YT Goes Supernatural: Introducing the 160mm/20kg Decoy SN 10

YT's new enduro bike has a motor, but is not defined by it.

What is the best enduro bike we can build? That was the question that the YT developers asked themselves when they set out to design the bike being presented here today. All the options were on the table – including whether or not it should have a motor. At the end of the development process, the result is a bike that was designed for maximum performance on anything from rowdy enduro trails to the bike park, with a mid-power motor and a 430 Wh battery to augment your own capabilities and help you get more riding in. Is it indeed supernatural? Let’s find out!

YT Decoy SN Highlights

  • Ultra-Modulus carbon frame
  • MX (mullet) wheel configuration for all sizes
  • 160 mm rear travel, all builds feature 170 mm forks
  • Fazua Ride 60 system, 60 Nm motor/430 Wh battery, non-removable
  • Internally guided cable routing
  • Universal Derailleur Hanger (UDH)
  • 34.9mm seat tube diameter
  • 200 mm rear brake postmount
  • Headtube bearings: ZS56
  • Weights (size S, without pedals): 20.4 kgs (Core 2) // 20.5 kgs (Core 3) // 20.6 kgs (Core 4)
  • USD pricing (excl. sales tax): Core 2 $6499 // Core 3 $7499 // Core 4 $8499

Initial Impressions

To present their new bike, YT invited us out to Saalfeld-Hinterglemm (the valley next to Leogang). Most of YT’s key personnel were on hand, including YT founder Markus Flossmann who has now taken up the reigns as CEO again, after spending a couple of years in what was meant to be a slightly more relaxed role as CVO (Chief Visionary Officer).

Flossmann back at the helm
Obligatory car-inspired mood board
3D-printed frame details
Classic YT fun

To build the best enduro bike that they can, the YT team decided on making it a relatively lightweight, mid-power e-bike with a full serving of suspension travel. Out back you find YT’s usual V4L layout (a classic Horst link) with 160 mm of travel, mated to a burly 170 mm fork (Fox 38 or RockShox ZEB, depending on the build). The lines are very YT-esque, with the family lineage evident in many of the frame design elements. YT opted for their high-end “Ultra-Modulus” carbon layup for the Decoy SN CF at all price points, whereas many of their existing models feature a cheaper version on the lower-tier models. There’s an extra accessory mount under the top tube, which can be used to attach spares and/or tools.

For the power side of equation, YT went with the Fazua Ride 60 system, chosen for its natural ride feel and its very good power to weight ratio. The battery is not removable for swapping/charging, a decision that YT says allowed them to save about 1 kg in total frame weight (once you factor in the mounting bracket for the removable battery and the reinforcements you need to apply to the frame to allow for a battery door in the downtube, it all adds up). The system is controlled by Fazua’s “Ring” controller, a small handlebar mounted rotating lever that allows you to switch support modes, turn the system on and off, and activate walk mode. There’s a small visual display unit on the top tube that tells you what mode you’re in and how much battery you have left. This unit also opens up slightly to reveal a USB-C port that can be used for system updates and also for charging your accessories while on the move.

(Deity grips not stock)

The Fazua motor puts out 60 Nm of torque and 450 W of peak power, and the juice is supplied by a 430 Wh battery that weighs in at 2.3 kgs. A size small Decoy SN weighs in at around 20.5 kgs, which would put it towards the heavier side of the super-light e-bike category – but that is not exactly what the Decoy SN is. The builds are burly, with heavy forks, proper tires, and even a coil shock on the high-end model that we got to ride. The frame was designed to take a beating, not necessarily to be the lightest it could be.

Charging port

Looking into the frame details, it is clear that YT keeps improving with each new bike model they put out. For example, they have a whole new cable port system which seems to be the most robust version we’ve seen so far (and thankfully, YT opted out of the headset-routed cable game). The cables are guided internally, but they can still cross over inside the frame before they reach the headtube to accommodate those who want to run their brakes moto style (front on the right). The extra cables needed for the e-bike controls and speed sensors are routed alongside the other cables, and it’s all pretty tidy despite the cables making an appearance above the BB area before heading back towards the rear wheel. There’s an extra port in the frame just above the BB area, which will at some point be able to connect to a range extender that will take the place of the water bottle (if Fazua ever manage to actually make it available).

YT also wanted a very quiet bike. To that end, they have worked on improving the chainstay and seatstay protection, and there’s a pretty beefy set of skid plates that protect the motor and the downtube. Interestingly, the Decoy SN sports a 34.9 mm seat tube, which YT says provides for better dropper post longevity thanks to thicker stanchions and bigger bushings – an important aspect with droppers getting progressively longer these days. Responding to rider criticism, YT has also shaved some length off the seat tube to make room for said longer posts.


YT’s are never extremely progressive in terms of geometry, but the Decoy SN is resolutely modern. It comes in five sizes, with reach measurements between 435 and 515 mm. The chainstays have grown a bit, they now sit at 442 mm across the five frame sizes. The stack height has also followed the recent upwards trends, growing a few millimeters for each size compared to YT’s current generation of bikes. The seat tube sits at a quite steep 78.4 to 78.2 degrees (depending on frame size), while the head angle clocks in at 64.2 in the “regular” flip chip setting. On this topic, the “regular” flip chip setting on the Decoy SN is actually the same as the “low” setting on previous bikes, and the new “low” setting is quite low indeed. YT says they decided to change the names of the settings from the previous “low” and “high”, as they found that nobody wants to run anything in “high” mode even when it would make sense to do so.

On The Trail

We rode the top-of-the-line Core 4 model during two days in the bike parks of Saalfeld-Hinterglemm and Leogang. It seemed like an odd choice a first, testing an e-bike in a bike park, but YT wanted above all to showcase their “ultimate enduro bike” concept here. The idea is that this will often be a rider’s one bike, and it needs to seamlessly deal with everything from a classic supported ride out to using the lifts in a bike park. The motor support is there to make your ride easier/faster, but this bike isn’t meant to be defined by the fact that it’s electrified. We rode the bike exclusively in the "regular" flip chip setting, not feeling a pressing need to try the "low" setting at all - it's plenty slack as it is.

Shot by Ale di Lullo

To make sure that we would still get a good idea of how the motor support performs in action, we sprinkled in plenty of climbing liaisons between the lift rides. The support from the Fazua motor feels quite natural in how it complements your own efforts, providing a gentle push in the lower support modes and a more significant boost in the highest mode. The mid-power experience is different to that of a full-power bike of course, but you can still take on some pretty demanding climbs if you are prepared to put in a bit of your own work as well.

Shot by Ale di Lullo

We have two small complaints about the Fazua system. One, the ring controller action is a little rough. The ring itself feels a bit flimsy, and you have to pay a little extra attention to what you are doing to make sure your commands are indeed registered (this got better with time as we developed our muscle memory with the controller). The other issue is a certain irregularity in the motor support when grinding up a climb at steady pace. We found that the support would come and go in waves; the motor would push a bit too much and then back off again. It’s a very subtle thing, and it might be possible to tune the support settings to alleviate the issue, we didn’t have time to really get into that side of things during this test. As for the battery capacity: our biggest day out featured something like 700 meters of total climbing (in the strongest support mode), plus whatever pedaling we did during the bike park runs, and our tester finished the day with 2 out of 5 LEDs still lit. Seems like a full battery should give you about 1400 meters of total climbing with full support most of the time. If you do run out of juice, the Decoy SN can definitely be pedaled around without the motor support, but it doesn’t exactly feel very snappy in that scenario (e-bikes typically feature a bit less anti-squat, which is a surefire way to make them feel a bit dead at the pedals). All in all we got along well with the Fazua system, confirming the findings from our recent SL E-Bike Test Sessions – Fazua is definitely one of the top contenders in this category, with its smooth power delivery and above average power-to-weight ratio (disclaimer: we have yet to ride the Bosch SX system here at Vital).

Shot by Ale di Lullo

On the way down the mountain, we found the Decoy SN very easy to get along with. The geometry is very inspiring, offering a great mix of liveliness and stability. The bike responds well to your input, and the few extra kgs all but disappeared from the very first runs. In contrast to a full-power e-bike, the Decoy SN never feels like it’s carrying around any extra heft, even when you have to pull up over a little root section or pop a little extra off a lip. We found the new Fox DHX2 extra lively in this regard, having to crank down the rebound a good bit to reign in the back end on more lippy jumps. We also found that we could run a bit more compression damping for support in the new Fox 38 Grip X2, compared to outgoing models. 200 mms of dropper post travel on our size L frame was a welcome feature in the bike park, for sure.

Shot by Daniel Roos
Shot by Daniel Roos

As we got into more technical trails, the Decoy SN continued to impress. Very sure-footed even in steep and rough terrain, we rarely felt overwhelmed and if we did, it was down to our own abilities rather than any shortcomings of the bike. Interestingly enough, in addition to the longer head tube, YT specs a 40 mm rise handlebar on the Decoy SN.

The tall front end thing is a more recent trend in bike geometry, and one that we salute – especially for more demanding riding. It may be one of the key contributing factors to how quickly we got used to riding this new bike on steep trails we didn’t know from before.

Shot by Ale di Lullo

Looking over the spec list, a few items stood out to us during testing. First of all, the Maven brakes are REALLY at home on a big mountain. Unwavering power in all situations, and modulation that makes them easy to use even after 10+ minutes of descending with tired arms and subpar line choice the norm rather than the exception. YT intended for this bike to be up for anything, and they chose the stoppers accordingly.

The Continental tires also impressed us. We had one day of proper wet riding, and a second day with rapidly drying conditions. The Kryptotal Fr and Re have been out for a while now, but the super-soft compound paired with the enduro casing up front is all-new – and it’s really good. From life-threatening, mud-covered roots to bike park jump trails, the grip was always trustworthy and we enjoyed good sidewall support with less pressure than we’d usually expect to run. On very fast, hard-packed berms we could sometimes feel the rear squirm a bit, but most tires behave similarly in that situation to be fair.

Shot by Daniel Roos
Shot by Daniel Roos

Decoy SN Build Kits

What’s The Bottom Line?

The e-bike market is still evolving at a rapid pace, and it can sometimes be hard to understand the different categories that manufacturers and media talk about. On the one hand, we have the heavy, full-power bikes intended to provide as much power as possible on the way up, and then shred their way back down. These bikes are more often than not equipped with quite a lot of suspension travel and heavy-duty parts. On the other hand, the SL or “Super Light” category is shaped by a who-can-build-the-lightest-e-bike race, which is why these bikes typically sport less travel and lighter components. In their quest to build “the best enduro bike possible”, which just so happens to feature an electric motor, YT has arrived at a middle ground of sorts. The new Decoy SN aims to deliver a “Super Natural” riding experience, a full-fledged enduro bike that is augmented by electric power but not bogged down by the weight of it. It weighs a bit more than a typical SL e-bike, but it also features heavy duty components like coil shocks, 38-mm forks, and enduro casing tires. It compares directly to a bike like the Transition Relay, which sports the removable version of the Fazua battery (with the accompanying weight penalty at similar builds). The Specialized Kenevo SL also fits into this category of bike, although it is significantly down on power and range compared to the Decoy SN. After spending two days riding the Decoy SN in a bike park setting, we don’t want to jump to any foregone conclusions, but it was easy to buy into YT’s recipe for fun here. The bike is nimble enough to make you forget you’re riding an e-bike most of the time, yet still has enough power to crank out some serious climbing if you’re self-shuttling. The geo is spot-on for heavy duty shredding, and the value for money across the three available build options is excellent as you would expect from a direct-sales brand. As one of the grumpier analog hold-outs here at Vital, the tester and author of this article has yet to add an e-bike to his quiver – but when that day comes, a Decoy SN will most certainly be right at the top of the list of bikes to consider.

More information at:

View key specs, compare e-bikes, and rate the new YT Decoy SN in the Vital MTB Product Guide.

About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord - Age: 51 // Years Riding MTB: 19 // Weight: 190-pounds (87-kg) // Height: 6'0" (1.84m)

Johan loves bikes, which strangely doesn’t make him any better at riding them. After many years spent practicing falling off cliffs with his snowboard, he took up mountain biking in 2005. Ever since, he’s mostly been riding bikes with too much suspension travel to cover up his many flaws as a rider. His 200-pound body weight coupled with unique skill for poor line choice and clumsy landings make him an expert on durability - if parts survive Johan, they’re pretty much okay for anybody. Johan rides flat pedals with a riding style that he describes as "none" (when in actuality he rips!). Having found most trail features to be not to his liking, Johan uses much of his spare time building his own. Johan’s other accomplishments include surviving this far and helping keep the Vital Media Machine’s stoke dial firmly on 11.

Photos by YT/Daniel Roos and Ale di Lullo (action) and Johan Hjord (bike shots)


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