Privateer launches its first e-MTB which comes specced with the new 'E All-Mountain' wheel from Hunt

Detais on the The Privateer E161 e-MTB
(Image credit: James Vincent)

Privateer bikes began life with the aim to support riders without factory support and the frustration of the idea that progressive design equals premium prices. Privateer aims to serve riders with a different approach by delivering some of the best enduro mountain bikes, the best trail bikes equipped forward-thinking geometry, real-world weather beating features and the highest-spec construction. 

Privateer has now announced its latest electric enduro bike, the E161 E-MTB, which is based on its award-winning Privateer 161. Inspired by sponsored rider's input, and designed to enable riders to maximize their potential, tackle formidable E-MTB enduro races and the unique challenges they present. We had a delve into the West Sussex-based UK brand's latest offering.

Close up on the the Privateer E161 e-MTB Shimano motor

The E161 has Shimano's latest EP801 motor (Image credit: James Vincent)

Shimano power

The Privateer E161 is equipped with the Shimano top of the line EP801 motor system, with 85Nm of torque. Privateer says the compact size of the EP801 motor has allowed them to retain the handling characteristics of the Privateer 161, with the added convenience of uphill assistance. The on-bar control gives easy access to the various modes on offer which are Eco, Trail, Boost, and Walk. The Shimano 630Wh battery will provide ample power, can be easily removed and can either be charged in the bike or removed for charging away from the bike. 

The Shimano EP801 motor is protected against damage caused by accidents or impacts by a specially designed bashguard, manufactured in the UK. This 4mm hard-anodised guard looks motocross bike inspired and will give riders peace of mind from unwanted hits on the motor. The battery also gets an alloy cover for added protection.

Details on the the Privateer E161 e-MTB bashguard

The bashguard looks like it came straight of a motocross bike (Image credit: James Vincent)

Forward-thinking geometry

As mentioned, Privateer's designers worked closely with its sponsored riders, and have aimed to deliver an 'enduro-ready' e-MTB that offers the same level of confidence and responsiveness as the non-assisted 161, but also optimizing the ride performance to make the most of the Shimano EP801 motor.

The head angle of 64 degrees and reach measurement is the same as the non-assisted 161, with a slackened effective seat tube angle, at 78.7 degrees, compared to 80 degrees on the 161 which Privateer says will place the rider in an ideal position for optimal traction during steep climbing. 

The forward-thinking geometry also includes size-specific chainstay lengths which they say allows riders of all sizes to enjoy agile handling and confidence-inspiring stability.

View of the Privateer E161 e-MTB with a 160mm Fox Float X2 Performance shock

The 160mm Fox Float X2 Performance shock (Image credit: James Vincent)

Suspension

The suspension on the Privateer E161 comes from Fox, with the 38 Performance Elite 170mm fork and a 160mm Fox Float X2 Performance shock. Privateer says they have developed the suspension kinematics of the E161 to deliver familiar handling and utilize the additional power from the motor, with increased suspension progression aimed to resist bottom-outs and compensate for the weight of the motor and battery. 

The E161, like the 161, also uses a one-piece rocker link in the suspension linkage which they say will guarantee strength, reliability, and precise bearing alignment. The rocker is CNC machined out of forged aluminum to maintain the alloy’s grain structure, enhancing strength while removing the need for welding and heat treatment. This construction method also ensures accurate alignment of the bearings for long-lasting performance. The E161 again like the 161 has oversized bearings that are dual-sealed to give a long-lasting, weather protected, smooth suspension performance.

View of the cockpit on the the Privateer E161 e-MTB

Brakes are Hayes Dominion A4 (Image credit: James Vincent)

Hunt e-MTB specific wheels

The Privateer E161 comes as a mullet wheel setup, 29-inch front and 27.5-inch rear, and features the new e-MTB-specific wheels from Hunt that will be shipped with all builds. The 'E All-Mountain' wheels have been created tough enough to stand up to the extra abuse that comes with riding e-MTBs. Hunt adds that they have used reinforced rims, and added a new hub using six steel pawls that will have 8 degrees of engagement, aimed to tackle the additional forces created on an e-MTB. Finally, the wheels are built with triple-butted spokes and brass nipples to beef up the wheels.

View of the Hunt E All-Mountain wheel

The E161 comes with the new Hunt E-MTB wheelset (Image credit: Privateer)

Pricing and availability

The Privateer E161 is available to pre-order now exclusively from Privateer and comes in either Raw or Black, priced at $TBC / £5,999 / €7,499. Check out all the details at Privateerbikes.com.

Privateer E161 specification

  • Frame: Privateer E161 6061 T6
  • Motor: Shimano EP801, 85Nm 
  • Battery: Shimano BTE8036, 630Wh 
  • Fork: Fox 38 Performance Elite E-Bike+, 170mm
  • Shock: Fox Float X2 Performance, 160mm
  • Headset: FSA ZS44/ZS56 sealed cartridge bearings 
  • Bar: Custom Privateer 35mm diameter. 30mm rise, 800mm 
  • Saddle: DDK Privateer Custom 
  • Seatpost: OneUp Dropper 31.6mm 150mm/180mm 
  • Brakes: Hayes Dominion A4 4-piston brake 
  • Rotors: 203mm front, 203mm rear 
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano SLX, 12spd 
  • Cassette: Shimano SLX, 10-51t 
  • Crankset: Shimano FC-EM600, 165mm 
  • Wheels: Hunt E All-Mountain, 29-inch front, 27.5-inch rear 
  • Front Tire: Maxxis Assegai 29 x 2.5”, MaxxGrip, 3CG/TR/DH 
  • Rear Tire: Maxxis Minion DHRII 27.5 x 2.4”, MaxxGrip, 3CG/TR/DH 
  • Color: Raw or Black
  • Weight: 25.5kg
  • Price: $TBC / £5999 / €7499 
Paul Brett
Staff writer

Paul Brett is a staff writer for BikePerfect.com. He has been an avid cyclist for as long as he can remember, initially catching the mountain biking bug in the 1990s, and raced mountain bikes for over a decade before injury cut short a glittering career. He’s since developed an obsession for gravel riding and recently has dabbled in the dark art of cyclocross. A fan of the idea of bikepacking he has occasionally got involved and has ridden routes like the North Coast 500, Scotland and the Via Francigena (Pilgrim Route), Italy.

Current rides: Marin Alpine Trail 2, Ribble 725, Cube Stereo 160

Height: 175cm