Fans of Whyte bikes who wanted a full suspension 29er in the past had only the T-129 to choose from, but with the introduction of the S-150 which we spotted at Sea Otter, the Whyte 29er fleet gets a revised frame, more travel and a few other very worthwhile updates.
We met up with Whyte at Afan Forest where Afan Off Piste and Ben from Afan Valley Bike Shed were on hand to shuttle us up the road and guide us along the trails. With everything from fast flowing trails, to steep black runs to throw the S-150 down it made for a great location to test out the new bike.
Visually the Whyte S-150 looks like a Whyte full suspension, but take a closer look and you’ll see that this frame has been totally redesigned with some worthwhile updates.
Whyte will offer the S-150 in three variants starting with a full alloy frame on the S-150S then move to a carbon front triangle with alloy rear on the S-150C RS and S-150C Works. For our first look, we got to play on the top of the line Works model with an Eagle XX1 1×12 drivetrain, Rockshox suspension and Hope hubs laced to Whyte’s own carbon rims.
While gazing over the Lime and Eucalyptus chassis we were immediately struck by the improved tyre clearance for the rear 29inch wheel, an important update over the alloy T-129. As standard Whyte offers the bike with a 2.25inch Maxxis Crossmark II on the rear, but there is plenty of room in the back for much larger rubber for when conditions get a little greasy.
This isn’t the only major difference to Whyte’s previous generation full suspension 29er though.
Up front, the fork might look like your standard Rockshox Pike, but it is actually designed specifically for the S-150 and features a custom 42mm offset plugged into a 66º head angle. We spoke with Ian Alexander, the Head Engineer at Whyte, to explain the reasoning behind this choice but rather than try to re-explain it here we suggest you watch our interview with Ian about the S-150 in the video below.
The uni-directional Multi Monocoque front triangle features internal cable routing, tapered head tube and an integrated seat clamp that has been positioned with longer dropper posts in mind. By having the clamp in line with the top tube of the frame, Whyte is able to offer a lower standover height across the range of S-150’s meaning that riders can up size if they wish without having to worry about not being able to drop their seat enough.
A lower seat clamp is also an important feature too when considering Whyte is only offering the S-150 in either M, L or XL sizing. Standover height on the M frame is 514mm with a 620mm top tube.
Whyte has continued down the 1x only route with the S-150 but all bikes will be specced with 1×12 SRAM drivetrains so that you have all the range you should possibly need. SRAM also provides the brakes, Reverb dropper and front and rear suspension.
Wheels are hand built using Hope Pro 4 hubs with Boost spacing front and rear with Whyte’s own carbon rims. These rims are 30m hookless hoops with 28 spokes and have a 2-year warranty.
New aerospace bearing technology has also been used in the rear of the S-150 too. Whyte tells us that these bearing are more suitable to suspension systems as they’re designed to operate in only a fraction of their range. They’re also narrower than previous versions too which helps to slim the rear linkeage up a little too.
Whyte will release the S-150 in July at which point we hope to get hold of a review bike for a full, long-term review.
Whyte S150C Works Specifications
- Frame // Uni-directional Multi Monocoque Carbon Front Triangle. Alloy Symmetrical SCR Rear Triangle, 150mm Travel
- Fork // RockShox Pike RCT3, 29”, 150mm Travel
- Shock // RockShox Deluxe RT3 Debonair
- Hubs // Hope Pro 4,, 110x15mm Front & 148x12mm Rear
- Rims // Whyte 30mm Carbon Hookless, 28H
- Tyres // Maxxis High Roller II TR, 29in X 2.3in Front & Maxxis Crossmark II TR, 29in X 2.25in Rear
- Chainset // SRAM XX1 Carbon Eagle GXP, 34t
- Rear Mech // SRAM XX1 Eagle, 12 Speed
- Shifters // SRAM XX1 Eagle, MMX Clamp, 12 Speed
- Cassette // SRAM XG-1275 Eagle, 10-50, 12 Speed
- Brakes // SRAM Guide RSC, 4 Pots, 180mm Front & Rear
- Stem // Whyte Gravity 35mm Bar Bore
- Bars // RaceFace SIXC Carbon, 35mm Bar Bore, 20mm Rise X 800mm Wide
- Grips // Whyte Lock-on V-Grip
- Seatpost // RockShox Reverb Stealth 150mm on M & L, 170mm on XL, 30.9mm, MMX with X1 Remote
- Saddle // Whyte Custom Team, with lightweight Foam, CrMo Rails, Triple Panel Design
- Sizes available // Medium, Large, X-Large