YT Decoy CF Pro Race First Ride Review, a gravity fuelled e-MTB that’s not the JeffsE

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Andi visited the South of France, where he ate good food, drank wonderful wine and got a first ride review of the YT Decoy CF Pro Race eMTB.

YT has officially announced a new bike to their range, and the first e-MTB bike to carry the Young Talent badge. Fans of YT have long speculated that the German brand would launch something with a motor, and some commenters even speculated that the bike could be named the JeffsE and be based on the popular YT trail bike.

What YT has launched though is the Decoy, a bike that has more in common with the big travel Capra and named for its stealthy “is it or isn’t it?” looks.

Why is it called the YT Decoy?

YT Decoy emtb review
My ride while in Nice.

YT named their first carbon e-MTB the Decoy because they’ve spent quite a lot of the 2 1/2 year development time creating a bike that doesn’t scream about what it is, or have odd proportions or dimensions.

For example, that chunky carbon top tube is there partially for strength but mostly to ensure the large downtube with integrated battery doesn’t give the side profile a strange silhouette.

YT Decoy emtb review
That’s one well-proportioned frame.

The chunky top tube is also where you’ll find the power button for the Decoy, not in plain sight but hidden beneath, again to keep people guessing to what the bike is.

YT Decoy emtb review
Turned on?

Being German, you might think that YT would have opted for one of the German motor makers, but Japanese giant Shimano was chosen for the compact size of the E8000 motor and for their willingness to accept YT’s own custom battery.

YT Decoy emtb review
YT teamed up with SMP to design and develop their own 21700 cell battery.

Yup, unlike some brands that were happy to throw a battery on a frame and call it an e-MTB, YT has gone the whole hog, and the extra mile. The custom YT battery is manufactured by SMP and has a slightly higher 540wh compared to the Shimano Steps 500wh unit. In addition to being slightly larger in capacity, it’s slimmer and wider, plus custom designed to slot into the carbon downtube of the Decoy’s mainframe ensuring it looks good too.

YT Decoy emtb review
YT chose the display from the E7000 system because it is small and doesn’t stand out.

In addition to those design choices to ensure the Decoy looks as much like a standard bike as possible, some specification choices also help to hide its battery power. While all three YT Decoy bikes all ship with the same power E8000 motor, each bike comes with the smaller display from the E7000 range. Smaller so less likely to stand out. E7000 components are also used in the shifting department too, which allowed a proper under bar dropper post lever to be fitted out of the box.

YT Decoy emtb review
Stealth sensor.

Even the sensor for the rear wheel has been integrated into the frame with the magnet mounted to the Shimano disc on the rear wheel. That’s attention to detail.

YT Decoy First Ride Review – The Bike

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Comments (6)

    “and discovered there was a fault with the power switch fitted to the top tube.”

    Sounds a great bike but us mortals would be required to post the bike back to Germany to get it fixed.

    I really like the thought of buying direct, more bike for your money, BUT, as @dogbone has already mentioned, a faulty switch would mean returning the complete bike for any fault to be identified which in itself is a pain.
    I think that companies such as YT need to measure just how many units they sell into the UK , other destinations are available, to then quantify the implementation of UK service / sales centres if they are to increase market share and turn faulty bikes around in days rather than weeks, for this reason alone I am still reluctant to buy direct.

      @gavalar yup, that’s currently the deal, but YT did hint that they’re working with Shimano to solve this. The Steps motor and all Shimano Steps components can be taken to your local Shimano Service center the plan is to extend this to the custom battery too, hopefully the switch will be covered as well.

    looks a beast.! as far as I’m aware Eco is not adjustable Andi, just Trail and Boost.
    be interested to hear your findings on battery life. I think we all want more life, in the real world this battery is only 8% more capacity but firmware updates seem to help battery life too.
    I wish we could turn down Eco for more life as its actually not needed to be so high.
    pressures sound crazy high on suspension and tyres…
    I’m with you on the bars too, more backsweep needed.

    Really like that. Would be a nice companion to my Jeffsy 🙂

    The YT branded saddles are the worst things ever though. Crippling. Swapped for a Spoon after 1 ride. Not a fan of the stock sensus grips either.

    Just reading this for entertainment I suddenly got interested in a long lasting steel E13 wide range cassette!

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