2019 #Whyte901 v. 2012 #Orange5

2019 Whyte 901.

2012 Orange 5, external dropper

I've recently bought a 2019 Whyte 901 hardtail. The idea being that it would replace a 2004 Gary Fisher Tassajara, a 2006 Pace RC303 and a 2012 Orange 5 all in one hit.

Well, it's not actually good enough to replace the Orange or the Tassajara, even though they are old school 26". True if I want to set a fast Strava time downhill it would be the go to bike. But even then it is only marginally faster than the Orange. It's better everywhere than the Pace. However, the elephant in the room is mass. 2.8" tyres on fat rims = slow anywhere other than down. It's useless going uphill, and even along singletrack it can be a slog. Point to point my Orange is faster.

So, if you want a fast bike for 2019, buy a 2012 Orange 5. Modern bikes are too fat. Geometry wise, there's not much in it and the Orange is just as fast. Really, if you want a modern hardtail, avoid the 2.8" silly bikes. 2.5" or 2.6" is plenty. Oh and three weeks into ownership I've bent a rim on it. The last time I bent a rim was on Snowdon five years ago.

Why would you buy a modern bike? Trail centres. My Orange 5 is great for the Surrey Hills. At modern trail centres the rear end is just too noodly. I'm a rubbish rider, yet I notice. I'd never notice any flex on the Whyte - mainly as it is made from scaffold poles.

It sounds as though I don't like the 901. I do, yet somehow it is bland and one dimensional. Great if you are in the mood for a one dimensional ride! Exploring, riding for a chat or just going for a mooch, it's a right arse. It's not my go-to bike. If it lost 3lb or 4lb, essentially from the wheels, I honestly think little would touch it in terms of overall speed and fun. Downhill it is faster than me - I hold it back. It's everywhere else where the excess mass kills the fun. As for the rims, garbage.... I suspect it is set up as a learner bike, which sounds an odd thing to say, yet that's how it comes over. As if it is compensating for a lack of skills somewhere. Really I should have bought a 2017 Cotic.

The Pace RC303 finds a new home.

My 13 year old son has it. This was a £2,200 bike thirteen years ago; now it is a hack. We swoped bikes at one point. Eh gads it was a hard bike to ride! After the 901 it is just too small. He actually said the 901 is too heavy. Pity as I've just spent £400 bringing it up to 2019 spec. Dropper, 1x gearing, new tubeless tyres, and forks rebuilt to new. It's a full 6lb lighter than the 901, even with the ancient Pike forks fitted.

Here we are buying sausages in the sun. 5 minutes later it snowed. Easter 2019 for you.

Bluebells and stuff.

Bluebells Obligitary Photo in a Blog Act 2008

We're on the road to nowhere. Happily so!

Too many choices in life. Mogador.