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Whyte 2011: First look

Whyte 146 weighs just 25.5lbs in bling mode
T-120 shares an aluminium frame with a carbon swingarm
New entry-level alu hardtail, the 809

It’s a year of change for Whyte. Gone is the E-120 and in its place two replacements, the T-120 and 146. There’s a couple of new hardtails too.

The 146 uses a high modulus uni-directional carbon fibre monocoque frame with a tapered headtube and 146mm of travel from the Quad Link II suspension platform. A SRAM press-fit 30mm bottom bracket is used to increase stiffness and drops a little weight, which all-up is a claimed 25.5lb when built with a smattering of SRAM XX.

To put that into context, it’s the same weight as the outgoing E-120 but is longer travel and stiffer. But, while it’s impressively light, a 66 degree head angle should ensure that it’s right at home on the demanding trails and tight singletrack. It’s got a low slung look about it that should translate into a bike that is a lot of fun to ride.

There will be two models to choose from, with the 146 S costing £2999 and the 146 Works at £3999.

120mm is a popular travel choice for many UK riders, and it’s no surprise to find that Whyte is serving this market. The T-120 reminds us of the old E5, with a 6061 aluminium front triangle and a carbon swingarm. Up front is a tapered headtube and at the opposite end there’s a 12×142 Maxle setup. Like the 146, the head angle is quite slack, 68 degrees in this case, a tad sharper than the 146.

The Whyte 805 is a new hardtail aimed at making Whyte ownership a little more affordable, which with a pricetag of £899 it certainly is. Specced out with Shimano SLX and Hayes Stoker brakes and a very smart finish that belies the low cost, we can see this being a big hit on the trails.

Based on the same 6061 hydroformed frame with geometry designed around a 100mm fork, the 809 costs a little more, £1199 to be precise, but that extra dosh gets you SRAM X7 2×10, Avid Elixir brakes and better RockShox Recon forks.

Introduced last year, the previous entry-level 901 hardtail gains a partner with the release of the 905. Both aluminium frames are designed to accept a 120mm fork up front with a slightly racier angle to them. The press-fit bottom bracket assembly as seen on higher-end Whyte models is used and specs comprise either 3×10 or 2×10 SRAM.  Weight for the 905 is 24.8lbs. The 901 costs £1149 while the 905 £1599.

No change for the Whyte 19 carbon range of bikes, with the exception of a new price point filler in the shape of the 19 S, costing £2799 with SRAM X.0, FSA SLK components, RockShox SID RLT fork and Fulcrum Red Metal 3 wheels.

More at www.whytebikes.com

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