Whyte are a UK bicycle brand creating some of the most capable and award-winning mountain bikes on the market. One of these is the T-130, a short travel full suspension trail bike with smart, modern geometry.
If you're reading this, there's a good chance you live in the UK and unless you're back door is Fort William, you probably don't 'need' a big rig, but probably do want a bike with bang up-to-date geometry, capable of taking on anything that the UK can through at it but without losing the requirements to climb. That, was my request when Rutland Cycling asked me what I wanted. The answer then materialised as the T-130, in theory the ultimate mix.View the T130 range View all Whyte bikes
What Model Did I Ride?
Luckily in its favour I received the top of the range T-130 C-RS derivative, equipped with a full carbon frame, 650b wheels, 140mm travel up front, 130mm at the rear, running 2.6in Maxxis tyres and the humongous Scram Eagle drive train. Putting equipment to one side, I plumped for a size large, which felt low, long and slack, and together with the fatter tyres, created a solid foundation.
What You Need to Know?
Whyte was one of the first bike brands to embrace the benefits of designing for 1x drivetrains, with its latest incarnation featuring SRAM's huge Eagle GX 12 speed drivetrain, giving you a massive 500% range alongside a strong frame. Its geometry was also redesigned for this latest model around a shorter 37mm offset fork, giving you greater grip and confidence on the steeps. After all, it's the geometry which made the T-130 and its siblings so famed for their high performance. And on that note, this is far from the traditional cramped XC whippet. Instead you've got 467mm worth of reach on a size large. So definitely worth demoing this if you've got a comparably short back vs leg measurement. This is bang up to date geometry right here.
How Did it Ride?
Interesting - for a 130mm carbon trail bike, it's not exactly what you think - or what I thought. Pre swinging a leg over, I was picturing fast rolling, nimble and playful. In reality its character was more akin to a short travel downhill rig. When climbing you could feel the weight, of the not so light bike as well as the higher rolling resistance of the 2.6in wide aggressive Maxxis rubber. To be honest, it felt anything but light and efficient, even with the suspension locked out. To my surprise however, the T-130 C-RS impressed most when the going got tough.
My first proper ride on the T-130 was at the Forest of Dean, racing an Enduro. Here the trails were steep and so muddy you could barely stand. However, the T130 surprised me with the confidence inspiring low centre of gravity, comparably high levels of grip and general sure-footed character - it wants to be ridden hard, forget it's got less than 150mm. This aggressive character was confirmed further after two laps round the rough trails at Coed Y Brenin. Here with the rock lined trails and big drops, I wasn't sure the T-130 could talk the talk. However again, to my surprise, no matter how rough it got, or how large the drops or jumps got, the T-130 not only kept up, but raised its game. Is that all you've got?!
In fact, it handled descents and technical terrain so well, I completely forgave it on the uphill's. Now my T-130 rides have turned into outright downhill blasts! And once you got used to its slightly sluggish behaviour up hill, there was very little to dislike about the bike - It certainly got plenty of attention at every trail head with its bright yellow colour scheme!
The T-130 certainly opened my eyes up to the shocking capability that a short travel trail bike could have, and will certainly make me think twice about getting anything over 130mm again. It's also underlined my appreciation for the big rubber - you can lean this thing over hard, with the added grip levels not only adding to the fun, but catching you if you push that bit too hard. The Whyte geometry also is bang on and clearly demonstrate the know-how of the brand and supports an aggressive riding style.
Read more from Archie:
This year, Archie has been ride the Whyte T130 C RS
Whyte T130 C RS 2019 Carbon Full Suspension Mountain Bike
The new T-130 takes the playful, do-it-all attitude of its award-winning predecessor and massively updates it with more capable suspension, latest generation Whyte OTO geometry and sleeker packaging.
- Frame - Carbon, Uni-directional Multi Monocoque Front Triangle with Internal Cable Routing
- Fork - RockShox Pike RC 27.5", 140mm Travel, 37mm Offset, DebonAir, Charger 2 Damper, Fast Black Coating, Tapered Steerer, 110mm x 15mm Boost, Maxle Ultimate
- Shock - RockShox Deluxe RT, DebonAir, Fast Black Coating, Adjustable Rebound and 2 Position Compression
- Drivetrain - SRAM Descendant 7K Eagle
- Brakes - SRAM Guide RS, 4 Pot, S 160mm Rotor, M/L/XL 180mm Rotor, Internal Routing
Blog: A Gravity Man
Riding a bike started out for me with racing my brother round the patio, to now evolving to regular trips to Wales for all day epics. Mountain biking has been with me for pretty much all my life and so has Rutland Cycling from an early age, fuelling my growing addiction for more bikes and gear.
As the saying goes, all things that go up, must come down, with the down being important. From Downhill to Trail, it's all about those descents. Keep your fingers off the brakes, pop those jumps and rail those berms. Let's not kid about, climbing is a means to an end. So be it the sandy berms of Chicksands to the rocky outcrops of Anton Stiniog, it's time to point the bike downhill and let that adrenaline flow! So, with fatherhood on the horizon I've got just enough time to see the sights, ride the bikes and get as much done as possible. Luckily Rutland Cycling are here to assist again in my final push. It's time to clip in.
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