Review: 2019 Whyte S-120C - A Long and Slack Short-Travel Trail Bike

Feb 18, 2019 at 18:19
by Mike Kazimer  
Long and slack aren't terms that are typically applied to a 120mm trail bike, but Whyte decided to defy convention with the new S-120C. It may not have a ton of travel, but its geometry numbers look like they were lifted from an enduro bike, with a 65.6-degree head angle, and a 480mm reach on a size large.

The S-120C Works is the top offering in the three model lineup, with a price tag of $5,299 USD. It's spec'd with the newest XTR drivetrain components, a Fox 34 Stepcast fork, and Whyte's own Trail 27 carbon wheels. Our test bike arrived with an early set of the new XTR cranks, but due to production issues those won't be making it to the market, at least not for a while. In the meantime, Race Face's Next R cranks will be taking their place.

Whyte S120C Works Details

Travel: 120mm front/rear
Wheel size: 29"
Head angle: 65.6º
Chainstay length: 430mm
Frame construction: Carbon front triangle, aluminum swingarm
Sizes: S, M, L, XL
Weight: 27.8 lb / 12.6 kg (large, w/o pedals)
Price: $5299 USD as tested
More info: whyte.bike/collections

bigquotesIt's a bike that encourages you to treat the trail like a natural pumptrack in order to keep cruising along. Mike Kazimer








Whyte S-120C Works review


Construction and Features

The S-120 bears more than a passing resemblance to Whyte's 27.5” wheeled T-130 – in fact, the frames are identical, with only the shock length and wheel size to differentiate them. A carbon fiber front triangle is paired to an aluminum swingarm, with clevis style pivots at the seat and chainstays.

Whyte didn't go too wild trying to shave grams on the S-120 – the focus seems to have been more on creating a sturdy and reliable bike that could withstand the UK's foulest weather. From the integrated seatpost clamp, complete with a rubber seal around the post to keep water from entering the frame, to the extra layer of grease behind the anodized bearing covers (and lifetime bearing warranty), it's clear that the S-120's designers are familiar with riding in the muck and mire. There's a threaded bottom bracket, too, along with internal cable routing and room to mount a water bottle cage on top of the down tube.


Whyte S-120C Works review
The S-120 has a fairly long head tube, at 140mm for a size large.
Whyte S-120C Works review
An integrated seatpost clamp, with a rubber seal to keep water from entering the frame, holds the dropper post in place.

Whyte S-120C Works review
Clevis-style suspension pivots are found at the seatstay and chainstay junctions.


Geometry & Sizing

Whyte s120

The S120 is currently one of the longest and slackest bikes in the short travel trail bike category, with with a 65.6-degree head angle, and reach of 480mm for a size large. For comparison, Pivot's Trail 429 has a 67.3-degree head angle (with a 130mm fork) and a 460mm reach, and a Specialized Stumpjumper ST has a 67.5-degree head angle (also with a 130mm fork) and a 455mm reach.

Whyte quietly started using reduced offset forks on their bikes back in 2017, a trend that has since spread like wildfire throughout the industry. The S120 is no exception – the Stepcast Fox 34 has 44mm of offset, compared to the 51mm that was the norm not too long ago.

At 75-degrees the S120's seat angle is contemporary but not boundary-pushing, while the 430mm chainstay length is fairly typical for bikes in this category.


Whyte S-120C Works review
Whyte's Quad-4 suspension design delivers 120mm of rear travel.

Suspension Design

The S-120 uses a Horst Link suspension layout (Whyte call it Quad-4). The shock is driving by a u-shaped yoke that attaches to a link that runs from the seatstays to the seat tube.

Achieving the right balance of support and compliance is especially important on shorter travel bikes – all 120 millimeters need to be usable, but in a controlled way. To that end, Whyte focused on ensuring there was enough ramp up to prevent harsh bottom outs, while keeping the beginning of the stroke supple to help maintain traction.



Build Kit

Specifications
Price $5299
Travel 120mm
Rear Shock Fox Float DPS Factory
Fork Fox Float Factory SC 34, Step Cast, 29", 120mm Travel, 44mm Offse
Headset FSA No. 42 Orbit ZS Plus
Cassette Shimano XTR M9100, 12-speed, 10-51t
Crankarms RaceFace NEXT R Carbon, Direct Mount 34T, 175mm
Bottom Bracket RaceFace BSA, 73mm, 30mm diameter
Rear Derailleur Shimano XTR M9100 12-Speed
Chain Shimano XTR CN-M9100
Shifter Pods Shimano XTR M9100
Handlebar RaceFace NEXT R Carbon, 800mm wide
Stem Whyte Gravity Stem, 40mm
Grips Whyte Lock-on V Grip
Brakes Shimano XTR BR-9120
Hubs Shimano MT900
Spokes DT Swiss Competition
Rim Whyte 26mm Carbon Hookless
Tires Maxxis Forekaster / Maxxis Crossmark
Seat Whyte Custom Team
Seatpost Bike Yoke Revive, 30.9mm, S 125mm Travel, M/L/XL 160mm Travel, XTR MT800 I-Spec EV Remote



Whyte S-120C Works review














Test Bike Seutp

Getting the S-120 set up was a straightforward affair, and my final suspension settings didn't deviate too much over the course of the test period. I ran 165 psi in the Fox DPS shock to achieve 30% sag, and 73 psi in the Stepcast 34, with one token installed.

In the past, a bike like this would have arrived with a long stem and narrow bars, but thankfully those days are rapidly becoming distant memories. I trimmed the 800mm Next R bars down to 780mm, and left the 40mm stem in place.

I did end up swapping out the tires for part of the test period once winter set in. The Forekaster / Crossmark combo works well in dry to damp conditions, but once things turned really wet and muddy (and then snowy), it was time to put on a meatier tire combo in order to keep from drifting off trail.


Me.
Mike Kazimer
Location: Bellingham, WA, USA
Age: 36
Height: 5'11"
Inseam: 33"
Weight: 160 lbs
Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
Instagram: @mikekazimer



Whyte s120


Climbing

The S-120 has a very roomy cockpit, even with a 40mm stem installed due to the long reach and 75-degree seat tube angle. I recently tested the Pole Machine, and while that bike is obviously situated in an entirely different category, it does share the same 480mm reach number as the S-120. The result of the S-120's slacker seat angle is that it has a 33mm longer top tube than the Pole, which meant that there was a stark contrast between the two bikes' seated climbing positions. I felt more stretched out on the S-120, while my position on the Machine was almost too upright for my tastes.

The bottom line? Reach numbers are an important part of the geometry equation, but top tube length shouldn't be ignored. I ended up sliding the seat all the way forward to achieve the positioning I was looking for, but it's something to keep in mind for riders who may be between sizes.

The overall ride quality of the S-120 while climbing or on rolling terrain is closer to a Cadillac than a Corvette. It'll rack up the miles on a big day of riding without putting up a fuss, but it has a calm, cruisy nature that separates it from a snappier bike like the Pivot Trail 429, or a Scott Spark. Uphill aficionados (yes, they do exist) would be better served by something a little lighter, and a little less slack – the muted handling of the S-120 isn't going to set a hill climber's heart aflutter. Granted, I didn't have any trouble cleaning the techy portions of my regular test track, but the S-120 didn't feel as energetic as I'd hoped; it takes a little more work to snake it through tighter sections of trail.

That being said, it is more responsive than a longer travel machine with similar numbers would be, due to the fact that there's less suspension to sag into. It pedals well with the shock in the fully open position, although I did make use of the climb switch for longer, smoother dirt road grinds.



Whyte s120


Descending

The S-120 may have middle-of-the-road climbing abilities for a 120mm bike, but the good news is that it punches above its travel bracket when gravity takes over. The shorter travel obviously means it's less forgiving of mistakes, but there's no need to tiptoe through technical sections of trail - even when switching from a long-travel beast to the S-120 I didn't have to drastically change my riding style thanks to the familiar-feeling geometry.

Sure, it's not as plush as those big rigs, but the travel it has is very well managed by the DPS shock and 34 fork, with plenty of support for pedaling and pumping, and to keep it from bottoming out on bigger drops. Just the fact that I felt comfortable hitting bigger drops on the S-120 is a testament to the level of confidence its geometry inspires. I do think a 130mm fork would have been a better spec choice – there were a few times when a little extra travel up front would have been appreciated.

Overall, the S-120 has a calm and stable nature as opposed to being poppy and playful, and it's better suited to going fast instead of taking part in impromptu trailside jib sessions. The long front center and slack head angle make it best suited to speeding through rolling terrain, and treating the trail like a natural pumptrack is the key to maintaining a good pace. It's not the most nimble machine in this category, but the flipside is that it feels more composed on steeper trails than the vast majority of 120mm bikes out there.


Whyte s120



Pivot
Pivot Trail 429

Transition Smuggler review
Transition Smuggler

How does it compare?

The S-120 isn't your typical trail bike, but the Transition Smuggler comfortably sits in a similar niche. Both bikes have 120mm of rear travel, although the Smuggler gets a 140mm Fox 34 versus the 120mm Stepcast 34 on the S-120. Neither bike qualifies as a feather weight, with a with a total weight between 28 - 29 pounds depending on the tire choice.

The S-120 has a more efficient feel, especially during out of the saddle pedaling, and was more likely to use the climb switch on the Smuggler due to the fact that it sunk into its travel more easily. The Smuggler does have a slightly shorter reach and a steeper seat angle, which created a better seated climbing position for me, but both bikes are a welcome departure from the old-school, steep and sketchy geometry that used to prevail.

The extra 20mm of travel up front on the Smuggle goes a long way, and I felt more comfortable letting it all hang out on that bike. The Smuggler's reverse mullet configuration seemed to encourage a looser riding style, while I had to stay a little more focused on the Whyte.

Pivot's 429 Trail is aimed at the same type of rider, although that bike has a much crisper feel when climbing. It feels more like a traditional trail bike, with quick and snappy handling, although it doesn't have the same level of surefooted stability that the S-120 demonstrates on the descents.


Whyte S-120C Works review
Whyte S-120C Works review


Technical Report

XTR M9100 brakes: : The new XTR brakes now use a four piston caliper along with a redesigned lever, a revision that's claimed to deliver more power and better modulation. I didn't have any issues with the amount of power, but the inconsistent lever feel that was present on the prior version still reared its ugly head. Even after a fresh bleed the feel at the lever was different almost every time I pulled it. Things got even worse at the end of the test period, when temperatures dropped below freezing. Mineral oil and cold temps don't go together very well, and both levers had minimal movement before they engaged.

XTR drivetrain: The XTR brakes didn't impress me, but the 12-speed drivetrain sure did. The shifter's ergonomics are excellent, with well defined ridges on each paddle for traction, and crisp, snappy shifting. It's also possible to drop down two gears with only one push of the lever, something that's not possible with SRAM's shift levers. I can't say I noticed the extra tooth on the 10-51 cassette (versus Eagle's 10-50), but every shift was incredibly smooth and precise.

Maxxis Forekaster / Crossmark tires: The tire spec on the S-120 isn't that out of line for a trail bike, but at the very least I think a Forekaster front and rear would have been a better choice. The Crossmark is a good dry conditions tire, but it can be a little, um, “interesting” when things get wet. Or just go all in and run the time-tested DHF / DHR II combo – after all, the S-120 already feels more like a trail bike than an XC whippet.

Fox Stepcast 34: The Stepcast 34 is a very impressive fork, one that's capable of handling terrain that's well outside the scope of a typical cross-country ride. However, there is one downside – the travel is limited to 120mm. That's not a big deal if you're building up an ultralight XC or marathon race machine, but the S-120 is more than that. It's the type of bike that makes you wonder how it would handle with a little more travel up front, but unfortunately the only way to find out is to install a different fork, rather than performing a simple air spring swap. The 'regular' 34 would have been the better spec choice, a few extra grams be damned.


Whyte s120


Pros

+ Smooth, calm descender
+ Excellent suspension performance
+ Well spec'd for the price
Cons

- Seat angle could be steeper to match long reach
- On the heavier side of things for a 120mm bike
- Not the liveliest climber



Is this the bike for you?

Deciding who the S120 is for is a tricky proposition. It's not the bike if you're looking for a light and lively XC speed demon; instead, it's more of short travel shredder, a bike for the rider who doesn't want gobs of travel to dull their ride experience, but also doesn't want to be hampered by conservative geometry.




Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesIs the S120 a sign of things to come? Or it too focused on the 'down' portion of downcountry? That's open to debate, but Whyte deserve credit for giving it a try. The S-120 has a calm and stable nature that's usually not found on a shorter travel bike, and if your cross-country rides tend to be extra technical the S-120 is worth a look. Mike Kazimer









235 Comments

  • + 65
 So while they say that it comes specced with the new xtr, does that mean that they ship the drivetrain to you separately in 6 months time?
  • + 2
 As far as I know, the problems are with new silent hubs and 11 gear range cassettes. Rest of the range is available on regular basis.
  • + 16
 @ziolek79: I thought they weren't able to deliver the cranks as planned either. They do have a replacement though. Bummer though that they didn't manage to make the silent hubs and 11sp cassette work. These were the most exciting components to me. Not that I would buy these as XTR, but maybe once they trickle down to XT, Zee or SLX. That said, my bike is doing just fine as it is so I just hope they'll have it refined a couple of years from now when the time comes to replace some components.
  • + 1
 @vinay: Yes, there was problem with new coating on cranks, so they decided to back to older coating. But it need to be rechecked cause I'm not sure.
Same here, waiting for new technology moved down to XT/SLX Smile 10-46 12g cassette could be brilliant Smile
  • - 2
 downcountry bike
  • + 1
 Nope...it'll be sold with suitable alternatives at the time of purchase.
  • + 7
 Looks like a StumpJumper
  • - 3
 In before @NYShred calls it plastic.
  • + 2
 Ge
  • + 5
 The spec I like is the Trail 27 wheels that are 29" with a 26mm internal.........
  • + 52
 So uhhhh @ every other bike company, how come Whyte is able to spec full(ish) XTR for the price of your GX bikes?
  • - 10
flag Ttimer (Mar 4, 2019 at 4:42) (Below Threshold)
 Direct to consumer. The Whyte fits right in with YT, Rose, Commencal or Radon in terms of price/spec.
  • + 8
 @Ttimer: Whyte is not a direct consumer brand... At least they have Dealers that you can order the bikes from
  • + 1
 @Foxy87: You are right, they do list (primarily UK) dealers on their website. However, they do offer direct purchase from their website, which is what i expect most customers to do.
I was looking at their bikes last year and found that in order to get one outside the UK i would have to order directly because the german dealers listed on their website didn't have anything in stock.
  • + 17
 @Ttimer: Whyte are sold through shops in the UK, they're only direct in America
  • + 4
 In the rest of Europe you can only order through dealers. They can't really match Canyon and the rest of the direct sales brands in pricing, but they still offer good vfm and spend their component budget wisely. I've been treated well by their customer support too. Now please make a full aluminum version!
  • + 3
 @justwan-naride: They have released the S-120C R at £3100. Still not full alloy though. I have the S-120C RS, it's very fast.
  • - 5
flag Turner40 (Mar 4, 2019 at 11:29) (Below Threshold)
 The Price given by Pinkbike is in British Pounds so if converted to USD it costs almost $7000.
  • + 2
 @reddo: I prefer alu for durability and peace of mind. The fact that it's usually cheaper is just a bonus.
  • - 4
flag Turner40 (Mar 4, 2019 at 17:48) (Below Threshold)
 @srstudent: Go ahead and check the website given......
  • + 3
 @Turner40: Take your own advice... I'm seeing $5299 listed on my end as well.
  • + 2
 @Turner40: A british pound is worth more than a dollar, but we have ~20% tax included in the price, so the conversion between gbp and usd is pretty much 1:1
  • + 34
 Short travel bike that climbs like a bag of shiat. Sounds like fun.
  • + 44
 We now refer to that as Upduro lol
  • + 2
 Anyone who thinks this has not ridden a smuggler. Perfect bike for areas with mix of downhill, xc trails and climbing. I own a smuggler for local trails and a meta for parks and shuttle rides. In my opinion its a perfect combo.
  • + 19
 A little over 5k for a carbon frame, Fox bling suspension, and a full XTR groupset with brakes? If I actually liked Horst Link suspension(which I don't), I would seriously consider this bike. Still expensive, but seriously a great value considering what you get.
  • + 3
 @Naturel: care to elaborate?
  • + 4
 @Naturel: Not true... At all!
  • + 1
 @Naturel: what? So wrong.
  • + 1
 @Naturel: Suspension design doesn't matter as long as axle path, anti-squat, leverage ratio and all the other suspension characteristics are good. You can achieve that with many suspension designs.
  • + 2
 @Naturel: sure am... Maybe one day, when u get a real job, you'll be able to afford overpriced bikes as well..

Happy riding.
  • + 3
 @Naturel: I'll bump ondrejaugustin's question: care to elaborate? Genuinely interested in why you think HL should not be used on mtbs as well as what would be your layout of choice and why.

Oh and bohns's yeti is not a horst link bike so not sure why you lashed out at him and what his bike has to do with him disagreeing with you on HL...
  • + 1
 I definitely had to reread that to make sure I was seeing it right - full XTR, carbon hoops, and fox Factory at a little over $5K is industry-call-out competitive pricing
  • + 19
 Nearly all the reviews for 110-130mm trail bikes seem to start with some variation of the words 'Long and slack aren't words usually associated with 120mm trail bikes...'. Seems like a lot of the new ones do, so maybe time to amend that
  • - 6
flag vinay (Mar 4, 2019 at 7:24) (Below Threshold)
 The silly thing is, the Pinkbike editors kind of dump it in a category and then say it is different from everything else in that category. Suspension travel is an odd criterium to define these by. Why not define a category by the sagged geometry? You'll probably find more bikes with a similar purpose if you'd do it like that. For instance my hardtail has 120mm travel with a 150mm headtube at 63deg unsprung (size large). So at sag I have about 90mm travel left. Plus 150mm headtube makes 240mm (say headtube plus exposed stanchion). Instead of comparing my bike to other hardtails with 120mm travel, it may be fairer to compare it for instance to a hardtail with a 160mm travel fork and a 120mm headtube. So that could go for this bike too. It takes a 120mm travel fork and has a 140mm headtube. Compare it to other full sussers with 160mm travel and a 110mm headtube. Then the head angle and wheelbase doesn't stand out as so very extreme, does it?
  • + 6
 @CustardCountry, fair point, although I feel like in the past that phrase usually meant the bike was long or slack relative to its category.

In this case there’s no caveat necessary for the geo - it actually is long and slack.
  • + 8
 @mikekazimer: You said you struggle to see who this appeals to and then we discuss the whole long and slack thing. My answer for you is this. UK trail centre weekend warriors. You never need too much travel, the tracks are fast and flowly and well surfaced. They never or hardly ever have technical climbs. This bike would do them all right up to and including the reds at Bike Park Wales.
There is a whole chunk of UK mtb’ers that have never touched natural trails.
  • + 4
 @mikekazimer: Should have compared it agains the Trance.
  • + 1
 @ilovedust: you are so right. Theres so many people in UK who treat mountain biking like squash or 5-a-side and just treat it as a 2 hour Sunday morning trail centre thing to do.

They usually wear lycra and ride a Santa Cruz.
  • + 0
 @vinay: I absolutely agree with you. However, sagged geo is complicated, and I have a few ideas about it:

1) Your logic works for hardtails, but not for full suspension bikes. For full suspension bikes the HA doesn't change much when sagged because the front and back tend to drop about the same distance. That's one key metric riders typically use to determine how a bike might handle. Wheelbase, trail, BB height, and some others will change under sag, so those might be useful, but angles for fullies are relatively constant under sag. If you include differences in sag preferences, this becomes too complex an issue for a review article.

2) Sagged geo is complicated to measure, and complicated to understand. I have an idea of the sagged geo on my bike and spec'd it accordingly, but it took work and thought to understand, two things a casual rider probably won't want to put in. I didn't measure the sagged geo on my bike and choose parts accordingly; I rode it, considered how it felt, and changed what I wanted to change. Similarly, geometry table comparisons are used by consumers through comparison - we know some numbers for the bikes we've tried, so we can compare to a table of new numbers and get an idea of some handling characteristics.

tl;dr - You've got a good point but the logic is flawed for full suspension bikes. Although sagged geo is fascinating and useful, it's complicated, which makes unsprung geo is easier to compare and understand.
  • + 1
 @aharms: Quite often I'm getting caught up in these discussions about geometry, technical stuff and whatnot and without graphical or physical material it gets quite difficult. So without calling anyone an idiot (as is common here on PB) for not getting the other ones point, I'm giving it one more shot and then call it a day. Just because this medium is not ideal for these discussions, however interesting they may be.

I do agree that angles change for a sagged hardtail whereas they don't do that as much on a full susser. Indeed front and rear may sag differently but the change in angle is nowhere as dramatic as it is on a hardtail. I agree with you on that one. What I do mean to say that the position of the front axle to the bars is more important than the amount of suspension travel. Add to that reach, stack (as far as it wasn't already covered in the other measurements) and chainstay length and it more or less gives you an idea both for how much room you have and how you can distribute that between both wheels (for standing riding). So in the (full suspension) example I mentioned above both bikes have the same top of headtube to axle distance and angle so they could be comparable, even though the Whyte has less travel. So it would be fairer to compare the Whyte to a 160mm travel fully than to a 120mm marathon bike.

I do agree that sagged geometry is difficult and there are loads of variables, but I do think manufacturers could at least give you numbers based on how they think the bike is to be tuned for the intended purpose. You can always add a longer fork, add more sag in the rear, run a bigger front wheel etc to tune it to your preferences and get an idea what it would be like. Cotic does that, so why wouldn't others be able to do the same? Completely unsprung is a long way from what the bike would be like when ridden. Chainstay length in particular doesn't make sense unsprung as it doesn't matter anyway if there is no weight on it. Sure for loads of bikes it more or less goes a similar arc (increases towards the sag point and then shortens again) but for both high pivot bikes (like the Craftworks ENR) as well as bikes with a BB centered pivot (like the DMR Bolt Long) these measurements are very different. I trust bike manufacturers design their bikes around sagged geometry and make sure they still remain in the usable envelope when the suspension hits the extremes. But the sagged geometry is the basis, so why not give that to the customer to base their decisions upon? Trial and error helps and probably works great for those who've spend a lot of time on similar bikes. But if you don't want to waste money on experiments, it is best to be able to compare the sagged geometry to that of your current bike and then decide up front which length fork you want, a reach adjust or angled headset etc. It may still not be perfect right from the start, but you'll definitely be much more likely to have close enough. And then sure that still doesn't tell how the bike reacts under dynamic loading (braking, cornering etc) but then again the unsprung geometry wouldn't give you that either. And hopefully you'll be able to tune the suspension behavior to your liking.
  • + 1
 @vinay: Ooooooh boy, that's a long reply! Haha.

I think we agree with each other for the most part. Sagged geo is helpful, although I don't think it's that important for most consumers. We can speculate as to how a particular bike will change under sag, but the only way to know for sure is to make some measurements. My thought is that, for most bikes with typical design, the sagged geo is similar to the unsagged geo, besides the obvious changes. (Not to write off small dimensional changes - we can feel a difference between wheel sizes, which have pretty similar numbers for attack angles and gyroscopic forces, as an example.) I'd also argue that on bikes with more extreme geometry changes when suspension acts, like the Chromag hardtail, sagged geo is provided. You're right when you say that manufacturers design around sagged geo and choose not to share it, so here's my speculation on why.

From a design standpoint, it's very important. This is similar to designing a car: the designs of suspension, braking, or engine management software are crucial in design and strongly impact performance, but the end consumer usually doesn't care. They want a car that is fun and reliable and affordable, and I'm willing to bet most bike consumers want the same things, without needing to understand linkages and geometries and everything, however important they may be. This article is written for consumers that want to know general stuff - is it fun? Does it climb as well as it descends? What's the purpose of the bike? etc, etc.
  • + 3
 @chainspotting: bit harsh. Not everyone lives near an accessable 'natural' landscape to ride, and many mtb's are family men/women with limited time to ride (hence the daft 'weekend warrior' tag). So a trail centre is often a good option, multiple trails, easy to get to, and laps can be as short or long as you want. So what if it's not EWS gnarly? It's people out riding, which is only good for the sport. These are still mountain bikers. It's all good.
  • + 21
 I literally just fitted XTR four piston brakes to my bike today. Hope they don't suck.
  • + 66
 Things that suck aren't always bad...
  • + 2
 let me know how they go! looking at getting some for my rig
  • + 11
 I've had the XTR 4 pots for a few months now. Mmmm, I'd class them under "flawed genius".
They're so almost amazing - the power and modulation are the best ever, but as this reviewer found, the bite point is STILL inconsistent. Which can be really annoying
  • + 10
 @IllestT: How is that still possible? Why dont they fix that and make it idiot proof? I don't get it.
  • + 22
 Hope. They don't suck.
  • + 1
 Seems like an issue with cold weather. Mineral oil just doesn't cope well since it gets more viscous when it's cold, creating that inconsistent feel. I have a set of XTs and they're pretty great for the most part. Then when temps get to freezing or below, the bite point gets way inconsistent. Bleeding helps if you haven't bled it in a while, but it'll still have different bite points. Just not as pronounced. Initial braking bite point appears to be normal, but when you pull the lever again in a short period of time(like within 5-10 seconds) it'll engage early. Wait a little bit, and it'll be normal again. So repeated on-off braking in very cold weather is when you'd expect the brakes to act wonky.

Other than that, the braking power of my XTs aren't affected. I imagine the XTRs to be the same.
  • + 2
 @Almazing: Had two sets of SLX and I basically bled them weekly and at the end I hit a coupe of trees. Came back home, sold them all for 80 Euro and never looked back. Rode a friend of mine's Carbon Tues for some hard trails, same thing with the Saints... I don't get it.
  • - 2
 @enduroNZ: that's what she said
  • + 8
 Then how come Tektro/TRP aren’t reported to have the same inconsistent bite point problems? They run mineral oil too...@Almazing:
  • + 5
 @bertbc: I have a TEKTRO HD - M 285 rear brake on my dirt jumper and it has an inconsistent bite point even at non-freezing temps, and it gets significantly worse when it gets colder. More so than my XT brakes. Only reason I haven't replaced them is because it's on my DJ and I don't need better braking.

In any case, perhaps the higher end TRPs fare better. But I think it could be that the proprietary mineral oil for the TRPs cope better in the cold weather(citation needed). while low end brakes(like the ones on my DJ) are always going to have bite point issues because they're low end brakes.

In temperatures that are above freezing, my Shimano brakes work flawlessly.
  • + 1
 Nah the bite point issue is not related to low temperatures. I've ridden these new XTRs plenty in 15 degree heat (we had an abnormally warm February in the UK) and the bite point inconsistency never really goes away.
You do get kinda used to it, but it's always there.
  • + 1
 @Almazing: Because you are running a brake that costs as much as its pads. Tektro has an inconsistency with its models in general. The Auriga Pro is by far the worst brake I have had, whereas the Auriga Comp was miles better than my SLX. Then again, I bet that if you bleed the 285 and set it up proper once, you'll forget all your problems.
  • + 1
 @Almazing: I have a set of Orion 4 Pistons that I run on my Plus hardtail. I ride them Year-round in through Canadian Summers and Winters (generally -25c to +25c) and their bite point consistency has been second only to the BB7s I used to run. I imagine some Tektro brakes fare worse than others.
  • + 1
 @Almazing: Yep. The lever throw issue is a cold temp thing. I've got it on 2 sets of XTs and a set of Saints. When the temps dip the oil gets sluggish. The pistons don't return quickly enough between a quick lever squeeze, so the next lever throw only has to push the piston a shorter distance. Its worse on the rear as I suppose there is more oil to squeeze through the longer line. It happens consistently, like every time you pump the rear brake, when it's cold. Even just with the bike sitting there not being ridden, you can make it happen. Since I ride a lot in the cold I weeding out my Shimano brakes. A shame as they are otherwise great.
  • + 1
 @MikerJ: Same here. Had been riding the XTR 4 piston brakes for a couple of months and then it got below freezing. Sucked to have the bite point after 1cm while it was 2.3cm at the first lever pull. I sent them in under warranty and got a new pair. Rosebikes were so generous as to give me my money back as I didn't want them anymore.

It's not an issue with mineral oil though as my Direttissimas run great even at -10°C. It's servo wave and Shimano's mineral oil that in combination sucks. You could bleed the brake with Putoline HPX as many Germans have done and it works in most of the cases.
  • + 1
 @IllestT: I think it is just a seal issue. Many Shimano brakes goes crazy if you put the bike vertical like in a bike trailer and drive a few km the bite point is on the lever( air inside). For me the only way to keep it under control is never wear any pad more than 50% and clean it very well from time to time and of course,a very good bleed. Bite point thing is very noticeable with older&very wear pads in my experience.
  • + 1
 I have xt they do the same pump up thing. I'm saving up for trickstuff ya they are expensive but so are wheelsets .
  • + 1
 Hopes, first time everytime.
The new Hayes look really nice. Anybody have or try them yet?
  • + 1
 @panzer103: just that Hopes aren't powerful enough for my liking.
  • + 1
 @niconj: i hear what you are saying. Hopefully Hope can make it white the upcoming brake. But they do feel nice!
  • + 1
 @panzer103: There are some rumors of them developing a new V6. What I didn't like either about their brakes was that you needed too much force to pull the lever. With the DRT there's virtually no resistance whatsoever.
  • + 21
 Small Mountain
  • + 10
 Lil'duro
  • + 11
 Just wanted to point out the Transition Smuggler was spec'd with a fox 34 140mm for the 2018 year only. It now comes with a Fox 36 at 140mm. Huge improvement for a bike designed to smash downhill in a short travel package. Also easy to find a 150mm air shaft for a 36 if you want to get extra rowdy.
  • + 2
 The new Smuggler does look sick with that 36. Super poppy and rowdy
  • + 5
 @Naturel: I disagree, I think it climbs great. Certainly not XC race bike quick, but I came from a YT Jeffsy 29 and climbs considerably better than that bike.
  • + 13
 120mm, pedals like a Cadillac. Would this be classed as a pro or a con?
  • + 7
 I’d class that as marketing bullshit but that’s just me Wink
  • + 7
 To me in the review it sounds like it doesn't climb that well for a short travel 29er but doesn't really have enough suspension for its geometry...
  • + 7
 I assume it would be a pro if you dress like a pimp and got three hoes doing coke in the back seat/sofa.
  • + 5
 @Boardlife69: is it about crawling along, stopping at every corner?
  • + 4
 @BenPea: so you've seen me climbing uphill then.
  • + 2
 @Boardlife69: I got told I drive like a pimp once. Safety first, I say.
  • + 2
 @clink83: “doesn't really have enough suspension for its geometry” or just too slack for the 120mm travel...
  • + 0
 @bikeinbih: either way..i have a hard time seeing why anyone would buy this bike with the spec it has. An affordable bike for 2-3k with that geometry would have an appeal here in Idaho for people who want to do all day epics, but at that spec I would rather get a Scott Spark...
  • + 1
 @bikeinbih: Exactly this! Who would buy this bike? For what purpose?
  • + 9
 @Pinkbike

Just buy some LHM Citroen mineral oil made for cold temperature. Easy to find in Europe, I don't know about North America though. But it gets the job done if you want to make the best of you Shimano brakes below -5°C to -10°C.
  • + 9
 Good advice for non skiers.
  • + 4
 It is too thick unfortunately for Shimano brakes - the lever does not operate in the way it should.
  • + 1
 @mihauek:
I've been using LHM oil for a few years with ZERO issues.
My ZEE and Deore breaks feel a bit less spongy with LHM, especially the Deore's feel more powerful.
  • + 0
 @MatsuMatsu: I had once opportunity to use brakes with LHM and they did not feel well so that's why I thought they do not work better. However, a tip for all - if ever on a trip you don't have any mineral oil with you, you can bleed your shimano brakes with water (unless it's not winter).
  • + 2
 @mihauek: Unlike DOT, mineral oils are proprietary so not a brake that takes mineral oil isn't designed to work well with the oil of an other manufacturer. Shimano brakes work with oil that has a higher boiling point that water, so you wouldn't want water in the system and especially not near the caliper. I recall Magura rim brakes would work fine with sunflower oil or whatever you could get in the supermarket. Just so you could finish your trip. I guess you'd rather dump that in your Shimano brakes if you really have to than water. That said, if I would do that I would just pump the brake until it feels firm and then add the oil in the reservoir, not inject it at the caliper end. Plus of course, if you can't get hold of the proper Shimano oil, you probably don't have the rest of the bleed kit either.
  • + 1
 Lhm+ I get it on eBay for $16 a liter.
  • + 2
 @mihauek: back in the days my good buddy Marc Caisso (x4 trials bike World Champ) used to bleed his Magura with milk!!! Not kidding!!!
  • + 4
 @audric: what fat percentage?
  • + 1
 @vinay: I don't say that filling your whole brake with water makes sense, but if your lever gets some air (an issue with previous xt model as I recall correctly), it's an easy way to get it fixed just for the time being.
  • + 1
 @kanasasa: straight out the Goat! ahaha
  • + 10
 Did you ever test the bike on decent trail conditions or just in the snow????
  • + 4
 I sure did - the bike was ridden in all kinds of conditions, but a stubborn blanket of snow arrived at the tail end of the test period, which is why it’s extra wintery in the photos.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: I have the new G170 and one thing EVERYONE says (While owning other Enduro Bikes) is this bike pedals like a dream, which it does. Many of those folks ride Specializes so it shows the difference on Whytes take on the 4 bar. With that said '48 States Tour' just came to town to film our gnarly rock infested mountain here in Maryland, where a bigger bike is needed. However, outside of town there are over 100 miles of 'single track' with punchy climbs and some fun flowy sections thrown in for good measure. This I believe is where the S-120 would shine. Most of us have a big Enduro bike and a Trail Bike for this reason.

So I have two questions for you.

1. The trails you used - are they more 'Enduro Like' or true XC/Trail?
2. How come other reviews said while its 'Heavier' then say a Tallboy multiple people smashed their KOM's on the S-120 and won endurance races on them too....while you gave it a 'middle of the road' review - what gives?

I don't believe this is a 'One Bike type of Bike Either' I think people may be better off with the G150 if they need one bike to rule them all.

Do you think the area you used was a little 'To Much' for this type of bike???

All the best!

PS Yes I have 4 bikes and NO I am not a dentist - I just love riding but I also like riding the correct bike for the right applications.
  • + 2
 @brookesbruno: he lives in a hilly area which has every type of riding available
  • + 8
 The headline of this should be “the first real review of the new XTR”.

It is unbelievable (and pathetic) that Shimano still can’t get brake right. Not that it matters because nobody can actually buy them.
  • + 7
 I can't believe people are bagging on this bike--- This bike is basically a carbon Stumpjumper EVO (with an inch less travel) and costs less than a YT Jeffsey and half as much as a comparably-specced Santa Cruz or Specialized. If I needed a new bike this would be at the top of my list.
  • + 3
 I was always a bit confused with Whyte about the old T130/129; they design so much of the bikes to be protected against the absolute worst of riding conditions (aka a normal British winter) but then had next to no mud clearance around the chainstays. We only saw one of my riding buddies for half the year till he swapped his (orange)T-130 for a Orange 5 (green, disappointingly).
  • + 6
 that's not a 75 degree seat angle when raised full height. this game never ends...
  • - 1
 Spot, Pole, GG, Esker, Chromag (esp. 650b)...this game is expanding. The advantage of a classically slack STA is that one can fit on a shorter, more nimble bike if one is willing to accept an inefficient pedaling position, or doesn't plan to be seated much. Best to have weight back for descending on a shorter bike, right? & symmetry of S/HTA is pleasing. Downsize if reach and stack are sufficient? Mayhem and Rollik are tweeners compared to GG because reaches aren't very long. I still wish Mike would test mediums in some of these, since he's never going to be over the pedals anyway. A cm longer stem--oh no!
  • + 0
 @Naturel: These are mostly trail bikes, like the one under review. OP mentions saddle at full height. General considerations of old 'vs' new geo, esp. as it applies to working toptube/STA on non-downhill bikes. Fvck.
  • - 1
 @Naturel: Trail bikes. Up and down. Descending is more varied than DH. How did people descend ten years ago, before the advent of the dropper post? QR seatpost collar? Still best to have weight back for descending on a shorter reach/wheelbase bike, whether saddle is fully extended or not. Yr comments have no relevance to OPs.
  • + 1
 @ceecee: not trolling... just genuine questions based on your statements: do you personally often / always descend seated, with or without a dropper? Are you familiar with the (now dated) phrase, "drop back behind the saddle"?
  • + 1
 @WoodenCrow: I sit while riding pavement to get to trails. After that, mostly on climbs to hold the rear wheel down or rest; never on descents. Based on a comparison of geos of large 5010.2 (ridden) and large GG (not ridden), forward rotation of rider--steeper actual STA--over a longer front center will make for a more efficient seated pedaling position, especially for taller/leggier riders. I haven't said anywhere here that I ride downhill seated, and am aware that these comments, appearing under a review of a 120mm trail bike, are least applicable to DH. If you're seated only on chairlift, it's okay with me. Classic STAs and shorter reaches are DHish--there's less need to drop back, since one is already behind the pedals. I ride a rigid post set a few cm too low, which keeps saddle out of way enough, and helps with slack actual STA, though quadriceps are still overtaxed. DHers don't use droppers either.

Maybe I'm just trying to talk myself into another bike, but new geo appears to offer what was formerly a DH wheelbase, combined with better pedaling through a range of saddle heights. Despite the maneuverability penalty, it's still closer to All-Mountain. Tell me it ain't so.
  • + 1
 @WoodenCrow: Maybe if I'd said 'BUT the advantage of a slack STA' in second sentence of first comment above, more of this could have been avoided.
  • + 1
 @ceecee: oh gotcha, i couldn't figure out where you were coming from there. I agree advantage of steeper sta for better pedaling (I'm not a DH guy... 'not that there's anything wrong with that' Wink I was lucky enough to get down to Sedona last weekend for my first real demo of slightly longer reach / steeper STA geo on an evil calling (Med = 17.3" reach, 23.7 TT, 74.8* sta). Super fun bike, but seemed like a lot more effort to keep weight far enough forward going up steep techie switchbacks. 66.4* HA also inclined more to party down then climb tricky up's. Coming from a '15 Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt with nearly two degrees steeper HA it would take technique adjustment, and even then doubt I could clean stuff as tricky.
  • + 1
 @WoodenCrow: Evils hardly have steeper STAs, esp for leggier riders, so I'm not surprised. Of brands shown on Festival site, I'd have guessed you tried SB130, Jeffsy or Elkat for steeper-longer-slacker. Now I'm confused--touche.
  • + 1
 @ceecee: ideally i'd try them all... so many bikes!
  • + 2
 I bought a Fezzari Signal Peak frame as frame up build for use on XC/endurance rides and to be a lighteweight flier for lunch laps. I run mine with Pike 140mm/42mm offset, 35mm stem, 170mm dropper, two wheelsets (27.5 x 2.8, 29 x 2.6). The HTA with the longer travel fork (120mm is stock) is roughly 67deg depending on shock position. In contrast to my other bikes (Smash), the Signal Peak is more efficient and climbs better, but on the downs it takes more attention and it is nowhere near an enduro bike. I think the Whyte would be an interesting ride, but now they're kinda stuck with a short travel bike that it already so slack that a 140mm fork would really rake it out. So the question is whether anyone really wants a slack short travel bike...

As an honorable mention, the Guerilla Gravity Trail Pistol is a carbon/aluminum 29er with 120mm travel, reach 483/493, 426mm chainstays, fffective STA 78 deg (130mm fork), HTA 65.9deg. This bike will happilly take a 140mm fork for a more rowdy ride or drop to a 120mm for a more XC ride. It'll also morph into a long travel 29er, short travel 27.5, or a long travel 27.5. I believe the pricing is fair at $3700 base and $5700 full boogie. Oh, and they're made in Colorado Smile
  • + 3
 @pinkbike I appreciate the "How does it compare?" and "Is the bike for you?" sections of your reviews. How it stacks up against similar bikes and the kind of riding for which it is best suited are really helpful takeaways.
  • + 2
 Ive been a big Whyte fan for years, had three. We still have two and i love my G150s. However i think they have lost their way a little bit. The G series now has too much travel for what i will use it for. I like 150mm travel bikes as this is the happy medium for me. From what i can see whyte only do a 150mm travel bike in a 29er. I dont get on with 29ers so that rules that out. Have got lots of thoughts about changing my bike this year and thoughts are now wandering off to Canyon.
  • + 0
 Have you rode a G170 at all? or just going by numbers

Have you rode a 29er S150 or just going by another bike you've ridden?
  • + 2
 @samstanden: Not ridden the G170 but its definitely overkill for me. I had a Whyte T130 29er and just couldnt get on with 29" wheels. A nice 650b 150mm travel trail bike will do me right.
  • + 0
 @Matt76: There is no T130 29er, the T130 is a 27.5 .... There was a T129.
  • + 1
 @MrLynch: Thats what i meant T129. Was close!
  • + 2
 The S in the S-150 is meant to stand for switch so you can run 27.5 “ wheels in the same frame. I’ve not heard how that works though as there is no flip chip or any adjustment but could be interesting. I was really impressed when I rode one and would short list it as my next ride.
  • + 2
 That is actually my dream bicycle for the most part. Good job. Thank heck for quick release, that was like a major innovation back in the day, that seemed to go by the wayside. And 5299$, thank goodness. Nothing to complain about really. Reminds me of the good old days.
  • + 9
 The price truly is amazing compared to the rest of the market. $5,299 is the exact price for a base model Yeti SB130, I believe
  • - 4
flag bohns1 (Mar 4, 2019 at 14:38) (Below Threshold)
 @neologisticzand: I'll take the Yeti.
  • + 4
 Isn't a reverse mullet actually a Flock of Seagulls? (for those of you that don't understand look up the band)
  • + 1
 I have the S-120C SR. It's great for those longer rides where you'll be playing on all sorts of trails. Yes it does climb (certainly better than my G-150) and it's surprisingly nimble. It's deceptively fast and will cover a lot of ground. I do agree with the reviewer about the tyres. Not brilliant in soggy conditions...
  • + 1
 Forecaster is made for wet weather but they actually look decent for all types of riding. I'm going to give them a try over my DHF DHR combo and see how it goes....
  • + 1
 Interested to hear more about the XTR drivetrain. That since cancelled 11 speed 10-46 had me pretty excited for a bit, was ready to ditch Eagle for that. Great shifting, lighter weight, better ground clearance, more AS running a 30T up front instead of my usual 32T, would have been great!
  • + 2
 Yawn, freeride bikes started with the 5" travel norco vps. This is just another attempt at an all mountain bike that offers nothing out of the usual backed by the ever so common pinkbike editorial blowy.
  • + 2
 This is what the Epic Evo should have been, aside from the weight. Come one Specialized! I would have bought my wife the Epic Evo if it had these geo numbers and the Epic weight!
  • + 1
 Clever re-use of a 650b mainframe on Whyte's part.

Wouldn't 1200mm of wheelbase been adequate for 120mm travel? The large Mayhem 130 tested recently was about 1200mm....

It's sad that we need to be reminded that XT/R shifters can drop up two gears.
  • + 1
 1 press without releasing to boot! Think it's deore/SLX & up that does that feature??
  • + 1
 @m1dg3t: I've SLX 10, which does not, and XT 11 which does. Tho half the time a single upshift becomes a double anyways, because chatter. They're not trying hard enough to sell me coil suspension!
  • + 1
 @ceecee: I thought I read on Shimano's site that SLX and up were the same functionality wise? Guess I misremembered...

Maybe the springs in your shifter are worn/weak?

I love XT. They just need to put out a 10spd wide range for weirdos like me LoL
  • + 2
 @m1dg3t: www.bike-discount.de/en/buy/shimano-10-speed-cassette-cs-hg500-11-42-625064?currency=5&delivery_country=191&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIu9_Rov3t4AIVsCCtBh3GTgMiEAQYBCABEgIm6_D_BwE

Close enough? If by weirdo you mean sensible person not fettered to racing/vanity....

The materials around the cable pinch bolt on my GX 12 der are sufficiently cheap such that cable comes loose every 30 hours. Some workhorse. Maybe XO is better, but I'm reverting to 10 11-42t for now.
  • + 1
 @ceecee: I was aware of that option thanks, but I'm a vain bastard and am holding out for an XT variant. 30t 1 x 10 with 11 - 42t is plenty for me and where I ride right now. Try a dab of blue Loctite on the threads to keep it tight?

I'm no fan of SRAM ever since their gripshit days. On my Kona I have an x9 type 2 rear mech shifted by an x7 pod and it just doesn't compare to XT IMO. The only nice thing about it is you can upshift 5 gears at once...
  • + 1
 @m1dg3t: How about a Praxis 11-40t? Tricker than XT....

Thanks for the loctite reminder.
  • + 0
 I think this means it’s time for a new category let’s move on from down country let call this “Up-duro”. Going to see if I can beat speshy to get that term trade marked and copyrighted.

It’s a long slack short travel bike that makes it Giddy upduro.
  • + 1
 I like «small mountain».
  • + 2
 Did am Australian write the post title? Is a short travel what?... is a short travel that is as fast as

m.imgur.com/gallery/2HmqSZZ
  • + 0
 @mikekazimer no words about the brands own Carbon wheels? Since that ENVE Review I am not that positive they will hold up in finale and since they spec the same rim on their Enduro bike G170c works, it would have been appreciated to hear your thoughts about them.
  • + 1
 The "regular" 120mm Fox 34 needs a different damper to increase the travel to 130mm or more, as well as a "simple air spring swap" which is quite expensive.
  • + 2
 Price is outstanding for the parts spec. I love the Trail 429, but with a spec like that it would be over $8000 i'm sure.
  • + 7
 Each person has to decide "Do i believe all carbon is equal" and do i feel there is more design benefit from a boutique brand like Pivot. If not, then basically these are all the same plastic bike with different stickers. Personally, i dont believe theyre all the same.
  • + 1
 @Bustacrimes: Having seen basically every carbon bike brand have frames crack or break despite knowing that they do use varying materials and layup processes, I've pretty much considered them all equal at this point. For me it's just about how it rides.
  • + 2
 @Bustacrimes: Do you know what factories pivot or whytes frames are made in?
  • + 1
 @A-HIGHLY-EDUCATED-PROFESSIONAL: Check out Luescher Teknik on Youtube. Generally focussed on cutting up carbon road bikes, but when you compare the difference in techniques and attention to detail it can be surprising. Also explains why some frames/brands have better failure ratios than others.
  • + 2
 @samstanden: i worked for Pivot for a while, and have some close up knowledge of the company. I know about Whyte through the industry. Great value bikes. Most frames come from a small number of sources - but there are differences in the time spent on each frame and which workers have hands on the product. Check out the PB edit from last year "How to start a bike company" which had some good insights.
  • + 2
 Sorry, but I'm not in the market for a 120 mm bike that's rather heavy and doesn't climb like mountain goat.
  • + 1
 It's not about how long your travel is, its about how you use it..... Wink

More than enough bike for most people. This thing rips both ways
  • + 2
 Whyte must be a more popular brand outside the US. Never spotted 1 on the trails in Colorado and Utah. Thoughts?
  • + 4
 UK brand that has been around for years.
  • + 2
 Is nobody going to point out that the bike and camera man are about to get run-over in the first photo?
  • + 3
 Another great review Mike, thanks!
  • + 3
 i dont get how it weighs so much!?
  • + 2
 same frame as a longer travel bike with shorter spec. so al the layup is the same.
  • + 3
 Is this your long short bike or your short long bike?
  • + 2
 If you are going to build a 120mm bike it should be @25lbs, everything old is new again
  • + 1
 i seem to be asking this alot recently. Can you put a 140mm- 150mm fork on it?
  • + 4
 Would wind up way too slack for a 120mm bike..
  • + 1
 Sure. That would depend mostly on A2C height. You almost certainly would slacken out the bike a bit.
  • + 2
 Nice parts spec for the price.
  • + 1
 Crossmark in the rear when it's wet is the recipe for a neat time...
  • + 1
 How does this thing not weigh under 25 pounds ?
  • + 1
 Someone solve this brake issue, it's driving me mad!
  • + 1
 Licks fingers, flips page...
  • + 1
 Wow, copy the bike and the name too ?
  • - 3
 Does anybody want a short travel, long and slack 27.5 F/S bike these days? I’d buy an XC 29er, a short travel DJ bike or a hard tail before I ever considered this. I already have DH, HT and Enduro covered. It’s seems like this is for lightweights who can’t push an extra 30mm travel on an Enduro bike. And if you bought a bike with a more efficient/better suspension system you’d probably have the same fun on the Enduro bike? This just seems like a waste of time effort and consumers money if they buy it.
  • + 2
 Sorry, read this before enough coffee - its got 29 wheels. So some added interest, but still prefer a bit more travel and working on the climbs for more fun on the downs.
  • + 2
 Well, this is a 29er, but I do get your point.
  • + 4
 @Bustacrimes: erm - whyte.bike/collections/s-150-trail-enduro

Just because you don't want it doesn't mean its a 'waste of time effort and consumers money'

Do you feel the same about DH bikes, XC bikes etc if you don't 'get' them?
  • + 0
 @justanotherusername: That’s kind of the point. I am very familiar with the brand - it’s been loss leading it’s way back in to the UK market the last few years. Most riding falls into pretty defined styles. The other styles of bike have been developed to fill demand. I don’t see demand for this type of bike when an Enduro with just 30mm more travel can do the same job and more. Enjoy your Whyte
  • + 2
 I have an efficient pedaling 160mm bike and it's a bit much to lug around on a 30+ mile ride.
  • + 2
 @Bustacrimes: Have you ever heard of the concept of fun? Some bikes are built for enjoyment. For instance, I also have a hardtail, a DJ bike and an enduro bike, but I still ride my Transition Scout because it's just amazing fun to ride. I don't care if I could be going faster; it isn't important.
  • + 4
 I've owned a big variety of bikes. To me, every bike (travel-wise, geo-wise, etc) has it's worth in specific terrain it was made for and is the right tool for something. It really depends on the trail. The 29er 120-140mm trail bike is very versatile in my terrain (Santa Cruz area) and can handle most of the terrain. Enduro type bike most of the time is too much bike for most trails in my area.
  • + 2
 For me 140-150mm front 130mm rear 27.5 is the sweet spot for a do it all bike, but i am quite short. I find more travel and bigger wheels get in the way of fun for me. I have never found a trail in england that required more travel. If your not racing and just doing it for fun its better to be underbiked than overbike right? Aston Hill is my local. Its like the same way a mazda mx5 or a mini is more fun on a road than a nissan gtr
  • + 0
 Exactly. Bike brands jumping on the “long and slack” band wagon. Lame ass shit!
  • + 0
 @Bustacrimes: Can I ask how you know the company is 'loss leading'?

So essentially, your opinion is correct, others are wrong, if you don't see any demand then that's that, no demand.

Do you go about all aspects of life in the same way? Do you see the 'need' for XC race bikes, DH bikes, different types of cheese, clothes, cars, houses etc etc or if you don't 'see demand' should they not exist either?

Why are more and more people beginning to form the view that if they don't agree with it / see the point in it then rather than allow it as a choice for others state that it just shouldn't exist at all?
  • + 1
 @codfather1234: I have fun on all my bikes. I am not constrained by the idea that i have to have a specific bike to have specific kinds of fun. My enduro rig seems the best all round value for money, ticking lots of boxes. Yes, niches exist and people want bikes for them. My mistake.
  • + 1
 @smithcreek: I have been riding Pivot´s with DW link. Thats pretty efficient even on the new 29er Firebird with 170/162 travel - but i prefer my Switchblade at 150/135. Rode it on some rugged alpine stuff last year and she coped well.
  • + 1
 @mhoshal: The majority of people i see on the trails are riding F/S 27.5 or 29 with over 140mm and this would look like the fastest growing segment in the market at the moment, judging by the number of brands occupying that space. *Other types of bike/riding does exist* Wink
  • + 3
 @justanotherusername: You seem to be making everything definitive in this "conversation". I never said you´re wrong. You ride whatever makes you happy. I questioned if this has merit - apologies if that offends you.
  • + 1
 @Bustacrimes: Why are you accusing me of being 'offended' and making everything definitive when its you that burst into a rant about the merit of this bike existing at all - stated it was a 'consumers waste of money' and then questioned the companies finances, without likely having any idea what they are.

Pot, Kettle.
  • + 0
 @mhoshal: rarely see 27.5 anymore on my trails... Except for the extremely short. It is a rarity.
  • + 0
 @Bustacrimes: so because people in your area are all on mid travel bikes no one in the world is? Thats like saying I only watch dh and thats all I see so thats all anybody rides. There are way more xc bike riders in my area of Canada then their are enduro riders. Most of the shops in my area don't even stock bikes over 120mm.
  • + 1
 @bohns1: go figure you live near the mountains bigger travel bikes make more since. Go to Saskatchewan or Manitoba or Ontario where its flat.
  • + 0
 @mhoshal: If you are riding XC loops why do you need the "longer/slacker" that this bike offers? What is this bike ideal for? It seems more specific than a DJ bike, a DH bike, or an Enduro bike?
  • + 0
 @justanotherusername: If you took my first comment as a rant then thats where you started off on the wrong foot. Buy this bike if you want it that much - i asked a question you didnt appreciate - get over it.
  • + 1
 @tacklingdummy: You are a lucky guy. I am gonna be back in SC for Sea Otter soon. Rode StarWars, Pipeline and pretty much all of USC/Wilder Farm region last year and it was a BLAST! Some similar trails to the Surrey Hills here in the UK - but warmer and a bit more stoke Wink I love the area and cant wait to get back.

I borrowed a Trek Fuel which was 130mm travel. Not knowing the area (and having the brakes set up the wrong way round - come on US, get with the Moto style) i would have preferred my Switchblade with a bit more travel and "get out"(150/135 - although the 135 on DW just rides higher in the travel than other brands). I am sure if i got to know the trails better the 130 would be perfect 90% of the time. I know the guy with the KOM on StarWars and i think he smashed it on his 170mm enduro, but to be fair he´s a beast.

Save some sun for me when i get there Smile
  • + 0
 @Bustacrimes: Doesn't look like much of a 'question' to me - 'This just seems like a waste of time effort and consumers money if they buy it'
  • + 2
 @Bustacrimes: longer and slacker doesn't automatically make it bad for flat trails, you're trying to make it sound like a pole or some other crazy geo bike when its clearly not. I for one love jumping and longer slacker bikes are known to be less squirrelly and all around better for stability. You'd think with you being an mtber youd know this shit.
  • + 2
 @mhoshal: longer/slacker descends better, climbs worse. If its flat, you dont need longer/slacker. The steering will be less responsive and you dont need the weight that far forward. I assumed " you´d know this shit" before my post. If your riding dirt jumps (how else can you love jumps on flat trails??), get a DJ. I´ve had a steel DMR Bolt with 125mm travel for Dirt and ragging round the woods. I am an Mtber, and obviously we have different opinions about what works and doesnt.
  • + 1
 @justanotherusername: Mate, you seem easy to get triggered about shit - surely you´ve seen an opinion on the internet before. i made some throw away comment about this bike being a waste of money - whats your problem? Do you work for them?

Let it go.
  • + 1
 @Bustacrimes: its been proven that you can ride full rigid bikes down world cup dh race tracks so is that what everyone should be riding? The fact is I don't need 160mm travel for most of my riding but Im not about to do my trails on a xc bike with 70°+ head angle either. Thats were a shorter travel longer slackish geo bike comes in handy for me. If people in the industry thought like you there would be no progression in the sport and im thankful thats not the case.
  • + 1
 @mhoshal: Why would you want to ride a DH track on a hardtail? Thats fake BS for wannabee marketing articles. YOU go ride a DH track on a HT - send me the edit for a laugh. You talk about progression, but thats one step away from all the new standards we are seeing. Progression for the sake of it isnt good for Mtb. If you want to be underbiked on any significant descent, or climb worse because of the long/slack front, or be inefficient on the flats -BUY THIS BIKE. If you ride, you know this is true. Its a compromise bike with no pay off. Go buy one because i wont. You can bleat all you want, its a waste of space in my garage. Its less useable than a DH bike, or a DJ bike. Specific bikes for a specific trail. Your point (if you have one other than "bad man says bike shoudnt exist") is now to go buy the bike and stop arguing with a bloke who wont buy the bike.
  • + 2
 @Bustacrimes: By that point, shouldn't you stop arguing with a bloke that might want to buy the bike?
  • + 2
 @Bustacrimes: Right now we are receiving record rains (atmospheric river, whatever that means) and riding has been scarce. However at the time of Sea Otter, trails should be in primo condition in SC and Monterey area. You should ride Demostration forest (Braille and Flow) as well. Good tracks. Awesome you are making it for the Sea Otter. Enjoy.
  • + 0
 @mhoshal: Agree. Buy the bike for your trails, not as a fashion statement. Why ride a 160mm enduro rig round a flowy, Cross-country-with-some-techy-bits trail, when you only need shorter travel. There is a place for bikes like this.
  • + 1
 @Bustacrimes: again i said you can ride a full rigid on a dh course so what is this talk of underbiked? Maybe its you thats overbiked ever think of that? I notice a lot of shitty riders need more travel because they don't know how to ride lines properly. Its way more useful than dj or dh bikes that are geared toqard one style of riding tgis bike is geared towards multiple styles. I could ride anything from my xc trails on it to the all mtn trails up north. I'd love for you to come ride my trails with me bud I'd blow you away on your enduro bike and show you why you don't need 6"+ of travel in most situations. Youre probably a kid who walks his bike to the top of a hill just to ride down seems how it seems impossible for you to ride up a hill on anything slacker than 69° to hear you tell it. Its a 67 1/2° hta you're making it sound like its a 62° hta. I for one can't even sit and talk to you anymore. Your logics are bigtime flawed buddy.
  • + 1
 @mhoshal: *yawn - go buy the bike.
  • + 2
 @tacklingdummy: Thanks for the heads up Dude, i will definitely check out Demonstration Forest.
  • + 1
 I love the look of the new XTR drivetrain. It looks so sleek on this bike!
  • + 1
 'Reverse Mullet Configuration' (RMC) is my preference.
  • + 1
 Whaaaaa.... Shimano makes tires?
Check that build kit list.
  • + 1
 ...he said "cockpit". hehe
  • + 1
 it looks like a 2017 stumpjumper
  • + 1
 That stand over though. Are those accurate #s? 790mm on the small?
  • + 1
 First world problems ya bitches!!
  • - 1
 Geo chart looks perfect....

... until I saw the bottom bracket height.

Why so high? Urgh.
  • + 2
 might not be such a bad thing, clearing all the random short rocks and such without having to mess with the short short cranks.
  • + 1
 340mm is a high BB for you?
  • + 3
 @Foxy87:
For a 120mm travel bike, yes!
Don’t forget that you don’t ‘sag’ down as much...
  • + 1
 down country AF. *runs*
  • + 1
 Looks like a legit bike.
  • + 0
 Testing a bike in snow is like test driving a car in the parking lot.
  • + 6
 I don’t know if that analogy really works - if anything, the snow made the trail harder, not easier. But for the record, I tested the bike over a three month time period - there just happened to be snow on the ground on the day we shot photos.
  • - 3
 @mikekazimer: Sure it does. When you're in a parking lot you can't really take a car out and experience the full capabilities. When you're riding in snow you're limited in speed an traction. Technical features may be covered up or impossible conquer due to the loss of traction. It is a perfect analogy and one which I tested this winter when plenty of snow made riding a stop-n-go affair or almost impossible on a regular 2.5 inch tire bike. But if you were on it for 3 months, then of course you were able to get a better experience. But nothing in the review mentioned it was a long-term test. I'm not critiquing your review. Just saying that snow riding is not what a mid/short travel FS bike is meant to be used for.
  • + 0
 Does it only come in blue, I'd quite fancy it in Whyte
  • + 1
 Looks like a specialized
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