TESTED | Whyte E-150 RS Electric Mountain Bike

Words by Tom Worsfold

on 02/10/2019 16:38:39

E-150-Hero

Introducing the all new Whyte E-150 RS E-MTB. Designed in the UK with the UK climate in mind, the E-150 brings with it all the best features of Whyte's current line-up and more.


The E-150 marks Whyte's long-awaited debut on the E-MTB scene, biding their time to ensure that their electric products bring with them the same confidence inspiring handling and stellar suspension found on their award-winning mountain bike range. Have they managed to retain that impressive ride character? Oh yes. Read on below to find out just how much fun their E-bike range is.

E-150-Side-Shot-1

The Whyte E-150 RS ticks all the boxes when it comes to what you expect from a class-leading E-bike. High capacity 625wh battery, 4th generation Bosch Performance CX motor, E-bike specific fork & drivetrain; on paper it's a full package. But how does it stand out from the ever-expanding crowd of E-MTB's? Whyte is a name reinvented, with recent models bringing with them industry leading geometry and smart, weather friendly features that have struck a chord with the UK's weekend warriors and privateer racers alike. Want a tough, great handling trail bike? The T-130 was a total hit. Looking for EWS honed performance in a reasonably priced package? The S-150 was the natural choice. Looking for an E-MTB that draws technology from these models, packaged with handling that outrides many top non-electric bikes? The E-150 RS is that bike.

E-150-Motor

Only the Best: The Gen-4 Bosch Performance CX

Whyte's late showing to the E-bike party has allowed them to take advantage of Bosch's latest e-system, the fourth generation Performance CX motor. For 2020, the Performance CX motor saw a whopping 50% reduction in size, 25% less overall weight and 340% pedal support, providing a natural yet powerful feel that cements itself as one of the markets top motors. This is a perfect pairing for the E-150 RS, giving more than enough predictable power to climb tech routes you could only dream of ascending on your standard bike.

E-150-Back

UK Ready: The Frameset

Handling is potentially what is holding back many from making the switch to electric models, with early E-bikes having less than capable handling that left them feeling underwhelming on the descents. New motor technology and reduced overall weights has helped to combat this, with the latest crop of E-MTB's becoming ever closer to their non-electric counterparts. Whyte's forward-thinking approach towards geometry has had a focus on balance and weight distribution, which saw them use a unique motor orientation that allows for a nimble 440mm chainstay length and incredibly low centre of gravity.

The battery is fully internal to increase frame stiffness and is mounted in front of the motor as oppose to many other models where it sits above, which marries nicely with the low 328mm bottom bracket height to further lower the centre of gravity. The E-150 has a planted feel that will see you looking for the fastest line on the descents, not the safest, and a 65 degree head angle and long 480mm reach (On the size L tested) is both longer and slacker than the brands flagship S-150 enduro model.

E-150-Battery

Specification & Features

The RS model comes equipped with an incredibly sorted spec, featuring X01 E-Eagle drivetrain, tough WTB KOM rims, Maxxis Wide Trail tyres, and a Rockshox Lyrik/Deluxe Select+ combo to take care of suspension duties. Whyte were one of the first manufacturers to use reduced offset forks alongside their Optimised Trail Offset (OTO) geometry, a design used to optimise steering stability by moving the mass of the fork and wheel closer to the frame. Whyte have lengthened the bikes wheelbase to compensate for the shorter offset, working the frames entire geometry around modern fork standards.

Much like Whyte's current full-suspension frames, the E-150 features sealed cable ports and a lifetime warranty on bearings. This has earned them a well-deserved reputation and loyal following for building UK-ready bikes that can deal with our less than sunny climate, as well as the post-ride scrub down.

E-150-Drivetrain

Tested: First Ride Impressions

The E-150 sits at the more aggressive end of the all mountain E-bike market, with geometry designed to encourage rowdy riding, taking chunky descents and steep chutes in its stride. This aggressive geometry is further underlined by the choice of 27.5� wheels which suit the bike perfectly. Wait - no 29� model? What makes the E-150 so fun is its lively trail feel, with the nimbler 27.5� wheels bringing an agile ride character that quickly makes you forget about the weight penalty of motor & battery. The short chainstays allow the bike to pop off trail features and allow easy shifting of weight to the back wheel for manuals and unweighting over obstacle too, making it all too easy to forget you're riding an electric bike and focus on just how much fun you are having.

E-150-GB

The crown jewel of the E-150 its low centre of gravity. The low-slung position of the battery, low BB height and slack head angle all combine to build a confidence inspiring ride like no other. Let go of the brakes and the bike stays planted and active; stability is a given in even the roughest terrain. E-bike or not, the E-150 has some best suspension characteristics out there, with the weight even helping it to stay on line down technical trails. Can it still get airborne? For sure - the suspension feels supportive when you preload for a jump and the bike stays stable and predictable when off the ground.

The best bit? You can ride more trails than ever before. Not only does the E-150 excel at descending, the climbing is equally fun. Technical climbs are no longer a gruelling task but something to look forward to on a ride, allowing you to get more laps of your favourite trails and progress your riding further. Whyte have retained all that is so right about their current line-up within the E-150, and in some ways have even improved upon it. The E-150 is not just a great electric bike, it is a fantastic mountain bike in its own right.

E-150-Remote

The Whyte 2020 E-MTB Range

Two platforms currently exist within the Whyte electric mountain bike series, the 150mm front and rear E-150 platform and the burlier, bike park orientated E-180, which has (you guessed it!) 180mm of gravity focused travel.

For 2020 the E-150 comes in two well equipped flavours, the E-150 S at £4749.99 and the RS model we tested at £5249.99. The E-150 S comes specified with the Rockshox Yari and GX 11spd drivetrain, in comparison to the E-150 RS's Lyrik Select+ and X01 running gear. Both models feature the same Bosch Performance CX motor & 625wh Powertube combo, sharing access to a 3.7hr charge time from the optional Fast Charger. The E-180 RS is the only model available in it's travel category at £5749.99, featuring the same motor & battery and similar specification to the E-150 RS, but with a Fox 36 Performance Elite fork and supple, DHX2 coil shock for improved descending capability.

Interested in the model shown here? See the 2020 Whyte E-150 RS and more below


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