Variability has a new name: ROTWILD R.X+ FS EVO. Not only can you select wheel sizes and geometry, but you can head to a qualified retailer and let them dial in your motor to suit your riding too. Is it all a gimmick, or are there performance gains to be gleaned?
ROTWILD have given a fresh lick to the spec of the R.X+, and the EVO and PRO models now finally boast some grippy and wide 2.8″ tires. There’s also the welcome addition of the ultra-precise electronic Shimano XT Di2 shifters on our test bike. ROTWILD have kept the Brose motor with a 500 Wh battery that’s firmly integrated into the downtube. They’ve upped the efficiency of the motor by adding cooling fins into the casing, which should lower motor temperatures and thus increase range. Moreover, ROTWILD have equipped their retailers with the know-how to finely tune the levels of pedal-assist. In real terms, this saw us boost our eco mode by 80% and ride in a more economic way, which meant that we still had two bars of battery life shown on the mini-display after a ride with 1,700 metres of climbing – not bad! The display shows the information really clearly, and it’s intuitive to use. At 20.79 kg, the ROTWILD is the lightest bike on test thanks to its clever design with the battery integrated securely into the carbon downtube. However, while it’s a good look, it’s not that practical for daily use unless you always store the bike next to a plug socket.
The ROTWILD R.X+ is assuredly agile and capable on the trails thanks to its compact geometry. The high-quality FOX Factory suspension stays glued to the ground and irons out trail chatter and hits with aplomb. While it can cope with high speeds, its low front end creates problematic weight transfer issues on steep terrain – one solution would be more spacers under the stem or bars with more rise. The Schwalbe Nobby Nic tires are susceptible to punctures, so we’d change those too. The R.X+ FS darts up climbs, and its motor won us over with a really natural riding sensation which generates a lot of traction on technical terrain. However, compared to the competition, the motor lacked power under pressure.
The ROTWILD R.X+ FS EVO in detail
Forks FOX 34 FLOAT Factory 140 mm
Rear shock FOX FLOAT DPS Factory 140 mm
Motor / battery Brose 518 Wh
Brakes Shimano XT
Drivetrain Shimano XT Di2
Seatpost KS LEV Integra
Stem PRO Koryak Di2
Bars PRO Koryak Di2 760 mm
Tires Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2,8″
Wheels DT Swiss XM1501 Spline One
A strong contender in past years, ROTWILD has made some clever tweaks to improve the R.X+ FS EVO’s spec and motor control. It’s a fine-looking bike that boasts cohesive integration, although it’s a shame that they’ve still not caught onto the trend towards removable batteries.
– Superb integration
– Agile handling
– Natural riding experience
– Motor lacks power under full load
– Non-removable battery
For more information head to rotwild.de!
For an overview of the test fleet head to the main article: What are the most exciting E-MTBs of 2017? 10 bikes in comparison
All bikes in test: Bulls Six50 E FS3 | Cannondale Moterra 1 | CUBE Stereo Hybrid 140 HPA 27.5 SLT | MERIDA eONE-TWENTY 900 E | Moustache Samedi 27 Race 9 | SCOTT E-Genius 700 Tuned | Specialized Turbo Levo FSR ST Comp 29 | Stevens E-Whaka+ ES | Trek Powerfly 9 FS Plus
Words & Photos: Christoph Bayer