We are not sure what the Whyte designers are putting in their coffee, but they are producing one amazing bike after the other. While the flagship ‘Works’ models are steamrolling the reviews, how does the more wallet-friendly Whyte T-130 S cut it on the trails?
For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: Seven trail bikes around 3.000 € in review
With 130 mm of travel front and back, you could be forgiven for thinking the Whyte T-130 S will be shortchanged in this long-legged company – but never discount the underdog, as the Whyte has some serious bite. The well-finished SCR frame is single-ring specific, the perfect blank canvas on which to display the T-130 S’s unique feature, a full SRAM Eagle GX 12-speed drivetrain. With a 500% gear range, the final nail has been driven into the front mech coffin. The great spec continues with a RockShox Revelation RC fork and Monarch DebonAir RT shock. SRAM Level LT brakes are a lightweight package, though with the 180/160 mm rotors they felt underpowered on very steep trails. Whyte have not shortchanged us in the wheel department either, with the 29 mm internal WTB STp i29 wheelset opening up the WTB Vigilante and Trail Boss tyres well. The finishing kit is all Whyte-branded, but is well proportioned with a 760 mm bar and 40 mm stem.
At 14.1 kg the Whyte is never going to be electrifying on the climbs, but the stiff frame ensures all power goes to the tyres, making it happy to tick off the elevation all day. On the descents the Whyte T-130 screams precision – it’s one of those bikes that gets better the faster you go. The RockShox Monarch DebonAir RT has no wallow or laziness, as the tune feels race-car firm; flicking from line to line with effortless ease, there’s a feedback-rich rawness that defines the ride. The star of the show is the new RockShox Revelation RC Boost fork: with the same chassis as the Pike, but instead using a Motion Control damper, the performance is damn near indistinguishable from its more expensive sibling. The generous 467 mm reach and 67 degree head angle provide plenty of room to throw some shapes, with a steering response that is razor-sharp without being nervous.
The very progressive travel is taut and racy. More track car than Jeep, it needs aggressive handling to get the best out of it. The frame is stiff through the bottom bracket area with enough flex from the unbridged stay to help it drive round corners without feeling harsh. While we are not a fan of super-short 420 mm chainstays, they do work well in this mid-travel platform, making manuals effortless and encouraging lofting the front wheel at every opportunity. There is very little to find fault with on this bike… OK, we don’t like the colour-matched grips, but that’s about all we have.
The Whyte T-130 S
Fork RockShox Revelation RC 130 mm
Rear shock RockShox Monarch DebonAir 130 mm
Brakes SRAM Level TL
Drivetrain SRAM GX Eagle
Seatpost RockShox Reverb Stealth
Stem Whyte Gravity Stem
Handlebar Whyte Custom
Tires WTB Vigilante / WTB Trail Boss
Wheelset WTB STP I29
Price € 3,030
The geometry of the Whyte T-130 S
|Seat tube||368 mm||406 mm||432 mm||457 mm||483 mm|
|Top tube||572 mm||591 mm||611 mm||631 mm||651 mm|
|Chainstays||420 mm||420 mm||420 mm||420 mm||420 mm|
|BB Drop||20 mm||20 mm||20 mm||20 mm||20 mm|
|Wheelbase||1117 mm||1137 mm||1157 mm||1177 mm||1197 mm|
|Reach||415 mm||432 mm||449 mm||467 mm||483 mm|
|Stack||576 mm||582 mm||589 mm||594 mm||603 mm|
The Whyte T-130 S is a bike that makes any trail feel like an adventure. Never undergunned or overbiked, it strikes a balance that sets a benchmark for the 130 mm segment. The SRAM GX Eagle is the star in this group test. Intermediate riders will find a confident and surefooted bike, but feed in some speed and the T-130 S howls like a V12.
– Raw and engaging ride
– SRAM Eagle GX
– Colour-matching cheapens looks
For more info head to whyte.bike
The test fleet
For an overview head to the main article: Seven trail bikes around 3.000 € in review
Words & Photos: Trev Worsey