Whyte Mountain Bike Range Guide

Words by Harry Archer

on 03/01/2018 15:35:43

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Since Whyte began in 1999, their motto has been �performance by design�. Their core R&D team are based in the Cotswolds, UK, and live, ride, test and design on the same roads and trails that we all ride in the UK, and most importantly, in the same conditions - often worse. Whyte know what it's like to be wet and cold and trying to operate a seat-post quick release with frozen fingers - that's why you'll see that their bikes have bigger levers than anyone else's. It's also why you'll find Crud-Catcher mounts on all of their mountain bikes, after spending too many afternoons picking grit out of their eyes, and it's why they've taken a unique approach to geometry, designed to inspire confidence in all conditions on all different types of terrain.

Whyte started 19 years ago with just one bike, but that one bike was loaded with more radical innovation than the entire ranges of most manufacturers. They created a massive impact - The biggest one was that if you have the best bike designers working with total freedom you can create something amazing. It started a string of perfect review scores that's stronger than ever today with the T-130RS storming to an undisputed Trail bike of the year award in 2016 and the T-130C, T-129 and 900 series bikes also earning perfect scores from the MTB media over the last couple of years. Early indications for this year show no signs of a fall in quality, with Whyte bikes continuing to pick up fantastic reviews from some of the largest cycling institutions in the country.

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Hardtails 29ers Full-suspension Youth

What's in a Whyte?

Geometry

When we talk about a bicycle's geometry, we're talking about the angles and measurements that determine where the rider is positioned between the wheels, and how the bike connects with the ground. It might sound dull, but it's something Whyte get very excited about, and with good reason: more than the components or the frame material, a bike's geometry defines the way it rides. Whyte achieve their unique geometries by combining a relaxed head angle (the angle the front fork comes out of the frame) with a longer than average reach to create a bike that is stable at speed and feels predictable, especially when the terrain gets steeper. To sharpen up the steering response for low-speed precision they spec wide handlebars and short stems. At the back of the bike, they always aim to make the chain-stays as short as physically possible to maximise the bike's agility, making it easier to do everything from popping up kerbs to boosting through the wildest trail obstacles. It's a formula that works in all situations, whatever your ambitions and whatever your level of skill. Simply put, geometry can make or break a bike: with Whyte's unique approach, they've ensured you'll get maximum enjoyment from every ride.

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Frame

Whyte make frames from aluminium and carbon fibre, both of which are versatile, high performance materials that are equally at home in the the world's largest commercial aeroplanes as they are in the manufacture of bicycles. Both materials have their own individual properties, and used correctly can create bikes that have lasting character. Through the combination of engineering know-how, great design and the use of the best grades of carbon fibre and aluminium available, Whyte are able to create everything from the super-stiff structures required for a full-suspension bike, to lively yet comfortable hard-tail frames.

  • Premium 6061 grade aluminium - perhaps the ultimate refinement of this frame material, The aluminium used has been specially developed to allow for hydro-forming (where hot oil is pumped through the tube at pressure to fine-tune its profile) and welding, and their tubes are custom drawn to Whyte's own specifications. That translates into thinner tube butting profiles over the entire length of the tube, and means that for the same strength, stiffness and fatigue characteristics they can engineer a lighter chassis.
  • Carbon Fibre - The performance of any carbon fibre component relies on three things: the quality of the raw material, the integrity of the design, and the precision of the assembly. That's why at Whyte they take complete control of the design process then work closely with some of the world's best carbon manufacturers to bring those designs to life. The closeness of that working relationship allows them to develop their own special combinations of filament grades and resin types to give their carbon frames and components a genuine performance advantage that others can't match, along with reliability you can trust.

Quad 4 suspension/One-By Specific

When Whyte set out to design bikes around the 29er and 650b wheel sizes, they quickly realised they needed a suspension system that was different to anything they'd ever produced before. With their design and development squarely focussed on the unique environment that is UK trail riding, they knew weather-proof reliability - a hereditary feature of the Quad-Link systems - was key, and there would be no compromising on frame geometry. With that in mind, they went back to the drawing board. It didn't take long to realise that with bigger wheels and full-suspension systems, the suspension kinematics, architectural layout of the frame, and the frame's geometry needed to be designed in unison, with each small change having a knock-on effect elsewhere in the chain. Keeping the rear of the bike as compact and stiff as possible with the same dynamic ride of a 26in bike meant minimising the distance between the rear wheel and bottom bracket centres - a difficult task on a bigger wheeled bike but a cornerstone of the Whyte experience. After much head scratching and late night computer modelling, Quad 4 was born.

Whyte's Single Chain Ring (SCR) specific system isn't just about the chain-ring - they've removed the ability to fit a front mech and completely re-engineered the frame - with outstanding results. By deliberately designing these bikes with a single ring system, Whyte have been able to broaden the main pivot, a significant improvement, as it increases stiffness and bearing life and has meant they can use symmetrical chain-stays (SCS), another Whyte innovation that further increases stiffness and better resists the twisting loads that occur under pedalling. On the trail that translates to improved cornering confidence, better suspension performance, greater accuracy and less maintenance.  

Seatpost

The invention of reliable dropper seatposts has changed the way we ride - no longer do we find ourselves clumsily wrestling a quick release with frozen fingers at the top of a descent to drop our saddles out of harm's way, a simple push of a button or lever is all that's required. With their widespread acceptance, it became clear to Whyte that the days of the humble quick release (or even the seatpost collar) were numbered, so they created Intergrip, a proprietary internal seat post clamping system featured on all their Suspension bikes and selected Hardtail and CX frames. Not only does it look neater, but with no split in the tube to allow for clamping, tolerances can be much tighter and water kept out of the frame for longer, no matter how British the conditions.

Getta Grip has been developed from scratch to improve the way a seatpost is held in the frame. Traditional clamps need to bend the frame to grip the seat post and often bind after long periods of use, as the frame can no longer �remember� its original shape. The Patented Getta Grip system takes a whole new approach using a pad that fits through a window in the frame - ideal for UK conditions as there is no open slot to let in mud and water. Because the Getta Grip seat clamp only has to hold the seatpost rather than bend the frame, less force is required to operate it. The clamping force is spread more evenly making it ideal for carbon posts.

2018 Whyte Mountain Bike Ranges

Hardtails

  • 900 series

The Whyte 900 series has already been hailed as the greatest trail hardtail ever and it's no surprise why. Combining the original SCR frame with snake hipped, shock eating, Boost width rear stays and high volume, tubeless 2.65 to 2.8in WTB tyres on super wide 29 to 35mm rims that add a welcome dose of pneumatic suspension whilst increasing traction and reducing fatigue. Custom micro reach, wide bar cockpits give precision power steering authority through colour coded RockShox or Fox forks and the 905 and 909 come preloaded with stealth dropper posts and sweet shifting BBX control routing. In other words, everything you need for High Definition trail domination without the extra weight, faff or winter worries of full suspension.

  • 600 series

The updated MBR 'Hardtail of the Year' 600 series frames feature Whyte's award-winning skill and smile multiplying Trail geometry with ultra-responsive short stem/wide bar steering to master every metre of trail. The patented Getta Grip seat clamp means you're ready for the steepest descent in a second while carefully sculpted frame tubes turn rowdy trail noise into a big grin buzz. Full Shimano transmissions and fast rolling 2.2 WTB Ranger tyres mean you can fly back up for another go or turn a quick explore into an epic adventure.Internal BBX control routing and colour coded components give red carpet looks with back country toughness. The 600 series is essentially everything you'd expect from a Whyte mountain bike at a price you wouldn't expect.

  • 800 series

The new 800 series bikes deliver Whyte's �perfect� UK trail hardtail performance to more riders than ever. The 10 out of 10 scoring, test dominating Trail geometry of our 900 series bikes is matched with 120mm travel forks and Maxxis tyres throughout the range so you're totally in charge however challenging the trails get. New single chain-ring specific frames with shorter and wider-set chain-stays mean dynamic pop and hop handling and terrific tyre clearance. Through-axle forks on the 805 and 806 add even more precision to their instinctive, agile performance. Single ring crank-sets with new Deore transmission delivers sequential shifting simplicity and reliability across the line. The Compact Fit bikes are proportionately perfect for smaller riders, while the unique BBX control management system means sharper, more reliable shifting. The Getta Grip seat clamp and Crud Catcher mounts seal the frame from filth and keep your face clean however dirty your weekend turns out to be.

  • Trail Hardtail 29�

Trail Hardtail 29" - What makes Whyte's 529 and 629 bikes totally different is that they teamed the advantages of 29" wheels with their award winning Trail Geometry to let you take that extra speed and efficiency onto the toughest, most technical trails. New single chain-ring specific frames with shorter and wider-set chain-stays mean dynamic handling and sequential shifting simplicity. 120mm travel through-axle forks, Getta Grip clamps for instant full seat drop, chainstay mounted brakes for a smoother ride and either Shimano or SRAM 1x gearing using our smooth BBX internal routing make these naturally high velocity rides massively versatile too. So whether you're racing, using your skills to hunt thrills or heading far into the hills there's a very big advantage to be gained by thinking big when you think Whyte.

Full-Suspension

  • Gravity Enduro Suspension 170mm

This year Whyte's EWS-ready platform has been totally redefined, with the all-new G-170 offering improved balance and control on even the most challenging of trails. Ultra-surefooted geometry with Enduro DH winning Quad 4 suspension will dominate black runs all day long. The light, responsive, efficient pedalling SCR framesets keep you fast and fresh however far away you're hunting for thrills. Combine this with a sealed InterGrip seat post clamp system, masses of mud room and latest generation lifetime warrantied pivot bearings to shrug off any weather and you've got the most versatile flat out fast, chaos taming, full gas all-rounders' available. Built to allow riders and racers the set-up options to tune the G-170 for both air springs or coil springs (a crucial detail that separates the true EWS race bikes from the rest) the evolved geometry has been refined into a sensitive balance of front end precision and front to rear balance and control, with a low and centred rider centre-of-mass for ultimate confidence on the most technical and challenging terrain.

Following feedback from their own Enduro Race Team, the changes in geometry (stack, reach and chain stay length) have given the EWS bikes a more neutral riding position whilst providing better front/rear weight distribution for enhanced traction, cornering control and balance. The effect is an increase in traction through the front wheel for security in cornering whilst allowing the rider to stay in a more neutral position, bearing less weight through the arms, improving rider agility and reducing fatigue. The latest generation QUAD 4 system is built around a metric shock with all-new low-profile hardware, including Enduro TM main pivot bearings. The G-170 also features the new flush industrial design and critically, room for a full-size bottle!

  • Trail Enduro Suspension 150mm

Developed as a longer travel, super-capable go anywhere hard-core UK trail bike, the all-new S-150 is at home wherever you ride, from local trails to the toughest Enduro World Series stages. Built around a clever 150mm 29er Boost fork produced for Whyte by RockShox with a special offset. This fork is the final piece of a complex geometry design and component spec puzzle which produces improved performance characteristics and steering feel for bigger wheels and importantly enables Whyte to create a platform that works perfectly with both 29er wheels and the exciting new 650b x 2.8� wheels and tyre as well.

First Ride: Whyte S-150 2018
  • Trail Enduro Suspension 130mm

The T-130 redefines the do-anything mountain bike category and has achieved the perfect scores and Trail Bike of the Year awards to prove it. The full-stretch, maximum-control Enduro geometry, and stiff-yet-light carbon mainframe options create a truly intoxicating performance mix.

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Light and efficient enough to hang with the fastest race crowd all day long and punch up climbs like an e-Bike yet Tough and controlled enough to tackle the most brutal black runs. The T-130 is impeccably balanced, perfectly composed and blisteringly fast and this year we've added SRAM's brand new 12 speed Eagle GX transmissions to the award-winning T-130S. The SR, the improved entry model, now features an upgraded Fox Fork. Complete with a full suite of our UK proven trail-tough detailing, the only thing these bikes don't come with is a limit.

Youth

Start them right with a Whyte - get the mini shredder in your life one of Whyte's specifically designed kids' bikes. A specific lightweight tube-set - not just sawn off versions of adult pipes - shrinks climbs and puts a tailwind into every ride. With downsized, maximum confidence Trail geometry and fitted air sprung forks that properly work for lighter pilots so their rides are full of thrills not spills.

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SRAM NX or Shimano single ring transmissions gives simple, instinctive, sequential shifts but still have the gears for every climb and a chain-set sized for shorter legs. There's even stripped down spoke counts on the 26in wheels and the same grippy front, fast rear tyre combinations as our full sized trail bikes, so they're fast and fun, and make every adventure easier.

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Whyte 405 2018 Kids

The 405 is the perfect bike for a youngster before moving up to a 27.5" trail hardtail, with top quality spec at a good value price tag, the 405 has it all.

  • Frame - 6061 Hydro Formed T6 Aluminium Frame
  • Fork - SR Epixon w/100mm Travel, Hydro Lockout & Adjustable Rebound
  • Drivetrain - SRAN NX 1x11 Speed
  • Brakes - Tektro Auriga Hydraulic Disc

Further reading

Find your nearest Rutland Cycling store

You can browse the entire Whyte range online, or you can get your hands on it in your nearest Rutland Cycling store.

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