The best bike Whyte has ever made
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.
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.
Did you change anything straightaway?
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.