A rock-solid, mid power enduro e-bike from the direct-sales disrupters was not on my bingo card, but the new YT Decoy SN defies the numbers.

Product Overview

YT-Industries Decoy SN MX Core 4 CF


  • • Fast, fun, capable enduro bike
  • • Fazua motor has adequate power and range
  • • Stiff, solid chassis
  • • Good size range with loads of standover clearance and plenty of dropper insertion
  • • SRAM Maven brakes are superb


  • • Battery is not removable
  • • Fox suspension not particularly plush
  • • Harsh bar and grips
  • • No range extender


I’ve been waiting a long time for YT to launch a new e-bike, and the Decoy SN was not what I was expecting


Price as reviewed:


The new Decoy SN is YT’s first foray into the diet e-bike segment. It’s also only the brand’s second e-bike, because although YT is extremely trendy when it comes to style, image, and marketing, it also takes a contrastingly slow and steady approach to product development. Preferring to place safe bets, rather than jumping on the latest trends just to be hot. It wants to elongate product cycles and spice up its offerings with cool special editions, fitted with left-field components, dressed in sharp paint jobs. Case in point; the full-fat YT Decoy with Shimano motor has remained essentially unchanged for five years. So bringing this Decoy SN (Supernatural) to market has been a long and considered process rather than a knee jerk reaction. Even if it’s not exactly the model I expected it to be. Instead of a burly enduro bike with a diet motor, I figured it would play the numbers game and try to come up with a lightweight trail bike with a minimal motor, to grab the headlines and appeal to the widest market segment possible. But you know what? For once I’m glad to be wrong.

YT Decoy SN Core 4 CF MX

All carbon frames in the new YT Decoy SN range feature the same fibres and lay-up, with the addition of a carbon swing-link.

YT Decoy SN need to know

  • Fazua-equipped enduro bike
  • 160mm travel rear paired with 170mm travel fork
  • Carbon frame, four sizes, and an all-up weight from 20.4kg (Core 2)
  • Fazua Ride 60 system gets 60Nm torque, as much as 450W peak power, and a 430Wh internal battery
  • MX wheels on all models
  • Flip chip gives regular and low geo settings

The recipe YT has settled on for the new Decoy SN is a burly frame, with ample travel, MX wheels and a Fazua Ride 60 motor – a unit that’s well endowed with power and torque, and some of the best range on the market. Sounds like a decent package, right? So let’s find out whether those ingredients come together to create a successful package, and one worthy of inclusion in our guide to the best lightweight electric mountain bikes. For a full run down of the YT Decoy SN range, check out our news story here.

YT Decoy SN Core 4 CF MX

Whoop! All cables are routed through ports in the head tube, rather than the headset.

Frame and geometry

There are obvious shades of the full power Decoy in the new Decoy SN, but it also enjoys a more modern silhouette thanks to the steeper seat angle, lower top tube, and additional space that’s been massaged out of the front triangle. Specifically this has been helped by the smaller physical dimensions of the motor and battery, so even though the suspension layout is broadly unchanged, the Decoy SN design generates enough real estate to run a full size bottle – or potentially a range extender if Fazua ever gets round to making one – rather than the Decoy’s tiddly 475ml vessel.

YT Decoy SN Core 4 CF MX

YT has moved the furniture around to create enough space for a full-size water bottle (or a range extender, if Fazua ever makes one).

As you’d expect, YT has chosen carbon for the Decoy SN frame, specifically its Ultra Modulus weave, with the Fazua’s 430Wh internal battery fully sheathed to save additional weight along with sufficient stiffness. To remove it, you’ll have to take the motor out, so it’s not really an option to slam in another battery for further laps, or take the power pack into the house separately for charging. YT is certainly not alone in this camp, but with Fazua still lacking a range extender (and none on the immediate horizon) battery management will be an important skill set with the Decoy SN. Another option would have been to move the drive unit to the seat tube, and create enough room to slide out the battery – as Haibike has done on the Lyke – but this would have impeded dropper post insertion too much.

YT Decoy SN Core 4 CF MX

Shorter seat tubes and more dropper post insertion are all welcome and standard issue on the YT Decoy SN.

One development that could ease the worry about heading home for an early bath is the newly announced Fazua 480Wh battery. This uses high capacity cells to give an extra 10% range without adding extra weight or bulk. Slated to appear in 2025, it’s my hunch that YT will either offer it as a cost upgrade, or make a running change to the bike when they become available. YT’s official response when I asked them about it was: “we’re constantly developing and using the latest technologies available to us by our partners, as-long as it fits our vision for the product”.

While the full-fat Decoy – shall we call it Unnatural? – with the Shimano motor and 720Wh battery, is restricted to four frame sizes, the new Decoy SN expands the range to five options. Seeing as the new small gets a similar reach to the old Decoy’s Medium, and the new XL is 20mm longer than the old XXL, it’s actually as much a comprehensive sizing realignment for YT as it is an enlargement of frame options.

Further modernisation of the geometry includes a steeper seat angle (around 78º effective), a slacker head angle (63.9º), and slashed seat tube lengths (30-35mm shorter). YT has also raised the stack a touch, and kept chainstays short and constant across the board at 442mm.

YT Decoy SN Core 4 CF MX

It’s hard to see here, but there’s a flip-chip on the shock yoke giving ‘regular’ and ‘low’ settings. We stuck with regular and never felt the need to switch to low.

Limited adjustments to the geo are possible through a flip chip in the shock link. These are labelled regular and low, where the high position is designed to be as useful and usable as the low position. Indeed, the regular position is neither steep (at 64.2º) nor high (344mm BB height), while the low position will be bordering on too low for chunky enduro trails that encourage you to smuggle in pedal strokes. A more accurate description of the two positions might be ‘Bike park’, and ‘Enduro’.

YT Decoy SN Core 4 CF MX

Integrated rubber frame protection makes for a nice peaceful ride.

YT is not a brand that goes in for superfluous bells and whistles, and the Decoy SN is no exception. Where the brand has added functionality to the frame includes a tool mount/strap from Crankbrothers bolted directly beneath the top tube, a bolt-on skid plate to shield the motor, and integrated rubber frame protection. An example of the lengths YT has gone to when designing these details can be found in the skid plate.  This gets a single design that works on all five frame sizes, – aligning with multiple down tube angles – which reduces costs, and makes sourcing replacement simpler.

YT Decoy SN Core 4 CF MX

The Fazua top tube display is relatively simple, but gives power mode and battery status at a glance.

Motor and battery

Choosing the right motor is one of the most crucial decisions to make during the development process of any new e-bike, and it’s one that’s arguably getting harder, not easier. Having just come back from Eurobike, new entries to the motor market from brands like automotive giant ZF, and drone manufacturer DJI, are putting the heat on established players such as Bosch, Shimano, TQ, and Fazua.

Speaking of which, YT has gone for the Fazua Ride 60 system for its new Decoy SN for several reasons. While not the most powerful, or the lightest, or the system with the biggest battery capacity, Fazua scores well in all those areas, to make a strong all-round package. Notably, in our range tests, it goes further than any other system. It has enough torque to winch up a serious gradient, has a small footprint on the bike, and is relatively quiet in operation. Of course, YT tried all the main systems, significantly dismissing the Bosch SX because it demands such high revs from the rider to deliver its peak power. Our main concern with Fazua is reliability, as we’ve had test bikes where the motor has failed. I also know this is a weakness that is being addressed as top priority, so hopefully things are moving in the right direction.

YT Decoy SN Core 4 CF MX

The old Ring Controller always felt a little fragile, but there’s a new unit on the way.

But I also wonder if YT is playing the long game. Fazua is mostly owned by Porsche. Porsche has committed to bring an e-bike motor to market in the next few years. And to be partnered with a brand like Porsche brings huge interest and credibility.

YT Decoy SN Core 4 CF MX

Measuring sag and checking how much travel you’ve used is always tricky with a coil shock.


The Decoy SN uses a similar four-bar linkage configuration to the original Decoy, albeit with tweaked kinematics. This latest V4L design focusses on increasing the anti-squat over the Decoy full-fat – which is something common on on mid-power e-bikes – along with slightly less progression. That said, 29.5% is still pretty progressive.

This flagship Core 4 model gets a Fox DHX2 coil shock with four-way damping adjustment, allied to a Fox 38 Float Factory fork fitted with the latest Grip X2 damper and 170mm travel. It’s the only coil-sprung model in the range, and gets Fox’s lightweight SLS spring, with each size fitted with a different spring rate. Like any coil shock, setting sag is more difficult – both to adjust and measure – and it’s difficult to see how much travel you’re using during a run, but I was pleased to see that the stock spring was spot on for my rider weight (78kg), delivering 19.5mm sag with a quick tweak of the preload.

YT Decoy SN Core 4 CF MX

The Fox 38 Float Factory on the YT Decoy SN Core 4 CF MX is the latest MY25 model with the Grip X2 damper.


Short cranks are becoming a serious trend on e-bikes, but YT hasn’t pushed the boundaries to their limits on the Decoy SN. While Whyte has gone as short as 155mm on its E-Lyte, YT’s choice of gold E*thirteen Helix 160mm arms strike a more even balance between cadence, clearance, and leverage.

YT Decoy SN Core 4 CF MX

The GX AXS derailleur tucks the battery between the T-Type clevis, keeping it out of harm’s way.

The SRAM GX Eagle AXS Transmission provides slick, robust shifting with the added advantage of a better protected battery than the more expensive SRAM mechs.

YT Decoy SN Core 4 CF MX

SRAM’s Maven brakes impressed on the long alpine descents of Austria.

One of my component highlights are the SRAM Maven silver brakes. Although I’ve been using them in the UK for a while, this was my first time trying the Mavens in an alpine setting, and they did not disappoint. Unflinchingly solid, now matter how hard I squeezed the lever, the power was immediate and unrelenting. Yet it is always easy to control that power, and even on longer descents with lots of braking, the high breakaway force required to initiate the lever stroke didn’t cause premature finger fatigue.

YT Decoy SN Core 4 CF MX

Harsh grips and a stiff bar made for a rough ride. We’d swap these out for something more comfortable.

On the other hand, the firm, narrow ODI Elite Motion grips and Renthal Fatbar 35 handlebar transmitted significant noise and vibration to my palms. If I was buying this bike, the only things that would go from the standard spec would be the bar and grips.

YT Decoy SN Core 4 CF MX

What a playground! This was one of the recent Leogang EDR stages and it got absolutely brutal just around the corner.


YT’s original Decoy was always a ridiculously dynamic e-bike, despite its 23kg weight. Subtract nearly 3kg from that figure, and add a motor with reduced friction, and I hoped that the Decoy SN would be a full-bore riot.

To find out, I headed to the conjoined Austrian resorts of Saalbach, Hinterglemm, and Leogang, for two days of alpine riding.

YT Decoy SN Core 4 CF MX

E-bikes are made for riding like this, where the air is thin and climbing turns you into a wheezing gas bag.


There might be a spider’s web of gondolas criss-crossing the mountains between Vali Holl’s home of Saalbach, and classic DH venue, Leogang, but pedalling between the two involves a surprising amount of climbing. Enough, it transpires, to get an insight into the Decoy SN’s ascending capabilities.

It’s immediately clear that the updated geometry of the Decoy SN has reaped dividends when climbing, especially considering it doesn’t have the ultimate power and torque of the full-fat Decoy to fall back on. You have to keep the cranks spinning to keep the power flowing from the Fazua motor, so that steeper seat tube angle was invaluable for putting me in a more efficient position over the BB.

YT Decoy SN Core 4 CF MX

The Fazua system is one of the stronger mid-power units, and copes pretty well with steeper gradients and technical climbs.

YT has done a decent job of balancing crank length with BB height, so pedal clearance was acceptable on the steepest, chunkiest sections I was faced with. At the same time there was still enough leverage from the cranks to compensate for the reduced torque of the Fazua motor versus the original Decoy’s Shimano EP801.

Having said that, Fazua’s Ride 60 has more torque than most lightweight motor systems, so you still get plenty of support on steeper gradients. And when the climbs are gradual, Rocket mode (or the 12 second overboost function) brings genuinely rapid ascending.

YT Decoy SN Core 4 CF MX

Whether trying to negotiate an EDR stage, or tearing up a flow trail, the Decoy SN had my back.


Between the three Austrian resorts that make up the Bike Region I had the chance to ride the Decoy SN on everything from super-groomed bike park flow trails to intensely rowdy EDR-rated stages, dripping with rocks, roots, and sketchy chutes.

The first day was wet, cloudy, and cold, and while my Decoy felt decent, it didn’t quite sparkle. Up front, the Fox 38 Float Factory fork, with the new Grip X2 damper, seemed over-damped and underwhelming. As the day went on, I kept opening up both compression and rebound damping, and while it did improve matters, it still wasn’t enamoured with the grip on offer. As much as the box-fresh seals and low ambient temperature certainly wouldn’t have helped, these first impressions tallied with all the other MY25 Fox forks I’ve ridden to date.

YT Decoy SN Core 4 CF MX

This looks a lot less sketchy than it felt!

At the back, the Fox DHX2 Factory shock felt much less restricted, but had an extremely fast rebound in the last 5% of travel that ended with a very slight knock that felt almost like a loose shock bolt. Bunny-hop the bike, or pull for a gap, and the shock would have control for most of the extension, then fire through the last few mil of travel into the top-out (it doesn’t have a top-out bumper). It’s not something that I’ve come across before with the DHX2, so hopefully it was just an isolated issue.

On day two, I dropped the pressure in the fork by 2psi, and fully opened up all low-speed damping. The result was much more satisfying – I could get the grip I was looking for, and there was stacks of support when loaded up into berms or compressions. I wouldn’t call it a plush ride in the same vein as a RockShox Charger 3.1 and Vivid Air shock will give, but I found it much easier to get comfortable with pushing the bike and going fast.

YT Decoy SN Core 4 CF MX

The next rider to come down here ended up going over the bars, down the bank, with his bike tomahawking about 30m down the hill.

Getting the Decoy SN into its sweet spot took a little while then, and I’m sure there’s more to unlock, but once I was dialled in, it proved to be one of the most exciting e-bikes I’ve had the pleasure of riding. For a (insert air quotes) ‘lightweight e-bike’, it’s not that light on the scales, but the first jump I landed and the first berm I squared off made it clear that this extra heft has resulted in a seriously stout chassis. This thing doesn’t flinch, no matter how hard you send it. And that helped give me the confidence to hold the throttle wide-open whatever was coming down the trail.

Despite nudging above the 20kg unofficial cut-off for ‘lightweight e-bikes’, the Decoy SN is remarkably agile. I found it inspired creative riding, encouraging me to play with the trail, popping gaps, drifting turns, and manualling rollers. Even for a fairly average rider like myself, the Decoy SN felt like putty in my hands, and turned every descent into a shr-edit.


Riding the Decoy SN gave me tantalising glimpses of what YT’s latest e-bike is capable of, but I also left Austria feeling that there’s untapped performance. At 78kg, I shouldn’t be running the Fox fork fully open, and the shock top out was annoying. So while I had a blast riding the top-of-the-range CF4, I would love to try the mid-priced Core 3 CF model, as this could be the gem in the range. Having spent some time on both the RockShox Vivid Air shock and new Zeb with Charger 3.1 damper, I know that this combo feels like melted butter right out of the box, with stacks of grip and a wide, usable, range of adjustment. Chuck on a more compliant handlebar and some well-cushioned grips, and this Decoy SN could be everything I’d ever wanted in an e-bike.


Frame:Ultra Modulus Carbon Fibre, 160mm travel
Shock:Fox DHX2 Factory (230x65mm)
Fork:Fox 38 Float Factory, 170mm travel (44mm offset)
Motor:Fazua Ride 60, 450W/60Nm
Battery:Fazua Ride 60 430Wh
Control unit:Fazua Ring Controller
Wheels:Crankbrothers Synthesis E-Bike Alloy wheels, Continental Krypototal Super Soft/Soft 29x2.4in/27.5x2.4in tyres
Drivetrain:E*thirteen Helix Race crank, 34t, 160mm, SRAM GX Eagle AXS Transmission 12-speed shifter and r-mech
Brakes:SRAM Maven Silver, four-piston, 220/200mm
Components:Renthal Apex stem 50mm, Renthal Fatbar 35 800mm, YT Postman 200mm dropper post, SDG Bel Air 3.0 saddle
Weight:21.1kg (claimed)
Max system weight:140kg
Sizes:S, M, L, XL
Geometry (regular):
Size ridden:L
Rider height:178cm
Head angle:64.2º
Effective seat angle:78.3º
BB height:344mm
Front centre:821mm
Down tube:760mm
Seat tube:420mm
Top tube:609mm