Here’s the YT Decoy Shred: mid-priced mullet bike that comes with a coil-sprung Fox DHX2 shock that’s guaranteed to make it the life and soul of any party
Besides this coil sprung YT Decoy Shred, there are two other distinct versions of the YT Decoy. There’s the original YT Decoy with mullet wheels and 165mm travel, or the YT Decoy Pro 29 with, you guessed it, 29in wheels and 145mm travel. The frame is designed around the popular Shimano E8000 motor and keeping the lights on is a custom 540Wh battery pack, that bolts into the underside of the oversized carbon downtube. Just don’t leave the battery mounting bolts in the workshop like we did if you remove the battery to charge it.
YT Decoy Shred e-bike review
At the business end, the Decoy Shred gets a burly 170mm Fox 38 Grip suspension fork. The 29er front wheel is shod with a 2.5in Maxxis Assegai in the Maxx Terra compound which works great in a wide variety of conditions. It’s complemented by the 2.8in Maxxis Minion DHR II out back, and because the Decoy has a flip-chip geometry adjuster, you could easily fit a 2.5in rear tyre for extra bite in sloppy conditions and retain the desired geometry and pedal clearance by simply running the flip-chip in the high setting.
Other neat features on the Decoy include moto-foam in the cavities around the motor casing to help keep some of the crap out, and rubber mounts on the battery casing that eliminate any rattle. In fact, bar the hum of the E8000 motor, the Decoy Shred was by far the quietest bike in test.
YT’s 4-bar linkage suspension is quite progressive so the Fox DHX2 coil shock feels like a match made in heaven, the pitter patter response offering stacks for grip, while retaining the support needed for slamming turns and sending drops.
Being the Performance Elite level shock it has independent rebound and compression adjustment to fine tune the suspension response. And unlike most of its rivals, the rebound adjustment range can be set fast enough that lighter riders will have no issues finding the perfect setup.
We’ve mentioned balance, or the lack of it, a lot in this test, but once again YT had nailed it. The hyper responsive 170 Fox 38 Grip fork matching the coil-sprung rear suspension perfectly. So even though the Decoy isn’t the longest or slackest bike in test, it can be ridden flatout without the slighted hit of a hand tremor.
With the 150mm YT Postman dropper post we had some seat post exposed above the relatively short seat tube, so there’s definitely room to go longer if you feel the need for extra drop. We didn’t. We would like a saddle with slightly more padding than the SDG Radar though, even for just bombing up fire roads to blast the steepest descents. In fact, it’s the only criticism in an otherwise flawless build. The Shimano XT drivetrain is robust and the basic SRAM Code R disc brakes have a reassuringly solid feel, with plenty of power in reserve for those times when your confidence surpasses your talent.
Out of the dedicated e-bike box, the YT Decoy Shred was an instant hit. Cool, calm and collected, the Decoy gives you the confidence and the power to attack every trail. With perfectly balanced weight distribution you never second guess how the bike is going to react, which gives you more time to focus on choosing better lines or get creative. Poppy and playful, the Decoy is easy to chuck about but still has depth to the suspension so it’s every bit as happy getting thrown in at the deep end.
Yes, the 540Wh battery doesn’t sound like a big step up from the 504Wh unit on the Intense Tazer, but in back to back tests it delivered a disproportionate increase in range, probably due to the battery management software. Niggles? Just two: mud collects around the elevated chainstay bridge behind the motor and you can’t turn the bike upside down when cleaning or water pools in the battery contacts and will need drying to get the lights on again. Both, we can live with.
With mullet wheels and 165mm travel, the YT Decoy Shred sounds like a handful, but its bubbly personality and compact sizing guarantees that it is every bit as playful as it is capable. Big days out or just hot laps after work? The Decoy Shred has your back. Yes, it’s running the older Shimano E8000 motor, but you’d be hard pressed to detect any loss of power or acceleration when compared the new EP8 equipped bikes. So if it’s ride quality, not battery capacity or torque that you prioritise, then the YT Decoy Shred should be your first choice. It’s certainly ours.