The days when ebikes were associated with grannies and shopping baskets are long gone. YT knows as much, offering an eMTB in the form of the DECOY CF Pro Race that is supposed to perform just as well doing backflips as it is hammering down the trail. Is that for real?

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YT DECOY CF Pro Race | Shimano STEPS E8000/540 Wh | 160/165 mm (f/r) | 22.36 kg (size L) | € 6,599 | manfacturer website

The YT fan club is split. While some die-hard fans hoped never to see an eMTB in the product range of the iconic German brand, others have long awaited a motorised YT. The DECOY is claimed to have stayed true to its gravity roots, just with a handy built-in shuttle to get you back to the top of the trail. The DECOY is fitted with a Shimano’s STEPS E8000 motor, which draws its power from a 540 Wh battery specially made for the DECOY and housed in the down tube. In future, the DECOY should also be available with a 700 Wh battery, which can be retrofitted.

Components, weight and technical details of the YT DECOY CF Pro Race

The carbon frame of the € 6,599 bike offers 165 mm travel at the rear, which is combined with a 160 mm FOX 36 Factory GRIP2 fork. You’ll have to be a bit careful with the MAXXIS Minion tires: while the EXO casing on the 29 x 2.6″ tire is perfectly fine up front, the EXO+ casing on the plus-sized 27.5 x 2.8″ tire on the rear of the DECOY is too thin. Like some other brands, YT still rely on an 11-speed drivetrain, but here it’s made up of an electronic Shimano XT Di2 derailleur and an E*thirteen TRS Plus cassette, which provides a relatively large gear range.

Very quiet
The chainstay protector on the DECOY is made of soft plastic and covers all the critical areas, making it one of the quietest bikes on test.
Everything within reach
The FOX Transfer and the Shimano Steps E7000 remotes are compact yet easy to reach. There’s nothing to adjust here.
Left yea, right ney
We find the compact Shimano STEP E7000 remote great for selecting the support levels on the left. It’s used on the right side of the DECOY to shift the gears, though in practice the tried and tested E8000 remote would be even more ergonomic and easier to reach.
Clean
Although the cables are routed externally between the front and rear triangle, it’s done neatly without any kinks or tight bends.

YT DECOY CF Pro Race

€ 6,599

Specifications

Motor Shimano STEPS E8000 70Nm
Battery SMP YT Custom 540Wh
Display Shimano STEPS E7000
Fork FOX 36 GRIP2 Factory 160 mm
Rear Shock FOX FLOAT X2 Factory 165 mm
Seatpost FOX Transfer Factory 125 - 150 mm
Brakes SRAM CODE RSC 200/200 mm
Drivetrain Shimano XT Di2 1x11
Stem Renthal Apex 35 40 mm
Handlebar Renthal Fatbar 35 780 mm
Wheelset E*thirteen E*Spec Race 29"/27.5"

Technical Data

Size S M L XL XXL
Weight 22.36 kg
Perm. total weight 150 kg
Max. payload (rider/equipment) 127 kg
Trailer approval no
Kickstand mount no

Specific Features

optional headlight


Dangerous combination
The lightweight E*thirteen carbon rims are relatively sturdy, but they’re still at risk if you run the thin EXO+ rear tire at lower pressures.
More than just tilted
As on the Canyon, the Shimano motor on the DECOY is tilted by a few degrees to allow the shortest possible chainstays. All of the cavities around the motor are lined with special foam to protect it from dirt and keep it quiet.
Popp and progression
The rear linkage and the FOX FLOAT X2 shock offer a lot of pop for spontaneous lift off. On top of that, it’s the suspension is so progressive that we were never used all of the available travel.

Geometry and size of the YT

You can change the geometry of the YT DECOY via a flip-chip in the rear linkage, adjusting the seat and head tube angles up or down by 0.5° to suit the terrain or riding style. YT offer the DECOY in five frame sizes: thanks to the short seat tube, you can choose the size according to the desired reach.

Size S M L XL XXL
Seat tube 400 mm 420 mm 445 mm 470 mm 495 mm
Top tube 568 mm 589 mm 611 mm 634 mm 657 mm
Head tube 95 mm 100 mm 105 mm 115 mm 125 mm
Head angle 65.0° 65.0° 65.0° 65.0° 65.0°
Seat angle 76.0° 76.0° 76.0° 76.0° 76.0°
Chainstays 442 mm 442 mm 442 mm 442 mm 442 mm
BB Height 340 mm 340 mm 340 mm 340 mm 340 mm
Wheelbase 1,178 mm 1,200 mm 1,222 mm 1,247 mm 1,271 mm
Reach 415 mm 435 mm 455 mm 475 mm 495 mm
Stack 620 mm 625 mm 629 mm 638 mm 647 mm
Helmet Fox Dropframe | Shirt Wild Roots Sports T | Shorts iXS Carve | Knee pads Fox Enduro Knee Sleeve | Shoes ION Scrub Amp

The YT DECOY CF Pro Race on the trail

The uphill torments of the good old freeride days are a thing of the past aboard the YT DECOY. The pedalling position is very comfortable even if it’s a bit back heavy when things get steep. The rear wheel never loses traction, making it easy to control even when riding in boost mode. If your climbs tend to be technical and steep, it’s best to push the saddle all the way forward for more balanced weight distribution. However, the DECOY doesn’t excel at very technical climbs since the rear-heavy pedalling position makes it difficult to regain control of the front wheel once it starts lifting. However, any challenges on the climb are more than worth it in anticipation of the upcoming descent on the YT.

Anyone can look stylish on the DECOY, or at least dream of it: manuals, whips and scrubs are its speciality!

True to YT’s motto “Good Times” the DECOY is very playful, easy to style up and have maximum fun with on the trail: spontaneous jumps, or manualling off a drop are no problem onboard the DECOY. But don’t expect to set the fastest times on the trail. The DECOY doesn’t offer enough composure and traction for big hits at full speed. On top of that, the rear suspension is so progressive that it often doesn’t soak up heavy impacts well enough, despite having plenty of travel left that you hardly use. The front end is tall and instils you with a lot of confidence on rough, steep descents and cornering on the DECOY is balanced and easy to handle. However, park rats will have issues with the plus-sized rear tire and the tubeless set-up. If you’re all about hitting berms as hard as possible, you’ll encounter problems with tire burping. Our tip is to fit a narrower, more puncture-resistant rear tire, which will also make for more direct handling.

The DECOY is a classic YT: climbing is only a means to an end.

Tuning tip: narrower rear tire with a heavier Doubledown casing | Shimano SW-M8050-R shifter for the Di2 drivetrain

Riding Characteristics

7

Agility

  1. sluggish
  2. playful

Stability

  1. nervous
  2. stable

Handling

  1. demanding
  2. balanced

Riding fun

  1. boring
  2. lively

Motor feeling

  1. digital
  2. natural

Motor power

  1. weak
  2. strong

Value for money

  1. poor
  2. top

Application

Forest road

1

Flow trail uphill

2

Flow trail downhill

3

Technical single trail uphill

4

Technical single trail downhill

5

Downhill tracks

6

Conclusion

YT’s eMTB debut with the DECOY CF Pro Race YT has been a success. Besides offering excellent value for money and a beautiful design, we were convinced by its playful handling on the trail. Typical of YT, the bike can climb, but it does so more as a means to an end. What matters more is style and fun on the descents.

Tops

  • good value for money
  • lots of fun on every trail
  • clean, high-quality YT look

Flops

  • proprietary water bottle with small capacity (475 ml)
  • climbing is only a means to an end
  • shifter

You can find out more about the YT DECOY CF Pro Race at yt-industries.com.

The test field

You can find everything you need to know about our test for the best eMTB of 2020 right here!

All bikes in test: BULLS SONIC EVO AM 6 | Cannondale Moterra 1 | Canyon Spectral:ON 9.0 | COMMENCAL META POWER 29 TEAM 2020 | CONWAY XYRON 927 Carbon | CUBE Stereo Hybrid 160 HPC | FANTIC XF1 180 Race | FOCUS JAM² 9.9 DRIFTER | Giant Reign E+ 0 Pro | Haibike XDURO Nduro 10.0 | Liteville 301 CE MK1 | MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K | Moustache Samedi 27 Trail | Norco Range VLT C1 | NOX Hybrid Enduro 7.1 | Orbea WILD FS M-LTD | Pivot Shuttle 29 | Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay Carbon 90 Rally Edition | ROTWILD R.X750 ULTRA | SIMPLON Rapcon Pmax | Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert | Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo | Trek Rail 9.9 | Whyte E-180 RS V1 | YT DECOY CF Pro Race

Words: Felix Stix, Robin Schmitt, Jonas Müssig Photos: Finlay Anderson, Robin Schmitt, Felix Stix, Markus Frühmann