ROTWILD bikes have been dividing opinions for years. Some of us just love the clean streamlined design, the result of a fully integrated battery; for others, that’s exactly the problem. Charging the battery at home without the bike? This was unthinkable until now, but their new removable battery is changing this for good. And that’s not the only novelty for the ROTWILD R.E+ 2018.

ROTWILD R.E+ | 160/164 mm (f/r) | 22.30 kg | € 7,799

It might not be clear at first glance, but quite a bit has changed on the new ROTWILD R.E+.– and we’re not just referring to the paint job. The Dieburg-based manufacturer has worked on a number of technical details too. Despite all the innovations, one thing has remained untouched: the geometry and kinematics of the frame. Apart from the new and more powerful Brose Drive S-Motor, the biggest innovation is unquestionably the new removable battery. ROTWILD swapped the 520 Wh IPU (Integrated Power Unit) to a unit that can be opened downwards and houses a 660 Wh battery. Since the carbon downtube is just bolted to the frame, even older models of the Rotwild can be upgraded with the new motor and battery. A price for this option has not yet been disclosed.

All new, yet all the same: we are really convinced by the improvements and new details on the ROTWILD.

In addition to the great innovations around battery, engine, and artwork, ROTWILD has also spruced up the rest of the components. Rotwild’s top of the range model retails at € 7,799 and features a set of sturdy DT SWISS HX 1501 wheels, a SRAM EX1 group and MAGURA MT trail brakes. Bulky 2.6″ Schwalbe Magic Mary tires offer copious amounts of traction on climbs and tons of grip on descents; some of us will have to get used to the loud rolling noise of the tires, even though rolling resistance is not as bad as it sounds.

As on previous models, the riding position on the new ROTWILD R.E+ feels sporty, stretched, and very centred. The amount of thrust the new Brose Drive S motor unleashes in the first metres of riding is really surprising, building up good speed even at a low cadence.
However, the motor also maintains a very natural feel. Paired with a well-centred riding position and grippy tires, the R.E+ climbs effortlessly even on the steepest and most technical terrain. Meanwhile, the short 165 mm cranks make for some welcome extra ground clearance. So far we can’t express our opinion about battery range, as our test bike didn’t include a final motor tuning.

The ROTWILD R.E+ in detail

Fork Fox 34 Float Factory 160 mm
Rear shock Fox Float DPS Factory* 164 mm
Motor Brose Drive-S
Battery IPU.660.R 660 Wh
Brakes Magura MT Trail Sport
Drivetrain SRAM EX1
Seatpost Crankbrothers Highline
Stem Crankbrothers Iodine
Handlebar Crankbrothers Opium
Tires Schwalbe Magic Mary
Wheels DT Swiss HXC1501 Spline One
Price € 7,799

*Testbike: Fox Float X Factory

Range
Thanks to the big gear range, the powerful motor, and a coherent geometry, the R.E+ can manage even the steepest climbs with ease! Novices will have to get used to the big gear jumps on the SRAM EX1.
Well-cooled
Cooling fins on the motor housing dissipate excessive heat. This improves motor efficiency while increasing battery range.
Too thin
Despite a thick Apex sidewall reinforcement, the 2.6″ Schwalbe Magic Mary tires offer little puncture resistance. In this case a few grams more would significantly increase the performance.
Removable
Many ROTWILD owners have been waiting for this feature for a long time. The 660 Wh battery can be removed from the downtube by pulling it downwards. ROTWILD is planning to offer this feature as an upgrade for all customers who own one of the older models.

The geometry of the ROTWILD R.E+

Size M L XL
Seat tube 445 mm 485 mm 535 mm
Top tube 595 mmm 623 mm 650 mm
Head tube 110 mm 120 mm 130 mm
Head angle 66° 66° 66°
Seat angle 74.7° 74.7° 74.7°
Chainstays 450 mm 450 mm 450 mm
Wheelbase 1190 mm 1218 mm 1248 mm
Reach 430 mm 455 mm 480 mm
Stack 594 mm 603 mm 613 mm

The ROTWILD R.E+ on the Trail

Helmet Specialized Ambush | Glasses Oakley Jawbreaker | Backpack EVOC STAGE 12l | Shirt Mons Royale Redwood ¾ Raglan T Dirt | Shorts Alpinestars Pathfinder

On descents the ROTWILD R.E+ feels playful as usual. The sensitive chassis swallows all bumps effortlessly and maintains great definition while the rear suspension system gives the rider great feedback. Due to the high positioning of the rather heavy 660 Wh battery, the centre of gravity feels high and causes the bike to feel top-heavy. On steep descents the weight of the R.E + pushes over to the front, and the high bottom bracket hinders you from properly leaning into corners the way other bikes from the competition can. As a result, we feel like we are standing on top of the bike rather than feeling integrated in the frame. Having said that, the ROTWILD never feels sedate or clumsy, and is a fun bike on many trails.

Conclusion

The ROTWILD R.E+ is better than ever! The new powerful Brose Drive S motor combines with the removable battery to make it even more interesting. It’s hard to find a bike that climbs this well on technical terrain, but it’s also true that there are other bikes that feel way better on the downhill. With a price of € 7,799 this is not exactly a bargain!


Strengths

  • Climbs incredibly well
  • Lush component choice
  • 660Wh removable battery
  • Superb rear suspension performance

Weaknesses

  • The weight shifts towards the front on descents
  • The rider is not well integrated into the bike

For more info heat to: rotwild.com

Words: Christoph Bayer Photos: Christoph Bayer, Antonia Buckenlei