Whyte Mountain Bikes have long been known for producing outstanding quality full-suspension mountain bikes which offer supremely capable, fast and fun bikes. Our colleague James from our Newcastle branch is an very experienced and exceptionally skilled (we've seen the videos!) mountain biker and he puts Whyte's reputation to the test when he tried the latest T-140 RS full-sus bike from Whyte.
I had the pleasure of taking the Whyte T-140 RS out on the trails after hearing and reading so much about them. The bike surprised me with its ability to handle the rougher terrain with being a mid-travel bike. A 140mm Fox 34 performance elite front fork and 135mm Fox Float DPS Performance Elite rear shock is usually a set up based more for the speed and flow not so much the rougher technical aspect but, I wasn't expecting the capabilities it had, descending on more technical terrain.
The suspension set up gave it a solid platform to want to push that little bit harder. There are a lot of adjustments that can be made to the set up and to fine tune the ideal ride for you with the front fox 34 giving plenty of customisation. It has a high and low speed rebound and compression so I can well imagine the bike would perform even better when fully tuned and set up after a few rides in the saddle. The 140 front fork felt so capable in some sticky rut situations, holding a large amount of speed and preventing brake adjustments which was quite favourable.
The 29 Wheel set up just seemed to skip over the top of most braking bumps and rougher aspects allowing a smoother and faster roll speed through the majority of trails. A wide rim internal from the Race Face rims gave it a burly feel and the Maxxis tyre combo just felt right with excellent grip on cornering and good roll speed. It felt strange cornering and not having the temptation to back off slightly before the entry, knowing the bike was able to muster up the traction to keep the grips out the dirt but, low enough to rail the corner.
It's very efficient on the pedalling, with a Sram 12 speed set up it made the hills a breeze and the flats seem non-existent, a fast-rolling bike for sure. For myself I found the current set up a little large being 5'8-5'9 on a good day the medium was fast and stable but perhaps a small size would have been slightly better for me. So far Whyte supply Medium as their smallest size in the 29 spec. I personally would trim the bars a little with them being a 780mm wide. Other than that, the cockpit felt tough.
The current alloy frame feels slightly heavy for a mid-travel bike but, this gives it a reliable stiffness and a nice balanced control which allowed me to push through harsher terrain with more confidence and ascending and descending, the weight wasn't noticeable riding at all. With a 4-year warranty provided by Whyte as well and lifetime bearing warranty it definitely feels a reliable option for taming the trails.
The Whyte T-140 RS comes with Shape.it link which can slacken the head angle by 0.7º and taking 8mm off the bottom bracket. I kept it in its default position which is another adjustment this bike is capable of for the next time. This is a bike you can happily ride in a default position or if you're a tinkerer like me there is a large number of adjustments that can be made to get this bike to be even more playful.
I rode the bike in the wet - the sloppy wet at that. The bike had weather sealed cable housing to prevent any excess water creating a small stream into the frame - a nice touch! The 4 piston brakes worked very well in the wet when required but, due to the extensive amount of grip and seemingly unrivalled balance at this travel level they weren't often required.
This is a bike not for comparison on a website or the shop floor, this is for taking it out to the trails and really experiencing it yourself. It is more capable than the spec sheet shows and provides a reassuringly large amount of confidence to push this harder than maybe you have done previously. A bike that has nailed the mid travel game for capable speed handling and fast uphill climbing. A comfortable riding position to be in for both ascending and descending. The bike is well equipped with Fox 34 and Fox float on the rear to get your grip on any terrain. A brilliant option for first time buyers or for those who are wanting to trade-off a little bit of travel for an extra handful of speed. A great bike for a weekend riding singletracks with a dodge down some more adventurous off-piste.