Whyte 901 review£1,199.00

A hardtail that's ready to handle tough trail riding

BikeRadar score4/5

Whyte’s trail hardtails have set the bar for XC style responsiveness with enduro style trail swagger for several years now, and the latest 2017 season 901 goes wider with both metal and rubber to amp up the attitude even further.

After being one of the first major manufacturers to fully exploit the advantages of a single ring transmission with their dedicated SCR full suspension frames, Whyte has now gone SCR on the 900 series frame too.

That means a wider Boost 148mm thru-axle back end and chainring spacing so the snaking chainstays can squeeze a 2.5in tyre in but still stay super short. Whyte’s new BBX cable routing is particularly neat and dropper post ready if the spray sealed Big Gripper seat clamp isn’t enough adjustment for you.

The Whyte 901 climbs as tenaciously as it descends
The Whyte 901 climbs as tenaciously as it descends

It’s certainly a bike that you’ll want to be DH-ready instantly, as the super stretched top tube, low bottom bracket and slack head angle let you attack steep, technical or fast and flowing descents like a Stuka.

29mm WTB rims and 2.4in tyres that come set up tubeless as standard add buoyancy and impact protection under the already subtly supple frame too. The highly evolved frame and single ring transmission means it’s still a very light and responsive bike when you put the power down and with a surprising amount of traction from the fast rolling Riddler tyre it climbs as tenaciously as it descends.

The 29mm WTB rims and 2.4in tyres come set up tubeless as standard
The 29mm WTB rims and 2.4in tyres come set up tubeless as standard

While the broad rims let you drop pressures lower in the supple sidewall tyres without them squirming and losing shape, the Sektor fork soon gets pushed to its limits by the 901’s addictively aggressive ride. That makes the Yari fork (and dropper post) equipped 905 well worth stretching your budget to if you can.

This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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