Whyte 2014 mountain bikes – first look
By Jon Woodhouse | Monday, August 26, 2013 7.30am
The Whyte M-109 C Team uses a carbon fibre front triangle to help save over a kilo compared to the alloy framed M-109 S Russell Burton/Future Publishing
Known for their progressive geometry and innovative design, Whyte Bikes have further developed their 2014 range of mountain bikes, adding in a carbon fibre, 100mm travel 29er based on the M-109 S and an all-new 650b (27.5in) enduro platform called the G-150, while their trail hardtail range moves to mid-sized wheels.
Whyte M-109 C Team marathon bike
For a first attempt at a range of full-suspension 29ers, Whyte hit the nail on the head with last year’s bikes. The 100mm M-109 S marathon machine and 120mm T-129 trail bike proved to be a hit with both riders and reviewers, the latter claiming What Mountain Bike’s Trail Bike of The Year crown.
This year, Whyte have kept the proven long, slack and low geometry of the 2013 M-109 but given the new, top-shelf M-109 C Team a carbon fibre front triangle paired to the four-bar aluminium rear end. The bike will cost £3,999 with a Shimano XT/XTR drivetrain mix, Fox suspension and Whyte’s own-brand carbon fibre wheelset. Claimed weight is 11.2kg (24.7lb) and only medium and large frame sizes will be available.
As ever from Whyte, all pivot bearings feature a lifetime warranty
Alloy framed M-109 models have only had minor frame and spec tweaks for 2014, and will still come in four sizes, from S to XL.
Whyte G-150 650b enduro bike
The venerable Whyte 146 long-travel trail bike has been put out to pasture for 2014. In its place is the enduro focused G-150, which moves to a more traditional Horst-style, four-bar linkage instead of the virtual Quad-Link II. There’s a slight bump in rear wheel travel, so you get 150mm front and rear, but the biggest change is the move to 650b (27.5in) wheels.
Two models will be available – an entry G-150 (£2,499) with SRAM X7/X9 2x10 drivetrain, RockShox Pike RC fork and Monarch RT3 shock, and the top-spec G-150 Works (£3,999) with single ring SRAM X01 11-speed drivetrain paired to a Fox 34 Factory fork and Float X rear shock. Both bikes come equipped with internally routed RockShox Reverb dropper posts as standard.
Whyte G-150 2014
In keeping with Whyte’s geometry philosophy, the bikes use short 425mm (16.3in) chainstays paired to a slack 67-degree head angle and long top tube – 613mm (24.1in) for the medium frame size. The Quad-Link IV system found on the 29er bikes has been tweaked slightly to suit the longer-travel application, with a more linear shock rate that aims to give a plusher feel.
650b trail hardtails
Since Whyte’s inception, trail hardtails have been a feature of the brand’s range. For 2014 they’re moving the 900 series to the 650b wheel size, with an all-new 6061 aluminium frameset. The head angle is a relaxed 66.5 degrees paired with a 130mm travel fork and short stem to encourage high-speed confidence.
The range starts with the 901 (£1,199) and moves up to the range-topping 909 (£2,299). The 909 features a smart spec with a SRAM X01 11-speed drivetrain, Shimano XT brakes, Hope hubs on tubeless ready WTB rims, and a Fox 32 fork. The bike also comes with adjustable dropouts that can be used to fine-tune frame geometry or convert the bike to a singlespeed setup. The others bikes have fixed items.
650b Whyte 909 hardtail
Whyte’s 800 series cross-country hardtails also makes the shift to 650b from 26in for 2014, though the 29er hardtails remain largely unchanged for 2014.
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Kids’ X-401 hardtail with 26in wheels
The only 2014 Whyte bike with 26in wheels is, rather interestingly, their kids’ X-401 hardtail (£899). It’s their first stab at a non-adult bike and they’ve taken a different tack for the 13in, alloy framed machine, shunning the 24in wheels usually found on children’s bikes for this age group.
The frame is as well thought-out as its adult counterparts, with plenty of mud clearance, continuous cable routing, hydraulic disc brakes and a 10-speed single ring SRAM drivetrain with Grip Shift.
For more information on the Whyte 2014 mountain bike range see www.whytebikes.com.
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