It’s hard to know where to start with Whyte, such has been the level of re-invention by Ian Alexander and those at ATB.
Catching the eyes of those with a fondness for semi-aggressive trail thrashing, the new T-130 C Works is something Whyte has spent a lot of time perfecting. Having gone single ring, the bottom bracket area is vastly changed and bolstered for a massive torsional stiffness. It’s an incredibly clean package, with internal routing for everything and a shortened 420mm chainstay that’ll give it an agile feel.
Last year’s best-selling T-130S becomes the 'LX' and maintains its price, with a lot of tech trickledown to make this a stunning value build at £2,299. Alexander described this bike as “Whyte’s most successful full suspension bike in the past decade.”
The T-160 is now touted as “very enduro specific”, with its lengthened wheelbase and a tiny 32mm Easton stem that places the bar just 0.9mm away from the steerer tube. A works build will come in at £4,000, but the platform is available from just £2,800 for the RS build.
On the hardtail front, the 905 platform has received a dropper post upgrade that gains internal routing, as well as a longer wheelbase.
Alexander said of the 2016 line: “The independent retailer has an opportunity here to talk to the customer about real value for money from the frame upwards. That’s important as we’ve really refined the foundations to be as good as they can be. They’re more advanced than they’ve ever been and UK focused in their design.”
On the road front, caliper brakes are entirely banished in favour of discs, which are described by Whyte as “the future.” But not for the reasons you may think.
“It’s actually allowed progression in geometry. The bikes are now longer, slacker and confidence inspiring. And you can go faster because you’re confident you can brake later,” says Alexander.
“The next limiting factor for us now is adding grip and building on tubeless tyre technology and lower tyre pressure capability. Tyre technology is racing away at present. It’ll be even better next year, which is exciting as a designer. Interestingly, the 10-42 cassettes we’ve run for years and really pushed are now produced by SRAM.”
Key points on the bikes themselves are a TRP HY/RD upgrade for the Suffolk, Dorset and women’s Devon, “something you’ll not find often at the £999 price point,” says Alexander. Security skewers also feature as standard on these builds, further adding value.
What’s more, there’s now internal dropper post routing on all cyclocross builds, pointing to the race scene’s curiosity about how the MTB mainstay can benefit.
Having provided some of the demo racking for the Cycle Show, OD Designs was keen to place its racking in front of as many eyes as possible. Newly added and now in production, the firm has introduced the Trackstand – an aluminium foldable and stackable unit that clasps the bike’s chain and seatstays, elevating the rear end and holding the bike upright.
What’s more, the £32.40 Trackstands are modular, meaning they’ll fit together making them ideal for shop floors or trackside. Sandy Gilchrist, Ireland’s track coach, is said to be hauling these racks around the world as his first choice at present.
Already a popular wheel upgrade choice, in part thanks to endorsement from Mason Cycles, Hunt has a much expanded catalogue available via ITS for 2016.
Jumping from four to 12 wheelsets in one model year, Hunt now offers four carbon rimmed options, two of which are suited for disc brakes, as well as three brand new alloy options.
Throughout the range you’ll now find triple butted aero bladed spokes, as well as low friction Japanese double sealed cartridge bearings.
A particular highlight, especially for those looking for a winter bike option are the 4 Season Dura wheels. These tubeless-ready options offer a rim brake track that’s carved with deep grooves that’ll shift muck and thus have greater longevity. At just £229 and weighing 1,696 grams, you’re also getting a sleeved rim, unusual at such a low price.
Again available from ITS, newly added bikepacking label Missgrape offers a number of water resistant options for long days in the saddle. All Italian-made, these include the Cluster 13 and 20 seatbags, retailing at £99 and £109, respectively. A top-tube hung frame bag is also part of the range, coming in at £69 and available in three sizes. These and more are in stock with ITS now.
For a fuller gallery of product from the Cycle Show, click here.