YT's new Decoy SN e-MTB is its lightest and most capable yet, but even with a Fazua motor it still weighs over 20kg, so who's it for?

The YT Decoy SN being ridden on a rocky trail
(Image credit: YT Industries)

YT has just revealed an all-new version of its Decoy electric mountain bike. But rather than being a full-power model like the previous incarnation, the Decoy SN is a lighter-weight model with a Fazua Ride 60 motor – a big change from the Shimano-equipped models that came before.

Unsurprisingly, the new chassis is longer and has more up-to-date geometry than the previous version (originally released in 2019), but rear travel is reduced to 160mm (from 165mm), complemented by a 170mm fork up front.

There are three models to choose from at launch:

The top-of-the-range Core 4 model ($8,499 / £8,499/ €8,499 / $11,899 CAN) comes with a Fox 38 Factory, coil-sprung DHX2 shock, and a mullet set of Crankbrothers wheels with Industry 9 hubs.

While the Core 3 ($7,499 / £7,499/ €7,499 / $9,999 CAN) and Core 2 ($6,499 / £6,499/ €6,499 / $8,999 CAN) feature different levels (Ultimate and Select) of the latest RockShox Zeb fork and Vivid shock, with slightly less fancy wheels respectively.

The YT Decoy SN Core 4 seen side on

The YT Decoy SN Core 4 with Fox 38 Factory fork and DHX2 coil shock (Image credit: YT Industries)

The new Decoy SN frame essentially uses the same V4L Horst Link suspension layout as the earlier version with angles and lengths that have been brought up to date. Reaches have been stretched to more-or-less size up from the previous lengths on offer. That means a medium now comes in at 455mm and a large at 475mm – which is still shorter than more radical enduro bikes, but seemingly designed to hang onto the playful nature of the original Decoy. As per the previous version, frames still get flip-chip in the shock link. That gives riders two head angles to choose from – 64.2 and 63.9 degrees, effective seat tube angles of 78.4 and 78.2 degrees, and bottom bracket heights of 344 and 340mm.

Like the latest analog bikes from YT, the Decoy SN frame has a pair of bosses under the top tube for attaching accessories and there's room for a full-size water bottle below the shock.

The geometry chart for the new YT Decoy SN

The full geometry chart for the new YT Decoy SN (Image credit: YT Industries)

With 60Nm of torque and a 1.96kg weight, the Fazua Ride 60 e-MTB motor gives more torque than rival motors in the same weight bracket, but of course that's less than the 85Nm power of the 2.7kg Shimano EP801 found on the previous Decoy models.

Motor systems need a battery and that's where a lot of the extra weight found on full-fat e-MTBs comes from. Lower power motors don't need the same capacity so weight savings are made here. The Decoy SN's 430Wh Fazua battery weighs 2.3kg, while regular Decoys run a YT custom spec 720Wh version weighing almost twice as much at 4.57kg. The SN's Fazua battery is non-removable though and the brand are yet to produce a range extender.

The YT Decoy SN Core 3 seen side on

The RockShox equipped Core 3 version (Image credit: YT Industries)

The Core 4 and Core 3 models both run SRAM's wireless GX Eagle Transmission drivetrains, though the Core 3 gets a mixed-and-matched combo of GX and S-1000 parts (SRAM's latest, cheaper T-Type tier). Unlike the latest carbon Stumpjumper, the Decoy SN still comes with holes and routing for a cabled gear system and the Core 2 model comes with ye olde Shimano SLX/XT drivetrain components.

YT says full bike weights range from 20.6kg / 45.4lb for the Core 4, to 20.4kg / 45lb (both size S) for the Core 2, which while lighter than the likes of the regular YT Decoy Core 4 at 23.7kg / 52.2lb for the L size we've tested, are definitely heavier than most of the bikes running Fazua Ride 60 systems.

Danny Milner testing the YT Decoy SN on a trail

MBR editor Danny Milner testing the Core 4 model (Image credit: YT Industries)

YT Decoy SN Core 4 ride impressions

If the details above have left you wondering how the Decoy SN would ride with a lower-power motor but too much heft to be considered a true lightweight e-MTB, our colleague Danny Milner (editor of MBR) tested the Core 4 model at its launch and was impressed.

"If you're put off by the Decoy SN's on-paper weight, don't be. It might be over the convenient 20kg 'lightweight e-bike' threshold, but that extra weight is all muscle. The Decoy SN is seriously burly, with a chassis that shrugs off the biggest hits and heaviest landings. Yet it also has a lightness and dexterity to its handling that makes it a joy to throw around. This is enduro riding at its best – shred the descents, flatten the climbs. Where do I sign?" Reported Danny.

Close up of the head tube on the YT Decoy SN

Home mechanics will be pleased to see there's no headset cable routing here (Image credit: YT Industries)

Our take

It's great to at last see a new Decoy with a longer reach and a slacker front end, and as always with YT, the builds are excellent and come with competitive price tags.

However, the lighter, but not exactly lightweight overall weight has us scratching our heads in terms of intended use. The payoff for a lower power motor is a much lighter bike and capable rivals such as Specialized's Turbo Levo SL II and Orbea Rise LT come in well under the 20kg mark. There's also the issue of range, as the heavier weight of the Decoy SN will mean a bigger drain on the 430Wh battery.

Danny from MBR was stoked when testing on the bike though and we're in little doubt of its descending capabilities, but is the power-to-weight issue a compromise here? We'll let you know once we get our hands on a Decoy SN for a full test.

How to Create the Ultimate Enduro Bike | The All-New DECOY SN ⚡️ - YouTube How to Create the Ultimate Enduro Bike | The All-New DECOY SN ⚡️ - YouTube
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Tech specs: YT Decoy SN MX

The YT Decoy SN Core 4 seen side on

The Core 4 is also available in black (Image credit: YT Industries)

Decoy SN MX Core 4

  • Price: $8,499 / £8,499/ €8,499 / $11,899 CAN
  • Frame: Ultra modulus carbon, 160mm travel, Boost, UDH
  • Fork: Fox 38 Float Factory , 170mm travel, Boost
  • Shock: Fox DHX2 with SLS coil spring, 230 x 65mm
  • Motor: Fazua Ride 60, 60Nm, 400W peak power, Ring Controller
  • Battery: Fazua Ride 60, 430Wh capacity
  • Crankset: e*thirteen Helix Race e*Spec 160mm, with 34t SRAM Eagle Transmission XX chainring
  • Gears: SRAM GX Eagle Transmission with Pod Ultimate controller
  • Brakes: SRAM Maven Silver with 220 and 200mm rotors
  • Wheels: Crankbrothers Synthesis E-bike Alloy i9 1/1 custom hubs. 29in front, 27.5in rear
  • Tires: Continental Kryptotal 29 x 2.4 WT, Super Soft, Enduro front, 27.5 x 2.4 WT, Soft, Enduro rear
  • Seatpost: YT Postman V2 adjustable drop
  • Saddle: SDG Bel Air 3.0
  • Stem: Renthal Apex 35, 50mm
  • Bars: Renthal Fatbar 35, 800mm
  • Grips: ODI Elite Motion V2.1
  • Sizes: S to XXL
  • Weight: 20.6kg / 45.4lb (size S, claimed)

The YT Decoy SN Core 3 seen side on

There's a black version of the Core 3 available too, but you wouldn't see much of it here in the deep void of space (Image credit: YT Industries)

Decoy SN MX Core 3

  • Price: $7,499 / £7,499/ €7,499 / $9,999 CAN
  • Frame: Ultra modulus carbon, 160mm travel, Boost, UDH
  • Fork: RockShox Zeb Ultimate, 170mm travel, Charger 3.1 damper, Boost
  • Shock: RockShox Vivid Ultimate, TouchDown RCT2, 230 x 65mm
  • Motor: Fazua Ride 60, 60Nm, 400W peak power, Ring Controller
  • Battery: Fazua Ride 60, 430Wh capacity
  • Crankset: e*thirteen Helix Race e*Spec 160mm with 34t SRAM Eagle Transmission XX chainring
  • Derailleur: SRAM S-1000 Eagle Transmission
  • Cassette: SRAM GX Eagle Transmission
  • Shifter: SRAM Pod Controller
  • Brakes: TRP DH-R Evo with 220 and 203mm rotors
  • Wheels: Crankbrothers Synthesis E-bike Alloy. 29in front, 27.5in rear
  • Tires: Continental Kryptotal 29 x 2.4 WT, Super Soft, Enduro front, 27.5 x 2.4 WT, Soft, Enduro rear
  • Seatpost: YT Postman V2 adjustable drop
  • Saddle: SDG Bel Air 3.0
  • Stem: Title ST1 35, 40mm
  • Bars: Title AH1 35, 800mm
  • Grips: ODI Elite Motion V2.1
  • Weight: 20.5kg / 45.2lb (size Small, claimed)

The YT Decoy SN Core 2 seen side on

Here's the Core 2 in 'Status Grey', yes, there's a black one too (Image credit: YT Industries)

Decoy SN MX Core 2

  • Price: $6,499 / £6,499/ €6,499 / $8,999 CAN
  • Frame: Ultra modulus carbon, 160mm travel, Boost, UDH
  • Fork: RockShox Zeb Select, 170mm travel, Charger RC damper, Boost
  • Shock: RockShox Vivid Select, TouchDown RT, 230 x 65mm
  • Motor: Fazua Ride 60, 60Nm, 400W peak power, Ring Controller
  • Battery: Fazua Ride 60, 430Wh capacity
  • Crankset: e*thirteen Helix Core e*Spec 160mm with 34t chainring
  • Derailleur: Shimano SLX M7100
  • Cassette: Shimano SLX M7100
  • Shifter: Shimano XT M8100
  • Brakes: TRP DH-R Evo with 220 and 203mm rotors
  • Wheels: DT Swiss H1900, 29in front, 27.5in rear
  • Tires: Continental Kryptotal 29 x 2.4 WT, Super Soft, Enduro front, 27.5 x 2.4 WT, Soft, Enduro rear
  • Seatpost: YT Postman V2 adjustable drop
  • Saddle: SDG Bel Air 3.0
  • Stem: Race Face Aeffect R35, 50mm
  • Bars: YT, 800mm
  • Grips: ODI Elite Motion V2.1
  • Weight: 20.4kg / 45lb (size Small, claimed)
Rich Owen
Editor, BikePerfect

Rich Owen is the editor of the Bikeperfect.com team. He's worked as a journalist and editor for over 24 years, with 12 years specializing in cycling media. Rich bought his first mountain bike (a rigid Scott Tampico) in 1995 and has been riding MTB for almost 30 years.

Current rides: Merida One-Forty 6000, Banshee Paradox, YT Jeffsy Core 3, Saracen Ariel 30 Pro

Height: 175cm

Weight: 69kg