With its new T-140 RS, Whyte has attained trail bike excellence.

Product Overview

Whyte T-140 RS


  • Exceptional overall balance, superb suspension tune, tough and weatherproofed frame


  • Heavy, no XS or S sizes, NX rear cassette and HG freehub


Whyte T-140 RS first ride review


Price as reviewed:


Whyte’s new T-140 RS 29er plugs a very obvious mid-travel, big-wheel hole in the range of the UK brand. And it does so with an outstandingly sorted, ‘favourite from the first ride’ feel that’s up there with the very best full-suspension mountain bikes, especially if you’re really into technical trail riding.

Need to know

  • New, 29in version of Whyte’s popular T-140 trail bike
  • Frame travel is 135mm and all models run 140mm forks, hence the name
  • Whole ride feels absolutely spot on straight away with a tenacious yet flowing trail connection
    At 15.3kg (33.7lb) it at the heavy end for trail riding
  • Three sizes only; so no XS or S sizes in 29in
Whyte T-140 2023

Classic sloping top tube styling from the Whyte drawing board.

Now if you’re wondering where this bike has been, it’s not because Whyte was late to the 29er party. Au contraire. Its original T-129 was a genuine cliché-deserving game changer when it was introduced a decade ago and the S-120 was arguably too early for the ‘down-country’ boom.

Whyte T-140 2023

That dropped top tube and reinforced seat mast give generous standover clearance.

Yes, a faster rolling, bigger wheel version of Whyte’s multi-MBR test winning T-130 and T-140 trail bikes has definitely been missing for a while though. And with the brand largely caught up in corporate cost saving exercises, ahead of a sale that got sorted last year, the project got delayed. Covid wasn’t the best time to develop a new bike either.

Whyte T-140 2023

Whyte was well ahead of the game with its wide-pivot, Single Chain Ring swingarm design.

But it’s finally here and while the alloy front end looks similar to existing Whyte frames it’s totally fresh, the most obvious difference being the sleeker, straight top tube and external seat collar. The back end shares dropouts with the T-160 but again it’s new, the T-140 sporting a bridgeless seat stay design to keep the chainstay length well under 440mm.

The addition of weather sealed cable/hose entry points, super wide main pivot and lifetime warranty on the pivot bearings will also allow you to sleep easy, even when the rain is bouncing off the roof.

Whyte T-140 2023

The welding is neat and unapologetic.

Whyte retains its signature four-bar linkage/ shock-yoked suspension, where the switchable ‘Shape.It’ shock chip knocks 0.7º off the head angle and 8mm off the BB height in the low setting.

Whyte T-140 2023

The Whyte just feels right from the get-go

How it rides

It’s the dynamics of that linkage however, and the tuning of the Fox Performance Elite DPS shock, that Whyte designer (also two time and current National Enduro Series Champion) Sam Shucksmith spent most of his lockdown locking down.

And considering how many brands have refined the classic four-bar linkage suspension layout since it appeared on bikes 30 years ago, and how good most of them feel, the fact that Shucksmith’s work makes the Whyte feel noticeably better is seriously impressive. We could – and did – pull lots of parallels out of comparable bikes from Canyon and Specialized during testing, but the bottom line is that the Whyte just feels more right, more of the time.

Whyte T-140 2023

It pedals efficiently, even with the climb switch in the open position.

It’s slightly more sensitive to grab grip in desperate climb and corner moments. But with a split second more advance when it deliver the power to edge you up, or out of a corner. Mid-stroke support is impeccable too. Firm enough to really flex your feet around the pedals as you carve a berm or pump a roller, but never choking so it blows your feet off or pitches the bike forward.

While it doesn’t actually give a full 140mm of travel (it’s 5mm off) the end stroke is controlled enough to keep the bike on line and holding speed even on big slap and drop trails. The Fox 34 Performance Elite Grip 2 fork consistently enjoyed proving its the best in class, by matching that ‘just right’ performance up front too. That said, I needed more pressure than Fox’s back of leg set up chart suggested, which is to be expected on a bike that wants to pile into punishing sections as hard as the Whyte.

The result is a bike that feels like a personally tuned favourite

Handling and frame dynamics are a key part of a very well synced picture too. The short offset fork and short stem are subconsciously reactive. With a 480mm reach on the size L, plus the optional extra slack head angle and low BB height, control and hunker you down into the suspension that’s already Hoovering the trail for grip. Dialled oil flow, flex/stiffness balance in the subtly ridged main tubes, the smaller diameter 31.8mm bar and stem, and the Fox 34mm, not 36mm, leg fork and the 2.5in Maxxis Minion DHF side knobs all feed into the feel as well.

Incrementally each component is instrumental in providing enough compliance to get those big fat Whyte grips closer to the ground through corners. It’s such a reassuring feeling you leave your fingers off the brakes for that split second, then you realise they’re not needed at all.

Whyte T-140 2023

Maxxis Dissector rear tyre helps keep the pace high.

Even the short, stiff, rear end and tougher EXO+ casing on the sooner to slip Dissector rear tyre play their part. Henching up the back to survive the bigger impacts that a longer travel bike would suck up better, but pushing out of turns or harnessing pedal inputs more positively than most longer travel bikes would.

The result – as I said right at the start – is a bike that feels like a personally tuned favourite even before you start playing with the extra adaption options the Performance Elite spec fork and shock provide.

Whyte T-140 2023

That extra clearance really helps on technical sections.

In fact, apart from an occasional flick of the pedal-platform lever on the Float DPS shock for the smoothest climbs, I’d suggest most riders are best leaving the dials alone. After all, Sam rode a development bike to the top step of the podium of a Southern Enduro series race just to prove to himself he’d already got the bike working as well as an alloy 140mm (ish) travel bike could.

Whyte T-140 2023

Shape.It link gives two geometry settings.

And this is where the whole question of mid-travel bikes, materials and their performance positioning maybe starts working against the T-140. Especially given that the T-140 is a few 100g lighter than Whyte’s T-160, and primarily because of the fork and shock choice.

That’s also a heavy bike even for 160/150mm travel and at 15.3kg, the T-140 is nearly half a kilo heavier than the £500 cheaper Trek Fuel EX 8. It’s over 1kg heavier than the Canyon Spectral CF8 in either 125 or 150mm format which come with full carbon frames for just £400 more too.

Whyte T-140 2023

The Whyte T-140 is a bike that’s always on your side.

And while I can honestly say I prefer the way the Whyte feels under power, up climbs and through corners a full carbon frame will always turn heads, even if it comes in a box for self assembly not from your local dealer. The heavy NX rear cassette and plain gauge spokes are black marks on the spec too, and Whyte still forces smaller riders onto the older 27.5in wheeled T-140 platform as there’s no XS or S for the 29er.

In short, the increased control and capability that make the T-140 29 so special for a mid-travel bike could push many riders towards a longer travel bike ‘just in case’. And in the other direction there are some extremely capable shorter travel bikes that are far lighter and more suited to longer, faster rides, but won’t be dropped dramatically on descents.


When it comes to aggressive, involving all round feel and impeccable balance, Whyte’s new T-140 RS 29er is a brilliant, new benchmark for just how well an alloy, mid-travel bike can ride. You’ll need to look past weight and material comparisons on the shop floor to benefit from the dialled details that matter out on the trail though.


Frame :Custom 6061 alloy, 135mm travel
Shock :Fox Float DPS Performance Elite 210 x 47.5mm
Fork :Fox Float 34 Performance Elite GRIP2, 140mm travel
Wheels :Whyte double sealed 110/148mm hubs, Race Face AR30 rims, Maxxis DHF EXO/Dissector EXO+ 29 x 2.5/2.4in tyres
Drivetrain :SRAM X1 32T 170mm chainset, SRAM GX derailleur and shifter, SRAM NX 10-50t cassette
Brakes :SRAM G2 R, 180/180mm rotors
Components :Whyte alloy 780mm bar. Whyre 35x31.8mm Gravity stem, Bike Yoke Divine 160mm post, Whyte custom saddle
Sizes :M, L, XL
Weight :15.3kg (33.7lb)
Geometry (low):
Size ridden :L
Rider height :180cm
Head angle :64.6º
Seat angle :71º
Effective SA :76º (@ 740mm)
BB height :330mm
Chainstay :435mm
Front centre :814mm
Wheelbase :1,249mm
Down tube :756mm
Seat tube :445mm
Top tube :635mm
Reach :480mm