Down Time: The Capra Pro Race’s 180 millimeters of suspension gobbles up the roughest terrain like a downhill bike. It's more linear than progressive, making it feel more supple and ground-huggy than poppy. It comes to life at high speeds.
The Up Side: This is not the Capra Pro Race's strong suit. Although it's remarkable that this big of a bike climbs as well as it does, it's just not competitively efficient, even when compared to the Canyon Torque, which has nearly the same travel figures.
Dollar For Dollar: The bike is an incredible value. Testers complained about the wheels being overly stiff and shoes rubbing on the beefy cranks, but all and all, it's impossible to beat such a high-end build for the price.
This is the Ford Raptor of bikes. It's supersized, over the top, it's only good at one thing—and it's totally rad. The Capra 27 CF Pro Race is the top-tier, longer-travel build of a bike that really doesn't need more travel. But what the hell, might as well go full fist-pump, right?
Maybe. When doing chairlift laps in the bike park, especially on the fast, technical downhill course we were lapping on Killington mountain, it was tough not to fall in love. But as soon as we got the bike on our full test loop, with a steep, rooted, gut-busting climb, we were less amazed.
Did we really expect a bike with 180 millimeters of front and rear travel to be a hill-climb champion? Of course not, but it could have been better. For starters, the bike squatted a lot, and to make matters worse, the climbing mode of the Fox Float X2 wasn't quite firm enough to keep the Capra high in its travel. The bike does have a steep 75-degree seat angle, but the suspension was too squishy for the bike to feel efficient uphill. Unfortunately, the shock was maxed out on volume spacers, so our hopes of adding support were foiled.
This would have also helped give the bike a lighter attitude when descending, but that might just go against what this particular bike is best at—demolishing rocks and roots. The Capra Pro Race made short work of the embedded granite bricks, massive holes and speed-sucking roots strewn about our test course. It hugged the ground the way a downhill bike does, plowing through anything in its path.
It doesn't respond to shock preloading with the pop you'd expect from most air-sprung bikes, instead preferring to stick to the trail and gobble it up like Pac-Man eating pellets. It's only at high speeds that this bike starts to come alive and feel light-footed and playful. When describing this bike, one tester said: "It doesn't like to be flicked, but you can throw it."
Now, because it's essentially a downhill bike that you can ride up hills, we concluded that the CF Pro Race is best suited for the bike park, or for places with rowdy enough terrain that climbing a bike like this is worth it. Most people will stick to the regular Capra, but YT made the Pro Race for those wanting to turn the dial all the way to 11.
Q&A With Kerstin Rosenkranz, Head of Marketing, YT Industries
The Capra 27 CF Pro Race has 180 millimeters of travel front and rear, 10 millimeters more than the other Capra models. 170 is already quite a lot of travel. Why did YT choose to go even bigger?
It's safe to say that with the geometry of the CAPRA the 170-millimeter travel front and rear are pretty awesome. With the same bottom bracket height the 10 millimeters more we've chosen for the CAPRA CF Pro Race model offer a 0.5-degree slacker headangle. That means the setup is a little more aggressive—which is what advanced riders are looking for.
Where do you find most people are riding this bike? Does YT see it as more of a bike park bike, or are people doing big rides on it, too?
The CAPRA delivers the perfect combination of pedaling efficiency you get with a trail bike and the tracking of a downhill bike. So our enduro bike is the perfect combination for both trail riding and bike parks or gnarly tracks—a brilliant allrounder that delivers the ultimate riding package.
Is this bike suited well for a coil shock, or is it specifically designed to be used with an air shock?
Progressive kinematics is always a focus in our bike designs. The kinematic of our CAPRA is for sure progressive and works perfectly with a correctly tuned coil shock.
Does the 170-millimeter Capra 27.5 have a deliberately or significantly different leverage curve than the 180-millimeter models? And is the longer-travel version more or less linear?
Construction-wise the Capra 27.5 CF models are all the same, so the leverage curve is the same. Our goal is, no matter how much travel the bike has, it should feel the same. We are working pretty closely with our suspension partners to get the right tune for each shock to fit our kinematics. For getting there, it is necessary to ride a lot, have the capability to feel the differences and figure how the tune set-up has to be changed.
The rear shock on our test bike was filled to the top with volume spacers. Is that the stock out-of-the-box configuration on this bike? And if so, is that your recommended setting?
The shock is configured with 2 x 0.3 volume spacer for serial production. Based on this you have the opportunity to put in more spacers or even less. I’m actually not sure why you got a shock completely filled with spacers, but it seems that the shock in your test bike still had the set up from a tester who had ridden this bike before. But we’ll look into it.