The S-150C is the latest full suspension, 29″ wheel trail/ENDURO bike in Whyte’s 2018 range. The T-129 was a hit in this year’s Dirt 100, so how does this all-new longer travel machine perform?
Words: Sean White, Ieuan Williams Images: Ieuan Williams
The Whyte S-150C is a fresh design from Whyte and is a timely addition to this category. Long travel and 29″ wheels on a full suspension platform embracing modern geometry and sizing is very much coming of time. It would be easy to suggest that Whyte are jumping on this bandwagon but the S-150C design is really a natural evolution in a range that has included all three wheel sizes over the years.
When it comes to bike design it really is the frame design which is a key player in performance and it’s here where Whyte really have shone brightly for some time. With design and development here in the UK (and not far from the Dirt HQ), Whyte’s bikes have led the way with progressive geometry and sizing on both 27.5″ and 29″ wheels – they had the only hardtail to feature in the 2015 Dirt 100. Frames designed specifically for single chainring (or 1x) transmissions have been part of moving bike design forward and Whyte were in early on this with their SCR bikes. The Whyte G-160 and T-130 have both won us over in previous years along with the 29″ wheeled T-129.
The ‘S’ in the S-150 refers to ‘Switch’ and the fact that Whyte has designed this 150mm travel trail bike to run either the stock 29″ wheelset or with a pair of their optional 27+ size wheels with 2.8″ tyres. There is no geometry adjustment to accommodate the slight change in overall diameter of the two wheel/tyres sizes but Whyte feel that both work well and offer a different ride dynamic. Mud clearance is not compromised either, something that was lacking on the shorter travel Whyte T-129 design and an important consideration here in the UK.
We have the top-spec S-150C Factory on test in this twelve bike ‘Dirty dozen’ shoot out. A ‘multi monocoque’ carbon front triangle is paired with aluminium chainstays and seatstays with internal cable/hose routing and 148mm Boost rear dropout spacing. It’s an exceptionally clean design with some neat touches. With a RockShox Pike leading the way (rather than a Lyrik or Fox 36), front travel is 150mm rather than the 160mm that we have on some of the other 11 test bikes. So, with Whyte pitching the S-150 range as ‘Trail Enduro’ and their G-170 bikes as ‘Gravity Enduro’ are they splitting hairs or is this bike more of a true ‘all-rounder’?