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We’ve been riding the YT Decoy – the bombshell of an E-Mountainbike that YT has just dropped. The debut from the gravity-riding oriented brand has promising specs: the Shimano Steps E8000 motor, proprietary 540 Wh capacity battery, mixed wheel sizes, five different (carbon) frame sizes, 160/165 mm travel and prices starting at € 4,599 have definitely piqued our interest. We spent 2-days thrashing the E-Bike around challenging trails in the south of France and found out how the YT Decoy performs.

YT Decoy: Specifications and pricing

Area of UseAll-Mountain, Enduro, Freeride
Travel160 mm/165 mm
Wheel Size27.5ʺ, 29ʺ
Frame MaterialAluminium, Carbon
MotorShimano
Battery Capacity540 Wh
Weight (w/o Pedals)22.3 kg
Websitewww.yt-industries.com
Price: ab 4.599 Euro
Bikemarkt: YT Decoy kaufen

The initial presentation was quick and to the point. Slide after slide, CTO Stefan Willared showed us the key specs for the youngest bike in the YT portfolio. This is an E-Bike, that, apart from the motor, has inherited its characteristics from existing YT designs. A reach between 415-495 mm in combination with a generous 620-647 mm stack will provide ample room for all riders. A consistent chainstay length of 442 mm and voluminous 27.5 x 2.8” tyres promise a good compromise of agility, grip and downhill composure. The seat angle is comfortably upright at 76° and up front, the 65° head angle and 29” wheel offer excellent rollover characteristics.

The kinematics have been carefully designed to match the requirements for an E-Bike. That means less pedal kickback and suspension that combined with the motor, is supposed to provide a plush and direct ride.

The YT-designed 540 Wh removable battery is positioned close to the Shimano E8000 motor in the down tube. A 700 Wh E-Bike will be available from Autumn, but for those who have to have the Decoy right now, the battery will also be available as an aftermarket option for a reasonable price. The Decoy has inherited the sleekly designed, special Acros axle at the rear from the Tues downhill bike and Jeffsy trail bike. All the suspension bolts are accessed from the left of the bike and if you want, a flip chip allows you to adjust the geometry to your desired setting. The straight down tube requires some protection. A special headset blocks the steering at its limits to avoid the fork crown hitting carbon.

The Decoy cuts a seductive figure with its numerous clever details. The chainstay protector minimises noise with strategically placed ‘bumps’ and the cables are neatly hidden, almost entirely inside the frame. Everything fits together seamlessly and the power button hidden underneath the top tube, along with the carefully chosen Shimano E7000 display and trigger mean that at a glance, it’s not immediately clear whether this is an E- or regular mountain bike.

The three models, ranging in price from € 4599 to €6599 all have the same carbon front triangle. Only the cheapest model has to make do with an aluminium rear-end and RockShox suspension. However, we were able to test the top-end model equipped with Fox Factory suspension, Shimano Di2 shifting matched to e*thirteen’s TRS Plus 11-speed steel cassette and carbon wheels.

You can find other E-Mountainbike news, reviews and comparisons here.

YT Decoy dressed in top-end spec
# YT Decoy dressed in top-end spec - Motor: Shimano Steps E8000 | Battery: 540 Wh | Travel f/r: 160/160 mm | Price: € 6599
Diashow: YT Decoy - Exclusive test of a brand-new E-Bike
SRAM Code RSC-Bremsen sorgen für die nötige Verzögerung.
Entspannt und sicher geht es bergauf
Fox Float X2
Niedriges Profil
Einfach raus
Diashow starten »

Geometry

As with the ‘analogue’ YT models, the Decoy has a shortened seat post. Reach figures of 415-495 mm are paired with seat tube lengths of 400-495mm. Together with the low standover height, this allows you to choose the size based on your preferred wheelbase.

Measured standover: 715 mm (Size L)
Weight: 22.3 kg (Size L without pedals)

YT Decoy – Please expand for geometry

FramesizeRahmengrößeSMLXLXXL
Seat Tube LengthSitzrohrlänge400 mm420 mm445 mm470 mm495 mm
Top Tube LengthOberrohrlänge568 mm589 mm611 mm634 mm657 mm
Head Tube LengthSteuerrohrlänge95 mm100 mm105 mm115 mm125 mm
ReachReach415 mm435 mm455 mm475 mm495 mm
StackStack620 mm625 mm629 mm638 mm647 mm
Head Tube AngleLenkwinkel65° / 65,5°65° / 65,5°65° / 65,5°65° / 65,5°65° / 65,5°
Seat Tube Angle (effective)Sitzwinkel (effektiv)76° / 76,5°76° / 76,5°76° / 76,5°76° / 76,5°76° / 76,5°
Seat Tube Angle (actual)Sitzwinkel (tatsächlich)71,5° / 72°71,5° / 72°71,5° / 72°71,5° / 72°71,5° / 72°
Chainstay LengthKettenstrebenlänge442 mm442 mm442 mm442 mm442 mm
WheelbaseRadstand1178 mm1200 mm1222 mm1247 mm1271 mm

Components

YT stays true to form with its E-Bike. The top model doesn’t skimp with a full regalia of Fox Factory components – obviously with E-Bike specific suspension and a Fox dropper too. The drivetrain mixes Shimano shifting with an e*thirteen cassette and SRAM Code RSC brakes provide the stopping power. The differently sized carbon wheels are also from e*thirteen, with a 27.5” 35 mm wide Plus rim at the back and a 29” 31 mm Widetrail at the front. The wheels are fitted with Maxxis tyres with a 29” x 2.5 Minion Front and a 27.5” x2.8 DHRII Plus tyre front and rear. The rear tyre uses Maxxis’ new EXO+ casing, which positions itself between the EXO and DoubleDown casings and should offer a little extra puncture protection.

Is this a duck or an E-Bike?
# Is this a duck or an E-Bike? - Probably more of a bird of prey in camouflage when it looks like this...
Fox Float X2
# Fox Float X2 - Suspension nerds rejoice. The Float X2 offers lots of tuning possibilities
Fox 36 GRIP2 E
# Fox 36 GRIP2 E - The fork doesn't skimp on tunability, and is reinforced for hard E-Bike riding
YT head tube
# YT head tube - All of YT's bikes feature the same design for the head tube. That distinctive shape is akin to something you would find in the car industry.
SRAM Code RSC brakes provide all the stopping power you need.
# SRAM Code RSC brakes provide all the stopping power you need.
The drivetrain is a mix of Shimano and e*thirteen components
# The drivetrain is a mix of Shimano and e*thirteen components
There's a 27.5" x 2.8 Plus tyre at the rear
# There's a 27.5" x 2.8 Plus tyre at the rear
At the front, YT makes use of the excellent rollover characteristics of a 29" tyre
# At the front, YT makes use of the excellent rollover characteristics of a 29" tyre
Who wants to hunt some ducks?
# Who wants to hunt some ducks?

The Renthal cockpit is very tidy. The svelte, minimal profile of the bike is continued here with the black and white Shimano E7000 display, along with its matching trigger unit. The bike is fitted with 165 mm XT cranks which are intended to provide adequate ground clearance despite the low bottom bracket.

YT Decoy – Please expand for components

FrameRahmenYT Decoy 29 CF Pro RaceYT Decoy 29 CF ProYT Decoy 29 CF Base
ForkGabelFOX 36 FLOAT Factory E FOX 36 FLOAT Perf.-Elite E Rock Shox Yari RC
ShockDämpferFOX FLOAT X2 Factory FOX FLOAT DPX2 Perf.-EliteRock Shox Deluxe R
ShifterSchalthebelShimano XT Di2Shimano XTShimano SLX
DerailleurSchaltwerkShimano XT Di2Shimano XTShimano SLX
CassetteKassettee*thirteen TRS Plus e*spece*thirteen TRS Plus e*spec Shimano
CranksKurbelShimano XTShimano XTShimano
BrakesBremseSRAM Code RSCSRAM Code RSSRAM Code R
WheelsLaufrädere*thirteen e*spec Race e*thirteen e*spec Plus DT Swiss H1900 Spline
Wheel frontVorderrad29“ x 31mm | 110x15mm29“ x 31mm | 110x15mm29“ x 30mm | 110x15mm
Wheel rearHinterrad27,5“ x 36mm | 148x12mm27,5“ x 35mm | 148x12mm27,5“ x 35mm | 148x12mm
TiresReifenMAXXIS Minion DHF | DHR II MAXXIS Minion DHF | DHR II MAXXIS Minion DHF | DHR II
Tire frontVorderreifenMAXXIS Minion DHFMAXXIS Minion DHFMAXXIS Minion DHF
Tire rearHinterreifenMAXXIS Minion DHR IIMAXXIS Minion DHR IIMAXXIS Minion DHR II
SeatSattelSDG RADAR MNTSDG RADAR MNTSDG RADAR MNT
SeatpostSattelstützeFOX TRANSFER Factory SDG TellisSDG Tellis
BarLenkerRenthal Fatbar 35Renthal Fatbar 35Race Face Aeffect R 35
StemVorbauRenthal Apex 35 Renthal Apex 35Race Face Aeffect R 35
MotorMotorShimano E8000Shimano E8000Shimano E8000
DisplayDisplayShimano E7000Shimano E7000Shimano E7000
BatteryAkkuYT CustomYT CustomYT Custom
PowerLeistung540Wh | 36V540Wh | 36V540Wh | 36V
ColorFarbeTITAN SILVER/Fallout yellowMAGNESIUM WHITE/CLEAN BLUE | Matte black/Glossy black/SilverLAVA RED / LIGHT GREY | Matte black/Glossy black/Silver
Price (RRP)Preis (UVP)6.599 €5.599 €4.599 €

YT Decoy CF PRO RACE Titan
# YT Decoy CF PRO RACE Titan

YT Decoy CF PRO White
# YT Decoy CF PRO White
YT Decoy CF Pro Black
# YT Decoy CF Pro Black

YT Decoy Base Red
# YT Decoy Base Red
YT Decoy Base Black
# YT Decoy Base Black

Motor & Battery

The Shimano Steps E8000 motor was introduced in 2016 and has since started appearing on more and more E-Bikes. The 2.8kg motor is one of the lighter systems available and together with the ergonomic controls, it’s an intuitive system to use. Along with its stellar performance, the popularity of the Shimano motor is likely also due to its small volume. The compact dimensions free up the design of the frame, allowing the freedom and space for agile geometries and kinematics. Chain stays don’t have to be excessively long because cranks are mounted centrally in the motor unit, allowing dimensions that are similar to a non-motorised bike. Finally, the 175mm Q-factor is narrower than many competitors on the market.

YT custom battery
# YT custom battery - The current version offers a 540 Wh capacity. YT is working on a 700 Wh version which should be available at the end of summer.
Easily removed
# Easily removed - Two bolts secure the battery in the down tube. Removing it is quick and easy, meaning you can take a second spare battery in your rucksack if you need.
Cable routing
# Cable routing - All the cables run above the battery, with guides to ensure that everything goes where it should.
Protected
# Protected - To stop the battery rattling in the frame, it is secured in a suspended frame. At the top, a bolt screws into a slot secure the battery.

Three assistance modes – ECO, TRAIL and BOOST – cover all eventualities during your rides. ECO reduces the power, but you’ll increase your range. The dynamic TRAIL mode modulates the power up to 60% of the maximum power, depending on what’s required. Software analyses your pedal strokes to determine how much assistance is needed at any given moment. Pedalling in this mode feels particularly natural and offers a good compromise between support and range. BOOST puts the pedal to the metal and always delivers the maximum available power. The Shimano Steps E8000 delivers a maximum 70Nm torque and we have never experienced any overheating problems.

The display can only be described in one way – excellent. The small E7000 display is small, robust, well finished and mounted in a protected place just behind the bars. That’s how it should be. It’s slightly smaller than the E8000 unit and only offers a black and white readout. That’s not a problem though and allows it to be smaller and less intrusive. The display tells you which gear you are in and which assistance mode you are using. Using Bluetooth and a companion app, you can adjust motor settings to your taste. If you’re keen on training and want all the data, you can for example show your cadence on the display too. The combination of a compact motor, powerful assistance and the brilliant display makes the Shimano Steps system one to look out for if you’re in the market for an E-Bike.

Please expand for motor details

  • Motor: Shimano Steps E8000
  • Battery: 540 Wh (YT custom)
  • Power: max. 250 Watt
  • Torque: 70 Nm
  • Display: Shimano Steps SC-E7000

You can find more information about current E-Bike motors here.

Small and beautiful
# Small and beautiful - The E7000 display disguises that this is an E-Bike.
Low profile
# Low profile - The motor control unit also sits unobtrusively on the bars.
Where do you turn this thing on?
# Where do you turn this thing on? - The power button sits on the underside of the top tube.
Shimano E8000 clad in carbon
# Shimano E8000 clad in carbon - The skid plate protects and covers the motor.
You can also charge the battery directly on the bike
# You can also charge the battery directly on the bike - If you don't want to remove the battery, you don't have to.
Cleverly integrated speed sensor on the disc brake
# Cleverly integrated speed sensor on the disc brake
The matching sensor on the frame is also subtle, and very neatly integrated
# The matching sensor on the frame is also subtle, and very neatly integrated

On the trail

Uphill

Front wheel lifting on the uphills? Not at all!

During the presentation many heady promises were made, but how would they play out on the trail? We were raring to go and test the E-Bike on the loose and technical climbs of the Mediterranean Alps. A little riding quickly verified that we hadn’t been oversold. The upright position and well-judged chainstay length, together with the long reach result in a central position and nicely balanced weight distribution.

Relaxed and secure ascending
# Relaxed and secure ascending - Lower the saddle a little and shift your weight forwards and you're in the ideal position for any ascent aboard the Decoy. There's no lifting front wheel despite the short stem.

At the rear, the 27.5” x 2.8 Maxxis DHRII does exactly what it should – offer more grip than you could ever need. The pronounced lugs dig their way into the ground, and in the worst case, you’ll lose the uphill-challenge only on hard, dusty and gravelly terrain. If this is where you find your kicks, you should be sure to stay in Trail rather than Boost mode so that you can modulate the torque output. Lighter riders will inevitably feel more push from the 70 Nm torque offered by the motor, but everyone will be able to appreciate the assistance on offer in Boost mode and climb to the next descent in complete relaxation. The motor happily maintained maximum assistance for 20 minutes without any complaints. Gear changes are possible even when the pedals are fully loaded, but that does result in a correspondingly loud ping from the e*thirteen cassette.

The E7000 trigger ergonomics require a little time to get used to. By default, the upper button shifts into an easier gear and the lower button into a harder one. If you don’t like this configuration, you can change it via the app. Rotating the trigger unit down will allow you to press the buttons with the side of your thumb. That means you don’t have to move your fingers quite as far and will hit the intended button more easily.

Downhill

Launching yourself downhill aboard the Decoy you can’t help but have a smile on your face. Out of the saddle, the ride feels very similar to the ‘analogue’ Capra. Central position, low bottom bracket, a high front end and lots of bike in front of you to hammer down the trail.

Spur on the Decoy and it willingly shoots forward to the 25 km/h assistance limit, at which point you’ll wonder how you got there so quickly. If you want to add more of your own muscle power into the mix you’ll easily be able to stomp on the pedals. The short 165 mm cranks and specially developed skid plate help ward off the biggest scrapes and impacts.

Weight distribution, especially on a 20 kg E-Bike, is essential for a pleasant handling ride. YT paid this a lot of attention. The aim was to place the battery as close as possible to the motor. Developing a proprietary system allowed several extra centimetres to be spared compared to the standard Shimano battery and on the trail, you benefit from all this work enormously. Pull back on the bars and the front willingly clears obstacles. Likewise, on jumps, the YT Decoy lifts off a lot more easily than some other E-MTBs.

In no way sluggish or lazy
# In no way sluggish or lazy - If you want to get some air, the YT Decoy won't stop you.

The Fox 36 GRIP2 and Float X2 suspension of the top-end model doesn’t leave any wishes unfulfilled. With the suspension set up as recommended by YT rider Erik Irmisch, the Decoy offered incredible security even in rough terrain. However, if you’re riding challenging trails a lot, you should invest the time and patience into finding the optimum setup for you. Despite the reinforced EXO+ casing, the rear tyre, together with the stiff e*thirteen carbon rims can be susceptible to punctures from sharp rocks if riding hard.

Centre of gravity lowered and speed up
# Centre of gravity lowered and speed up - If you know how to make the most of it, the Decoy offers a stable and secure ride.
Rollover characteristics
# Rollover characteristics - Hit the rock garden and you can stay calm. Avoid hard hits on the EXO+ casing of the rear tyre though.
Give it the reins
# Give it the reins - Small and big jumps alike are a lot of fun on the Decoy. Get the bike in the air and it's still easy to manoeuvre.

Trail

Come on, give me more! Give me more! Ride harder! Even harder!

During the test days, we didn’t just batter the rocks and stones on the trails that Loïc Bruni likes to use to tune his suspension. Trail riding was also on the agenda. However, if the trails aren’t demanding enough, the Decoy likes to lose interest and direction at times. It very much challenges you: “Is that all you can do? What else have you got?” It doesn’t have to ask twice and you’ll inevitably open the taps or take the trail that promises more challenging riding.

You don’t have to be riding all-out downhills to bring the Decoy to life though. Slower, more technical trails with steps and rocks make it happy too. The main thing is to feed it with hard hits or sufficient gradient to build up the speed for jumps and landings on the terrain you’re riding.

Below the 25 km/h assistance limit, the motor engages gently in Trail mode to help you accelerate smoothly out of the corners.

Balanced even when going sideways
# Balanced even when going sideways - The balance between front and rear is very well judged. On slippery terrain you can leave your feet on the pedals confident in the knowledge that you'll have grip when you need it.

We noticed:

  • Tough terrain and EXO+: The south of France isn’t exactly known for its rock-free trails. They don’t just wear down tyres quickly, they also tend to puncture tyres. For heavier riders, the EXO+ casing offers the option of increasing tyre pressure at the expense of grip or taking a spare tube and repair kit with you. A downhill casing or tyre insert like a Cushcore could also provide a remedy against flats.
  • Shimano E7000 trigger: Unobtrusiveness was high on the agenda for YT when developing the Decoy. The low-profile design of the Shimano E7000 remote fits perfectly, but using it requires a little getting used to.

Summary: YT Decoy

„YT reinvents itself once again and shows quite clearly which way the wind is blowing!“ Jens Staudt

With the Decoy, YT has cast a tempting lure and ventures into new (electric) territory. The first E-Bike from the cult-brand wins you over with great performance at an attractive price. The slim frame is pretty and neatly integrated. Moreover, YT has built an excellent handling E-Bike, which performs both uphill and downhill and which will make up- and downhill-fans equally happy.

Pro
  • Price
  • Wide tuning range for suspension
  • Nicely integrated package
  • Simultaneously stable and agile ride
  • Strong design
Contra
  • E7000 remote ergonomically challenging
  • Uncomfortable saddle
Preis, Ausstattung und Fahrdynamik – beim YT Decoy stimmt das Paket
# Preis, Ausstattung und Fahrdynamik – beim YT Decoy stimmt das Paket

Do you think YT will manage to tempt customers away from other manufacturers and secure itself a slice of the E-Bike cake? 


About the test

Please expand for details

YT invited us to join it at its press camp in France and covered our travel expenses.

We tested the YT Decoy here

  • Berre-Les-Alpes, L’escarène, Vence, France: This region has everything from flowing to extremely rough trails. The ground is usually hard and covered with a loose layer of dust. There are numerous rock gardens which will often punish poor line choice with a puncture.

This post is also available in: deDeutsch

Tester-Profil: Jens Staudt
56 cm95 kg91 cm61 cm190 cm
Jens fährt von Bahnrad bis Downhill alles, was zwei Räder und eine Kette hat. Bikes fürs Gelände am liebsten in herausforderndem, technischen und steilem Gelände, egal mit welchem Federweg.
Jens rides everything from trackbikes all the way to downhillbikes. He favours steep, challenging terrain with technical parts, loamy ground and also jumptrails. 
Fahrstil / Riding style: 
Schnellste Linie, auch wenn es mal ruppig ist / Fastest line even if it’s rowdy.
Ich fahre hauptsächlich / I mainly ride
Singletrails, sprunglastiger Local Spot, Freeride, DH / Singletrails, jumptrails, freeride, downhill
Vorlieben beim Fahrwerk / Preferred suspension setup
Straff, gutes Feedback vom Untergrund, viel Druckstufe, moderat progressive Kennlinie / Firm for good feedback from the ground, mostly more compression, not too much progression.
Vorlieben bei der Geometrie / Preferred geometry
Kettenstreben nicht zu kurz (ca. 430 mm oder gerne länger), Lenkwinkel tendenziell eher flacher / Chainstays not too short (e.g. 430 mm – better longer), headangle slack

YT Decoy

range of use
XC: 1/10 – Trail: 10/10 – All-Mountain: 9/10 – Enduro: 10/10 – Downhill: 9/10
Motor + Battery
Shimano
Battery Capacity
540 Wh
Uphill
10/10
bad
excellent
Downhill
10/10
bad
excellent
Motor
7/10
weak
extreme
Value for Money
9/10
too expensive
perfect
Sitting Position
5/10
upright
stretched
character
7/10
playful
stable
Explanation of “Range of Use”
XC:
0 to 120 mm Travel (Hardtails and Full-Suspension)
Trail:
100 to 150 mm Travel (Hardtails and Full-Suspension)
All-Mountain:
120 to 150 mm Travel (Full-Suspension)
Enduro:
150 to 180 mm Travel (Full-Suspension)
Downhill:
more than 180 mm Travel (Full-Suspension)
Erklärung zum Systemgewicht
Das hier angegebene Gewicht ist die Summe aus den Einzelgewichten (E-Bike, Fahrer, Rucksack usw.), welches bei unserem Reichweitentest zum Einsatz kam.

This post is also available in: deDeutsch


Test details summary

YT Decoy

range of use
XC: 1/10 – Trail: 10/10 – All-Mountain: 9/10 – Enduro: 10/10 – Downhill: 9/10
Motor + Battery
Shimano
Battery Capacity
540 Wh
Uphill
10/10
bad
excellent
Downhill
10/10
bad
excellent
Motor
7/10
weak
extreme
Value for Money
9/10
too expensive
perfect
Sitting Position
5/10
upright
stretched
character
7/10
playful
stable
Explanation of “Range of Use”
XC:
0 to 120 mm Travel (Hardtails and Full-Suspension)
Trail:
100 to 150 mm Travel (Hardtails and Full-Suspension)
All-Mountain:
120 to 150 mm Travel (Full-Suspension)
Enduro:
150 to 180 mm Travel (Full-Suspension)
Downhill:
more than 180 mm Travel (Full-Suspension)
Erklärung zum Systemgewicht
Das hier angegebene Gewicht ist die Summe aus den Einzelgewichten (E-Bike, Fahrer, Rucksack usw.), welches bei unserem Reichweitentest zum Einsatz kam.

This post is also available in: deDeutsch

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