Whyte does it again with the exceptional 629 V4 hardtail

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 10

Whyte 629 V4


  • Amazingly composed and stable handling


  • Low-profile rear tyre may not suit all conditions


Whyte 629 V4 review


Price as reviewed:


Whyte’s reputation for producing the best trail and enduro bikes is second to none. This UK brand’s design team doesn’t seem to sit still, constantly refining dimensions, geometry, and specs. And it’s not just the latest e-bikes and long travel rigs getting the attention – Whyte still wants to build the best hardtails as well.

Whyte 629 V4

Whyte 629 V4

With no XC race bikes in its line up now, Whyte’s aluminium trail 29ers are the brand’s only hardtail offering in this wheel size. They sit alongside the much revered and test-winning 900 series bikes, which run 27.5in wheels and 2.8in rubber. And with Whyte making a shift from defining its bikes by model years, the latest evolution of the 629 is marked as V4 (dictating Version 4). There are two bikes using this frame platform – both SRAM and RockShox equipped, where the 629 tested here is the range-topping model.

Whyte 629 V4

L and XL frames get a 170mm stroke dropper (150mm on the size M)

The V4 frame has had some genuinely useful refinements to its sorted predecessor, and fork travel remains the same at 120mm. Seat tubes have been shortened on all three frame sizes (by a whopping 50mm on the XL), allowing for longer stroke droppers while increasing standover clearance. There’s also improved clearance between the stays that allows for tyres up to 2.6in wide.

Whyte 629 V4

Rear stays have clearance for a 2.6in tyre

Sizing and geometry are areas which Whyte spends plenty of time on and the 629 certainly is the outlier for a 120mm travel hardtail. Sure, the 64.5º head angle paired with a short 44mm offset fork crown is now a common sight, but the long 450mm chainstays and 1,285mm wheelbase certainly aren’t. Yes, the size XL is long – in every way – with a 505mm reach matched to a stubby 35mm stem. Factor in the low 300mm bottom bracket height and you really do feel centred and sitting in the bike.

Whyte 629 V4

RockShox 35 fork is smooth and easy to set-up


With only 120mm travel you could misread this hardtail’s intentions, but the 629 is a carefully curated blend of numbers when it comes to suspension and geometry. The RockShox 35 Gold RL fork, with its 35mm stanchions and DebonAir spring means business, especially when it partners up with Whyte’s thinking on frame layout and sizing.

There’s enough travel to soak up medium sized hits and the fork’s stout stature helps the bike stay on track, resisting deflections in tight chewed up turns. Torque Caps on the front hub help boost stiffness too. Would a longer travel fork make it even better? We’re not convinced and may even lose some of the bike’s magic.

Whyte 629 V4

Short stem gives accurate steering, and there’s decent height adjustment on offer with the stock spacer set-up


There’s nothing remarkable about the transmission, it’s tried and tested, albeit heavy, SRAM NX Eagle, with a 12 speed 11-50T cassette and 32T chainring. Whyte has considered ground clearance though and fitted shorter 170mm cranks arms to work with the low BB height.

Whyte 629 V4

SRAM’s 4-piston Guide T brakes proved powerful and reliable

The Whyte is the only bike on test with four-piston brakes (the cheaper 529 has them too), SRAM’s Guide T dishing out plenty of modulation and power. As a result, stopping distances were noticeably shorter than on the other three bikes.

Whyte has not fitted huge rubber to this 29er, opting instead for a 3C compound 2.3in Maxxis High Roller up front paired to a faster rolling 2.35in Forekaster out back – so if you want increased cushioning or pedal clearance, bigger volume tyres are an easy addition.

Whyte 629 V4

The 629 has great balance, even for tallest riders


Take a quick spin round a parking lot and you might not instantly ‘get’ the Whyte 629, especially if you’re coming from a smaller bike. Show it some trails, be they man-made or off piste, and everything makes instant sense, as the Whyte dishing out a truly impressive performance.

Whyte 629 V4

The Whyte 629 V4 has got your back, whatever the trail throws at you

The combination of a low bottom bracket, long reach and lengthy chainstays really do keep you centred on the bike, giving you bucket loads of confidence. So whether you’re weaving through rooty singletrack or crashing down rock gardens, the Whyte always carries speed and remains calm and composed. The 35mm stem and short offset fork are a sweet combination, giving calm yet precise steering control, which just encourages you to ride harder in every situation.


Point the Whyte 629 up a greasy root-riddled climb, down a steep sketchy chute, or into a series of sweeping trail centre berms and it never feels fazed or confused. Slamming the 170mm dropper and using all the space the long reach gives, allowed us steer the bike into terrain we wouldn’t normally take a 120mm hardtail – and with ample braking power we were always in control and at ease. On longer rides, the combination of the compliant ride quality and comfortable grips and saddle meant we didn’t get battered either, even though there’s plenty of scope for larger volume tyres to further smooth things out. The Whyte 629 V4 really impressed us, and in many ways it mirrors its stablemate, the 905, in setting new hardtail standards, this time for 29ers. Ultimately the Whyte 629 V4 is balanced, composed, stable and precise, and whether you’re a relative beginner, or an experienced trail rider, you’ll instantly become addicted to its ways…


Frame:6061-T6 aluminium
Fork:RockShox 35 Gold RL, 120mm travel
Wheels:Sealed bearing 110/148mm hubs, WTB ST i27 TCS 2.0 rims, Maxxis HighRoller II 3C/Forekaster 29x2.3/2.35in tyres
Drivetrain:SRAM X1 Eagle 32T, 170mm chainset, SRAM NX Eagle derailleur and 12sp shifter, SRAM PG-1230, 11-50t cassette
Brakes:SRAM Guide T four-piston, 180/180mm rotors
Components:Whyte 6061 alloy 780mm bar, Whyte 35mm stem, KS RAGEi 170mm post, Whyte Custom saddle
Sizes:M, L, XL
Weight:14.41kg (31.76lb)
Size tested:XL
Rider height:6ft 2in
Head angle:64.5°
Seat angle:72.6°
Effective seat angle:75.7°
BB height:300mm
Front centre:835mm
Down tube:785mm
Seat tube:483mm
Top tube:695mm