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Whyte Dorset review

2 Mar 2017
Verdict:

A well thought out package that's both fun and fit for purpose

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£1,099
For 
Stable and fun, grippy Schwalbe tyres, well-matched components
Against 
Rims not tubeless-ready, FSA chainset, not 11-speed

The Whyte Dorset is a bike that has clearly had some serious thought gone into it.

From the frame design, via the little touches like the British flag appearing through the seat clamp to the internal cable routing with rubber grommets to dampen noise and movement, this is a fine machine.

The Dorset’s also obviously been designed with urban riding and commuting in mind, hence features such as the full mudguard mounts, rack mounts and quick-release skewers, complete with a screw-in lever that has a pentagonal bolt to prevent theft.

The latter works well – just so long as you remember to keep it with you at all times in case of punctures or some other need to remove a wheel.

On the road, the bike picks up speed surprisingly easily, something which is helped in no small way by the smooth ride provided by the impressive Schwalbe tyres.

Flat roads were a breeze and no matter what surface we took it on, the Dorset just got on with getting us where we needed to go. It almost felt like the rougher the road, the more capable the Dorset was of handling them.

At well over 10kg it's no lightweight, yet we found the Dorest to be tenacious on climbs, with its compact gearing getting us up even the steepest of inclines. OK, it’s no rocket ship going uphill but never once did it feel too laborious.

Demon descender

The downhill sections of our test ride were where it played its true trump card, though.

The front end felt solid and stable at all speeds and through the corners, and the combination of relatively wide, flared handlebars and grippy 30mm wide S-One tyres helped it hold its line superbly.

Not once did it feel too slow or docile that we couldn’t flick it about with ease. While Tiagra might be at the lower end of the Shimano groupset line-up, the performance is surprisingly good, with precise, easy shifting and an 11-32 cassette offering a wide enough range for all types of riding.

Overall, the Dorset is a bike that can turn its hand to anything the road can throw at it –and will keep you smiling whatever type of ride you take it on.

Ratings

Frame 9/10; Components 9/10; Wheels 8/10; The ride 9/10

Verdict: On paper, the Dorset wouldn't win any competitions, but on the road it's a perfect example of a bike that's been created as a complete package. The ride delivers exactly what it's designed to and its cornering and downhill flair will have you grinning.

Spec

Frame Hydroformed aluminium, carbon disc fork, aluminium steerer
Groupset Shimano Tiagra 4700, 10-speed
Brakes TRP HyRD, 160mm
Chainset FSA Omega, 50/34
Cassette Shimano Tiagra, 11-32
Bars Whye Compact Wing Bar
Stem Whye
Seatpost Whyte, 20mm offset
Saddle Whye Custom
Wheels Whyte Road Disc, Schwalbe S-One tyres
Weight 10.58kg (54cm)
Contact whyte.bike

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