Whyte G-160 RS - Review

Oct 31, 2016
by David Arthur  


British brand Whyte Bikes has been one of the more progressive mountain bike companies and its latest G-160 is firmly pitched at aggressive trail riding and enduro racing with a geometry that is slacker, longer and lower than anything it has produced before.


The new G-160 here is an evolution of the old G150. Not only does it get more travel, up to 160mm from 150mm, but the geometry is bang up to date, bringing it in line with rival enduro race bikes. Whyte has also revamped the sizing: every bike is 20mm longer, meaning that last year’s large is this year’s medium. This modern thinking is the defining philosophy of the company, and it’s not just saving the good stuff for its enduro bike - even its short travel T130 and hardtails get similar treatment so that all mountain bikers can benefit.

This is a review of the 2016 G-160 RS. It comes equipped with a RockShox Pike RC 160mm fork, Monarch Debonair RT3 shock, SRAM X-1 gears and Guide R brakes, WTB Asym i29 tubeless rims with WTB tyres and a RockShox Reverb dropper post.
Whyte G-160 RS Details:

• Intended use: trail / enduro
• Wheel size: 27.5"
• Head angle: 66°
• Hydroformed 6061 aluminium frame with Single Chain Ring design and tapered head tube
• Drivetrain: SRAM X-1 / Guide R brakes
• Fork: RockShox Pike RC 160mm
• Shock: Monarch Debonair RT3
• Wheels: WTB Asym i29 Rims with WTB Vigilante/Riddler tyres
• Weight: 13.5kg
• MSRP: $3,700 / £2,999
• Contact: WhyteUSA.bike / @whytebikes

Note: The 2017 range has just been announced and there are now three models priced from $3,199 for the G-160 S and rising to $5,999 for the top dog G-160 Works. The frame is the same for the new models, but the component spec has been changed significantly.


Whyte G-160 RS
The new G-160 is firmly aimed at the growing enduro market.
Whyte G-160 RS
The British company has been right at the forefront of progressive geometry design.
Frame Design
The frame looks the business, and while it may not be as sexy as some carbon superbikes, it’s purposeful and, as I’ve found, pretty much indestructible. Whyte constructs the frame from 6061 T6 aluminium - there is no carbon fibre version (unlike the shorter travel T130). The frame is packed with all the details you’d expect on a modern enduro bike; a tapered head tube, ISCG 05 chain guide mounts, internal cable routing and stealth dropper post. There are also some details unique to Whyte, such as the very tidy internal seat clamp with the top of the seat tube covered with a protective rubber seal - you can tell this is a British-designed bike, it’s been equipped to cope with typical sub-optimal British winter conditions.

Whyte G-160 RS

The death of the front mech has been a long time coming, and with the widespread popularity of 1x drivetrains, thanks to SRAM's charge in recent years, Whyte has fully signed up to this future. The frame features Single Chain Ring (SCR) technology, which means it’s optimised for 1x drivetrains with a wider main pivot filling the space freed up by the removal of the front derailleur mount, and symmetrical chainstays which provide enhanced frame stiffness. For further stiffness improvements, Whyte has used a Boost 148x12mm rear end, which also provides an extra 3mm for the chain line and increased mud clearance. The fork is similarly boosted with 110mm spacing. Before you ask, no, the bike won’t accept plus- size tyres.

Other frame details include a conventional threaded bottom bracket, which is a big tick for easy servicing. Whyte is still opting to fit a pair of Crud Catcher bosses to the down tube, but I can't remember the last time I actually saw someone using a downtube mounted mudguard. The low-slung top tube provides plenty of standover clearance and the shock position does provide space for a water bottle cage, though space is limited; I found a side-entry cage worked okay with a small-size water bottle. So you can go full enduro and ditch your hydration pack with the G-160. Whyte has routed the rear gear cable and brake hose inside the frame and it has done a particularly neat job of it. The cables enter the side of the downtube with a rubber bung sealing the entry and exit ports to prevent the ingress of dirt and water.
Geometry
Whyte G-160 RS

Suspension Design
The Quad-4 suspension layout is a four-bar configuration with the main pivot located just behind the bottom bracket. The shock is mounted below the top tube and is pushed via a short rocker linkage, actuated by a pair of short links attached to the rear triangle. The bearing caps can be loaded up with grease to keep them running smooth through the grit and rain of a British winter. The bearings are also covered by a lifetime warranty, adding some nice peace of mind. This bike is fitted with a RockShox dampers, a Pike RC 160mm fork and Monarch Debonair RT3 shock.

Whyte G-160 RS
Designed to survive a bad winter, the seat clamp bolt is sealed from the elements.
Whyte G-160 RS
No fitting a front mech here, the G-160 is designed specifically around a 1x11 drivetrain.



Five Minutes With the Designer


Pinkbike sat down with Whyte Bikes designer Ian Alexander to find out a bit more about the new G-160.

The G160 has changed a lot over the last model, is this direct feedback from the enduro racing scene?

I think it’s probably fair to say that there is a flood of feedback and input coming from Enduro racing coupled with the latest tracks that the race events are using. So what we are beginning to see of bikes aimed at Enduro, is a much more specific design brief to create out-and-out Enduro race bikes and moving away from a general purpose, long-travel trail bike. Despite some brands still launching those sort of bikes. I can’t help feel the long-travel trail bike has sort of been made redundant, particularly as short-travel trail bikes are proving to be better. We made a pretty early decision with the G-160 to move in a more Enduro-specific design direction, not least because backing it up we also had the Whyte T-130 in our line-up, which we were also re-developing for 2016. So with the T-130 set-up to be able to take the role of that general purpose trail bike, a 130mm bike with the geometry of our old 150mm bike, we could let the brakes off the longer-travel bike and really push the geometry and spec.

What did the use of Boost axles allow you to do to the design of the bike that you couldn’t with regular axles?

A stiffer wheel is predominantly the gain with it, but also moving the chain-line to 52mm pushes the chain-ring outboard by 3mm and gives us more room to push the chain-stays over a little further and gain more rear tyre clearance. From the perspective of a UK brand, more tyre clearance is always good. We like to future-proof where we can, and so Boost is where it will be going, especially as tyres (standard size as well as PLUS size) will only go wider from this point as well. The 3mm wider chain line also benefits our SCR system design, because without the front mech we can also push the main BB pivot even wider. 3mm may not sound much, but it’s incremental improvements and it is a knock-on consequence of adopting Boost.

Could you fit 29er wheels or 27.5 Plus wheels?

Not in the G-160, no. Up until now I’ve never been a great believer in trying to make one frameset fit multiple set-ups. We’ve never done it since we came to the conclusion that you just end up compromising the bike so that it’s not actually any good in either set-up you’ve got it designed for. Geometry adjusts are a good example. We designed two systems in the past, one to adjust travel, and one to adjust geometry… they always ended up in slack settings and beyond that never got used once the rider had the bike set-up nicely. The marketing department absolutely loves geometry adjusts though and would have them on our bike tomorrow. Having said all that, clearly the 29”/27.5PLUS wheels size thing is going to be more interesting because a lot of people are trying to do it with one frame, but I think the compromises and consequences could possibly be too many and too far reaching for an all-out Enduro race bike, which is what we’re talking about here.

Whyte has been one of the few brands to really embrace the super-long geo. Has this decision been based on customer feedback?

In a word, no. Sometimes you just have to go with your own research and development and believe in it. That’s to say we’re all following in Mondraker’s tyre tracks on the length concept initially, but in terms of the overall design package we followed our own direction with the G-160. The same goes for our SCR 1x specific frame… a pragmatist would probably want the enormous safety net of being able to revert to a 2x set-up and pretty much everyone in the industry has done that, especially those brands who have to service numerous international markets. But where are the gains in doing something like that? Same thing for really exploring the possibilities in geometry. Whyte is a UK-focused brand, and we decided to get it done and exploit the design opportunities to the full, and so far it seems to have worked well. It also helped to have a very early heads up on the future direction of the drivetrain suppliers, so expect it to keep making more and more sense.


And how much longer could you go? Where is the limit?

Well, I don’t know is the honest answer. Quite a lot depends on the tracks and the courses that are going to evolve in Enduro racing. It’s no coincidence that we’re not far off DH bike geometry for the main reason the tracks that the top class Enduro courses are being ridden on are not far off DH tracks… Put it this way, I saw on a forum someone had asked (perhaps fatuously) why not just be done with it and do a 4metre wheelbase…? The answer to which is of course if there were no corners, we probably would be on 4m wheelbases. Look at dragsters… they don’t need to go around corners and guess what, their wheelbases are probably about 4m. The point being, that the shape of the bike and its inherent geometry is one of those forms follows function equations. Like any bicycle, road, gravel, mtb or trekking, its design is always a result of where the bike is going to be taken to and who it’s going to be ridden by.




Climbing

What really appeals is that the G-160 is ready to ride or race out of the box. The RockShox suspension is easy to dial in to suit your riding style and preference and the finishing kit is spot on, with a 40mm stem and 780mm handlebar a really good combination for this bike. Apart from the tyre choice, which will depend on your local terrain and conditions, there is nothing that needs changing on the bike. The WTB wheels and tyres are easy to make tubeless, the saddle is a comfortable shape and even the Whyte branded grips have a good feel, and durability through this long-term test has been excellent.

Sling a leg over and it's immediately apparent the G-160 is a long bike. The wheelbase is 1,211mm on the size medium (1,231mm on the large) which is longer than the Canyon Strive Race and YT Capra. That gifts the G-160 a crazy amount of stability and on most climbs the wheels simply glide over the rocks and roots, doing a good job of smoothing the trail. The G-160 comes in three sizes, with the medium having a reach of 479mm which provides a really roomy cockpit, while the 74.5-degree seat angle ensured I was never overstretched during climbs.

Whyte G-160 RS

Where the length and slack head angle do inhibit progress (to a certain extent), is on very steep technical climbs, especially if you throw in lots of tight switchbacks. There’s so much bike in front of you that it sometimes becomes a bit unwieldy and you have to work a bit harder to keep the front wheel in check. Where the G-160 is more at home is on smoother- gradient fire roads: shuttling back to the top of the bike park between downhill runs is where the G-160 is in its element. It doesn’t like to be hurried, the geometry and weight prevent rapid cross-country progress. But climbing fast isn’t what this bike was designed for.

The rear suspension provides an impressive level of grip, though, and the rear tyre finds traction okay in the dry and moist conditions; throw a load of mud into the mix and it can struggle - I swapped to a HighRoller II, which improved traction and braking grip when trail conditions were slippery. The rear suspension has a linear stroke, but there's good support in the mid stroke from the RockShox damper, and you can flick the switch to firm it up for longer climbs. One change I would make is to swap the 32t chainring for a 28t, because even with the 11-42 cassette, I found I was over geared on some climbs and the weight of the bike is something you notice the longer the climb drags on.

Where the G-160 doesn’t shine as well is on mild traversing and rolling trails. It’s a lot of bike for all those linking stages and while it’s manoeuvrable at speed, at a lower pace it feels a bit lazy and uninterested. To be fair, the fast-rolling rear tyre helps inject a bit of speed at such moments, and the suspension is very well controlled, which helps you get out of the saddle and put in some power. It’s not really a bike for the trail rider that likes to rinse every single kilometre of the trail up and down, rather it is best to ride G-160 in the ‘winch up, pin it down’ style.

bigquotes The changes to the new G-160 result in a bike that is an absolute rocket ship on fast, steep and challenging trails. And it's coming down the hill or mountain that the bike really comes to life. It's a monster.

Whyte G-160 RS

Descending

The changes to the new G-160 result in a bike that is an absolute rocket ship on fast, steep and challenging trails. And it’s coming down the hill or mountain that the bike really comes to life. It’s a monster. It's so much fun. It may be an adequate climber, but it’s electric on the descents. The steeper the gradient, the happier the bike, with the long wheelbase and slack head angle really working to your benefit to help you extract as much speed and pace out of the trail as you dare. The sizing is spot-on for me. Maybe if I was living in the Alps the extra length of the size large might be welcome, but for local trails, the medium was perfect. I blitzed PBs on my local descents, trails I know like the back of my hand.

Where the geometry and suspension really come together to form a formidable package is racing trails blind. I took the Whyte out to France to take part in a 3-day enduro where it proved to be right at home, when riding unfamiliar trails of varying difficulty, the G-160 just gives you so much confidence that even if you do go into a section way too hot, you’ve got the stability and balance to get yourself out without any scrapes. It gathers pace rapidly and you can find yourself hooning along at insane speeds. I'd definitely upgrade the front 180mm rotor to a 200mm to provide more stopping power if riding regularly in the mountains.

The Whyte is a well-proportioned bike with a shape that just feels right. While at low speed it’s a bit of a truck, at high speed it’s impressively maneuverable and the 66-degree head angle, short stem and wide bars put you in a very commanding position to wrestle it down the hill and through the turns with all the rapidity you can wish for. The suspension tune is pretty good out of the box, but the Monarch and Pike are easy to adjust for rider style and weight, with a couple of tokens improving the front-end setup. There’s not a downhill trail that the G-160 doesn’t revel in. Rocky chutes, flat-out, fast and smooth tracks, berms, tricky rooty singletrack through the trees, jumps, steep drops. It laps it all up. It’s not quite as agile and nimble through slower speed trails as some other enduro bikes, but get it onto any steep and let go of the brakes, and it just rips down the trail.

Whyte G-160 RS

I long-term tested the bike over the summer, using it everywhere from my local singletrack to trips to the bike park and competing in a 3-day enduro in the French Alps. Through it all, the G-160 shone. It never put a foot wrong, and the solidly-built kit provided stunning dependability. It’s a lot of bike and for some people and trails it’ll probably be too much bike, but if you’ve got the right terrain and attitude, the G-160 delivers a phenomenal performance.

Whyte G-160 RS
Whyte G-160 RS

Component Check

• SRAM X1: Reliable and solid shifting performance even in the grittiest conditions, and the direct-mount chainring kept the chain on track even with the lack of a chain guide in the French Alps enduro race. Matchmaker clamps keep the handlebars clutter free

• SRAM Guide R brakes: The brakes served up tonnes of well-modulated power, but I’d like to see a 200mm disc rotor up front to deal with the high speeds the G-160 is very capable of.

• RockShox Reverb dropper post: No complaints with the performance of the dropper post, but given the low top tube and short seat tube, I’d like to see a longer drop post than the 125mm this one offers

• RockShox Pike and Monarch Plus: These dampers are a really good match for the bike. The rear shock tune suits the characteristics of the Quad-4 suspension setup, with a smooth and progressive tune that provides good small bump sensitivity, plenty of support in the mid stroke and ample big-impact capability. A couple of tokens improved the Pike's performance.

• WTB tyres The Vigilante is an aggressively-treaded tyre that works well in a range of conditions from dry to loose and even copes with mud pretty well. The Riddler is a fast-rolling tyre in the dry and copes in loose rocky conditions, but it’s not really at home in the mud.

Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesThe Whyte G-160 is a formidable enduro bike, offering exceptional value for money. - David Arthur


Visit the feature gallery for high resolution and additional images


Thanks to 417 Project for letting us use its awesome trails to test and photograph the bike.



About the Reviewer David Arthur is a freelance mountain biker writer based in the UK. Stats: Age: 34 • Height: 5'11:” • Weight: 154lb • Industry affiliations / sponsors: None






118 Comments

  • + 50
 For average riders, I have ridden them a few times, I would say the bike is hard work at times and something you really have to get after to get the best out of.
And constantly chasing a bike to get the best out of it is tiring.
Still an exceptional bike though but I would say if you were after an every day trail bike that you could do a few enduros on then the T-130 is probably a better fit for that role.
If you want to do more than a few enduros and your usual riding is cruising and pushing up hills whilst bombing down the hills at 100% everytime then this is an amazing bike.
I just feel people need to be more honest with themselves when buying bikes like this as they will have more fun and get more use out of something more appropriate a lot of the time
  • + 27
 Exactly this. How many of us need pro-level geometry on our bikes? Are we really riding dh tracks all day? Too much bike is not fun.
  • + 1
 I am really interested in the new generation of longer and slacker bikes and most probably my next bike will be of a similar type but I still have my concerns about how they will handle on anything else rather than a straight line or well designed berms. I have tried the Mondraker Dune XR of a friend and I wasn't that impressed overall at least to the degree I was expecting to be based on the reviews and the geometry numbers. Unfortunately it was a short test but in felt really difficult to maneuver in tight technical trails. Actually it was much more difficult than my Enduro 29 which is not the most agile bike around. Anyway the G-160 looks fantastic and I would really like to try it and judge for myself. I just hope that they will introduce a 29er version in the future as well. I know 29ers are gay etc but a 29er G-160 would be the dream bike for me!
  • + 4
 @gpgalanis: I think, with the longer bikes you need to spend a decent amount of time with them to really know if they work for you. Personally I love it on my Whyte 901 and I rode a Summum yesterday and it felt amazing when attacking a DH Trail.
I am quite lucky, I think, in that I can ride most bikes and get comfortable quickly. I find the transition between 27.5 and 29ers instantly and do not seem to feel the wheel size difference in any negative way. But I really like to throw my weight around on a bike so I suppose it negates some of the so called short failings.
Overall though you need to adapt to a bike to get the best out of it. It took me a while to get my head around the 901 when I first got it but now we get on well. And I like to hit up every demo day I can so am constantly trying out new things in a variety of situations. I have to admit I have a soft spot for the Canondale Beat of the East but don't tell anyone
  • + 5
 Its totally terrain dependent. This type of bike will be a handlful if your trails are slow and tight. But in areas where you can open it up with sweeping turns then sustained descents, then this geo would work well. Trail builders (myself included) are adapting to these longer slacker bikes by making our trails not so tight. Many trails that were designed by xc riders or at a time when super tight switchbacks were the norm, probably won't jive well with a longer bike.

Put me in the camp of 'I want this bike' hahaha
  • + 9
 @WayneParsons: Like I say I have ridden the bike and I did enjoy it. Hugely capable but I didn't feel like I could ride it at its best. We do some burly descents up in the peaks that would warrant a DH rig if it wasn't for the 300m of climbing to get you to it but given the choice I would probably still opt for the T130 with a bigger fork.
I imagine a lot of people will get the 160 to work well for them and their riding but I found it very much more a racer than an every day ride and that is what it is designed for.
I spoke more for the rider like me, that wants something you know can be raced at top level, just in case you need it, when in truth it is going to make life much harder for me for most of my riding.
I think, what I am saying, in a long winded, drunken drawn out way is it's horses for courses
  • + 2
 @tufty: totally man, good point. The 130 looks amazing!
  • + 1
 @gpgalanis: So how is moving to 29" wheels going to help with those tight trails on this bike? Like the designer poignantly mentions, it's really about finding a bike that works with your riding style & terrain...
  • + 1
 @railin: Good point. I don't think that it will help. I just like 29ers more. Smile
  • + 4
 @railin: pointedly maybe, but poignantly? i don't think he was too depressed or broken up about the whole thing...
  • + 1
 @jamesbrant: HA! That's right. Not sure where I pulled that out of...
  • + 2
 @nozes: Agreed and that's why 130mm is my sweet spot on the fuel ex 29..Its as close I can get to best of both worlds for my type of riding
  • + 1
 A 46.5" wheelbase on a small frame! WOW!!!
  • + 2
 @nozes: Sorry for the late response. I think what we will find is in the next couple of years we will get bikes standardising on a longer slacker geometry based on people flying down hills and railing the berms until a manufacturer will bring out something shorter and steeper.

This new bike will win trail bike of the year and win accolades for being more useable more of the time. It won't climb like an XC bike and descend like a DH bike it will ride like a trail bike. And that bike will make more sense to more riders.

I have to say though personally I like long and slack bikes as it suits my riding style but I understand that what works for me will be far from perfect for everyone else
  • + 1
 @tufty: The future is now! As you predicted... Whyte's T130 has gotten Trail Bike of the year from 3 different magazines.
  • + 2
 T-130 certainly seems like the sweet spot - there are loads rolling about the midlands, you can barely move for them at Cannock and Sherwood.

When I'm riding with a mate who's happily blitzing the same trails on his 100mm 26" steel single speed hardtail though, you do have to wonder whether even 130mm full-sus leaves a lot of people riding more bike than they actually need.
  • + 27
 I really like what this company is doing. My impression is the following: A niche company that gets by through producing bikes that are so weirdly utilitarian, and 2-way capable that they've somehow seem to stand out by doing exactly what a mountain bike should be expected to do. There's no weird links sticking out, experimental geometries, or overly ridiculous price tags to drive a customer away. Just a high end bike that costs a fair amount of money but is worth it. Its one of the only brands of bike I'd want actually buy new. There's no fan-boy image or bullshit marketing. They haven't made a name by being innovative, unless innovation is making something that seems well-grounded.
  • + 4
 No weird links!?! Check out the old T-120. I loved that bike and it sure stood out in a crowd!
  • + 6
 Experimental geometries: I think a reach of 495mm for a size large (even if it would be XXL) is a first one ever? Nice looking bike though, and great for tall people like me (although would probably consider the medium while I am 6'5")!
  • + 2
 Check out the PRST-1! That bike was weird as hell! I agree though, they currently make functional, well-made bikes. I worked on one the other day and it was a surprisingly nice bike to work on. They're not exactly doing much to push the envelope though, and certainly aren't particularly 'progressive' when it comes to geometry. I'm not sure why the reviewer is banging that drum so hard...
  • + 1
 Gotta say I agree! I'm on the T-130 & it's a riot for just about all the riding I do around here. It's def long, so I ended up on a medium, and couldn't be happier. And yes, it really helped that I could afford it new, as there aren't many Whytes in this neck o the woods (yet...).
  • + 2
 @MTB-Colada: my mojo/Nicolai geometron has a reach of 505 on the middle frame size and at 6 foot it fits me so well! I think having ridden it for the past 15 months I would struggle to adapt back to a more standard size
  • + 24
 Same sh%$t goes on and on. People. If you want to ride the same geo that profs are then you are wrong. Most of you are just weekend riders (or not even that). Bicycle - even the one meant for enduro - should be first and foremost FUN. Mondraker is winning some races and will be. That doesn't mean that this is a bike for you. Just like driving F1 car on daily basis. I know that this is something harder to grasp because bicycles are not so different from one another but believe me, shorter, more playful machine is exactly it - more playful, joyful, fun. And most def you will be able to shred on it. 445-455mm reach for a large frame is really optimal. Tested tens of different frames throughout the years. And no. I don't mean going shorter or longer is bad, but advertising that going longer is the best possible direction is just false.
  • - 2
 Oh please master, show us what bike we need. Share more knowledge about bike geo with us weekend riders with simple minds.
  • - 6
flag justwan-naride (Oct 31, 2016 at 9:55) (Below Threshold)
 Often tech and designs created for racing trickle down to everyday products. Mere mortals get to enjoy the fruits of rigorous racing r&d and benefit from that. A stable wheelbase is such a feature.
  • - 8
flag mecabeat (Oct 31, 2016 at 10:08) (Below Threshold)
 I think a better way to put it is that if you don't know by looking at the numbers what a bike is going to ride like, you should probably demo before buying. I look at the geometry of this bike and think, "Holy shit, this thing is a freakin trophy truck!" The small is longer than most current medium bikes. If I could afford to have two nice bikes, or if I was serious about racing, I would get one. The amount of local trails I fantasize about riding this on is too low for this to be my one bike. Most of the riding near me is slow up and down technical forest with tight turns. It's still tempting, though when I think about it on those few trails that I've always wanted to push a dh bike up to.
  • - 3
 I couldn't disagree more. Geometry has little to do if you are a pro or weekend rider. In my opinion it has instead EVERYTHING to do with your body composition (short/long legs vs short/long torso) and riding style. I would call my self a weekend rider and the long and slack (so called pro geometry) just feels great and I would never get back to short reach, under 470mm. For me the bike feels more agile that way. Before I couldn't find any balance on the bike, either to far front or to much on the back which made it hard cornering. With the longer reach it just feels right and I can take turns harder.
  • - 6
flag g-42 (Oct 31, 2016 at 13:15) (Below Threshold)
 @Raffe: Amen. Got a bit of a simian build, with long torso, long arms (even for the long torso), and relatively short legs. Rode a lot of bikes before settling on my current one (Process 111). For people with long legs, longer chainstays make more sense. In the end, any bike that allows you to intuitively balance fore/aft will be a boon to riders of all levels.
  • + 8
 Jeeez, you'd think everyone at weekends was riding santa cruz bikes thinking they're in a 50:1 video being awsum and shredding the gnar.
  • + 6
 How was it? "you people hear but you wouldn't listen". @Raffe. I am really glad that people with turtlesque posture are now able to find a good fit when it comes for frame geo. Good for ya!
  • + 15
 @passwordpinkbike: Said the MTB master race lord owning some queer hardtail. Come on people. Don't discuss BMWs when you own a MINI Wink .
  • + 1
 @goroncy: BMW own Mini. so technically a Mini is a BMW
  • + 16
 So all in all when is all is done and dusted you'd rate this bike as 'alwhyte'?
  • + 24
 Ahh Dad stop it
  • + 9
 no pressfit!!! I'm already interested.
  • - 4
flag DJ-24 (Oct 31, 2016 at 5:14) (Below Threshold)
 At 6'3" there is no way I'm riding an 18in. seat tube
  • + 3
 @DJ-24: If you want to use a 170-180mm dropper post, as most people your height seem to be asking for, then you will need the shorter seat tube to allow that amount of drop.
  • + 1
 @DJ-24: I used to say the same thing but I demo'd a few bikes with short seat tubes but with a 175mm dropper post and it felt awesome to get that saddle completely down and out of the way.
  • + 1
 @DJ-24: I had the large and I'm 6'4". Had to add about 20mm to the stem and get a riser bar. Otherwise, the bike fit me perfectly. Long, low and out of the way.
  • + 4
 It would be interesting to know how they calculate the reach measurement for this model as it isn't shown in the diagram. The only reason I want to know is that i've measured over 25 different bikes and compared them to the actual reach measurements given on various companies website and your be surprised how far out quite a few of them are. Always come out much shorter. Be cool to see actual pics of the reach being measured and see if it matches the claimed geo.
  • + 4
 Nice review. I haven't ridden a G-160 but I bought a T-129 in July and I'm absolutely loving it! Not sure why more people aren't mentioning it. It's ridiculous what that 120mm 29er can take. I would feel completely comfortable racing it on gnarly enduro trails and it's also really fast on flowy XC stuff. After owning a Santa Cruz Bronson, i realized there's no need for 150-170mm of travel, like, ever. Unless you're a pro who's actually gonna use all that travel. IMO, short-mid travel 29er is the way to go right now. BTW, this company is awesome. Super good to work with and really helpful. Definitely reccomend buying new from them.
  • + 4
 a lot of riders have taken this approach for dh bikes, except they are using the 150-170mm bikes in bike arks and on dh trails. They realize most of the stuff they are riding, although lift accessed, doesn't necessitate a full on dh bike. So they own a 110-130 bike and a 150-170 bike instead of an xc, enduro and dh rig
  • + 5
 I like Whyte bikes a lot, they seem to be about making a solid quality bike above all else, and they still manage to look sweet
  • + 3
 The fact that even pinkbike says that this bike is hard to climb concerns me a little bit. Switching a front chainring to a 28 doesn't sound ideal. At that point it seems like there are way more progressive bikes that would climb just as well, right?
  • + 1
 no there is not. When you make a bike super long and slack it just doesn't feel right when it is pointed uphill or even sometimes on pedally flats. its all a trade off. You could always give bionicon or something like that a try
  • + 2
 This review is spot on...I've had a Whyte G-160 works for a year now, and had it out in mixed trail and enduro riding in California, Utah, and Oregon. Just a few weeks ago I got it a T130 for a stable mate. If I'm getting a ride to the top, the G160 wins no question. The geometry is so ridiculously good for the DH, I have never felt anything like it in my 25 years of riding mountain bikes. It absolutely MOWS down hits, steeps, and obstacles. It's so well-composed and sure footed at 30mph you simply will not believe it. Of course, the trade off is its a little bit numb at low speed, tight winding trails, where the T130 is jack-rabbit nimble. If you like to charge the DH, and spend even a few days a year riding a lift or a shuttle, you cant go wrong. If you pedal everything you ride, or there's no big terrain around you, the T130 will be a more rewarding all around ride.
  • + 2
 I had a G-160 RS. The exact model reviewed. Just an amazing bike! The review is spot on, although I don't think it gives the bike enough credit for climbing. It's a superb climber considering its purpose. It's also so smooth.

I had to sell it to fund a T-130 CRS purchase. I do a lot of endurance rides and needed something I could pedal for 50-80 miles every week. The T-130 is that "single quiver" bike. Maybe not the best at any one thing, but good-to-great at everything.

Maybe one day I'll try a T-129. I've heard they just fly.
  • + 2
 I have the T129 RS. It's manoeuvrable, hugely capable and f-ing fast! Done a number of Enduro races on it too, last one being Oct 2016 2w giant enduro at Rotorua NZ. Awesome bike for the race. Cannot rate it any higher.
  • + 3
 @atvt: oops, I accidentally gave negative props. I also have a T-129 and agree with what you said. Fast, maneuverable and super capable! Sorry I misclicked the props and it won't let me switch.
  • + 4
 I have a T-129 (see my photos) and all I can say is it verges on plain rude just how well you can eat up the miles over the course of an all-day ride on it!!!!
  • + 2
 I ride this bike everyday, im actually new to mountain biking but have a background in motocross, ive rode a newer Felt and a GT mountain bikes but went with this bike, and it is just bad ass, i struggled a little going up the steep hills by my house but changed to a 30t and got in a little better shape. Plus the guys that work there at the US warehouse are super cool and helpful. At first the bike did feel like it was a little to much for the local trails, but now i just go down fast as shit because no one likes when your friends are faster then you. If your older or dont want to push it on the down hill might not be the right bike id get the 130. But so far i really love this bike. Most of my friends like it better then theirs too.
  • + 1
 Let's just think for a second how many bikes Matt wragg has ridden and the fact that he personal bested his some of his local trails on this bike. I think it is somewhat good proof that reaches on enduro race bikes (not trail bikes) are too short considering how long the t160 reach numbers are.
  • + 5
 Wow that's a lot of reach!
  • + 2
 anyone else find it an oddly timed review?? The UK distributors haven't had stock of this bike since March and there is now a replacement 2017 model with eagle on it... if you can track a shop down that still has one
  • + 1
 Always liked the sound of Whyte bikes but never bought one. I ditched my Orange Alpine 160 as I felt it was too long and cumbersome for general trail riding and never managed to get the rear setup perfectly for DH/uplifts; it always just felt rather numb.

That said I do fancy having another go at the whole 'proper Enduro' bike thing and something that will still feel good doing trail centre stuff but able to mix in some uplift days.
  • + 1
 I got a G-160 works 2017 model 3 weeks ago, and I've got PB's on every single trail I've ridden it on in that time. And these are trails that I've been riding for about a decade on many many different bikes. This thing freakin' rips!!!

Interesting to read about the tweeks @mattwragg would make, as most of them are included in the list of spec changes on the 2017 model - Eagle gears for better climb versus top speed ratio, better brakes with bigger rotors, Lyrik rct3 fork and Monarch Plus rc3 shock, and lighter carbon wheels to make climbing more tolerable. Currently running at 29lbs on mine which for a bike of this travel and ability is pretty damn light in my book!!! Anyone who thinks this isn't a bike for every situation and every trail needs to try one for themselves. This is my third Whyte bike and they just keep getting it right time and time again, and it's good to see them getting such positive reviews over the pond as they've almost been the UKs dirty little secret for too long!!!!
  • + 3
 Errr, I didn't review this bike.
  • + 1
 @mattwragg: Sorry, my bad, I was reading your comment while typing mine!!!! Apologies about that
  • + 1
 What changes have you made to yours to get it dowm to 29lbs? Got mine coming tomorrow Smile
  • + 1
 @walterwhyte: Ti bolts, tubeless, just the usual little tricks. Not at 29lbs at the mo as I've got a set of WTB Convicts on there which are pretty weighty!!
Enjoy your first ride, I have a feeling you're gonna like it
  • + 1
 Best bike I've owned, the long wheelbase gives you so much confidence, however getting it to turn took a bit of adjustment, you have to load the front end up more to lighten up the rear end and get it to pivot around the corners. I had to take about 4 volume spacers out of the shock and put two tokens in the forks. I ride steep rocky terrain (The Lakes) so this bike is perfect for me, but agree with others that it is over biked at trail centres and Yorkshire Dales, but take it up to the Golfie Trails at Inners and its a perfect DH lunatic! Love it Smile
  • + 3
 What country has worse weather? Great Britain, or the Pacific Northwest?

Anybody out riding in the Seattle area today is getting mud in every crevasse.
  • + 2
 Cascadia is def in the mud right now! But it's interesting how some BC & WA bike Cos & UK bike Cos have been in the forefront with aggressive L,L & S geo (and threaded BBs!...)
  • + 1
 I was thinking of getting this bike after getting fed up constantly replacing the bearings on my Canyon Strive.

However, I think for most uk Enduro could courses it's a bit overkill as they often have a lot of tight and slow stages where a shorter bike is better. My Canyon is fairly long and it the geometry benefits are only felt once you get up to a decent speed.

What do people think of the idea of getting a T130 and sticking a 150mm or even 160mm pike on it?
  • + 2
 I think you'd be better served with one or the other. If you put a longer fork on a smaller bike, you'll slacken the head angle out and raise the bottom bracket, which will leave you with the drawbacks of the bigger bike (slower handling) without the benefits (big rear travel and great stability). Those geometries are hard-won by designers who really know their business, so personally I wouldn't mess with the formula they have.
  • + 1
 Im running a t-130 and bumped the pike forks up to 140, this does make it a bit more confident dh but you do start to notice the front lift quite easily on steep climbs and it isn't quite as well behaved round switchbacks.. id think carefully before going to 150 and don't think id entertain 160 as a serious option. i think it would throw the angles and reach figures out too much
  • + 1
 @netracer-enduro: hmm would it work with offset bushings do you think? Then, a bit convoluted but a reversed angle set to stop it from being too slack?
  • + 4
 @skill7 if I were you I would just get the T130 and ride it as is. Maybe throw an extra token in the Pike. But with the 35mm stanchions, you'll be surprised what a 130mm fork can take. I've got a buddy who rides an Evil Following with a 130mm Pike and he rides SUPER gnarly stuff that most people ride on 160+ bikes. I'm on a T129 and ride the same type of stuff. Unless you're really set on just blasting right through the roughest part of every rock garden, I think you would be fine on a T130 on basically any trail.
  • + 1
 @netracer-enduro: I was thinking on bumping mine up to 140 as well. Nice to hear what it's like!
  • + 1
 Kudos to Ian Alexander for referencing Mondraker for pioneering longer geometry. Reach on Whyte's geo tables may seem too long, but I've found their sizing recommendations to be spot on.
  • + 1
 What I've found is a good more stable platform starts at 1180mm. For a medium bike, I would not go any longer then 1195mm. I'm sure that bike will crush it but I think the wheelbase is just a little too long for a medium.
  • - 1
 Whyte bikes are fantastic ! But I question the reviewers idea of 'exceptional value for money'

This is hugely expensive when you have 2 German brands online that can be had for 1k less with consistent 5* reviews !

I'm not riding every weekend so why put extra 1k into a bike, when cheaper superior bikes are available ??
  • + 3
 If it ain't Whyte, it ain't ryght.
  • + 2
 The one shown is the 2016 model. The 17 model has Lyrics and Sram Eagle 12 speed, carbon cranks and is £3200!
Great bike.
  • + 3
 really pushing the envelope with that 66 degree head angle
  • + 0
 Should be 65º for a 27.5 enduro ripper. 66º is 29er trail bike territory.
  • + 12
 Headangle in and of itself is mostly irrelevant beyond a certain point. With the reach on this frame, the wheelbase will be long enough and the BB is low enough to feel very stable, you simply don't need a very slack headangle and keeping it a shade steeper will help make the bike more useable more of the time.
  • + 7
 Not sure it needs to be much slacker when the front centre is so long. I haven't ridden this one but a setup like this can strike a good balance between ability to weight the front wheel, confidence and steering.
  • + 1
 @mattwragg beat me to it
  • + 1
 With this really long front center and reach its putting the rider 'in' the bike more so than not. That's a good thing. It also puts the rider into attack mode without unsettling the bike's handling. There is merit to long bikes with this geometry.
  • + 2
 @ThePriory1978: The Spartan is close to 66 (65.8 ) and may be the most burly of all these enduro bikes, having been created for Stevie to race in a World Champs.
  • - 1
 @WayneParsons: in my experience this always results in shitty handling in the tight and twisty stuff. If I want the turning circle of an oil tanker I will buy a 29er ????
  • + 1
 @mattwragg: I disagree. Have you tried the new Nicolai 2017/Geometron or the a Pole? Long and slack and they work great. I'm certainly not going back to steep 66º headangles for ups or downs!
  • + 2
 @ThePriory1978: Nah should be 64-65º for 29er and 64º for 27.5er
  • + 1
 @SintraFreeride: I don't think it's a case of super long TT plus slack HA not working, my opinion is as yours, but a geo like this Whyte can work for a wider range of riders over a wider variety of terrain. I do agree with MW that a slack head angle just for the sake of it isn't always the best...though imo on 27.5" wheels you can go pretty slack before you find any negatives.
  • + 1
 I reckon an 'Enduro Race' bike is a tough cookie as well...there is definitely a trend for tracks to be pretty rough, technical and gnarly so a bruiser of a bike will often shine but from my own experience the slacked out 29er I'm riding has definitely cost me in certain race scenarios, I don't care because my race bike isn't just a race bike but if it were I would think much more carefully about the balance of gnar vs manoeuvrability. The main issue I've found on the slack 29er is on steep, slow speed techy stuff that the steering flip flops considerably with your weight slackening the bike even further but then when I go to our local freeride spots or smash through a load of rocks I forget all about it until the next race. Anywho...I think it's all about balance and compromises.
  • + 1
 @ThomDawson: I think the Whyte geometry is good. Personally I'd go slacker in the headangle with longer chainstays. I have a Pole and find it works great everywhere.
  • + 1
 @SintraFreeride: I agree completely, for me to consider this bike that's what I'd be looking for too, particularly the chainstays! But this design will have merits for some and is a good step in the right direction, that's all I was trying to say at the top really. I'll have to try a Pole at some point, they look awesome, very jealous.
  • + 1
 @ThomDawson: Oh yeah I definitely agree it is a step in the right direction. Decent reach and short seat tube lengths. Hopefully they add a steeper seat angle and make the other changes in the future. Well if you are ever in the Portes du Soileil you can try mine.
  • + 2
 That bike is a bit of a bargain and the weight is not bad at all for an all ali frame.
  • + 1
 Now that is how a "Pinkbike's Take" should be written... straight to the point when the article is TL;DR.
  • + 2
 Rode one yesterday. Is a very capable mini dh bike!
  • + 2
 not bad but would still like a chain guide tho
  • + 2
 Nice Baby. Let's call Pastrana for a backflip test.
  • + 2
 Would love this build in a unicycle!
  • + 1
 Shame they did the review on the 2016 model when the 2017 one literally just got released...
  • + 1
 Same Frame, just a different spec, so ride should be very similar. If the review had come out earlier we would have just had another "first impressions" take.
  • + 0
 The welds always seem to be improving on mountain bikes in general. I wouldn't be surprised if that frame broke right in the middle of the tubing in a stress test.
  • + 1
 Based on what? There appear to be two pinholes in the welds near the top of the seat tube on this bike, and plenty of aluminum frames still end up cracking at the welds. If an aluminum frame broke in the middle of the tubing, you have a serious design or manufacturing problem, if it broke at the weld, its more likely either a heat treating batch or individual frame problem (unless all the frames are breaking there, ala Yeti).
  • + 1
 weird how some bikes are 1500 more and come with all SLX? smh.
  • + 2
 Cool bike
  • - 3
 Increasing travel, trail, and top tube length is why this bike will never climb well. It will be ridden by backwoods hackers, and your (uncompetitive) weekend broduro warriors. An enduro bike that doesn't climb or pedal particularly well.....strange.
  • + 5
 I'm afraid I have to totally disagree with you on this one. I own a 2017 G-160 Works, and the current spec is entirely based on what was chosen by the Whyte Enduro Race Team and how they wanted it set up. The design team decided it was so on the money that they went with it for the final customer sales version. And I can assure you, it climbs very well indeed. Have you even tried one?

I also think it is a little disrespectful to say that anyone riding this bike is no more than a weekend backwoods hacker or a broduro warrior. I class it in the same bracket as calling all Santa Cruz or Yeti owners over-paid dentists......drop the hate my man and learn to appreciate that some people want to ride a different bike to you and in a different style.
  • + 1
 @Eastbournemtber: yeah, ridden most of their range this year. Great value for money and the lads at Whyte are pretty cool. I can't be more to the point than to say a 160 travel bike is NOT an enduro bike. It's pretty much accepted that less than 15% of an enduro is actually downhill, the rest of the time pedal platform is crucial.

If you don't actually race enduro, that's not a problem....hence the back woods comment. I think you've taken it personally, so apologies. I don't call anyone riding an SC or Yeti anything apart from lucky. No hate, just amazed that they are pushing such a big travel bike as an enduro bike.
  • + 1
 @Bustacrimes: Maybe because the really important part of racing Enduro are the timed downhill stages. That 15% that you quote is the most important part of the race. Just because the volume of DH is less than the climbing doesn't mean it's not important. Should athletes be racing Enduro on XC hardtails? They descend poorly, but that doesn't matter because the descent only makes up 15%, but hey, that climb was great... said no Enduro racer ever.
  • + 1
 Extensive take from Pinkbike there
  • + 1
 Have you seen how fast that was? Claudio Calouri talking about Ben Cruz
  • + 1
 Grease ports on every pivot!? Yes, please.
  • + 1
 That stem.
  • + 1
 Amazing bikes.
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