The Whyte T-129 full-suspension mountain bike is one serious bit of kit for incredible value, and this, the S version is so good, it’s been voted Trail Bike of the Year by What Mountain Bike magazine. Here at Rutland Cycling, our mud plugging staffers rate this as the probably the most suited bike for UK trails and manages to combine the magic of 29er speed and path-finding ability with the agility and flightiness of a 26er perfectly.
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The Whyte T-129 S. Trail Bike of the Year 2013[/caption]
This bike is a huge surprise and could easily give the £3000 Orange Gyro
a fair run for its money. The shorter chainstay and 120mm rear travel makes for a lively ride more akin to a 26inch wheeled bike, but the enhanced roll-over ability of the T-129 S combines to make for a brilliantly useful bike for the kind of trails we have here in the UK. At times you feel the front end may be overwhelmed by the 29inch wheel as it powers ahead relentless in its pursuit of something it can’t ride over. The challenge remains open... The Reverb seat post is pure genius and you find yourself using it more often than is probably necessary, but its proves to be a brilliant feature on big trails. All in all, the Whyte T-129 S plays like a little ‘un and floats its front wheel as well as any 26er yet feels able to devastate anything in its path.
FRAME AND FORKS
The light alloy frame is a work of art. Its design is key to the Whyte’s impressive trail wizardry in how the firm have managed to create such a short wheelbase, mimicking the flick-ability of 26inch wheeled bike by designing as short a chainstay as possible (432mm). Combined with the Rock Shox Monarch RT3 rear suspension, offering a generous 120mm of travel, it’s relatively easy to pop that huge front wheel up when needed and feels far more lively than a 29er should.
Rock Shox Reba forks deliver up to 120mm of smooth travel and are fully adjustable for rebound and lockout and feature Floodgate Threshold adjustment to prevent any bottoming out on the big stuff. These forks are also very light for this level of price point and can be internally converted to 80mm using all-travel spacers. As standard they offer a very plush ride with infinite adjustment possibilities but they look dwarfed by the giant 29inch wheel they hold.
The quality of components for this price is more than impressive and the one piece of hardware all riders gravitate towards at first glance is the Rock Shox Reverb seat post. It’s controlled by a bar-mounted pump switch that drops and raises the saddle in an instant, making stomach-in-mouth descents less daunting and is probably the most useful function to appear on a trail bike in years. [caption id="attachment_4645" align="alignnone" width="556"]
Whyte T-129 S with Rockshox Reverb Seatpost[/caption] SRAM’s X9 shifters provide a slick and direct shifting experience, dealt with by a full SRAM groupset, with a 38/24t compact double chainset and 10-speed SRAM cassette. The Avid Elixir 5 brake set-up is as good as you need and the wavey discs – 180mm front, 160mm rear – keep themselves clean in the mud.
Quite simply, this bike is best suited to any UK trail rider, but would particularly suit anyone looking to move up to the big wheels but without losing touch with their 26er roots and style. It’s fast, nimble and a lot of fun, and has been designed here in the UK for the trails we ride here in the UK. As such, and at this price, it could just be the best British trail bike you can buy.
It’s not Trail Bike of the Year
for no good reason. They’re selling fast. Better to regret something you did buy rather than something you didn't buy!
WHYTE T-129 S FRAME GEOMETRY
WHYTE T-129 S – FULL SPECIFICATION
- Colours: Matt Granite and Lime
- Sizes: S, M, L
- Frame: 6061 T6 Alloy Front Triangle with Tapered Head Tube and alloy rear Triangle with Maxle 142 dropouts
- Fork: Rockshox Reba 29", RLT, 120mm Travel, Tapered steerer and 15mm Maxle
- Rear Shock: Rockshox Monarch, RT3, Adjustable Rebound and Compression
- Front Hub: Alloy, Double Sealed Bearing Hub 15mm Through Axle, 32 Hole
- Rear Hub: Alloy, Double Sealed Bearing Hub 12mm X 142mm Through Axle, 32 Hole
- Rims: WTB STi19 29" Rims with TCS System, Tubleless Ready
- Spokes: WTB Double Butted, Black Sandvik Stainless Steel Spokes
- Front Tyre: Maxxis Ardent, 29" X 2.25" 120TPI Folding Bead
- Rear Tyre: Maxxis IKON, 29" X 2.2" 60TPI Folding Bead
- Shifters: SRAM X-9 Matchmaker, 10 Speed, Green
- Front Derailleur: SRAM X-7, High Direct Mount, 10 Speed
- Rear Derailleur: SRAM X-9, Type 2, 10 Speed, Green
- Chainset: SRAM S1400 GXP, 38-24 29er Ratio Compact Double, 10 Speed
- Cassette: SRAM PG-1050 11-36, 10 Speed
- Chain: SRAM PC-1031, 10 Speed
- Bottom Bracket: SRAM GXP
- Front Brake: Avid Elixir 5, 180mm Rotor
- Rear Brake: Avid Elixir 5, 160mm Rotor
- Brake Levers: Avid Elixir 5 Matchmaker
- Saddle: Whyte Custom dual density, triple panel design
- Seat Post: Reverb Match Maker, 30.9 X 355mm
- Handlebars: Whyte Custom 2014 Alloy, 20mm Rise, 710mm Wide
- Grips: Whyte Lock-on
- Stem: Whyte, 31.8mm Bar Clamp, 70mm S, 80mm M & L
- Headset: FSA Orbit ZS, 1.5" Cartridge Sealed Lower Bearing Lower and 1 1.8" Upper Bearing
- Pedals: None
- Weight: Not Specified