Whyte e-180 gets the more powerful, lighter Bosch Performance Line CX Race Limited Edition with 400% support


Whyte has a new version of its big travel e-bike, the e-180 – this time it’s a mullet setup with 29in wheel out front and 27.5in on the rear, and the frame is all new, with a cleaner and sleeker look. We’ve not ridden it yet, but we’d be very surprised if it wasn’t a stellar performer like the old diddy-wheeled bike, one of the best electric mountain bikes we’ve tested.

The star of the show though is that it’s the first bike we’ve seen to use Bosch’s new Race motor, with increased support and a lower weight.

The latest Bosch motor is the Performance Line CX Race Limited Edition, with 400% support

The 400% club

Called the Performance Line CX Race Limited Edition, the motor will dish out 400% support, or four times the power you’re putting in through the pedals. The old motor reached 340% support.

The torque has stayed the same on the new motor, at 85Nm, but the extra support means you as a rider will be able to put less effort into the climbs. Of course there’s always the option to dial down the support via the eBike Flow app, and save your battery power too. Incidentally, battery capacity is up now too, topping out at 750Wh in the biggest size.

Race motor… for much more than just racing

Keeping up

Why has Bosch done this? The German motor experts say this is a drive unit for top end riders and bikes, those who want to race. It also gets rather carried away and warns us that “only those with precise riding technique can control the direct response and power of the Race mode.” I think we’ll be ‘reet.

Really though, we can see this as a response to Shimano and Yamaha, which both have 400% support, while Specialized has 410%. Bosch’s Performance Line CX motor is very good and powerful, it feels very natural, but you’ve never been able to spin the pedals and let the motor do the work. Now you can.

The weight has come down too, on the Race motor, as low as 2.75kg from a hefty 2.9kg on the older model. That puts it around the same weight as the Yamaha, and 150g lighter than the Brose motor from Specialized. That weight saving will of course be more more than offset by the heavier battery, but it’s a weight worth toting, in our opinion.

Hill hold and more “Boost”

That’s not all that’s new with the latest Bosch motor on the Whyte e-180, it’ll also get “Hill Hold” and “Prolonged Extended Boost”. The former is really useful when you’re pushing up a hill using Walk Assist, you can now stop pushing and the bike will hold itself stationary for 10 seconds. Prolonged Extended Boost is what most of us call overrun, where the motor still drives the wheels forward for a second or so after you stop cranking.

The new Whyte e-180 Works is the brand’s most powerful bike to date

Whyte e-180 Works MX

Whyte names its bikes after fork travel, hence the e-180 has a 180mm fork. Rear travel is 170mm, through a RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate shock.

There’s a new frame to accommodate the new wheelsize and keep the geometry fully ‘Whyte’. By which we mean, about as low as you can get away with, and slack as hell.

Whyte’s Shape.It Link is a flip-chip that lets you take the head angle down to a slack 62.5°

In fact, the e-180 has a head angle of 63° and you can even lower that (or raise it) by 0.5° thanks to Whyte’s Shape.It Link, a flip-chip on the shock extender. The bottom bracket sits at 345mm off the ground, so you are going to bonk a pedal from time to time.

Priced at £9799, the e-180 Works MX is the flagship model that tops out an all-new e180 range, which also includes the e-180 RSX MX (£8799) and e-180 S MX (£6799) models. All share the same frameset, MX wheel configuration, and 750Wh batteries.

The e-180 RSX MX’s are available in late October, and e-180 S MX and e-180 Works MX available in December.