John, my LBS owner and fellow MTB club member has one. He's ridden it on quite a few of the club
rides, and really likes it. They look strange.
From talking to people that have ridden these, I get the impression you either love them or hate
them. The linkage fork has an allegedly strange feel to it. John attempted to explain it as
'pulling' you over raised objects, he said it seems to help him over things a little in some
situations, that the fork moves backwards slightly as it is compressed.
The thing looked well enough put together, but I have not got a clue as to the likely longevity of
the fork bushings, but they do look to be rather a weak point, being up at the front, and rather
exposed (looking) to the elements.
So, no definitive information for you, but some maybe useful impressions and conjecture.
I haven't, but I think he's the same guy who designed an earlier iteration of Marin's full-suss
frame. The selling point of the Whyte looks to be the 'integrated' fork, which is probably either a
big advantage or an achilles heel. /s
The suspension action of the front fork is second to none over obstacles and the front doesn't dive
under load (descending or braking) which is great but the J path the wheel describes is both it's
strength and it's ultimate flaw (for me). The trouble is that as the suspension moves the wheel
length changes. It's no problem until you reach a tight singletrack section and really attack it, as
you steer from corner to corner the wheel length changes which messes up the steering which you
correct but as you do that the wheellength goes back and you have to correct again, real fight to
keep it on the line you want. Some people say you get used to it but I'm not sure I ever could.
Rear is a standard Marin type suspension action - the wheel quick realease is just plain wierd. The
annodised finish on the early ones was thinner than a very thin thing but may be better now.
Great bike for long XC riding with open tracks, superb on open bumpy DH, add a lot of tight
singletrack and there are better bikes out there IMO.
Looks horrible IMO but then again I ride an Orange Sub 5 so what do I know