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Whyte Hardtail or something else?

I'm looking to get my first entry level mountain bike. Based on my budget and where I'll likely be doing most of my riding, a hardtail seems to be the best bet.

I've heard good things about whyte bikes and I like the look of them. But as a newcomer I have no idea if they are good value.

I'll be riding light/intermediate trails. Some flat stuff and some tree stumps/rocks. But not likely many big drops or downhill routes. For more background I'm 6'3", 33 years old. Just want something that I will let me get into the sport without growing out of it too quickly as I want to push more.

Another thing about whyte bikes is they seem to be in stock if you look enough.

Thoughts on:
https://whyte.bike/collections/sports-trail-hardtail-600-series-120mm/products/605

Or is that too basic? Would it be better to stretch to this:
https://whyte.bike/collections/trail-800-series/products/801

Or would a 29er be better option. Maybe something like this:
https://vitusbikes.com/collections/nucleus/products/vitus-nucleus-29-vrs-mountain-bike

Like I say...I'm completely new so any help.would be appreciated. I couldn't tell you which of these is a better buy or if any are good value.

If there's a different bike that you might be able to suggest...I'm all ears. Preferably want to keep it under £1000 and if in stock in XL....even better.

Thanks in advance.

Posts

  • loltorideloltoride Posts: 424
    I like Whyte bikes not sure what the models you have cost but they seem ok to me for what you want to do.
    So Far!
  • wilberforcewilberforce Posts: 239
    Possible option rather than Whyte with 19inch frames in stock and under budget https://www.paulscycles.co.uk/bikes/mountain-bikes/cube-analog-rs-hardtail-mountain-bike-2021-blackpetrol__7353
  • njmathersnjmathers Posts: 8
    loltoride said:

    I like Whyte bikes not sure what the models you have cost but they seem ok to me for what you want to do.

    Ahh yes you can't see it on their website. The 605 is £775 and the 801 is about £1000 give or take a couple of quid.
  • njmathersnjmathers Posts: 8

    Possible option rather than Whyte with 19inch frames in stock and under budget https://www.paulscycles.co.uk/bikes/mountain-bikes/cube-analog-rs-hardtail-mountain-bike-2021-blackpetrol__7353

    Thanks for the suggestion. But I would need a couple of sizes up from that based on the size guide.
  • reaperactualreaperactual Posts: 920
    I had a Whyte 605 a while ago and it was fine. Sold it on and it's still doing fine.

    They've got better specced forks and drivetrain compared to my previous model.

    Headset ain't the best and neither are the cheap rebrand hubs but then again most entry level bikes have similar components.

    I'd say the 801 is worth the extra cash because it has better forks with Boost thru axle and a slightly better Boost 141qr rear end rather than the 605's older standard quick release.

    Having said that if it was my money I'd be paying an extra £200 and looking at a Vitus Sentier VR as better all round value for money mtb. Trouble is I doubt there will be any in stock for a while.😪

    https://vitusbikes.com/products/vitus-sentier-27-vr-mountain-bike
  • njmathersnjmathers Posts: 8

    I had a Whyte 605 a while ago and it was fine. Sold it on and it's still doing fine.

    They've got better specced forks and drivetrain compared to my previous model.

    Headset ain't the best and neither are the cheap rebrand hubs but then again most entry level bikes have similar components.

    I'd say the 801 is worth the extra cash because it has better forks with Boost thru axle and a slightly better Boost 141qr rear end rather than the 605's older standard quick release.

    Having said that if it was my money I'd be paying an extra £200 and looking at a Vitus Sentier VR as better all round value for money mtb. Trouble is I doubt there will be any in stock for a while.😪

    https://vitusbikes.com/products/vitus-sentier-27-vr-mountain-bike

    See this is the problem I find myself in, and I'm sure this is how it goes with buying bikes in general. I started off looking at a pure entry level, like the Vitus Nucleus VR, for £599. And then you think...oh for only £200 more I can get the VRS model. And then ohhh for only £200 I can have a sentier. Before you know it you're staring at an online basket with a £7000 full suss thinking..how did I get here?

    The Sentier VR is definitely a great choice. But is stretching the budget for sure. I think they were recently in stock also. Not back until May based off their website. Would you say that the 27.5 with 140mm travel is a better choice than the 29er with 130mm travel or is that irrelevant because of the bigger wheels?
  • reaperactualreaperactual Posts: 920
    edited 29 March
    I'm general you'll find fork travel is around 10mm less to accommodate for the larger wheel diameter difference.

    Yeah me and I assume most have been in your exact same position upping the budget to that next bike for the spec improvements.

    The thing is if you splash out a bit more now and you'll save money in the long run.

    Entry level bikes are decent for the price but you're likely to outgrow them or begin to notice their limitations in a year or so as your skill, confidence and speed inevitably improve.🤔
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,278
    @njmathers Good advice from Reaper. My two pennorth is that the Whyte bikes are designed by Brits for British conditions. I had a Whyte full suss for just over two years and it went through three winters. I never had a problem with any wheel or pivot bearings. The bike quality was outstanding; I loved that bike and wish I had never sold it!

    The Vitus bikes are CRC's own brand and they can shave the margins a bit as a consequence. So they tend to be a bit cheaper for the spec. I have never ridden one, and I have not heard of any complaints about them.

    What does Mr Google say? There will be lots of reviews on line.
  • nibnob21nibnob21 Posts: 207
    Entirely personal preference but for a hardtail I prefer a 29er. The smoother rolling wheels due to the larger diameter goes a small way to making up for no rear suspension.

    As for specific model, hard to say. There are a lot of well reviewed budget bikes out there for your budget or less, but don't look just at the star ratings, you need to consider the quality of the components too. Reviews will say if something represents good value for money or not, but that's not to say a good value for money budget bike has decent components and won't wear out quickly.
  • njmathersnjmathers Posts: 8
    Thanks again for all the feedback. It's been really helpful.

    I think I'm siding towards the Vitus Sentier 29 VR. As @reaperactual mentioned, I don't want to end up growing out of the bike within a year. And when I do eventually want to upgrade I assume a bike with better components will hold it's value a little better a few years down the line.

    I do like the look of Whyte bikes, and like that they are a British brand. But I think there's more to this than a bike with a cool looking paint job! :D

    When I look at the Sentier and compare it to other bikes, similar spec bikes seem to be £200-400 more expensive, even though Vitus have recently put the price up. So it does seem like decent value...though @nibnob21 my issue being new is that when I look at the components I don't really have too much of a clue whether it's good quality or not. It's tough out there for a noob right now!
  • nibnob21nibnob21 Posts: 207
    Yeah I get it, I've been riding a while but I struggle with it too. There's a lot to try and keep on top of with groupsets, suspension, hubs, bottom brackets...when there's offerings from so many different brands, so many different sizings, different cycling disciplines having their own specific component ranges etc.

    It can become a bit overwhelming!
  • reaperactualreaperactual Posts: 920
    edited 30 March
    Good points made by @nibnob21 and @steve_sordy.

    I looked at the spec list at the time on the higher end Whyte bikes and now I know better I could see the better quality hubs, bottom brackets and headsets they had fitted.

    Within 8 months of buying the entry level 605 I'd upgraded the wheels, headset and bottom bracket for better quality components and after totting up the cost I wish I'd have just spent the extra and bought the 905 in the first place.

    When choosing an mtb the important stuff I look for now is a good bb and crankset, sealed bearing hubs (and headsets if possible) as in general they're a safer bet for quality, performance and durability ime. This is also where it makes financial sense to spend a bit more on that 'next one up' model imo.


  • njmathersnjmathers Posts: 8
    @reaperactual yea that makes sense. The 905 is definitely a big jump up from the 605. Are you riding a 905 now?

    I had a look through the specs of the Sentier VR and compared to the Whyte bikes.
    It seemed to have very similar specs to the 901, with the 901 being £300 more.
    Price wise it is around the same as the 805, but seems to have some better components (better fork?) and a dropper post. So seems well worth the extra £50.

    So it does seem like the Sentier fits with both spec and budget (ish). Just seems the best "value" option for me. Think I fancy the 29er too. Just got to wait for stock now. Wish I'd gone for one a couple of weeks ago when they had some.
  • reaperactualreaperactual Posts: 920
    edited 31 March
    27.5 or 29er is a personal choice and 29er's are by far the most popular wheelsize. If you fancy a 29er go for it Pal.😎

    Your current dilemma is similar to mine and many others, totally understandable @njmathers.

    Looking back I wasted money buying the entry level 605 instead of stumping up the cash for a better mtb initially.

    Once I upgraded the 605 it was reliable and never had any issues with it again.

    Reliability aside the bike then seemed to be old fashioned or outdated with a 3x drivetrain, quick release hub standard and average forks which is the reason I sold it on after a year and a half.

    I didn't get the 905 in the end because it seemed too expensive at the time.

    I did upgrade to a new mtb (Orange hardtail) that cost around £1200 on sale, gotta say worth every penny.

    With the cash I saved on the bike puchase I treated myself to a great quality wheelset not long after that, mainly because I always wanted to and this bike was worthy of the upgrades to make it perfect for my needs for now and in the long term.

    Same story with most riders I know and it's how we all learned the hard way on what to look for, lol!😆

    Compared to the competition in the £1,200-£1,300 price range the Sentier is a wise choice and represent really good value for money with the quality 'futureproof' components and newer/modern standards straight out of the box so the price seems fair and justified I reckon.
  • I'm in a similar boat tbh, got £2k to spend and need to do it via cycle to work and every bike I've considered (I'm wanting 29er Alloy Hardtail) is out of stock.
    Ive looked at:

    Canyon 9 (£1849)
    Scott Scale 950 (£1759)
    Ragley Big Al 1.0 (£1399)
    Whyte 629 V3 (£1700)
    Merida Big Trail 600 (£1500)
    Vitus Sentier 29 VRX (£1749)

    Can't see any other options tbh - so think i may be stuck this year for a bike, unless anyone knows anywhere with stock of these or another viable alternative Ive missed?
  • njmathersnjmathers Posts: 8
    @barnsleyshaun Yea it's definitely tough at the minute. I'm not sure about the stock of a lot of the bikes on there, but I do know Vitus plan on new stock of the Sentier range at the start of next month.

    I went on the online chat at wiggle and asked them about the specific size and model I wanted (Sentier 29 VR in XL) and they told me it will be in stock before the end of April, but couldn't give an exact date. Might be worth getting onto the wiggle chat as well and asking about what you want...they've always been good when I've chat with them and been able to give a roundabout date so I can keep a lookout. Your model/size could end up being sooner.

    Hope that can help in some way.
  • @njmathers - thanks for that, yeah may give that a go then - would like to get sorted this year if possible
  • manoirdelourdemanoirdelourde Posts: 133
    @njmathers - I have some recent experience of Whyte bikes that might help your decision making.
    Bought a 603 for my partner last summer, it’s ok but is so heavy, most of the weight is probably in the fork and wheels, hers is a small and weights over 15kg, I suspect an XL would be close to 16kg. It will be replaced as soon as I find something suitable available.
    I bought an 801 in large as an interim bike for me last September, my previous bike was an old but high spec Gary Fisher, I found the 801 dull and lifeless and the hubs and freehub very low quality, I wouldn’t recommend to be honest.
    Vitus look good value for money, perhaps a Ragley Marley might be a good choice if you can find one, but as others have suggested don’t buy too cheaply as you will need to upgrade/replace parts earlier than you might have thought.
    Got a place in the Pyrenees.
    Do bike and ski stuff.
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,278

    @njmathers - ....................
    Vitus look good value for money, perhaps a Ragley Marley might be a good choice if you can find one, .....................

    I bought my 13-year old grandson a Ragley Marley 1.0. Fantastic bike! Great quality and it has given him zero trouble. I swapped out the 2.6" tyres and tubes for 2.4" tubeless and saved a pound weight per wheel! The Manitou Mattock Comp fork is amazing.


  • njmathersnjmathers Posts: 8
    Finally managed to order a Vitus Sentier 29 VR in my size lastnight. Seemed like a few sizes came in stock and sold within a couple of hours. Luckily the XL stayed in stock a bit longer as I was in the middle of a long drive when the stock notification came in.
    Vitus seems to be re-stocking quite a few bikes this week if people are still looking, and they also gave a more detailed week to week stock list so you can plan on when to keep your eye out.
    Can't wait to get the bike finally though. The only down side (not really a down side), is that my second child is due in three days, so it's not ideal timing! But I'm sure I'll be able to find a spare half hour here or there.
    Cheers for all the help!
  • reaperactualreaperactual Posts: 920
    Congrats on the two new arrivals! 👏 👌
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