Whyte G-170C Works first ride review£5,499.00

All new big-travel rig from the British brand

Whyte’s latest heavy-hitting trail bike offers up a massive 170mm of rear wheel travel and is built to take on the wildest trails or enduro stages imaginable.

Whyte G-170C Works specifications

  • Sizes available: M, L
  • Frame: Carbon-fibre front triangle, aluminium rear end, 170mm (6.7in) travel
  • Fork: RockShox Lyrik RCT3, 170mm travel
  • Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe RT3 DebonAir
  • Drivetrain: SRAM X01 Eagle (1x12)
  • Wheelset: Whyte carbon rims on Hope Pro 4 hubs
  • Tyres: Maxxis High Roller II 3C EXO TR 27.5x2.4in (f) and Maxxis Minion SS EXO TR 27.5x2.3in (r)
  • Brakes: SRAM Guide RSC, 200/180mm rotors
  • Bar: Race Face SIXc, 820mm
  • Stem: Race Face Turbine R, 40mm
  • Seatpost: RockShox Reverb Stealth 150mm dropper
  • Saddle: Whyte
  • Weight: 14.28kg (31.48lb), medium size with pedals
  • Seat tube: 431.8mm
  • Top tube: 602.7mm
  • Chainstay: 430mm
  • Head tube: 120mm
  • Stack: 628.1mm
  • Reach: 458mm
  • Head tube angle: 65-degrees
  • Seat tube angle: 75.5-degrees

Whyte G-170C Works frame and kit

My Medium test bike had a reach of 460mm, which is on par with — or even longer than — many large frames, but actually a touch shorter than that of the Whyte G-160, which it replaces. Because the G-170 has a slacker head angle (65 degrees), increased stack height and longer chainstays (430mm), its wheelbase is marginally longer.

There's enough room in the rear triangle to squeeze in a 3in tyre, should you wish. And while plumping up the rubber will lift the bottom bracket height, it’s not something to worry about, because the G-170 starts off properly slammed at 333mm with the stock 2.3in semi-slick rear tyre. Many will be pleased there’s provision for a water-bottle cage too.

There’s enough mud clearance to fit a massive 3in tyre into the back end
There’s enough mud clearance to fit a massive 3in tyre into the back end

The proven four-bar Horst Link suspension platform has been configured to be more progressive than on the G-160, and, as such, will work with coil as well as air shocks. As standard, though, the G-170 is only available with an air shock.

The Works bike comes with some of my favourite dampers, in the shape of RockShox's Lyrik RCT3 fork and Super Deluxe RT3 piggyback rear shock. While the SRAM Guide RSC brakes are decent enough, their burlier Codes would be my choice of stoppers for a bike of this travel and capability.

Whyte G-170C Works ride impressions

Point the G-170 downhill and there’s nothing holding it back. The generous reach and slammed bottom bracket mean where other bikes fidget and jitter through roughed-up high-speed turns or jagged rock gardens, the Whyte calmly takes everything in its stride and just makes you want to ride even faster.

While it oozes stability, there’s a nimbleness to the G-170's handling that belies the amount of travel on tap and makes it a lot of fun to ride on less steep terrain or more technical jump lines. You’ll want to use the shock’s low-speed compression lever to tame the suspension bob on climbs, though.

The well-centred riding position and low bottom bracket make the Whyte feel accurate and confident in the corners, where only slight shifts of weight are needed to counter any loss in traction as you push the tyres to their limits. That low bottom bracket does take some time to acclimatise to, though. I found myself unexpectedly clipping the cranks on several occasions, showing how important it is to time your pedalling well in rough terrain.

A super-capable bike that's fun to ride
A super-capable bike that's fun to ride

That said, the semi-slick Maxxis rear tyre doesn’t really cut it in typically damp British conditions. Switching to a tyre with a higher volume and more aggressive tread would lift up the bottom bracket a little as well as improve rear wheel traction.

This is a minor niggle, though, and doesn't detract from just how capable and confident the G-170 feels. Even in the ugliest terrain, the well-gauged level of support and progression from the rear end coupled with the nicely proportioned geometry means you just want to push harder and harder.

Whyte G-170C Works early verdict

Super-capable gravity bomber that’s well-balanced and loads of fun to ride.

Rob Weaver

Technical Editor-in-Chief, UK
Rob started riding mountain bikes seriously in 1993 racing cross-country, though he quickly moved to downhill where he competed all over the world. He now spends most of his time riding trail bikes up and down hills. Occasionally he'll jump into an enduro race.
  • Age: 34
  • Height: 172cm / 5'8"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Natural trails where the loam fills my shoes on each and every turn
  • Beer of Choice: Guinness

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