Whyte S-150 Carbon RS - Review

Jul 17, 2017
by Richard Cunningham  



Whyte's impressive S-150 Carbon RS 29er trail bike debuted at the Sea Otter Classic earlier this year, and I immediately put in a request for a test bike. After reviewing the 27.5-inch-wheel T-130C last season, I became a fan. The British brand is heavily influenced by the isle's long, low, and slack trend—but Whyte's savvy design team worked their magic on those rather coarse staples to maintain a light feel at the handlebar and also at the pedals, without eroding its gravity-friendly attributes.

The S-150 is Whyte's first long-travel 29er—a clean-slate design that incorporates lessons learned from the T-130 and takes its carbon/aluminum chassis one step further, partnering with RockShox to customize its steering geometry, boosting its suspension travel to 150 millimeters, and redesigning its aluminum four-bar rear suspension with double-strength clevis-type pivots throughout. Whyte also built enough tire clearance into the S-150 to allow customers to retrofit 27.5 Plus wheels with tires up to 2.8 inches, should conditions require more traction. Three builds are offered, all with SRAM Eagle 12-speed transmissions: S-150 Carbon Works at $6,499 USD, the S-150 Carbon RS, at $4,799 (reviewed here) and the aluminum-framed S-150 S at $3,499. Whyte says that the 2018 models will begin arriving at retailers around August this summer.


S-150C RS Details:
• Use: Trail/all-mountain
• Chassis: Carbon front section/aluminum 150mm four-bar suspension. Internal cable routing. Boost axle spacing
• Wheel size: 29" standard, 27.5"+ compatible
• Fork: RockShox Pike RC, 150mm stroke, custom 42mm offset
• Shock: RockShox Deluxe RT Debonair
• Transmission: SRAM GX Eagle 12-speed
• Wheels: Custom built with Whyte hubs, WTB i29 rims, Maxxis High Roller II (F), *Minion SS (R)
• Sizes: Medium (reviewed), large, X-large
• Weight: 29.14 pounds/13.25 kg (medium)
• MSRP: $4799
• Contact: Whyte USA, Whyte UK
*Maxxis Crossmark II 29" X 2.25" is the advertised spec.
Whyte S-150 29

Construction

Whyte is big on durability, and to that end, its front section takes advantage of carbon fiber's low density. Rather than squeezing as many grams as possible from the structure, they settled on a competitive weight figure that allowed them the freedom to add a little strength where it would do the most good. The S-150 was also the first model in Whyte's 2018 range to feature their new clevis-type suspension pivots. The double-sided pivot design supports the shafts more securely and should boost the lifespan of the sealed ball bearings.

The S-150's welded-aluminum rear section features symmetric chainstays with minimal bends. The straighter path is always the stronger and lighter-weight method to route frame tubes, so Whyte's designers chose to eliminate the front derailleur and with it, end the folly of re-routing the highly stressed drive-side chainstay six inches below the swingarm pivot to make room for a complicated device that needs to go the way of the Dodo.

Bonded rubber protection keeps the chain from banging up the right-side chainstay, and another panel protects the carbon downtube from rock strikes near the bottom bracket shell. Water and crud are refused entry into the sanctuary of the carbon frame by sealed cable and hose ports, and by a molded seal at the base of the seatpost. In lieu of a leaky slotted seat tube, Whyte uses an internal seatpost clamp that grips the post with a pair of cams. More on that later.

Whyte S-150 29


S-150 frames use a version of the tried and true Horst-Link type four-bar rear suspension with 150-millimeters of rear-wheel travel. The rocker-driven top tube-mounted shock keeps bottom-out stress naturally aligned with the chassis and clears the downtube area for a full sized water bottle. Whyte chose RockShox suspension all around for the RS model, with a special 150-millimeter-stroke Pike RC fork that is configured with 42-millimeters of offset in the lower casting to minimize the mass in front of the steering axis.

The shock is a Deluxe RT Debonair which, combined with trail-friendly suspension kinematics, provides just enough pedaling firmness to top short, steep pitches out of the saddle with conviction in open mode. Whyte made the S-150 for on-the-edge technical riding, so they didn't go crazy with its anti-squat action. It's on the firm side of plush, so you may want some assistance from the low-speed compression lever for extended climbs. On the traction side of the suspension tune, there is ample mid-stroke support for cornering, and enough end-stroke ramp-up to keep most aggressive riders out of trouble.

Whyte S-150 29
Sturdy clevis-type pivots and clearance for tires up to 2.8 inches.

Whyte S-150 29
Sealed cable and hose ports throughout the frame.
Whyte S-150 29
Whyte's signature internal seatpost clamp and rubber seal.

Whyte S-150 29
Ditching the front derailleur allows for straighter chainstays.

Whyte flies the gravity friendly flag with pride. Our medium test bike sports a slack (for 29-inch wheels), 65.6-degree head angle; a generous, 458-millimeter reach; a modern, 74.7-degree effective seat tube angle that is moderated by short, 435-millimeter chainstays; and a just low enough, 335-millimeter bottom bracket. Those are golden numbers by 29er trail bike standards.

S-150C Geometry

Whyte S-150C RS geometry


Components
Specifications
Release Date 2017
Price $4799
Travel 150mm
Rear Shock RockShox Deluxe RT Debonair
Fork RockShox Pike RC 29", 150mm travel, custom offset
Headset FSA Orbit ZS Plus
Cassette SRAM GX Eagle 10 x 50
Crankarms SRAM Descendant Carbon Eagle 32T
Chainguide NA
Bottom Bracket SRAM GXP XR, BSA 73mm
Pedals NA
Rear Derailleur SRAM GX Eagle
Chain SRAM 12 speed
Front Derailleur Nope
Shifter Pods SRAM GX Eagle
Handlebar Whyte Custom Alloy, 15mm R, 760mm W
Stem Whyte Gravity Stem, 40mm
Grips Whyte Lock-on V Grip
Brakes SRAM Guide RS, 180mm rotors
Wheelset Whyte OEM build
Hubs Whyte Boost F/R
Spokes WTB 2.0mm, brass nipples
Rim WTB STp i29 Rims
Tires Maxxis High Roller II , 29" X 2.3" EXO (F), Crossmark II 29" X 2.25" EXO (R)
Seat Whyte
Seatpost RockShox Reverb Stealth 150mm

Whyte S-150 29


Ian Alexander: Designer, Whyte Bikes

Following Paul Turner's RockShox revolution, the three pillars of mountain bike steering geometry: head tube angle, trail, and wheel diameter, were largely forgotten. Then, slack head angles, short stems, and three different wheel sizes popped up and sent bike designers searching for ways to fix a dearth of steering-related handling issues that seemed to appear out of nowhere. Now, everyone is talking about the nuances of steering geometry—a topic that comes as no surprise to Whyte designer Ian Alexander, who went to great lengths to balance those forces long before fork makers offered different offset options. Alexander was happy to share some of that knowledge in this short interview.


What fueled your decision to experiment with reduced fork offset right after the industry settled on increased offset for 27.5 and 29-inch wheel bikes?

I think experimentation is always a good idea, and research in this area is a fascinating subject. Not least, when viewed against the background that science (generally speaking) does not yet seem to have fully established why a bicycle can self-steer and self-stabilize itself.

You mentioned the "industry" has settled on certain offsets, I tend to think fork offset in the MTB industry at least, seems to be under the control of SRAM and Fox, in terms of the large influential fork manufacturers that more or less every high-end bike brand has to use, so the opportunity to experiment and adjust this dimension is actually not one that is open to any brand, unless they take the step of designing and making their own suspension fork.

This is something that Whyte has done in the past. Our PRST-1 and PRST-4 suspension bikes of the late 90’s were unique. The four-bar linkage fork that we designed from the ground up was totally integrated into the bike and gave us the opportunity to design a bike with our desired offset and trail measurements of the time, but also to engineer a system that kept trail constant through the compression of the suspension—something only possible with a four-bar linkage fork.
Whyte PRST-4
Whyte PRST-4 with its four-bar linkage fork.

The background to my research on fork offset options really originated from when we were at a SRAM product camp in Cannes, France around 2012 (I think it was) at which it seemed to be decided that the 27.5-inch fork program was going to be confirmed for model year 2014. My questions back then revolved around the change in the fork offset from 38 millimeters on the 26-inch forks, to 42 on the 27.5-inch ones. Clearly, 51 millimeters on 29-inch forks had long been established by Gary Fisher’s development, which had stemmed from his much earlier 29-inch rigid-fork G2 geometry. That, I think, is a matter of historical record. I’m obviously not privy to the decisions taken as to why present fork offsets were adjusted for the various wheel sizes, but a simple plot of the numbers shows that with increased offset, the trail remains about constant with the larger tire rolling diameters, which your piece on PB in 2013 illustrates really well.

Note, my quick drawing (below) shows the maximum tire diameters as shown as being permissible by RockShox inside their fork crowns on their respective forks… I don’t know the actual tire diameters that were used to arrive at 42 and 51-millimeter offsets.

trail vs wheel diameters
Ian's CAD drawing illustrates how the industry's recently established fork offset figures closely replicate the trail numbers of 26-inch wheels.

Bike designers seemed to be happy with wheel-specific numbers initially...

With all this being the case, I was curious to know why these changes to offsets were being made to the 27.5 and 29-inch forks. The consensus was that the fork manufacturers were making some allowances to enable frame makers to create ostensibly similar frames with similar geometry to 26-inch frames that would exhibit the same trail numbers. To me, this didn’t really seem to fit with the push to slacker and slacker head angles that we have seen in the last decade. In the UK, the market was very slow to adopt the 29-inch wheel. Indeed, Whyte only produced a 29-inch bike for the first time in 2012.

My ride testing was about making a slacker bike than was then commonplace, and then to test the two offsets that were available from RockShox at the time; 51 and 46 millimeters (Fox obviously were and still are at 44mm). I did simple back to back runs on the same hardtail with a 69-degree head angle, 70-millimeter stem, a 700-millimeter front center and 700-millimeter bars. Clearly, the 46-millimeter offset fork bike was more stable downhill at speed, whereas the 51-millimeter fork simply promoted steering and correction oscillations that I felt almost needed a click of steering damper (if such a thing could exist on an MTB) to make the bike feel the same as the 46. That seemed very clear to me. I didn’t find the bike was at all compromised at other times, running the extra trail, and even if it had been, the importance of stability and confidence at high speed on an off-road downhill far outweighed any other negatives. So, we’ve always followed the reduced offset with slacker head angle philosophy with on-trail performance in mind rather than the car-park test in mind.

Added to this, is the way that the additional offset is achieved with these forks. The offset occurs at the fork crown which offsets the entire mass of the fork (crown, stanchions, lowers, brake caliper, and axle) from the steering axis of the bike. This obviously adds in a moment of inertia into the steering that I think, negatively effects the neutrality and influences the restoring and correcting forces of the steering kinematics in rectilinear motion, which are all extremely complex mathematical systems.

This is also obvious when one considers where the disc calipers are mounted on a fork. They are mounted behind the fork legs and not in front of the fork legs to minimize the mass offset from the steering axis. A good example of this understanding was the very first disc brake 500cc Moto GP bike in 1966, using the Rickman GP chassis with the pioneering AP-Lockheed Hydraulic disc brakes. The single 10-inch disc had the AP Caliper mounted ahead of the forks lowers. It took a few years, but now you will always see twin discs to have the calipers positioned behind the fork legs to place their mass symmetrically and to reduce the effect of the mass on the steering kinematics.

What is the relationship between fork offset, wheel diameter and steering angle in the context of the Whyte S-150 29er?
Whyte S-150C RS
Whyte was able to convince RockShox to produce a 42-millimeter offset fork to match the S-150's 65.6-degree head angle.

There are a few factors at play here. Firstly, the primary offset dimension which directly affects the trail number. See the numbers listed below: 42 millimeters gives more trail and more stability, both in static geometry and, much more importantly, also in dynamic geometry as the bike pitches and moves around on the track. Suspension action affects geometry: 150-millimeters of fork compression causes a 6.7-degree head angle reduction and 95 millimeters of trail reduction (or 4.17mm of trail reduction per degree of head angle reduction).

These are the basic numbers with the S-150, along with a couple of comparisons with a few other bikes I’m sure you’ve ridden:

S-150 at 42mm offset

Full Extension, front and rear = 65.6-degree head angle. Trail is:
29”x2.4” wheel: 125.9mm
27.5”x2.8” Wheel: 122.5mm

Max Fork Travel at Full rear Extension = 72.3-degree head angle. Trail is:
29”x2.4” wheel: 30.9mm
27.5”x2.8” wheel: 28.5mm

S-150 at 51mm offset

Trail at full extension front and rear:
29”x2.4” wheel: 114.6mm
27.5”x2.8” wheel: 111.3mm

Trail at max fork travel and full rear extension:
29”x2.4” wheel: 21.3mm
27.5x2.8” wheel: 19.0mm

Trek Slash

29" Wheel
Head Angle = 65.6-degree
Fork offset = 51mm
Trail = 114mm


Specialized Enduro

29" wheel
Head Angle = 66-degree
Fork offset = 51mm
Trail = 107mm

Enduro: 27.5" wheel
Head Angle = 66.5-degree
Fork offset = 51mm
Trail = 106mm

How terrain can create negative trail and destabilize steering geometry
In his book, "Motorcycle Dynamics," Vittore Cossalter illustrates how terrain changes, like bumps or deep sand (right), can cause the front tire's contact point to move forward and create a negative trail event. And (left), how a negative or reduced trail situation causes the steering axis to move behind the tire's contact patch—a situation that exaggerates the slightest lateral deflection and steering instability. Click on the photo to read Cossalter's technical explanation.


So, how does adding trail mitigate the changes in steering geometry as the suspension cycles?

A key point in dynamic geometry is to consider that when riding into rough terrain, the trail measurement is a dynamic moving entity, because the contact patch of the tire is moving forward and rearward, depending on what you are riding into. Take, for example, riding into baby head rocks, into an uphill berm, down steps, or transitioning to a flat surface, as well as riding into deep sand or mud. The contact patch of the tire moves around the circumference of the tire in a forward direction which instantly reduces trail. This is illustrated and explained in much more detail by Vittore Cossalter in his truly excellent "Motorcycle Dynamics" book. I’ve attached the Fig.1-5 illustration of the point...

So while looking at static measurements, the trail of the S-150 might seem large in magnitude, but the dynamic geometry is always far more important. The reduction of the trail numbers due to fork compression is pretty dramatic. If you take the very worst-case scenario, there is a very real possibility that despite having over 100 millimeters of positive trail, a 150-millimeter-travel bike could use up 95 millimeters of trail and then exhibit negative trail in certain extreme riding circumstances. Negative trail is very disruptive, as the restoring forces acting at the tire's contact patch actually amplify the instability of the steering and the bike as a whole.

Were you looking to increase straight-line stability, to lighten steering forces, or to balance forces that you believed to be out of whack due to present geometry?

Definitely increase "straight-line" stability in the dynamic geometry of the bike, but really, by way of neutralizing and achieving a better-balanced steering, rather than increasing or reducing steering forces. As Cossalter points out, a two wheeled vehicle moves along in a series of left-hand and right-hand curves. to a greater or lesser extent, as the bike counter-balances itself—and during the most extreme points that the rider encounters, it’s better for the bike to have plenty of [self-righting] capability in hand.

Sadly, I think that it’s hard to separate the experiment here into individual variables, because we can’t test 42 millimeter and 51 millimeter samples with the same mass offset on these forks, but I believe that for what the S-150 is designed to do, and the trails it is capable of being ridden on, the 42 millimeter offset is the best, most stable, and confidence-inspiring set-up we can achieve at the present time.






Whyte's S-150 Carbon was a highlight of PB's Pemberton test sessions. As advertised, the steering felt light and sure at almost any speed. Front wheel traction was uncanny in the turns and, while the suspension errs on the firm side of plush, the bike maintained momentum over the zone's signature roots and embedded rocks. On the wilder side, its big wheels and stable geometry inspired the necessary confidence for first-time rock drops and some of the zone's fall-line shale trails, where braking was hopeless and missing a turn was rarely an option. In short, the S-150 is an easy bike to ride.

The suspension was not a fussy to set up. Pressurize the shock between 25 and 20-percent sag and set the fork around 20 percent and, as long as your low-speed rebound is somewhere near correct, the S-150 is good to go. I use as little low-speed compression as I can get away with, but often, I might turn a few clicks into the fork to keep the front end riding up for steep drops or stair-step descents. The Pike fork's compression dial made that easy.

Whyte S-150 29


Climbing and acceleration was on par with the pointed end of today's long-travel trail bike offerings. It lacks the crisp reaction between the pedal and the ground that a good DW-Link design like the Pivot Switchblade has, but it's close enough to keep the legs happy up a long climbing trail. I liked the seat tube angle—steep enough to place the legs and upper body in an efficient pedaling position over the bike, with just enough set-back to weight the rear tire and ensure that I had traction when I needed it most.

I opted to use the shock's compression lever to firm up the bike's pedaling when climbing dirt road pitches, or when the trail was fast and flowy, but the damping assistance was not necessary. The S-150 pedals well in the open position and most of the terrain I was riding was rough, so leaving the shock wide open helped the S-150 roll more effectively over the chop.

Keep your speed up and the Whyte breezes along, get bogged down and you'll be gently reminded that it is a 29er. You'll sense its big wheels and 30-pound weight in those first three pedal strokes while accelerating out of a slow corner or a tight G-out, otherwise, the S-150 feels responsive, efficient at the pedals, and it carries a lot of speed.

Whyte S-150 29
The Whyte's seat tube is close to 75 degrees, which strikes an effective balance between long, seated climbs and technical grunts.
Steering and handling traits lie somewhere in the "just right" zone—between the heaviness at the handlebar that is expected from a slack head angle, and the light feeling at the grips that might have been the most enjoyable aspect of old-school steering geometry. Whyte's delve into the relationship of fork offset and head angles pay dividends at any speed and in all situations when riding the S-150. The handlebar feels weighted just enough to feel connected with the bike, and it clearly communicates where the front wheel is and what the tire's contact patch is doing.

The front tire always feels planted, so the rear wheel is most often the first to break traction in a high-pressure turn. Around corners, the bike scribes a smooth arc with little need for corrections and little effort is needed to keep the tires biting on an off-camber descent. Its connected steering feel, in concert with how the chassis encourages a rider to stay centered over the bike, makes the S-150 feel more like an extension of its rider than one wielding a well-made trail tool. That intuitive relationship greatly eases the burden of riding technical trails with surprise grade changes and features. "Predictable" best describes the S-150's handling.

Whyte S-150 29


Descending and technical riding are two areas where a British trail bike must excel. The S-150 has the wheelbase and the composure to ride anything you'd expect a full-fledged enduro racing machine to handle, but it out-runs its tires in loose, dry conditions. Our review bike was outfitted with a 2.3-inch High Roller II up front, and paired with a 2.3-inch Minion SS rear tire - which turns out to be an awesome combination for trail riding, but there is a price to pay. Armed with the edging blocks of the DHR, the SS rips the corners, but its tiny center tread trades low rolling resistance for the straight-line braking traction needed to negotiate steep, fall-line trails. That said, the S-150's tire combination is one of my favorites and it worked out well that the Whyte likes to be controlled from the front. When I ran out of options, I learned to point the handlebar where I wanted to go and let the rear of the bike figure it out on the way down.

The S-150's central riding position makes it a good jumper and it reduces the effort required to pick up a wheel or unweight the chassis, so its rider can react quickly to anaconda roots, unexpected drops, and bomb holes in the trail. Same goes for rock rolls, where a quick snap of the handlebar may be needed to clear a ledge or flatten a landing. Most often, however, a quick, fore or aft weight shift will get the job done. Another technical riding plus is that its 335-millimeter-high (13.2") bottom bracket keeps the pedals out of trouble in the rocks while retaining the sense that the rider was in the bike, not on top of it.

Whyte S-150 29

bigquotesWhyte's delve into the relationship of fork offset and head angles pay dividends at any speed and in all situations.

Technical Report

Considering that the S-150 Carbon RS costs about half the MSRP of most of the trail bikes I have reviewed in recent times, I didn't imagine that my report would be this positive. Much of that love can be attributed to Whyte's component selection, beginning with RockShox's invigorated Deluxe RT shock and Pike RC fork. I repeatedly sent the O-rings to the ends of their travel and never sensed a hard bottom-out. The mid-stroke support was ample which no-doubt, contributed to the S-150's knack for maintaining a consistent ride height. The S-150 chassis has a low stand-over height, which allows for longer-stroke dropper posts—a 150-millimeter Reverb Stealth for the medium and 170's for the larger frame sizes. Its cockpit has a pro-bike feel and its drivetrain is the recently released 12-speed SRAM GX Eagle ensemble. At $4,799, the S-150 C RS arrives ready to rock, with the seeds to take on rivals that retail for five figures.


SRAM Guide RS Brakes:
I'm a fan of Guide brakes, but Pemberton's steep, extended downhills ran the levers down to the grips on two occasions. My guess is that the master cylinder's fluid recharge port requires a full lever release to allow the brake pump fluid into the lines to make up for pad wear and such. Instead of modulating the lever pressure on long DH runs, I had to completely release the levers occasionally to keep the levers pumped up.
Whyte S-150 29


Maxxis Minion SS EXO Tire:
Our review bike's Minion SS tire's aggressive edging blocks and small pointy top tread are a winning combination for trail riders who want a rear tire with the best possible performance on both the ups and the downs. The problem is, Whyte's spec chart indicates that they will ship the S-150 C RS with a Maxxis Crossmark II Instead. That would be a big disappointment.
Whyte S-150 29


SRAM GX Eagle Drivetrain:
Most speculated that SRAM would maintain the premium price of its 12-speed Eagle drivetrain for years to come. Instead, they immediately began scaling down costs to make Eagle more accessible. The release of its affordable GX ensemble this year elevates the technical performance of bikes like the Whyte S-150C RS to levels that approach elite models that most riders can only dream to own.
Whyte S-150 29



Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesWhyte's S-150 Carbon RS is as up-to-the-minute as a trail bike can get. It's carbon, it has big wheels, it ticks all the long, low and slack boxes, and hey, that's wonderful, but what makes the S-150 stand out in the present long-travel trail bike mosh pit can only be experienced by riding it. It pedals, steers and handles less like a bicycle and more like you have zipped on a mountain bike super power suit. In less flowery language: "For sale: 150-millimeter-travel dual-suspension 29er that will make you beg to ride every day. Needs nothing – $4,799." RC
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172 Comments

  • + 84
 Bikes are awesome.
  • + 25
 I really wish that bike manufacturers would carry out more research before releasing products, first it was making 29ers to get over the cons of 26, then boost to get over the flex problems of the larger wheels and now offset changed to get over the problems of geometry of 29er. I don't hate 29er, I hate bad engineering
  • + 6
 If they sold something perfect from the get-go they'd be out business right quick. Imagine a company who's marketing is all "we created the best 10 years age and haven't changed a thing". I don't think they'd do too well.
  • + 6
 @PHeller: I get that but what I want is meaningful changes, new materials, better manufactureing techniques for lighter products. At the moment it feels like they engineer a solution to a problem that creates another problem. That's not good engineering, you don't get this happing in say the car industry
  • + 4
 It's shampoo engineering...

new and improved formula? Well if it's new how can it be an improvement over a product that already exists. Does it make ANY actuall gains?
  • + 1
 @mattvanders: an oxymoron... agreed that we should not be the guinea pigs for bike brands... leave that to the pro riders to test the prototypes prior to release. However as PHeller said bike companies would do themselves out of business. If one company is releasing a new model every year they all have to if they are competing in the same market.

The only way ti get around it is going fully bespoke but with it comes a price tag.

I guess the solution us to wait until you think things have settled down or buy something that is at the forefront so in 5 years time it will be middle of the pack.
  • + 2
 @PHeller: i know a snowboard brand that has done just that, to the point where their boards don't even have graphics, so they don't even date in a "fashion sense"... funny thing is, they can't make em quick enough, Pro riders for other brands rocking into stores and paying full price for them too... and truly brilliant boards to ride too...
  • + 1
 @ad15: which brand, if you dont mind me asking?
  • + 2
 @PHeller: I think if bike brands tested stuff to the limit and found out what works and what doesn't then they wouldn't change geometry every year. Once geometry is sorted just like it is in motocross then it becomes a matter or details. I don't think they make less money but quite the contrary since the consumer would trust them again. At the moment it is just ridiculous with the constant changes in hub, axle, bb width, length changes!
  • + 3
 @omlett: korua, i managed to resist for 2 years, now have one, game changer..
  • + 2
 @SintraFreeride: the difference between MTB and motorcross though is that MX matured some time ago, MTB is still pretty young on the grand scheme of things, technology, knowledge, manufacturing processes trails etc all evolving at a pretty rapid pace. it happens in most sports that are equipment based,, go have a look at how much wing suit tech has changed in just the last 4-5 years,, it's insane..
  • + 2
 @ad15: You said it ad15. MX is at least 10 years older than MTB. They also have much bigger budgets for R&D than any MTB, or bike company for that matter.

How much money can Honda spend on R&D?
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: the bike company with the perfect bike wouldn't loose sales if the other bike companies' new model looked like their old model.
  • + 2
 @PHeller: You ever heard of a yz 125? Yamaha has literally been doing this for the last 11 years haha
  • - 1
 @ad15: Oh I am aware of that. What I was saying is big brands should go test the limits of geometry and then settle on it instead of going slightly longer and slacker every year. Pole and Nicolai are already there.
  • + 1
 @SintraFreeride: which makes them great brands that you can trust. There are a few other small ones as well.
  • + 3
 This one works in our favour. Because i was cheap i put my fabulous 2014 BOS Deville on my 2016 Spitfire with 27,5 wheels. Actually swapped the wheels and dropouts coming from 26 and since that model year they said the fork was compatible with 26 and 27,5. Bit tight clearance but a 2.3 high roller fits with a centimeter plus of space between thread and crown even when bottomed out. So i tried id and LOVED the handling wirh the longer trail of the 26 inch fork. And it is not the only 26 fork that fits 27,5 wheels. My MY 2013 Slant RL2, arguably the lesser fork of the two also fits 27,5. So grab some perfectly fine used or even new heavily discounted ones and party. Offset 37mm on the deville and you can get them for as much as a pike and i know which i like more.
  • + 3
 The *only* reason why we know what we know today, is because of the many failures of the past. If you attempt to design something perfect to begin with, you will waste more time, effort and money than trying something and learning from the mistakes.
  • + 9
 I've got a copy of Cossalter's book at home (good reading, btw. Quite clear). The matter seems somewhat cut and dry there: Increased trail increases high speed stability by increasing the correcting torque due to friction (called 'lateral force' in the figure above), at the expense of low speed handling. It seems like the "correct" trail value would be arrived at by trial and error in particular applications, but if I recall correctly he proposes a formula for the "correct value for trail," determined by some existing measurable parameters of the bike, weight distributions on tires I seem to think. Is it possible that engineers arrive at various trail values based on formulas such as this? (I will have to wait until I'm home to find Cossalter's explanation for why that formula is "correct").
  • + 2
 Looking forward to it!
  • + 2
 Looking forward to hearing more about that formula. Please update! I would assume that surface "roughness" would also play a role in that ideal trail. Would be great to see a sensitivity analysis done on the variables impacting that calculation. Either way, it's great to see some quantitative discussion around bike physics.
  • + 7
 "...science (generally speaking) does not yet seem to have fully established why a bicycle can self-steer and self-stabilize itself." Uhh, what? Not only have engineers/mathematicians/scientists figured out how all this works, they have developed models for just about every aspect of steering kinematics having to do with vehicles. Hell, most undergraduate mechanical engineers have a course in which they derive the forces, accelerations, etc involved in steering a wheel with caster angle simply from basic trigonometry.

Of course, a bicycle is a bit more dynamic than most vehicles given the large influence of the rider's body and as a result needs a bit of experimentation to dial in, but the math is the same with respect to the bike.

Not trying to knock Whyte's stuff, but that's just a ridiculous statement.
  • + 9
 @shredteds: Not true. The steering forces undergraduates calculate with are for a highly simplified version of the bike and mostly semi-static situations, and don't always translate to what happens in practice. Example: Only a few years ago it wasfirst demonstrated (both experimentally and theoretically) that bicycles can be self-stable with 0 trail and 0 wheel inertia. see Science 15 April 2011: 332(6027), 339-342 . Most scientists until recently thought trail was necessary for self-stability, but it turns out that it is not. And this is just for the bike itself. Factor in all the details of how humans handle bikes and it becomes very complicated indeed, I wouldn't say that it is understood.
  • + 4
 @shredteds: www.nature.com/news/the-bicycle-problem-that-nearly-broke-mathematics-1.20281
www.cbc.ca/news/technology/science-of-cycling-still-mysterious-1.3699012

No, engineers/mathematicians/scientists have definitely not figured out how all this works. A lot of it, yes, but all of it, no. The problem is that, as much as people have defined certain elements that contribute to the self righting system that is a bicycle, it is possible to build one that veers away from those elements (no pun intended), and still have it work. Elements that were thought to be critical, as it turns out, aren't.
  • + 6
 @thekaiser: @ak-77 Perhaps I should take a step back. I agree that undergrads are not modelling anything to a high degree of detail and that non-conventional designs like the zero-inertia/trail bike present mathematical modelling challenges. Additionally, the math involved is far above the pay grade of most of us normal folks.

The challenges that the Whyte designers are attempting to overcome seem to be in the realm of subjectivity, which if anything is more challenging than a discrete, black and white math answer. I have no doubt that experimentation could improve the handling of a mountain bike and that the ideal steering geometry is likely dependent on the rider and the trails they ride.

As @thekaiser said, some things (like gyroscopic effects from wheels or trail) are rumored to be the holy grail and singularly important values, but that's not the case. That isn't to say, however, that we don't understand what makes a system stable/unstable. Non-conventional designs may rely strongly on one trait (trail, mass distribution, gyro, even aerodynamic drag in some applications) that allow a bicycle with traits that would normally be deemed unstable to be stable.

In the end, a large matrix of reactions, couples, angles, inertial components, etc work down to a single eigenvalue. This eigenvalue can be computed for various speeds, and the stability of the system at those speeds can be determined using the PBH test. To my knowledge, there has never been a bicycle designed which steering dynamics deem unstable which is instead self-stabilizing without an active steering/lean correction system. Correct me if I'm wrong.

For those who are interested and have a bit of linear algebra experience, here is a revealing paper:

www.princeton.edu/ssp/64-tiger-cub-1/64-data/stability-of-motorcycles.pdf

More on the PBH test:

stanford.edu/class/ee363/lectures/inv-sub.pdf
  • + 3
 @Loamhuck, @velocitajano:

Almost forgot to look this up, thanks for your patience. The proposed ideal trail as depends on the wheel loads is (a/b) (Nf/Nr) where a and b are the front and rear normal trails and Nf and Nr are the loads (as they become normal forces) on the front and rear wheel. The argument is due to the fact that a greater load on the front wheel means that less trail is required to achieve the same aligning torque. Probably this formula needs a bit of reconsideration for the dynamically shifting loads of a mountain bike.

@shredteds:

Those are some juicy references - thank you.

If anyone is interested, Cornell has a modest repository of bicycle dynamics articles that might be worth perusing.

ruina.tam.cornell.edu/research/topics/bicycle_mechanics/overview.html
  • + 10
 That prototype PRST-4 with the four-bar linkage fork is pretty wild! A pure representation of creative exploration and thinking against the grain of whats considered "the norm". Well done.
  • + 3
 They were production bikes, awesome production bikes. Easily better than other 100mm travel bikes of the time, although I suspect a bit heavy and flexy now.
  • + 2
 @Fix-the-Spade: I had a mate with one. It looked wierd but rode quite well and the front end seemed pretty stiff.
  • + 1
 They regularly pop up on e-bay for a couple of hundred quid
  • + 12
 Bring on the ‘lesser-known’ bike brands especially when they deliver a great product! It’s great for everyone.
  • + 11
 Could not imagine someone being unhappy with basically any new bike out right now. Especially this one.
  • + 9
 I hope they all write royalty checks to Chris Porter -he's been at this new geometry push, including offset, for years. The bike looks perfect to me.
  • + 2
 Good call but probably not likely. I guess CP gets his payback through servicing Fox which he can tune to various bikes.
  • + 11
 Medium reach 458.5! Who do you like to compete with? Long Dong Silver?
  • + 6
 So let me get this straight.... 29ers emerge 5 ish years ago and the industry says, 'oh you need a steeper head angle because you gotta match the trail of a 26" blah blah.... First gen 29ers suck as therye too steep. Then the fork makers start INCREASING the fork trail for 29ers up until this year. And NOW we are going back to a shorter trail for 29er fork. WTF
  • + 3
 Agree about the weird ideas in earlier 29ers. however, this isn't about decreasing trail, it is decreased fork offset but slacker angles with an overall increase in trail.
  • + 1
 All I can say is.... Yeap!
  • + 5
 95% of R&D guys don't know WTF they are doing.
  • + 3
 @jclnv: Isn't that the point of R&D? Finding out what works and doesn't, it's riding blind to find the best line... something, something, analogy.
  • + 2
 @RideTahoe707: Totally agree with you. What I'm saying is ARE they finding out what works and what doesn't? All we're seeing is a degree of the HA and a degree on the SA every three years. Take offset, this shit should have been figured out for all angles and wheel sizes years ago. Maybe it has been and the big guys are just slow to react? Definitely seeing more innovation in geo from the smaller brands these days.
  • + 1
 Having a shorter offset will increase trail not decrease it. So trail will continue to increase for 622mm (24.5") wheels.
  • + 4
 @jclnv: Personally I think it is all because folks have based mtbikes off roadbikes from the beginning rather than motorcross bikes. They have been slowly letting go of roadie geometry over the years.
  • + 7
 So a bike with 150mm of travel and 65 degree head angle is a "trail bike" now? So confused...sounds more like an enduro bike to me. Give me 120-140mm travel and a 66-67 degree head angle for my trail bikes please.
  • + 11
 Who cares?
  • + 7
 I guess it`s about how the bike feels. I have a Commencal meta with 150/160mm - 66° and a boardman with 130/140mm - 68°. The boardman feels so much more playful and fun to ride. To be fair, my local trails aren`t long or rough.
  • + 4
 @VFreehd: People who want to bring "enough" bike, not "too much" bike. I love my Spartan, but it is super boring on some of the trails I ride.
  • + 5
 Exactly @seraph.
When did trails evolve so much we suddenly need a enduro bike? Too much bike is not fun. I've been there.
  • + 9
 Then buy a 130? What's the problem with having more to choose from?
  • - 1
 @mollow: what I'm saying is that I think that 150mm of travel with a 65 degree head angle is overkill for a trail bike. Shouldn't need more than 140mm of travel and a 66 degree head angle.
  • + 2
 Are Enduros not raced on trails? Too much for you, but they make the T129 as well.
  • + 0
 @seraph this bike should be able to ride all the trails, yours will ride about half the trails.... but i get what your saying. Its all relative to what you consider a "trail".
  • + 1
 @Jsmoke: Guarantee my bike could ride all the same trails you'd ride on this bike. 130mm is more than enough for trail when you have 2.8" tires.
  • + 4
 @seraph: Why? AM bikes now have 170mm. The new 150mm Scott Genius nearly a pound lighter than my 120mm carbon 29" that I race XC on. The lines are blurring and there is no real reason why a 150mm can't be as efficient as a 130mm. Why strangle a bike with steep geo?
  • + 10
 I want super slack short travel bikes with smaller fork offset and longer reach, please!
  • + 2
 @VFreehd: exactly who care it's a bike again
  • + 4
 @seraph: It depends on where you ride. Trail riding in the Alps is not the same and trail riding in the local hills. Slack headangle doesn't make a bike handle badly if it is coupled with a steep seat angle and a long front end. I'm of the opinion that the difference between xc to trail to enduro to dh bikes should be mainly the travel and not so much the geometry.
  • + 1
 @jclnv: Amen brother!
  • + 3
 @SintraFreeride: 100%. Why are XC race bikes still being sold with 70 degree headangles when Scott went with 68.5 and their male and female riders still win? Why not 67? Specialized just released a new Epic (69.5) and called it aggressive. It's not aggressive, it's regressive, dated shit.

Same thing goes for 120mm 29". A light, 65/75 with a fairly progressive leverage rate would be a total weapon for guys who don't live where the trails are fast but not too chunky, but it'd also make an amazing XC race bike for guys who race XC but aren't roadie/dentist types. We're being drip fed these tiny incremental changes by mostly clueless manufacturers.
  • + 3
 @jclnv: I'd like to see a Mojo Saturn 11. Sub 65˚ HTA 105mm rear travel, dropper, horseback length reach, maybe a piggyback shock.
  • + 1
 @gonecoastal: Yep. Funky bike.
  • + 6
 It is cool to see designers trying different things at a technical level! The only thing that worries me is now someone gets their Whyte S-150 and has an issue with the custom-offset Pike, how's it going to be finding a replacement?
  • + 7
 I rode a 29er the other day and was amazed having been a 26r for life. My friends reaction to this is like I have joined the Islamic state. Converted.
  • + 7
 Hmm. S Carbon Works... Why do I feel like feel like Specialized has a Stumpjumper just like it?
  • + 3
 Super similar looking frame design, suspension layout, and hierarchy naming... hmmm
  • + 4
 coming there to say the same thing... I wonder how close the pivot points are...
  • + 3
 @spinko: Same here, Mike Sinclair' lawyers are prolly working over time allready...
  • + 6
 Have a look at the geometry of the two bikes, particularly the reach numbers (the XL Stump Jumper has a shorter reach than the Medium Whyte), and there are some notable differences in that part of the design. The short reach of the Stumpjumper stopped me considering it any further when looking to replace the bike I had because it didn't have enough reach for me, had this Whyte been announced at the time its geo would have put it on my list as one to look at more closely
  • + 5
 @mrsmythe: Indeed. Specialized's are comedy short. I'm on a large and I'm 5'8"...
  • + 1
 popped in to say so much of this bike looks very SPECIAL to me as well Granted there are geo differences, I guess you gotta change something!
  • + 5
 GREAT looking bike! I want it!

(goes to Whyte's website)

"Currently Unavailable"

Why wouldn't a brand just delay this review by XX days so that I can read it, research it and purchase it?
  • + 1
 Because the advertising check clears today, duh.
  • + 6
 RC, it almost sounds like you're a fan! I can't help but mention it though, is 65.6 degrees HA trailbike territory now? Wasn't that enduro race bike a few months ago?
  • + 11
 geometry progresses like everything else. Exciting stuff.
  • + 9
 @RichardCunningham: I wouldn't call it progression, more like experimentation.
  • + 7
 @RichardCunningham: Yet, we're still at fork offsets of "Just because"
  • + 4
 @gonecoastal: They're making up as they go along. Piss weak R&D.
  • + 5
 I'm not sure why this bike gets a pass from the "nobody needs this much bike for normal trails" police.
  • + 1
 @tigen: because minion...
  • + 3
 Didn't the offset go from 46 to 51mm to get over the "29ers ride like dump trucks" sentiment? Wasn't that the key to adoption and the current popularity of 29ers? Now the offset goes the other way and "hey, this is awesome"? Who can you trust with an opinion?
  • + 6
 Even if I have 0 interest in a bike I always enjoy a good RC review. Always interesting and I always learn something!
  • + 2
 True but I laugh everytime he complains about a bike weighing 30lbs haha.
  • + 2
 @SintraFreeride: You don't get 100% of what you don't ask for. Applying pressure to bike makers to reduce the weight of their trail bikes is how it gets done.
  • + 2
 @RichardCunningham: Light weight bikes are great but I feel that I'd rather have a heavier bike with better geometry than the other way round or better parts,etc. Plus I don't feel like 30lbs is heavy at all! My bike weighs 37lbs and I'm fine with it. I just run lower gearing and get up all the climbs nonetheless.
  • + 2
 @SintraFreeride: I would rather have carbon fiber vs aluminium savings go into making a stronger frame of the same weight than have to worry about it breaking. I believe we are at a point at which, without some new supermaterials (graphene?), chasing lower weight numbers (or optimizing for weight) is just compromising product integrity. I hate dealing with warranties, customer services or any kind of administration for that matter, corporate or public, and just want a product that works. Too much to ask for in this day and age, I know.

@RichardCunningham There are more and more of us who believe that better geometries should be the next battlefront. We are slowly getting there, but each newly released bike we see seems to omit some parameter in the equation or the improvement is just meaningless.
  • + 3
 With the advent of shorter stems and wider bars having a shorter fork offset makes heaps of sense, a modern cockpit will compensate for any sluggish feeling increased trail will create whilst giving more stable handling, good thinking and a damn sexy looking bike. Odd tyre combo with the high roller and ss tire though, an ss and dhf or aggressor would make more sense for that kind of terrain
  • + 2
 Why has it taken so long for 29ers to get to this point en masse? They're kinda starting to look like 27.5" bikes did 3-4 years ago. I don't understand why it wasn't just a matter of lengthening chainstays and dropping bottom brackets and compensating elsewhere to keep angles similar. Someone educate me. Sure seems like half a decade ago all manufacturers were like "well bigger wheels just ride differently so they need totally different geometry" and then suddenly we're here. 3rd-gen Nomad geometry with...bigger wheels (and related necessary tweaks for larger diameter wheels).
  • + 5
 29ers are both a fad, and actually as good as they say, just like 27.5 was/ is. We have witnessed a slow but intermittent progress upward to ever-larger wheels as you say - driven I think primarily by sensible decisions based around profit, and the coalescing of two design features: the fetish-isation of stiffness, and genuine improvements in pushbike engineering like the use of carbon. What I'm trying to say is, at the birth of 29, 26 roamed the earth completely undisturbed in the wild. 29ers were gangly creatures no-one wanted to tame. But these beasts were squished and fermented into a yeasty broth in the ovens of manufacturers minds all over the world. No-doubt a brief flicker of today's new shiny Justin Beiber youtube 29ers appeared from the oven at that time, but these loaves were thrown out, they weren't stiff loaves, and no-one would pay 40% more than 26 for that. At some point someone undercooked a 29er and out popped a 27.5. On that day the stars aligned, and so it was that each organisation in turn popped out a freshly baked Miley Cyrus 27.5 and for a brief period all the music started to sound like Cyrus. 27.5 came in like a wrecking ball 2k14 and destroyed the 26 ecosystem. Still today the Smithsonian, The National Trust and other heritage organisations are searching around for vintage 26er gear to document the extinct dodo years of mountain-biking - though they are looking for everything from Nirvana to the Kings of Leon, its just too much, and they'll never find an old set of Judy tt's in a record shop anyway. Back to now, and this splurge of 27.5 gear eventually started to pile up in each shop, and grew into a terrible moulding heap in your average cash-rich enthusiasts garage. 27.5 was a kind of golden age, a goldy-looking-chain for credit crunching profit merchants, though it actually offered a genuine points advantage. But as I say, then came the eventual standardisation, re-standardisation, and re-re-standardisation associated with competition and managed obseleteness. 27.5 was after-all the misshapen loaf which fell from the 29er tin. "It was under-baked all along," they now claim, "and now that we have the fancy re-re-standards they are stiff loaves like we always wanted." We only have to look at 27.5+ 29+ to know that those brave bakers which brought us 27.5 had become bored and started throwing extra eggs and things into the mixture. I dare say one even disobeyed orders and cooked a batch of 26, you know, under heat-lamps like they used to, just for the staff. So now we have our 29ers. As you can see its all been really dreadful and not something I would wish upon anyone. If you want sources just PM me.
  • + 2
 It's a complicated problem. I've been tweaking my 29HT since I got it 2 1/2 years ago and think I have just about got ot right.

Full suss is far more complicated. 26 has been around for what 40 years or something and they only got that figured in the last few (if at all). It needs time and testing and companies who are willing to think outside the box and try things that are unconventional. It also doesn't help that most companies are making carbon bikes with expensive mounds in far off lands. Locally made metal bikes are far easier and cheaper to get "wrong" before you get them right.
  • + 1
 @browner: quality.
  • + 2
 @browner: that reads like an episode of "black mirror"...
  • + 1
 @browner: That was both hilarious and true.
  • + 5
 Didn't we just hear about this fork offset/trail "innovation" when Transition released the Sentinel?
  • + 4
 It's probably a thing many brands have focused on for 2018 model year. Although Chris Porter has been preaching this for a long time...
  • + 4
 ...and Geometron before that. Whyte's been a rule breaker since day one. .
  • + 2
 Yep, seems as if more people in the industry are carrying out similar experiments, with very good results. Slacker head angle, without making the wheelbase overly long? Works for me!
  • + 1
 @mackster23: I tried this on my modern 29er and I can confirm - it's critical to increase reach though or up frame. Can't wait for the new sentinel.
  • + 4
 I'm sure this came about because SRAM & FOX started offering shorter offset options, & like other changes, once the components show up, everybody can get on board.

29ers in DH happened this year because of the FOX 49. A mainstream 29er DH fork was required before major teams would make the jump.
  • + 1
 @groghunter: Will the DH crew change their offsets next year too?
  • + 3
 @Loamhuck: I dunno, what's the ideal offset for a bike with a 29F/27.5R?
  • + 0
 @groghunter: Dear gosh. I just threw up in my mouth a little...
  • + 1
 @groghunter: Ha. The 49 has like a 60mm offset. Huge fail on FOX part. If it's all in the crowns then a swap to the 26" crowns could yield some good results.
  • + 2
 @groghunter: Chris Porter was messing around with offset way before SRAM and Fox. You're right about most mainstream R&D guys though.
  • + 2
 @jclnv: I keep thinking about how blissful the FOX 40 275 fork fitted to a 29" wheel with 26" dual crowns would be. An expensive experiment regardless...

Too bad all Porter and Co experiments have largely been ignored by FOX. Can't say I'm that into buying a 36 29er then swapping to 275 CSU.

The MRP Ribbon gets 160mm at 46mm offset for a 29er for less.
  • + 1
 Yea Bro, it's SBG technology!
  • + 1
 The "boost" and wheel size epoch is over, so now guys started to improve how bikes ride? It would be awesome, but I do not trust them. What I can see is just more new forks to sell and a new hype. However I must admit that this time it is more sophisticated, instead forcing you to buy a metric shock, they make you want buy a new fork with 4cm less offset.
  • + 5
 @groghunter: Yes, it's an OEM (Sram, Shimano, Fox etc.) driven industry, bicycle makers, for most part, are just system integrators, designing geometry and suspension system as best as they can around what the OEMs are supplying. Some of the biggest names like Trek and Specialized can indeed drive OEMs to develop/produce components they designed (DRCV, Brain, Thru shaft shock etc.).
Transition did not get Sram or Fox on board with this new (Chris Porter's) idea, but the other way around. They were just the first to get the word out and coined a new marketing acronym - SBG.
  • + 3
 @mackster23: Overly long? You think decreasing your wheelbase by 9mm is noticable? 50mm yes but not less than 10mm!
  • + 2
 @jollyXroger: Most surprising/disappointing part of Öhlins releasing suspension components is that Öhlins followed industry thinking with offset on the RXF 36, smh tbh.
  • + 1
 @gonecoastal: 100%. I'm looking at a RFX here that I knew was compromised when I got it. (Came on the bike).

No doubt I'll be able to get a short offset CSU for $500 at some point.... Lucky me.
  • + 2
 If you guys and girls want to experiment a little I'm pretty sure the RS Pike CSU for 27.5 will work with the 29er (I think they share the same part #for the 46mm offset). It's not the low offset of these new bikes, but can calm your short travel bike down a bit. I had a 46mm Pike at 150mm on my Smuggler, and it DOES carve better than the DVO that is on there now. It's not like you can light a cigarette while you drop into the garbonzo, but the stability can be felt. Now to find out if I can get a 27.y CSU for my 29er Diamond 8-)
  • + 1
 Might be cheaper to get some offset bushings or a angleset.
  • + 1
 I'm gonna call the sram guide bug a feature. I tend to get 'the claw' on long steeps when using the brakes a lot but with guides the brakes slowly pull towards the bars which means my hands and arms slowly change muscles used. I can ride for longer and I just have to release the brakes for a second if I need a bit of extra bite. I actually love that they do this
  • + 1
 It's like George Brannigan change the bike but the wheels stay the same 29,I'm not twenty niner hater just had enough of people claiming one is better ,they are all round single go out and make them do just that at whatever speed you can !!
  • + 2
 Possibly another good reason to mount calipers behind the fork lower: you won't rip off the screws holding them on your fork, hence you'll stay alive and won't care about agility of your bike at all.
  • + 2
 Also, the offset of the fork pushes the disk forwards from the fork, so you'd either need a very long/ weirdly-angled brake mount, or to just mount it behind, where the disk is in an ideal position and the forces are easy to manage. Plus, being behind the fork might protect it a bit more in a crash, I suppose. I'm pretty sure off-axis steering inertia was probably the last thing anyone was thinking about.
  • + 4
 All these new bikes are now too long for me to even consider buying now,having a short torso and reach myself .
  • + 12
 Still plenty of options out here... Adapt yourself fucking midget, us tall folks have been struggling with short bikes for years now its your turn
  • + 1
 How tall are you?
  • + 4
 Specialized, Trek, etc. So many bikes with very short reach numbers.
  • + 3
 You just have to buy a size lower that is all. Like other people I've had to wait YEARS in order to be able to buy a bike that fits me correctly! My current bike has a reach of 520mm.
  • + 1
 @jclnv: pivot
  • + 1
 @GravesendGrunt go for narrower bars
  • + 3
 @mollow: Kind empathetic words there ,are you sure your Canadian?
  • + 1
 @Racer951: 5'7" but with a long leg stretch and relatively short upper body reach.
  • + 1
 @SintraFreeride: the lowest reach in this bike is 458.5mm and my perceived limit on a bike is around 430mm,I currently sized 'up' to a medium when I bought a YT Capra and that has a 422mm reach and this feels just about bang on for me for all round fun.
  • + 1
 @Travel66: Why? I'd rather get a bike that fits me properly. If you sold me running shoes would you sell me Usain Bolts size 13's and then say wear a few extra pairs of socks..... :-)
  • + 1
 @GravesendGrunt: I'm just over 5'8" so not far off, my bikes about 445 reach and I find it fits pretty damn well, I'm not sure if nearly 460mm is too much without trying - if the seat tube angle is steep I think it could work.

Have you tried a longer reach bike or do you not like the way longer bikes ride?

This whyte certainly isn't for shorties like us unless you like to push the bike that's for sure, plenty of other less aggro stuff out there though.
  • + 1
 @Racer951: Do you ride flats ? That makes a big diff to reach-usually shortening it v's clipless which I like riding(although I have recently moved these as far back as possible with my shoes and it does make a big difference 'for me' . I've test ridden a few YT bikes recently the newest medium YT Jeffsy27 has a longer reach(440mm) than my current medium Capra (422mm) and on paper this new bike should be more agile fun that what I have.....but lucky for my wallet it was anything but,I was held forward almost trapped out my more natural neutral position more than I would of liked ,and had no chance of moving to the rear of the bike when I needed to-as this was now almost not an option.
Your point about pushing these bikes at speed on bigger more open trails is a good one...I could maybe contend with the long front center if I only rode on higher speed bike park style trails trails but at slower tighter more technical speeds.........no chance-downright scary
  • + 1
 @GravesendGrunt:
I do agree with what you said, first time I've looked at a Large and thought that's on the upper end of my size range.....I can't see how a big bike would work in the UK for me......still theres no need to bring your usain bolt fetish into this Lee
  • + 1
 While it seems to be a nice bike in many ways, that mass offset story hurts to read. If you think about all the mass attached to you handlebar with much bigger offset from the steering axis, the fact that the spacing of the stanchion tubes create much more leverage than the offset, the fact that the whole wheel is attached to the fork, not even considering gyroscopic forces... then you will realize that a few mm more or less offset are not really that much of a deal.
  • + 1
 Plus, the fork is much wider than it is offset from the steering axis, so the vast majority of its rotational inertia about the steering axis comes from having to make the legs widely-spaced enough to fit a wheel in, pushing each leg away from the steering axis. A quick calculation shows that, with a boost-spaced fork, changing the offset has literally less than a 1% difference in the radial displacement of each fork leg.

There's some very shaky engineering reasoning in the article, even if the slack+low offset geometry does work.
  • + 3
 RC next time you are in Washington send me a message and we can ride some awesome trails that will have you begging for an FD mount.
  • + 2
 Same over here in Switzerland...I think a FD stole @RichardCunningham 's lunch money when he has a kid!
  • + 1
 I think I experienced a "negative trail event" last week coming up short on jump, landing front wheel down in upslope - straight off over the bars, which were rotated 180 degrees when I tried to pick bike up again!
  • + 1
 I'd ride that!. Spesh and Trek both decide to increase their marketing budget to try and get people to spend twice as much on nearly the same bike. Drop the prices instead bike industry profiteers!
  • + 4
 Looks awesome and that hole in the frame is perfect for a tube!
  • + 3
 Thats exactly what i use the space for on my t130, really handy
  • + 3
 And the space in the frame is so large you can put a 2 litre coke bottle in there....
  • + 1
 one of my main problems getting used to 29ers was the weird deflection thing i could not explain (51mm offset). cool to have an explanation and see my feeling confirmed -next fork wont be 51mm then.
  • + 1
 I realised wrong article meant the guerilla gravity.......errrrugh. But still amazing. One question with whyte is, how durable will the pivot bearings be? Any old t-130 owners care to add their comments.
  • + 4
 29 is a new 27.5.
  • + 2
 No 29" has always been better than 27.5".
  • + 2
 Just something tiny to to add to the article.... 500cc racing wasn't called MotoGP in '96.
  • + 1
 Ehh.... That '96 was supposed to be '66.
  • + 1
 Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the Giant Reign has a custom 42mm offset, too. Nothing that new here. Nice bike, though.
  • + 2
 Giant actually went the other direction and had a custom 46mm offset. I ride my Reign with a 42mm offset and it is sweet.
  • + 1
 @Zaeius: my bad. You're right - 46 mm. That big of difference, huh?
  • + 1
 Are all 27.5 bikes from 2015 crap now and not worth a pedal stroke! Or am old FASHIONED that's the word FASHION .
  • + 1
 All theses numbers if you feel most of them I think you should be racing DH WC
  • + 1
 i want a easy gear that almost the same size of the rear wheel
  • + 0
 Hard to have faith in a reviewer's riding ability when he never releases the brakes...
  • + 1
 I've had a T-129 for the past year and I definitely want one of these!
  • + 1
 Yep, me too!
  • + 1
 What about that rear end, carbon?
  • + 2
 looks like a stumpjumper
  • + 3
 But with better geometry and lower price!
  • + 1
 Seems like I'm pretty ahead with the trail of my 26 bike
  • + 1
 Well techically if we were still using that wheelsize offset would go sub30mm.
  • + 1
 Ouch - that chain'll snap when the bike hits full travel (picture 1)...!
  • + 1
 It certainly looks tight, but I find that big cassettes make it look like there is less free chain than there is.
  • + 6
 If you hit full travel while using a first gear that low, you are doing something wrong.
  • + 1
 I really like these Whyte bikes....
  • + 1
 a black whyte, now iv seen it all
  • + 0
 Looks like a bad copy of FSR Stumpjumper, but not as nice what do the numbers say?
  • + 1
 wanna demo one of these, also really keen to see the Kona 153 29er!
  • + 1
 Stumpjumper Smile
  • + 1
 Take my money!
  • - 2
 You guy's know they make these at SPECIALIZED right.. Just sayin, looks identical!
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