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Privateer's New E161 & Hunt's New eMTB Wheels - Eurobike 2023

Jun 22, 2023
by Ed Spratt  
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After years of development Privateer is finally ready to launch its E161 eMTB.

Built upon a similar platform and silhouette as the brand's 161 enduro bike the E161 adds a Shimano EP801 motor paired with a 630wh battery. While a large portion of the geometry remains similar to the 161 we were told that the seatube angle has been slackened slightly from the fairly steep angles seen on the 161, this is something that Privateer also did with its 141 trail bike. One addition to the frame that was pointed out to us was the use of what looks to be a pretty tough bash place for the motor. Privateer says these will be made locally to its base in the UK.

Orders aren't quite open yet for the bike but the bike was carrying fresh UK dust after a recent photoshoot and it is expected to properly launch very soon.

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Another new thing we were shown on the bike was a set of Hunt wheels that will be shipped with builds of the new E161. The aim for these wheels, which appear to be called 'E All Mountain', was to create something tough enough to stand up to the extra abuse that comes with riding eMTBs. Hunt started by using its reinforced rim used on the rear of its enduro wheels set for both ends, we were told this lets riders smash into trail obstacles without worrying if the rim can't handle it.

The next issue Hunt wanted to tackle was the additional forces going through the hub. To overcome these issues Hunt said it has created a slightly different rear hub from its usual 5-degree RapidEngage system. For the new eMTB wheelset, the hub now uses six steel pawls that will have 8-degrees of engagement. When building the new hub care was taken to try and create something that can handle most of the different motor and battery pairings as some can have significantly more power than others. Finally, the wheels are built with triple-butted spokes and brass nipples. Hunt said in areas weight has definitely been added to beef up these wheels but as you will have motor assistance the extra weight doesn't necessarily make a difference to the rider.

These are set to launch alongside the E161 and will be available separately.

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edspratt avatar

Member since Mar 16, 2017
3,245 articles

42 Comments
  • 43 0
 Looks clean. I like the smiley face on the battery cover.
  • 16 0
 He's smiling now, but just wait until he gets dog sh*t flung up into his face.
  • 3 0
 @noodlewitnosteeze : Can't unsee, and I don't mind Smile .
  • 4 0
 This little guy has changed my whole mind about e-bikes. Now I really want to take a second look at the Nicolai Eboxx..
  • 13 0
 I think they got pretty unlucky delaying this thing as Shimano have really dropped the ball on reliability and battery size. They would need an incredible price to make this competitive in the current market, as I doubt they can compete on weight and most bikes have solid geo at this stage.
  • 6 0
 I hate the look of the hump, but FEA confirms it spreads out stress on the top tube/head tube welds.
  • 1 0
 Is that for a compression (like a low speed huck to flat where the front wheel wants to move to the front) or for tensile loads (like when you hit square edge that was a bit too tall and the front wheel wants to move to the back)? Visually it doesn't really bother me as they have this curve that continues from the head tube into the seatsays (when the rear suspension is unsprung) so it still looks quite clean. Unlike a Santa Cruz V10 at some point.
  • 2 0
 @vinay: The second. Since carbon is bonded with several pieces I don't think its going to be beneficial in the same way. Probably why its been mostly out of style.
  • 2 0
 it also looks like, for the headtube length and seattube length they have, the hump might be necessary to not have a super long weld between the downtube and toptube. They'd have to make the toptube pretty thin to keep the same profile they have now without the hump.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: With carbon the interlaminar tensile stresses will rise in any instance in which the laminate is submited to tensile stresses at angle to the laminate main plane, so you're right, the hump doesn't help.
  • 1 0
 I'm confused. This is a metal frame (as was the V10 I referred to). Why is everyone talking about carbon?
  • 2 0
 @vinay: because why not
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: True. My pencil lead is actually carbon, not lead.
  • 2 0
 @vinay: My point is as carbon pivoted from exclusively high end XC frames to all travel brackets, and "trickled down" to mid tier bikes, the "hump" also started disappearing from bikes, around 2013. I don't think its just a coincidence.
  • 1 0
 Is the only difference in the rear hub the lower POE? Wouldn't really bother to me (for an unassisted bike) if it would give a stronger rear hub in return. I have laced up a rear wheel using a DT Swiss 350-hybrid hub which also has considerably thicker flanges. Does the hub here have that too or is it really only the POE? And out of curiosity, how did they realize it? I know the latest Hope hubs did it by having all six pawls engage simultaneously instead of having two sets of three alternately engage. So the difference is only in the freehub body. The shell etc remain the same for Hope between both variations. Of course the DT hub just got a different pair of ratchet rings. I wonder how Hunt realized it.
  • 1 0
 Hi the PhaseEngage eMTB freehub uses steel internals, a 6x1 pawl system and an updated ratchet ring. All 6 pawls engage at once giving a really reliable transfer of power which is especially important on an eMTB. We've also updated the seals to keep moisture and dirt away from the new internals, and the bearings (which themselves feature dual seals).
In addition to the updates to the hub, the E All_Mountain wheelset uses internally reinforced rims front and rear, and we lace them up with triple butted 2018 spokes (larger 1.8mm central diameter), brass nipples and steel washers.
  • 5 0
 was all going well until the shimano motor
  • 5 0
 If only they put a Bosch in it.........
  • 4 0
 Looks mint (apart from the shimano motor).
  • 1 2
 I understand is cheaper and esaier to let your frames be made in Asia, and then specify Shimano on them. The prices Shimano is offering for a full groupset + motor are insane. Still, the resulting bike will be crap. This is not even a good try.
  • 1 1
 Looks like they are saving some money using some of the same parts as the 161. Ask me how I know? But really, don't ask me.
  • 6 6
 such a shame to spend so much time on product R&D only to have it obsolete on launch day, now with Pinion's new MGU out in the market.
  • 1 0
 Unfortunately looks old fashioned already
  • 4 4
 You say that like this pinion gearbox motor is going to take over the world, let me assure you, it will not.
  • 4 3
 @kev-jones: be honest with yourself - would you buy an ebike with a rear mech dangling off the rear wheel now that there is a clearly superior alternative available? I most certainly would not.
  • 1 2
 @kopaczus: 11 years riding MTB and I haven't had a single problem with the dangling bits. I'm not sure who is pushing all the hype towards gearboxes but they're clearly not superior in 99% of use cases compared to derailleurs.
Yes, you shave some weight on the rear wheel but you get a bunch of added system weight and drag.
Weight and drag are also a problem on ebikes since you are limited with battery capacity. Not to mention ebikes overall weight is already too large to enjoy the trails like on normal bikes.
  • 2 0
 @marincelo: you may not have had a problem with dangling bits, but there are plenty who did. see Łukasik's last race, he torn his rear mech clean off, which ruined his day. it does happen, no need to deny it. there is no need to push any hype, this is the direction the industry is heading in. replacing a 100-year old solution was just a matter of time and it looks like this time is now. weight and drag are overblown in my opinion, you get your weight centered in the best possible location. as for ebikes being too heavy in general I agree, but this concerns both the rear mech versions and gearbox versions equally.
  • 1 0
 @kopaczus: totally agree with you however, we have not seen pricing for emtb with gear boxes. With so much tech involved I bet it will cost a lot. If its priced similarly to traditional emtb, then all emtb without this new tech are screwed. This coming from a satisfied emtb owner and looking to sell mine before its value plunges when these new ones roll out.
  • 1 0
 Privateer competes in a market where cost does matter. The Pinion gearbox+motor combo will most likely be more expensive than the conventional setup we see here. I understand quite a of people complain here that their rear mechs break too easily under pedal assistance so I suppose everyone will be able to find their break-even point based on the rate they currently break stuff. I'm surprised though to learn that if people are currently breaking stuff at such a rate, they still opt to ride an assisted bike rather than an unassisted one.
  • 2 1
 @kopaczus: simple answer? yes, I'd still buy a 'regular' ebike.
  • 1 0
 @mountguitars: we have seen the pricing - see the pinkbike article the other day - and it looks plenty similar to regular ebikes to me. maybe there will be some premium to be paid in the early days but it will soon drop and as @vinay mentioned, there are obvious benefits in drivetrain longevity. I can see all ebike motor manufacturers racing to get their own gearbox integrated solutions on the market on the double. they would be foolish not to. the rear mech was never meant to play along with motors.
  • 1 0
 Smiley face on the bottom of downtube. Nice touch.
  • 1 0
 They should put a smiley face on the downtube
  • 1 2
 Bike companies - design bikes larger and heavier to deal with the higher stresses an ebike is susceptible to Emtb nerds - tHeReS nO EvIdEnCe eMtBs aRe HaRdEr oN tHe TrAiLs
  • 1 1
 Tire choice makes more of a difference on trail wear than bike weight or pedaling power.
  • 2 1
 @noodlewitnosteeze: that may be the silliest thing I've ever read. That's like saying changing the drill bit in your hand drill has a bigger effect on your work peice than using a power drill. Or changing your hacksaw blade makes a better cut than using a miter saw lmao
  • 1 0
 @Bro-LanDog: Right. So going with a tire that is designed to grip the ground better resulting in less skidding and higher traction is not going to wear down the same section of trail as something with a smaller mid tread that will drift easier. Oooookay
  • 1 0
 @noodlewitnosteeze: you really think people are using different tires between emtb's and mtb's? Lmao people use the best tires they can already don't be a dork
  • 2 1
 is that ''Thing''
  • 1 0
 Thing T. Thing
  • 1 1
 Looks dope. Purple anno that thing.
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