Pulling a Whyte-E

The new Whyte E-150 is part of a range of e-bikes from Whyte for 2020. It’s a 150mm travel trail e-mountain bike with alloy frame and £5,250 price tag.

>>> Best electric mountain bikes in 2019

Whyte E-150 RS need to know

  • Frame is made from 6061 T6 aluminium — Whyte uses carbon on its conventional bikes but says that with e-bikes weight saving is less important than keeping the price low.
  • The E-150 RS is £5,250, making it about £250 more than the YT Decoy CF Pro.
  • RockShox suspension — Lyrik Select RC with 150mm travel up front and a Deluxe RT shock.
  • Whyte has sensibly applied big stopping power to the E-150 with Code R 4-pot brakes complete with 200mm rotors.
  • SRP £5,250

This is the new Whyte E-150 RS, a 150mm alloy-framed trail bike with SRAM Eagle drivetrain and RockShox suspension. So far, so familiar. It also happens to have the latest Bosch fourth generation motor and internal battery hidden in the downtube, and it marks Whyte’s first foray into e-bikes. It’s not the only bike in the new E-range either, there’s an E-180 behemoth out there complete with coil shock and the same suspension kinematics as the brand’s award-winning Whyte G-170 enduro bike.

Whyte is late to the e-bike party then, most other MTB brands already have pedal assist models in their range, with some notable exceptions like Santa Cruz, while some bike companies like Cube and Specialized have put out models for years. What’s taken the British brand so long?

“We didn’t want to compromise and make an a-bike that had geometry and kinematics prescribed by the motor,” Whyte told us. “We wanted all our e-bikes to have exactly the same geometry and suspension as our normal bikes, and now we have the technology to do it. And we wanted an internal battery.”

What that means is that Bosch’s older motors are relatively bulky, and use a small, proprietary chainring, both of which can potentially interfere with how a bike’s suspension works and limit a bike’s geometry. The new system is almost 50% smaller, Bosch says, and it also uses a normal chainring — in this case a SRAM EX1.

Couldn’t Whyte have switched to a rival motor? Shimano offers an internal battery, for example. Not when the brand saw what Bosch had coming, Whyte says, and they were happy to wait.

Now all we have to hope is that the E-150 really is worth the wait — look out for a First Ride soon.