The new Whyte S-120 has been on our radar for a little while now after hearing about it at Sea Otter in June. Whyte are still keeping their cards relatively close to their chests though, so as not to overshadow the launch of the updated T-130. We took a first look at the newest addition to the Whyte family at the NEC Cycle Show yesterday.
The S-120 is the replacement bike for the popular T-129, a 29er trail bike with 120mm of travel. The S-120 keeps both the big wheels and the short travel but pairs it, this time with much more progressive geometry to match it's bigger brother the S-150. As with the S-150 the 'S' stands for Switch meaning the bike can be ridden with 29er wheels as standard or 2.8" x 27.5 wheels but we reckon most people will be buying this to stick with the larger wheel size.
According to the Whyte's head designer, Ian they wanted to make a short travel bike with geometry nearly identical to the S-150. In his words "We didn't want to make a short travel bike and give it worse geometry just because it is short travel!" When the geometry chart is finally released for this bike you can expect to see a 65 degree head angle paired with a 75 (ish) degree effective seat angle. Ian says all the bikes from Small to XL have wheelbases over 1200mm and short seat tube lengths too.
The small will equate to a 16" seat tube, medium to 17" and so on, Ian told us that the bikes have been designed carefully around long dropper posts allowing riders to size up or down depending on their bike length preferences.
Chainstays will be at the 435mm mark and the reach on each bike size is going to be fairly progressive too, we think around 440mm for the small going up to 490mm on the XL bike.
The design of the S-120 features Whyte’s Optimized Trail Offset geometry, the Fox Stepcast fork has a 44mm offset, which Whyte pair with a short stem and their geometry to complete the ride package.
This bike is the S-120 C Works which gets, as we mentioned a Fox Float Factory Stepcast 34 fork, the brand new XTR 12 speed groupset with XTR hubs laced to carbon Whtye rims and is set to cost £5,250. There will also be S-120 C RS available which is the same frameset but with SRAM GX Eagle and a lower spec Stepcast fork, and of course will cost fewer pennies.
This bike has been out on epic all day (and night) rides such as the Highland Trail 500 and also been seen whizzing around XC courses at the Bristol Bike Fest. It's a bike for big adventures set to carry riders over large distances and, with progressive geometry, looks like it won't hold them up on the descents either.
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