We can still remember chasing the front wheel of Whyte’s first raw metal G-150 prototype down the road like a wheelbarrow, thinking the designers had made a mistake.
It was a radical riding revelation as soon as we hit technical high speed trails though and those same stretched front end, slack steering, pedal clattering angles are now standard issue for enduro.
Frame and equipment: impressive kit list for a store-bought ride
The G-150 chassis is flattered by a well thought out kit list fronted out by a Pike RC fork, wide mouthed Whyte stem and 750mm bar for power steering authority without causing clipped grip pinball panic on tight tree lined trails.
SRAM X1 1x11 speed gearing and Rock Shox Reverb Stealth seat post give ‘dropper on the left, sequential shifting on the right’ simplicity to the controls.
While it looks like there’s a big price disparity don’t forget your Whyte will come ready to roll from a ‘real’ shop that will hopefully help you with set up, servicing and other customer bonuses down the line.
Single ring transmissions on all G150 bikes allows a wider mainframe pivot and straight, symmetrical chainstays to significantly increase rear end stiffness and drop weight.
Ride and handling: still a ton of fun, but lacks a little precision
Even with more than a kilo of ‘Tough’ carcass WTB tyre out back, you can feel the increased stiffness through the cranks. The Whyte suspension is pedal friendly too, making it a combative, rather than just competent, climber.
Whyte led the DH geometry trail revolution, but today's G-150S lacks an ounce of control compared with some of the competition
Those stretched-out angles still feel great on the trail too, naturally slotting the front wheel into exactly the right places on corners, dropping shoulders for full grip commitment but skimming the front tyre over the serious hits or setting it up for big drops.
In fact if we had to sum the character of the Whyte up it would be that it always feels easier to get things right on the trail than to get them wrong.
The back end did feel a little short on travel though – particularly next to the Vitus Sommet VRX and Canyon Strive 6.0 Race we were pack-riding it with. While it’s supportive and feedback rich on groomed trails it gets kicked about more on the random rock heaps, drops and stutter bumps of off piste moorland mayhem.
And if the back end is tight as a gnat’s chuff, the front end is noticeably more flexy. That means even if it puts its front wheel exactly where you want, it can’t always hold it there or cut in tighter if you need it to. The lightweight carcass front tyre doesn’t have the low pressure stability to guarantee it’ll stick it to the most aggressive lines either.
All in all, the G-150 remains a great shape for chucking around the trail, and it comes with good-value kit for a shop-bought ride. But it’s not quite a class-leader for precision and consistent control.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.