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Downhill Bikes

YT Tues CF Pro 2016 – Bike Test

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With reigning World Cup champion Aaron Gwin riding what is essentially a production BIKe, the YT TUES has never before come under as much scrutiny. Having been our “downhill bike of the year” on many occasions how does the new Fox damped bike shape up?

 

YT Tues CF Pro 2016 – the review

 

Suspension/Chassis

Eight mil’ higher in the bottom bracket but the same amount longer in wheelbase than a similarly sized large Demo and with a slightly longer front centre, those are the numbers many will be looking at during Gwin’s transition form Californian to German race hardware. Some might also point out that 5′ 9″ Gwin wasn’t exactly riding production Demo last season – revised linkage/Fox damping – whilst this production test bike isn’t far off what the champ is currently riding – and which he has already taken to glory at the opening world cup at Lourdes a few weeks ago.

And its in the Fox damping that we see the biggest change on this year’s YT Tues. We were slightly disappointed with the BOS FCV fork at our Pila test last summer but now the bike comes with the benchmark Fox 40, hence fast tracking an update to the test was essential. The air Float X2 also works differently to the Void damper which we used previously, how we wondered would it deal with the progressivity of the Tues.

Componentry

Whilst there’s little point agonising over the high end specification for low price you still have to bear in mind reliability which sadly the E Thirteen wheels have not been in terms of bearing life. Otherwise Sram Guide and X0DH equates to the best in the business, as do the Renthal, Maxxis, Acros, SDG and E Thirteen products on board. 

Feeling

At 33.09lb the YT Tues feels a really quick bike which is aided even more now by the addition of new carbon wheels which come as part of the package. But more than this the Tues builds in momentum, drive it hard and it will gather speed fast, in a way it needs to be hammered to get the best out of it. They have done a good job of combing the Fox X2 damping on this bike, a lot better than on some other X2 clad downhill bikes.

Immediately there is a better feeling with Fox damping – the bounce we encountered off the Bos FCV fork (but not the standard Idylle which we prefer) has been replaced by the high class performance of the Fox 40, and being the first point of contact is always a great starting point when you dive into root gridlock.

 

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The YT Tues has pace to it and a great ability to moved around in an instant should you choose avoidance tactics. The bike now has better composure, slightly more so than its impressive new opposition the Canyon Sender, and the rear damper settles well making it an easy bike to ride and anticipate. The Bos damped bike also felt slightly stiff on times and we think the Fox has taken an edge off this which is a good thing. The bike is quiet too.

However whilst its easy to both engage and adapt to the small size L bike as soon as you move over to something more roomy the benefits soon become obvious on weight distribution and the constant need to counter balance the YT when you get scruffy with a tight cockpit.

Limitations

Shape wise, we fitted a 50mm stem and still felt cramped. It’s good for 5’ 10” we feel but that’s about it. YT say 6’ – 6’5” for size large (Gwin is 5′ 9″ on a large) but this bike illustrates why you should never think ‘reach’ or any other geometry/suspension numbers in total isolation for ultimately the bike feels too small for the 6’ riders that tried this bike. If YT could build an XL bike then the head to head with the Canyon Sender would be a horribly tough one to call. Size is the only limitation of this bike.

 

Verdict

Apart from the aforementioned shortage of sizing the YT comes only with the highest recommendation, at the very least equal to the Sender and in many ways it retains a big part of its ‘downhill bike of the year’ status with us simply because of price, geometry and specification. However Giant, GT, Specialized, Nukeproof, Orange, and of course Canyon all have that extra place for riders to go in size terms and frankly we don’t agree that the large Tues (as well as a load of other size L DH bikes) suits 6’ to 6’5” riders.

Add a size then it becomes a different conversation. Overall we now feel the geometry, flex/stiffness and damping performance on a few other bikes to have taken a slight edge recently. But…and it’s a big one… the specification, geometry and performance of the YT Tues is still very, very good, its also super quiet and beautifully construced, it holds together well, and although €4999 is still a lot of money, in relative terms it takes some beating. Even at World Cup level.

YT Tues CF Pro

€4999

yt-industries.com

 

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SCOTT GAMBLER 710 – BIKE TEST

 

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