First look: YT IZZO a trail bike from the masters of gravity

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YT Industries is known for aggressive gravity bikes, but the new YT IZZO signs a departure from the norm and we’re loving it.

I don’t know about you, but when I think of YT Industries, I visualise downhill racing, freeride legends, enduro and trail bikes, and dinosaurs with lasers (check out their website and ads if you don’t know what I mean).

Everything that YT has launched so far has had a gravity slant to it, even the YT Decoy was billed as an eMTB for riders wanting to self-shuttle, so does that mean the YT IZZO is an XC bike for downhill riders?

Meet the YT IZZO

The original plan for the YT IZZO launch was going to see much of the mountain bike media flown out to Italy for a traditional launch and press camp, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, those plans were changed and instead bikes were shipped out a few weeks ago, allowing us a chance to see the new bikes for ourselves and, if permitted, ride them on local trails.

Before the IZZO arrived I had an idea of what to expect. I understood it was a trail bike and that it would have less travel than the Jeffsy, but what I couldn’t understand was where the new bike would fit in the range.

YT IZZO Pro Race First Look
A departure from the YT norm.

Once it arrived though, I got it. The IZZO hasn’t been designed as a gravity focussed trail bike, instead, it has been designed as an efficient, lightweight XC/trail bike. A bike so light that you can ride further and for longer than ever under your own power. Just the type of bike that has never been represented in the YT range ever before, and one that could open up a whole new market for the direct to consumer German brand.

Because of the unusual circumstances surrounding the IZZO, I was invited to an online conference call with other media and the team behind the IZZO, and throughout that very informative meeting, I’m pleased to inform you that the term ‘down-country’ wasn’t used once. It’s clear that YT is aiming this bike at a whole new market, but at the same time, they’ve made an XC bike that will also appeal to a much wider audience too.

YT IZZO | Fast, Agile and Sharp

YT Izzo
Stefano I have your top cap.

YT has gone for a Japanese theme of the IZZO, sure that would have fit right in with the 2020 Olympics, but it actually has more to do with the thinking and design of the bike.

Weighing from just 12kg, the IZZO has been designed to be a fast, agile and sharp handling bike, an effective ‘trail weapon’ if you like, and this is where the Japanese theme ties in. Apparently Fast, Agile and Sharp are also the traits of a Japanese Katana sword. A fast and effective weapon, known for agility. Also, we’re told that the silhouette of the top tube and seat stays look like a Katana blade.

YT IZZO Pro Race First Look
Pro Race IZZO waiting to pounce.

Yeah, I don’t see it either, but I’m a sucker for anything Japanese, and it means that YT spent a good chunk of money producing a kick-ass Anime short to promote the IZZO too, which is a huge win in my book.

Saying that the IZZO is Fast, Agile and Sharp is one thing, but how exactly have YT managed this? Well, low-weight is the major factor. The top of the range launch edition weighs 12Kg, the IZZO Pro Race (featured) weighs just 12.1Kg, but even the most affordable IZZO Comp is still light at only 13Kg and with the same full carbon frame as the rest of the range.

Helping the IZZO with agility is 130mm of suspension travel front and rear. That’s significantly less than I’m used to riding with, and it makes for a lively yet comfortable ride. Less travel means less sag, and less sag means you don’t need to move as much to lift a wheel or bunny hop. Or on the other hand, with the same effort you would use to bunny hop a Decoy, you’ll travel twice the distance and height on the IZZO. It’s basically how Superman/Wonder Woman feels when they ride, yeah, the IZZO does make you feel a little like a superhero on the trail.

YT IZZO Pro Race First Look
A new shock position for the short travel IZZO.

So what about the geometry? Well, the components are all sorted, the suspension is top-notch, and the grip shift lock-out for the rear shock is a really useful feature that I thought I might not necessarily use. But it’s probably the geometry that helps make the IZZO so effective.

We’ve long known that good geometry can be more important than the amount of travel a bike might have, and the YT IZZO is a great reminder of that fact. With a 66 degree, head-angle and an effective seat tube of 77 degrees the geometry of the IZZO is slacker and steeper than similar lightweight 130mm travel bikes.

YT IZZO Pro Race First Look
A 66 degree head angle is pretty slack for this genre of bike.

My test bike, due to the availability of box-fresh bikes, is a medium and has a reach of 450mm and a seat tube length of just 425mm. I would normally go for a large with 450mm seat tube and 472mm reach, but I’ve really enjoyed this nimble bike a lot more than I had expected to, and haven’t run into any of the usual issues I have when riding a slightly shorter bike.

Ok, it seems I’m getting ahead of myself so before I get into riding impressions (and keep in mind I’ve been very sensible, keeping it local and not going nuts) let’s talk about that frame and the build.

YT IZZO Frame

As already pointed out, the YT IZZO is a full carbon 130mm travel bike. The frame uses carbon fibre for both the front and rear triangles and has a vertical shock position for the rocker driven rear suspension.

Traditionally, YT has used a horizontal shock position for their bikes, but for the IZZO a vertical position suited the design better and allowed more room in the front triangle for a water bottle cage. YT stated in our conference call that the brand isn’t married to either shock position so we shouldn’t expect all next-gen YT’s to follow the IZZO, but then again if it suits the design then perhaps we might.

YT IZZO Pro Race First Look
The flip chip adjust the angles by 0.5 degree, and adjusts the BB drop by 5mm.

The rear shock is a standard eyelet design rather than a Trunion type and at the rocker end, there’s a flip-chip that adds or removes 0.5 degrees from the seat tube and head angle. The flip-chip also makes a 5mm change to BB drop switching drop from 40mm to 35mm.

YT describes the rear suspension system as a 4 bar linkage design, a first for the brand with a progressive kinematic. The 130mm of rear-wheel travel is controlled by a Fox Float DPS Factory rear shock with Kashima finish. In an interesting move for YT, the Fox rear shock does have a remote lockout but it’s a RockShox Twist Loc model. YT has set the lockout so that twist opens the rear shock while pressing the release firms it up (it never fully locks). I don’t really have that much experience with a lockout so I came to grips with the way YT had set it up very quickly, but if you’re used to it the other way around it might take some figuring out.

All the bearings in the rear have an additional Axial-lip-seal to ensure water and dirt keeps out, and all the bearing hardware is single sided so you just need one tool on each bearing to take it apart come service time.

YT IZZO Pro Race First Look
Plenty of protection from chain slap.

YT offers 2 lengths of chainstay on the IZZO. S, M and L frames have a chainstay length of 432mm while XL and XXL frames get longer 437mm chainstays. The rear end also gets a generous amount of moulded rubber frame protection to keep the carbon safe and keep noise to an absolute minimum. Chainstays and seat stays are covered in rubber and there’s a chain suck plate on the hanger too.

All cables and hoses are internally routed and the front triangle has enough room for YT’s new Thirstmaster 5000 835ml waterbottle. The underside of the top tube has further bosses so you can attach a small toolset or other accessories.

YT IZZO Pro Race First Look
The Fidlock system is magnetic and really handy on the move.

Other than an internal knock block which prevents the crown of the Fox 34 or your brake levers damaging the frame in the event of a crash, that’s about it for features. There are no new standards, there’s nothing here that doesn’t need to be, and because of this, the IZZO is simple, clean and elegant to look at.

YT IZZO Geometry

Sizes  SM  L  XL  XXL
Top tube566 mm591 mm616 mm641 mm666 mm
Reach429 mm450 mm472 mm492 mm513 mm
Stack603 mm612 mm621 mm635 mm644 mm
Seat tube length400 mm425 mm450 mm475 mm500 mm
Chainstay432 mm432 mm432 mm437 mm437 mm
Head tube angle66° / 66.5°66° / 66.5°66° / 66.5°66° / 66.5°66° / 66.5°
Seat tube angle (eff)77° / 77.5°77° / 77.5°77° / 77.5°77° / 77.5°77° / 77.5°
Seat tube angle (act)69° / 69.5°69° / 69.5°69° / 69.5°69° / 69.5°69° / 69.5°
BB Drop 40 / 35 mm40 / 35 mm40 / 35 mm40 / 35 mm40 / 35 mm
Wheelbase1158 mm1183 mm1209 mm1240 mm1265 mm
Head tube length95 mm105 mm115 mm130 mm140 mm
BB Height334 / 339 mm334 / 339 mm334 / 339 mm334 / 339 mm334 / 339 mm
Standover Height734 mm727 mm721 mm716 mm734 mm

YT IZZO Launch Edition (LTD to 150)

YT IZZO Pro Race First Look
Only 150 of the Launch Edition will be available.
  • Fork // Fox 34 Float Factory Kashima 29in, 130mm, 44mm offset
  • Shock // Fox Float DPS Factory Kashima
  • Headset // Acros AZX
  • Stem // E13 Plus 50mm
  • Handlebar // E13 Race Carbon Custom, 20mm rise, 760mm wide
  • Grips // RockShox TwistLoc Sprint Remote
  • Crankset // SRAM X1 Eagle
  • Cassette // SRAM XG1295 Eagle
  • Rear Mech // SRAM X01 Eagle AXS
  • Shifter // SRAM Eagle AXS
  • Wheels // E13 XCX Race Custom 29in
  • Tyres // E13 Optimus, 29 x 2.4 Trail Casing, Endurance Compound
  • Brakes // SRAM G2 Ulitmate, 200mm front, 180mm rear
  • Seatpost // SRAM Reverb AXS 100mm-170mm size specific
  • Saddle // YT Custom
  • Colour // Carbon Black
  • Weight // 12Kg
  • Price // £5699, €6,499, $6,499

YT IZZO Pro Race

YT IZZO Pro Race First Look
YT IZZO Pro Race.
  • Fork // Fox 34 Float Factory Kashima 29in, 130mm, 44mm offset
  • Shock // Fox Float DPS Performance Factory Kashima
  • Headset // Acros AZX
  • Stem // Race Face Turbine R 50mm (S-M) 60mm (L-XXL)
  • Handlebar // Race Face Next Carbon, 20mm rise, 760mm wide
  • Grips // RockShox TwistLoc Sprint Remote
  • Crankset // SRAM X01 Eagle
  • Cassette // SRAM XG1295 Eagle
  • Rear Mech // SRAM X01 Eagle
  • Shifter // SRAM X01 eagle
  • Wheels // DT Swiss XMC 1200 Spline 29in
  • Tyres // Maxxis Forecaster, 29 x 2.35 EXO TR
  • Brakes // SRAM G2 RSC, 200mm front, 180mm rear
  • Seatpost // Fox Transfer Factory Kashima dropper 100mm-175mm size specific
  • Saddle // YT Custom
  • Colour // Titan Silver
  • Weight // 12.1Kg
  • Price // £4599, €5,299, $5,299

YT IZZO Pro

YT IZZO Pro Race First Look
YT IZZO CF Pro.
  • Fork // Fox 34 Float Performance Elite 29in, 130mm, 44mm offset
  • Shock // Fox Float DPS Performance Elite
  • Headset // Acros AZX
  • Stem // Race Face Turbine R 50mm (S-M) 60mm (L-XXL)
  • Handlebar // Race Face Turbine R 35, 20mm rise, 760mm wide
  • Grips // RockSHox TwistLoc Sprint Remote
  • Crankset // SRAM GX Eagle
  • Cassette // SRAM XG1275 Eagle
  • Rear Mech // SRAM GX Eagle
  • Shifter // SRAM GX eagle
  • Wheels // DT Swiss M 1700 Spline 29in
  • Tyres // Maxxis Forecaster, 29 x 2.35 EXO TR
  • Brakes // SRAM G2 RS, 200mm front, 180mm rear
  • Seatpost // YT Postman dropper 100mm-170mm size specific
  • Saddle // SDG Radar MNT
  • Colour // Ghostship Green / Black Magic
  • Weight // 12.6Kg
  • Price // £3499, €3,899, $3,899

YT IZZO Comp

YT IZZO Pro Race First Lookv
YT IZZO CF Comp.
  • Fork // Fox 34 Float Rhythm 29in, 130mm, 44mm offset
  • Shock // Fox Float DPS Performance Elite
  • Headset // Acros AZX
  • Stem // Race Face Aeffect 50mm (S-M) 60mm (L-XXL)
  • Handlebar // Race Face Aeffect 35, 20mm rise, 760mm wide
  • Grips // RockSHox TwistLoc Sprint Remote
  • Crankset // SRAM NX Eagle
  • Cassette // SRAM PG1230 Eagle
  • Rear Mech // SRAM NX Eagle
  • Shifter // SRAM NX eagle
  • Wheels // DT Swiss M 1900 Spline 29in
  • Tyres // Maxxis Forecaster, 29 x 2.35 EXO TR
  • Brakes // SRAM G2 R, 200mm front, 180mm rear
  • Seatpost // YT Postman dropper 100mm-170mm size specific
  • Saddle // SDG Radar MNT
  • Colour // Dune Grey / Black Magic
  • Weight // 13.2Kg
  • Price // £2599, €2,999, $2,999

YT IZZO Pro Race | First Impressions

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