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Trail and Enduro Bikes

WHYTE T-129 S

Alongside Whyte’s 27.5” wheeled T-130 and G-160 series bikes, the 29 inch wheeled T-129 is a very popular choice here in the UK. A brand born on these shores, year on year they seem to add more clever thinking and innovative details.

Whyte are a brand who very quickly got to grips with progressive geometry and sizing – across all their range – as well as sound specification choices such as single chainring transmissions.

Shorter travel 29ers were once bundled into the ‘XC’ category, often being overlooked, and rightly so. Outdated and steep geometry led to twitchy handling bikes that didn’t dish out much fun and were well out of their depth in the steep stuff. Times move on and although this T-129 has only 120mm of travel paired with its 29 inch wheels, it’s in a very different category altogether. A trail bike that is fast, very capable, and a hoot to ride in the rough.

Sizing and geometry are they key starting points here. If your coming from a longer travel bike then there’s a lot that will feel familiar – even before the wheels start turning. A roomy frame with plenty of reach allows Whyte to spec a short 40mm or 50mm stem (depending on frame size) mated to a wide 780mm bar; a good start. The well-finished aluminium frame is tidily designed with plenty of attention to detail – a low stand over height, easy access to the shock lockout and very neat cable/hose routing.

Slack, long and low are key traits that we’re looking for on trail bikes in 2017 and Whyte has hit the spot with their 29er geometry. Take this and add Boost hub spacing (front and rear), improved mud clearance, standard large volume tyres and a relatively low weight and the result is an incredibly capable trail bike.

‘The Whyte T-129 is a trail bike that is fast, very capable, and a hoot to ride in the rough’

Whyte build this model around their SCS rear triangle – designed specifically for a single chainring transmission. A good move, giving more mud clearance and fewer compromises to frame performance. A well-designed frame needs good suspension and here the T-129 gets the Fox treatment front and rear. A stiff 34 Rhythm fork and Float DPS Performance rear shock are a good match.

Its full Shimano eleven speed SLX for the transmission apart from the now popular RaceFace Aeffect cranks, a mix that works well. A small 28T front chainring gives a suitably low gear when matched to the larger 29” wheels.

As with their frames, Whyte don’t miss any details when it comes to the finishing kit on this trail bike. It always surprises us how many bikes need components changing from new but this bike is ready to go ‘out of the box’. Mid width 27mm RaceFace rims are matched with quality Maxxis rubber, a 32 spoke count and double sealed cartridge hubs – fit to go the distance. A dropper post is an essential on a trail bike and here Whyte spec one of the best – the Reverb – and fit 150/170mm drops on the larger frame sizes. This really is a nice touch.

We’ve been running a 2016 T-129S test bike over the last year here at Dirt and it has proven to be a winner. All the changes we’ve made to the spec of ours have been addressed for 2017. A finely tuned trail bike gets even better.

PRICE: £2450

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