The G-150 is the ‘biggest’ bike in UK brand Whyte’s concise range of full sussers. The S is the entry-level version – not that there’s much which is entry level about the spec. Drivetrain is 11-speed SRAM X1, brakes are SRAM Guide R and wheels are 27.5in WTB shod with a Vigilante/Trail Boss pairing. Finishing kit is Whyte’s own-branded, while RockShox takes care of seatpost, fork and Monarch DebonAir rear shock. The frame’s graphics are on the right side of understated, though we could take or leave the matchy-matchy bits – they’re not to our taste but make for an eye-catching package on the shop floor.
Sizing is interesting – our test bike was a medium and matches up to the claimed top tube length of 23.9in. However, Whyte quotes the small as being a rangy 23.3in, while the large is just 24.7in – which probably excludes both beanpoles and midgets. There’s loads of standover clearance, and just enough heel clearance round the seat and chain stays.
The frame is liberally sprinkled with UK-friendly details, too. Frame pivot bearings have a lifetime warranty, there are Crud Catcher bosses on the downtube, bottle cage bosses inside the front triangle, and tidy internal cable and hose routing, with neat rubber plugs over the entry/exit holes to ease replacement.
The funky internal seatpost clamp is controlled by the usual 5mm hex key bolt, but it’s on the side of the seat tube strut; the clamp mechanism itself seems to be effective enough, and the seat tube is topped off with a neat rubber cap to prevent water ingress, which worked well for the duration of the test period, though we’d like to see how it fares after a year or two. Given the bike comes with a Reverb Stealth as standard, this development of a sealed clamp system might be a wise move to avoid the risk of premature seizure that comes with dropper post ownership (hands up when you last moved yours?).
Calling the G-150 ‘neutral’ is like calling the hand-churned product of Jersey cream, free-range organic eggs and the finest Madagascan vanilla, ‘plain vanilla ice cream’. It’s neutral in the most engaging and confidence-inspiring sense of the word; right from the off it was impeccably behaved and unlike some bikes in this travel bracket, it gives ample warning that it’s starting to become outpaced by the terrain.
The Quad 4 linkage is responsive and sprightly, and is at its most inspiring when you’re really starting to push it; the low (13.5in unsagged) bottom bracket means it’s stable and steady when the trail steepens, though of course the trade-off is frequent pedal strikes on technical climbs and traverses. It’s a compromise that is well worth making – this bike makes mincemeat of, and is wasted on, less inspiring trails.
It’s also material proof of a bike which rides much lighter than its weight suggests it should. We were genuinely surprised to discover that it comes in above the 30lb mark; that taut rear end means technical climbs are a breeze and the limit of your fitness is flattered with a light, well-balanced ride. It’s easy to forget you’re lumping 150mm of travel along with you – right up to the point you reach the top of the hill, and start on your merry way down the other side.
A large dollop of the credit for this bike’s appeal can be laid at the feet (axle?) of the fork: RockShox’ Pike is absolutely superb. Pleasingly plush straight out of the box, once bedded in it swiftly became a new favourite, with the full 150mm of supple, controlled travel easily attainable – a rare pleasure for lighter, less aggressive riders. It tracks beautifully, without a hint of twang, as does the back end – a favourite love/hate rock garden became an exercise in riding straight over the top of the whole thing, rather than picking a tight line through it, and as long as you’ve got the clout behind the bars to do the guiding, that front wheel will go exactly where you tell it to.
It’s not quite the perfect do-all bike, though. There’s the G-150’s inability to take a front mech, which might be a deal-breaker for some potential buyers. Both this and the top-end ‘Works’ version are single ring-specific frames: there’s no space or cable routing for a front mech. While 1x drivetrains do give a good spread between top and bottom gears, to be restricted to this alone will doubtless put off some potential purchasers – if only in terms of future versatility. And, if we’re honest, it’s probably the one thing stopping us buying this bike, too.
A visually striking bike that looks great without being too flamboyant (see the Intense for that one…) and which rides how you want an all-round trail bike to ride. It’s so nice to spend time on – up, down and along, then up and down some more – that we’d want to take it on some proper big hill days, as well as banging round trail centres, and for that a double chainset is still what some riders want. Everything else about it is perfectly mountain-ready, though – from that top-performing Pike to some very capable rubber.
Overall: If you’ve recently won the lottery, then the Works version comes with a major wheel upgrade as well as the usual component hikes – though it’s also a single-ring specific frame – but as it is, the S still comes in as a bargain.
- Frame: 6061 T6 SCR aluminium front triangle, alloy symmetrical SCS rear triangle, Monarch DebonAir 150mm shock
- Fork: RockShox Pike 27.5in, RC, 150mm Travel, Fast Black coating
- Hubs: Sealed cartridge bearings, 12 x 142mm rear, 15mm front
- Rims: WTB Frequency Race i23
- Tyres: WTB Vigilante AM TCS LFR 27.5 x 2.3in front, Trail Boss TCS TFR 27.5 x 2.25in rear
- Chainset: SRAM X1-1200 GXP, 32T
- Front Mech: n/a
- Rear Mech: SRAM X-1
- Shifters: SRAM X-1, MMX Matchmaker, 11-speed
- Brakes: SRAM Guide R, 4 Pot, 180mm
- Stem: Whyte
- Bars: Whyte alloy 750mm
- Grips: Whyte lock-on
- Seatpost: RockShox Reverb 125 Stealth
- Saddle: Whyte
- Size Tested: M
- Sizes available: S, M, L
- Weight: 31.5lbs (without pedals)
|From:||ATB Sales, atb-sales.co.uk|
|Tested:||by Jenn for|