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My Whyte 829

Fatboy's picture

By Fatboy - Posted on 01 October 2012

I've finally succumbed to the hype and got myself a 29er – a Whyte 829 which is their “trail” 29er. I didn't want another race bike for enduro’s as I have no intention of changing from my 26” dually so went for a play thing.

After my experience a few months ago on a Whyte 146 and the efforts from the importer to get me on a test ride I really wanted to buy one but after some thought I came to the conclusion I just don’t get enough technical riding in to justify the XX decked out “all mountain” bike so went for the 29er hard tail after reading the reviews in the local mountain bike mags which I’ll get more use from on my local trails.

It’s heavier than what I’m used to as all my bikes over the past few years have been weight weenie race bikes so 12.5kg is a heavy mother. The group set is XT/SLX, fork is Fox Float and the obvious sign it’s a trail bike not a racer are the knobby WTB tyres. The Whyte wheels aren't set up as tubeless so I’m going to convert them one spare weekend…

I've ridden Mt Annan, Manly Dam and Ourimbah this week which I thought would be a great test. I am already convinced 29ers go fast when they get momentum but have been sceptical of their ability to accelerate and handle tight corners and technical.

The lasting impression I have had since the first ride is I can’t believe I’m on a hard tail and I can’t believe the way it steers so well around the tight switchback corners. Going down the fast rocky sections today at Ourimbah I kept expecting the back end to buck over some of those rocks but it just never happened. I got to the stage I don’t pick a line, just go straight over everything like I’m on an all mountain bike.

Reading the recent local mountain bike mags there has been a couple of reviews on the bike and they all talk of the long top tube and short stem and I have to agree while my initial impression was I feel like I’m leaning further forward than normal the bike turns very quickly. On my first lap around Manly Dam I came to the steps and expected I’d struggle to pop the front wheel up the top step but was pleasantly surprised at how, despite feeling like the bike is long and I’m stretched out (my hand position is 4cm forward compared to my other bike) I could still pop the front wheel with ease.

The only negative comment I can make about the Whyte is it runs a 3X10 setup. I’ve only ridden 2X10 for a few years now so have found I keep getting caught running my chain crossed up so have to constantly remind myself to look down and be aware of my gear combo. I find with the 2X10 you just don’t need to pay attention.

I've used Fox Terralogic forks for at least 5 years which lockout automatically when you power down or stand then release when they feel a bump from underneath. I kept getting caught out using the manual lockout lever on the Fox Floats around Manly forgetting to unlock them when I’d go downhill so had some interesting times especially the last technical downhill before the Hydro Lab.

So I’m happy with my new play thing and while I started my blog being clear on my intention not to replace my 26” dually for my enduro’s … I can get the Whyte 829 down to race weight without too much effort as the Whyte wheel set is built to take hits so comes with a weight penalty so get a set of race wheels built, change the running gear to match my other bike and I’m ready to go. It took all of 3 rides to completely change my mind and start to focus on building my bike into an enduro racer Smiling

RobB's picture

We are hoping to enter the James Williamson enduro March 2013... MY might have mentioned it.. Cheers R

Fatboy's picture

I'll be there @RobB but don't count on Yatesey...he's soft!

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