When VOTEC dropped their VE Elite, they promised awesome, fun-filled riding on this long-travel rig. With 180 mm of suspension, the VOTEC VE Elite rocked up as the burliest bike on test – but does it know what to do with all its travel, and can it rival the competition?

For an overview of the test fleet head to the main article: SOOOOO F#%$&NG ENDURO: 11 Enduro Bikes under € 4,000 in Review

VOTEC VE ELITE 2017 | 180/170 mm (f/r) | 13.67 kg | € 3,999

With such a stellar spec, it’s hard to suss out exactly how VOTEC have managed to really pack the goods onto this € 3,999 VE Elite 2017. Sporting high-end componentry across the board, the spec includes a 180 mm travel RockShox Lyrik fork, a SRAM X01 Eagle drivetrain, and tasty Race Face Turbine R wheels. The package is rounded off with powerful MAGURA MT7 brakes and a high-end Race Face cockpit. The frame is bang up to date with Boost hub spacing and a metric-sized rear shock, plus it offers geometry and travel adjustment through a flip chip.

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“Despite all that travel, this VOTEC isn’t all about going full gas. High speeds on this beast need taming with a firm grip and full concentration!”

No one expected a long-travel demon like the VOTEC to glide up the climbs, but the whole test crew were unanimous in their praise. Despite all that travel it pedals efficiently and doesn’t have any unwanted motion (even without activating the platform damping). When the gradient ramps up, it’s time to shift more weight forward to retain traction. Even with its ultra-slack 64.3° head angle and lashings of travel, the VE Elite is actually really compact underneath you thanks to its short chainstays and toptube, meaning agility is basically a given.

The rear works with finesse, but not much plushness. The relatively high bottom bracket (BB drop 4 mm) makes for slightly unpredictable cornering and twitchiness at high speeds.

Helmet Troy Lee A1 | Glasses Oakley Jawbreaker | Jersey 100% Celium Jersey | Shorts 100 % Celium Shorts

The VOTEC VE Elite 2017 in detail

Fork RockShox Lyrik RCT 180 mm
Shock RockShox Super Deluxe RC3 165 mm
Brakes Magura MT7
Drivetrain SRAM X01 EAGLE
Seatpost RockShox Reverb Stealth
Stem Race Face Turbine R35
Handlebar Race Face SIXc 35 800 mm
Tires Schwalbe Magic Mary / Schwalbe Hans Dampf
Wheelset Race Face Turbine R

There’s a flip chip to adjust rear travel and the geometry, but it’s a minefield of confusion. We preferred the slack setting, as it delivered more travel and dropped the bottom bracket so that you’re more integrated into the bike.
Nice detail
VOTEC deliver the bike with wide rims, tubeless valves, and sealant, equalling better grip with maximum puncture resistance guaranteed. Nice!
Despite the steep seat angle and masses of travel, the VOTEC is a mean climber.
Clear steering
An impeccably dimensioned cockpit includes a short stem and wide bars that suit our riding style.

The geometry of the VOTEC VE Elite 2017

Size XS S M L XL
Seat Tube 380 mm 405 mm 430 mm 470 mm 510 mm
Top Tube [A] 550 mm 570 mm 590 mm 615 mm 635 mm
Head Angle [D] 64.3 ° – 64.7 ° 64.3 ° – 64.7 ° 64.3 ° – 64.7 ° 64.3 ° – 64.7 ° 64.3 ° – 64.7 °
Seat Angle [B] 74.1 ° – 74.5 ° 74.1 ° – 74.5 ° 74.1 ° – 74.5 ° 74.1 ° – 74.5 ° 74.1 ° – 74.5 °
Chainstays [C] 432 mm 432 mm 432 mm 432 mm 432 mm
BB Drop [J] 4 mm 4 mm 4 mm 4 mm 4 mm
Wheelbase [E] 1130 mm 1150 mm 1171 mm 1199 mm 1221 mm
Reach [G] 488 mm 408 mm 425 mm 447 mm 463 mm
Stack [H] 584 mm 584 mm 593 mm 606 mm 620 mm
Wheel Size [F] 27.5″ 27.5″ 27.5″ 27.5″


The VOTEC VE Elite is suffering something of an existential crisis. For a long-travel bike it’s a fairly mean climber with a top spec, but it isn’t able to deliver the goods on the descents. It’s not on the game for those looking to go really big, and it’s more suited to entry-level riders who won’t push it to the level of twitchiness that others might.


– Sick spec
– Climbs well


– Twitchy at high speeds
– Awkward cornering

For more info head to: votec.de!

The test fleet

For an overview of the test fleet head to the main article: SOOOOO F#%$&NG ENDURO: 11 Enduro Bikes under € 4,000 in Review

All bikes in test: Bergamont ENCORE 9.0 | Canyon Strive CF 7.0 Race | Giant Reign 1.5 LTD | Merida ONE-SIXTY 5000 | Propain Tyee CF Free | Radon SWOOP 170 10.0 | Rose UNCLE JIMBO 3 | Specialized Enduro Comp 29 | Trek Remedy 9 Race Shop Limited | YT CAPRA CF PRO

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