YT Decoy MX e-MTB now features Shimano's FREE SHIFT technology

YT Decoy MX Core 5
(Image credit: YT Industries)

YT has released three new Core build models of its Decoy MX e-MTB. The Decoy is YT's only electric mountain bike and is available in both 29er and mullet options, although the new builds are only for the mixed-wheel version. 

The new Core level bikes still use the same YT Decoy MX frame which impressed us when we tested it previously. The Core 3 and 2 use a Carbon Hybrid frame featuring an Ultra Modulus Carbon front triangle with an alloy rear end, and the premium Core 5 gets a full Ultra Modulus Carbon construction.

YT Decoy MX Core 3 motor detail

YT has specced Shimano's latest e-MTB motor (Image credit: YT Industries)

The top-of-the-range Core 5 doesn't just get treated to better materials, YT has specced Shimano's latest e-MTB drivetrain technology with FREE SHIFT. The Core 5 is equipped with Shimano's latest EP801 motor and Shimano XT Di2 drivetrain which are connected giving the rider the ability to either shift while coasting as the motor can turn the chainring while the cranks stay level.

If you are wondering why it doesn't also feature Shimano's AUTO SHIFT technology, well oddly AUTO SHIFT is only a feature on the 11-spd drivetrain, not the 12-spd fitted to the Core 5.

The Core 3 model also has Shimano's EP801, delivering 85 Nm of torque, although without any futuristic shifting functions as it's specced with a mechanical SLX groupset. The Core 1 gets an EP6 motor and Deore groupset in an attempt to keep costs down. The batteries are YT models and the Core 1 has a smaller 540Wh battery, while the Core 3 and Core 5 get larger 720Wh batteries.

The Decoy MX Core is available in three different models – Core 5, Core 3, and Core 1. All models run Shimano drivetrain, SRAM brakes, and Maxxis tires. The Core 1 and Core 3 come equipped with a coil shock while the Core 5 gets an air shock instead.

While it looks like YT has put a lot of consideration into the specs, equipping all the bikes with top-spec tires and dependable componentry, pricing isn't as keen as we would expect from the direct-to-consumer brand. Pricing for the Core 1 starts at $4,999 / £4,999 / €4,999 which falls short when compared to its biggest rival Canyon, who's base model Spectral:ON CF 7 offers an EP801 motor, a much larger battery, and a better fork.

YT Decoy MX Core 5

This duck graphic pops up a few times, we aren't sure why (Image credit: YT Industries)

The YT Decoy MX range and availability

The bikes all come in M to XXL although bad news for riders under 163cm as only the Core 1 is available in a size small. All the Core models come in two color options, Bright Blue, Black Magic for the Core 5, Trooper White, black magic for the Core 3, and Concrete Grey, Black Magic for the Core 1

Bikes are available now through Yt-industries.com. Scroll down for a full breakdown of specs and prices.

YT Decoy MX Core 5

YT Decoy MX Core 5

The top-of-the-range YT Decoy MX Core 5 gets Shimano's new FREE SHIFT technology (Image credit: YT Industries)
  • Frame: Ultra Modulus Carbon Frame
  • Motor: Shimano STEPS DU-EP801
  • Battery: SMP YT CUSTOM 720Wh
  • Fork: Fox 38 Float Factory, 170mm
  • Shock: Fox Float X2 Factory, 165mm
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano XT RD-M8150 Di2
  • Shifters: Shimano XT SL-M8150-R Di2
  • Stem: Renthal Apex 35
  • Bar: Renthal Fatbar 35
  • Crankset: Shimano XT FC-EM900
  • Seatpost: YT Postman V2.1, Adjustable drop 20 / 10 / 5 mm, 150 mm (M) / 170 mm (L) / 200 mm (XL) / 230 mm (XXL)
  • Saddle: SDG BEL Air V3 Max
  • Brakes: SRAM Code RSC, 200/200mm rotor
  • Wheels: Crankbrothers Synthesis
    Alloy E-MTB 3 I9 1/1
  • Tires: Maxxis Assegai (3C Maxx Grip) and Maxxis Minnion DHR2 (3C MaxxTerra) 
  • Sizes: M, L, XL, XXL
  • Weight: 23.7kg
  • Price: $8,499 / £7,999 / €7,999

YT Decoy MX Core 3

YT Decoy MX Core 3

The YT Decoy MX Core 3 combines a big battery, EP801 motor, and a coil shock (Image credit: YT Industries)
  • Frame: Carbon Hybrid Frame
  • Motor: Shimano STEPS DU-EP801
  • Battery: SMP YT CUSTOM 720Wh
  • Fork: Fox 38 Float Factory, 170mm
  • Shock: Fox Float X2 Factory, 165mm
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano SLX RD-M7100
  • Shifters: Shimano XT SL-M8100-R
  • Stem: Renthal AL6061
  • Bar: Renthal AL2014
  • Crankset: Shimano FC-EM600
  • Seatpost: YT Postman V2.1, Adjustable drop 20 / 10 / 5 mm, 150 mm (M) / 170 mm (L) / 200 mm (XL) / 230 mm (XXL)
  • Saddle: SDG BEL Air V3 Max
  • Brakes: SRAM Code R, 200/200mm rotor
  • Wheels: Crankbrothers Synthesis Alloy E-MTB 2
  • Tires: Maxxis Assegai (3C Maxx Grip) and Maxxis Minnion DHR2 (3C MaxxTerra) 
  • Sizes: M, L, XL, XXL
  • Weight: 23.7kg
  • Price: $6,499 / £5,999 / €5,999

YT Decoy MX Core 1

YT Decoy MX Core 1

The EP6 motor and 540Wh keeps the price and weight lower (Image credit: YT Industries)
  • Frame: Carbon Hybrid Frame
  • Motor: Shimano STEPS DU-EP6
  • Battery: SMP YT CUSTOM 540Wh
  • Fork: RockShox Domain R, 170mm
  • Shock: RockShox DLX Coil Select, 165mm
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano Deore RD-M6100
  • Shifters: Shimano Deore SL-M6100-R
  • Stem: E13 Base 35 
  • Bar: E13 Base 35 
  • Crankset: Shimano FC-EM600
  • Seatpost: YT Postman V2.1, Adjustable drop 20 / 10 / 5 mm, 150 mm (M) / 170 mm (L) / 200 mm (XL) / 230 mm (XXL)
  • Saddle: SDG BEL Air V3 Max
  • Brakes: SRAM DB8, 200/200mm rotor
  • Wheels: SUNRINGLE Duroc SD 37 Comp
  • Tires: Maxxis Assegai (3C Maxx Grip) and Maxxis Minnion DHR2 (3C MaxxTerra) 
  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL
  • Weight: 24.7kg
  • Price: $4,999 / £4,999 / €4,999
Graham Cottingham
Senior reviews writer, Bike Perfect

Graham is all about riding bikes off-road. With almost 20 years of riding experience, he has dabbled in downhill, enduro, and gravel racing. Not afraid of a challenge, Graham has embraced bikepacking over the last few years and likes nothing more than strapping some bags to his bike and covering big miles to explore Scotland's wildernesses. When he isn’t shredding the gnar in the Tweed Valley, sleeping in bushes, or tinkering with bikes, he is writing tech reviews for Bike Perfect.

Rides: Cotic SolarisMax, Stooge MK4, 24 Bicycles Le Toy 3, Surly Steamroller

Height: 177cm

Weight: 71kg