Electric mountain bikes are becoming increasingly lighter and the newborn “down-country” category is expanding. Rotwild is one of the first to dive into it with a crazy e-bike
4 maggio 2023
deer is a high-end, low-volume German bicycle brand that focuses heavily on engineering quality. Their products are certainly some of the best we’ve tried, and they have fine solutions to small details that set them apart from most of the competition. We recently tried Scott’s Lumen which is part of this new emerging category of lightweight mountain bikes that combine cross country and trail. Well, it so happened that we were also rehearsing on the same day the new R.X275 Rotwild’s own, also una emtb “down country” that is, able to offer a lot of attention to pedaling quality and efficiency and combine it with a good quality of the descent and, obviously, a low weight. During the Bike Connection event in Marina di Massa we tested the R.X275 on rather difficult routes and on reasonable climbs, which were the perfect conditions to understand this new bike. The scale says that at 15.2 kg this bike is the lightest e-mtb on the market and this was possible thanks to the use of the TQ lightweight motor with 50 Nm of couple. It comes with a 250Wh battery, and the version we tested has a very refined component package based on Fox and Shimano XTR.
Frame : Carbon Rotwild 120mm no pivot. Fork : Fox 34 Kashima Shock : Fox x 120mm Kashima Wheels : DT Swiss HXC 1501 Carbon Motor : TQ HPR50 , 50Nm 250w Battery : 250 TQ Handlebar : Carbon integrated Weight: 15,2 Kg Price: €12,500
The frame is made of carbon and has 130mm of travel at the front and 120mm at the rear. It is designed to use a flexible rear seat stay and has no joints in the rear axle area. The frame is super light and very svelte in design with a battery hidden in a downtube that looks like a normal bicycle.
Suspension is a Fox 34 with a Float X mounted on the rear. The suspension is the best available from Fox and is of the Kashima variety. This is completed by the Fox Kashima seatpost.
The wheelset consists of a DT Swiss HXC 1501 carbon with dimensions of 29” both front and rear with robust cross country tires mounted by Schwalbe.
The drivetrain is Shimano XTR and is held down by XTR brakes. Lightweight and high performance in speed control.
The knob is a one-piece design that allows for internal routing of cables if desired.
TQ motor and battery
This is the second version of the TQ engine that we have tested and it works in almost complete silence. It has 50Nm of torque and is very regular in its delivery powerful and easy to use. The bike has a 250Wh battery in the frame and external 160Wh bottle-shaped batteries are possible exactly as we have also seen on Scott’s Lumen. The system is controlled by a remote control we’ve never seen before and the information is displayed on the top tube mounted display. The whole system is adjustable with theTQ app. The remote control, when pressed for a few seconds, allows the motor to supply a power boost for a few seconds. The battery is positioned in the oblique tube, it is almost invisible and guarantees an autonomy all in all comparable to the versions with large batteries given the bike’s weight savings. This is also due to thesparing use of energy of the engine and the tuning of the pedaling oriented to fitness, very natural. The feel of the engine is smooth and demanding an important input from the rider: in short, you have to pedal! It’s not a bike that takes you to the top of the mountain, but it’s an e-mtb for regular cyclists who want an extra helping hand. We found the Temporary Boost mode ideal for negotiating steep, short sections while riding a single trail. This is a clear vision of the future of bikes, where an engine can be used like this in a bike this light and… we love it!
On the trail
In words the R.X275 is silent and similar to riding a normal mountain bike in terms of weight sensation. The power assist is gentle and not designed to get you up the hill with the motor. We have heard that this is the ideal type of bike for Cross-Country with the possibility of some descents where the path does not have extreme characteristics. The riding position is more upright and you have less saddle height movement. It pedals very efficiently and the average speeds are slightly higher than riding without assistance. When power comes into play, it complements the rider and gives a delicate and progressive push that you hardly feel. We used boost mode quite often on steep trail segments and it was one of the coolest riding sensations we’ve had in recent years because it finally eliminate any notion that electric bikes are heavy. Downhill the bike is stable but requires precise control on technical descents; it is not a bike for extreme riding. We found ourselves not making big jumps and landings. Cornering is fast and stable, but the center of gravity is significantly higher.
That of the “down country” is a new category of electric bikes that it will appeal to the last few skeptics who deny that electric bikes can be fun, and Rotwild has created an excellent bike. It is light and eliminates any fear of weight-related stress of the bike that limits the pleasure of riding. This is the first of many bikes we have come to expect in this category from other brands, and the quality of the product is outstanding. The small parts are engineered to such a high standard by Rotwild and highlight the possibilities that engineering can achieve. The bike at 12,500 euros it is certainly not cheap, but is in line with the price of the best cross-country bikes. The fact that it weighs practically the same as a non-electric full suspension is surprising and explains the high price.