First Look Review : Pete’s Whyte e-Lyte 150 Works.

The latest addition to the increasingly popular mid-power ebike segment is the Whyte e-Lyte 150 Works that launched recently.

Whyte’s e-Lyte 150 Works is a 29″ wheeled, 142mm travel, mid travel ebike with some nifty features and takes aim at the full fat ebikes despite its semi-skimmed nature.

Photos by Pete Scullion.

Key features:

  • Fox 36 Factory 160mm fork
  • Fox Float X Factory shock
  • SRAM XO AXS T-type 12-speed drive
  • Bosch Performance Line SX motor
  • Bosch 400Wh battery (250Wh range extender available)
  • Hope Tech4 V4 brakes
  • Hope Pro 5 hubs on Whyte Innegra Infused Carbon rims
  • Whyte drop.it. II dropper
  • £9,999.00 RRP
  • WhyteBikes.com

The Whyte e-Lyte is all new for 2024, with a UD carbon fibre frame offering up 142mm travel in the guise seen here, mated to a 150mm fork. The chassis rolls on 29″ wheels but there is option to run it as a Mullet although there is no stock Mullet build.

Power comes from Bosch’s latest motor offering, the Performance Line SX offering up 55Nm torque an 600W peak power. This is fuelled by an internal 400Wh battery with an optional 250Wh range extender which comes as standard with the Works models.

The aim of the e-Lyte 150 Works is to go head to head with the full fat ebikes, offering plenty of range and power but in a lighter package. Whether or not this is the case will come out in the wash once we get these wheels in the dirt. At 19.2kg (42.3lbs) it’s not as light as say, the S-Works Levo SL but then it is a fair bit cheaper.

Two bottle cage mounts allow you to go standard of Fidlock and the frame’s flip chip allows you to adjust the head angle and bottom bracket height. The frame is fully weather sealed with a seat post and chainstay yoke gaitor to see out the worst of the British weather. The charge port is similarly positioned to keep it out of harm’s way. Phosphate coated bearings are also liberally coated in marine grease.

The e-Lyte range comprises three bikes. The e-Lyte 150 RSX kicks things off at £7,999.00, the mid-range e-Lyte 150 Works seen here at £9,999.00 and the range-topping e-Lyte 140 Works at £10,999.00.

Geometry

The Whyte e-Lyte 150 Works is available in Small, Medium, Large and XLarge.

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Reach on the Medium is 456mm with a seat tube of 420mm. Head angle in the ‘Low’ position is 64 degrees with a size specific seat tube angle of 77.3 degrees. Chainstays are 450.4mm across the sizes and the wheelbase on the Medium is 1242.1mm.

Opening moves

With the Whyte e-Lyte 150 Works coming with Fox Factory dampers, there was a little more to the suspension fettling pre-ride, and other than needing to let a fair bit more air out of the fork than suggested, I followed the damping setup on the lower leg. 30% sag on the shock, wind in the long Hope levers and away we went.

Almost immediately the Bosch Performance LIne SX motor showed that it wasn’t the ‘pick a gear, any gear’ motor like its bigger CX brother, and preferred a much higher cadence. With the right gear selected, you’d be spinning away merrily. The rear Maxxis Dissector helping this speedy climbing with its low rolling resistance.

Once onto singletrack or steeper climbs, you might want something a little more grippy than the Dissector as in the higher power modes and the required high cadence, you do tend to get a fair bit of wheelspin when traction starts to wane. The rear end and the steep seat tube though do offset this by keeping your weight central which helps spread the grip out a bit better.

On the downs, even before the Hope Tech4 V4s had their pads heat cycled, the bike was already trying to go faster than I could compute. That wonderful sound of deadened tyres impacting various trail features indicated that I got the suspension setup right and it was all about cracking on.

I opted to bang out several short laps on this opening sortie, rather than go for a longer ride and the speed was high from the off. I had to be gentle with the Hope anchors as the power available is mighty but when things got out of shape, they hauled everything back in line with ease. It’s also nice to see a brake on an ebike that far exceeds what’s necessary. All too often brakes get overwhelmed on these bikes but not here.

I forgot the Dissector from that point onwards. Yes, it might be a better bike overall with grippier rubber, but I was so happy getting to know the bike better and really pushing on that the tyre choices slipped down the pecking order of what was important. As the light of the day died, I’d keep convincing myself another run would go.

In hindsight, I might adjust the rear brake lever to work better with one finger and I might speed the fork rebound up on the high speed end to help it match the rear… That’s about it. This bike went out of the gate like a rocket even before I’d had a chance to get the brakes warm. That said, the rear brake is rubbing and hasn’t wanted to not do so as yet. I’ll give it another go pushing the pistons back again to see if that solves it.

You can check out the Whyte e-Lyte 150 Works over on their website here.


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