Über Whyte Bikes
The ten out of tens and five out of fives review scores our bikes have been getting are partly down to another set of numbers. The ones that make up Whyte’s unique geometry and ride character. Whether it’s our Alp taming, EWS thoroughbred G170 series bikes, our entry level 600 series trail hardtails or our mould-breaking, award-winning Wessex road bikes every Whyte is designed to create a unique chemistry with its rider to let you go faster, further and more comfortably in total confidence.
That’s because we push the front wheel further in front of the rider at a slacker angle to the frame. This helps the steering ‘self correct’, keeping you on track whether you’re ripping down a rowdy mountain trail or a back road short cut turns out shady. By adding a long reach top tube we can team the stable steering with a super short, snap reacting stem for dodging traffic and potholes on the way to work or surfing sliding tyres down a black run descent. Add our own carefully selected handlebar shapes and you’ve got the perfect balance of confident communication and connection in your hands.
Steering feel alone isn’t enough to create a benchmark setting, award winning handling character though. We also drop the centre of gravity of our bikes as low as possible so they naturally glue themselves onto the ground through corners rather than leaving you perched and precarious. Because driving a barge is dull we keep the back ends super short whatever the wheel size to guarantee the hop and pop agility you need to bring the trail alive.
We’ve also created our own linkage systems and worked with our suspension suppliers to create custom tunes that keep ride height and geometry composed and consistent however hard you drive through turns, haul on the brakes or stamp the pedals. We also equip all our suspension bikes with dropper seat posts so you can stay low and mobile as well as fitting grippy front, fast rear rubber to underline their swaggeringly confident yet addictively responsive character.
For 2018 we’ve evolved our geometry and parts pick even further, adding even more control and keeping you further ahead of the competition than ever. After all our bikes aren’t designed to stand still and let others catch up.
THE WHYTE WAY
The true definition of freedom is that you can do what you want when you want. At Whyte that means a bike designed to work at its best whenever you need it to and whatever the weather.
Obviously it helps massively that we’re a proudly British company, who do the vast amount of our relentless development riding to work in the same - often grim - conditions as you. That’s why the bearings behind our anodised suspension caps are far tougher than those you’ll find elsewhere. Specific limited rotation high load bearing sets that aren’t just protected with the caps themselves but also an extra layer of grease we spent years finding. They’re even lifetime warrantied so in the unlikely event you do manage to wear them out we’ll send you a free replacement set as a prize for your dirt dedication.
It’s why we’ve developed unique weather proof clamping systems for the seat posts of any bikes likely to see excessive amounts of weather. Our internal cable routing is carefully sealed to stop water getting inside the frame and our unique BBX and DOX features make the normal nightmare of servicing internal cable routing or adding a stealth dropper post blissfully simple. All our Hardtail trail bike frames have dedicated mounts for spray stopping Crud Catcher guards on the down tube too. Total user freedom is also why our cross and gravel frames have dropper post routing as well as mudguard and rack mounts because road bike looks and commuting practicality shouldn’t stop you getting rad on a weekend.
In other words, we work very hard to make things easier for you. That’s because we know that sometimes the smallest things matter most of all. We’ve stood on an icy road side mending punctures in the dark, had a complete melt down trying to thread badly routed cables or missed the ride of the year because of a worn out part we couldn’t get replaced in time. And while finding solutions to the frustrating niggles of biking isn’t a limelight life, it’s definitely one of the most satisfying things we do.
Building an ever ready bike isn’t just about the frame, it’s about equipping it right too. We don’t just mean blindly jumping on every passing parts bandwagon and asking you to make sense of the mess either. Instead Whyte have always worked way ahead of the curve with similarly radical component designers so we can integrate their innovations with ours and hit the ground running while others are still scrambling to react.
That’s why we committed to SRAM’s simpler, more durable and efficient 1x11 technology way ahead of others and matched it with our radical SCR frames for massive gains in stiffness where it matters most. We’ve stayed with proven tough screw in bottom brackets rather than squeaky, creaky press fit bearings though. It’s why we led the way with disc brakes and through axles on our dropped bar bikes, because why shouldn’t road and cross riders benefit from the extra control, safety and confidence they deliver? It’s why we developed our own carbon wheels to make sure they rode and survived how we wanted, and why we’ve adopted the obvious stiffness advantages of Boost width hubs. It’s why we spend days sessioning Welsh trails with stopwatches to underline our bikes with the best possible tyre match rather than just fitting whatever rubber we can get cheap. On the other hand if you’re wondering why we don’t have any Plus tyre bikes in our range it’s because after hours of testing we didn’t want to risk our reputation and your ride with under developed, unproven technology.
Because we all remember starting out riding when having to buy an inner tube or replace a broken part was a big dent in our finances we maintain our core practical performance values as far through our range as possible. All our Suspension bikes, 800 and 900 series Trail Hardtails, Gravel Adventure series and even our Kids bikes use single ring frames and transmissions as well as tubeless ready wheels and tyres. All our Mountain and Gravel Adventure bikes have stealth dropper post compatibility. We use disc brakes throughout our Road, Urban and Adventure ranges because they’re safer and use direct fit 160mm rear rotors as standard because 20% more power is more important than 20g less weight. Look through our specification sheets and you’ll not only find obviously excellent value equipment, you’ll find ‘hidden’ upgrades such as super reliable Shimano XT and Hope rear hubs where some brands will cut costs.
In other words, whenever you want to ride, your Whyte won’t just be ready it’ll be better equipped and longer lived than anything else you could choose.
Whether it’s lightweight yet ultra stiff and strong carbon fibre in the mainframes of our top Suspension bikes and forks of our premium 700c bikes, or carefully evolved and manipulated alloy tubing, our designers select the best possible materials for each part of each bike whether that means utterly rigid, subtly sprung or a precise point in between. We don’t just pick tubes, fibres and resin off the shelves either, we work directly with the world’s best frame builders to get exactly the ride we want from our frames.
Nothing can match aluminium for cost effective, high performance bike construction. Our extensively evolved 6061 tubing is truly class leading pipework, custom shaped using high pressure oil injection and pressure forming techniques. For example well over a decade of development has gone into the subtle curves and varying wall thicknesses of the rear stays of our trail hardtails. That means even brands who’ve shamelessly copied our geometry still can’t get close to our ride character.
Our carbon mainframes use multiple monocoque keystone sections joined with multi layer unidirectional filament weaves impregnated with specific resin blends. All researched and relentlessly test ridden by us in the UK and then brought to life by one of the best carbon construction facilities in the world. We also use carbon rims on our Works G-170C, S-150C and T-130C bikes to give their wheels the same performance boosting blend of strength, accuracy and responsively light weight.
Nothing sharpens your focus like racing and nothing sharpens our appetite to be the best we can than pushing our bikes and ourselves to the limit. Our Whyte team have scored multiple wins and podium positions from the lunatic 38km long glacier to valley bottom Mega Avalanche enduro to National championship XC or ultra distance MTB Orienteering and endurance racing events. Our design team have Elite level bike racing, top level Formula 1 and World Championship sailing honours in their personal histories. Our Whyte Racing team also includes engineers from Bentley and we sponsor the young drivers at the RenaultSport F1 Academy. Racing is in our blood and it generates invaluable information for our designers. In other words our race crew don’t just kill it on course they’re a fantastic research and development resource who are permanently tweaking and tuning their own rides to find extra speed and performance that we can integrate into our production bikes.
Even at the highest level of competition we never lose the fact that bikes shouldn’t just be ultra fast, they should be super fun. That’s why we were one of the first brands to use confidence boosting, trail style geometry on our XC race bikes. That means our racers can smash straight over the top of climbs and open an even bigger gap on the descents. It’s why our Enduro bikes have always pushed the envelope when it comes to geometry evolution and why our parts kits are loaded with speed boosting spec. It’s why when you meet our team riders at an event you’ll find them buzzing and laughing, not looking like being sponsored is a life sentence.
Because we make bikes you’re gagging to ride you’ll want to ride them more, however bad the weather or ruined your legs. Lifetime
suspension bearings mean they’ll always be ready to roll whether you’re sticking a number on, scalp hunting on Strava or just ripping up your local trails and roads as fast as possible too. Because we all know that however fast your fast is, going faster is always more fun.
SCR SINGLE CHAIN RING SPECIFIC
Sometimes it’s not what you can add to a design, it’s how much you can take away that makes it brilliant. There’s no better example of that than SRAM’s single ring transmissions and our SCR bikes either. By expanding the rear cassette range all the gears you need are available from one chainring, simply, sequentially and with no inter chainring grind. Mechanically it means you immediately lose the weight of the chainring, front shifter, cables and front mech. Structurally it frees up a load of space in the most crowded part of the bike where tyre, mud, chain, front mech, suspension movement and seat tube all potentially collide.
Thanks to our reputation for innovation SRAM knew we’d ‘get it’ immediately, so they let us in on their revolutionary thinking way ahead of the curve. That meant we could maximise the advantage of their single minded thinking before most brands even got off the fence. We’re not just talking about making frames that don’t have a redundant front derailleur tab sticking out like a sore thumb either (we had those already).
With SCR we completely redesigned the back end of our bikes to make the most of the new found space. That means symmetrical stays rather than weaker, heavier pipes offset around the chain and tyre. We could also increase the rear pivot span by 20mm giving an overall stiffness boost where it’s the most obvious for power delivery and handling precision. Add lower weight, better weather proofing, better durability and simpler, faster sequential shifting and you can see why we’ve extended the advantages of SCR to even more bikes in our range for 2018 as well as featuring SRAM’s incredible 12 speed Eagle transmission in all our premium MTB categories.
QUAD 4 SUSPENSION
When we set out to design bikes around the 29er and 650b wheel sizes, we quickly realised we needed a suspension system that was different to anything we’d produced before. With our design and development squarely focused on the unique environment that is UK trail riding, we knew weather-proof reliability - a hereditary feature of our Quad-Link systems - was key, and there would be no compromising on frame geometry. With that in mind, we went back to the drawing board.
It didn’t take long to realise that with bigger wheels and full-suspension systems, the suspension kinematics, architectural layout of the frame, and the frame’s geometry needed to be designed in unison, with each small change having a knock-on effect elsewhere in the chain. Keeping the rear of the bike as compact and stiff as possible with the same dynamic ride of a 26in bike meant minimising the distance between the rear wheel and bottom bracket centres - a difficult task on a bigger wheeled bike but a cornerstone of the Whyte experience. After much head scratching and late night computer modelling, Quad 4 was born, and it changed the game, with Mountain Biking Australia proclaiming it had “pioneered a new era of progressive genre defining 29er full suspension bikes.” With our latest SCR/SCS bikes taking Quad-4 to the next level, the next new era is already here.
BBX / DOX
Our internal cable routing is carefully sealed to stop water getting inside the frame and our unique BBX and DOX features make the normal nightmare of servicing internal cable routing or adding a stealth dropper post blissfully simple.
The invention of reliable dropper seatposts has changed the way we ride - no longer do we find ourselves clumsily wrestling a quick release with frozen fingers at the top of a descent to drop our saddles out of harm’s way, a simple push of a button or lever is all that’s required.
With their widespread acceptance, it became clear to us that the days of the humble quick release (or even the seatpost collar) were numbered, so we have created Intergrip, our proprietary internal seat post clamping system featured on all our Suspension bikes and selected Hardtail and CX frames. Not only does it look neater, but with no split in the tube to allow for clamping, tolerances can be much tighter and water kept out of the frame for longer, no matter how British the conditions.
Getta Grip has been developed from scratch to improve the way a seatpost is held in the frame. Traditional clamps need to bend the frame to grip the seat post and often bind after long periods of use, as the frame can no longer “remember” its original shape.
The Patented Getta Grip system takes a whole new approach using a pad that fits through a window in the frame - ideal for UK conditions as there is no open slot to let in mud and water. Because the Getta Grip seat clamp only has to hold the seatpost rather than bend the frame, less force is required to operate it. The clamping force is spread more evenly making it ideal for carbon posts and has been officially approved by Easton for use with all their seatposts.
TWO POINT EIGHT TYRES
The benefits of tubeless, higher-air-volume tyres is now well established provided they are correctly inflated. In short, they offer a dramatic increase in comfort, climbing traction, confidence and speed, with only a negligible increase in rolling resistance.
The physics behind how this happens is straightforward, but it seems counter-intuitive until it’s explained.
The tyre is kept in place on the rim by air pressure inflating the tyre which, as it is held captive on the rim bead, expands out into a structure with an air chamber of circular cross section. To resist the air pressure, the tyre exhibits a hoop stress (otherwise known as casing tension) in its carcass. This casing tension is related to the air pressure in the chamber and the volume of the chamber (the volume is defined by the width of tyre and rim).
It’s possible to calculate this casing tension for various air pressures and widths of tyres/rims and compare the outcomes. However if you maintain a constant casing tension figure across the same range of tyre/rim widths, what happens to the air pressures? The relationship between pressure, force and volume mean that if the casing tension is kept constant, then the pressure must fall as the tyre/rim width volume goes up. It’s pretty linear as well.
So what does this mean for the ride characteristics of a bicycle? To maintain the same vertical stiffness in a tyre so it rolls along the road or trail efficiently, a 2.8” tyre must be run at a significantly lower pressure to a 2.25/2.3” tyre. The advantage here comes when the tyre contacts a square-edge bump that causes the tyre to deflect and deform. Because of the lower pressure in the 2.8” tyre, this tyre is far better at deforming around the square edge bump and maintaining contact with the ground. A smaller volume tyre with higher pressure will not deform so much and will likely transfer the energy into lifting up the bike as well as the rider. This means energy is lost from forward momentum meaning the bike rolls less well along the trail.
So in short, the 2.8” tyres we are running are more supple in encounters with all sizes of square edge bumps and rocky strewn trails, have better grip and compliance as a result and roll faster and maintain speed as a result of less lost momentum sapped from the bike and rider resulting from the energy equations. All this adds up to offer the rider a significantly more comfortable and more confidence inspiring trail ride.