Neil from Whyte popped by last week to show is some of the 2016 models. So naturally, we grabbed them, and ran off into the hills with them for an hour or two… And here’ for your reading pleasure, is part two! In this episode, Barney take the T120 29er for a spin…
The 129 is Whyte’s 29er full-suspension offering, a 120mm travel trail-tamer made of the very finest 6061 aluminium. Geometry has been tweaked for 2016; it now sports a 67 degree head angle, size specific seat angle (my XL was 73.6 degrees), boost back end, lots of reach. All good things. Chainstays are a commendably short 430.9mm to keep things poppy, and to reign in the excesses that the long reach might otherwise bring.
On our T-129 S model I ride, rearward boing comes courtesy of a RockShock Monarch Debonair RT, front squish is a Revelation RL, also with 120mm travel. Go and stop are by SRAM’s GX and SRAM’s DB5 respectively – with 180mm and 160mm rotors front and rear. Tyres are a WTB Trail Boss up front and a WTB Nineline on the rear, which both roll on WTB i23 rims with proprietary hubs – boost, natch.
And it’s a lovely thing to ride. A surprisingly nimble climber – there’s loads of room in that cockpit, and it had the potential to be a very capable descender indeed (short back end, slack head angle, similarly loads of room) although on our ride things were attenuated somewhat by the skitterish Nineline – it’s an awesome tyre when it’s dry; not so much around here when it gets slithery. The Boss on the front held its line much more tenaciously.
The suspension worked excellently though; I didn’t feel as if I had (a mere) 120mm on the back; it felt much more capable than that, although the Revelation did feel a little twangy on a couple of hard-cornering occasions – which is (I suspect) entirely due to my heft. It’s a problem I’ve had with Revs before, and the RS at £2750 neatly sideswipes the issue by running a Fox 34 up front instead (amongst other upgrades). Although I suspect the problem would probably go away if I lost a few pounds. *ahem*
Overall, a very tidy piece of kit indeed. Swap out those tyres to something a little more wintery and you’d have an awesome trail 29er. The T-129 S retails at £2199. You can find more details at the Whyte website here.