While electric bicycles are now widely used for urban transportation, not all ebikes are meant for city roads. After all, getting a motorized boost to all your leg work on the pedal can bring the same benefits when you’re riding on rugged trails, too. As such, we’ve also seen increased availability for electric mountain bikes (eMTBs). The Yeti 160E joins that growing category with one special trick up its sleeve: it’s designed from the ground up for high speed enduro racing in off-road terrain.
Billed as “the world’s first race-specific eMTB,” the bike doesn’t just bring your typical motorized ebike drivetrain in a mountain bike package. Instead, it’s the result of half a decade of focused development, with a new suspension platform, 25 custom molds, and intense testing turning out a ride that’s meant to satisfy your competitive whims.
The Yeti 160E wasn’t made from the ground up just for the sake of reinventing the wheel. Instead, it became a necessity after the outfit decided to debut their new suspension platform for the model. Apparently, taking an existing design will require plenty of compromises in order to work smoothly with the suspension and the motor, prompting them to start from scratch to get everything right from the get go.
That suspension platform, by the way, is called Sixfinity, a six-bar design that, the outfit claims, is expertly tuned for the added weight, speed, and demands of an eMTB. According to the outfit, it has an adjustable leverage rate progression that provides a dynamic range of suspension feel, while preserving the ride geometry, anti-squat, and anti-rise characteristics. The result is an electric off-roader that won’t just let you clear more trails and do more laps, but one that will give you “added composure, speed, and agility,” leading to better performance whether you’re working on beating your personal best or trying to outpace the rest of the field.
The Yeti 160E is powered by a Shimano EP8 motor and a 630-watt hour battery that combine to propel the bike mechanically at a rate of 15.5 mph. Yes, that doesn’t sound much, but if you mix it in with the kind of intense pedaling people do at races, this thing can clear a whole lot of ground in a fraction of the time compared to a typical mountain bike. Features include internally-routed cables with secure closure on all entry and exit points (no rattling), chain slap protector to eliminate chain noise, 29-inch DT Swiss wheels, Maxxis tires, Shimano MTB drivetrains, and the outfit’s new thermoplastic handlebar with integrated cable routing, which was designed specifically for ebikes.
Like many of Yeti’s bikes, it has a carbon fiber frame for lightweight performance, although it only has a single geometry. According to the outfit, though, the geometry has been optimized to meet the demands of the Yeti race team, so it’s been fine-tuned for riding fast and handling nimbly in rugged trails. It’s offered in in four sizes, so you can get one best suited for your height.
The Yeti 160E is available now, priced starting at $10,100.