YT Decoy 29 Electric Mountain Bike In for Test

YT came out with the latest Decoy electric mountain bike models in May, including the 29er Core 4 build we have in for test. Here’s an early look at the bike, along with the geometry and key build specs ahead of testing.

The frame

The Decoy 29 offers 150/145mm of suspension travel front and rear, respectively. All three builds utilize the same carbon frame, and the bike is available in two colorways: Trooper White (pictured) and Black Magic.

YT uses their Virtual 4 Link (V4L) suspension design on the Decoy, which is claimed to offer high anti-squat performance, in addition to a sensitive top end and “plenty of end-stroke progressivity.” As such I’ll be paying attention to both how well the bike descends and climbs to see if the suspension design lives up to its claims.

The frame integrates the 540Wh battery and Shimano EP8 motor for a seamless look. Naturally it’s also set up for internal cable, hose, and wire routing.

One unique frame feature is YT’s Fork Impact Protection zone, which provides a bit of extra insurance against fork-on-downtube contact. There’s also a flip chip that, in high mode, steepens the head angle by 0.5° and raises the bottom bracket for improved climbing performance. The size XL frame I’m testing does include mounts for a water bottle, but given the shock placement getting a bottle to fit will likely require a tight squeeze.

Geometry

Overall the geometry on the YT Decoy 29 frame is about what one would expect for a trail / all-mountain bike in 2021. The 65.8° head tube angle (low) certainly isn’t the most slack, and it will be interesting to see how confidently the bike descends. At the other end of the equation, the 77° seat tube angle (77.5° in high) is suitably steep for a modern trail bike and should aid in climbing.

The reach numbers are middling, if a bit short, compared to the average trail bike, and the chainstays are on the mid to long end of the market. At 338mm in low mode, the bottom bracket (BB) height is spot on for the average trail bike in 2021.

The build

The Core 4 build I’ll be testing is the top end for Decoy 29 builds in the US, and retails for $7,499. Right off the bat buyers will note the Kashima-coated Fox Factory suspension components, including the Fox 36 e-bike specific 150mm fork.

A full Shimano XT 12-speed drivetrain comes with a stout 36T chainring mated to a 250W EP8 motor capable of delivering 85Nm of torque. YT is using the Shimano E7000 e-bike display along with their own custom 540Wh battery pack that can be charged either on or off the bike. The drivetrain adds an E13 chain guide for good measure.

Alloy Cranbrothers Synthesis wheels, with Industry Nine 101 hubs, sport 31.5mm internal rim widths are said to offer a tuned ride feel with a stiffer rear and more supple front. The wheels are shod with a 2.5-inch, EXO Maxxis Minion DHF in the front and a 2.4-inch, EXO+ Maxxis Minion DHR II in the rear.

At the helm, alloy 780mm-wide Renthal handlebars feature a 35mm clamping diameter, mated to a 50mm-long stem. There’s an Acros lock block headset to limit the front end turning radius and to protect the top and down tubes in the event of a crash. And in case the headset limiter fails, YT’s Fork Impact Protection zone is on backup duty.

Finally, the build includes a YT Postman dropper post, with the travel amount varying based on the frame size. My XL build offers 170mm of up-down.

All told, this size XL, YT Decoy 29 Core 4 bike weighs 50.24lbs. with pedals.

Stay tuned for the full review this fall.

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