The Review | Whyte G-150 SCR Works 150 mm Enduro Bike
The UK based company Whyte Bikes pride themselves on building no-nonsense bikes, offering frame and component choices that meet the tough requirements of real UK riders. The G-150 SCR Works is Whyte’s top end Gravity Enduro race bike, built and specified unashamedly to take on the toughest enduro stages, big alpine adventures and epic days out; demonstrated by Team rider Martyn Brookes when he took 3rd place at the 2014 Megavalanche. With 27.5 inch wheels, 150 mm of travel front and rear and a dream build kit; the G-150 is race ready right out of the box. Weighing in at a respectable 13.2 kg and with a race proven geometry, on paper the G-150 looks like a capable bike, we were keen to see how it performed on the trail.
The G-150 Works SCR (Single Chain Ring) model is designed specifically for a 1x single ring system, and we approve of Whytes single-minded approach. Removing support for a front mech has allowed Whyte to use symmetrical chainstays, and widen the main pivot to improve stiffness and bearing life; Whyte also beefed up the drive side for improved power delivery. The bike is also designed for a dropper post and features a neat integrated frame mounted seat clamp; ensuring smooth lines around the Reverb Stealth.
Whyte have included the SRAM RAIL 50 wheelset, the most aggressive of SRAM’s new aluminium line-up, the lightweight wheels have excellent acceleration and cornering precision, however, the pick-up from the DT Swiss designed hub is a little slow. Throughout the testing the RAIL 50’s performed exceptionally, the 23mm internal width supported the tubeless Maxxis High Roller II 3C tyres well. The wheels are stiff and accurate and complement the bike well, the more you drive into the turns, the more the RAIL’s love it.
When it comes to the cockpit, we were delighted to see a short Easton Haven 50mm stem and acceptably wide Easton Haven 750 mm bars; using the new 35mm standard. The SRAM Guide RSC brakes are also a welcome sight, offering reliable performance and the best bite point / reach adjusters on the market. Despite running new pads, ours screamed like banshees through out the entire test period, but this is not a common trait. In fact we were impressed with the entire build on the G-150, there is nothing that our testers would not run themselves, is great to see a manufacturer who specifies a bike with no compromises.
Setting the bike up was a simple process, we ran the Pike RC3 forks at 76 psi (test rider weighs 74 kg) and after some test runs added 9 clicks of low speed compression to the forks. The rear shock was set-up to 30% sag (175 psi) and 10 clicks of rebound was added front and back. This resulted in a very balanced set-up that has great small bump sensitivity, and great mid stroke support in the rear for driving through berms and compressions. The G-150 is naturally very agile and enjoys getting airborn, and we found a slightly slower rebound added some plush small bump compliance. Racers and very aggressive or heavy riders may need to install volume spacers to firm up the compression, but this the case for any bike.
On the climbs, the Whyte G-150 is very efficient; when pedalling you could be forgiven for thinking you’re riding a 130 mm bike. There is a great feeling of forward momentum and the bike skips up the trail with ease. The in-line top pivots keep pedal feedback low, and there is minimal bobbing when pedalling hard, even in ‘open’ mode, switching the Monarch to ‘firm’ produces a very effective climber. The 13.2 kg weight is impressive and the lightweight SRAM RAIL 50 wheel-set and fast rolling Maxxis High Roller II tyres ensure that you are at the front of the pack when it comes to the climbs.
With its long front centre, 343 mm bottom bracket height and short 425 mm chainstays the G-150 is a very fast descender. To best describe the feel of the bike – it is more ‘agile long-legged-trail-bike’ than ‘grunty DH tank’. The low bottom bracket allows you to rail turns and drift with confidence, and the taught compression allows you to hop and skip your way down the trail, or you can keep it planted and let the effective suspension smooth out the ride. The Pike fork and Monarch Plus shock are a class pair and provide an excellent balance, providing an exceptionally smooth ride without any perceptible wallow when pushing hard. This is a STRAVA killer, the engaging ride will have you seeking out every jump or compression and the steering response is pin sharp and very stable. We were very impressed with the grip and traction the G-150 demonstrated in the turns, riding from a central position the short chainstays allow you to drive the rear into berms, accelerating forwards as the generated forces are released. The geometry allows for easy weight shifts, you will be pumping every dip and manualing every rise. The G-150 is riotous fun on technical, flowy terrain, and dares you to go faster.
At 180 cm our tester was right between the Medium and Large, we opted for the Large and it felt agile and very easy to throw around. With a 76 cm inside leg we found that the tall seat mast meant that we were 3 mm short of full extension on the 125 mm Reverb Stealth, so riders falling between sizes with short legs may have to look at the next size down. The bike looks amazing in Orange, which is lucky as that is the only colour option, and very tall riders may struggle to find a good fit as Whyte do not offer a size XL.
The Whyte G-150 Works offers a race ready package that has been thoroughly tested by the Whyte Gravity Enduro UK Race Team. Not only is it a well designed and specified bike, it is also extremely capable, engaging and riotous fun to ride. The G-150 pedals like a trail bike, but gives up its 150 mm of travel smoothly when the going gets rough. With great geometry, superb handling and an aggressive price, the G-150 is a real giant killer. If £3999 is too much for you, there is also the £2799 G-150S.
For more information, check out the Whyte website.
Words and Photos: Trev Worsey