With their design team based in Cheltenham, Whyte are dedicated to making bikes that work in wet and muddy British conditions.
The T-129 was already a great bike, but 2015 sees the overdue addition of an XL frame size along with the option of a single-ring specific symmetrical chainstay design, as featured on the Works SCR model.
Frame and equipment: SRAM X1 drivetrain, a RockShox Pike and a new XL frame size
Made from 6061-T6 aluminium, the T-129 has a tapered head tube, dropped top tube and Whyte’s trademark Intergrip integrated seat clamp. This Works SCR model differs from the cheaper T-129 S and T-129 Works in that it’s designed for use with a single chainring, which means Whyte can make the main pivot wider and the chainstays symmetrical, in turn stiffening up the whole bottom bracket area.
With no front mech to fit in, whyte can focus on stiffness: Russell Burton
With no front mech to fit in, Whyte can focus on stiffness
A Horst-style chainstay pivot completes the four-bar linkage suspension design, which drives a top-tube-mounted Fox Float CTD shock, delivering 120mm (4.7in) of rear travel. Cable routing is internal (with rubber grommets to keep water out of the frame), there’s a neat cable guide on the BB shell and bosses for both a Crudcatcher and a single bottle cage.
The Works SCR comes with SRAM’s new X1 drivetrain and Guide RS brakes. Intelligently, the XL size has larger disc rotors.
A 120mm (4.7in) travel RockShox Pike fork mates well with the Fox-controlled rear end, and SRAM’s light but tough ROAM 40 wheels are paired with Maxxis High Roller II and CrossMark tubeless tyres. A RockShox Reverb Stealth post adds to the fun factor. The finishing kit is all Whyte branded, including a tidy 40mm stem and 750mm bar.
Ride and handling: big wheels and controlled suspension lead to a confident ride
The frame feels stout but not heavy – our XL bike came in at 13.49kg. The symmetrical chainstays and wider pivot behind the BB shell are to thank for the robust feel, making the bike more confident-inspiring than other mid-travel 29ers, which often fall into the ‘light and flexy’ category.
This 120mm rig feels more like a big-hitting 160mm bike on the trail. The suspension action is supple, progressive enough to eat big hits and very efficient – we never ran the CTD shock in any setting other than fully open.
With spot-on angles and a wish list kit spec, the t-129 works scr is hard to fault: Russell Burton
With spot-on angles and a wishlist kit spec, the T-129 Works SCR is hard to fault
The big wheels and controlled suspension mean you can push the 120mm of travel beyond what you’d normally expect of a bike with these sorts of numbers. The geometry is bang on too.
The 68-degree head angle is steep enough to keep the big wheels feeling lively, and the short 432mm chainstays and low 532mm bottom bracket help the front end pop up with ease. Couple that with a lengthy top tube, short stem and relatively wide bar, and this is one hell of a trail ripping package.
We love that Whyte have finally offered an XL size too – and it’s perfect on this model.