The ROTWILD R.E+ FS is a serious looker! Its in-your-face red colourway will prompt onlookers to stop in their tracks. But does the R.E+’s development go further than a lick of paint, and how much have they invested in its ride?

ROTWILD R.E+ FS PRO | € 5,699 | 22.01 kg | BROSE

Germany’s ROTWILD were the first bike brand to fully integrated the Brose motor and battery onto an E-MTB, which has had a recognisable visual impact on the rigs designed by this Dieburg-based company. With such stealth integration, their E-MTBs aren’t immediately detectable amongst their conventional line-up, especially considering that they are kitted out with virtually the same spec as their motorless siblings. As far as the spec goes on the R.E+ PRO model, we’re talking about a nicely picked bunch of Shimano SLX and XT components, grippy Continental Der Baron Projekt tires, and FOX Performance suspension with a GRIP damping cartridge in the 34 FLOAT fork.

The oh-so-important riding position on the R.E+ will be met with approval: comfortable, with just a little stretch. You’ll be swooning over how much weight you get over the bars thanks to the rather steep 74.7° seat tube angle and low front (603 mm stack), especially on the climbs. Out of the whole test fleet, this bike has a winning geometry for steep, technical climbs. The Brose motor is a great support with consistent power and the ability to dance its way up the gradients, albeit not with the same pace as the Shimano and Bosch motors. You could even argue that as the Brose motor is not so generous with its power, this is actually a major (and often underestimated) benefit for long rides. After all, ROTWILD still haven’t given the bike a removable battery, so a tight-fisted motor is a good thing. On fast, tough descents, the ROTWILD maintains flow and takes tight corners with appreciated agility. Its suspension works well with plush sensitivity, and it generates good traction on the terrain. That super-low front takes some getting used to, and newer riders might feel out of their depth on steep drops – we’d recommend switching the bars for ones with more rise to counter this issue.

Helmet Specialized Ambush | Jersey ION TEE SS TRAZE_AMP | Shorts ION BIKESHORTS TRAZE_AMP

The ROTWILD R.E+ FS PRO in Detail

Fork FOX 34 FLOAT Performance GRIP 160 mm
Rear shock FOX FLOAT DPS Performance 160 mm
Motor / Battery BROSE / 500 Wh
Brakes Shimano SLX
Drivetrain Shimano SLX / XT
Seatpost KindShock LEV Integra
Stem CrankBrothers Iodine 1 65 mm
Bars CrankBrothers Cobalt 2 780 mm
Tires Continental Der Baron Projekt 2.4″
Wheels DT Swiss E1900 Spline

Updated
The Brose motor on the ROTWILD has had a software update that is supposed to both strengthen the motor and make it more efficient and economical. Although immediately noticeable on the trail, the change was fairly minor. If you want to try it for yourself, you can go to a qualified dealer and update your own motor.
Clean and compact
The compact BLOKS mini-display is intuitive to use and reveals the most important information. For those riders who want an extensive on-the-go run-through of their stats, you’ll have to visualize those on your smartphone or GPS device.
Too low
Despite already having a super-low front end, ROTWILD have gone for low riser bars from Crankbrothers. If you like more stability on steep descents, then we’d suggest swapping the bars for a model with at least 25 mm rise.
Solid
While the FOX 34 Performance fork with the GRIP cartridge doesn’t compare with the performance of the significantly pricier Factory or Performance Elite models, it is still a solid, reliable piece of kit.

The geometry of the ROTWILD R.E+ FS PRO.

Conclusion

Well-engineered and with a super-clean design, the ROTWILD R.E+ FS PRO climbs well and descends with agility, but there are question marks over certain components, and the securely fixed battery limits the amount of flexibility you’ve got while riding.

Strengths

– Great numbers and angles for climbing
– Clean design
– Agile handling

Weaknesses

– Feeble motor
– Front-heavy handling
– Fixed battery limits flexibility

For more information head to rotwild.com!

For an overview of the test fleet head to the main article: What is the Best E-MTB of 2017? – 14 Models in Test

All bikes in test: BULLS E-Core Di2 FS 27,5+ | CUBE Stereo Hybrid 160 Action Team | FLYER Uproc7 8.70 | FOCUS JAM2 FACTORY | Giant Full-E+ 0 SX | Haibike XDURO AllMtn 8.0 | Lapierre Overvolt AM 900+ Carbon | MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 900E | NOX EDF 6.7 Hybrid | SCOTT E-Genius Tuned 700 Plus | Specialized Turbo Levo FSR Expert 6Fattie | STEVENS E-Sledge+ ES | Thömus Lightrider E1

PS: Readers' Survey 2017 - Give feedback, win awesome prizes: We're giving away prizes worth more than €20,000 among all participants of our reader's survey! Win E-MTBs from Focus, Moustache and Thömus and more! Click here to take part now!

Words & Photos: Christoph Bayer

About the author

Christoph Bayer