The Whyte stuff

Whyte 203 is a 20in kids bike with custom spec for short arms and legs, high quality alloy frame and tyres that don’t weight a ton, all for under £500.

>>> Best kids mountain bikes and how to get your kids riding

Whyte 203 need to know

  • Custom narrow-wide chainring for chain retention, with bashguard for and Sram 8 speed drivetrain delivering 11-34t gearing.
  • Rigid fork with big Schwalbe Smart Sam 2.35in tyre preferred over a 3kg suspension fork that doesn’t move.
  • The Whyte stuff — 600mm wide bar, short stem, modern geometry, internal cable routing, Tektro hydraulic brakes with 160/140mm rotors and short-reach levers.
  • SRP £499

Kids’ bikes are a tough build, and the smaller they get the harder they come. They need to be lightweight, with miniaturised components, modern geometry so they’re fun to ride, and proper rubber to give some suspension. All that usually costs a bomb on an adult bike, but most cash-strapped parents aren’t able or willing to shell out big money. That makes the new 203 all the more impressive. Whyte might only have been in the small bike game for four years, but they’ve taken it to another level.

For starters the 203 looks like a proper bike — the tubing is in proportion to the wheels and the tyres, meaning it just looks ‘right’. If you think it looks familiar last year Whyte introduced their 403 hardtail with 26in wheels — the 203 is essentially a slimmed down version of this. The components are on point too, hydraulic disc brakes with tiny rotors and short reach levers, a narrow-wide chainring and bash guard for security and a raked out fork angle far slacker than the 67° head angle. It even has mini mudguards front and rear for UK conditions.

Whyte isn’t stopping with the 203 and 403 though, there’s a miniaturised full suspension bike coming out this summer based on the original T130 frame, this time with 120mm travel and 26in wheels.

Why the big push on kids bikes then? For starters it’s a growing market, says Andy Jeffries from Whyte. There’s a gap in the market too, Andy reckons: “mountain bikers have reached and age where their kids want bikes, and those parents know what’s important in terms of geometry and spec on the bike.

“That’s why we didn’t put a full suspension fork on the 203,” Andy says, “mountain bikers know it doesn’t work for kids bikes. “Honestly, the forks you can buy are just rubbish, they’re too soft and dive, or too stiff to don’t do anything. But they all weigh about half the weight of the bike again. We wanted to make a light bike, with a good shape and that was more important than having a suspension fork.”