This is the 2004 Whyte 46, an all-new long-travel XC all-rounder from the Jon Whyte stable. It’s designed for somewhat heavier duty than Whyte’s existing models, using the same Quad rear end system as the Whyte-designed Marin XC bikes but pumping the maximum travel up to six inches. It’s infinitely adjustable between six and four inches (or four and six depending on where you start) using a system similar to Marin’s TARA bikes, but without the “stops”.
That’s the back. The big news at the front is the presence of a Maverick fork. Whyte is one of only two manufacturers to get RockShox founder Paul Turner’s lightweight, twin-crown, four-to-six inch adjustable fork as OEM spec (the other is Santa Cruz). For a bike like this it looks like an ideal match – Whyte’s own Plus Four fork has its fans but it’s not at its best under the sort of conditions that this bike looks made for and we’re not sure the technology would scale up to six inches of travel anyway.
Spec on the 46 is likely to include plenty of wish-list parts, with Hope hubs and Mini brakes (205mm front, 165mm rear), Goodridge braided hoses, Easton carbon bars, XT whirly bits, a Fox Float Pro-Pedal rear shock and so on. The whole lot’s said to come in at around 27lb, not at all shabby for a long ‘un.
It looks good, and should extend the appeal of the Whyte brand beyond the long-haul wheels-on-the-ground set that form their heartland. The 46 is expected in shops in October – we’ll bring you a full review as soon as we get our sticky mitts on a production model…