-Training: 130mm front and rear
-66 ° / 66.5 Head-tube angle
-77 ° / 77.5 Seat-tube angle
– Reach: 472mm (large)
-Sales: XXL by Small
YT Izzo Core 2
The YT Izzo Core 2 is the only carbon-framed bike in this year’s Value Field Test, part of the reason for the lighter full-suspension model in the test. For comparison, its 30.4 pound weight is 2.5 pounds lighter than the Fajari Cascade Peak and 4.5 pounds lighter than the Canyon Spectral 125. Admittedly, the frame is not entirely carbon-the rear is aluminium-but still, that figure is pretty reasonable for scales, especially considering the $ 3,399 price tag.
Izzo’s frame has room for a water bottle inside the front triangle, and YT offers its own Thirstmaster line bottles that use a Fidlock mounting system. Fortunately it is still possible to mount a standard bottle cage and use a regular water bottle, which is exactly what we did.
There are two mounting bolts at the bottom of the toptube to mount the tube or tool holder. The cables are mounted internally with foam sleeves to keep things quiet and there is a moulded chainlap protector to further assist in the search for silence.
What a frame detail doesn’t think enough of is the amount of clearance between the shock air valve and the frame. This is a tight fit, meaning not all shock pumps are compatible. The YT comes supplied with a flexible bike, but keep in mind that if you already have a favourite shock pump, it may not be compatible.
Izzo’s geometry is modern, touching on the conservative side compared to the recently launched bikes. This is not a bad thing, because long and loose is not always the ticket when it comes to entertaining low-rowdy terrain. There are two geometry positions that can be accessed through the flip chip, but for the entire test period we rode the bike in the lowest position. It offers a 66.5-degree head angle, a 77-degree seat angle and a 472mm reach for larger size. The chainstays are 432mm smaller and measure 437mm in XL and XXL sizes.
Component highlights include the Fox 34 Performance Fork, which uses the GRIP damper and has externally adjustable low-speed compression and rebounding. SRAM’s G2 R brakes perform stopping duties with a 200mm front and a 180mm rear rotor. SRAM’s 12-speed NX drivetrain provides an 11-50-tooth spread, though it does not use the XD driver used by SRAM’s high-end options. To finish it off, the DT Swiss M 1900 wheels are paired with Maxxis Forekaster tires at 2.35 “wide.
The Arizona desert is full of technical ups and downs, and a shrinking effort on it often leads to an uncomfortable close encounter with a barbed wire or sharp rock. I found the hard way on the Izzo ship a particularly steep and spicy climb. I failed my attempt, from a tall, gravelly rock in exactly the wrong place. I went to remove the clip and put my right foot down, there was nothing to put on; The edge of the trail fell about 7 feet into a dry stream bed. Before I knew it, I was sliding down a steep embankment, nailing stones, dirt, and barbed wire to prevent my fall. I ended up with a bunch of good bruises and cuts and scrapes on my shoulders, but fortunately nothing worse. The bike ended up with a few cuts and scrapes (sorry YT), but I was able to straighten the curved brake lever and finish the ride to make it look a little worse.
Despite that unplanned tumble, all of the bikes in the test, including hardtails, were hands down in my favourite Climber. The reason I was on it when I crashed was because — I specifically chose it for that trail because I knew there were some extra-challenging sections and I wanted to stack the deck on my behalf.
The 130mm rear travel is well maintained with a good mix of traction and support provided by the Fox Float DPS Shock. You can fully open the shock for maximum traction, place it in the middle position for a little more support, or in a firm position for an almost completely locked-out feeling. No place, Izzo is quite a quiet climber. It’s not the most snap, but it does mean it’s not tough, and the shock absorbs all the square edges facing the rear wheel.
The 77-degree seat tube angle is good for a wide range of terrain — there was not much pressure on my hands when riding on flat sections of the trail, and it was easy to maintain traction on steep sections. This is the lightest full-haul bike in this test; It is about 5 pounds lighter than some others. It is remarkable when back-to-back riding a test bike and it makes a bike that can stand up and run.
The Izzo is not a watered-down enduro bike, and that’s part of the fun too. It is very easy to toss around, get airborne and target a little sniper landing. The suspension is very progressive, a feature that works well on a low-speed bike like this. I’ve never had any tough bottom-outs, or felt the bike was blowing too fast.
At high speeds it sure doesn’t feel like Canyon Spectral 125, but it’s designed for terrain so it feels right. I consider the Izzo a pure trail bike, the ideal ride is a bike with many mounts and descents, instead of grinding down the firerod and bombing down a steep track.
Compared to the aforementioned Spectral 125, Izzo’s head angle is 2 degrees steeper (66-degree vs. 64), and the range is 12mm smaller (472mm vs. 486mm). It gives a more nimble feel and is an easy bike to drive through slow-speed sections.
As far as units go, YT has put together a killer spec for the price. We have zero complaints about the performance-level Fox 34 and the DPS shock worked flawlessly. The SRAM G2 brakes are not very powerful, but they are definitely a step above the level brakes commonly referred to on bikes at this price.
We’re not a big fan of the SRAM NX drivetrain, but we have no issues with this particular group. The shifter action also looks better than usual, probably thanks to the use of a matchmaker clamp instead of a stock clunky plastic mount. Maxxis Forekaster tires are a good choice for this bike, although we’ve got two flats – desert dwellers or anyone who regularly rides on rockier terrain wants to get something with a thicker cover to avoid punctures.
Pro & Cons
– Excellent climbing performance
– light and lively; Suitable for rolling terrain
– Best parts spec for the price
– Tight clearance around shock air valve limits pump options
Photos by YT ( Izzo) industry