yt-capra-cf-pro-race-29-230719-ajbarlas-06017.jpg
The Greedy Goat Reviewed

YT Capra 29 CF Pro Race Review

Words AJ Barlas
Photos AJ Barlas
Date Nov 20, 2019

When it was first released in 2014, the YT Capra blew the doors off. At a time when all-mountain bikes – or enduro if you prefer – were improving quickly and carbon was still relatively new to the segment, the Capra arrived for thousands of dollars less. And it was dressed to kill with a full carbon frame, solid parts spec with reliable suspension. The Capra quickly attracted heaps of attention.

Early in 2018 YT released the current generation Capra and with it, a new bigger-wheeled option. The typical incremental geometry changes recently witnessed industry-wide were made but also included were tweaked suspension kinematics, which lowered the leverage ratio. Limited edition alloy models with coil-sprung rears were added to the line – in 29 only thus far – but otherwise nothing's changed outside of regular model year spec updates. YT does a great job of spec’ing models across the two-wheel sizes with the same builds. One model that has extra spice is the CF Pro Race model seen here, which bumps up the travel 10mm front and rear to go with its top end spec.

Highlights

  • Model: CF Pro Race 29
  • Travel: 170mm R, 170mm Front
  • Carbon front and rear triangle
  • Size-specific rear centre lengths: 435mm M–L / 440mm XL–XXL
  • Adjustable geometry via a flip-chip system
  • Fox 36 GRIP2 fork
  • Fox Float X2 – Metric 230x65 (230x60 on 160mm models)
  • 200mm F/R rotors with Code RSC Brakes
  • Shimano XTR drivetrain
  • e*thirteen LG1 EN Race tires
  • 150mm Fox Transfer dropper post on all sizes
  • Weight: 15.3kg (33.7lbs) XXL w/o pedals
  • MSRP: 7,399 CAD / 5,499 USD (Now 6,499 CAD / 5,099 USD)

yt-capra-cf-pro-race-29-230719-ajbarlas-06020.jpg

Balancing beauty with a rough attitude is something the Capra does easily.

A Closer Look

YT is unapologetic about the Capra’s greedy intentions to devour rough terrain – it’s in the name. But their delivery differs from many bikes currently available, which perfectly fits their M.O. Being consumer-direct has enabled YT to equip the bikes with impressive parts spec and still undercut the competition. There aren’t any ‘house brand’ products to be found on the Capra or any of their other bikes to my knowledge. Instead, consumers are greeted with sought after and well-considered components.

Renthal or Race Face cockpits, e*thirteen’s clever 1x11 cassettes that provide an impressive 511% gear range, and a mix of either Fox or RockShox suspension depending on the model make these hard to say no to, all things considered. The CF Pro Race comes equipped with carbon e*thirteen LG1r cranks and wheels, top of the line Fox suspension and dropper post, ODI grips and SRAM Code RSC brakes. There’s little need to change anything when the box arrives at your door.

yt-capra-cf-pro-race-29-230719-ajbarlas-06038.jpg

Renthal cockpits adorn a number of models and the carbon 35mm Fatbar is the bar of choice on the CF Pro Race.

yt-capra-cf-pro-race-29-230719-ajbarlas-06025.jpg

The e*thirteen TRS Plus 11-speed cassette offers 511% range, more than Shimano or SRAM 12-speed options.


Frame finishes vary and it would be easy to assume YT's quality to be lower based on its (relatively) cheaper price. But the finish on the Capra is sensational. The bike is finished to a level that equals or improves on competitors charging considerably more. Frame protection is complete and finished to a high standard too. There’s an additional metal plate by the chainring to protect the carbon chainstay from damage and moulded rubber runs the entirety of the chainstay – something heaps of brands struggle to cover completely. At the bottom bracket/downtube is plenty more protection with another moulded rubber protector running from the bottom bracket and up the downtube a few inches. However, there isn’t a strip to protect the downtube from a shuttle pad and while it’s not something many brands are doing, it’s worth noting. There is a thick film of clear tape that runs the length of the down tube though, so some protection is offered.

yt-capra-cf-pro-race-29-230719-ajbarlas-06026.jpg

A metal piece by the chainring protects the chainstay while moulded rubber properly covers the top and bottom surfaces.

yt-capra-cf-pro-race-29-230719-ajbarlas-06030.jpg

There's also moulded rubber down by the bottom bracket but thick, clear tape runs the rest of the downtube.

yt-capra-cf-pro-race-29-230719-ajbarlas-06027.jpg

Cables run internal but are securely held in place with bolted on grommets. There were no issues with rattling during testing.

You might wonder if suspension kinematic development or overall design aesthetics are less than optimal considering the lower price of the Capra. In fact the lines of the bike are sleek but tough, fitting its all-mountain thrasher persona perfectly and the suspension works very well. YT hasn’t cut anything away from the bike itself. They’ve managed to price their bikes below other direct to consumer brands too, Canyon Bikes being one example without a better priced equivalent. For the money, the YT Capra is unbeatable.

yt-capra-cf-pro-race-29-230719-ajbarlas-06049.jpg

Design lines and the finish, right down to the nuts and bolts, are high quality.

yt-capra-cf-pro-race-29-230719-ajbarlas-06033.jpg

Torque spec values are noted on the bolt heads for easy checking.

yt-capra-cf-pro-race-29-230719-ajbarlas-06031.jpg

The rockers for the horst link design are neatly tucked away.

The Direct to Consumer Experience

Working in bike stores since my teen years, unboxing and ‘building’ a bike is something I’ve experienced many times over. But with direct to consumer companies having to consider new riders or folks with fewer mechanical sensibilities, the process differs slightly. YT's done a great job of creating a system for people to follow along and while the media squid bike box I received differs slightly – we don’t receive the tools and there was no manual or guide – I got a good idea of the process.

yt-capra-cf-pro-race-29-170719-ajbarlas-05639.jpg

Welcome…

Opening the box, customers are met with a super well-packaged bike with numbered steps to follow along. My box didn’t include it but a little research showed that consumers have an additional “Me First” box that houses the tools and manual. The tools look to be of decent quality too and there’s even a torque wrench rather than simple, cheap Allen keys.

yt-capra-cf-pro-race-29-170719-ajbarlas-05642.jpg

The first look at your new bike…

yt-capra-cf-pro-race-29-170719-ajbarlas-05645.jpg

It's not as glamorous as an already finished bike from a shop floor.

yt-capra-cf-pro-race-29-170719-ajbarlas-05643.jpg

But it's well packaged and the direction easy to follow.

Building the bike took less time than usual thanks to its closer-to-fully-complete state out of the box. Mount the wheels, pump the tires up, mount the bars and you’re close to ready. Surprisingly YT is vague in terms of suspension setup, which would be troubling for new riders and the only downside I’ve found for the cost savings. Experienced riders also benefit from a good baseline that gets them riding sooner, even if they end up a ways off the starting point. Making the bike quick and reasonably effortless to get set up in this regard is something I reckon YT could improve upon.

yt-capra-cf-pro-race-29-170719-ajbarlas-05650.jpg

The front axle stand took a bit of a beat down in shipping but did its job.

yt-capra-cf-pro-race-29-170719-ajbarlas-05651.jpg

They use heaps more cardboard – less poly-foam and plastic – than most brands…

yt-capra-cf-pro-race-29-170719-ajbarlas-05652.jpg

But it would be nice to see if they can go fully plastic free.

Geometry

I mentioned above that this new generation Capra has seen the incremental geometry update we’ve become accustomed to from most brands. They also added an XXL size for taller riders after only introducing their first XL carbon Capra the year previous. And while the reach and stack grew, the smaller-wheeled bike's chainstay shortened 3mm on the smaller sizes – small through large – but grew 2mm on the larger sizes.

yt-capra-cf-pro-race-29-230719-ajbarlas-06037.jpg

But its new ground for the 29-inch wheeled Capra and something worth noting is YT’s choice to maintain the angles across both wheel sizes. Both the 29er and 650b bikes feature a 65-degree head angle and ~76-degree seat tube angle. Where the two differ is with the added adjustability the 29er has. It makes use of a small flip chip at the rear shock eyelet to change the geometry a small but noticeable amount. In the high setting, the 29er sits with a 15mm BB drop, 65.5-degree HTA and 76-degree STA but flip it to the low setting and we have a 25mm BB drop, 65-degree HTA and 75.5-degree STA. It’s a small change but it does provide a more 'in the bike' feel.

2019 YT Capra 29 Geometry

2019 YT Capra 29 Geometry

I found YT’s sizing recommendations quite intriguing. At 191cm tall, they have me pegged for a size XL but I found the larger XXL I tested felt small. The size of the XXL is also similar to the XL bikes from some other brands and given the fit, I don’t feel this warrants the double ‘X.’ YT's size chart claims the XXL is suitable for riders from 193cm (a hair over 6’3”) through to 202cm tall (over 6’6”). But they add the disclaimer that the sizing chart is to be used as a suggestion and with the shorter seat tube lengths, riders can upsize to a longer frame, if there’s one available…

While there are many variations in body shape and size, I struggle to imagine someone of the recommended height being comfortable standing and attacking the trail on the 500mm reach of the XXL but when seated it makes more sense. Despite the relatively modern and amply steep on paper seat tube angle, the actual STA is on the slack side. This opens up the seated position and it was noticeably longer than both of my bikes that overlapped this test. That said, when seated there’s plenty of room on offer but with an obvious downside – rider weight is shifted further rearward.

yt-capra-cf-pro-race-29-action-311019-ajbarlas-07006.jpg

On the Trail

All of the quality finish and bling parts mean nothing if the bike doesn’t perform on the trail. I’d argue that unless the cost savings are going to meet the experience offered by a still affordable yet higher priced competitor, you’re better off saving for longer until the more expensive bike is manageable. Thankfully that’s not the case here and while I found a couple of shortcomings, heaps of riders will find the Capra an incredibly fun, capable bike that will push them to ride difficult terrain.

After initial testing, I found the Capra 29 CF Pro Race held a better shape with 27% sag rear and 17% front. YT recommends 25–30% sag for the rear but at 30% I found the first portion of the stroke vague and lacking any feedback or adequate stability. The combination of deeper sag and relatively slack actual seat tube angle placed my weight too far over the rear hub when going up as well. Bike shape with these settings made it difficult to adequately weight the front wheel on moderately steep and technical climbs and forced me to 'hump’ the bike up the hill. I spent most of my time with the Capra in the low position and while the high produces a steeper seat tube angle, I wasn’t a fan of how the bike felt in this position. It also wasn’t enough to counter the front wheel lifting and wandering even after the saddle position was slammed forward.

yt-capra-cf-pro-race-29-action-311019-ajbarlas-06969.jpg

In rough terrain the bike remains dynamic and easy to manoeuvre despite its long travel and large wheels.

With 27% sag, my final damper settings, and the seat slammed forward on its rails, the climbing position greatly improved and less aggressive weight shifts to muscle it up a climb were required. Also notable is that when seated with the seat post extended, rider position introduced considerable activation of the rear suspension, sucking away valuable watts thanks to where my mass was positioned between the wheels. This is a bike where the climb switch comes in handy, although I’d rather leave the shock open and allow the wheel to track the technical terrain found in the P.N.W.

The Capra CF Pro Race benefits from a light feeling ride that makes its less than ideal seated position more bearable. It's considerably lighter than the scales claim and before weighing it, I wouldn’t have put it far beyond the ~13kg/30lb mark. It feels like quite the whippet when in a standing attack and it springs forward with relative enthusiasm, which is also a result of the suspension design.

On the trail, the bike had a dynamic demeanour. Despite its long 170mm travel front and rear, it at times moved like a 140–150mm travel bike and I often forgot how big it was. Quick and responsive, I found it to change direction on a dime and be an easy ride. This also added to the light feeling the bike had on the trail, as it’s a relatively sporty yet comfortable ride. Grip was good when stable and with less than 30% sag there was good rider feel for what was happening at the wheels. Jumping was easy and despite the light trail feel, I found it stable off lips; it has a controlled pop.

yt-capra-cf-pro-race-29-action-311019-ajbarlas-06981.jpg

Cornering in smooth-ish turns was a blast and the bike was quick to shift direction through consecutive corners.

A downside encountered was how the rear responded through harsh square edges. The bike tends to pitch rider weight forward in these situations and limiting this in favour of a more planted and composed ride was challenging. I found the rear wheel felt constricted, both by the geometry with someone 191cm aboard and the progressive suspension kinematics. Together, the two slowed the reaction time of the wheel to move away quickly enough, transferring that energy through the bike and eventually to the rider. Opening the rear shock's high-speed compression was limited by the bike's tendency to lose composure in deep compressions – especially drops to relatively flat and rough landings. Eventually, I settled on one click out on the HSC – a total of ten out – to balance the pitching and composure. To improve rear wheel recovery in rough terrain and deep compressions I opened the rebound circuits another click each. That adjustment landed me on 15 out for HSR and depending on the terrain, 13–15 out for LSR. I would have appreciated greater stability in rough terrain and where speeds were high but I had to settle for a happy medium. In the end, I accepted the occasional kick from the rear wheel in favour of maintaining the best stability I could get.

I never thought I’d find myself thinking of a 170mm travel 29er as a big-wheeled BMX but that’s how the Capra feels. It was best when riding energetically and would reward the rider by coaxing another direction change out of me just for fun. I found it comfortable at casual, fun-having speeds but not surprisingly not as encouraging as a better fitting, longer wheelbase bike when trying to put down a good time or ride more relaxed in rough terrain. For this reason, I believe the bike has great potential with a shorter better fitting rider, where size isn't a constraining factor.

yt-capra-cf-pro-race-29-230719-ajbarlas-06034.jpg

Colour-matched bling.

Component Check

YT specs their bikes well for the money, often using components that are sought after in the upgrade marketplace.

yt-capra-cf-pro-race-29-230719-ajbarlas-06043.jpg

The 2019 Fox 36 with GRIP2 damper kept front wheel grip high.

Fox 36 GRIP2 Fork & Float X2 Shock

Being the top spec’ed bike, the CF Pro Race comes equipped with the best suspension Fox offers. More wallet-friendly models offer the Performance level equivalents – which I was trying to get for review – but the top model has all the Kashima bling. I’ve been a fan of 36 GRIP2 forks since first riding one on the Bronson last year and the Float X2 works well too. Each provides heaps of adjustability via the air springs and dampers. Stock, the 170mm 36 comes without a volume spacer and I found this to provide a great, consistent feel throughout the entire 170mm of stroke. The rear is filled with all three spacers available for the 200x65 shock size.

yt-capra-cf-pro-race-29-230719-ajbarlas-06042.jpg

Renthal's 35mm carbon Fatbar mates with their 35mm Apex stem.

Renthal Fatbar Carbon 35mm Bar and Apex Stem w/ ODI Elite Motion Grips

Before falling for the greater 9-degree sweep of some bars, the Renthal 31.8mm bars were my go-to and it took no time getting comfortable with them again. Having less sweep gave me more room on the Capra. I’ve also recently fallen for the new ODI Elite Motion grips on my bikes after years of testing too many others to remember. They’re comfortable and I’m a fan of the slightly angled rubber flange at each outboard end.

yt-capra-cf-pro-race-29-230719-ajbarlas-06040.jpg

SRAM Code RSC Brakes with 200mm rotors front and rear keep stopping sharp.

SRAM Code RSC Brakes

Oodles of power at the touch of a finger. I didn’t have any problems with the Codes on the Capra and despite finding them a bit too sharp in their delivery of that power, I enjoyed their stopping power. I had no issues with wandering levers or fade, even while riding in the Whistler Bike Park.

yt-capra-cf-pro-race-29-230719-ajbarlas-06022.jpg

An 11-speed drivetrain on a 2019 bike?!

Shimano XTR (11-Speed) w/ e*thirteen Cassette

The Capra CF Pro Race's shifting duties are taken care of by Shimano’s best, XTR. Shifting was great and the lever feel, excellent. I had to settle with less than optimal positioning of the lever, with the SRAM brakes and Shimano shifter not playing well together at all and I had to settle with more reach than I'd prefer. I also found the shifting below XTR quality on the e*thirteen cassette compared to a Shimano cassette. I’m nit-picking but when there’s XTR involved, expectations skyrocket and the combination didn't shift as crisply as I’m accustomed to with a full XTR/XT groupo. Nevertheless, it still performed well, never missed a shift, and no chains were dropped.

e*thirteen LG1r Cranks

Responsive and lightweight in a set and forget item. I reviewed the LG1r cranks earlier this year and found them to be an excellent product. That experience remains unchanged after spending time on them again with the Capra.

yt-capra-cf-pro-race-29-230719-ajbarlas-06046.jpg

Kashima coating continues to the dropper on the Capra CF Pro Race.

150mm Fox Transfer Dropper

The Fox Transfer is a no-gimmicks dropper that gets the job done. YT did a great job in spec’ing a 150mm dropper across the smaller frame sizes but for the XL and XXL, I’d like to see more. For the first time in years, I found myself pulling out a multi-tool to lower the seat for bike park days. A 170mm option would be much appreciated in the largest sizes. I’ve also mentioned before that I’m not a fan of the Fox dropper post lever, it feels cheap and doesn’t offer the best ergonomics.

yt-capra-cf-pro-race-29-230719-ajbarlas-06035.jpg

The LG1r EN is e*thirteen's burly version of their popular TRS tire.

e*thirteen LG1r Tires

The LG1r is e*thirteen’s enduro race tire option and boasts dual-ply casing and soft, grippy rubber. These are the second version of the e*thirteen tire,* and I felt didn’t improve on the initial tire from the brand. The side lugs are tall and create a square profile, causing it to be a slow-rolling affair. I’ve also found the lugs to lack support in hard terrain under aggressive cornering.

*The current e*thirteen tires are the third generation

yt-capra-cf-pro-race-29-230719-ajbarlas-06024.jpg

e*thirteen has a solid spread on the CF Pro Race and their latest chainguide performed as well as their earlier versions, but in a lighter, drag free package.

e*thirteen TRS+ Chainguide

I’m a fan of the added security provided by a chainguide and the e*thirteen TRS+ fits the bill perfectly. It never caused any drag when pedalling, was quiet, and I didn’t once lose a chain. When the bike is venturing into freeride territory, a guide is a good bit of kit to have and it was welcomed on the 170mm Capra.

yt-capra-cf-pro-race-29-230719-ajbarlas-06041.jpg

Subtle but loud.

Verdict

Don’t be afraid of the travel or wheelsize of the Capra 29 CF Pro Race. On paper, it might look beastly with the big wheels and 170mm travel but it's relatively spry on the trail. It doesn't have the agility of a true short travel bike but for its size, it's surprisingly lively. It rewarded an energetic ride and often had me jibbing the trail as if it were a skatepark but when it came time to smash on, it would. I found it on the small side for someone my size and while a contributing factor to the playful ride of my test bike, I believe the suspension and relatively light dynamic weight had more to do with it.

It wasn’t all kittens and rainbows though. The compact size when attacking the trail meant I had to search more often for an optimal position in the bike, and I never did really feel ‘in’ it. For example, the much smaller travel Norco Optic with its progressive geometry provided a more stable ride at speed than this brawler. I also had to settle for a suspension setup that danced between maintaining shape in aggressive riding situations and managing its tendency to pitch me forward. It was minor but it generated a more involved and unpredictable ride in certain situations.

Despite a couple of limitations, the Capra Pro CF Race was fun to ride and gorgeous to look at. If I was a few centimetres shorter and out to have a good time, it would be a really fun bike to own. It begged to be played with and provided a comfortable ride in most situations. Though I don’t feel it’s a true double XL, it’s still among the bigger bikes available for tall riders, the suspension provides a comfortable, bump-eating ride and the cost is hard to argue with.

Click here for more info on the YT Capra, currently priced at 6,499 CAD / 5,099 USD.

AJ_Barlas
AJ Barlas

Age: 39
Height: 191cm/6’3"
Weight: 73kg/160lbs
Ape Index: 1.037
Inseam: 32”
Trail on Repeat: Changes as often as my mood.
Current Regular: Every test product spends time on Entrail

Related Stories

Trending on NSMB

Comments

Heinous
+3 Bavaria 2.0 Dan Adrian White
Heinous  - Nov. 19, 2019, 11:26 p.m.

That's a pretty thorough review, thanks! 

How is the Capra longevity and YT support now? I had one of the first Capra's and it was probably one of the few bikes worthy of the ubiquitous 'game changer' tag. It was awesome, except every time (3 consecutive frames over 12 months) it cracked and I had to wait for YT to mess me around, or the final time when the new warranty seat stay snapped clean through, hurt me badly in the process, and then it turned out to be a known issue at YT that they'd not recalled.

I've wanted to consider a YT a few times since giving up on that one, but just can't find it in me.

Reply

cxfahrer
0
cxfahrer  - Nov. 20, 2019, 2:21 a.m.

Oh yeah the XXL is quite small, being 200cm tall :).

I own my aluminum 29 Capra (15,5kgs, 170mm) for a year now and had no troubles so far. I smashed the downtube some times on rocks, the rubber protector did its job - but with a carbon frame, I dont know.

Some folks crashed their carbon chainstays when the derailleur hanger did not break but turned.

Riding experience is roughly the same as AJ describes. I love it very much!

Mine has Rockshox though, the Superdeluxe is a bit harsh. Same troubles on square edges and landings. Maybe a coil is the best option.

Reply

dbozman
0
dbozman  - Nov. 20, 2019, 4:15 a.m.

I had one, too, XL carbon model one step below the pro, for a 6'2 (188ish) rider with long arms and legs. Mine had the RS suspension, which I personally prefer. For the most part, this review is spot on to my thoughts after riding it for a couple months on South Mountain in Phoenix.

The bike is really planted and fast downhill. If we had lifts or a bike park or shuttled more, it would have been a keeper. But having to earn your turns up steep technical terrain killed it for me. AJ is spot on for having to "hump" it up climbs. I'm a modestly fit climber and the bike ate my lunch.

Reply

AJ_Barlas
0
AJ Barlas  - Nov. 20, 2019, 10:23 a.m.

Love me some South Mountain! How are the trails down there at the moment?

Reply

dbozman
+2 Dan AJ Barlas
dbozman  - Nov. 21, 2019, 4:13 a.m.

You know, the trails are the same year-round here. We don't really have "weather" as such so conditions don't change much. Still around 80 degrees, so more hikers than normal.

Reply

cyclotoine
0
cyclotoine  - Nov. 20, 2019, 9:06 a.m.

I'm 192cm and yeah I think the XXL looks a touch small on paper. I'd be more into the Jeffsy for my type of riding and on paper the XXL appears to be a way better fit with 510-515 mm reach (depending on model) and a steeper seat angle. I would say that they missed the mark on headtube angle though and I expect those to be a lot slacker on the next generation. Then again the short wheelbase created by the steeper head angle is likely part of what makes them so lively. I think the CF pro jeffsey with a 1.5 or 2 degree angleset and a 150mm lyric or 36 would be an amazing bike. I'd stick to 140 in the back to keep the seat angle steep and the angleset would increase front center while helping counteract the increase height of the fork. But then I'd more or less be pretty close to what I'm already riding, an XXL sentinel. 

Also, as you point out, the actual seat tube angle is way slack on YT and they are reporting effective at the same stack height across sizes (obviously since they don't change). So in reality, the effective seat angle for tall folks is pretty slack.

Reply

AJ_Barlas
0
AJ Barlas  - Nov. 20, 2019, 10:20 a.m.

Good thoughts cyclotoine. Thanks for the additional info on how they're measuring effective STA, that's unfortunate. Like you, I imagine the next models will rectify such details.

Reply

cyclotoine
0
cyclotoine  - Nov. 20, 2019, 3:55 p.m.

Oops. I wrote models previously and meant sizes. It is an assumption based on the fact that the reported angle doesn't change across sizes. I'd like to see effective seat tube reported for the average seat height of the averaged sized rider for a given frame size. This would have way more meaning to the potential buyer. I want to buy a Norco sight if only because they've actually addressed the issue of slackening effective seat tubes with increased saddle height. How is it the industry is continuing to ignore this glaring issue?

Reply

AJ_Barlas
+2 Timer Niels
AJ Barlas  - Nov. 20, 2019, 4:40 p.m.

Regarding reported STA. I reckon Banshee is crushing with how they do it. They include the seat extension at a couple of different heights for each size. Pretty dialled. 

Greasy wheels get the grease and I believe things are going to continue improving, even if some are slow to take things like this aboard.

Reply

dbozman
+1 AJ Barlas
dbozman  - Nov. 21, 2019, 4:14 a.m.

I'm really surprised Banshee doesn't get more attention in the US. Hope you guys have a test on deck for some of the brand's new models.

Reply

cyclotoine
+2 AJ Barlas Niels
cyclotoine  - Nov. 21, 2019, 12:16 p.m.

I had to go check that out. I love that they are doing that. Now if only the rest of the industry could follow suit so we can compare apples to apples.

Reply

velocipedestrian
+1 AJ Barlas
Velocipedestrian  - Nov. 23, 2019, 10:08 p.m.

Squeaky wheels.

Reply

Jenkins5
+1 Bavaria 2.0
Jenkins5  - Nov. 20, 2019, 10:18 a.m.

Good review. I rode a friend's Capra for a while and really loved it. He had a DHX2 coil on it though so I didn't have any complaints about the rear suspension. I think a coil really suits this bike and makes it come alive.

Regarding the tires, I like the second generation E13 tires but agree they are slow rolling. To me they feel similar to the Assegai that everyone seems to love now, so if you're an Assegai fan these will be fine. If you have a bit of loam to ride they're awesome and crazy grippy (as stated in Cam's previous review), but I do like the 3rd generation more. The new 2019 versions still offer a ton of grip, but are more round and faster rolling for sure....

Reply

AJ_Barlas
0
AJ Barlas  - Nov. 20, 2019, 10:22 a.m.

Thanks Jenkins. I thought about what a coil may feel like a couple of times during the review. Regarding the tires, I'm a fan of the Assegai in their MG compound and find them more comfortable in heavy cornering situations than the 2nd Gen. e13. The new e13 in their Mopo sounds like a solid improvement though.

Reply

Jenkins5
0
Jenkins5  - Nov. 20, 2019, 10:37 a.m.

I hear ya. New E13 Mopo is my new favourite tire (especially this time of year). Cornering is pretty personal (I'm shorter and lighter than you so found the e13 on the Capra cornered great), but I was referring more to the rolling resistance. I found the Assegai and E13 gen 2 to be about the same...Pretty slow! I don't mind a slow tire if it grips well though. Thx again for the great review!

Reply

AJ_Barlas
0
AJ Barlas  - Nov. 21, 2019, 6:41 a.m.

Ah, yes the Assegai isn’t a fast roller but the grip is a worthwhile trade, as you say. Cheers!

Reply

morgan-heater
+1 Adrian White
Morgan Heater  - Nov. 20, 2019, 1:53 p.m.

They should offer a custom water bottle and/or tube & tool holder to fit into the void on the front triangle.

Reply

cxfahrer
+1 Dan
cxfahrer  - Nov. 20, 2019, 11:10 p.m.

Fidlock on top of the toptube works

Reply

Cabana76
+1 AJ Barlas
Adrian White  - Nov. 20, 2019, 5:34 p.m.

Great review and photos!

I've been loving my Jeffsy Mk1 since 2016 and am now looking for something a bit more burly.  The Capra 29 ticks all the boxes, except for the water bottle.  Maybe in the next generation?

AJ, I'm also curious about your thoughts or interactions with YT Canada. has JM been able to improve and build up his customer support process?  Now that they have moved to Kelowna I'm hesitant to purchase again from them.  I have not had any frame warranties on the Jeffsy, only the Reverb and the Guides.  Dave at BicycleHub helped me with the Reverb and JM mailed me the Guide internals, which I replaced myself.  However, I felt ok with them in Squamish as I could always drive up there if I really needed to see someone.  Now, I'm not so sure.

Reply

AJ_Barlas
+1 Adrian White
AJ Barlas  - Nov. 22, 2019, 7:10 a.m.

I unfortunately don’t have any information on YT Canada, Adrian. WE’ve been dealing with YT Global.

Reply

jamesm925
0 Dan soft-g
James Moro  - Nov. 20, 2019, 7:13 p.m.

I'm really surprised you found the 500mm reach XXL capra to 'feel small'.   There's nothing 'compact' about the XXL capra.   I'm 6'3, but have a 34 inseam, and this bike feels spot on.   It feels slightly more stable than playful, which is what I wanted.  What bike are you comparing this to? Not too many companies have frames beyond 500mm for the reach except mondraker or pole.

Curious what you ran for compression and rebound on the fork with 17% sag?  I run around 30% on the fork and feel like it does a great job with mid stroke support and resisting dive.  Not sure why you felt the bike dives during rough terrain. Maybe something was up with your fork?  I've tried running 20% sag on the fork and it feels terrifyingly harsh.

I do love the honesty in your review, and you're really spot on with have agile the capra is considering it's travel.  I've had the 2015 pro race and now the 2019, and people are just skeptical that it's "too much bike".  I have no troubles playing around and popping off trail features, but the bike also has plenty in reserve for gnarlier terrain.  It's pretty ridiculous how light the capra (and tues) are.  It's funny knowing that my almost 200mm travel enduro bike is lighter than a transition scout by a longshot. 

They definitely need to spec longer droppers on the bigger sizes.  I swapped out my 150 for a 170 reverb and could easily go with a 200 so I could slam the post for extra clearance.

Maybe I got lucky, but I never had any issues with the finish on my 2015 capra, and definitely not on my 2019. This bike is so well-thought out and polished.  It's hard to get people to wrap their head around the idea that you're not buying a 'budget' bike. In fact, it puts most high-end builds to shame and leaves you $4,000 richer.

Reply

AJ_Barlas
+1 soft-g
AJ Barlas  - Nov. 21, 2019, 9:44 a.m.

Hey James. Glad to hear you're enjoying yours. It's a fun bike!

I'm not comparing reach to anything when I say I feel cramped. That's how I find the fit of the bike. That said, having ridden quite a few larger bikes I know how it can feel. There are actually quite a few bikes in this segment with longer reaches now; Giant's new Reign 29, Specialized's new Enduro, Santa Cruz's Megatower to name a few. Bikes I've ridden that are bigger include the Norco Optic I mentioned in the review, the new Reign 29, the Pole Machine, and the Mondraker Dune, which I rode 2+ years ago and it was longer then! The Dune is the bike that made me aware of how much better the fit can be. 

Are you sure you're talking about the fork when you talk about 30% sag? That's well outside Fox's own recommendations. My settings were actually within range of Fox's recommendations for the 36 (listed below for your reference). But I wasn't speaking about the fork diving or having a big problem with it, I've owned the 36 before, am a big fan, and have run it on multiple bikes, so setup is reasonably straight forward now. The shape management problem was primarily from the rear of the bike, and that's specifically what was being discussed when I mentioned the drops into flatter, choppy terrain. 

Fork – 74psi for 32mm sag and 17%

HSC: 9–10 out/ LSC: 6 out/ HSR: 4 out/ LSR: 7-8 out (No volume spacers)

Thanks for reading!

Reply

jamesm925
0
James Moro  - Nov. 21, 2019, 9:25 p.m.

Yeah, I'm close to 180 with gear and run my fork around 65psi.  I've tried fox's recommendations, but it feels incredibly harsh at 75psi.  are your rebound/compression numbers from fully closed or fully open?

Reply

AJ_Barlas
0
AJ Barlas  - Nov. 22, 2019, 7:11 a.m.

Out is always from fully closed.

Reply

jamesm925
0
James Moro  - Nov. 21, 2019, 9:25 p.m.

Yeah, I'm close to 180 with gear and run my fork around 65psi.  I've tried fox's recommendations, but it feels incredibly harsh at 75psi.  are your rebound/compression numbers from fully closed or fully open?

Reply

cyclotoine
+1 AJ Barlas
cyclotoine  - Nov. 21, 2019, 12:28 p.m.

I too am 6'3" (well a little over) and I'm on the XXL Transition Sentinel (515mm reach) and I would not go back to anything shorter, I even upped the stem length to 50mm. As many of the current XL "enduro" bikes are coming out with reach inline with my XXL transition, I anxiously await the next generation transitions which I expect to grow in reach (and If I am making Christmas wishes, will have size specific seat tube angles). I also ride an XL Pole Taiga fat bike with a 510 mm reach (674mm ETT), 50mm stem and it feels great. I'd take a steeper seat tube and 10 mm more reach if I had the option but compared to almost all other fat bikes on the market, it's a monster and has made fat biking way more fun. I feel like I can ride almost anything on it.

Reply

soft-g
+1 AJ Barlas
soft-g  - Nov. 20, 2019, 8:50 p.m.

This review is bang on. 

I just finished 2 seasons on an XXL Capra, and never quite got on with the bike. for its 170mm size it feels great cruising or in mellow terrain but when you open it up I too always felt like i was being pitched forward, and that the bike would rebound uncontrollably when deep in the travel in hard compressions, servicing my shock, putting a different compression/rebound tune on, and eventually replacing with a coil shock never fixed this. 

Bike felt great in the corners with such short chainstays, but never felt balanced, and also felt like you were climbing in a perpetual catwalk. 

Now on a Megatower with a comparatively terrible spec for the price I wouldn't go back. Awesome bike on paper, less so in real life.

Reply

AJ_Barlas
0
AJ Barlas  - Nov. 21, 2019, 9:47 a.m.

Bummed to hear your bad luck with finding a happy bike place continues. :( What are you thinking of trying next (because I know if you're not pumped, you have something planned).

Reply

soft-g
+1 AJ Barlas
soft-g  - Nov. 21, 2019, 8:56 p.m.

Whoops, didn’t read before posting. Was trying to say that while the megatower has a comparatively poor spec for the money vs the Capra, the kinematic’s and ride quality of the Megatower are Just better. 

On trail the Megatower rides like more than the sum of its “S” build parts. I found you could set the Capra up for Traction in the tech but it would “get out of shape” and repeatedly bottom on bigger hits, or set it up for hits but then really struggle for grip and track poorly. (This issue persisted with a super deluxe and a X2 coil.) 

Conversely the bottom end super deluxe on the megatower rides significantly better, feeling plush in the rough, but composed and supported on deep hits.

I don’t think this a YT thing as I have a 2018 Tues and it has none of these issues. But think the development of the Capra MK2 was rushed to compete against the nomad when the first really big travel enduro bikes came out.

Reply

Please log in to leave a comment.