The distinguished YT CAPRA Core 4 tops the Core range. As such, it’s dripping with top-end kit to deliver an exciting and capable ride that’ll have bikes twice its price quaking in their boots. However, it doesn’t quite have the lengthy geo expected of an enduro bike.
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This iteration of the CAPRA has seen quite the change from its predecessors. For example, the ‘wing’ has been shifted to the right of the frame, making a place for a bottle cage. Its optical weight has been moved towards the downtube and chainstay, aiming to boost stiffness.
Sticking with the subject of the frame, the CAPRA Core 4 benefits from YT’s posher Ultra Modulus carbon frame that sheds some weight against the High Modulus frame found on the Core 3 model. The whole package weighs in at 15kg on my scales.
The bike now comes with the choice of mullet and full fat 29” wheel sizes, both getting their own rear ends. On test, we’ve got the CAPRA in its racier 29” wheel size. It’s also equipped with a geometry adjusting flip-chip, but it never left its ‘LO’ position during my test period.
Updates don’t stop there either, as the CAPRA adopts a tweaked geometry with a steeper seat tube, a slacker head angle, and a stretched reach; all good things here. There have also been revisions to the bike’s anti-squat, anti-rise, and it’s axle path, but we’ll get onto those in a bit.
Moving onto the spec, YT claims to have made no compromises, and to be honest, if I were to buy this bike for myself, I wouldn’t feel the need to make any changes, it’s primed to roll up to the start of an enduro stage right out of the box. That’s because it’s kitted with a Fox 38 Factory fork offering up 170mm of squish for starters.
That fork's fatter stanchions, combined with the Renthal cockpit's 35mm clamp diameter and the redesigned, wider headbox, all make for a noticeably stiff front end. It helps the bike feel mega confident through sections where it should be anything but, while keeping the steering precise.
The Fox 38 fork is paired with a Fox Float X2 Factory shock to handle the rear-wheel 165mm of travel, both of which come sorted with all of the adjustments you'll ever need. That includes low and high-speed rebounds, low and high-speed compressions, and a firm switch on the shock.
Continuing with the 'high-end' theme, crisp, precise, and reliable shifting comes from SRAM's top cable-operated XO1 Eagle drivetrain that rocks a 52T cog. Then the chain is kept firmly in place with help from an e*thirteen chain guide and bash guard, which, I'll confess, came in handy on more than one occasion.
That drivetrain is complemented with a pair of SRAM Code RSC brakes and a pair of 200mm rotors. Those brakes get an adjustable reach and four-pot callipers at each end of the bike.
As for the wheels, this bike rolls on Crankbrothers’ Synthesis Alloy wheelset, which is quite an interesting choice. That’s because either wheel is designed for use specifically at the front or rear of the bike. The front is built with fewer spokes and a wider rim to offer more compliance and a fatter tyre profile to provide more grip. The rear wheel gets more spokes to create a stronger wheel and a narrower rim to achieve a rounder tyre profile for faster rolling.
These benefits were pretty discernable in practice, but the wheels have held up to all of the abuse thrown at them while remaining true. If you would like to know more about these wheels, we’ve got a full review here.
Those wheels are wrapped in Maxxis' 2.5" Assegai with a MaxxGrip compound at the front and a 2.4" DHR II at the rear with the harder wearing and faster rolling MaxxTerra compound. Both of those come with EXO+ casings. Though it must be noted that there's not an awful lot of clearance within that rear triangle if you're looking at beefing up the rear rubber.
The tyre combo on the CAPRA leaves very little to complain about, especially when you consider this bike's enduro intentions. They're perhaps a bit draggy, but they're confidently grippy in various conditions. It's only through proper sloppy sections where I got a little worried.
While everything is coming up roses with the spec, and I know I said I wouldn’t change anything if I dropped the cash on this bike, but with all of the kit performing so well, the dropper post comes as a bit of a disappointment. Here we’ve got YT Industries’ own Postman dropper, and it just lacks the level of refinement and luxury presented around the rest of the bike.
Don’t get me wrong, it works, but I’ve found that sometimes if you’re dropping it with your weight on the saddle in an area that the post doesn’t like, it’s super stiff to drop. It’s not the smoothest of posts either, but as long as it’s liberally lubricated, it’s far from the end of the world. I've been told by YT that this could be down to the post requiring a service.
YT CAPRA Core 4 | How it rides
Once set up to suit my fit, the CAPRA instantly felt very familiar. As mentioned previously, YT has slightly steepened the seat tube angle to 77.6°, resulting in a pleasant and central position over the pedals. When seated, weight is distributed evenly over the bike, which is noticeable when climbing as no adjustments, or weight shifts are necessary to keep the bike feeling planted.
Helping things get even comfier is that stretched reach figure, but here is where it gets a little interesting. The large frame on test has a 467mm reach. Now that's not particularly long for an enduro bike or progressive by any stretch, with bikes like the Specialized Enduro and the Nukeproof Mega getting reaches upwards of 475mm on an S4 size or large. Though, it would be rude to call the CAPRA's geometry conservative… So let's go with modest.
But its modest reach is partly why the CAPRA feels so easy to get on with. Not only does it offer a comfy riding position and a spacious cockpit, but it doesn't require a conscious change in riding style to get the most out of it, as with longer bikes. Yes, it comes with its downsides; it's not as sure-footed when things get steep, but its shape is much more welcoming to those who may not be as accustomed to lengthier wheelbases.
So the shape of the bike is nice and comfy when pedalling; however, I've found that the bike isn't the most efficient, which, to be fair, is to be expected of an enduro bike. After all, it gets a 60% focus on downhill performance to YT's own admission.
Climbing isn't helped by the aggressive and somewhat draggy tyre choices. Still, despite the brand's efforts to boost the CAPRA's anti-squat figures to improve pedalling, the rear end remains somewhat unruly while cranking. It took a handful of low-speed compression damping to calm it down. Even then, on extended climbs, I felt the need to reach for the X2's firm switch to boost efficiency, something I rarely resort to on any bike.
The CAPRA isn't all about efficient climbing (only 40% of it is...) as it is, after all, an enduro bike with heaps of travel. Get those speeds up, and that rebellious rear swiftly adjusts its attitude, soaking up all of the trail chatter and general nastiness it can. It smooths things out to the point where you can simply concentrate on what's ahead of you… And white-knuckling the bar while travelling at some pretty rapid speeds.
However, it's by no means a fun absorbing monster truck. YT has tweaked the V4L (virtual four-link) suspension to become more playful, but that boost in anti-squat also aids 'pop'. That means that if you wanted to launch off of roots, get airborne and lark about, that's well within the CAPRA's remit. This also translates into a heap of support in the midstroke, rewarding out of the saddle sprints while negating any wallowing through berms and compressions. Then, when things get really serious, and the hits take the travel towards the end stroke, the progression ramps up further, making big g-outs and dodgy huck to flats feel smooth and much less of a mistake than they probably were.
I can imagine people shunning the CAPRA for its lack of length, but I think that's where this bike is set apart in a rather crowded house. It claws back some agility, making it ideal for any tight and twisty trails. I found it reluctant to lean into corners due to the bike's stack which was a little taller than I'm used to. However, bunging the included zero-stack headset cap under the stem nicely lowered the cockpit after and shortened the adjustment period. After which, tight and niggly sections became a doddle, especially considering the travel on offer.
Although the bike takes a bit of extra muscle to tip, swoopy flow trails were handled with ease, too, with a bit of confidence. Thanks to the bike's modest wheelbase and respectfully short 438mm chainstay, it changes direction pretty easily once mastered. This is where the bike's hefty travel can feel a little overkill. Still, YT's refinement to the suspension platform revives some playfulness.
While the 64.5° head tube is more than confidence-inspiring, making the steep stuff absolutely possible, stability wanes, and the front end feels a little uncertain. It's here where the CAPRA begins to lose out against its lengthy competitors. I did feel as if the seat tube was a little on the tall side, so when the gradient drops I found myself dodging the saddle. It would be nice if the seat tube were a little shorter and the dropper post a little longer, or a little more freedom of movement over the bike.
However, as mentioned before, the reserved length of the bike makes it happier when quickly changing direction and easier to manage on trails that aren't always ridiculously steep. Dare I say it, but it could be more versatile than a longer bike.
YT CAPRA Core 4 | Value & verdict
True to YT fashion, the CAPRA Core 4 comes at a mighty good value. To compare, Specialized's Enduro Comp is £6,350. It forgoes a blingy Kashima-coated suspension favouring a Fox 38 Performance Elite matched with a Fox X2 Performance shock. The Spesh also gets a SRAM XO1 drivetrain, but it is joined by SRAM Code RS brakes rather than the RSCs, and there's a pair of Roval wheels. Its geometry is more 'enduro' though, with a 487mm reach on an S4 and a slacker 63.9° head tube.
It's a similar case of more agro geometry and lesser spec with the Trek Slash 9.8 GX at £6,550. You might have guessed, it gets SRAM GX shifting, but there's also a RockShox ZEB Select+ and Super Deluxe Ultimate Shock. A large model has a 486mm reach and a slightly slacker 64.1° head tube angle, but a rather slack 66.6° seat tube.
At £5,800, the Canyon Strive CFR is one of few to come close in price with a reasonably similar suspension and Shimano XTR shifting. Though, in its current state, the Strive's geometry is even more conservative than the CAPRA's.
The YT CAPRA Core 4 is an enduro bike for those who perhaps don't get on with more lengthy bikes or those yearning for a more agile ride. It offers the trail-taming capability of big travel in a package that's welcoming and happy to be thrashed around trails where lengthier bikes might be a hindrance. While a little nervous down steep terrain, it's fast, capable, and easy to ride without sucking all of the fun from mellower trails.