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?
Click here for an overview of the best eMTB 2020 group test.
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.
YT DECOY CF Pro Race
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"
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
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.
|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|
|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|
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
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.
- good value for money
- lots of fun on every trail
- clean, high-quality YT look
- proprietary water bottle with small capacity (475 ml)
- climbing is only a means to an end
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
Relaxed and comfortable riding on surfaced roads, both uphill and downhill.↩
Easy climbs up trails with few obstacles, wide turns and a moderate incline.↩
Active and playful descents on easy trails with few obstacles, wide turns and a moderate slope.↩
Single-track climbs on challenging terrain. Loose ground, steps, roots, tight corners and occasionally extreme inclines.↩
Singletrack descents on challenging terrain. Loose ground, steps, roots, tight corners and small jumps as well as some very steep descents.↩
High speed descents on sometimes very rough trails with large jumps and obstacles that you can’t roll over.↩
The rating used for riding characteristics refers to the bikes in the group test and the current state of development of eMTBs. The best bikes managed to blend supposedly opposite riding characteristics, feeling both lively and stable at the same time. The handling describes the balance of the bike on downhill sections. The information regarding motor-power refers to the ride-feeling in the overall context of the bike and not exclusively to the motor – that’s why the same motor can present different values.↩
Words: Felix Stix, Robin Schmitt, Jonas Müssig Photos: Finlay Anderson, Robin Schmitt, Felix Stix, Markus Frühmann