance
Fork:Fox 38 Float Performance Grip, 170mm travel
Wheels:Crankbrothers Synthesis Enduro Alloy, Maxxis Assegai/Minion DHR II 29x2.5/2.4in
Drivetrain:SRAM Descendant 6K 32T, 170, SRAM NX Eagle derailleur and 12-speed shifter, SRAM XG 1230 11-50t cassette
Brakes:SRAM Code R, 4-piston, 200mm rotors
Components:E*thirteen Base 35 800mm bar, e13 Base 35 50mm stem, YT Postman 150mm post, SDG Bel Air 3.0 saddle
Weight:16.4kg (36.2lb)
Size ridden:L
Ride height:6ft 1in
Head angle:64.2° (low)
Seat angle:72.5°
Effective seat angle:77.6°
BB height:349mm
Front centre:810mm
Wheelbase :1,248mm
Down tube:747mm
Seat tube:445mm
Top tube:606mm