The guiding principle of the Whyte E-180 RS V1 is “performance over everything”. We’re the first magazine in the world to be able to review this bike, so we can tell you if Whyte’s eMTB debut is a success.

Before we get into the review, we would like to tell you about our latest print edition. The E-MOUNTAINBIKE Print Edition 2020 is our third annual edition and ultimate test bible, with which we aim to help you choose the perfect eMTB. More than 250 pages of extensive buyers advice, tons of eMTB know-how as well as reviews of the 35 most exciting eMTBs and the 7 best motors. You’ll also find many helpful tips and a guide to the most exciting eMTB trends – all of this is wrapped in a high quality print format. Click here for more information or order it directly in our shop!

Click here for an overview of the best eMTB 2020 group test.

Whyte E-180 RS V1 | Bosch Performance Line CX/625 Wh | 180/180 mm (f/r) | 24.88 kg (size L) | € 6,999 | manfacturer website

Whyte have wanted to bring an eMTB onto the market for a long time. However, the British bike brand didn’t want to compromise on the handling of the bike and decided to wait for the new, more compact Bosch Performance Line CX motor. Once the motor became available, Whyte mounted it to the € 6,999 Whyte E-180 RS V1 at an angle. Doing so allowed them to place the internal 625 Wh battery as low as possible, positioned in front of the motor rather than on top of it.

Components, weight and technical details of the Whyte E-180 RS V1

This goes to show how much more Whyte were concerned with weight distribution on their 180 mm travel eMTB than the total weight of 24.9 kg. The primary focus was clearly on balanced handling, good suspension and functional componentry. The rear end of the Whyte E-180 RS V1 is designed in such a way that dirt and mud have nowhere to collect. Keeping the rest of the design just as clean, Whyte use their integrated seat clamp system, have integrated the speed sensor into the dropout and have designed their own cover for the charging socket. Nevertheless, the E-180 RS V1 still has room for improvement in terms of cable routing and finish. We also have to mention that during the course of the test, the seat stay on our bike broke at a weld seam near the rear brake. This was quickly replaced and we didn’t have any further problems, so this can be attributed to a one-off. material defect or error. Unfortunately, the aluminium frame will only be available in two sizes.

How low can you go?
Whyte wants to keep their bikes’ centre of gravity as low as possible. Although the integration of the tilted motor could be refined a little more, we’re big fans of the concept.
Bulky
The Bosch Purion Display offers all the relevant data at a glance and is easy to operate, but it’s quite bulky.
Black is the new gold
The FOX 36 Performance Elite fork with the top-end GRIP2 damper is in no way inferior to the Factory model with the eye-catching Kashima coating.

Whyte E-180 RS V1

€ 6,999

Specifications

Motor Bosch Performance Line CX 75Nm
Battery Bosch PowerTube 625Wh
Display Bosch Purion
Fork FOX 36 GRIP2 Elite 180 mm
Rear Shock FOX DHX2 Factory 180 mm
Seatpost Crankbrothers Highline 150 mm
Brakes SRAM CODE RSC 200/200 mm
Drivetrain SRAM X01 Eagle 1x12
Stem Race Face Atlas 35 35 mm
Handlebar Race Face Turbine R 780 mm
Wheelset WTB KOM Trail i30 27.5"

Technical Data

Size M L
Weight 24.88 kg
Perm. total weight 139 kg
Max. payload (rider/equipment) 114 kg
Trailer approval no
Kickstand mount no

Specific Features


Pre-production fail
Our test bike was one of the first models Whyte produced. One of the welds on the non-drive side seat stay cracked. Whyte assured us that the weld area has been refined for the production models.
Better than the original
The cover Whyte designed for the charging socket works much better than Bosch’s original version. They’ve also positioned it so that it’s protected from dirt and easy to reach.

Geometry and size of the Whyte

The geometry of the Whyte E-180 RS V1 is equally trimmed towards maximum downhill performance. The super long front triangle (480 mm reach) instils you with confidence and gives you plenty of freedom of movement. Unfortunately, Whyte have initially confined themselves to frame sizes M and L, so shorter riders will have to look elsewhere for now.

Size M L
Seat tube 432 mm 457 mm
Top tube 605 mm 633 mm
Head tube 120 mm 130 mm
Head angle 64.0° 64.0°
Seat angle 75.5° 75.3°
Chainstays 444 mm 444 mm
BB Height 336 mm 336 mm
Wheelbase 1,241 mm 1,271 mm
Reach 455 mm 480 mm
Stack 626 mm 635 mm
Helmet Fox Flux MIPS | Backpack Fox Utility Hydration Pack | Shirt Fox Flexair Gothik Jersey | Shorts Fox Ranger Camo Cargo | Shoes ION Rascal Select

The Whyte E-180 RS V1 on the trail

The Whyte E-180 RS V1 is a comfortable climber. Despite the long front triangle, the pedalling position feels only slightly stretched thanks to the tall front end and the relatively steep seat tube angle. The low bottom bracket requires you to carefully time your pedalling to avoid clipping your pedals on obstacles but results in a planted ride. That means the front wheel stays firmly on the ground while the rear end generates plenty of traction, which, together with the powerful motor, makes easy work of difficult climbs.

It’s not the total weight but its distribution that’s crucial: thanks to the super low placement of the battery, the Whyte’s handling is phenomenal.

All the efforts to keep the centre of gravity as low as possible on the Whyte E-180 RS V1 pay off on the descents. Except for the FOCUS, no other bike in the test field was as easy to get onto the rear wheel or pop off obstacles. Thanks to the robust and grippy MAXXIS Assegai tires and the excellent tune of the suspension, the Whyte generates tons of grip and securely holds its line: whether in corners or on off-camber sections. The long front triangle and the slender top tube offer plenty of freedom of movement and the relatively high front end of the E-180 RS V1 inspires you with confidence when things get steep. The faster and rougher the trail gets, the more the Whyte is in its element. It takes big jumps and high drops in its stride and shrugs off the nastiest rock gardens. Despite the plush suspension, it provides a lot of feedback from the trail and playfully weaves around obstacles, no matter how fast you’re going. On flowy and easy trails, the E-180 RS V1 quickly gets bored, though it remains composed and agile. Only the loud chain slapping and the relatively annoying clacking of the Bosch motor cloud an otherwise excellent impression.

Bitter after taste: one of the weld seams on the seat stay of our pre-production test bike cracked. According to Whyte, that shouldn’t happen on the production models.

Tuning tip: chainstay protector to prevent chain slap

Riding Characteristics

7

Agility

  1. sluggish
  2. playful

Stability

  1. nervous
  2. stable

Handling

  1. demanding
  2. balanced

Riding fun

  1. boring
  2. lively

Motor feeling

  1. digital
  2. natural

Motor power

  1. weak
  2. strong

Value for money

  1. poor
  2. top

Application

Forest road

1

Flow trail uphill

2

Flow trail downhill

3

Technical single trail uphill

4

Technical single trail downhill

5

Downhill tracks

6

Conclusion

The Whyte E-180 RS V1 is made for the toughest enduro and downhill trails. There, the handling is balanced and comes very close to that of a non-motorised mountain bike. However, the fact that handling was Whyte’s primary focus also shows in the finish and somewhat rudimentary details, which in places are lacking.

Tops

  • mountain bike-like handling
  • sensible and robust componentry
  • it won't hold you back

Flops

  • rudimentary finish
  • only two frame sizes
  • loud on the descents

You can find out more about the Whyte E-180 RS V1 at whyte.bike.

The test field

You can find everything you need to know about our test for the best eMTB of 2020 right here!

All bikes in test: BULLS SONIC EVO AM 6 | Cannondale Moterra 1 | Canyon Spectral:ON 9.0 | COMMENCAL META POWER 29 TEAM 2020 | CONWAY XYRON 927 Carbon | CUBE Stereo Hybrid 160 HPC | FANTIC XF1 180 Race | FOCUS JAM² 9.9 DRIFTER | Giant Reign E+ 0 Pro | Haibike XDURO Nduro 10.0 | Liteville 301 CE MK1 | MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K | Moustache Samedi 27 Trail | Norco Range VLT C1 | NOX Hybrid Enduro 7.1 | Orbea WILD FS M-LTD | Pivot Shuttle 29 | Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay Carbon 90 Rally Edition | ROTWILD R.X750 ULTRA | SIMPLON Rapcon Pmax | Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert | Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo | Trek Rail 9.9 | Whyte E-180 RS V1 | YT DECOY CF Pro Race


It's finally here: The E-MOUNTAINBIKE Print Edition 2020 is our third annual edition and ultimate test bible, with which we aim to help you choose the perfect eMTB. More than 250 pages of extensive buyers advice, tons of eMTB know-how as well as reviews of the 35 most exciting eMTBs and the 7 best motors. You’ll also find many helpful tips and a guide to the most exciting eMTB trends – all of this is wrapped in a high quality print format. Click here for more information or order it directly in our shop!

Words: Felix Stix, Robin Schmitt, Jonas Müssig Photos: Finlay Anderson, Robin Schmitt, Felix Stix, Markus Frühmann