Matt’s Whyte G160 | Bike Check
December 23rd, 2016
Matt’s Whyte G160 | Bike Check
When a low life scum bag stole my bike, I was left with the tough decision of picking a new bike – which having spent a while testing kit for Factory Jackson was trickier than I thought.
There is simply so much choice these days – brand; wheel travel; wheel size; frame material and of course whether to buy from a bike shop or go direct. I don’t envy anyone having to narrow down their choices, but my choice was helped along by the conditions I rode in – and that amazing Whyte T130c Doddy rode earlier this year.
Whyte Bikes has always stood out to me as a bike brand that’s doing things right: British designed by actual riders, lifetime warranty on all bearings and a few unique features that really makes them perfect for my riding.
I particularly love the sealed seat tube/seat clamp design, and the fact that the pivots have sealed bearing caps that you fill with grease to keep moisture away.
Why pick the Whyte G160 2016 model?
So why did I choose the 2016 Whyte G160 model and not the brand new 2017 version? I wanted to prove a point that sometimes you don’t necessarily have to buy the latest and greatest – I got a good deal from an independent bike shop and the spec was everything I wanted.
I took me a few weeks to get used to the dramatically different geometry on the Whyte G160 – my last bike was great, but shorter and steeper. Although the Whyte G160 has more travel than my last bike, it’s nailed everything. My Whyte G160 has done big XC rides, DH runs, uplift days and loads of local muddy rides – and it’s pretty much perfect.
I’ve I wanted to add those all important tweaks and upgrades using British parts from great British companies – like the simple but extremely well made Rideworks chain guide. Paul from Rideworks also sent me a segment bash guard but I’m testing the Shimano SLX drivetrain currently (review coming on Factory Jackson soon), and Shimano’s new chainring bolt spacing and fitment means it will have to wait until I swap the cranks out.
Upfront I went for the British made Mudhugger in enduro size to keep the crap out of my face – but now it’s on I never take the thing off.
I love the way Renthal Carbon Fatlite bars feel so they were a must have, although I do want to experiment with a slightly higher rise and losing some stem spacers. The stock Whyte stem is fine, though I do love the Renthal Apex stem – I might upgrade down the line, but right now there is no point.
With the medium frame, bottle cage clearance is limited so I use the Fabric Cageless Bottle design. Simple and when there’s no bottle on the bike it looks clean and tidy.
Tyre choices are definitely a personal thing but only certain tyres work with that horrendous Bath mud we ride here locally. Upfront is the slow going – but mind blowingly grippy Mavic Charge XL, and out back is a faster rolling WTB Vigilante. I pretty much use this set up all year – though do swap to the WTB Riddler for those short dusty months.
Finally – and probably my favourite addition – is the custom graphic made by Joe from Joe’s bikes and Whittaker signs. It matches the Rockshox font and blends in a treat. No one notices it but me, and it makes me grin – so it’s got to be good, right?