New Whyte E160 focused on performance with oh-so-low centre of gravity

All-new frame is built around Bosch’s Smart System 750Wh battery and Performance Line CX motor

2022 Whyte E-160 RSX 29er electric mountain bike

British bike brand Whyte’s newest E-160 electric mountain bike has been tweaked and refined as Whyte seeks to hone its focus on lowering its centre of gravity (COG).

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The brand claims the changes improve how the bike rides, making it feel closer to a non-assisted bike, while also making battery removal and installation easier.

The 150mm rear-travel emtb range now includes a full 29in-wheel bike and a dedicated mullet setup, where the front is 29in and the rear 27.5in, both available in medium to extra-large sizes. The extra-small and small sizes get 27.5in hoops front and rear, making them a better fit for smaller riders.

Could the E-160 RSX soon be the ebike to beat?
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The move from Bosch’s Performance Line CX motor with basic Purion display to the Smart System and redesigned down tube sees an increase in battery capacity, with space for up to a 750Wh unit, plus increased smartphone connectivity.

Prices start at £6,399 for the E-160 S 29er and MX, rising to £7,699 for the mullet-only E-160 RS, and top out at £7,999 for the E-160 RSX, which is sold with 29in wheels only.

2022 Whyte E-160 frame and suspension

The down tube doesn’t have a large cut-out for the battery. This, Whyte claims, improves stiffness.
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Whyte’s focus on lowering the E-160’s COG is founded in the belief doing so will “dramatically improv[e] the ride performance by minimising the… negative effects of poor weight distribution in three main areas… pitch, roll and yaw.”

In order to investigate the importance of lowering the bike’s centre of gravity with the aim of improving the way it rides, Whyte used computer-modelling software to cut the bike into portions, giving each section its own COG.

Each section’s centre of gravity is then averaged out to produce the whole bike’s centroid (arithmetic mean position of all points). The aim was to make this as low as possible.

The Bosch motor has been rotated (clockwise in this image) so the battery can fit beneath it, lowering the bike’s centre of gravity.
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Along with the anti-clockwise rotation of the motor (when seen from the driveside) – used on all current Whyte full-suspension ebikes, so the battery can be mounted beneath the motor – the brand has managed to lower the battery further for the latest E-160 by relocating the connector from the bottom of the battery to the top.

This, Whyte claims, culminates in a ride “that feels much more like… an ‘acoustic’ bike,” with a planted feel while maintaining the ability to change direction quickly.

Righty-tighty, lefty-loosey.
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Whyte is also keen to highlight its down tube’s design that remains intact, without the cut-out used on many other brands’ designs for battery installation or removal.

The “uncompromised” down tube means it retains its torsional stiffness and structural importance.

For the 2022 bike, the down tube has been re-profiled and hydroformed to fit tightly around Bosch’s 750Wh battery, that slides into the down tube using Bosch’s slide-in-rail system.

The new E-160 uses the chunky 1.5in and 1.8in headset standard.
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Because the system is modular, owners can swap between 750Wh, 625Wh and 500Wh Power Tube battery sizes without having to buy a whole new bike.

The brand has moved to the 1.5in upper cup and 1.8in lower cup headset standard, while making changes to the internal cable and electric wire routing. The E-160 now uses SRAM’s UDH, too.

Suspension

The four-bar Horst-link suspension design has around 25 per cent progression.
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Although the new E-160 still uses Whyte’s Horst-link four-bar suspension – dubbed Quad-Link 4 Suspension by the brand – found on its other full-suspension bikes, it has worked hard to tune the bike’s shock damper tunes.

Whyte said its in-house enduro racer and engineer Sam Shucksmith helped develop the tune on both Fox and RockShox shocks fitted to the bike, going through many iterations to find the perfect performer.

The E-160 has 150mm of rear-wheel travel and, like its full-suspension stablemates, the overall rate of progression of its travel is around 25 per cent.

2022 Whyte E-160 motor and battery

The charge port sits on top of the motor.
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Bosch’s Smart System Performance Line CX motor and 750Wh battery are fitted to the 2022 E-160, although, as mentioned, the frame is compatible with the smaller 625Wh and 500Wh batteries, too.

The motor boasts 85Nm of torque and 250w of assistance, and via Bluetooth connectivity thanks to the Smart System, the motor’s modes can be adjusted in Bosch’s Flow smartphone app.

This latest generation also features Tour+ mode. This functions similarly to eMTB mode, where increased rider inputs make the motor provide more assistance.

SRAM Code RSC brakes take care of slowing down the E-160.
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However, none of the E-160 bikes are fitted with a Bosch display. Instead, an LED controller – with battery and mode indicator – is fitted to the left-hand side of the handlebars. A Bosch Smart System display can be added as an aftermarket upgrade, however.

2022 Whyte E-160 geometry

The E-160 is enduro-race ready.
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Bike geometry across manufacturers seems to be converging on what is becoming a universally agreed sweet spot, where bikes with those perfect figures tend to ride well.

The 2022 E-160 doesn’t buck the trend, its figures looking spot-on for a trail/enduro ebike.

Headline numbers include a 64.2-degree head tube angle (low setting), 75.3-degree actual seat tube angle, 446mm chainstays and a 483mm reach figure for the size large.

Whyte E-160 29in wheel geometry

2022 Whyte E-160 geometry 29in wheels
SizeMediumLargeExtra-large
Reach high/low (mm)455483510
Stack high/low (mm)631.5645.1658.6
Head angle high/low (degrees)64.8/64.264.8/64.264.8/64.2
Seat tube angle (degrees)75.575.375.1
Chainstay (mm)446446446
Wheelbase (mm)1,234.81,269.21,302.7
Bottom bracket height (mm)344/336.2344/336.2344/336.2
Standover (mm)771773776
Rear travel (mm)150150150

Whyte E-160 MX/mullet wheel geometry

2022 Whyte E-160 geometry MX/mullet wheels
SizeMediumLargeExtra-large
Reach high/low (mm)455483510
Stack high/low (mm)631.5645.1658.6
Head angle high/low (degrees)64.8/64.264.8/64.264.8/64.2
Seat tube angle (degrees)75.575.375.1
Chainstay (mm)444.5444.5444.5
Wheelbase (mm)1,234.81,269.21,302.7
Bottom bracket height (mm)344/336.2344/336.2344/336.2
Standover (mm)771773776
Rear travel (mm)154154154

Whyte E-160 27.5in wheel geometry

2022 Whyte E-160 geometry 27.5in wheels
SizeExtra-smallSmall
Reach high/low (mm)405425
Stack high/low (mm)607.8619.7
Head angle high/low (degrees) 64.8/64.264.8/64.2
Seat tube angle (degrees)76.1275.7
Chainstay (mm)444444
Wheelbase (mm)1,181.21,200.4
Bottom bracket height (mm)347.8/339.5347.8/339.5
Standover (mm)768769
Rear travel (mm)158158

The range features a wide gamut of sizes, from extra-small to extra-large. The XS and S bikes run 27.5in wheels front and rear, while the medium to extra-large bikes can be fitted with either 29in wheels front and rear, or a mullet or MX setup.

The Shape.it Link has high and low positions. This adjusts geometry, and can be used so a rider can swap between 29in and 27.5in rear wheels.
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Like its other full-suspension bikes, it’s fitted with the Shape.it Link – a small flip chip in the shock yoke that switches between high and low positions. Whyte says the link slackens the bike out by 0.6 degrees and lowers the bottom bracket by 8mm.

The link’s secondary function is to allow the frame to accommodate a 27.5in rear wheel, transforming it into a mullet bike. All E-160s, whether they’re sold as a mullet or 29in-wheeled bike, can be changed to the other wheel configuration without any additional purchases.

2022 Whyte E-160 models, specifications and prices