The best bike Whyte has ever made

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 9

Whyte T-130C RS

Pros:

  • Beholding its beauty for the first time: clean lines, curvy tubing and internal routing.
  • Riding the bike with the front end lofted and the handling sorted — it’s a whole lot of fun.

Cons:

  • Crashing into a tree, breaking the front wheel and denting my confidence in the process.
  • First-ride frustration: the low front end initially had me worried I’d picked a duff bike.
  • Trying skinny mud tyres in an attempt to boost winter performance — don’t do this at home, stick with your High Roller IIs.

Product:

Whyte T-130C RS (2016) review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£3,499.00

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Need to know

  • 27.5in carbon-frame trail bike, 130mm travel
  • Boost hubs front and rear
  • Single chainring frame design
  • Out of the box performance: short stem, wide bar, quality Maxxis tyres

After 11 months and a cockpit tweak or two, Whyte’s carbon trail ripper exceeded all expectations.

Buy now: Whyte T-130C RS (2017) from Leisure Lakes Cycles for £3,950 

Internal cabling keeps the look clean and lean

Internal cabling keeps the look clean and lean

What attracted you to the Whyte T130 C RS?

The more affordable, alloy version of this bike scored a perfect 10 in one of our bike tests last year, so I wanted to see if the high-rollin’ carbon version could become our first ever 11 out of 10 bike. A Les Paul, if you will.

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Did you change anything straightaway?

Nothing needed doing — the perfect tyres (set up tubeless, no less), a dropper post, wide bar and short stem meant all I had to do was thread my pedals into the single-ring cranks.

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Was the bike easy to set up?

Basic set-up was pretty easy: I set the sag to 20 per cent front and 25 per cent rear and pedalled off. Later tinkering had me install two Bottomless Tokens in the fork to make it more progressive deeper in the stroke.

I didn’t have enough rebound dialled on to the shock to begin with either, making the bike feel a bit kicky on jumps and steep stuff: my mistake though, and twiddling that little red dial further in slowed it all down and tamed the 130mm back end.

Anyone seen a tree for me to ride into?

Anyone seen a tree for me to ride into?

How did it ride?

We didn’t hit it off right away: the front end of the XL Whyte is too low, so it felt dicey on steep stuff, like I was going to catapult over the bars if the front wheel got hooked up on something. Some trial and error improved my position though — I raised the stem up with headset spacers and fitted a 30mm-rise handlebar.

After that it was a dream bike to ride, perfectly balanced front and rear, hugely capable beyond its 130mm of travel and playful enough to have me push my limits on occasion (I have a scar to prove it).

That’s untrue! JD checks out the damage

That’s untrue! JD checks out the damage

Did anything break or wear out?

I broke the SRAM front wheel crashing into a tree… not the bike’s fault. Then the bearings in the rear hub failed so I changed that wheel too… poorly sealed hubs, it turned out.

I wore through two tyres, mainly thanks to South Downs flint, and a couple of sets of brake pads. Nothing out of the ordinary then.

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If you could change one thing about your longtermer what would it be?

I’d make it a 29er. I know, I know, Whyte has this covered with the T129, but the suspension on the T-130 is better, and so combining the two could be my perfect bike — my love of big wheels still persists even after nearly a year riding 27.5in on the T-130 here.

Buy now: Whyte T-130C RS (2017) from Leisure Lakes Cycles for £3,950 

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Frame is single chainring-specific

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Verdict

It’s a funny thing, but I’ve really gelled with the bike during the last few weeks of riding. I know precisely how it’s going to react, and that reaction is always the right one. I shall miss the old thing. I also think it’s one of the best-value bikes out there and it’s a bonus that you can actually try before you buy, rather than taking a punt online.

Details

Frame:Carbon-fibre front traingle, alloy rear, with Boost 148, 130mm travel
Shock:RockShox Monarch Debonair RT3
Fork:RockShox Pike RC, Boost 110, 130mm travel
Wheels:SRAM Roam 40, Maxxis High Roller TR II 3C / Maxxis Ardent Race TR 27.5 x 2.3in/2.2in tyres
Drivetrain:SRAM X1 32T chainset, shifter and XO r-mech
Brakes:SRAM Guide RS, 180/160mm
Components:RockShox Reverb Stealth 125mm, Whyte saddle, 760mm bar and 50mm stem
Sizes:M, L, XL
Weight:12,9kg (28.6lb)
Contact:whyte.bike
Size tested:XL
Head angle:66.6°
Seat angle:68.4°
BB height:329mm
Chainstay:420mm
Front centre:785mm
Wheelbase:1,205mm
Down tube:731mm
Top tube:651mm
Reach:483mm