Cotwolds-based Whyte has been pushing the boundaries of what a trail hardtail should be and where it can be ridden for well over a decade, and the new 901 merges all that experience into a radical off-the-peg package.

  • So good: Fork, cockpit, wheels and geometry all sync superbly; impeccably balanced and responsive frameset for full gas riding
  • No good: Weight becomes more obvious with a grippier front tyre; QR rear axle and irritating cables

Frame and equipment: stretched-out chassis

The big news is that the already very long 901 frame is 20mm longer for 2016. That makes our medium sample the same length as this year’s large and longer than any of the three large sized bikes – Saracen Mantra Trail, Nukeproof Scout and Bird Zero TR1 – that we tested alongside it.

The highly evolved hydroformed tubeset is otherwise unchanged, with a wedge-closed external seatpost clamp plus heavily snaked seatstays

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