Whyte Demo Day
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jonboy1066



Joined: 07 Jul 2014
Posts: 265
Location: Hastings

PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:21 pm    Post subject: Whyte Demo Day Reply with quote

Went to a Whyte Demo Day at Bedgebury yesterday
Interesting results.

My mate and I are both interested in the new S-150, So we thought we'd give em a whirl.

Our current rides are:
Me: 2015 Trek Fuel EX7 29er (120mm Travel) & Trek Farley Fat Bike)

Mate: 2015 Whyte G-150 650b & Custom built Canyon 29er Hardtail

There was only 1, S-150 on offer for us to borrow so just for shits & giggles I took a G-170

The test route was Genesis, Dad's Army & back down the Cake Run.
For those that don't know Bedgebury that's the first 2 trails and back round down the last trail.

Genesis has a little rock garden & berms on the way down to a stiff climb out with a little "off piste" steep descent into some fun loamy turns.

Dad's Army is primarily downhill, nothing too gnarly, but some fun flowy turns & berms

Cake Run is dusty, primarily downhill with some small jumps, and flat turns that rewards smoothness.

Nothing about Bedgebury is gnarly enough to really test the capabilities of those bikes, but it is what it is, so we made the most of it by extending our test by doing Genesis (Including the off piste), Dad's Army (three times with a bike swap), Cake Run, Then take the little known XC Race track back to the car park to return the bikes.

G-170: Obviously the clue is in the title G=Gravity 170 = 170mm of travel meaning an FC trail like Bedgebury will never be a good test for this beast. However the lady from Whyte said that they did a demo day at Moors Valley and puzzlingly the G-170 was the most popular and biggest selling bike of the day (Moors Valley is a family blue trail that is flatter than Pines and completely un-challenging for a real mountain bike)
I jumped on it and it instantly felt big, but pretty nimble (I'm not used to riding 650b) The fire road climb up to the trails felt ok with it's SRAM GX 11 speed drivetrain it didn't feel much different to my Trek Fuel.

Into 'Genesis' and it instantly felt BIG, it sailed over the rock garden as if it wasn't there. Up the climb was ok, then down the off piste bit felt fine until a sharp turn where the front tyre washed out away from me, but I managed to not fall off. Then out towards Dad's Army (On the whole Unremarkable)

Dad's Army, our first run was held up by catching a Dad and his young son ripping down the trails which is always great to see, but not conducive to testing a bike. So we treated it as a sighter, backed off to let the nipper have fun without us being there, then back out and back up to the start for another go. Down we went and I gave it everything I had, but during the entire run I felt out of control, the bike was just too big, too bouncy, the BB too low (3 pedal strikes) and too much to be able to flick around the berms. My mate behind me on the S-150 was staying with me all the way. I came out with bursting lungs and eyes on stalks, he came out smiling and barely sweating.

Back up to the start of Dad's Army, swapped bikes and off we went again. This time I was on the S-150 and despite having never turned a pedal on it, it instantly felt great, I felt at home on the bike, totally in control and things felt fast! My mate on the G-170 couldn't keep up and despite the bigger wheels the 29er felt more nimble, more flickable and more fun. I came out with a beaming smile and wanting more.

According to Strava my Best times are:
Trek Fuel ex7 29er - 1:24
Trek Farley - 1:33
Whyte G-170 - 1:25
Whyte S-150 - 1:22

I found it interesting that I've ridden Dad's Army 169 times, and yet on my first go on the S-150 without so much as a car park test I was effortlessly 2 seconds quicker than I've ever been before.

Up to the 'Cake Run' and back on the G-170. I went in and gave the big bike everything I had. It felt ok, out of control in places, but on the whole unremarkable until about ¾ of the way down and I was physically knackered, I had nothing left in the tank to push the bike anymore. My mate, who's best Cake Run time is 5 seconds behind my best was all over me like a rash, nothing could shake him.

My Strava Best Times were:
Trek Fuel ex7 29er - 2:07
Trek Farley - 2:13
Whyte G-170 2:23

Conclusions.
Ok Bedgebury isn't the best test of these bikes but it's my local and where they were. I'd love to take the S-150 to Surrey Hills to give it more of a work out on better trails that I'm more confident on and I'm hardly the worlds most talented, experienced or skilled mountain biker

Would I buy either of them?

G-170: Not on your nelly! I'm sure if you live in the Alps and focus your summer on uplifts with occaisional pedal ups doing black runs etc this would be great, it's highly capable and will reward someone who can hustle it, but in my opinion for anywhere in the UK that I've been or am likely to go, it is way too much bike, it's totally unnecessary and although the £2399 price tag seems tempting for a lot of bike equipped with Yari's, GX11 drivetrain and a dropper post as standard, it would be an absolute waste and I didn't find it fun to ride, just hard work.

S-150: Maybe! my run was short, and amazingly fast for only 1 short go. I immediately felt at home on it and have no doubt that I would smash all my personal bests on it everywhere I've been, it felt nimble despite being a 29er, the specially developed fork offset that Whyte have done with Rockshox seems to do a good job of livening the bike up despite being slack & on wagon wheels.

BUT!!! £2850 is a high pricetag for the equipment on board, especially as yesterday Bird announced the Aeris AM9 (Also a 150mm 29er).

I had a go on the configurator on the Bird website and specced up an Aeris AM9. Same GX12 Drivetrain, same Reverb stealth dropper but the big clincher was I upgraded the forks to Rockshox Lyriks on the Bird, whereas the Whyte was propped up at the front by Rockshox Revelations and despite the Lyrik being a higher spec fork 2 levels above the Revelation the final price came out £100 cheaper for the Bird.

All in all a good day and very interesting. I can't wait for the Bird to be released so I can test that and see how it feels.

I honestly thought I'd like the G-170 more and didn't expect to like the S-150 as much as I did, I definitely didn't expect to be quicker down the Cake Run on a Fat Bike than on a Super Enduro bike! Now if Bird would just get that Aeris out for me to have a go on and if I could just find a spare £3k down the back of the sofa all would be good.

Check out “Whyte Demo Day” on Relive!

https://www.relive.cc/view/1186263026


Last edited by jonboy1066 on Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:31 am; edited 1 time in total
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Gunner



Joined: 15 Apr 2007
Posts: 29315
Location: Under Whitestone-Cliffe on the Lake.

PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good read, cheers. Wink
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pedro



Joined: 21 Mar 2014
Posts: 87
Location: Derbyshire

PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was a great write-up, very interesting reading about the differences between those 2 bikes and it shows how important getting a demo is if you are looking to buy a new bike.

I'd say that many of us are riding bikes with too much travel (myself included) for the majority of our riding. I'd love a light, short travel fs bike to go alongside what I currently have... maybe next year!
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