As bike brands grow, seems like they develop more and more of their own products. From a cost perspective, it certainly makes sense if the volume’s there, but it also gives them a chance to put their own signature on the parts.
The latter is Whyte’s reason for introducing new wheels, and their freshman effort looks pretty good. Two models are offered, XC and Trail, both with a new, in-house designed carbon fiber rim.
The rims are High Modulus UD carbon with a 1K outer ply to help stop surface crack to propagation in the event of a chip or hard impact. Whyte says they learnt this from the F1 teams they have worked with over the years. From their PR:
This fine mesh (1K stands for 1mm squared pattern) is used on all areas of the car that are susceptible to stone chips, so it seems logical to apply this to the final surface of the rim, which clearly operates in a highly aggressive environment, we call it a “Blast Skin”.
Specs and more pics below…
Here’s Whyte’s comments on the decision to get into wheels:
“We decided to make our own wheel sets because we felt many 29ers were let down in performance by the wheels they have specced. Choice both in after market and off the peg bikes has been limited, so we decided take control and make our own, both for the M109 and T129 but also for after market.
Every wheel is hand built in one of the top wheel building facilities in the world. 28 Hole front and 32 Hole rear 3 Cross spoke pattern might not be the lightest option out there but we feel it offers the best weight to stiffness to durability, so you can make the most of your bike week after week. After assembly, every wheel is inspected by our Whyte QC team.”
Hubs use cartridge bearings and are laced to the new rims with stainless steel DT Swiss Competition Double butted spokes with DT Swiss alloy nipples. Front wheels are 28 hole, rear is 32 hole. The two different wheels get a couple different axle options:
- XC – Rear is 135mm with XT Skewer; Front is 110 x 15mm Maxle or Shimano E-Thru compatible.
- Trail – Rear is 142mm x 12mm Maxle or Shimano E-Thru compatible; Front is 110 x 15mm Maxle or Shimano E-Thru compatible.
They include a Whyte Nylon rim strip designed specifically for these rims. The XT skewer set has an RRP of £999 and the standard set of £949.
NOTE: We’ve inquired about weights, rim widths, etc., and will update the post if/when we hear back.