YT Decoy 29 Initial ride impressions / Review


New member
Local time
7:47 AM
Oct 4, 2020
Just took delivery of a YT Decoy 29 base model.

Initial impressions:

Very easy to set up. Got the bike delivered around 11:30, by 2:30 I was riding. I'm impressed with the tools that are included with the YT. A shock pump, torque allen multi tool, and several extras like battery powered lights, tubeless valve cores etc. (I will be setting this up tubleless asap) My rear rotor was pretty bent upon arrival, a little tweaking was able to take care of it and get it 95% straight.

Sizing: I am 5'10" / 5'11" and went with a Large after much debate between the L and XL. I am very happy with the L, despite the numbers on paper seeming like the reach would be short. I also didn't want any un needed wheelbase increase.

Components: SLX shimano took a few minutes to get dialed in and shifting crisply. The Yari seems good, I think adding a spacer or 2 will be the ticket so I can drop a few PSI, and retain good bottom out resistance. I wound up backing out the rebound (faster) a few clicks on both the fork and shock to get a tad extra pop and playfulness. The rest of the components seem pretty darn good for the price of the bike. It came with 29x2.4 minions, which somewhat bucks the trend of 29x2.6, which is how my other bike is set up. I didn't notice the missing .2 on the trail, although I'll likely go to a 29x2.6 front, and 29x2.4 or 2.5 rear when the time comes for new tires. This does tend to reduce the chatter of loose trail 2-3" rocks etc typically found in my riding.

Riding impressions: The bike is pretty great from the 1st ride out. It is quite playful for a 52lb bike, and I was able to play around on it trying some technical climbs, pop off some obstacles, maneuver around techy rocks, and still have a blast bombing hills with no sketchiness. The shimano steps has plenty of torque, and is quite natural feeling. There is no jerkiness or abruptness when the assist engages. So far I have only ridden it in the "low" setting, and will be curious to try the flip chip setting to see what difference it makes. The bike is FUN. Climbing while seated yields very little in the way of noticeable pedal bob, and standing climbing performance is also outstanding. The chainstays are pretty long, and I was worried I would notice them in a negative way. I didn't notice them one bit, which in my opinion, means they are only helping the climbing prowess.

For reference I have demoed a Pivot shuttle 29er (my favorite), a Trek powerfly, and parking lot pedaled a few Specialized levos. I would say this rides most similarly to the shuttle, albeit not QUITE as light and poppy. Perhaps playing with the suspension tokens etc will yield more similar results. I believe it's just a function of the additional weight, which can have some benefit in certain situations. As with everything there is a trade off, and the decoy 29 base is like HALF the shuttle's price!

I looked high and low for a review on the decoy 29er before pulling the trigger and came up mostly empty. Hopefully this helps anyone who may be on the fence. I'll be sure to update with any further findings.
Thanks for the review man. Curious if you were on the fence to the mullet version? What made you go 29?
I did not really consider the mullet version after Loam Wolf's lackluster review of the 2019. The 2020 was also praised "hardest charger" or something, which is certainly intriguing in an e-bike... self shuttle up and have a mini dh rig for the down. I wanted something a little more like the shuttle, and I tend to prefer 29" wheels on other bikes. Very rarely do my local trails (front range CO) lend to pushing it so hard that I felt I'd need the extra slackness etc. especially when considering the capabilities of some of these modern 150mm and under bikes.
Harry: I did see that single thread with some actual decoy 29 seat time. Beyond that all I could find was the ebike-mtb . com review which was a bit of a glad hand.