Construction and Features
Easiest to spot is the layout change that the Izzo has. Given the concept of appealing to the non-goggle crowd and bringing more enjoyment to the ups and traverses, the drivers behind the Izzo project were different from that of the other bikes in their line. Weight gained more, well, weighting in the criteria, but so too did having good stiffness at that low weight. And while the Izzo has the least travel of any YT bike, suspension performance was also high on the list. Smaller drivers, like better hydration possibilities, also played a role in driving the frame layout change.
Shorter link lengths with less overlap help reduce the amount of material between pivot or load points, and opening up the front triangle gives more space for a larger water bottle on all sizes for the thirsty work of being on the gas pedal more often.
The Izzo's front triangle, chainstays, and seat stay are all constructed from carbon fiber, while the compact link is made from two separate forgings of aluminum welded together in the center of its bridge. All Izzo models share the same lightweight frame.
Inside that tiny link is a small 4mm long flip-chip, allowing you to switch between a low and high mode. There’s a 0.5-degree change in head and seat angle and a 5mm change in bottom bracket height, along with some other changes to the likes of reach and chainstay length.
It uses single-sided hardware that houses the threads directly in the link to allow for narrower packaging around your legs while still being easy to access, and it keeps the drive-side of the bike looking clean. The rest of the hardware remains easy to access and, around the main pivot, it doubles up its duties by guiding the cables from the front triangle to the rear of the bike.
All cable routing is internal, with split bolt-on guides at the head tube and rubber grommets around the rest of the frame where the cables enter and exit.
The shock is now mounted vertically in the frame and puts all those loads down towards the bottom bracket, an area that needed to be strong and stiff anyway. That frees up the tubes of the bike to simply be tubes, requiring less reinforcement and so material.
The boxy bottom bracket area handles those loads but almost looks a little out of place on the bike in such close proximity to the slender and sharp top tube and rear triangle. As the bottom bracket builds up to the lower shock mount, it does create a bit of a collection hot-spot for debris and mud. YT included a drain hole on the side for any water that gets trapped in there. YT also opted for a standard eyelet shock, forgoing the shorter eye-to-eye trunnion option, stating, quite politely, that it didn’t offer any performance advantages, and they could achieve the desired packaging with the standard eyelet shock.
That 210 x 55mm shock is also fitted with a remote lockout. Situated at the handlebar is the RockShox Sprint lockout with a Grip Shift-like twist action and a button for release.
There’s also a PressFit 92mm bottom bracket, and Boost hub and chainring spacing. Out back, there’s 82mm of tire clearance on the seat stays and 79mm on the chainstays. The specced Maxxis Forecasters measure up at 60mm wide on the 30mm (internal) DT rims, giving just over 9mm of tire clearance and allowing space for meatier rubber to be used if that’s your thing.
Brakes are post-mount 160 front and rear, although the bike does come specced with a larger 180mm rotor at the back and a 200mm at the front. YT uses its own seat clamp with some additional sealing around the 31.6mm post. Frame protection is found all over, with a dual-density chainstay protector and a single-density version for the seat stay. There’s also clear stick-on frame protection on the lower part of the down tube and around high-wear areas, like out at the end of the chainstays.
On the underside of the top tube is a two-bolt mount for a gear strap, and YT uses their own Fidlock mounted bottle, aptly named the Thirstmaster, with two versions available that offer 600ml and 835ml capacity.
The overall design of the Izzo follows that Katana sword idea, with sharp detailing on the top tube that carries all the way down the seat stay. In my eyes, it is a lovely looking little bike. That continuous design line from the head tube to drop out also drives a low standover.