First of all, I think there was a huge lost opportunity to call this thing the Yet-E. Regardless, we couldn’t be more stoked to see an electric offering from the Colorado brand. They took their sweet time, but as they say, good things come to those who wait. Like most everything Yeti makes, the 160e is made to go fast. They don’t take that “Race-Driven” mantra lightly. Let’s jump into all the juicy details.
The 160E is Yeti’s first foray into the eMTB world. Instead of rushing the bike just to get it on the market as soon as possible, they took their time and made sure to do it right. The 160E has 160mm of rear-wheel travel paired to a 170mm fork. Yeti landed on a 64.5° head tube angle and a very steep 78° seat tube angle. It has 29” wheels for all the speed you could ever want — this is a race bike after all. Yeti designed this as the first race-specific eMTB on the market. So what makes it so fast? Sixfinity.
Sixfinity is Yeti’s new suspension platform found on the 160E. It looks different from the Switch infinity on their pedal bikes, but it has similar attributes. I suspect the main reason for not using the tried and true Switch Infinity on this bike, is a matter of physical space. It would have taken up too much room near the bottom bracket. By using Sixfinity, Yeti was able to keep the chainstays short-ish at 446mm and still have room for the battery and motor. Sixfinity is optimized for eMTBs rather than a pedal bike. Instead of prioritizing efficiency, they have shifted the anti-squat bias toward traction. It’s hard to be fast when your tire doesn’t even stay in contact with the ground. The anti-rise curve is also optimized for traction while braking. Additionally, the Yeti 160E is the most progressive bike Yeti has made. With the added weight of an eMTB, Yeti wanted to make sure the bike was still lively and engaging to ride. It’s easier to get in the air with a more progressive design. Anyone who’s spent time on a heavy eMTB knows that getting the bike in the air ian’t always the easiest thing to do. The high amount of progressivity should help. The 160E has three different flip-chip settings to dial in the amount of progression rather than the traditional change in geometry seen on other flip chips. With the Sixfinity flip-chip, you’re able to choose between 25, 30, and 35 percent progression. It’s a super interesting idea that I’d love to see on more bikes. It should allow for excellent integration with both coil and air shocks.
The 160E runs on the Shimano EP8 drive system with Shimano’s 630 Watt Hour battery. That should be plenty of juice for long missions into the backcountry as well as multiple laps at your favorite DH trail.
One of my favorite details is the smart cable management both inside and outside the frame. If you’ve ever ridden an eMTB, you might be familiar with the “shopping cart full of bricks rolling down a mountain” sound. Yeti has tried to solve this problem by using a clever internal cable routing system. Inside the frame, underneath the battery, there are a set of cable clips to keep shifter, brake, and battery wires quiet. Outside the frame, there are multiple points that capture the cables to keep them from rattling. Hopefully, the 160E is the quietest eMTB out there.
There are two build kits available — the T series and the C series. The T series retails for $12,700 and the C series for $10,100. The Higher end build comes with Fox Factory suspension, a full Shimano XT drivetrain, and an electronic Rockshox Reverb dropper post. The C kit comes with Fox Performance suspension components, a Shimano SLX drivetrain, and a Oneup Components Dropper. Both builds are available with DT Swiss 1501 carbon wheels for an extra $900.
So there you have it. The World’s first race-specific eMTB. Stay tuned for a review!
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