Setting up the suspension is easy. Like many Horst-Link designs, it can be configured hard or soft and still manage to deliver a balanced ride. Sag settings close to 25-percent on the fork and shock did the trick (the T-130 has 130 millimeters of wheel travel on both ends), and I found that the bike was happier with slightly faster low-speed rebound values than I usually prefer. The suspension feels firm in the mid-stroke, so it pedals well without damping aids, and it maintains its ride height well under braking. Conversely, with so much support in the mid-stroke, the Whyte lets its rider know what's going on beneath the wheels, but a rougher ride is a compromise one must be willing to accept to enjoy the livelier, more responsive feel that a technically adept chassis with minimal suspension travel can deliver.
As advertised, the Whyte T-130's carbon chassis is truly next-gen: Light weight and spirited in the pedaling department, with a generously long cockpit and gravity inspired geometry, it rolls silently, and its component selection leaves little to desired - at a very attractive MSRP.
Spoiler alert: Its replacement, the 2017 T-130 Works, has recently been announced, and will feature the same chassis, but equipped with a full SRAM ensemble, including Eagle 12-speed and RockShox suspension. Priced at $6,499 USD, however, it is also a bit more expensive. Choose the 2016 or 2017 model, either way, you are sure to get a great trailbike. Here is how the 2016 model's components stacked up:
Internal seatpost clamp: Good idea on paper, with a rubber seal up top and no seat tube slot to attract water and muck, an internal clamp makes sense for any mountain bike. The bad news is that the clamp's internal wedges puts localized pressure on the RockShox dropper seatpost and binds the mechanism. Back the pressure off and the post can slide into the frame over time. I found a happy medium, but it was a bother.
Whyte Carbon Tubeless wheels: Good feeling wheelset. Not overly stiff and the spoke tension held up for an extended review period. The 30-millimeter inside width turned the Maxxis High Roller II tread profiles into cornering and climbing carnivores. The quick engagement freehub was an added bonus.
Internal cable plugs: Bit of a nitpick here, but one of the bike's selling points was that its chassis was well sealed. The rubber plugs intended to protect the cable and hose entries fell out repeatedly until I rammed them into place with a seal pick and some glue. The culprit seemed to be that the grooves in the plugs are narrower than the thickness of the frame.