Staff Test: Whyte E-150 RS…..what a ride!
So what do you think about E-mountain bikes?? Sure you’ve heard all the hype about them, but maybe never tried one and wondered what all the fuss is about? Some say “surely anyone who is riding an e-bike is ‘cheating’ unless they have a genuine reason to”. Blah, blah, blah…….I’m sure you’ve heard every opinion about E-bikes already….here’s mine!
Surely any means of riding a bike is allowed? After all it’s about fun on two wheels right?. Doesn’t matter if you’re fit, unfit, healthy, unhealthy, injured, racing or not racing, young or old, riding road, mtb, gravel, or for leisure , who cares? No-one! Ultimately E-bikes are just another way to get out and enjoy what we all feel so passionate about, the one thing we all have in common that makes us feel good; cycling!
I ride road and mountain bikes on a regular basis, (as often as I can but not as often as I would like!) and love nothing more than getting out on my mountain bike and challenging myself to a technical mtb climb to reap the reward of the descent, it makes the climbing worthwhile! But some days I feel tired, some days I don’t feel so motivated, some days I want to explore but don’t always know how far I have in my legs, some days I’m just short of time. Imagine having a bike that allowed you to get out when all of the above would usually put you off!!
Whether it’s your only bike, your N+ 1 bike, one thing for sure is that an e-Bike puts a big smile on your face, and the new Whyte E-150 certainly did that for me.
So when I got the chance to take the Whyte E-150 RS out for a test-ride, I was intrigued to ride it and where better to try it than somewhere local and pretty hilly. Straight out of the back door at home, up the road for a short section and we’re into the hills above the Horseshoe Pass and climbing easily up Moel Y Faen . I would never usually choose to ride my bike up here without good reason unless I’m feeling pretty fit (that doesn’t happen very often!), let alone up and down the next few peaks Gribin Oernant, Moel Y Gamelin and Moel Morfydd too, a series of steep, loose, gravelly and at times rocky climbs and descents making up the stunning Llantysillio mountain range. But the views are absolutely worthwhile whether by bike or on foot, especially in late summer when the purple heather is at it’s most beautiful! I would usually be hanging at the back on this kind of ride, busting a lung to get to the top of the climbs, my legs wondering what I was playing at, but still being the slowest hill-climber it would always be on my mind that I’m holding the rest up. NOT THIS TIME!
The E-150 RS made the climbs an absolute breeze, you can make it as hard or easy as you want, I did try these climbs out mainly in E-MTB and saved turbo just for the very steep bits to see what the motor was capable of. The new Bosch Performance Line CX 2020 motor is much smaller and Whyte have managed to rotate it and achieve the lowest motor/battery weight distribution which feels really planted and stable to ride downhill. Despite being heavy, you don’t really notice it as you’re whipping down a descent as you’re having too much fun, having absolute faith in the stability of the bike with it’s low centre of gravity and Sram Code R 4-pot brakes with 200mm rotors front and rear to stop you in your tracks if and when required. Having test-ridden a couple of other E-bikes over the last few years, this was the most noticeable improvement to me, genuine stopping power.
The feel of the ride was also incredible, feeling like a capable trail bike, rather than a heavy e-bike, I even managed to get a tiny bit of air (not my best party trick anyway!)
Whyte 2020 E150 RS spec £5250 24.2kg
RockShox Lyrik Select + RC 27.5″, 150mm Travel, 42mm Offset, DebonAir, Charger 2 RC Damper, Fast Black Coating, Tapered Steerer, 110mm x 15mm Boost, Maxle Ultimate
RockShox Deluxe Select + RT, DebonAir, Fast Black Coating, Adjustable Rebound, 2 position compression adjustment
Maxxis Minion DHF WT, TR, 27.5″ x 2.5″ 120TPI, EXO + Sidewall Protection, 3C Maxx Terra, Dual Compound, Folding Bead, Front, Maxxis High Roller II WT, TR, 27.5″ x 2.5″ 120TPI, Double Down casing, 3C Maxx Terra, Dual Compound, Rear
WTB KOM Trail i30 TCS 2.0 System, Sleeved Joint, Super Tough Construction, Tubeless Ready, 32 Hole
SRAM Code R, 4 Pot with Sintered Metal Pads, 200mm Rotor
Bosch Performance Line CX 2020 (Gen 4)
75 Nm max Torque
250 W nominal power
2.79 kg 4 Power settings including progressive eMTB mode which automatically adjusts the support
SRAM X01 Eagle, 12 Speed
Bosch 625 Wh internal PowerTube
Reaches full charge in 8.8 hours with supplied 2A Compact Charger
(or only 3.7 hours with optional aftermarket Fast Charger)
The 625Wh PowerTube battery loads through an opening at the bottom of the downtube. Having the battery slide in from the bottom means that no longitudinal cuts were needed on the downtube, increasing structural and torsional stiffness and allowing Whyte to use lighter 2.7 mm thick 6061 aluminium, saving weight. This brings the bike weight in at competitive 23.8 kg in the size medium we tested
“If you are in the market for a new Bosch CX 2020 bike and are looking for an agile and capable eMTB that rewards good skills while riding fast on the trail, then the new Whyte E-150 RS ticks all the boxes. The clever motor and 625 Wh battery integration results in a lively and punchy ride – perfect for an active rider who wants maximum range but doesn’t want to compromise on handling.” – E- Mountainbike Magazine
Read the review here: