The YT Izzo took a minute to get dialed. But once I found the rear suspension’s sweet spot, this 130mm trail bike came to life and felt fast both up and down the mountain. Launched as shorter travel entry point to a brand known for bigger bikes, it uses a completely different suspension design than YT’s longer travel models.

But they pulled it off. If you’re looking for a mountain bike that’ll handle your quick singletrack rides just as well as the all-day, all-mountain adventures, keep reading…

Nothing like seeing the bike in action, and in this video I’ll cover the tech highlights before hitting the trail to show how easily it whips through the trees, soaks up bumps, and climbs like a goat. More pics and complete bike weight below.

YT Izzo frame details & tech

yt izzo trail mountain bike review and frame details

The head tube is short, keeping you low to match the bike’s overall diminutive stature. The one thing that kept standing out about this bike is just how low the center of gravity is. Thanks to the dramatically sloping top tube, an inverted rear shock, and generally low-slung appearance, it was incredibly easy to whip the bike around underneath me.

Sharp lines and creases in the top- and down-tubes accentuate this, and likely add to the bike’s overall stiffness under power and carving turns. The cumulative effect is a bike with razor sharp handling.

YT Izzo flip chip on suspension shock mount to adjust geometry

The YT Izzo’s head angle sits at 66º or 66.5º depending on where you set the flip chip. It’ll also tweak BB height and such slightly.

I ran it in Low the whole time and it worked just great on our local XC-oriented trails, so that’s where I’d leave it. But it’s nice to have options if you live somewhere like PA with taller roots and rocks to negotiate.

yt izzo trail mountain bike review and frame details

For $5,299, the Izzo Pro Race edition gets a SRAM X01 Eagle group and G2 brakes, all of which worked flawlessly. It’s worth mentioning that all Izzo frames are the same, so if you bought the $2,999 Comp base model, you can upgrade with confidence knowing that you’re building on the same frame as its special $5,499 Launch Edition top model.

yt izzo trail mountain bike review and frame details

The bike comes with huge-for-its-travel brake rotors, putting a 180mm in the back and 200mm up front. That’s with spacers, so you could downsize if that’s overkill for your area and riding style (and to save a few grams).

yt izzo trail mountain bike review and frame details

Other build kit and design details include SRAM’s grips with their TwistLoc rear shock remote lockout, a Race Face dropper remote controlling a Fox Transfer dropper post, and Race Face bar (carbon) and stem (alloy).

The TwistLoc remote works in reverse of it’s intended design since it’s linked to a Fox shock. So, you pull it to open it up, and hit the release button to lock it out.

yt izzo trail mountain bike review and frame details

A drain hole at the lower shock mount area keeps water from pooling. Bolt-in cable guides help secure all the shift and brake lines; I never heard anything rattle on this bike, and even the…

yt izzo trail mountain bike review and frame details

…freehub on the DT Swiss XMC 1200 Spline wheels was relatively quiet, making it a bit easier to enjoy nature as you rip through it. The wheels, which are respectably light and a nice upgrade at this bike’s MSRP, are wrapped in big 29×2.35″ Maxxis Forecaster EXO tires. These provided plenty of grip and rolled quickly, making them a good spec choice for this bike.

YT izzo comes with a Fidlock Thirstmaster oversize water bottle with magnetic attachment

In the video I mention that the Thirstmaster 5000 water bottle is included with the bike, but actually it’s available separately. The frame has standard water bottle mounts, to which you could bolt any bottle cage. But if you want a huge 28oz (835ml) bottle in that space, this ~$50 option makes it possible.

YT Izzo actual weight

YT Izzo actual weight

My size XL bike weighed in at 27.43lb (12.44kg) out of the box, set up tubeless, with the Fidlock mount and bottle attached. And it “felt” about like that when lifting it, but once out on the trail with fresh legs, I felt like the bike rode a little faster on the flats than I thought it would for the weight.

YT Izzo ride review

YT Izzo mountain bike review with actual weights

Should you finish reading this and order yourself a YT Izzo, plan on spending whatever time it takes to get the rear shock’s air pressure just right.

I don’t know if it’s YT’s particular kinematics, the slight anti-squat properties they gave this model, or just the size and volume of the shock. Whatever it is, it took me a few rides and some experimentation to get it right. It was somewhere around 25% sag, so start there, but I’m embarrassed to admit I don’t remember the actual final spot. You’ll know it when you get there.

YT Izzo mountain bike review with actual weights

When I did, I was rewarded with a bike that pedaled smoothly and efficiently on the flats…

the YT Izzo is a mid travel mountain bike that can climb well without a lockout

…and the climbs. Whether seated or standing, I never really felt the need for the lockout. Yes, it’ll make a difference, but I don’t think it’s necessary on this model. And while the TwistLoc shock remote works great, it and its accompanying grips, aren’t that comfortable. I’d rather it come without a lockout and have the option of running my choice of grips.

YT Izzo mountain bike review with actual weights

The YT Izzo proved to be a very capable bike that was also fun to ride. Which is a good mix. The ultra-low frame made it feel quick and nimble, and the geometry backed it up with actual quick and nimble handling.

Yet without losing stability at high speed, as you can see in the first riding part of the video as I’m speeding down a tight, narrow section of singletrack.

What I keep circling back to as I think through my experience is this: It rides fast, like a lighter 120mm trail bike, but has the extra travel (130mm front and rear) and support to take bigger hits and landings.

I could see this bike performing equally well in places like Virginia’s Blue Ridge, Pisgah (NC), and Santa Cruz (CA). All three areas have long climbs and ripping descents, albeit with drastically different types of dirt, roots and rocks between them.

The Izzo is game for anything from XC to aggressive trail riding, but those two east coast locations would be the upper limit of where I’d ride it. Meaning, for many mountain bikers, it’s a great bike for the kind of riding most of us do.


  1. Sevo on

    Love to see a pic of a normal large bottle in a real bottle cage on this bike to see how well it fits. Wish YT would get away from this gimmicky proprietary bottle stuff. I get it’s the best option for their frame design on other models (only option) but seems unnecessary for this model.

  2. bonzo on

    It’s a Fidlock bottle and I’m pretty sure that you can use a different mount for a “normal” bottle… but why would you want to do that? Fidlock works great 🙂

  3. Tyler on

    @Sevo – You can unbolt the Fidlock mount and bolt on a normal cage. For the size XL frame I was running, a 20oz bottle should be no problem, maybe even a 24oz (possibly by using something like the RAD bottle mount relocator to move the cage down slightly – )

    @Jamie – These pics were taken on Owl’s Roost trail in Greensboro, NC. I haven’t ridden Walnut Creek Park, but do love Carvens Cove, just outside Roanoke (we’ll have a Where To Ride feature on that area soon). Is WCP worth the road trip from Greensboro, NC?

  4. nooner on

    Hey it’s a basic 4-bar and it’s suspension performance blows doors on the latest over hyped bike du jour.

    Funny cause i’m seeing a lot of YT ebikes out on the trails here, but that is another can of worms…

  5. Eric Guerena on

    Great article Tyler. Is this the kind of bike that you think anyone could go down a rock garden and come out the other side in one piece. Do you feel that way about this YT? Any other bike would you consider in the same price range of around $3800? Do you own the YT? Cheers!

    • Tyler Benedict on

      I don’t own the YT, it was shipped back after the review concluded. There are simply too many bikes out there for me to compare in that price range, but generally speaking the bikes that are sold direct to consumer are probably going to have a slight price advantage if you don’t mind side glances at some shops. Fezzari’s Signal Peak is a 120/120 that we’ve ridden and really like (although we’ve only actually reviewed their longer travel bikes, but they all use a similar four-bar linkage suspension).

      As far as rock garden survival goes…I’d have to see the rock garden! But overall, this is a very well-mannered bike, and the low CoG really does make it handle unlike most other MTBs I’ve ridden.

  6. Phil on

    Thanks for the review Tyler. I’m 6ft 1in and can’t decide between a large or extra-large because I’m right between sizes. May I ask how tall you are, and how you found the XL?

    Thanks in advance and keep up the good work.

      • Tyler Benedict on

        Phil, Will and Miguel – yes, I’m sure the XL would fit you, but compare the Reach and Effective Top Tube figures against what you’re currently riding…those are the best indicators of how well this will fit you. The top tube on this slopes dramatically, so it “looks” smaller than it is, especially under me, but that low center of gravity was awesome for handling. The seat tube juts up plenty, so there’s a lot of room for a long dropper, too. Hope that helps, sorry for the delayed reply!

  7. Miguel Garcia on

    Question a viewer had back in June that you told to look out for the review, so I’m asking it since I’m curious myself. “The geometry is very similar to the Epic EVO or the Scalpel SE. How would you compare this bike with the 2 mentioned? Is this bike on par with other marathon race bikes or does it feel more trail than the EVO and SE? I am interested in pedaling efficiency. Thanks!”

  8. Paul on

    Tyler, excelent review. Im 6’1 also and and weigh about 230. I ride agressively in XC, not too many big hits. But I do enjoy XC racing. How would this bike fair in a race format?


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