YT Decoy CF Pro Race eMTB downhill

YT Decoy Pro Race eMTB Review


Words by Drew Rohde | Photos by Dusten Ryen

Back with a vengeance, the 2020 YT Decoy Pro Race had some small but impactful changes that took it from being just another capable eMTB on the market to our 2020 All Out Shredder Award winner! A few months back we reviewed a 2019 YT Decoy ebike and it didn’t really blow our minds. Just a few months later we received the 2020 Decoy, which included some Shimano Steps firmware updates, an updated shock tune and slightly altered geometry thanks to an extra 10mm of travel up front. The difference was readily apparent, and we instantly knew this thing was here to party!

YT Industries built their Decoy ebike around a 70Nm 250w Shimano Steps E8000 drive unit and a custom SMP 540Wh battery. The display and selector are both E7000 units to pass further savings on to the customer. The carbon frame boasts 165mm of V4L four link suspension that is controlled via Fox’s Float X2 Factory rear shock. YT opted for a new tune on the 2020 Decoy and we’re happy to say it’s a notable improvement. Up front a longer, Fox 26 Float Factory ebike fork packs 170mm of travel. The 10mm change over last year’s fork slightly modifies the geometry and handling of the bike, which we’ll address below.

A Shimano XT drivetrain works flawlessly and allowed for smooth reliable shifts through all twelve speeds. YT opted to use SRAM Code RSC brakes on the Decoy, which worked well during our test period. The cockpit is made up of a Fox Transfer Factory 150mm dropper post, SDG RDR saddle, and Renthal bars and stem. The mullet sized (29 f, 27.5 r) E*thirteen E*spec Race Carbon wheels are designed for ebike abuse and get wrapped in Maxxis Minion tires. We swapped the tires on all our test bikes in the eMTB Roundup to the Schwalbe Eddy Current ebike specific tires for a more consistent platform.

Geometry on the 2020 YT Decoy Pro Race eMTB sees minor changes due to the longer travel fork. The adjustable head tube angle gets half a degree slacker from 2019 and is now either 64.5 or 65 degrees while the seat tube sits at 75.5 or 76 degrees. Our size large test bike also has a 450mm reach, 442mm chainstays and a 1,126mm wheelbase. The stack height of the YT Decoy is 633mm.

YT Decoy CF Pro Race eMTB rear shot downhill

Some of our testers had some preconceived notions about where the YT Decoy Pro Race would stack up since we’d just ridden one a few months back that didn’t look all that different. After hearing the other testers who hadn’t ridden the old one rave about the bike’s on trail character, we passed it around to the rest of our crew. No doubt about it, the new Decoy had some major improvements going up and down the mountain.

The updates made to the Shimano Steps firmware were probably the most notable, and needed, as they transformed the bike’s all-around demeanor and pedaling characteristics. Although the power delivery and sensitivity of the system are much improved, the custom 540Wh did prove to be a bit short on range for big days on the trail when compared to other category winners. The Orbea’s Bosch 625Wh system and Specialized Kenevo’s 700Wh let our Enduro category test rides extend well beyond the range of the Decoy.

What the YT Decoy Pro Race loses in range, it makes up for in downhill performance. As we’ve found with most YT bikes, it’s a bit rough off the top when riding flatter trails or climbing but once you point the bike down hill and start getting deeper into the shock’s travel, it is a terrifyingly fast bike. The slight kickback or hangup on little holes or square bumps is quickly forgotten as we start looking farther down the trail just trying to pick our line and staying off the brakes. Testers repeatedly said, “This bike scares me because I keep trying to find its limit and it’s making me go faster than I want…and I still can’t find that limit!”Comments like those are what led us to create the All Out Shredder Award for the Enduro (155mm and longer) category.

YT Decoy CF Pro Race eMTB in action

The Wolf’s Last Word

It was pretty easy to name the YT Decoy Pro Race as the best descending ebike in this year’s eMTB Roundup. It had all of our testers grinning ear to ear begging to just boost back up for another lap. The downside to the bike is you’ll have less laps due to the battery range. It also isn’t the best climber in terms of seated comfort as the rear suspension is a bit rough off the top. Testers found themselves standing up more when approaching washboards, holes or sharp rocks. Once pointed down hill however, their concerns were erased as the fun and speed this bike provided trumped all. In fact, riders who knew this bike was overkill for their local terrain were still tempted to take the Decoy home as their go-to bike because it was that much fun to shred.

The YT Decoy is a great downhilling bike but a prime example of why we’ve created sub-categories to best address ideal consumers for the top three winners. If you’re a rider who plans to sit and pedal all day, looking for comfort and maximum range while exploring trails, we’d suggest either the Orbea Wild FS or the Specialized Kenevo. If however, you are what everyone refers to as a, “total shredder” who’s looking for a bad ass bike that will get you to the top of your favorite, gnarly downhills more than your current enduro bike, look no further. The YT Decoy Pro Race is faster than Meatloaf’s bat outta hell, looks better than Prince riding Purple Rain and thunders like Metallica riding lightning. This bike will make you go fast and take changes.

Price: $6,599
Weight: 51.03lbs

YT Decoy CF Pro Race eMTB power

Frame: high modular carbonfiber frame, V4L Virtual 4-Link rear suspension, 165mm
Fork: Fox 36 Float Factory eBike, 44mm Rake, 170mm
Shock: Fox Float X2 230x65mm

Battery: SMP YT Custom, 540Wh
Drive Unit: Shimano E8000

Brakes: SRAM Code RSC; 200mm
Handlebar: Renthal Fatbar 35, 800mm
Headset: Acros AZX-260 Block Lock
Seatpost: Fox Transfer Factory, 150mm
Shifter: SRAM GX Eagle, Single Click
Stem: Renthal Apex 35, 50mm

Rims: e13 E*Spec Race Carbon; 29″ x 30mm (f), 27.5″ x 35mm (r)
Front Tire: Maxxis Minion DHF 29 x 2.5″
Rear Tire: Maxxis Minion DHRII 27.5 x 2.8″

Cassette: Shimano XT 10-51t
Cranks: Shimano XT, 165mm
Derailleur: Shimano XT ShadowPlus 12spd

YT Decoy CF Pro Race eMTB Review

We Dig

Going Down Hill Fast!
Playful Yet Planted
Composed Suspension When Hammering
Just Look at it

We Don’t

Battery Range
Suspension on Square Edge Hits
Bumps While Seated and Pedaling are Rough

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