Playing it safe and going with a reliable, yet readily serviceable powerplant, Yeti chose to go with a Shimano STEPS EP8 motor powered by a 630Wh battery. This puts the 160E right in line with some of the most capable motor systems on the market and packs the battery life to match.
To handle the extra weight and design limitations of a battery and motor, Yeti designed a totally new linkage called Sixfinity. It is a Stephenson 1 type, true six-bar linkage, which means the wheel and brake are mounted to the seat stay. That’s important because that is the frame member that dictates anti-squat and anti-rise. To learn a lot more about this platform and see our interview with Yeti’s head of enginerdery, click here.
In short, the Yeti 160E’s 160mm of tunable rear travel is controlled by an eccentric pivot that changes direction midway through the travel. It has similarities to Switch Infinity in how it changes directions, but instead uses a six-bar platform. This linkage allows for moderate levels of anti-squat in the pedaling zone of travel while allowing for a large amount of progressive travel after the link pivots. This lower level of anti-squat, compared to their traditional bikes, gives better traction and comfort while pedaling an eMTB while retaining full suspension control throughout the travel.
All that technology can be tuned on the fly with an adjustable leverage rate flip chip giving 35% (plush and poppy), 30% (balanced), or 25% (supportive and efficient) progression. The chip is one of the smallest pieces of the bike, but one of the most important parts as it offered the tunability to take the bike from being pretty good to exactly how we like it.
As with all Yeti bikes, the frame’s fit and finish is superb. The paint is a perfect balance of semi-gloss finish that hides scratches and chips while all the high damage areas like the chainstay, downtube, and bottom bracket have built-in protection. Cable routing is all internal with secure closures to eliminate rattle. The factory Yeti handlebars even have internal cable management designed into them to reduce cockpit clutter.
We all love geometry numbers and the 160E doesn’t stray far from tried and true Yeti. On our size large: Headtube angle is 64.5 degrees, seat tube angle 78 degrees, reach is 480mm, and the wheelbase is 1,262mm. This translates into a middle-of-the-road ride that blends seated pedaling efficiency on the ups and total stability on the way down. Interestingly, Yeti came to some of the same conclusions we have after riding almost every eMTB on the market and raised the BB slightly to 350mm. They coupled that with 160mm cranks so you can keep putting the power down through rough and off-camber pedal sections. Props for that move Yeti.
Build spec on the T1 build consists of a Fox Factory 38 with 170mm of travel coupled with a Fox Factory Float X2 rear shock. Drivetrain is all Shimano XT. Braking duties are handled by SRAM Code RSC with a 220mm front rotor and 200mm rear rotor. Wheels are DT Swiss EX1700 with 30mm internal width but can be upgraded to DT Swiss 1510 carbon for an extra $900. The seatpost is a RockShox Reverb 170mm, in the wireless AXS guise which allows for one less cable on the cockpit. The bar is a Yeti 35mmx800mm unit that is eMTB rated and features the aforementioned internal cable routing.
Yeti seals the deal with a no strings attached lifetime warranty on their frames, links, and pivots. If they fail due to a manufacturer defect, they will replace it at no cost. If you do happen to damage the frame from riding, they offer a crash replacement for a deeply discounted price.