No animal has mastered the art of skipping across treacherous terrain quite like the Capra (mountain goat), so it makes sense to pay tribute to these beasts with a bike designed to capably handle ups, downs and everything in between. As the company’s enduro/all-mountain model, YT’s Capra intends to strike that desirable balance of agility and stability, coupled with supple yet supportive suspension.
I had opportunity to try out the entry level aluminum (with carbon seat stays) 2016 Capra AL during Crankworx this year but only had a short time on the bike, so this article covers my first impressions only. YT was quick to point out that I was riding a well used demo fleet bike, and we didn’t do any tuning beyond setting the shock’s sag. They were reluctant to let me write anything at this point, but we came to a nice agreement- I should soon have a Capra AL in my hands for a proper, long term review. In the meantime, here’s the preview…
Since we were riding the Whistler Bike Park, I didn’t get a chance to pedal up anything so we’ll have to wait for the full review to see if the Capra in fact climbs ‘like a goat’. I focused on checking out how the bike’s geometry and suspension handled the park’s varying terrain.
The first thing I noticed about the Capra was that the front end felt short, and was very easy to manual through whoops or boost off the jumps. The bike comes with a 50mm stem and the top tube is 581mm long. At 5’10” it felt compact but I wasn’t cramped on it, and it made for very playful handling and quick cornering despite the slack 65.2° head angle.
The Capra’s V4L rear suspension is designed to provide a plush initial stroke, a linear mid-stroke, and then ramp-up near the end of its travel. I found the bike capably handled bigger hits and landings and rolls along mellower terrain smoothly, but the Capra didn’t wow me when blowing through chattery brake bumps or rougher sections. With 165mm of squish I was expecting a plush ride, but it seemed like the linear mid-stroke was sacrificing a bit of softness. We’ll see if I can sort this out on my full review by better tuning the Monarch Plus R rear shock.
The 160mm Rockshox Yari RC fork was tough to judge as mine proved a bit too stiff for me. In short, it is a solid feeling fork but doesn’t have the buttery smooth stroke of the Lyric’s charger damper. However, YT was quick to point out that the Yari can be easily upgraded with a charger, for Lyric-like performance on a budget.
As for components, I was impressed with Sram’s DB5 brakes, and the 200mm front and rear rotors no doubt helped them bring things to a halt with ease. I’d say the 760mm Race Face Aeffect handlebars could be a tad wider, but their 35mm clamp diameter is up to date. For the entry level AL model I was pleased to see a 1×11 Sram GX drivetrain and a stealth-routed Reverb dropper post as stock equipment.
Bearing in mind that this is the entry level aluminum model, I’d say the weight is OK but not great at 32.65 lbs (with pedals). I’m anxious to see how the bike climbs and get a better impression of all its traits with a proper review, so stay tuned to Bikerumor for the full rundown on the Capra AL’s all-mountain performance. Check out YT’s website for full build specs and geometry.