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YT Industries made a lot of noise in 2014, especially around its much-acclaimed Capra. Regarded by many as a game changer, this 160-170mm travel carbon bike seemed to strike a near-perfect balance of up- and down-hill prowess, and because YT sells its bikes directly to consumers the Capra much like the rest of the range is available at price points normally reserved for significantly less well-equipped bikes. The bike was so popular that there was a 3-month waiting list to get one for most of 2014.

Aside from the lead time issue, YT has traditionally only sold its bikes in Europe, much to the chagrin of riders from other countries. That is because YT operates a direct-to-consumer sales model which means there needs to be an easy way to interact with customers for post-sales service issues, something that is much harder to do across borders and oceans. Well, YT has found a way to overcome this issue without reverting to a traditional distribution and retail model. Effective today, YT is opening the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand markets via a local partnership approach. Bikes will still be sold directly from the manufacturer, but stocked and serviced in-country via dedicated partners. The North American partner is none other than Cam Zink himself, together with his brother Howie, while the Oceania markets will be served by Solon Payne. The full list of countries now served by YT is: EU Member States, Switzerland, Israel, USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

We caught up with YT CEO and founder Markus Flossmann, to discuss the new bikes and the growth that the company is currently going through. Check out what he had to say, then discover the 2015 YT range below!

Markus Flossmann, the man with the plan - photo by Johan Hjord.

Markus, lots of action for YT in 2014. What were the highlights for you?
Yes, we had a pretty busy year but as it looks like now, 2015 ain’t gonna be any more relaxed or less exciting. From the product point of view, the 2014 highlight was clearly the Capra for us. It was the first time we made a carbon fiber bike and we gambled everything on this one card – and it turned out better than even we had expected. And luckily the media and customers saw it the same way we did.

Of course we had other highlights this year when we look away from the products: Andreu finally won Rampage. For the whole company this was a big thing this year, not least because Zink also came in 2nd and won best trick. Here at YT everybody breathes and eats mountain biking – and having our boys with our bikes on the 2 top spots made the whole company proud. Everybody knows it is the riders’ talent and dedication which lead to the win, but we also like to see it as a sports team here. Everybody was working on this for a whole year and then finally it turned out even better than we could ever have dreamed of. And of course we won’t soon forget about Cam’s world record [100-foot backflip] and Andreu’s wild achievements with the Fest Series.

After the success of Capra in 2014, quite a challenge to keep moving forward. What have you done to Capra for 2015?
Since the geometry is just spot on and the kinematics just work the way they should, we decided to only change the specs a little at points where it made sense. The brakes for example have changed to SRAM’s new Guide platform, and there are some other minor improvements that you will discover with the new bikes. We are also excited to introduce an aluminum version of the Capra, which inherits the exact same geometry and 95% of the spec of the carbon version, at an even more affordable price point!

There were some initial quality issues with the 2014 Capra (derailleur hanger, brake mount tolerances) – have these all been addressed?
A clear YES. We worked hard over this last year to address these teething problems and already the later batches of 2014 Capras were free of these early series shortcomings. That leaves you no excuses in 2015 to not get a Capra… ;-)

What else can you tell us about the 2015 range?
As a bike manufacturer you look at your line-up for the upcoming season and you think about it. I haven’t personally had to face such a situation, but I can imagine that at some point others have already thought to themselves: “Oh dear, I hope this will work out – there is nothing special or absolutely amazing in there really…”. And even when you think to yourself: “O.K. this will work for us next year and we have at least one banger or new model in there”, there is always a bit of anxiety when you consider the investment.

But this year when the new range was physically in front of me with all the new paintjobs, specs, designs etc, I was happy as hell. The 2015 line-up is just spot on from the technical point of view, and in terms of design we made another huge step forward. I have the feeling we found our language of forms and colors, which to me is a beautiful thing.

If there is one question that keeps coming back in every discussion regarding YT bikes, it’s the question of how to get one! So this is it, are you finally set to open some new markets now?
Getting them is pretty easy via our homepage: www.yt-industries.com – if they are available in your area. And yes, we have made the decision to start to sell in the following new markets: North America (USA + Canada), New Zealand and Australia. We already started small last year in Israel as well and we think this region will also get a little more attention in the future.

How will you serve customers in these non-European locations?
To keep the consumer-direct approach and maintain our very good price-value ratio by cutting out the middle man, there was only one way to deliver the bikes and still offer great service. We have built up a partner system for these new countries and we have made sure those partners are people just like us – people who love mountain bikes. The business in New Zealand and Australia will be run by Solon Payne and for North America it is no one else but Cam Zink and his brother Howie. Cam and YT felt very positively about each other since we first started working together and he loved our bikes right away, so we decided we want to stay together for as long as possible. But instead of just signing a lifetime sponsorship contract Cam had the idea that he wants to help bring our bikes to the States.

Explain to us a little bit about how these businesses will work. Are you still selling direct in these new markets? Will bikes be stocked and/or serviced in-country? Since you are using business partners in these new markets, how is that different to normal distribution/retail? Will the prices in these new markets be more or less equivalent to the current European prices?
Yes we will also run our direct sales business model in those new markets exactly the same like in Europe, but bikes will be stocked and delivered in-country. Cam and Solon, our partners in North America and Oceania, fulfill sales directly to the end consumers and take care of the service and local marketing. Due to different tax and VAT issues our consumer prices will be slightly higher than in Europe, but not by much. Honestly the big challenge for us was creating this partnership concept to keep the pricing close to our European market pricing all while offering high quality customer service through a local ambassador in those markets. We´re pretty proud that we managed to pull it off!

Welcome Kelly McGarry! You’ve built an exciting team with Cam, Andreu, Yannick, now Kelly and of course Bryan Regnier in enduro. Looking for a Rampage 1-2-3 in 2015??
We love freeride and believe this is part of what real mountain biking is about. But even if the whole company celebrated Andreu’s Rampage win, we are not about winning. The slogan of the company is Good Times, and that is exactly what our riders should have and represent. If they do that by placing themselves on the podium that’s great, but if they just want to shoot films and photos next year we are fine with that too. To summarize: Of course it is amazing to see our boys on podiums, but it is best to see them enjoying what they do best on our bikes. Just having Good Times.

There were rumors about a YT DH team, what can you tell us about that?
We really don’t know where those rumors came from. There were no major discussions nor negotiations with any teams, so I guess someone might have thought that it is about time we should run a DH team and decided to spread that rumor. Maybe I should ask my marketing department if they signed a DH team without letting me know. To be honest, nothing is really in the pipeline yet, but our eyes are open to every corner of the bike market – maybe we’ll create a Tour d’ France Team around Andreu next year, where all the riders have to use the Capra… ;-)

Anything else to add?
Welcome North America and Oceania to the world of YT Industries – we’re gonna have some Good Times together! Now go check out our 2015 bikes:

2015 YT Industries Range

Trond Hansen gets his enduro on with the new and blue Capra CF Pro.

2015 YT Industries Range Highlights and Availability

  • New wheelsize (27.5") and revised geo for the TUES AL and TUES AL COMP, available at the end of February
  • New model (enduro race-spec): CAPRA CF PRO RACE, available mid-February
  • Some spec changes and new colors for the CAPRA CF PRO, CAPRA CF COMP 1 and COMP 2, available mid-February
  • New aluminum frame, two build kits CAPRA ORIGIN AL 1 and AL 2, available end of March
  • Dirtjump line stays the same, with FIRST LOVE, DIRT LOVE, and Andreu Lacondeguy's signature LOVE DIRT

2015 YT Industries Capra Origin AL

2015 YT Industries Capra Origin AL 1.

Based on the very successful Capra CF, Capra Origin AL goes aluminum (with the carbon seat stays of the Capra CF) to offer the same geometry and near-identical built kits at a much lower price point. Available in 2 versions, both feature the RockShox Pike RCT3 / Monarch Plus HV RC3 combo from the Comp 1/2 carbon Capras, SRAM's new Guide brakes ("R" version here on the Origin), and either a SRAM X1 1x11 or X9 Type-2, 2x10 drivetrain. The aluminum Capra forgoes the e*thirteen TRS wheels for DT Swiss E1900 Spline. RockShox Reverb dropper post on both builds too, 125-mm on the size S, 150-mm on the 2 others. Just like the Capra CF, the Capra Origin is offered in 3 sizes.

YT's Enduro racer Bryan Regnier putting the new Capra Origin AL 2 to work.

2015 YT Capra Origin AL Build Kits

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2015 YT Capra Origin AL Geometry

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2015 YT Industries Capra CF

2015 YT Industries Capra CF Pro Race.

The Capra CF was a monumental success for YT in 2014, so as expected, no significant changes have been made to the 2015 bike. The frame stays exactly the same, but sees the introduction of new colorways (now 7 in total), spread out over the 4 models available. At the top of the line we find a new "Pro Race" model, which features the FCV version of the BOS Deville fork @ 160-mm travel, carbon Fatbar from Renthal, and Mavic's Crossmax Enduro wheels. The claimed weight for a size S without pedals is 12.9kgs. The whole Capra CF line moves to SRAM's new Guide brake, and will roll out on Maxxis HR2 instead of last year's Continental Trail Kings.

2015 Capra CF Pro Race getting dirty under Trond Hansen.

2015 YT Capra CF Build Kits

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2015 YT Capra CF Geometry

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2015 YT Industries TUES AL

2015 YT TUES AL COMP.

YT are obviously sold on the benefits of bigger wheels, as they are now moving their Rampage-winning TUES DH aluminum platform onto 27.5" rims. To take full advantage of the new hoops, the BB has been dropped below the axles and the TT and reach have been stretched out. There are also 3 new colors including a company-first stealthy black option to choose from.

Bryan Regnier droppin' in on the 2015 YT TUES AL in raw.

2015 YT TUES AL Build Kits

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2015 YT TUES AL Geometry

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2015 YT Industries First Love, Dirt Love, and Love Dirt

2015 YT DIRT LOVE.

No major evolution in the DJ line up for 2015. First Love, Dirt Love, and of course Andreu's signature LOVE DIRT remain in the catalogue. DJ frames is where it all started for YT, and they remain true to their roots by maintaining exceptionally good value to make sure no Young Talent should have to hit the jumps under equipped.

2015 YT Industries First Love Build Kit

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2015 YT Industries Dirt Love Build Kit

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2015 YT Industries LOVE DIRT (Andreu Lacondeguy Signature) Build Kit

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2015 YT Industries Dirt Geometry

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For more information, head on over to: www.yt-industries.com.

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