One of the pleasures of working at the Bike Co-op is that our suppliers sometimes lay on staff training.
Along with 14 colleagues, I stepped up to the plate and volunteered to nip down to “The Tress” and put a full suspension Whyte T-120 through its paces.
Daylight At 7:00pm
Our training date couldn’t have been better planned. That afternoon the temperature soared above 20 degrees C. The clocks had just gone forward so it was still light at 7:00pm when we arrived at Glentress.
A half-remembered song came to mind. The sun is up, the sky is blue, it’s beautiful and so’s the view.
What better conditions to try out a new bike?
When dusk fell we were grateful that Whyte had thoughtfully equipped their demo bikes with lights from another esteemed UK bike company, Exposure.
Much as we were hugely impressed with these lights we switched them off when we came out of the woods so we could fully take in the perfect sunset that welcomed us.
The familiar outlook to the Southern Uplands had never looked so spectacular – the blackening hills just discernable as a silhouette outlined with a thin fiery red glow – a breather to leave you breathless.
That breather energised us to enjoy another fast circuit of the forest to finish at the top car park. By now, the sky was bible black, set off by a perfect crescent moon. The absence of light pollution revealed constellations rarely seen in the city.
We were only out for 2 hours but our first summer night ride of 2012 reminded us of something that’s easily forgotten. Mountain bike night riding isn’t just a winter activity. Night riding is even better when you’re not obliged to keep on moving to prevent getting chilled. And it can be especially fulfilling when it’s warm enough to stop, look and listen to the natural world a bike ride can open up for you.
What our staff thought about the Whyte 146 S:
Martin Stewart –
“I’m used to cycling in town on a Giant Boulder with slick tyres, so to get hold of a Whtye 146 S with full suspension, hydraulic brakes and a carbon frame was great fun! The brakes, the light frame and the suspension really made a huge difference, and it was easy to bomb about the trails of Glentress. I’d recommend it, a really cool way to spend a couple of hours on a nice sunny evening.”
Job title – Web Developer
Type of preferred riding – Road
Frequency of riding – approx. 5 times a year
Current bike – Giant Boulder
Gary Porter –
“My colleagues and I go out night riding most Tuesday nights, so when we were given the opportunity to attend the Whyte training/demo night ride at Glentress we jumped at the chance. I have had my eye on the Whyte 146 S since I first saw the images coming through for the catalogue (not sure if it is a designer thing but Whyte bikes are so pretty). I currently ride a Commencal meta 5.5 which I just love so before I would consider parting company with it I would have to make sure I would feel the same love for the 146S. So this was the ideal opportunity.
Upon arriving there was a rack of various Whyte bikes to chose from. I made a beeline for the 146S by passing the 146X, a lovely looking matt black carbon, beast of a bike. With a price tag of £4,999 it was out of my league not only financially but ability. I thought I would leave that bike for one of the shop guys who could do it justice. Once the sag was set it was time to hit the trails. The first thing that hit me was how easily it climbed, not sure if this was down to the bike or the fact that we had set of from the top car park and the legs were still fresh. For the first 15mins it was a case of getting used to the bike, it’s a bit like when you get a new car, stalling it at the lights until you get used to the clutch. However As the night went on I was liking this bike more and more I was feeling the love, it was smooth, quick and extremely responsive, did I mention pretty. In tight corners I didn’t feel the steering was a sharp as my meta but I suspect that was because I will still getting used to the bike. I know this might sound odd but it was a quiet bike to ride, this is the first carbon bike I have ridden so not sure if that played a part.
To get us around the trails Whyte had supplied us with Exposure Six Pack lights. Once the light had faded it was time to switch that bad boy on and what a light, you could land aircraft with this thing. I might have to ask Santa for one of these.
So would I buy one …definitely the 146 S may well be my next bike.”
Job title: Senior Designer
Type of preferred riding: Mountain biking
Frequency of riding: 2-3 times per week
Current Bike: Commencal Meta 5.5
Alex Amato –
“I had the privilege of riding a Whyte 146 S carbon bike. The first thing to mention is that the top tube felt noticeably longer than what I’m used to, so some people might find themselves sizing down on the bikes. The 146 S is light….really light., and this was noticeable on the climbs. The Fox front and rear suspension did a good job of keeping the wheels planted, although I found the Maxxis tyres a bit squirrely compared to my Specialized Eskars. The gears performed without question, and the Avid brakes provided perfect one-finger braking. Overall the bike coped really well in a variety of terrain, but now my bike feels like a whale by comparison!”
Job title – Deputy Manager
Type of preferred riding – BMX/MTB
Frequency of riding – 2-3 times per week
Current bike – FBM BMX / Specialized Pitch Pro