2015 YT Tues CF Pro (discontinued)

Vital Rating: (Spectacular)
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Discontinued
2015 YT Tues CF Pro, blue
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Tested: 2015 YT TUES CF Pro

Rating: Vital Review

Reviewed by Brandon Turman // Action photos by Courtney Steen

Just a few years ago Young Talent Industries was a relatively unknown German brand, and today they are setting up to rival some of the industry's greats. How can that be? Where did the fire come from? Excellent reviews of their Capra enduro bike certainly helped, as did their consumer direct sales model and aggressive pricing. There's also the athlete factor, and with names like Cam Zink, Andreu Lacondeguy, and Kelly McGarry truly pushing the limits year after year, it was only a matter of time before bikes started flying out the door. This past summer we took to the chairlifts to see if their TUES CF downhill bike was capable of living up to the hype as well.

Highlights

  • Carbon frame with aluminum chainstays and suspension

Reviewed by Brandon Turman // Action photos by Courtney Steen

Just a few years ago Young Talent Industries was a relatively unknown German brand, and today they are setting up to rival some of the industry's greats. How can that be? Where did the fire come from? Excellent reviews of their Capra enduro bike certainly helped, as did their consumer direct sales model and aggressive pricing. There's also the athlete factor, and with names like Cam Zink, Andreu Lacondeguy, and Kelly McGarry truly pushing the limits year after year, it was only a matter of time before bikes started flying out the door. This past summer we took to the chairlifts to see if their TUES CF downhill bike was capable of living up to the hype as well.

Highlights

  • Carbon frame with aluminum chainstays and suspension linkage
  • 27.5 (650b) wheels
  • 208mm (8.2-inches) of front and rear wheel travel
  • Virtual 4-Link rear suspension system
  • External brake routing
  • Replaceable derailleur hanger
  • 83mm PF30 bottom bracket with removable ISCG 05 mounts
  • 12x150mm rear through axle
  • 35.5-pounds (16.1kg, measured, size Medium, no pedals, with tubes)
  • MSRP $5,195 USD

The TUES relies on YT's take on the traditional Horst-Link suspension design to deliver 208mm of bump gobbling goodness. Labeled as Virtual 4-Link (V4L) suspension, it incorporates a pivot located just in front of and below the rear axle (the Horst-Link), a pivot just above and behind the bottom bracket, and one at the top of the seat stay connected to a linkage that controls the leverage rate.

On the CF Pro model, you'll find a highly tunable BOS Void DH air shock in a large 267 x 89mm (10.5 x 3.5-inch) size. The use of a longer stroke shock results in a low overall leverage ratio, which contributes to consistent damping performance over long runs. The shock's high-speed compression, low-speed compression, and rebound adjustments are easily accessible, and removal is simple should you need to service or swap the shock. Sealed bearings at every pivot point result in a rear end that cycles very smoothly through the entire stroke. To combat lower frame stiffness levels inherent in many Horst-Link designs, YT incorporates massive bearings and a 20mm axle at the downtube pivot, a 17mm main pivot axle, and one-piece carbon seatstays.

The TUES began its life as an aluminum frame long ago, and was refined over time before YT introduced the super sleek carbon version in early 2015 following two years of development and testing. The carbon frame brings weight savings close to 1kg (2.2-pounds) and longer front ends across the three available sizes.

Looking the frame over, it's hard not to get lost in the details and just how dialed everything is. Take the frame protection, for example, which is the best we've laid eyes on and will help ensure the bike looks good for a long time. There are perfectly molded, oversized rubber guards to protect the chain and seatstay, a large plastic guard on the downtube, and thick clear adhesive stickers everywhere a cable might rub, mud might scrape, or rocks might fly.

Things continue to impress as you geek out over the replaceable inserts on the post mount brake tabs, a low-profile 12x150mm rear axle for added clearance in tight spots, removable ISCG 05 tabs that cleanly clamp around the bottom bracket, and enough mud clearance to keep that wheel turning in even the worst conditions. There's even some extra machining at the front of the chainstays that not only reduces weight, but also to lets mud get pushed through faster.

Cable routing is as simple and clean as can be, and - save a small portion of the rear derailleur that goes through the seatstay - it's entirely external for quick maintenance. We dig the internal seatstay routing as it ensures the cable will last longer, the chain will be quieter, and it's harder to snag unexpectedly.

YT operates on a direct sales model in order to keep the end cost to the consumer low. This means the only way to procure a new one of these bad boys is to order it through their website. We found the site to be a step above most as it provides almost every detail the discerning rider might be curious about, especially when it comes to bike specs. There are even some awesome insights about how each of their Pro riders set up their bike, including sag percentages and damping preferences.

The 2015 TUES CF was available in the $5,195 Pro model (tested) and $4,595 Comp model. 2016 sees some component changes which brings prices to $6,299 for the Pro CF, $4,499 for the Comp CF, and $2,899 for the aluminum version.

Geometry

The bike is highlighted by a 63.5-degree head tube angle, 435mm (17.1-inch) chainstays, and reasonably lengthy reach measurements. We measured the bottom bracket height at close to 349mm (13.7-inches).

Size wise, a consistent seat tube length means you're able to choose the bike length that suits your style best. Our 1.78m (5'10") tall tester settled on the size Medium frame, which aligns with YT's suggestions.

Setup

Unlike most rides, you're not going to roll this one off the showroom floor. YT ships directly to you, and you have the option to build it yourself or take it to a shop. Our test bike arrived in a giant, reusable cardboard box. Everything was well packed with the important bits protected by cardboard spacers. The build process is made incredibly easy as the bike is partially assembled, leaving only stem, bar, wheel, derailleur (partial), and pedal installation to you. Everything else comes pre-adjusted and pretty much ready to roll. Bikes are accompanied by one of the most thorough and visual assembly manuals we've ever seen. They even include a makeshift cardboard bike stand, and it's things like this that make the process less daunting for the average home mechanic.

The only vague step is suspension setup, which is one area they could improve upon with more helpful guides and recommended settings. Then again, we're looking at a Pro build here, so there's an assumption that you know what you're up to when turning knobs and setting pressures, plus there's always room for interpretation depending on your riding style and terrain. The Comp CF model simplifies things with fewer clickers to think about.

Per suggestions from BOS, our 79.4kg (175-pound) test rider began with the following settings on the Void DH air shock and Idylle RaRe FCV37 fork:

Shock

  • Low-speed: 12 clicks from fully tightened/closed
  • High-speed compression: 17 clicks from fully tightened/closed
  • Rebound: 24 clicks from fully tightened/closed
  • Sag: 33% while standing (149psi)

Fork

  • Low-speed: 15 clicks from fully tightened/closed
  • High-speed compression: 18 clicks from fully tightened/closed
  • Rebound: 24 clicks from fully tightened/closed
  • Sag: 22% while standing (180psi)

All that was left to do was air up the tires (28psi front, 31psi rear) and we were off to the bike park for some hot laps. The entire build and setup process took less than an hour. Not bad!

On The Trail

The majority of our time was spent riding in Colorado, where we were treated to early season rains followed closely by hero dirt, then late summer dust and sand. Trestle Bike Park served as a great place to get our jump on, while Granby Ranch (Sol Vista) allowed us to turn up the speed on trails once used for some of the best downhill races in the United States. Searching for some chunkier terrain, we also escaped to Santa Barbara, California to test it out in some truly menacing rocks. Sprinkle in some very steep shuttle days and the TUES faced some variation of just about every type of trail feature imaginable.

From the onset it was clear the bike would be an absolute blast to ride. Much like the newest Specialized Demo, the TUES has a very calm and quiet sense to it. Aided by remarkably well-balanced suspension and centered geometry, it tames trail chatter incredibly well which allows you to ride more assuredly, look further ahead, and try new things knowing that it's not going to spit you out sideways.

Its particularly playful demeanor is apparent the first time you preload for a jump, rip around a turn, pump a roller, or pull back into a manual. The front end comes up quite easily thanks to the snug chainstays, and once at the balance point it's pretty easy to manual for a while across rocks/roots/whoops/whatever might be in front of you. This is a nice testament to the capabilities of the rear suspension, as the rear end rarely gets hung up throwing the front end back down. The relatively low bottom bracket height helps snap it around corners a bit better, and provides that coveted "in the bike" sensation without going overboard.

Here it is in action at Granby Ranch and Trestle Bike Park. 'Good Times' indeed!


One of its best ride qualities is how well it jumps, with an always smooth, consistent feel that'll have you sending doubles larger than you've ever hit before. The low 35.5-pound weight aids in this regard, making it easy to throw around as you wish. It never feels too light, however, maintaining that awesome sense of stability.

Entering steep sections, the slack 63.5-degree angle allows the TUES to tackle near vertical terrain without a hiccup. You do end up pushing a bit in flatter tight turns, and in deep g-outs the front end can sometimes feel as though it's pointing back towards you which can be a minor speed suck. It's all a matter of compromise, however, and if the bike were meant to be cruised around on mellow trails it'd likely be less aggressive.

The suspension strikes a nice balance between playful and stable, supportive and plush. Pushing into the bike it responds quickly and is easy to pick up and move to a new line at a moment's notice. You get the sense that you're able to place the wheels where you'd like, and while there is a bit of vagueness (which may come down to how you have it tuned), it's all good - you've got several inches of travel under you for ploughing through the chunder. When you're not jumping over the rough stuff, it still holds speed quite well. Frame stiffness is pretty dang good, though not remarkable in an overly positive or negative way.

At our initial settings, we found fast square-edge bump compliance over rocks and roots a tad harsh. This lead us to reduce high-speed compression damping. We also increased air pressure front and rear as familiarity and speeds increased, ultimately ending at these settings:

Shock

  • Increased pressure to 30% sag (156psi)
  • Decreased rebound to 26 clicks from fully tightened/closed
  • Decreased high-speed compression to 20 clicks from fully tightened/closed

Fork

  • Increased pressure to 20% sag (185psi)
  • Decreased high-speed compression to 20 clicks from fully tightened/closed

Adjustments to the suspension are definitely noticed, making it a little easier to find your personal sweet spot. With only minor changes we were able to tune out most of the harsher square-edge feedback, though hard repetitive hits are the biggest area where it could improve. That said, it's predictable enough to not be a bother, and doesn't seem to adversely impact handling or speed. Even when hitting a bumpy lip you can just blip right over it.

While most downhill bikes are progressive, the TUES is very progressive, much like the Capra enduro bike. This makes small bump sensitivity quite impressive, and gives you plenty of bottom out support without fear of blowing through the travel too quickly. At our final settings the bike did very well over chatter, and even in bumpy corners we were rarely searching for traction as it's there in bounds.

Two additional factors that contribute to that calm and quiet overall feel are very low pedal kickback and brake squat. This makes it a joy to ride with flat pedals, and there's no noticeable stiffening or loss of traction under hard braking.

The only semi-sketchy times are when you're coming into something hotter than normal, which honestly comes down to the brakes. We wish it were spec'd with proper DH brakes to allow you to go that much faster. Combined with good tires and the balanced suspension feel, before you know it you're coming in super hot, which can sometimes be a challenge when attempting to slow down immediately.

Sprinting toward a lip or out of the start gate, the bike can feel a tad sluggish and bobby, which may have some riders cranking up the low-speed compression damping to improve pedaling performance depending on their trails or riding style. This is improved over previous TUES generations, however, thanks to better antisquat numbers due to a more compact drivetrain and slightly tweaked main pivot position. It is a downhill bike, after all, so don't expect the same snappy response as your trail rig.

Build Kit

The spec list on YT's TUES CF Pro build reads like a list of all the parts you've only dreamt about affording to put on your downhill bike, yet here they all are at a modest $5,195 USD. Oh, and you get a carbon frame too! It's very rare that we'll have little feedback in the way of components to improve or swap out, but this is one of those times.

Cockpit feel is spot on thanks to a 780mm (30.7-inch) wide aluminum Renthal Fatbar with 30mm of rise, which is excellent for steeper terrain. That's paired with a 45mm Renthal Integra II direct mount stem for a very stiff and sought after combination. Top things off with the pillowy Sensus Disisdaboss grips and your hands are in for a treat. Further back, the custom SDG I-Fly saddle and I-Beam post allow you to really dial in the preferred angle so you can move around the bike with ease.

BOS's Idylle RaRe FCV37 fork provides loads of adjustment range. Some riders note that it feels a bit overdamped - not in the sense that it hurts or hits you, but you get more terrain feedback than normal - though it's smooth and controlled. Most will grow to love the feel over time as you learn to appreciate knowing exactly what your front wheel is up to. The fork and shock tend to be a bit loud until they warm up.

YT smartly specs two different compounds of the same tire front and rear. Up front you've got a grippy 2.4-inch SuperTacky Maxxis High Roller II, and out back you've got the more durable and faster rolling 60a MaxxPro rubber, both in a DH casing. This setup provides great flat protection (we only had one), and excellent all-around traction. They wear well, too.

The wheels are one area that could use some improvement, though this depends on how you want to use the bike. If you're a very smooth rider or are looking to race, the light weight of e*thirteen's LG1r wheels will be tough to beat. If you're a rougher rider or often find yourself in rocky terrain, you might consider a burlier rear rim for everyday use. We did a surprising amount of damage to the rear rim early on, noting several dents and loose spokes after a handful of days. A few months in and it's what we'd call "true enough for a downhill bike," but it stiffens back up well when it's time to snug up the spokes some more. Setting the wheels up tubed or tubeless is easy to do thanks to preinstalled rim strips. We rocked tubes for this test. The sound of the hub is incredible, and good bearings contribute to the bike's quick rolling speed.

SRAM's X0 DH drivetrain is excellent, providing a simple, clean, and quiet solution with great shifting and no skips whatsoever which just adds to the whole package. The 10-24 tooth 7-speed cassette makes finding the right gear a breeze. Just be sure to add some Loctite to the derailleur bolt early on as it has a tendency to loosen.

We appreciated the extra ground clearance provided by the 165mm e*thirteen LG1r crankset. These are paired with a 36-tooth ring with the added security of a narrow wide profile, plus the quiet yet sturdy e*thirteen LG1+ chainguide. If you're going to go press fit with a bottom bracket, e*thirteen is the way to do it and we experienced no creaking over the course of our test.

As we mentioned previously, the brakes are another item we'd consider swapping out, though there isn't a pressing need. SRAM's Guide RSC brakes do a fine job of keeping things in check when paired with 200mm rotors, but we just wanted a little bit more at times. They were consistent, had good modulation, and never faded, so it's hard to complain.

Looking forward to the latest TUES CF Pro build for 2016, YT has switched to FOX suspension, carbon Renthal bars, carbon e*thirteen wheels with wider hub flange spacing, e*thirteen's new DH cassette, carbon cranks, and a more compact chainguide. Though it's $1,100 USD more, we support all of the changes in the name of better reliability and service. Each of these is an upgrade and only furthers the capability and durability of the Pro model.

Long Term Durability

One of the biggest concerns with most carbon frames is impact resistance, and we're pleased to report that the TUES did a remarkable job of withstanding a huge rock to the downtube at speed. It was the type of impact that would make many owners cry for their baby, but left nothing but a small scratch.

We're also encouraged by the use of ISCG tabs that clamp around the bottom bracket. If you really smashed the chainguide hard, the clamp would likely just rotate without damage to frame.

Areas to improve include some minor paint chipping on the chainstay, a slow air leak on the BOS Void DH shock, and a rather flimsy 5mm aluminum safety bolt on the rear axle that snapped while reinstalling a wheel early in our test.

Pivot maintenance is straightforward thanks to easy access, printed torque specs on each bolt/nut, and this handy exploded diagram to show how it all goes together.

YT backs their carbon frames with a five year warranty, though there is a two year limit on some parts. There's also a crash replacement program should you really goof up.

What's The Bottom Line?

If a friend were to ask us how the TUES CF Pro handles (insert pretty much any scenario here), we'd almost always respond "really well" before diving in deeper. This is one of those rare all-around downhill bikes that strikes an excellent balance across all types of terrain, and the invincible feeling it provides the rider is truly inspiring. The bottom line is that this is a great bike with an excellent build at an incredible price. Toss in superb attention to the little details and you've got a 5-star ride.

When we finish a test we often ask ourselves if we'd buy one with our own hard earned dollars. The answer? Hell yes. If you're considering it, we suggest getting on that waitlist now.

Cruise over to www.yt-industries.com for more details.

Bonus Gallery: 41 photos of the 2015 YT TUES CF Pro up close and in action


About The Reviewer

Brandon Turman likes to pop off the bonus lines on the sides of the trail, get aggressive when he's in tune with a bike, and to really mash on the pedals and open it up when pointed downhill. His perfect trail has a good mix of flow, tech, and balls-to-the-wall speed. He loves transfers, rollers, and the occasional gap that gives him that momentary stomach in your throat kind of feeling. Toss in some rocky bits with the option to double over them or risk pinch flatting and you've got a winner in his book. In 15 years of riding he worked his way through the Collegiate downhill ranks to the Pro level. After finishing up his mechanical engineering degree, his riding focus turned to dirt sculpting and jumping with the occasional slopestyle contest thrown in for fun. Nowadays he's Vital MTB's resident product guy, putting in saddle time on nearly every new platform and innovation the bike industry has to offer.

Specifications

Product YT Tues CF Pro
Model Year 2015
Riding Type Freeride / Bike Park, Downhill
Rider Unisex
Sizes and Geometry
S, M, L View Geometry
Size S M L
Top Tube Length 584.3mm / 23.00“ 604.3mm / 23.79“ 624.3mm / 24.58“
Head Tube Angle 63.5° 63.5° 63.5°
Head Tube Length 112mm / 4.41“ 112mm / 4.41“ 112mm / 4.41“
Seat Tube Angle 74° 74° 74°
Seat Tube Length 400mm / 15.75“ 400mm / 15.75“ 400mm / 15.75“
Bottom Bracket Height 5.5mm / 0.22“ Drop 5.5mm / 0.22“ Drop 5.5mm / 0.22“ Drop
Chainstay Length 435mm / 17.13“ 435mm / 17.13“ 435mm / 17.13“
Wheelbase 1195.9mm / 47.08“ 1213.7mm / 47.78“ 1235.9mm / 48.66“
Standover 734.9mm / 28.93“ 741.2mm / 29.18“ 728.3mm / 28.67“
Reach 410mm / 16.14“ 430mm / 16.93“ 450mm / 17.72“
Stack 607.9mm / 23.93“ 607.9mm / 23.93“ 607.9mm / 23.93“
Wheel Size 27.5" (650b)
Frame Material Carbon Fiber
Frame Material Details High Modular Carbon with Down Tube, Chain Stay and Seat Stay Protection
Rear Travel 208mm
Rear Shock BOS DH Void DH Air Shock, 3 Way Adjustment, High and Low Speed Compression, Rebound
Fork BOS Idylle RaRe FCV37 650b, Air Suspension, Frequency Control Valve (FCV), 3 Way Adjustment (High/Low Speed Compression and Rebound), 20mm Through Axle
Fork Travel 208mm
Head Tube Diameter
Headset ACROS AiX-325 Sealed Headset with Industrial Bearings
Handlebar Renthal Fatbar Alu 30, Aluminum, 30mm Rise, 780mm Length, 7° Backsweep, 5° Upsweep, 31.8mm
Stem Renthal Integra II, Direct Mount, 45mm Length, 0mm Rise
Grips Sensus Disisdaboss
Brakes SRAM Guide RSC Hydraulic Disc, 4 Piston Caliper, DOT 5.1 Brake Fluid, Pressure Point Adjustment, SwingLink, SRAM Centerline 200mm Rotors
Brake Levers SRAM with Tool-Free Reach Adjustment
Drivetrain 1x
Shifters SRAM X01 DH, 7-Speed
Front Derailleur N/A
Rear Derailleur SRAM X01 DH, 7-Speed
ISCG Tabs ISCG 05
Chainguide e*thirteen LG1+, EXA+ Aluminum Carrier Plate DMB Drive Guard
Cranks e*thirteen LG1r, EXAr Aluminum Crank, 165mm Length
Chainrings e*thirteen LG1r, 36 Tooth
Bottom Bracket e*thirteen PF30 / 83mm
Pedals N/A
Chain SRAM
Cassette SRAM X01, 10-24 Tooth, 7-Speed
Rims e*thirteen LG1r 27.5" Wheels
Hubs e*thirteen LG1r 27.5" Wheels
Spokes e*thirteen LG1r 27.5" Wheels
Tires Maxxis High Roller II ST, 27.5" x 2.4", Carcass 60DW, SuperTacky Front
Maxxis High Roller II MaxxPro, 27.5" x 2.4", Carcass 60DW Rear
Saddle SDG I-Fly YT, Cordura Finish, Rails for I-Beam
Seatpost SDG Micro I-Beam, 300mm Length
Seatpost Diameter 30.9mm
Seatpost Clamp Standard
Rear Dropout / Hub Dimensions 150mm x 12mm
Max. Tire Size
Bottle Cage Mounts N/A
Colors Red or Blue
Warranty Carbon Full Suspension Frames are Warrantied for a Period of Five (5) Years from the Date of Purchase; All Component Parts Manufactured by YT-Industries GmbH, Including but Not Limited to Seat Stays, Chain Stays, etc., are Warrantied for Two (2) Years from the Date of Purchase.
Weight 34 lb 13.3 oz (15,800 g)
Miscellaneous Weight is for size Small, without pedals
Price $5,195
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