2022 YT IZZO Core 3 Bike

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International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
Vital Test Sessions - YT IZZO
YT’s dedicated trail bike aims to foster efficiency and speed climbing while maintaining its shred-everything DNA on the way back down.
Vital Review
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For every two new eMTBs that hit the market, one new short-travel bike seems to be introduced to keep the scales of our industry balanced. Depending on the brand, the intended use of these tiny rocket ships varies drastically. When YT launched the IZZO in 2020, we expected the 130mm travel bike to flaunt slack geometry, burly components, and prioritize hauling ass downhill. After all, when YT launched their Jeffsy “trail bike,” it turned out to be as capable as most brands’ enduro bikes.

While the IZZO still has some YT DNA sprinkled into the equation to achieve a stable, forgiving and comfortable ride experience on descents, it was intended to be an efficient and lightweight short-travel trail bike that excels within its limits. Included in our Short Travel Test Sessions, the IZZO sported the most travel matched with modern geometry that, on paper, had us ready to hammer climbs and swing off the back on descents.




  • Maximizes travel to provide a capable yet forgiving ride quality on descents
  • Maintains speed through rough sections without getting hung up
  • Compliant frame dampens trail chatter
  • Killer price point
  • Relaxed pedaling position promotes all-day adventure
  • Struggles to maintain and generate speed on low-angle, undulating terrain
  • Active design under pedaling forces minimizes efficiency
  • Shock lockout switch is hard to reach due to the upside-down shock orientation
  • Shorter dropper post makes it hard to shift weight rearward in steep sections


  • Full carbon frame 
  • 29-inch wheels 
  • 130mm (5.1-inches) rear travel // 130mm (5.1-inches) fork travel
  • Flip-chip geometry adjustment
  • 66/66.5-degree head tube angle 
  • 77/77.5-degree effective seat tube angle 
  • 432mm chainstay length 
  • FOX 34 Float Performance Elite fork, GRIP2 damper
  • FOX Float DPS Performance Elite shock, 3-position lever 
  • YT Postman dropper post, 150mm 
  • SRAM GX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain
  • SRAM G2 R brakes
  • 200mm front rotor, 180mm rear rotor 
  • DT Swiss M 1900 wheels
  • 29x2.35-inch Maxxis Forecaster, dual compound, EXO casing tire front and rear
  • Boost 148x12 rear hub spacing 
  • Threaded bottom bracket
  • Partially guided internal cable routing
  • Measured weight (size large, no pedals): 29.4-pounds (13.3kg)
  • MSRP: $4,299 USD 

YT IZZO Overview

The IZZO is the shortest travel bike in YT’s lineup, employing 130mm of travel front and rear. We spent plenty of time aboard the IZZO and covered all the nitty-gritty details when the bike first launched in 2020, followed by a comparison review against a cross-country race bike. YT sought to make the IZZO a true trail bike that is light, comfortable to pedal, fast-rolling, and capable through demanding, rough terrain. The IZZO features a full-carbon frame that comfortable blends stiffness and durability. The geometry is modern yet balanced and sets riders up for success when seated pedaling or attacking descents. A flip-chip in the upper shock mount will drop the bottom bracket height and slacken the head tube angle by .5-degrees if desired. 

The IZZO is the only YT model to depart from their V4L (Virtual 4 Link) design. Instead, it uses a Horst Link configuration that sees the vertically mounted rear shock driven by a short, aluminum rocker link. The design opens up the front triangle, giving space for a full-size water bottle to be mounted on the inside of the downtube and a tool mount on the underside of the top tube. 

All pivots use double-sealed bearings with an additional dust seal to extend bearing longevity, and pivot hardware is accessed from one side to simplify maintenance. All cables are routed internally and held tightly in place with screwed plugs at the head tube, while small rubber grommets at the entrances of holes on the chainstay provide protection and limit movement.  Finally, a rubber chainstay and seatstay protector shield the frame from chain slap and help deaden drivetrain noise. The chainstay protector is held in place with a single screw to ensure it remains in place.  


We tested a size large IZZO and experimented with both geometry configurations. While the difference between both was minute, we spent the most time riding in the low position because the 334mm bottom bracket was most similar to the other test bikes and increased stability on descents. Compared to the other bikes in the test, the IZZO had the second slackest head angle at 66 degrees (low position), the highest stack height at 621mm, and the shortest chain stays at 432mm. It’s worth noting that YT does increase the chainstays by 5mm on their x-large and double x-large frames.  

Build Kit Tested 

YT was adamant that they did not want the IZZO to sway too far in the direction of an aggressive short-travel trail bike. Beyond choosing moderate, balanced geometry, YT achieved this goal by speccing all IZZO models with components that prioritize weight, efficiency, and climbing performance before descending prowess. All builds feature light-casing tires and trail-focused wheels and suspension. However, compared to the other bikes included in our Test Sessions, our IZZO Core 3 build still offered more robust components in certain areas. 

We tested the mid-range Core 3 build that retails for $4,299 USD and is highlighted by FOX 34 Performance Elite fork, FOX Float DPS Performance Elite shock, SRAM GX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain, SRAM G2 R 4-piston brakes, DT Swiss M 1900 wheels, and 2.35-inch, EXO casing Maxxis Forecaster tires. Weighing in at 29.4-pounds, the IZZO was the second heaviest bike in the group behind the Alchemy Arktos 120. 

Relative to the other three short-travel bikes tested, the Core 3 build had a mixture of components that favored climbing and descending performance. The IZZO was the only bike other than the Alchemy Arktos 120 to use 4-piston brakes but bumped things up a notch using a 200mm front and 180mm rear rotor. The Maxxis Forecaster tires, on the other hand, were relatively lightweight and only 25 grams per tire heavier than the Ibis Exie’s minimalistic Maxxis Recon Race tires. Looking at suspension, beyond the IZZO having the most combined travel in the group, the FOX 34 Float fork with GRIP2 damper and FOX Float DPS rear shock were strong performers under aggressive riding. The fork featured no lockout control, while the rear shock did have a three-position compression lockout to help maximize efficiency.

IZZO Core 4 - MSRP $ 5,599 USD
IZZO Uncaged 7 - MSRP $7,499 USD

With YT being a direct-to-consumer brand, the Core 3 IZZO we tested was the cheapest in our group by $1700 USD. The two premium IZZO builds offer riders nicer and lighter components at comparable price points to the other test bikes. For those looking for a lightweight trail killer between $5,500 and $7,500 USD, it will be hard to beat the component spec of the IZZO Core 4 or Uncaged 7 models.   


During our two-week testing period, conditions ranged from loose over hardpack to wet and tacky topsoil. Each tester began with around 25% sag and then made adjustments to match rider preference and trail conditions. Before hitting the dirt, we did have issues adjusting the air pressure in the IZZO’s rear shock due to the tight tolerance of the shock valve with the frame. We found that unless we used the YT-provided shock pump or other pumps with a short valve attachment, we had to completely remove the shock to adjust air pressure. 

Greg Montgomery

John Palumbo

Jason Schroeder

  • 5-foot, 11-inches (180cm)
  • 150-pounds (68kg)
  • Fork: 74psi
  • Shock: 145psi (30% sag)
  • Tire pressure: 24psi rear, 21psi front

  • 6-foot, 1-inch (185cm)
  • 210-pounds (95kg)
  • Fork: 88psi
  • Shock: 288psi (30% sag)
  • Tire pressure: 28psi front and rear

  • 6-foot (182cm)
  • 175-pounds (77kg)
  • Fork: 85psi
  • Shock: 175psi (30% sag)
  • Tire pressure: 24psi rear, 21psi front

On The Trail

Our Short Travel Test Sessions was conducted throughout the foothills of Boise, Idaho. The trails immediately outside town feature flowing single track with high average speeds and occasional rock gardens. An aggressive, heavy bike with slack geometry is often too much. Instead, mid-weight bikes equipped to attack punchy climbs and carry speed on undulating terrain provide the best trail experience.

Descending Performance

With the most travel out of the four bikes in our test, it should come as no surprise that the IZZO was the most forgiving and capable on descents, performing more similarly to a trail bike than a cross country bike. When charging into rock gardens and technical sections, we felt at ease pushing our limits, knowing the IZZO could handle plenty of abuse without punishing us for taking less precise lines. We had no problem maintaining speed through rough compressions and found it easier to float over bumps where other bikes had a tendency to get hung up or deflect. The IZZO was also a joy to take down mellow flow trails and had the most natural feel when hitting jumps and bowled out berms.  

The IZZO’s full carbon frame was noticeable more compliant on descents and made for a smooth ride through trail chatter. The downside to this compliance was a lack of responsiveness when pumping trail features to generate speed. Even though we found the rear suspension comfortably supportive and progressive, we consistently had trouble maintaining speed on low angle, undulating descents. Sprinting flat sections of trail between descents was also very laborious and required more energy to maintain or regain speed than the other test bikes.  

We chalk this lack of descending efficiency up to the heavier build, 10mm more travel, and complaint frame. Considering that the more expensive IZZO Core 4 and Uncaged 7 models come with lighter components geared towards efficiency and climbing performance, we’d speculate those builds would generate and maintain speed much better. In the case of the IZZO Core 3 tested, we would be more inclined to maximize its descending abilities by installing thicker casing tires and higher rise handlebars before we started making changes to improve the bike’s speed on mellow trails.  

Climbing Performance

Climbing the IZZO proved to be a comfortable yet slow-moving endeavor. Seated and pedaling, the IZZO placed us more upright and rearward than our other test bikes. However, we did not notice a huge lack of power transfer at the pedals due to the relaxed body positioning. If anything, the IZZO again had more of a trail bike feel that mentally made us less eager to attack climbs but rather settle into a consistent grind. The suspension was decently active under pedaling forces and, albeit slower on smooth and flatter trails, did pay dividends on technical climbs where the IZZO provided endless traction. As the second heaviest bike in our test at 29.4-pounds, the Core 3 build did not do us any favors going uphill either.

The IZZO’s saving grace on climbs was the FOX Float DPS shock lockout that significantly improved climbing performance. Compared to the other bikes, the IZZO was the most reliant on locking out the shock, as seen in the efficiency test, where the IZZO went from slowest when open to fastest when locked out. There is a catch, however. The Float DPS shock is mounted upside down, positioning the lockout switch closer to the bottom bracket, conveniently out of reach for most riders. While we were eager to lockout the IZZO as often as possible to maximize efficiency, we often found ourselves riding with the rear shock open due to the lockout lever’s inaccessibility. If we had a bottomless piggy bank, we would reach for IZZO Uncaged 7 model that features a remote actuated dual-suspension lockout to solve this issue. 

Build Kit

Favorite Components: Maxxis Forecaster Tires, FOX Performance Elite Suspension

As the cheapest bike in our test, the IZZO Core 3 offers riders a great bang-for-your-buck package. FOX’s Performance Elite suspension and Maxxis’ Forecaster tires stood out as components that complemented the IZZO’s strong suites. While you don’t get the shiny gold finish of FOX’s Factory level suspension, the support, suppleness, and tunability remain with Performance Elite. We especially love FOX’s GRIP2 damper and the ability to tweak high and low-speed rebound and compression to our liking. 

The IZZO was the first time any of our testers rode Maxxis’ Forecaster tires, and they proved to be capable and predictable tires for our dry, loose, and hardpack trails. For a lightweight trail tire, the tread design was aggressive enough to maintain traction and corner support without creating too much rolling resistance, allowing us to push the tires more than some of the other tires ridden during Test Sessions.

Least Favorite Components: 150mm Dropper Post, SRAM G2 R Brakes

Easily the least favorite component of the IZZO was the 150mm YT Postman dropper post combined with the low and long RaceFace Turbine cockpit that caused a ‘stink bug’ effect in steep or fast sections of trail. Not all riders will feel this sensation, but with such a descent-capable bike, we yearned for a longer dropper and higher rise bars to allow us to reach the full potential of the IZZO on descents. 

The other component we would be quick to change is the SRAM G2 R brakes. Even though the G2s employ four pistons and were matched with a 200mm front and 180mm rear rotor, the largest in the test, the stopping consistency and lever feel was subpar compared to the Shimano XT brakes used on all other bikes.  

Vital Test Sessions Take Away

The IZZO is ideal for riders who are used to long-travel bikes but want a more efficient bike to take on big rides without losing the ability to charge descents carefree. The frame design takes full advantage of the 130mm of travel and allows the IZZO to descend like a short travel trail bike, maintaining composure where other bikes become overwhelmed. Pedaling performance is not as impressive as the other bikes we tested alongside the IZZO; however, the pedaling position is more comfortable, and the rear shock lockout goes the distance allowing the bike to remain capable on climbs.  

Rider intent and component spec heavily influence how aggressive short-travel bikes perform, and the IZZO gives riders plenty of flexibility to meet their needs. The Core 3 model we tested shined most as a hard-charging, mini trail bike and would require too many adjustments to achieve enhanced climbing performance. For riders who are eager to fly up hills, save your money, and reach for the more expensive IZZO builds with components that prioritize efficiency, weight, and pedaling performance.  

For more information, please visit yt-industries.com 


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YT IZZO Core 3 Bike
Model Year
Riding Type
Sizes and Geometry
SM (low, high)
MD (low, high)
LG (low, high)
XL (low, high)
XXL (low, high)
Wheel Size
Frame Material
Carbon Fiber
Frame Material Details
Carbon front and rear triangles, molded seatstay and chainstay protection
Rear Travel
Rear Shock
FOX FLOAT DPS Performance Elite, 3-position lever (Open, Medium, Firm), low-speed compression adjust, low-speed rebound adjust, 210mm x 55 mm
FOX FLOAT 34 Performance Elite, GRIP2 damper, high/low-speed compression adjust, high/low-speed rebound adjust, 44mm offset
Fork Travel
Head Tube Diameter
Tapered, 1.125" top, 1.5" bottom
ACROS, AZX-586 Block Lock (SM/MD) or AZX-576 (LG/XL/XXL)
Race Face Turbine R, 7075 AL, 780mm width, 20mm rise, 8° backsweep, 5° upsweep, 35mm clamp diameter
Race Face Turbine R, 0° rise, 35mm bar clamp
Length: 50mm (SM/MD), 60mm (LG/XL/XXL)
ODI Elite Motion V2.1, lock-on
SRAM G2 R, SRAM CenterLine rotors (200mm front, 180mm rear)
Brake Levers
SRAM G2 R, adjustable reach
SRAM GX Eagle, 12-speed
Front Derailleur
Rear Derailleur
SRAM GX Eagle, 12-speed
Length: 170mm (SM), 175mm (MD/LG/XL/XXL)
SRAM GX Eagle, 32 tooth
Bottom Bracket
SRAM DUB, PressFit
SRAM GX Eagle XG-1275, 12-speed, 10-52 tooth
DT Swiss M1900 Spline wheelset, 30mm inner width
DT Swiss M1900 Spline wheelset, 110x15mm Boost front, 148x12mm Boost rear with XD driver
DT Swiss M1900 Spline wheelset
Maxxis Forekaster, Dual Compound, EXO, TR, 29" x 2.35"
SDG Bel Air 3.0, YT Custom, 140mm width, Lux-Alloy rails
YT Postman dropper, MMX-compatible remote lever
Drop: 100mm (SM), 125mm (MD), 150mm (LG), 175mm (XL/XXL)
Seatpost Diameter
Seatpost Clamp
Single bolt
Rear Dropout / Hub Dimensions
148x12mm Boost
Max. Tire Size
29" x 2.5"
Bottle Cage Mounts
One inside front triangle, plus accessory mounts under top tube
Assault Green, Black Magic
5 years frame, 2 years components
29 lb 5.1 oz (13,300 g)
• Four-Link suspension design
• Internal cable routing
• Geometry adjustable via flip chip in upper shock mount
• Weight given for size SM set up tubeless, without pedals
What do you think?
Where To Buy
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.

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