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.
Click here for an overview of the best eMTB 2020 group test.
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.
Whyte E-180 RS V1
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"
Size M L
Weight 24.88 kg
Perm. total weight 139 kg
Max. payload (rider/equipment) 114 kg
Trailer approval no
Kickstand mount no
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.
|Seat tube||432 mm||457 mm|
|Top tube||605 mm||633 mm|
|Head tube||120 mm||130 mm|
|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|
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
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.
- mountain bike-like handling
- sensible and robust componentry
- it won't hold you back
- 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
Relaxed and comfortable riding on surfaced roads, both uphill and downhill.↩
Easy climbs up trails with few obstacles, wide turns and a moderate incline.↩
Active and playful descents on easy trails with few obstacles, wide turns and a moderate slope.↩
Single-track climbs on challenging terrain. Loose ground, steps, roots, tight corners and occasionally extreme inclines.↩
Singletrack descents on challenging terrain. Loose ground, steps, roots, tight corners and small jumps as well as some very steep descents.↩
High speed descents on sometimes very rough trails with large jumps and obstacles that you can’t roll over.↩
The rating used for riding characteristics refers to the bikes in the group test and the current state of development of eMTBs. The best bikes managed to blend supposedly opposite riding characteristics, feeling both lively and stable at the same time. The handling describes the balance of the bike on downhill sections. The information regarding motor-power refers to the ride-feeling in the overall context of the bike and not exclusively to the motor – that’s why the same motor can present different values.↩
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Words: Felix Stix, Robin Schmitt, Jonas Müssig Photos: Finlay Anderson, Robin Schmitt, Felix Stix, Markus Frühmann