Whyte’s trail hardtails have set the bar for XC style responsiveness with enduro style trail swagger for several years now, and the latest 2017 season 901 goes wider with both metal and rubber to amp up the attitude even further.
After being one of the first major manufacturers to fully exploit the advantages of a single ring transmission with their dedicated SCR full suspension frames, Whyte has now gone SCR on the 900 series frame too.
That means a wider Boost 148mm thru-axle back end and chainring spacing so the snaking chainstays can squeeze a 2.5in tyre in but still stay super short. Whyte’s new BBX cable routing is particularly neat and dropper post ready if the spray sealed Big Gripper seat clamp isn’t enough adjustment for you.
It’s certainly a bike that you’ll want to be DH-ready instantly, as the super stretched top tube, low bottom bracket and slack head angle let you attack steep, technical or fast and flowing descents like a Stuka.
29mm WTB rims and 2.4in tyres that come set up tubeless as standard add buoyancy and impact protection under the already subtly supple frame too. The highly evolved frame and single ring transmission means it’s still a very light and responsive bike when you put the power down and with a surprising amount of traction from the fast rolling Riddler tyre it climbs as tenaciously as it descends.
While the broad rims let you drop pressures lower in the supple sidewall tyres without them squirming and losing shape, the Sektor fork soon gets pushed to its limits by the 901’s addictively aggressive ride. That makes the Yari fork (and dropper post) equipped 905 well worth stretching your budget to if you can.