All the attitude of the amazing 901 in a more affordable package
Need to know
- New frame design takes Whyte’s proven hardtail geometry and handling to a lower price point
- Air-sprung 120mm RockShox 30 fork is easy to adjust and service
- Short stem and a wide handlebar boost confidence and control
- The XL size option is actually big enough for taller riders
It’s rare that I hop on a size medium bike and instantly think that it fits. Even at 5ft 11in tall, more often than not, I find myself riding the largest bike in the line. Not so with the new Whyte 801 hardtail.
As a result of the revised geometry and sizing, standover clearance on the 801 is way better than any of the £750 bikes that graced the pages of this year’s Hardtail of the Year test. An added bonus of the sensible seat tube length being that it actually makes upgrading to a dropper post possible.
It’s the slack steering geometry and stubby 45mm stem that really sets the 801 apart from its rivals though.
A combination that puts you in a riding position more akin to a good full-suspension trail bike than one that’s been designed for towpath plodding.
Whyte has also worked on improving the ride quality of the frame by increasing comfort. By switching to a chainstay mount for the rear brake caliper, it has been able to increase the effective length of the seatstays, which in turn makes the back end of the bike more forgiving.
Other aspects of the frame design are quintessentially British. The forward facing Get-A-Grip seat collar helps keep the mud out while simultaneously flying the flag. It’s a neat piece of design too, pressing against the seatpost rather than pinching the frame to secure it in place. Quainter, and somewhat redundant — thanks to more effective fork-mounted mudguards — are the bosses under the down tube for an old Crud Catcher.
All in, the new Whyte 801 is a very polished product, and while it certainly won’t match the direct sales brands on price, after one ride in Wales I’m confident that the Whyte will run rings around the competition out on the trail.