First Ride: Whyte E-160 RSX 29er

Jul 1, 2022
by Seb Stott  

Whyte aren't especially well known outside the UK where they have a reputation for offering well-thought-through bikes with decent value - especially among reviewers. Their latest offering is the 2023 E-160 eMTB.

While the E-160 name has existed before purely as a 27.5" bike, the 2023 model is available as a 29er or with mixed wheels in sizes M to XL, and with 27.5" wheels in sizes S and XS. It gets a few upgrades over the older version too, including Bosch's latest CX Smart System motor with a huge 750WH battery.

Whyte E-160 Details
• Bosch CX Smart System w/ 750 WH battery
• 150mm rear, 160 mm fork
• 27.5", 29" or mixed wheel options
• Weight: over 26 Kg / 57.3 lb (that's the limit of my bike scale)
• 75° seat angle, 64.8° head angle, 446 mm chainstay
• Sizes: M, L, XL (29" or MX), XS &S (27.5")
• Price: £7,999 (E-160 RSX 29er)


Frame details

To keep costs down, the frame is only offered in 6061 aluminum. Whyte decided to use a complete downtube to maintain structural integrity when compared to a design where the battery slots into a hole in the belly of the "tube". They say this allows them to keep the tube wall thickness below 2 mm, making for a lighter overall weight than a downtube with a door, where wall thicknesses swell to compensate for the lack of structural efficiency. This bike is not light, mind you.

Whyte also sought to keep the weight as low down in the frame as possible to make it easier to move the bike around and change direction. To do this, they rotated the Bosch motor anticlockwise so the downtube battery could slide out the bottom for off-bike charging, while also keeping it as close to the ground as possible. Though the bike ships with Bosch's biggest 750 Wh battery, smaller batteries can be used; and because the battery clips in at the bottom the empty space is at the top of the down tube - helping keep the center of gravity even lower.


The E-160 has a flip-chip that changes the bottom bracket height by 8 mm and the head angle by 0.7-degrees. There's the usual frame protection, bottle cage bosses, and internal routing you'd expect from a modern bike, and the head tube allows for forks with 1.8" steerers.



Despite the name, the E-160 offers 150 mm of travel at the rear, teamed with a 160 mm fork. The suspension linkage is progressive throughout the stroke, with about 23% progression from beginning to end. That's fairly progressive, but nothing crazy. Anti-squat levels (how much the suspension resists pedal-bob) are roughly typical for an e-bike, with around 80% at sag.

What makes Whyte's suspension stand out is the shock tune. "I have found in general e-bikes don’t require more damping than a regular bike", says Whyte's MTB engineer, Sam Shucksmith, "due to the stability provided by the extra weight of the bike if anything you can get away with less damping and benefit from increased small bump compliance and traction. Mid-stroke support from the spring is important when dealing with the added weight of an e-bike."



Whyte Bikes was one of the early adopters of modern geometry, and the E-160 is up to date. The chainstay length is well-balanced at 446 mm (not too long, not crazy short). With all that weight in front of the bottom bracket, a long chainstay can make an e-bike really hard to manual and move around on the trail. The seat angle is around 75 degrees, which isn't the steepest, but in terms of pedaling ergonomics, this doesn't seem to matter too much with e-bikes. The spec sheet says the bottom bracket measures 344 mm in the high setting (336 mm in the low), but it feels lower to me.

Models & Specs

There are two spec options for the 29er version, both of which get the same Bosch motor and 750 Wh battery. I rode the more expensive RSX model with Fox 38 and Float X Performance Elite dampers, whereas the cheaper model gets a RockShox ZEB RC fork and a Deluxe Select R in-line shock.

Whyte E-160 RSX 29er £7,999

Fork: Fox Float 38 Performance Elite, 160mm
Shock: Fox Float X Performance Elite, custom tuned
Drivetrain: SRAM GX Eagle AXS, 10-52
Brakes: SRAM Code RSC 220 / 220 mm
Wheels: Hope Fortus 30 or DT Swiss HX1700
Tires: Maxxis Assegai EXO+ Maxxgrip (f) / DHR2 DD, MaxxTerra (r)

Whyte E-160 S 29er £6,399

Fork: RockShox Zeb RC, 160mm
Shock: RockShox Deluxe Select R,
Drivetrain: SRAM GX Eagle, 11-50
Brakes: SRAM Guide RE, 220 / 220 mm
Wheels: WTB HTZ i30
Tires: Maxxis Assegai EXO+ Maxxgrip (f) / DHR2 DD, MaxxTerra (r)

E-160 S MX
E-160 S 27.5"

Ride Impressions

I only got the chance to ride the E-160 29er once, but I was able to ride a wide selection of well-known test trails in the Tweed Valley. I did bring my own scale to the launch event, but I wasn't able to weigh my XL test bike because the scale only goes up to 26 Kg (57.3 lb). All you need to know is that this is not a light e-bike.

The Bosch CX motor is powerful and intuitive; it responds proportionately and with little lag, making technical climbs with tight switchbacks easy to negotiate. It's also reasonably quiet, with less of the clacking clutch noise found on other motors.

I tested the bike in the high setting only, and while the bottom bracket isn't exceptionally low on paper, I had plenty of pedal strikes on the E-160. The seat angle is slacker than most, and puts more weight on the rear suspension when climbing, causing the suspension to sit lower in its travel. With the stock shock setup, it's quite progressive; running 30% sag I never got full travel out of it, yet it sits quite deep in its travel to begin with. If I had more time, I'd like to try a smaller volume spacer with less sag.

When descending, there's no hiding the weight through technical crux moves and tight turns; it takes more effort and more time to negotiate these pinch points, and despite a 220 mm front rotor, it can be tricky to slow it down in a hurry. The low bottom bracket resulted in a few pedal scrapes in deep ruts while descending too.

Compared to many bikes with longer chainstays, it's not the hardest to manual and bunnyhop though. When I got stuck into some wider trails with fast turns and jumps, the bike came into its own. It's easy to carry speed and rip through berms, while it swallows up roots nicely and keeps the tires pressed into the ground.

Author Info:
seb-stott avatar

Member since Dec 29, 2014
254 articles

  • 115 3
 Remember when we had DH Bike Week?

That was a good week.
  • 92 24
 Remember when bikes were actual bikes ( I will now close the hatch on the bunker)
  • 2 22
flag KK11 (Jul 1, 2022 at 5:05) (Below Threshold)
 Why, just why?
  • 31 13
 @Compositepro: remember when a bit of fitness and the reward of mashing up a steep climb was associated with the bicycle. sad times.
  • 3 0
 @Compositepro: 4-8-15-16-23-42?
  • 4 0
 @w0dge: that had better be the winning lotto mate
  • 64 1
 "To keep costs down, the frame is only offered in 6061 aluminum"

Price: £8000. Right then....
  • 24 0
 'lighter overall weight than a downtube with a door'

Weight: over 26kg. Right then...
  • 14 2
 Since when did $8k become affordable? Plus 57 lbs FFS! Hell you can buy the alloy Speshy Turbo Levo Comp which will eat that thing's lunch and save $500 as well as 7-8 lbs.
  • 6 7
 @hellbelly: ...and be in the repair shop at least once a week. Brose never goes.
  • 9 0
 more like “keep production costs down and margin high”
  • 7 0
 @hellbelly: no,no 57 lbs is where the scale maxed out..
  • 2 1
 Was just going to say the same thing.

8. Grand. I know we should never compare the cost of bikes to motorbikes, but I literally have two Triumphs in my garage with a combined value of £8k. And this is keeping the costs down.

I realise that everything has gone up in price but the ‘cost of entry’ in MTB now is nuts. I’d have an ebike but not at the prices they currently are. Crackers…
  • 10 0
 @flange2032: They're not cheap either.....£1.49 for Jacobs in Sainsburys.
  • 39 1
 Also, stop naming your bikes for the fork travel instead of the rear travel @whytebikes, you bloody loons.
  • 34 2
 And if you find a closed and locked gate in your route, you're fucked.
  • 47 0
 No man you go through it like daisy duke in the general Lee
  • 26 2
 Stopped at over 26 kg, eff that.
  • 23 0
 57 lbs
  • 6 3
 That’s the top spec in prob a size small, imagine what an XL S model weighs!
  • 19 1
 *over* 57lb
  • 4 0
 @tomo12377: it's an XL
  • 6 2
 This is a problem. For an 8g bike that is intended to be ridden properly, they should be aiming for 50.
  • 1 0
 @BenPea: kg, right?
  • 13 1
 To be fair, my Banshee Scream weighed 56lbs without a motor and I managed that just fine!
  • 9 27
flag mcozzy (Jul 1, 2022 at 3:33) (Below Threshold)
 Awesome. Love the stability I get from a heavy ebike. Light weight bikes are for kids and weaklings.
  • 15 7
 @lacuna: yes, but these things are for the old and infirm
  • 8 5
 @BenPea: Pretty sure anyone can buy them
  • 10 3
 @lacuna: I know, it's nuts isn't it...
  • 2 0
 I will never buy an ebike. However, if the bike's balanced, has a ton of grip, all the power and all the range then it will be ticking people's boxes.
  • 9 0
 "keeps the tires pressed into the ground".......Thanks gravity.
  • 3 0
 @Virtutis: me 5 years ago
  • 14 3
 @mcozzy: cant call others weaklings when the bike pedals for you bud
  • 5 21
flag mcozzy (Jul 1, 2022 at 9:39) (Below Threshold)
 @senorbanana: says someone who has clearly never ridden an ebike. Nevermind keep on saving and you may be able to afford one someday.
  • 12 2
 @mcozzy: shut up and go ride your cialis bike. You're making yourself look like an ass.
  • 3 1
 @lacuna: Your Banshee was also a DH bike whose age can be measured in decades, whereas this is a regular bike that doesn't even use full DH suspension.
  • 2 2
 @Virtutis: I said the same thing until I entered a ebike race. Had so much fun I bought a Levo a month later. Now my Patrol feels like a lightweight XC bike when I ride it.
  • 1 3
 @senorbanana: so why are so many people grumbling about the weight?
  • 5 2
 @mcozzy: maybe you're too scared to hang around the big boys and cool kids with really engines in their offroad bikes so you come here to vomit your bullshit to justify the fact you laid out big for a cop-out ride.
  • 13 0
 Time for @sebstott to get some new industrial scales......and probably medical insurance for when orange release their new e-cabinet
  • 2 0
 I hear the zoo is doing away with their old elephant scales
  • 13 0
 750wh battery so you can do the same 16k laps of the golfy
  • 10 1
 Sounds like a good day! Big Grin
  • 6 5
 Whyte power
  • 27 17
 LOL, that’s an expensive and outdated piece of electric junk.
Whyte we’re cool in 2014, now they overpriced and lagging behind the times. Join the soon to be dust pile of brands already.
  • 38 26
 Hey do you need a hug?
  • 39 8
 @whytebikes: Will it stop what he said being correct?
  • 6 3
 @thewanderingtramp: A lad turned up on a brand new g180 last night. Full GX groupset, zebs, codes, all fairly decent parts, rode really well, reviews well. It cost him £3500 new.
  • 4 0
 @whytebikes: No, he just wants your bikes to be reasonably priced.
  • 4 0
 @thewanderingtramp: I think their sarcastic return indicates he was too close to the truth!
  • 5 0
 @whytebikes: we don’t need hugs, we deserve you to be honest in your marketing.

You didn’t choose aluminium to keep the price down, you chose aluminium because you don’t have the capability or market volume to justify a carbon option.

You haven’t kept the price down. These prices are obscene. Simple.
  • 2 0
 @thenotoriousmic: this is great, and exactly what Whyte was known for when the were core.

Im guessing this was a ‘22 bike, check back in when they release their ‘23 pricing, it’ll be 2/3 more…
  • 10 2
 I guess rules #1 cardio and #19 limber up come into play here before you even think about trying to get this thing into your car, because at 57lb that thing will put your back out if you just look at it funny.
  • 12 4
 If you can't lift 57 lbs every once in a while, I can see why you might need to ride an e-bike. It's a bit of a conundrum, isn't it?
  • 1 0
 @thegoodflow: hahah since getting my ebike I've got an upper body like The Hulk. It's a full body workout alright.
  • 3 3
 @thegoodflow: I'm not sure your comment's as much of the burn you were hoping but OK I'll bite. I'm a fairly healthy and (reasonably) fit rider on perhaps the leaner side and I certainly wouldn't want to lift a 57lb bike over a wet and slippery medieval stile, up on to a car rack or even into the boot of an estate too often. Mid ride probably not so bad I suppose if you're all warmed up but cold, first thing in the morning I would definitely be limbering up beforehand. I guess you've never ever ever pulled a muscle...

My other half has a hardtail e-MTB so she can ride as far (she has MS) as me and the kids do and even without the battery it's still a good 20kg, lifting that up onto a normal UK estate car roof rack is approaching the limit of a comfortable action. I guess a little kick step might help but it's a wide range of motion, high weight and awkward size at full arms length. There's no way she could lift her own bike onto the roof bars on our car let alone this behemoth.

Maybe you go to the gym and heft weights 3 nights a week, great for you if you do. Many don't and to me 57lb (+ who knows how much?) is just a ridiculous weight for a bike and besides, surely it's wasting a lot of the battery's power just towing itself around?! If I were at work carrying out a risk assessment, the only safe way to lift this size and weight object would be with some sort of mechanical assistance for the height you might need to lift it. So no, not really a conundrum at all but there's certainly a taste of irony with the weight of e-bikes and some demographic who would get one on health grounds. Let's just hope for everyone's benefit they keep getting lighter, not like this thing...
  • 1 1
 @veero: ok, allow me to explain... people are apparently choosing to ride e-bikes due to health issues or lack of fitness, but then they can't even lift the 50+ lb mopeds because of aforementioned health issues or lack of fitness. Perhaps a non-motorized bike offers a more liftable option for the infirm
  • 1 2
 @thegoodflow: Aha, exclusion. Gotcha.
  • 1 2
 @veero: yes I'm excluding e-bikes
  • 9 0
 Lots of kg per buck!
  • 9 3
 Trek had ebike demo at a local bike festival yesterday. I demoed an e-mountain bike and e-road bike. They both were fun.
If you haven’t ridden an e-bike , try it.
  • 3 4
 Don't be silly... those haters will put their bikes on a lift instead.. ;-)

Love Reading the ebike hate. Have a few bikes, enjoy all, I say. Personally the best piece of equipment I have ever bought. In areas with no lifts, you can cover so much descending.
  • 5 1
 In fact I'll keep going. Said it before but if electric powered 60lb e-bikes that are nearly 7 grand for a base spec one are the future of mountain biking, its making me want to buy a rigid singlespeed even more. Just go the whole hog and remove the wheels and make them hover bikes and whiz around forests defying gravity.
  • 7 0
 "To keep costs down"... and it's £8k? (or £6.3k for basic suspension)
  • 2 5
 All the various tooling to produce forgings and hydroformed tubes (often multiple tools per tube), vs ~3 big tools (per size) and more manual labour to lay up and finish...there really isn't that much in it! Obviously an oversimplification, but you get my point.
  • 4 1
 "Whyte aren't especially well known outside the UK where they have a reputation for offering well-thought-through bikes with decent value - especially among reviewers." - looks like - no more - decent value (because of brexit probably)
  • 5 0
 Frame lines Looks good, flipped motor, big battery, solid down tube, nice colors and spec. Well done. What about usa availability?
  • 5 2
 Rode this bike in Peaslake this week, can confirm it is not light, but once I was riding it I didn’t notice, didn’t struggle to get it through tight turns, didn’t really struggle to slow it down and the weight made it very stable in the air.
  • 4 0
 What saddens me is that a lot of these e-bikes will never see the kind of riding they're built for. Not sure how it is elsewhere, but around here these things are mainly used to cruise up and down dirt roads.
  • 3 0
 ...and the Fezzari Wire Peak continues to hold the top spot of reasonably priced eMTBs

...and the Orbea Rise continues to hold the top spot of great looking eMTBs (overtaking the Levo/Kenevo SL models only because it has more power)

This Whyte looks nice, but I prefer my lighter-weight Rise (44 lb). If they came up with a light-weight model, smaller battery, maybe a little less power, I'd give it a second look!
  • 4 2
 When you go in bike shops nawadays it's like carshow room prices.all the bikes have shit ass brakes half ass tyres middle ofvthe road components even in the 6000 and up price range thay are wank. The best thing about ebikes is that thay make motocross enduro and trials bikes look cheap in comparison for what you get and time rideing the thing.
  • 19 1
 We've tried not to do that. The S model (entry to the range but NOT entry level) comes with TRP Trail Evo brakes or SRAM Guide RE (amazing brakes - check the reviews), a Zeb fork, Sram GX Eagle drivetrain and Maxxis Assegai/DHR II tyres. It also features the same Bosch Performance Line CX motor and the same biggest 750Wh Bosch battery as the rest of the range. We're not trying to cut corners, we're trying to make something that lasts. Cheers
  • 3 4
 buy a motorcross bike then!
  • 4 0
 @whytebikes: Sorry to be obnoxious but why spec trail brakes in a 26+ kilo bike?? As I see it being an ebike rider/mechanic since 2019, Between the exploded Fox dps's / RS Deluxes and the completely trashed rotors on underpowered brakes I cannot fathom why brands keep doing this. (I Have no experience whatsoever on those trp's, tried the previous version on a Polygon and they complete crap, quadiems on the other side were super good) I think all ebikes should be specced with DH level brakes. I mean... Shimanos zee's are banging and cheap as hell...
  • 9 3
 @whytebikes: Take no notice of all these E-bike haters, they have nothing better to do,if they hate them so much why they read about them and then comment about them I have no idea. tossers!
I have a E 150rs and i love it,my second E-bike after 25 yrs on normal bikes ,the last 6 yrs on E-bikes have been the most enjoyable. anything that enables me to continue to do the sport i love is good, apart from that they are just great fun,which is all i do it for.
  • 4 6
 @TOMMY-T-one: someone needs to comment that we dont care about whether you like being lazy now or not.

Are people only allowed to comment on things they agree with? What world do you live in?

Its also pretty hard not to read about them with every element of mtb media dominated by them taking the space up from real bikes as its what the industry is pushing at suckers right now
  • 9 2
 @BentonFraser: You are missing my point ,if you hate E-bikes so much , don't read about them then you don't feel the need to comment , I only read the comments to see people like you getting their knickers in a bunch, about what i have no idea, no-one is forcing you to buy one ! read about one or like them. also don't assume just because someone rides an E-bike they are lazy. each rider has his own reasons, none of which are any of your business, so i suggest you just shut up and go ride your bike,i don't give a shit what bike just ride it.
  • 1 0
 @Denyer: The Sram Guide RE's aren't really Guides, they have the Guide lever but use the older version Code DH Caliper. It's actually a really good Powerful brake. I'm not sure why Zee's aren't used more for e-bikes either, they're cheap and perfect power for big heavy bikes.
  • 2 2
 @BentonFraser: like those lazy normal bikes stuck on chair/uplifts (myself included)?

It's all hilarious. Love coming to these reviews to see how much they wind up the Strava plebs or those clearly not having enough fun themselves. It's just brilliant.
  • 7 4
 Over 55lbs is definitely boomer scooter territory. Just too friggin heavy to be really fun. Bropeds ( SL style bikes) are the way forward for the younger crowd who still want to rip.
  • 1 0
 "Bropeds". When I finally get a Kenevo SL, I'm getting a sticker for it! Big Grin
  • 3 0
 battery is WAY to big, it will only promote riders be in boost/turbo mode most of the ride and that really is not mountain biking then...57lbs is getting out of hand....The future is gonna need to be lighter and quieter..
  • 3 1 much technical evolution...Where the hell did the designer Jon Whyte go? Surely this crap never passed by his approval..
Oh Whyte is now operated by a new CEO and CMO... One previously working for Dyson, and the other a yoga pants company...
The Whyte name doesnt mean anything anymore. They are just cookie cutter designs bought from the Taiwan catalog and sold for triple their value.
  • 1 0
 I have a 2021 (v2) e-180 RS & luckily got is at 2020 prices (which was still allot!) It's a decent bike but the DT swiss 1700 wheels are not up to the job, now running Hope Fotus 30 and it's holding up much better, so if that's an option, do it.
I can't see that rear shock lasting / coping with that weight & why the F are they still spec'ing Eagle Sram junk on an e-bike. Wider ratio, 10/11 speed would make allot more sense. Code RSC's i can live with but they're not really capable.

This bike with an X2 shock or decent coil, The hope wheels, XT brakes & SLX/XT drivetrain (or even Sram NX) would make allot of sense... but the price is still mental
  • 4 1
 "I wasn't able to weigh my XL test bike because the scale only goes up to 26 Kg (57.3 lb)."

Almost twice the weight of my not particularly light 160mm enduro bike. Blimey...
  • 6 0
 Bike path ripper!
  • 5 0
 The 60 in the name is the average owners age.
  • 4 0
 Blah blah bla. Still gutted that the tyre logos don’t line up on the first photo.
  • 1 0
 Cardinal sin
  • 4 0
 Any votes for another website:
  • 3 1
 " well-thought-through bikes with decent value" lol , over 26 Kg bike for £7,999 ( maybe more with brexit )

some value!
  • 6 3
 57 lbs? Getting real close to half the weight of some riders out there…
  • 7 5
 Lol - maybe for a cross-country racer type. I think most moped riders tweak the fatter end of the spectrum.
  • 4 1
 Drivetrain: SRAM GX Eagle, 11-50

Is any of those two numbers correct?
  • 1 0
 NX cassette
  • 3 1
 @whytebikes Love it. When is the 180mm version coming out? I don't get all these short travel eBikes Wink
  • 2 0
 Whyte - The only company whose e-bikes look better than their actual bikes.
  • 5 2
 To all the e-bike haters....
  • 3 0
 I'm unnaturally drawn to this. Likely due to its colossal mass.
  • 1 0
 Careful of that event horizon.
  • 3 0
 New product niche identified - E-scales.
  • 1 0
 Are Whyte still routing the dropper cable in such a way that you have to remove cranks and bottom bracket to change the outer cable?
  • 2 0
 they tested how good is it to bunnyhop +26kg ebike.
  • 1 0
 Why would they not? Pretty sure a trial motorbike weighs a lot more.
  • 1 0
 Huck to flat when?
  • 2 0
 Does the union flag mean it’s made in the UK then?
  • 3 0
 The sun never sets on the Empire.
  • 3 0
 Sounds terrible
  • 3 1
 Lmao. A whale seems to have entered my screen.
  • 2 1
 ahh yes, Whyte bikes for White middle-aged privileged men. Like the landrover rangerover of the cycle industry.
  • 2 0
 Another china made boat anchor
  • 18 17
 I thought this was a website for mountain bicycles. not motorbikes.
  • 8 10
 Motorbikes have engines
  • 1 1
 Thank you.
  • 6 3
 Motorbikes have motors@TommyNunchuck:
  • 5 8
 @DCF: Only if you speak Merican
  • 1 0
 What happened to the US distribution?
  • 1 0
 I am confused. Is this a Whyte or an Orange?
  • 1 0
 Thats some RICH ENERGY bae
  • 2 0
 Trail hugging weight.
  • 2 0
 Whyte so thicc?
  • 3 3
 75 degree seat angle. Pass.
  • 3 2
 Weight is just absurd.
  • 2 4
 The look in orange is gorgeous !
Is the battery easily swappable ?
  • 7 3
 Hello, thanks for the comment. Yes we've incorporated a sliding rail system into this model, so you can remove/install the battery with just an allen key. Cheers!
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