Although it was quick and easy to get a decent starting setup, it took a lot longer to get the most out of the Sommet.
Out of the box, with just under 30% sag, the rear suspension isn't particularly supportive. It moves through its travel quite readily in berms and compressions, making the bike a bit less engaging and settled than I'd like. The Zeb fork isn't the most supportive in the middle of its travel either, which in a way makes the balance better, but the lack of support from the rear suspension is what I noticed especially in flowing terrain with berms and jumps. The leverage curve is progressive throughout, so I'd put this down to the shock's compression tune.
The obvious solution is to increase the spring rate and run less sag on the rear or increase compression damping. I tried going from 190 psi to 210 psi, but this noticeably increases harshness over small bumps and near the start of the travel. A better solution was to add a volume spacer with the pressure at 200 psi, and I added more low-speed compression for tracks with big undulations.
The main thing which held it back for me was the bar height. With just 20 mm of spacers to play with, the bar was too low at the highest position, which makes it difficult to keep pressure on the front wheel while keeping my weight centred between the axles when tackling steep descents with big steps and holes. Swapping to a 40 mm rise handlebar made a world of difference, allowing me to tackle these steep sections comfortably. Even with these modifications, the Sommet's suspension isn't the most composed and supportive when pushing into compressions; the chassis rocks back and forth more than some bikes on steep, technical terrain with big holes and steps. I'd put a lot of this down to the RockShox Zeb fork, which pushes through the middle part of its travel a bit too easily. Despite this, the long front-end and slack head angle mean it's easy to attack steep, technical sections with confidence.
When the gradient levels out, the relatively short chainstay and long front centre (on the Xl size) can be a bit of a handful of flat, loose turns, as there's less weight on the front wheel. This will be less of an issue for smaller frame sizes though. The flip side is that it's easy to loft the front wheel and place the back wheel on steep terrain, but personally, I'd prefer a longer back end.
The Sommet is in its element on fast, rough sections, where the long front centre and active suspension allow you to plow through the rough and look further ahead. While the small back wheel still gets hung up on one-off, square edge bumps more than a 29er, when it comes to fast sections of braking bumps, roots or rocks, it irons things out beautifully even when compared to full 29ers I've tested lately - including the Canyon Strive and Nukeproof Giga. There's loads of bottom-out resistance when set up with three volume spacers, too. That makes it hugely enjoyable on bike park-style terrain.
All in jest honestly,
Vitus, well done with your spec, and design choices, this looks to be a great bike for lots of people
ex, Norco Sight/Optic, the A3 for example, raked over the coals for coming with resin only pads/rotors. For my wife, excellent spec, for 4 of her friends, excellent spec, and for almost everyone I’ve seen riding one, excellent spec. They’re quiet, soft, and work great, and I don’t have to listen to the constant squealing of brakes. I’m willing to bet, for the majority of those bikes (i mean no disrespect to anyone) they will rarely be ridden at a pace where the metallic pads will work better than the resin ones, and when you do get to that level, you just upgrade em, easypeasy.
We all agree, sacrifices need to be made somewhere, we just think it should be on OUR terms. Luckily there are thousands of different choices out there, which is good, cause we are all slightly different, and want different things.
We get so caught up in our own bubble, we sometimes fail to see that there are others out there.
Quick question, you looking to buy this Vitus bike, or making a general comment?
I think it’s a great deal for a buddy of mine, maybe the step below this (budget)
So they work great.
You see how different things work well in different areas, for different people, brilliant that. We ride all over BC, from PG, to Nelson, to Fernie, to Revvy, to TheShore, to Whistler. They work great for her, and the other people I know that are on them.
The spec wasn’t wrong, it just isn’t right for everyone. Luckily there’s choice out there
Commenters on an enthusiast site are always going to be some of the more picky and vocal customers who are least likely to tolerate a handlebar, say, a handlebar that's a little low. We're kind of all nerds here I think.
We are also the squeakiest bunch of wheels.
I think we all just have to remember, companies are making cool stuff to sell, to earn money, and cause making cool shit is….cool.
It doesn’t always have to appeal to us, cause maybe it’s cool to someone else, a d that’s friggin cool!
Also PB is an entertainment site, not a bible of what mountain biking has to be. It’s different for everyone, and the rest of the people out there don’t care nearly as much as we do….like not even close.
Friggin high five @AndrewHornor
Being 6'3" and long legged I am running a 75mm riser bar on a bike with similar stack height.
Little bias here, as I’m waiting on my alu GX Spire to arrive,
Am I wrong in thinking the price difference is in the frame material, but you’re getting a component spec jump for the same price?
@redrook: It's basically the lovechild of a Norco Sight and a Transition Spire, so any differences should be down to suspension tune.
I should add that the entire Vitus Sommet/Escarpe range was amazing value in 2021, before the 20% price hike in 2022...
I was sorting my paperwork the other day and I found the invoice of my 2017 Sommet CR I’ve sold since. 1900€/2010$ at that time they were really killer deals !
2020: 4 value FS bikes under $2,000 (plus 4 more under $3,000)
2021: 5 value FS bikes under $3,000
2022: 5 value FS bikes under $3,500
2028: 5 value FS bikes under $6,000
For some reason, I get the distinct notion that NA testers don't really care/ notice much about any bikes' handling through turns.
I’m 6’4” so full 29 works great, but I know some people prefer the mixed setup. Seems like a no brainer to let the customer choose their adventure.
In another end, the frame only is quite interesting in term of price because the tariffs are not the same (5% for parts, 15% for complete bikes). So buying the frame only and buy customs parts could eventually be a good value at the end.
Then one day a pointy root was long and strong enough to catch the brake hose. In a fraction of second I had zero rear brake obviously. My friend crashed 10m in front of me, would have been easy to stop before hitting him with both brakes. With only one, I chose to ride out of the corner, wasn't a nice crash.
One time can be too much. I have re routed it since then, and blamed myself for thinking arrogantly "nah it's fine" until then.
Hsc range of the zeb settings is a bit useless for me though, maybe if you ride smooth trails with huge jumps? It is basically always open for my riding.
Anyway, I'm now happy with my front end of the new bike.
Honestly I'm confused, seb did mention the fork setup and it looked spot on from my pov. One spacer in the 170 fork should be good, I have the 160 and I run also 1 token. Hsc and lsc are pretty much identical to my settings. I don't recall my rebound setting in clicks, but it was something like 3 or 4 from open and just like his setting, pretty fast.
Before Vitus's 2022 price rise the Sommet CRX was $6,300. At the same time, a Yeti SB150 T1 with the exact same groupset, suspension and wheels was $12,300. Here's the link! (select "Shimano XT").
That's just stupid. I'm 5'10' and my saddle rails to BB height is almost 50mm more than that, so my CG is definitely going to be higher when seated and even higher when standing. Did they use that number for all sizes, or just the XL?
What? You just slide the cable, same as the hose.beven if it were easier, we're not testers, we don't change seat height by large amounts on the regular. Don't rate bikes based on things that only apply to someone regularly testing multiple bikes that might not be set up exactly how you like, that's stupid.
Is AMP the new EVO?
Full alloy is best; if you have to use carbon for some dumb reason use it on the rear triangle
Who read the articles, it’s not playboy. I just look at the pics and judge.