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Lengthy Time period Evaluation: YT’s Decoy 29 Core 4 eMTB is a real All Mountain e-bike


Final 12 months YT launched its Decoy 29 eMTB, a steeper-angled choice to its authentic e-mullet Decoy first launched in 2017. The unique 29/27.5” Decoy was Enduro centered and branded towards younger gifted rippers with a tagline about changing the shuttle. The latest Decoy builds on YT’s expertise with e-bikes and is a full 29er designed to be a extra all-around performer and for taking fewer hearth roads to the highest.

YT despatched their top-end Decoy 29 Core 4 for evaluate, which has a full carbon body, XT drivetrain, and Kashima-coated Fox Manufacturing facility suspension. After a number of weeks of rocky East Coast path using, the 29er Decoy has confirmed to be a winner. The bike enhances Shimano’s EP8 bionic climbing talents, with out giving up the secure descending traits YT is understood for. The high-end elements spec has been impressively sturdy and highlights the upfront worth YT can provide as a direct-to-consumer firm. Battery measurement/vary and a foolish water bottle mount are the one dings to an total nice bike.

Sizing/Geometry

YT’s Decoy 29 Core 4 eMTB suspenion

For 2021 the Decoy 29 and Decoy MX each have three Core construct packages (Core 2, 3, and 4), and have Shimano’s new EP8 motor. All three Decoy 29 construct packages share the identical body design, utilizing 150/145mm journey (entrance/rear), and a four-bar Digital 4 Hyperlink (V4L) system. With 5 body sizes, riders usually tend to match 2 sizes, so double-check the geometry chart and YT measurement suggestions. At 5’11”’ I’m on the tall finish of a YT Massive. Usually XL bikes are too large for me, however the Decoy XL was a viable choice. I’m glad I picked the scale L although because it had sufficient seatpost and shorter however adequate attain.  It additionally has a wheelbase longer than my giant acoustic Path bike, so the smaller body was a greater match for the tight and twisty trails I journey most.

YT’s Decoy 29 Core 4 eMTB geometry

By the numbers, the Decoy 29 clearly has free-solo climbing intentions. A excessive/low Flip Chip permits 0.5° tuning of head and seat tube angles and a 7mm BB change. Flipped to excessive, the 77.5° seat angle is remarkably steep, which is smart for maximizing an e-bike’s motorized climbing talents by holding the rider’s weight ahead and the entrance wheel down on steep climbs. An e-bike additionally wants room for mentioned motor, so the wheelbase and chainstays are comparatively lengthy, which can be good for steep ups (be aware: eMTBs additionally have a tendency towards low BB peak, which has an impression, actually, on pedal clearance and that is mentioned extra beneath).

With a wider vary of measurement choices, a YT Massive sizes up quick in Attain (463mm) and Stack (632mm) in comparison with your common Path bike and relative to its lengthy Wheelbase (1241mm). However with a low backside bracket and flippable 65.8° / 66.3° head angle, it has downhill stability baked in too. YT refers back to the Decoy 29 as its All-Mountain eMTB, which is acceptable because it blurs Path and Enduro classes. Total, given the design constraints of an e-bike, the Decoy 29’s geometry matches its All-Mountain (Path-duro?) objectives.

Core 4 Construct

YT’s Decoy 29 Core 4 eMTB

YT’s $7,499 top-end 29 Core 4 has a full carbon body, whereas the lower-priced Core 3 and Core 2 use aluminum swingarms. The battery is properly built-in into the down tube and is well eliminated with two by bolts, so there’s no battery rattle and good weight distribution. It’s an improbably sleek-looking body, contemplating how large the downtube must be to carry the battery and motor. The carbon layup flows extra materials towards the headtube and different stress factors.

YT’s Decoy 29 Core 4 eMTB water bottle

The high-end construct blings with Kashima golden Fox 36 Float Manufacturing facility E-bike fork and Float DBS Manufacturing facility shock; each buttery and extremely adjustable.  The V4L design works very well even with the additional eMTB weight however doesn’t depart room for a water bottle. YT squeezed in a proprietary nip of a bottle anyway, and the 475ml customized Thirstmaster 2000 half-bottle is equal elements design genius and foolish as a $50(!) additional—that does embody the bottle and the cage although.

The Crankbrother’s Synthesis Alloy e-MTB wheels are tuned to be entrance and rear-specific, which didn’t really feel any completely different, however each wheels one way or the other stayed true regardless of some very onerous e-bike hits. Constructed with I9 1/1 freehub, and match with 2.5” Maxxis Minion DHF (entrance) and a pair of.4” Minion DHR II (rear), the wheels and tires are holding up amazingly properly.

YT’s Decoy 29 Core 4 eMTB

An E13 chainguide and an all XT drivetrain also needs to assist with sturdiness, and the 10-51T 12spd cassette has sufficient vary to climb something and in addition rapidly hit the 20mph US Class 1 motor restriction. The highest-end SRAM Code RSC brakes provide each contact and attain adjustment and are simple to maintain dialed in, which is vital for stopping the additional weight of an eMTB. The Acros AZX-260 headset has built-in “blocklock” turning limits to save lots of the body from fork impression in a crash however takes some getting used to as a result of there are a number of much less levels of movement for trackstands and tight switchbacks. The remaining spec can be sturdy and features a Renthal stem (50mm, +/-6° rise) and bars (780mm Fatbar), YT’s Postman dropper, an SDG Bel Air 3.0 saddle, and ODI grips.

e-Bike Energy

YT’s Decoy 29 Core 4 eMTB rear shock

Shimano’s new EP8 motor is matched with YT’s 540W customized battery.  The EP8 has 85NM of torque and is noticeably quieter and offers a smoother energy response than prior Shimano motors. The ability output could be very intuitive to pedal enter, with seemingly prompt energy and intuitive proportional suggestions. Additional tuning is accessible utilizing Shimano’s E-TUBE Mission app.  Response timing, energy, and max torque might be preset with the app, and be used as the brand new default or as a backup choice.

With the small E7000 show, very quiet beeps (default setting), and a discrete energy button (tucked beneath the highest tube), the Decoy doesn’t scream robo-bike. However it packs loads of robo-power. Enhance mode is usually an excessive amount of for many tight and twisty trails, and greatest used for blasting straight uphill, doubletrack, or roads. Total the EP8 and E7000 show present a simple to make use of energy system, with clear and ergonomic up/down thumb management for altering energy mode and to toggle show changes.

There may be nonetheless a recognized concern with all EP8’s making a clanking noise whereas coasting. I didn’t discover it at first, however as soon as I did, I couldn’t cease listening for it. In all probability extra of a me-issue, as total it’s a quiet motor, however others have discovered it a bit annoying too. One other criticism is the vary of the 540W battery, the place longer-lasting choices can be found from different bike corporations. For me, the battery life was a non-issue, as the final vary of 25mi (Enhance) to 75mi (Eco) was loads for my on a regular basis using. I seldom noticed the battery fall beneath half cost and really not often used Eco mode to preserve energy. For these doing backcountry epics or different all-day using, there are different e-bikes on the market that spec 700W batteries.  Or examine with YT on availability to purchase an additional 540W battery ($699).

Decoy 29 vs. MX

riding YT’s Decoy 29 Core 4 eMTB

My using buddy has the 2020 Decoy MX, and we spent a number of rides swapping forwards and backwards between the MX and 29 variations of the Decoy. Attain and stack numbers are deceiving when evaluating bikes with completely different wheel and tire sizes, and I used to be a bit shocked how rather more upright the 29er put me in comparison with the MX. Aspect by facet, each flipped to Excessive, the 29er was clearly taller up entrance and the using place felt increased too. So I fearful the entrance wheel would raise on steep climbs, however the 29 dealt with the crazy-steep e-bike ups noticeably higher than the MX (new tires, large again wheel, and longer chainstays all helped too).

Pointed downward, the 29er felt simply as quick however a bit tougher to handbook and hop. What I discovered stunning was that I most well-liked the 29er on tremendous steep downhill shoots, the place the tall bar gave me much less concern of an endo. Nonetheless, I did get my ass brrramped by the 29’s rear wheel a number of occasions when leaning method again, so the benefit probably goes to the MX for having extra room to maneuver within the again. In brief, the Decoy 29 excels at steep, techy climbs, however nonetheless holds its personal on flowy descents and steep drops.

Journey Impressions

riding YT’s Decoy 29 Core 4 eMTB

I don’t dwell close to mountains, and most of my rides are native and solely rise tens of toes above sea stage. My every day using selections are dominated by steep punchy technical using (enjoyable), and rooty unflow trails (not as enjoyable). However on an e-bike just like the Decoy, even the sloggiest of my home-trails come to life with feature-popping enjoyable. Path mode was my go-to energy porridge. Enhance was usually an excessive amount of for the tight and twisties, and infrequently had me on the brakes or off my line (or off my line and the bike). I’d prefer to say that as a substitute of Enhance that I usually toggled into Eco for a greater exercise, however I solely did so often…by no means.

The Decoy had me in my native woods extra usually throughout the week than standard. It additionally prolonged my vary to hunt for steeper climbs to wash and greater rollers to drop into. The super-smooth and progressive 150/145mm Fox suspension additionally had me hitting stunts which I’d usually b-line on my private Path bike.  For instance, there’s a close-by stream crossing soar which I had at all times bypassed to keep away from the onerous touchdown to flat. It was simple to session on the Decoy and I now have this soar/drop dialed in. The bike has been a relentless siren track, calling out to me to sneak in a quick loop throughout lunch break or any free time. I may get in a full exercise by hammering the entire journey, or scooch as much as the next energy preset and maintain contemporary legs for a night household hike or surf session. To not say I didn’t get a exercise each journey.  Whereas my legs may take a noticeable break on quick rides, the upper speeds at all times gave the remainder of my physique a exercise. My little bike owner arms are getting pumped.

riding YT’s Decoy 29 Core 4 eMTB

Weekend day journeys to extra flowy trails highlighted the Decoy’s do-it-all nature. Pumping circulate trails and popping jumps felt nice, regardless of the e-bike weight and fewer aggressive geometry. Cornering and suspension felt even higher, the place the additional weight appeared to assist rail turns even in unfastened circumstances. Confidence and speeds on flowy trails have been each excessive, with much more Enhance utilization, and the Eco setting remained largely ignored. The longer weekend rides underscored the cozy using place however did increase the occasional concern of battery vary. Nonetheless, after 25 miles I used to be virtually at all times prepared for the barn earlier than the Decoy and by no means ran low sufficient to want to modify to Eco for any vital time.

jumping YT’s Decoy 29 Core 4 eMTB

YT sells direct to riders, and the Core 4 packs a robust spec as anticipated with its $7,499 value. All three Decoys use the EP8 motor and share the identical built-in and intuitive zippy energy. The Core 4 held up properly to a number of weeks of onerous technical using together with some good-sized drops and some soar classes. The one casualties have been warped brake rotors and a cracked skid plate (each simply changed/fastened). Driving quick and sloppy is after I break bike elements, and this was my default using type whereas getting used to the Decoy and overusing Enhance mode. It’s a testomony to the XT drivetrain that I didn’t snap a sequence or fold any tooth, and to the general high quality of the body, Crankbrother’s wheels, and remaining spec. The bike was using like model new all through testing.

What does it weigh?

riding YT’s Decoy 29 Core 4 eMTB

How a lot does it weigh? That is the primary query everybody asks. The scale Massive weighed in at 49.4lbs with out pedals, and with pedals went over my bike scale’s 50lb restrict. Heavy for placing on high of a automotive, or lifting over a fence. However in the event you’ve learn this far, you don’t should be satisfied that e-bikes are sooner and tremendous enjoyable, and definitely worth the weight penalty. They’re additionally inherently low-slung, so the low backside bracket took some getting used to on rocky tech trails. Even with the flip chip set to Excessive and 165mm cranks, pedal strikes have been frequent and infrequently bone-jarring. I’d think about changing with even shorter cranks and suggest rubber endcaps, and pedals with replaceable grip pins. The motor usually had me hung up on large logs, briefly caught like a boneheaded boater that missed the tide change. So total the Decoy required some modifications in my using type to compensate for the low clearance, nevertheless it additionally modified my perspective on what is feasible to climb on a motorcycle. I beloved the superb climbing capability, silky suspension, and downhill stability. I cleared climbs I had at all times considered downhill solely and hit wall rides and different stunts I usually b-line. The Decoy 29 is a good all-mountain bike, which takes full benefit of Shimano’s EP8 motor and the additional particular person’s value of {smooth} energy. 

Total the Decoy 29 Core 4 is a well-designed high-end e-bike with a great worth spec. The bike shipped with a intelligent field and clear directions that made meeting very simple. It additionally included a “toolbox” with torque and pedal wrenches, a shock pump, and extras like carbon paste and tubeless valves. I’m certain with some tinkering the Decoy MX would additionally work nice on my native trails, however out of the field, the Decoy 29 was the fitting instrument for my on a regular basis using. I can’t overstate the enjoyment of leaning into an uphill berm or clearing beforehand unattainable climbs. I largely journey an acoustic Path bike, and I discovered the swap to the Decoy to be intuitive.  And its zip and added suspension gave me the arrogance so as to add new stunts to my resume. It checks all of the bins for a high quality All-Mountain eMTB and added quite a lot of additional miles and smiles to my week.

yt-industries.com

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