Whyte make no bones about their British heritage.
in

Whyte Suffolk Review

The suffolk by whyte is an all  Rounder with some strong  Performance characteristics, and  A design suited to a broad range  Of needs in the cycling world.  National road series rider mark  Jewell took one out for a spin. 

British brand whyte,  began manufacturing  road bikes in 1999,  with a motto of “performance  by design” and have  developed a well thought out  range of mountain, road and  cross bikes. 

The Suffolk has been  designed as a do it all  machine, confident on any  surface, and any terrain,  in any weather. However,  while it has the drop bars  and standard diamond frame  this bike doesn’t pretend to  be a high-end race winning  machine. So, while there’s  nothing stopping someone  from racing this bike, (UCI  legalities aside) I wouldn’t  say that racing was its  strongest suit. 

Whyte have adopted a direction of eponymous componentry with bars, stem, post, and saddle all sporting their monika.

The Suffolk is a bit of  a Jack of all trades and  while not fully mastering  the race side of things  acquits itself well on many  other fronts.  It’s an ideal bike for training  or commuting, or touring or you  could even change the rubber  and take on some cyclocross.  Its versatility is its strong point  along with quality manufacture  and component spec. 

I felt in the test I could pretty  much take this bike wherever I  wished. I was never out of my  comfort zone no matter what  surface was beneath me. From  the ground up, the bike is built  well; solid and strong. It tips the scales at a burly 9.94kg,  but it is built to withstand  anything you can throw at it,  so it was time to take on some  rough roads and a bit of gravel. 

The Suffolk’s rims and  tyres are as tough as they  come, chosen with puncture  protection in mind…Maxxis  Detonator 100×28 tyres, so  having to change a tube or  carefully choose my riding  surface was never really a  thought. Any bike track,  cycle way, or even gravel  road was easily taken on with  these tyres and the rims were  a perfect match. There is a  huge amount of clearance  between the tyre and frame /  fork, so mud clearance, if you  go off road or want to add  even wider tyres, is well taken  care of. Whyte has specced  their own branded 32mm  deep-dish rims to carry these  bulletproof tyres and with  32 rear spokes and 28 on the  front, strength and durability  was once again the greatest  feature here. The high flange  hubs give even extra support  in this area, giving an all  round good feel to this wheel  and tyre combination. 

Shimano’s 105 11 speed levers pull the cable that activates the TRP branded hydraulic calipers front and back.

There is also a neat antitheft  feature in the axles of  the Suffolk. The wheels’ axles  are tightened with a small five  sided socket supplied with  the bike, so they’re almost  impossible to remove without  the tiny spanner provided to do  the job. 

The full aluminum frame  shows broad, solid welds  and some thoughtful details  like mudguard and pannier  mounting points. Some other  small finishing touches like  the union jack inset in the  seat tube clamp and a flush  grommet on the stem cap bolt  add to the feeling of quality. 

The straight bladed carbon  front fork gives the Suffolk a  tough and modern presence  and matches the image of an  all-round machine for any user  or condition. 

This bike comes with  Shimano’s new 11 speed 105  group set which performs  quite well and is a good match  for the Suffolk. The gearing  combination of the bike is very pleasing. With FSA Gossamer  Pro EVO 386 cranks on the  front fitted with 34 and 50  tooth chain rings and the rear  cassette being 11-32, riding  any climb or hilly section was  a breeze, especially given the  overall weight of the bike, and  bearing in mind that you may  be on, or off road when these  extra gears are needed. 

Shapely seat stays add a little flair to the frame as well as providing extra tyre clearance.

Braking is via the Shimano  105 levers which operate cable  actuated, mineral oil filled  hydraulic calipers and rotors  from TRP. 

This is the first road bike I  have ridden with disc brakes  and I must say, I found braking  performance was very good;  they slowed me down easily  whether on the road or travelling through water or  even a muddy area. 

This bike also descends very  well. It has a longer wheelbase  than most road bikes and with  that comes more stability and  a little more vertical flex and  comfort on rougher roads. 

Whyte has put some real  comfort into the steerer and  bars of this bike. With its  own compact ‘wing’ 44cm  bars and a six degree lift in  the stem, a little performance  has been given away, but a  greater degree of comfort has  been added, with a little more  upright position and a more  open position of the rider’s  shoulders. The shallow drop  in the bars also added to the  comfort level whether sitting up on the hoods or down in  the drops for some higher  speed action. 

Whyte has also added its own  branded seat and seat post. The  seat continues the theme of  enhanced comfort, being wider  and a little softer than most  race bike seats, surely a plus for  anyone wanting to go off road  with the bike. 

Haling from the occasionally inclement UK, Whyte bikes have impervious cable porting well in hand.

This bike won’t be on  everyone’s shopping list, but  for someone in two minds on  whether to buy a fully-fledged  road bike or something they  can train or commute on to save  their racer, or take out in any  kind of road or track condition  including the growing trend  of cyclocross, this bike is well  worth considering. 

SUMMING UP

QUALITY

Whyte have combined a wellmade  alloy frame with heavy  duty wheels, and reliable  components into this rugged and  versatile bicycle. 

PERFORMANCE

The bike is built strong and  tough. It is able to be used for a  broad range of cycling needs. It’s  not a race spec bike but provides  durability and overall flexibility to  meet the needs of a broad range  of riders. 

VALUE

The Suffolk comes in at only  $2,350. This places it in a  range of any entry level road,  cyclocross or mountain bike.  Given this bike can be used  pretty much for all three uses, it  comes in at real value for money  and good bang for your bucks. 

Blessing or curse? Your wheels will stay securely attached at all times without a quick release or common allen key fitting to remove them. Note the tiny spanner with pentagonal socket head.

OVERALL

In the Suffolk, Whyte has created  a bike that many users will find  very enjoyable and comfortable  to ride. No one will expect a race  spec bike when climbing aboard,  but the enjoyment of riding it will  win you over. 

Whyte make no bones about their British heritage.

SPECIFICATIONS

FRAME: 6061 Hydro Formed T6 Aluminum, Custom Drawn

FORK: Straight Bladed Carbon with tapered steerer

CRANK: FSA Gossamer 34-50 compact double

BOTTOM BRACKET: FSA Mega Exo

SHIFTERS: Shimano ST-5700 105 11 speed

CASSETTE: Shimano 105 11-32

CHAIN: Shimano 105 11 speed

FRONT DERAILLEUR: Shimano 105

REAR DERAILLEUR: Shimano RD-5700 105 11 speed

RIMS: Alex Black Dragon 24, deep section, disc specific road

TYRES: Maxxis Detonator 700 x 28c with puncture protection

BRAKES: TRP HYDR 160mm rotor disc

HANDLEBAR: Whyte Road Compact Wing Bar 44cm wide

STEM: Whyte 6 deg

HEADSET: FSA integrated road 1 1/2” lower and 1 1/8” upper Sealed Cartridge Bearings

BRAKE LEVERS: Shimano 105

SADDLE: Whyte Custom Triple Panel Design

SEAT POST: Whyte 20mm offset

WEIGHT: 9.94kg

PRICE: $2,350

DISTRIBUTOR: Carbuta P/L

Leave a Reply

What do you think?

196 Points
Upvote Downvote
The broad stabilising leg folds for convenient storage.

Indoor Trainer Shootout

A 5mm allen key tightens the oversized thru axles front and rear.

Specialized Diverge Expert Carbon Review