YT Decoy First Impressions

We’ve just finished two full days of riding YT’s new Decoy e-bike in the Maritime Alps around Nice, France. The tracks there are very rocky and very fun singletrack and we even managed to get a run down Loic Bruni’s DH test track, which Loris Vergier was taking some runs down at the same time. Aside from a couple of big gap jumps over creeks that were beyond the skillset of this pilot, the Decoy ate up the rough and steep stuff without so much as a quack. Just watch Adolf Silva in YT’s launch video to see how a more qualified pilot can make this duck fly.

In terms of vital stats, the Decoy features Shimano’s proven E8000 motor with a custom 540 Wh battery that mounts lower in the downtube than most for a lower centre of gravity and hence improved handling. What really defines the Decoy though is the progressive geometry and hearty 165mm travel. The Decoy is probably as progressive and DH capable as e-bikes get right now. A slack 65 degree head angle and 475mm reach (XL) with a short seat tube for ‘long-dropper’ compatibility and short-for-ebike 442mm chainstays ensure the Decoy is stable but not boat-like out back.

While the geometry and suspension capabilities are similar to YT’s trail and enduro models, being able to rip back up with speed and ease for multiple laps is what the Decoy does differently than the Capra or Jeffsy. It’s not all about the big-hit capability though. Day two of our testing was a point-to-point trail ride in the Alps with lots of ripping down and undulating singletrack. It was enough to get a good sense of what the Decoy is capable of, along with its key strengths and a couple of foibles. We’ll have more assessment in the next issue.

In case you’re wondering, the duck logo and ‘Decoy’ name refer to the way a duck decoy looks like a normal duck, or at least enough like a normal duck to fool other ducks. Similarly, YT’s Decoy e-bike looks just like a non-e-bike (almost). There are three models with prices from $8,999 to $11,999 and five sizes from small to XXL and the first shipments are scheduled for mid-May so keep an eye out because they won’t hang around.

Words: Carl Patton
Images: Jack Tennyson and Johan Hjord

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