Down Time: Moderately long travel that feels somewhere on the poppy, supportive end of the spectrum, but with geometry that's eager, stable, long and low. A combination that makes it easy to get to know, and easy to get along with once you have.
The Upside: Properly long reach paired with a properly steep seat angle. A comfy, supportive, all-day worthy billy goat in its high position, and not bad in its low position.
Dollar for Dollar: XTR derailleur and shifter, Next R carbon cranks, Code RSC brakes, DPX2 shock, HSC/LSC Fox Performance fork and a full carbon frame for $4,300. It maybe means going on a waiting list, and definitely means building and maintaining it yourself. But they had us at XTR.
We challenge you to find a single flaw in the Capra 29 CF Pro. Not because it's perfect. No bike is perfect. But no nitpick will hold up given that this bike costs thousands of dollars less than it should. Every frame member is carbon and every measurement is cutting-edge. And there are literally zero functional compromises in any of its components. The e*thirteen cassete's three alloy cogs may pose some durability questions, but you could probably buy thirty sets with what this bike saves you. And that goes double for the $2,500 Capra 29 AL. Unless money is no object for you, you will be happy with this bike … once you find one. There's usually a bit of a wait for popular YT models.
But we're here to talk about the bike itself. Instead of lifting front travel over rear, the 160-/160-millimeter Capra 29 relies on its mid-stroke ramp-up and generous chainstay to brace for impacts. That matched travel also made it feel natural on flatter, pedaly trails. Where bikes like the Firebird seemed like overkill, the Capra felt at home. The DPX2 shock further complimented this. In contrast to the floaty feel on the longer-travel Float X2-equipped CF Pro Race models, the standard Capras have a more supportive, poppy ride. A ride that's just as suitable for outside the bike park as in it.
Standover height doesn't change much between frame sizes. That means, after you pick the model that suits your terrain, you can pick the size that suits your preference, not just your torso. You can also pick between steep and slack. Normally, that choice is a little like side salad vs french fries at McDonald's. Or like Vanessa vs Raven on Bachelor season 21. It's obvious. It's french fries, Vanessa, and slack. Always slack.
But in the case of the Capra, both are pretty good options. It's gains even more stability in its slack setting, and it's no less poppy or responsive. But it's pretty rowdy in its high setting too. The deciding factor for you might be climbing. How much of it, and what kind.
We found that, forceful erratic pedaling resulted in some unwanted suspension movement, especially if you're fighting the extra sag that comes with the slack setting. But the steep setting kept it high and tight, mashing or not. Otherwise, if you're a nuanced, smooth spinner, you'll be fine either way. You may suffer more than a few pedal strikes, but you'll be fine.
In fact, any rider would be fine on the Capra 29 CF Pro. We used the word "intuitive" more than once to describe it. It feels natural in most terrain and at most speeds. From its versatility to its value, it's truly an enduro bike for the masses.
Q&A With Kerstin Rosenkranz, Head of Marketing, YT Industries
Early in the new Capra's development, the industry still hadn't widely accepted 76-degree (and steeper) seat angles. Where did you get the inspiration to go that steep when few, if any, other brands ever had?
For us as developers and riders, it wasn´t that big of a discussion—it was more the next logical step. A modern enduro bike had to have a steeper seat angle. This is what this kind of riding requires. Earn your turns. Pedal it up more efficiently to save energy for hitting berms even harder on the downhill. The same feedback came from our team riders.
Having ridden both the CF Pro and CF Pro Race models, the Pro Race seems to have more than just longer travel and slacker angles. It seemed to hug the ground more than just an extra 10 millimeters would achieve. Are there differences between the CF Pro and CF Pro Race beyond just shock and fork stroke lengths?
Based on our concept, if you are choosing the “Pro Race” model, you want to have the best equipment for killing it. A bit more of everything. Special paint job and a top-notch specification. Regarding the suspension that means a bit more safety margin / performance, for when it´s getting tight. But the frame is exactly the same on all models.