Yeti’s 160e is an out-and-out enduro racing ebike, or certainly that’s what the design intention was. Jared Graves and co. use this bike to take on the EWS-E and it’s from this competition that the 160e was born.
The 160e doesn’t sport the usual Yeti silhouette and even comes with the funky-looking ‘Sixfinity’ linkage, that has a small rocker actuating the shock, with a long linkage bar connecting the lower pivot to the rocker. The lower shock mount also has a flip chip for changing the progressivity between 25 and 30%.
Two builds are on offer, the T1 and C1, both Turq series carbon fibre, with the difference being in the spec fitted. The 160e T1 is the pricier of the two at an eye-watering £11,999.00. What you get for that house deposit is a full carbon frame, Shimano EP8 motor and 630Wh battery, Shimano XT drive train, DT Swiss EX1700 wheels, a Rockshox Reverb AXS and SRAM Code RSC brakes.
The Yeti 160e comes in Small, Medium, Large and XLarge, with a Medium being tested here.
Reach on the Medium is 460mm combined with a 410mm seat tube. Head angle is 64.5 degrees with a seat tube angle of 78. Chainstays are 446mm on a wheelbase of 1239.7mm.
The test of the Yeti 160e started by dialling the bike in with Yeti’s suggested settings that you get for high and low speed rebound, set for your weight. Sag was set at the appropriate amount and off we went for some laps of the woods to fine tune the feel.
Opening sorties were all fire road climbs so I’d need to wait for another ride to get the measure of the bike on the ups proper, but from the base settings Yeti suggested, it wasn’t long before I was speeding up the rebound on both the Fox 38s and the X2 air shock.
Despite the 22kg heft of the thing, the bike was quite happy coming off the ground when you had a suitable upslope to assist, and I could almost, dare I say it, ride it like a ‘normal’ bike in this regard. The only other changes I’d make to the setup after this was to let a little more wind out of the wheels to get a bit more feel back from the tyres.
Mountain missions were the aim of the game after that, and on technical ups, the bike goaded you to try sections that you wouldn’t otherwise, offering a balanced position either seated or standing to move weight about to keep the momentum going. The 460mm reach on the medium definitely helping here.
On the downs, again, that reach meant you had plenty of room to maneuver, with the seat tube being clipped well enough to be out of the way when things got spicy. The angles of the bike, while nothing to radical, did put a decent turn in everywhere.
On long, technical singletrack the bike was a delight, being far livelier than a 22kg bike should be, arguably the only thing holding it back was the bike ramping up fairly well deep into the end stroke, at the expense of some suppleness. I never once got near the end of the travel available on the shock, and certainly late in the day on some big rides, my body started to suffer from the battering it was taking.
That said, this is a race-developed ebike, so you’re likely to be going much harder into sections for much shorter periods of time if you were racing it. It might need more fine tuning if you were to use this as your daily driver. It does feel fairly firm on the medium to big hits. I’m not sure the 35mm carbon bars helped this either as there was very little give to them.
There are three options for the flip chip, 35, 30 and 25% progressivity. I think you’d need to go 25% if you’re running this as your daily. 35 per cent would need to be some serious unit riding it flat out, you know, like Mick Hannah, or someone like that.
Beyond the physical riding, the bike performed flawlessly, although I did almost snap the mech clean off after it had taken a twisting hit from a rock, unbeknown to me. Luckily, the SRAM UDH hangers spin with the mech to a point, so I didn’t rip the whole thing off. A quick mech swap and away we went.
I can safely say that I fully tested the ability of the Double Down rear casing to withstand my inability to continuously hop water bars coming off Bynack More. That’s possibly the only point that the bike felt every bit as heavy as it is. It’s also nice to see bike companies finally twigging onto the fact that fast bikes need proper tyres.
What do we think?
While no heavier than other full fat ebikes, that price tag is still going to sting. If you’ve eleven grand burning a hole in your pocket though, you could certainly go far worse. We would say definitely ride one first and try it in its least progressive setting or it will feel firm to say the least.
This is the first full fat ebike I have tested that didn’t feel like an ebike on the trail.
Go anywhere confidence
Could do better:
Not the comfiest bike out there
You can check out the Yeti 160e T1 over on Yeti’s website here.