Updated Whyte Suffolk

I have now completed a set of upgrades to my Whyte Suffolk these were triggered by

  • Wheel problems. The front, quite dramatically, broke a spoke. More recently the rear freehub failed (and was a pig to replace and I never quite got the bearings right again).
  • Brake disappointments. The TRP Hy-Rd have never really lived up to their promises.

However, I decided that I like the frame a lot and so it was worth upgrading the components especially if as I did I made sure they were future proof and so could be moved to a different frame if required. The goal is for this to be a fast bike for club rides, for long day rides and hopefully for some Audax rides.

The key upgrade is the wheels.

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Closer look here

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These are custom built by TheHappyCog to my specification which includes:

  • Carbon rims from Light Bicycle (light, aerodynamic, tubeless compatible, wide rims for larger tyres):
    • Front: 35mm U shape rim
    • Rear: 55mm U shape rim
  • Schmidt SON 28 dynamo front hub. With 15mm axle for future compatibility using a Nukeproof adapter to fit Quick Release fork
  • Hope pro4 rear hub. For maximum reliability and serviceability (plus UK made). This can support QR or 12mm axles by just changing the end caps.

Compared to the standard Whyte wheels I have saved about 0.5kg despite adding a dynamo hub. They should also be stronger, more puncture proof (jury is out on that one at the moment) and a lot more aerodynamic (I decided I didn’t want a deeper, more aerodynamic front rim as I want to be able to use them even when windy).

By buying handmade wheels from a small UK wheel builder I get a much higher build quality. Plus by going for essentially unbranded rims I get the whole package (including dynamo and very high quality rear hub) much cheaper than branded aero wheels.

Also I get wider rims for wider tyres (much more comfortable, probably just as fast and better for puncture resistance) that work with tubeless tyres (which I am convinced are the best for the future). I have gone for the higher speed Schwalbe Pro-One tyres at present which have a great reputation. However, on my first ride I hit a huge pothole (hidden by a puddle) and got a huge puncture that so badly tore the tyre that the sealant failed to work. I might need to switch to Schwalbe G-One as Jane is using if that doesn’t prove to be an isolated instance.

For the front light powered by the dynamo I have installed a B&M Luxos IQ2 which gives

  • a 90 lumens main beam.
  • a handlebar switch for full beam/dipped beam
  • daylight running lights
  • a usb charger

It is quite large but I’m very happy with the way it has fitted using a Supernova adapter bracket I bought from Shand

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To sort the brakes I decided to upgrade nearly the whole drivetrain and have switched to Sram Rival with 11 speed and hydraulic disk brakes. This is the same as Jane’s bike which means we only need one bleed kit and maintenance should be easier due to consistency. It also gives me a slightly wider gear range than I had before. First impressions are that the braking is superb! Plus the brake hoods feel super secure (no fear of your hands slipping off the front) and I like the double tap gear change.

I also took the opportunity to fit a new rack that just looks so much better than the last one that I found in the shed and rattled a lot.

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Finally I felt able to “slam” the stem. Must be the massage and stretching exercises that Jo has been using to rebuild me each time I hurt myself by running. This does highlight the only dislike I have about the setup of the bike which is the way the cables/hoses exit the frame and are so unaerodynamic as they go to the handlebars.

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Anyway on today’s quick test around Syston I immediately set to PR’s on strava segments, so looking good 🙂

Elapsed Time Moving Time Distance Average Speed Max Speed Elevation Gain
00:20:04 00:19:45 4.96 15.05 31.09 98.43
hours hours mi. mph mph ft.
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