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Whyte E-180 vs YT Decoy
Whyte E-180 vs YT Decoy.

Whyte E-180 vs YT Decoy: e-MTB Showdown

How does the new Whyte E-180 compare to the Shimano powered YT Decoy?

In this, our first e-MTB Showdown we’re going to be looking at the recently launched Whyte E-180 vs the YT Decoy.

Ok first things first, why have we chosen to compare the Bosch powered Whyte E-180 to the buy direct YT Decoy? We’ll both bikes are available at a similar price, and both bikes encourage hard riding in all manner of trail conditions.

The Whyte uses progressive geometry, agility and the latest Bosch CX Gen 4 motor to get riders up to speed and into trouble, while the YT Decoy uses a more gravity biased design, a downhill inspired mullet wheel combination.

Whyte E-180 vs YT Decoy
Whyte E-180 vs YT Decoy.

Both e-Bikes are a great option, and both offer great value for money but which is best for your needs? Remember this isn’t a winner and loser situation we’re just going to compare the two bikes and point out a few differences and features which may help you when choosing between these two highly people e-MTB models.

Whyte E-180: About the eMTB

Whyte E-180
UK designed Bosch CX enduro bike.

Let’s start with the newcomer. The Whyte E-180 is one of Whyte’s newly released e-MTB models and is actually part of the first wave of Whyte electric mountain bikes made available.

Whyte has opted for an alloy frame for all versions of its bikes, and instead of a Shimano motor and battery system the bikes uses the newer and more compact Bosch Performance Line CX 2020 (Gen 4) motor and internal PowerTube 625Wh hour battery.

Enough room for a coil shock and a bottle.

As Whyte’s signature suspension platform was already located higher in the frame with the shock attached to the top-tube, the engineers at Whyte haven’t had to completely refigure the bike which should mean predictable handling and also retains that signature Whyte look.

Another benefit of the shock location and use of the Bosch Power Tube battery is that the main triangle still retains enough space to carry a water bottle.

The 6061 ally frame of the Whyte E-180 runs a predicable 180mm of rear-wheel travel mated to a 180mm Fox Performance Elite 36 fork up front. There’s only one version of the E-180 to choose which could make your buying decision easier, or may put you off if you were hoping for swanky Kashima coated shocks.

Whyte has priced the E-180 at £5,750 which while no means cheap, it still represents good value for money considering it comes fitted with one of the best e-MTB motors on the market, a Fox DHX-2 Factory could shock, SRAM X01 Eagle drivetrains and powerful Code RSC 4 pot brakes.

Whyte E-180 Geometry

Whyte E-180 Geometry  


Against the Whyte E-180

  • As the Whyte E-180 is only available in sizes Medium and Large you may struggle to find one that fits you.
  • Only one model option.
  • Not the most attractive e-MTB on the market.

For the Whyte E-180

  • Progressive, proven geometry.
  • Proven UK enduro bike performance now available in a Bosch powered package.
  • Room for a standard water bottle

YT Decoy CF Pro Race: About the eMTB

An e-MTB for downhill fans.

For this comparison we thought we would choose a specific model in the YT Decoy range to compare against the Whyte E-180, in this case, we chose the YT Decoy CF Pro Race model which costs £5999, slightly more than the Whyte, but the Decoy range does start from as little as £4199 if you wanted to spend a little less and each bike ships with the same custom battery, carbon fiber frame, and Shimano STEPS E8000 motor.

YT positions itself as a gravity brand so with the Decoy they have built a bike with this in mind. The concept of the Decoy being a self-shuttle bike that you can take to the bike park and make run after run without needing to wait for for the van or gondola.

With downhill in mind, YT chose to build its first eMTB with a larger 29in front wheel fitted to a long travel 160mm fork. Slightly less than the Whyte, but that bigger front wheel will make up for that difference.

29er on the front 27.5+ on the back.

Interestingly the rear of the YT Decoy has 165mm of travel which apparently came about after YT wasn’t able to get hold of 170mm travel e-MTB specific forks from Fox. The rear also differs in the wheel department too with a 27.5-in plus wheel and tire combination.

While Whyte uses an alloy for all of its e-MTB range, YT opts for a custom carbon fiber front and rear triangle, specifically designed for their own custom internal battery and build in such a way as to hide it’s e-Bike features as much as possible.

The top-tube of the YT Decoy is oversize so that it is proportional to the downtube. The power button is hidden below the top-tube, and all bikes in the range use the smaller Shimano Steps E7000 display simply for the compact nature of the panel.

The result is an e-MTB which doesn’t look like one and will have your fellow mountain bikers wonder if it has a motor or not.

YT’s buy direct model means that even though the YT Decoy CF Pro Race costs just a little more than the Whyte and has a carbon frame, they’ve also found room in the budget for top of the range Fox Factory suspension which Kashima coating all around, and even an electronic Shimano XT Di2 gear system.

Shimano also provides the E8000 motor drive system with 70Nm of torque. This compact motor has long been a favorite with eMTB fans but is starting to show its age against the likes of the new Bosch motor. The compact YT battery only offers 540Wh of capacity, but there is the possibility a larger battery will come to the market at a later date.

YT Decoy Geometry

A Toptube length568 mm589 mm611 mm634 mm657 mm
B Reach415 mm435 mm455 mm475 mm495 mm
C Stack620 mm625 mm629 mm638 mm647 mm
D Seattube length400 mm420 mm445 mm470 mm495 mm
E Chainstay length442 mm442 mm442 mm442 mm442 mm
F Headtube angle65 / 65,5 °65 / 65,5 °65 / 65,5 °65 / 65,5 °65 / 65,5 °
G Seattube angle (eff.)76 / 76,5 °76 / 76,5 °76 / 76,5 °76 / 76,5 °76 / 76,5 °
H BB DropR20/F36 / R13/F29 mmR20/F36 / R13/F29 mmR20/F36 / R13/F29 mmR20/F36 / R13/F29 mmR20/F36 / R13/F29 mm
I Wheelbase1178 mm1200 mm1222 mm1247 mm1271 mm
J Headtube length95 mm100 mm105 mm115 mm125 mm
K BB height340 / 347 mm340 / 347 mm340 / 347 mm340 / 347 mm340 / 347 mm

Against the YT Decoy

  • Buy direct model could mean warranty, spares and customer service might not be as convenient.
  • Reported short warranty on the custom battery.
  • More of a descender than an all-rounder.

For the YT Decoy

  • Full range of sizes from S-XXL.
  • Custom battery means a frame that doesn’t look like an eMTB.
  • Amazing value for money. Great range of options with prices starting from £4199.

Whyte E-180 vs YT Decoy: Which should you buy?

This is a tricky situation as the YT Decoy does represent amazing value for money, but it is really the right type of bike for your needs? If you’re a rider who wants to boost up fire roads as fast as possible so that you can hit as many downhill runs as possible, or if you fancy turning your local hill into your private DH track then yes the YT Decoy is the bike for you. Its gravity tilt makes it perfect for hard-charging downhill runs.

Turn your local hill to a private DH track.

If you enjoy downhill as much as you do climbing and riding a more varied terrain then the Whyte E-180 could be the bike that suits you better. It might not have a fancy carbon frame and the overall specification might not be as flashy but it’s a solid performing package. Riders who want to cover more ground will also appreciate the much larger 625Wh battery, and room for full-size water bottle. Then there’s the new Bosch motor which is simply a revelation.

The Whyte E-180 appears to be the better all-rounder.

We hope you found this comparison useful if you have anything to add please let us know in the comments section below and if you have either bike we would love to hear from you.