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Whyte model year 2015 road and cyclo-cross bikes – first look

Disc brakes across the board a new new RRD 'thoroughbred race bike' range for Cotswold brand

RD-7 Road Disc

The RD-7 is Whyte’s disc-ready, aluminium, ‘fast and robust’ frame, designed as a more versatile option than the RRD chassis and so suitable for commuting, winter training and light touring, with a line-up of five bikes (two women’s, three men’s) to choose from, as well as a new carbon fibre machine for model year 2015.

The three alloy-framed men’s bikes are named the Sussex (£799), Dorset (£999) and Suffolk (£1,199), with the carbon machine dubbed the Cornwall (£1,799), while the women’s bikes are the Somerset (£799) and Devon (£999).

The RD-7 is Whyte’s disc-ready aluminium frame

“The ‘cross range [which we’ll cover on the next page] spawned this collection of road/fast commuter bikes,” says Alexander. The geometry is inspired more by traditional road geometry [than cyclo-cross], so you can come off your carbon bike and straight onto these bikes.

“It’s been funny to see the ‘gravel bike’ category gain traction in the market,” he adds, “when actually we’ve been doing that style of bike for five or six years now.”

The Whyte Suffolk is equipped with an 11-speed Shimano 105 groupset and TRP HY/RD cable-actuated hydraulic disc brakes

The Cornwall is perhaps the most interesting machine and one which has arrived in the Whyte range on the back of demand for a carbon-framed winter bike – or, at least, a carbon fibre machine built to handle whatever the UK can throw at it.

Naturally all bikes in the range have disc brakes (mechanical on the Somerset and Sussex, cable-operated TRP HY/RD hydraulic units on the Dorset, Devon and Suffolk, and a SRAM Rival hydraulic setup on the Cornwall) but each also has 28mm tyres (and clearance for more) and an ‘endurance’ geometry, which translates to a slightly longer – and so more stable – wheelbase and a more upright riding position than the RRD. All the bikes have mounts and clearance for full mudguards.

The RD-7 also includes two women’s bikes: the Somerset and Devon

“One of the trends we’ve seen over the last few years is riders coming out on the winter club run – and they’re quite competitive training rides nowadays – on a carbon fibre bike,” says Alexander. “They want to ride a carbon bike in the winter but they’re having to compromise and squeeze in Crud Roadracer ‘guards, so this bike is an extension of that with mounts for mudguards and plenty of clearance at the back so you can go up to 30mm tyres if you want.”

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