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Brand Feature: Whyte

Whyte’s origin is one of innovation and racing pedigree, and in the 22 years since its creation, the Whyte team have solidified their place at the forefront of British, and global, mountain bike innovation.

Back in 1994, off the back of his role as a design engineer at Benetton F1, Jon Whyte formed The Whyte Design Team, working on designs for full-suspension mountain bikes. The designs were licensed to Marin and were in production just a year after the team’s inception.

Given Whyte’s F1 history, I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that, for the rest of the 90’s, Marin’s bikes (designed by Jon) were on Podiums across the board, even being ridden to a win in the British Cross Country National Championship in 1996, the first full-suspension bike to ever win a XC Pro-Elite Championship.

As Whyte’s name became more and more revered, the team decided to form the Whyte bike brand, launching the truly unique PRST-1 (named after the robot dog ‘Preston’ in Aardman Animation’s Wallace and Gromit: A Close Shave). The bike was like nothing anyone had seen before, using a Fox shock and multi-pivot forks to create an all-terrain.

In the following years, Whyte went from strength to strength, releasing progressive trends setters, mounting podiums, and continuing to drive innovation within the bike industry. Now in 2024, Whyte are still going strong, having just gone through a successful rebrand and launch of their new E-Lyte and RHeO Lines (check our excited staff member Sukrit and the freshly built Whyte E-Lyte 140 Works below).

Why Bike Shed loves Whyte

Over the last 22 years, Whyte has been innovating and dominating in the world of MTB, but that doesn’t mean they’re out of reach to you and me. Despite their mighty story, they’re still a passionate UK brand that loves staying close to their roots with their R&D facility in Gloucester.

Their range boasts quality and development indicative of the same care that Jon Whyte was putting into his racing machines back in the 90s, which is understandable, as Jon took Whyte’s current chief designer, Ian Alexander, on as an apprentice back in 2002!

Reasons to love Whyte

While the pros, press, and seasoned Whyte fans rave about their top of the line machines, we really can’t ignore their fantastic range of entry-level (and up) bikes. From City cruisers to trail bikes perfect for a first timer, they’ve got a speedy steed for almost everyone looking to get into our wonderful sport and at some very reasonable prices.

Check out our range in store or online and be sure to come and meet the Whyte team at The Bike Shed Bike Show on Saturday March 23rd to test their range for yourself!

The Bike Shed’s pick of the stable

It almost goes without saying, the brand-spankin’ new E-Lyte 140 Works is at the top of our staff’s wishlists for all your MTB-hucking needs. With its 650Wh combined battery and 600W Bosch Performance Line SX motor, you’ll be smashing the trails all day!

The E-Lyte 140 Works built up with love at our Outta Town location in Exeter - (BikeShed)

What Whyte say

“The E-Lyte 140 Works is our lightest ever electric mountain bike (eMTB): at 16.4kg complete (size M) with 55Nm of torque, together with 600W of peak power, it perfectly blends lightweight cross country (XC)/trail bike performance with the capability of full-fat eMTBs to deliver an unparalleled and uncompromised ride, wherever the trail leads you: the singletrack, the all-day epic, the home trail hot laps, the descents and the climbs back out – and with a total combined battery capacity of 650Wh, it has the range to do it all.”

Spec Highlights

  • 140mm front + 135mm rear of efficient custom-tuned suspension travel
  • Unidirectional woven carbon fibre frame, keeping it wickedly light and strong
  • Bosch Performance Line SX mid-torque motor, giving 55nm of torque and 600W of power
  • Adjustable battery capacity with a total of 650Wh (400Wh internal + 250Wh PowerMore range extender)
  • 29” wheelset to roll through all the bumps and troughs the trails can offer
  • Adjustable geometry to suit your ride-style

What Bike Shed say

The new Whyte E-Lyte 140 Works offers a stunning combination of Whyte’s lightweight frame design and Bosch’s performance powerhouse. Best suited to cross country trails but equipped to do so much more, the number of options when it comes to the adjustability of this bike is staggering, whether keeping the bike in it’s stock ‘High’ setting and removing the PowerMore battery for lightweight climbing machine, or setting the E-Lyte’s geometry to ‘Low’ and turning it into a slacker downhill demon.

If you’re an e-bike that can handle some of the rougher trails out there, we also have the E-lyte 150 Works and 150 RSX in stock and ready to ride over at our Exeter Outta Town store!

Check out some close-ups below:

The E-Lyte 140 Works is complimented by the SRAM XX electronic shifting - (BikeShed)

The Bosch PowerMore battery extends your ride with an extra 250Wh, while still leaving space for 2 water bottles (M and L only) - (BikeShed)

KS Suspension 175mm Dropper, topped by the fizik Terra Aidon X1 carbon fibre saddle - (BikeShed)

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