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Return of the Goat - YT Introduces the All-New Capra 12

Mixed wheel sizes and updated geometry highlight the evolutions brought to the new Capra. Oh and it takes a water bottle too!

Return of the Goat - YT Introduces the All-New Capra

When the first Capra was released back in 2014, we called it a "game changer" - others have since referred to it as "the mother of all enduro bikes." A lot has happened since 2014 of course, but the Capra remains the most important bike in the line-up for YT. After more than three years on the market in its current form, it was getting on a bit in the geometry department and clearly due an update. But not only the bike was due an update, the story first introduced in the (in)famous "Return of the Goat" short film that accompanied the launch of the MKII also needed a sequel, and this time YT did not hold back. The short film concept got a bit longer, and the production level is now Netflix-esque...in fact, this film was directed by Otto Bathurst, the man behind Peaky Blinders, and yes, there's a Hollywood actor in this one too. For the rest, you'll have to watch it...then keep scrolling down to learn more about the new bike.

 

So, about the new bike - rather than start over fully fresh or re-think the whole concept, YT wanted to build on the Capra legacy while addressing four key points:

  • Leverage the advantages of the 29-inch wheel up front
  • Steepen the seat tube while slackening the head angle
  • Increase the reach
  • Improve the pedaling kinematics

Visually, the MKIII is not a radical departure from the MKII, but as you will no doubt already have noticed the frame can now carry a water bottle. Rather than abandon the distinctive "wing" in the frame, YT moved it to the side to make room for a bottle holder. Most normal side-loading holders will work, but YT will ship every Capra with their own "Thirstmaster" cage and bottle so you won't even have to bother going out to get one yourself. Note that the frame still passes the same durability and stiffness tests as the previous version.

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What about those wheels then? There are two different frames on offer, a full 29er and the "MX" version with a 29 front/27.5 rear combo. The frames present differences that go beyond a simple flip chip, so you can't just swap in a 27.5-inch wheel in the 29-inch frame to do the same thing. Most notably, the chain stays are shorter on the MX version, but the kinematics are also significantly different with more end-stroke progression and a lower BB on the MX version. This is how YT defines it: Capra MX Performance Focus: "70% Downhill, 30% Uphill, 100% Shred", Capra 29 Performance Focus: "60% Downhill, 40% Uphill, 100% Fast".

YT Capra 29 Core 3
YT Capra MX Core 4

In the geometry department, the most radical change is the seat tube which is 2 degrees steeper than on the MKII, a welcome change for sure. The head angle is also an internet-approved 1 degree slacker now, and the reach has increased by ~7 mm across the board. Both bikes will now be offered in 5 sizes, and the low standover height and seat tube length will allow you the freedom to base your choice on the length of the bike you want to ride.

YT Capra 29 Geo
YT Capra MX Geo

When it comes to the suspension curves, changes have been made to both bikes. The 29er has principally been given more anti-rise and a less progressive leverage ratio compared to the MKII 29er, while the MX bike gets a big boost in anti-squat and a more rearward axle path compared to the MKII 27.5 bike. The MX bike now also uses the same shock length as the 29er, moving away from the extra-long shock that was used on the MKII 27.5-inch bike. Rear travel is listed at 165 mm for the 29er and 170 mm for the MX bike. Correspondingly, the overall leverage ratio of the MX bike is higher than it was on the old 27.5-inch bike (but the shape of the curve remains largely unchanged). These changes line up with the stated design objectives for each bike.

YT Capra MKIII 29 Suspension Curves

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YT Capra MKIII MX Suspension Curves

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For the first time ever, YT is now also offering two levels of carbon frame construction: "Ultra High Modulus" and "High Modulus" . The UHM frame is lighter than the HM frame while retaining the same strength, thanks to the use of a different carbon layup. There is a new, ribbed chain stay protector and the MKIII uses SRAM's new Universal Derailleur Hanger which means you should be able to replace this crucial component in pretty much any bike shop around the world. The flip chip has been moved to the shock yoke.

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Build Kits, Pricing, and Availability

The Capra MKIII will initially be offered with 2 carbon build levels, Core 3 and Core 4. Core 3 is based on the High Modulus frame while the Core 4 gets the Ultra High Modulus version. Aluminum MKIIIs are "planned" but no launch date has been given at this point. Availability of the Core 3/4 builds is a rather disheartening "end of 2021" but that comes as no surprise given the state of the bike industry at present. To enable customers to purchase in advance, YT has recently introduced a new pre-order function in its web shop, where you can reserve any bike with an availability date of more than 4 weeks in the future via a 10% down payment (fully refundable if you should change your mind).

There is also something a little extra special in the line-up, in the form of 100 pieces of the strictly limited Launch Edition. Built on the MX frame, this mullet build sports "hand-picked parts by the Goatman himself" and a distinct paint job that mimics the look of his van from the movie. The finish is hand crafted so no two frames will look exactly alike. If you want to swing your legs over one of these, you should probably stop reading now and go place your order...

YT Capra MKIII Launch Edition

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  • Frame: UM Ultra Modulus Carbon Frame / V4L / 148x12
  • Shock: Cane Creek DB
  • Kitsuma Coil
  • Fork: RS ZEB Ultimate RC2 170mm
  • Drivetrain: SRAM XO1 Eagle
  • Wheels: Crankbrothers Synthesis Enduro Carbon I9 1/1
  • Seatpost: YT Postman
  • COLOR: ROTG2
  • SIZES: M, L, XL, XXL
  • Weight MX (M): 14.5kg

YT Capra MKIII Core 4

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  • Frame: UM Ultra Modulus Carbon Frame / V4L / 148x12
  • Shock: Fox Float X2 Factory
  • Fork: Fox 38 Float Factory 170mm
  • Drivetrain: SRAM XO1 Eagle
  • Wheels: Crankbrothers Synthesis Enduro I9 Alloy
  • Seatpost: YT Postman
  • COLOR: NOX BLUE, BLACK MAGIC
  • SIZES: S, M, L, XL, XXL
  • Weight MX/29 (S): 14.5kg/14.9kg

YT Capra MKIII Core 3

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  • Frame: HM High Modulus Carbon Frame / V4L / 148x12
  • Shock: Fox Float X Performance Elite
  • Fork: Fox 38 Float Performance Elite 170mm
  • Drivetrain: SRAM GX Eagle
  • Wheels: Crankbrothers Synthesis Enduro Alloy
  • Seatpost: YT Postman
  • COLOR: DEEP YELLOW, LAVA RED, BLACK MAGIC
  • SIZES: S, M, L, XL, XXL
  • Weight MX/29 (S): 15.0kg/15.3kg

YT Capra MKIII Worldwide Pricing

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More information at www.yt-industries.com

As of the publication of this article, we have not yet ridden the new Capra, since for obvious reasons we had to make do with a virtual press camp as opposed to traveling out to test the new bike in person. We should be getting to ride it this summer though, so stay tuned for our thoughts a bit later in the year.

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View key specs, compare bikes, and rate the Capra MKIII in the Vital MTB Product Guide.

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