2020 Pinkbike Awards: Value Mountain Bike of the Year Winner

Dec 16, 2020 at 11:13
by Daniel Sapp  


Value Mountain Bike of the Year Winner

2020's Value Mountain Bike of the Year nominees include Fezzari 's Delano Peak Comp, Privateer 161, Commencal Meta TR, YT Izzo, and Trek's Procaliber, and they all will supply you with plenty of performance for the price, but there’s one that stood out in our minds: this year's winner, Vitus’ Mythique trail bike.






Vitus Mythique


While the Vitus Mythique might not quite keep the Privateer behind it on rowdy descents, it's a bike made for the entire ride, not just a few sketchy jumps or super steep lines. As Mike Levy wrote, "the Mythique is best suited to a rider who measures the success of their trail ride by looking at it as a whole, and if you see your trail rides in that light and you’re on a budget, it’s hard to beat the Mythique’s all-around abilities."

For $2,000 USD it's impressive that the 140mm/140mm Mythique is good to go out of the box, and nothing on it needs to be changed before the bike takes on some serious miles. The kit includes a 140mm Marzocchi Bomber Z2 fork, SRAM's 12-speed SX drivetrain, Shimano MT-501 brakes, a dropper post, and Schwalbe tires.

As far as geometry goes, the angles are 66 for the head tube and 75-degrees for the seat tube with 445mm chainstays and a 1,222mm wheelbase. The Horst link suspension platform works great, with ride characteristics that wouldn't be out of place on a much more expensive bike. Additionally, there's a Mythique 27 bike that rolls around on 27.5" wheels.

Vitus Mythique 29 VRX review photo by Anthony Smith

Vitus Mythique 29 VRX review photo by Anthony Smith
A solid drivetrain to log miles on.
Vitus Mythique 29 VRX review photo by Anthony Smith
Marzocchi's Bomber Z2 is an impressive choice for a $2,000 bike.






136 Comments

  • 181 8
 All this does is show how over priced most brands products are.
  • 26 17
 if it was Santa Cruz or a Trek it would cost 5K plus
  • 18 9
 @madmon: Don't forget, this is Aluminum, not carbon.
  • 32 41
flag BenTheSwabian (Dec 30, 2020 at 9:55) (Below Threshold)
 Nah. This is pretty average for what you can get on the entry level. It's decent value, but not superb value. It's still just an aluminium frame with dated geometry and pretty much all entry level components, except for the fork.
  • 19 4
 @BenTheSwabian: dated geo? And what is a modern geo on a 140/140mm bike nowadays? Smile
  • 45 3
 @BenTheSwabian: personally I think this geometry is on point. We're not all just running dh runs every time we ride. Some of my trails are tight. 63 head tube and a 510 reach would be annoying compared to something more conservative. Remember, it's a trail bike, not a full enduro. These days it seems like regardless of travel, everything is supposed to have enduro geometry. My trails are tight lol!!
  • 17 1
 @madmon: This years Trek Fuel ex 5 is around 2k with similar parts including a deore drivetrain instead of an sx. Though this has slightly better suspension, the fuel ex 5 is very good value.
  • 3 0
 @madmon: Buy used from a friend!! Half off!!
  • 4 1
 @zanda23: I'd take that over the Vitus OR I'd switch out the plastic SX derailleur.
  • 7 7
 It’s price is largely down to the fact that it’s a direct to consumer CRC own brand. If it went through dealers (which I see as a positive thing) it would be over £3K. I’d rather it was more expensive and supported the trade rather than undercutting it. I appreciate that not all see things the same way, but I for one am a fan of bike shops vs direct sales.
  • 2 2
 @davechopoptions: I had no clue Chain Reaction was selling them but our shipping and duty probably puts it over 3KCDN and that is the price of my Giant that can be serviced if needed, any part, in a few days. They lost me with the Shimano BS we used to get parts for a realistic price and now you need to go to the Trek store for actual Shimano base prices it is even cheaper than Co-Op
  • 1 2
 @barrysbikes: ya mon... well informed and I love Aluminium. CRC is great for Clark brakes and Brand-X droppers
  • 1 0
 @zanda23: in that case specialized stumpy alloy is priced the same as trek (specs mostly the same, deore on trek is better for sure, however you'll update sx on spesh when it wears out) and updated geo.
  • 3 0
 @wyric: Cant disagree more, if you buy the trek you're stuck with house brand everything they can slap onto it. Consumer series Addix upgrade would cost you $150 alone, a bontrager saddle and stem vs nukeproof. Albeit bontrager tires are decent they aren't nearly as good. I would also much prefer wtb rims over alex. This also doesn't take into account the impossibly annoying proprietary tech of a knock block. Plus suspension... you could very easily run the monarch on the rear with much better performance over the x fusion and spend any extra money on the grip2 damper that will fit in your marzocchi as a brilliant upgrade. Upgrade your shifter and rear mech down the line and leave that sx cassette on there, you'll have much less pedal kickback with a low engagement hub to boot!
  • 1 0
 @electrfiedride: I see where you are coming from but I don't have a huge problem with bontrager components these days, so i don't see them as a downside. The Trek's suspension is worse but trek is very good with their warranty so it is at least worth considering against the vitus (I am not sure how good CRC is with warranties.)
  • 3 1
 @adnauseam: SX is absolute garbage
  • 1 1
 @zanda23: I bought one (2019 ex5) and it was at the 2K price, my LBS tried to get me to buy a demo'd ex7 and I just didn't have the cash. In less than a year I warped the rear rim needing a replacement, wrecked the fork needing factory service (warranty), had all the pivots serviced (warranty) and wrecked the front rim. Had I kept the bike I would have needed to replace the rear hub within a few months. I was just back to mt biking but I progressed quick and was riding hard. These entry level bikes are full sus trail bikes for casual use. I'm now on a 2015 Turner with a sick build and it suits my riding style, I'm clueless about geometry but it feels light years beyond the Trek ex5 in terms of ride in spite of being 'outdated'.
  • 1 0
 @DylanH93: true. My trails are tight and twisty too, I don’t want enduro-geo. I don’t want conservative geo, but something modern. The super steep seat angles are OK, but again, can put a lot of strain on wrists if pedalling all day.
  • 1 1
 @hitarpotar: Take the Norco Optic or SC Tallboy as examples for modern trail bike geo.

65° HTA, at least 76° STA, at least 490 mm Reach in the correct size for a 185 cm rider.
  • 2 0
 @DylanH93: I felt the same, until I tried and bought a Norco Optic (in size XL). Most trails in my surrounding area are typical natural european singletrack - technical and twisty and barely any shovelwork done. I get your point and obviously the Optic isn't as nimble as an XC bike, but personally the supposed lenght mostly doesn't bother me at all. Its a thing you just kinda deal with and forget. Not nearly as much of a big deal as you'd probably think.
  • 1 0
 @BenTheSwabian: 1 degree difference in seattube angle isn’t that much, most people won’t even notice. 1 degree in headtube angle is changable - there are anglesets for this!
  • 2 0
 @BenTheSwabian: not every bike needs to be a Pole...
  • 1 0
 I was on the chain reaction waitlist. When a Vitus Escarpe was finally in stock and in my shopping cart it is revealed that there is no free shipping. My options were 550$ + an undisclosed 3rd party amount, or $800 all in. It comes in a few hundred cheaper than it's competitors but it can't be had for the sticker price online. Apparently Canada gets the worst shipping deal.

Caveat Emptor
  • 2 0
 @curendero: Lol....A lot of people are selling used bikes at or near MSRP right now. The bike market is crazy
  • 2 0
 @BenTheSwabian: I definitely agree with you on how regardless of differences, most people can get used to the changes and adapt quickly. Like people make a huge fuss over 27.5 or 29er, either way after a week you'll adjust. I ride mostly natural single-track in Northern California, not purpose built for mtb. The vitus mythique has been excellent for tight stuff and fun descents. If I rode more bike park I'd definitely want a more aggressive enduro bike.
  • 2 0
 @SeanC1: I see a lot high list prices on pinkbike but they have been listed for months and months. It's hard to get excited about buying a 3 year old bike for top dollar. There's an 11 speed aluminum Bronson in my town for 3500$. But it's 2018 and if you can find a new trail bike it will be 12 speed with modern geometry and around the same price. It is a crazy market
  • 2 0
 @djaugust: definitely crazy market. In Southern California, there's a guy that bought a bunch of new stumpjumpers and is re-selling them on craigslist for a couple hundred dollars over MSRP. If he's not a dealer, then it's a used bike at that point. People are buying them though.
  • 2 0
 @SeanC1: That guy is an a*shole
  • 1 0
 @djaugust: I bought my 2019 Slash 9.9 that was 7 months old for $5500 Canadian. Mint condition.....wasn't interested in low to mid stuff...
  • 94 0
 Need to do an award for most likely to be available for purchase for the 2021 season at the listed price.
  • 15 0
 @dirthyshirtmil Most likely there won't even be a contender because there will be no bikes available to buy at all.
  • 3 0
 100% this
  • 1 0
 @kwl1: my local shops have a plethora of 6k bikes in stock.
  • 64 3
 Come on!!! Carbon Strider got robbed...
  • 57 1
 i mean it was HALF the price and you get carbon. People just can't recognize great value even if it strided up to them and mini whipped em in the face.
  • 3 5
 @freestyIAM: For COMMENT GOLD, please see above.
  • 37 2
 Still salty that the Marin wasn't included in this list.
  • 4 16
flag CaptainSnappy (Dec 30, 2020 at 8:44) (Below Threshold)
 Wrong article; this is the winner, not the candidates.
  • 7 0
 @CaptainSnappy: and Marin wasn't a candidate, which are listed literally in the first sentence of this article
  • 2 0
 Zooooommmm. Right over his head.
  • 25 0
 Every time I see this bike name I think of Mike Tyson saying "Mystic"
  • 1 0
 Just hope that when you say this in public, he's not listening.
  • 13 3
 Meh. This is not even a good choice within Vitus' model range.

The Mythique VRX is barely worth it, with the Escarpe CR being only 300$ more. The Escarpe CR has a lot more up to date geometry, a carbon frame, a better rear shock and all other components are similar or comparable. It's definitley better value than the Mythique VRX.
  • 9 0
 You're probably right, but don't they limit these to bikes they've fully tested? Maybe this award would be better if it went to projected best bike value for 2021 to help consumers out.
  • 1 0
 Agree somewhat, but aren't the ecarpe more of an all mountain bike, with geometry as a such? Hence they should maybe not be compared directly against each other as they are different types and good att different stuff? Haven't seen a review for the escarpe yet though
  • 8 2
 If there's one thing I learned from looking at vitus' model names it's that there must be a LOT of words in the English language that are trademarked by other bike companies!
  • 1 0
 I think it's because nobody's been able to test the Escarpe. It's been launched for a few months but no major publication or YT channel has really gotten a chance to ride the bike save for a few small individuals. Perhaps if they'd ridden it already they might agree. I'd put my money that either the Escarpe or Sommet will be part of the value field test this upcoming year.
  • 6 0
 @kcy4130: No, thats not it. Vitus is (originally) a french brand and those names are just words of the french language.

"Escarpé" = steep

"Sommet" = summit
  • 2 1
 @jonteq013: Saying the escarpe is more burly isn't really a point when the Privateer is in the running Big Grin
  • 1 0
 @BenTheSwabian: Oh, that makes sense. I didn't know they used to be french.
  • 1 0
 @mtbikeaddict: sure, in this award, yes (even though the Escarpe is a 2021 model) but claiming that the geo is outdated when they potentially have different purposes could be far fetched.
  • 1 0
 Wow that Escarpe is REALLY nice for 2500$!!!
  • 12 1
 Nothing with SX on should win an award. I have it in my household and it is absolute crap. And I mean ABSOLUTE crap. Its not value oriented as you need to replace it straight away due to failures.
  • 3 0
 Agreed. A great value with Deore for $200 usd more is the Trance 29 3 ....
www.giant-bicycles.com/us/trance-29-3-2021
  • 2 1
 Sx worked alright for me for about 6 months, it was flawless too. Never skipped or missed a single shift even when I had bad timing. 6 months in the shifter locked up though, emailed chain reaction cycles and a week later I had a new nx shifter at my front door. Pretty good service I'd say. Sx may have issues but if CRC is willing to replace stuff then I'm content. I was sure they'd say that's just regular wear and tear, always worth asking haha!
  • 4 0
 @OzarkBike: And an arguably better suspension platform. The Trance is a super hard bike to beat.
  • 3 0
 @DylanH93: I think "ABSOLUTE crap" and "broke after 6 months" means you and @ilovedust are actually in agreement.
  • 1 0
 2021 VRX model (which was released in September) has Deore/SLX drivetrain, and it cost just as much as the 2020.
  • 6 0
 Sure, if they ever make it available to the keen buyer.
  • 4 0
 Best value in its own right. Both bikes are the ultimate bike for the desired customer
  • 6 0
 That really is a killer spec for the money
  • 3 0
 Yeah the 2021 models are a lot better than this 2020 one!!
  • 4 1
 I was dead set on getting one, set up an in stock alert, but bc i'm 1/2 way across the world from Vitus HQ, by the time i wake up and check my emails to see the back in stock alert, they are all gone. Thinking of a Fezzari Delano Peak instead but their wait times are like 12 weeks and i am not in the habit of giving 3mo no interest loan, especially in such uncertain times.
  • 3 0
 @freestyIAM: Vitus put a post on Facebook that they expect next stock of Sommets in Feb
  • 2 0
 That Sommet looks nice!
  • 2 0
 I'm one of the lucky owners of the crx, amazing bike way better than my meta v4.2
  • 2 0
 I bought the CR. Great value as well. And the bike rips. My second Vitus. No complaints here.
  • 1 0
 One of my friends snagged a CR when they were in stock. Backwards chain (idk how you mess that one up), loose pivot bolts, no tension on the clutch, very aerated rear brake, kinked dropper housing. Other than that those comparatively minor issues (other dtc brands have been much worse), it’s quite nice for the price.
  • 1 2
 That bike is TWICE the price of the Vitus Mythique... Where's the best value?
  • 2 1
 @billreilly: You are getting a carbon frame, full xt set, dt hoops etc etc. fork and shock worths 2500 euro alone
and with carbon frame you can easly pass 4.5k if you want to build it from ground with 3 pieces
  • 5 0
 @Noeserd: We're talking about value... Will that bike go twice as fast as the Mythique?... Will you have twice as much fun?
  • 4 0
 @billreilly: yes of course it will be twice as fast and therefore the fun will be doubled
  • 1 0
 @billreilly: value depends on the person, some wants fun some wants bang for buck
  • 14 9
 THIS IS HOW YOU GET MORE PEOPLE RIDING! The financial barriers to entry are more significant than any social barriers, when are companies like SRAM going to stop virtue signaling and start making some real sacrifices for the community they purport to care about.
  • 10 0
 Just as soon as its profitable.
  • 3 1
 Agreed, but SRAM isn't a non-profit. It still has to make a profit to afford R&D and stay in business.
  • 7 5
 @CaptainSnappy: Which I get, but my point is instead of putting some big statement on their front page about inclusivity and social justice and how they plan to combat social challenges by "listening and learning", they can actively and immediately make changes by lowering their prices, or bringing production back from overseas. Sure it will hurt margins, but if you're going to start preaching about how you as a company don't want to see profit loss or market share shrinkage, then don't come out later and say you're "doing everything you can to enact change". It's just more virtue signaling of "what can we say to avoid doing anything and keep on as we've been". Pretty much every progressive person's MO imo, all talk no walk.
  • 4 0
 @TotalAmateur doesn’t SRAM have a non-profit arm called World Bicycle Relief? I think it’s a program that donates bicycles and provides mechanical training in parts of the world where bikes are essential modes of transportation.
  • 6 3
 @TotalAmateur: Haha you're assuming they mean what they say. Lol, we all know it's a farce!
  • 7 10
 Spot on. Liberalism is nothing more than virtue signaling @TotalAmateur:
  • 2 1
 @TotalAmateur: Too much logic in this. Yes, you can’t posture socioeconomic concerns and utilize oversees production. Best way to help these issues is through employment and skills development... not handouts. The whole give you a fish or teach you to fish metaphor comes to mind.

Prices and barrier to entry are not a concern. Anyone can start biking for hundreds... not thousands of dollars. Buy used...
  • 2 1
 @ricochetrabbit: save the politics for somewhere else y’all. This is supposed to be fun.
  • 1 0
 Or SRAM doesn’t exist, and Shimano practically had a monopoly on the market and then up charges accordingly, creating further barriers of entry FOR THE CONSUMER.

It’s capitalism, baby - and I LOVE IT.
  • 1 0
 @GreenLineSlayer: keeping prices so high that you eliminate potential market share/consumption is in no way a tenet of capitalism I can assure you.
  • 8 0
 The Vitus Mythique all come with shimano drivetrains now and not SRAM sx. Pretty good spec change if you can find one.
  • 5 2
 Amazing bike for the price. One I'd recommend to buddies based on spec/geo. Just hope in the future they figure out a way to shorten/straighten that seat tube out for a longer dropper... Short inseam folks are going to have a hard time with dropper sizing, even slammed.
  • 5 1
 i was like another commencal at first,but then got twisted tea in the head and boom vitus.good job to vitus staff and good luck for future
  • 4 2
 I could put a picture of a beautiful bike complete with Fox Factory suspension, Hope brakes and XTR drivetrain on a website with a list price of ten bucks without actually selling it. Would be just as unavailable and useless...
  • 1 0
 Sure is an opportunistic marketing strategy.
  • 3 0
 This brand has been killing it this year. Back in February everything was in stock then after the PB review, it's been totally sold out. Got my Mythique back when they even had a 25% off sale!
  • 2 0
 all those low end components will need replaced after 1 season of hard riding. it would be fine for most beginners...but if you ride hard don't think this bike will hold up....remember the saying....you get what you pay for..
  • 1 0
 I enjoy your thinking and your Rolex.
  • 13 7
 Ripmo AF
  • 9 1
 Ripmo AF is double the price of this bike in GBP £1649.99 vs £3499 for the Ripmo AF Deore.
  • 2 1
 @melonhead1145: Nah... it’s roughly 50% more...(probably could find it cheaper, but this was first search listing )... USD. Much better bike and components... if you can swing it.

www.jensonusa.com/Ibis-Ripmo-AF-Deore-Bike-2021
  • 2 0
 @Baller7756: Yeah, same Spec in UK is £3499, I assume the cost of getting it here and duty adds up. the Ripmo AF just isn't great value here in the UK. If it was under £3k then maybe.
  • 1 0
 Just goes to show if the word 'carbon isn't associated with a bike you get a great value bike. This is probably as good a bike as most people will ever need. Would rather take this over a 5k+ carbon bike even if money was no object.
  • 3 0
 There should be two winners: one for north america and the other for europe as there is huge difference in prices and availability
  • 1 0
 I dont understand why Sram even marketed and sell the SX drive train 1st the derailleur has no clutch, the Bottom Bracket and cranks that come with that group set, literally have a label on it that says not for downhill or freeride. I just dont understand why sram could not have used an older GXP style bb or even kept the standard eagle which you can buy... but it just seems silly for Sram and Vitus to go so cheap on such a cheap part of the bike. Like an extra 30 or 40 bucks and it could have been eagle dub or gxp. I bought a nukeproof with the same build before the first ride I sold the whole group set and went with gx.
  • 4 0
 Still waiting on the frame only option
  • 1 0
 I can not find a dealer in Canada. Great pic but unavailable unlike other choices for best bang for the buck. This is like the BEST NEW fork for Olins another unavailable item. I find the choice ridiculous.
  • 1 1
 Chain Reaction Cycles is the worldwide dealer for Vitus
  • 2 0
 SX drivetrain and Shimano brakes, did the PM get these donated to hit that price point? Either way, glad Vitus are in the game at these prices.
  • 3 0
 Polygon Siskiu T7 and T8 should have easily made the list. Best value on the market right now.
  • 1 1
 I agree. Better geo and better looks too.

Though, the Vitus Mythique answers my question on how a catalog bike might look if it were spec'd with parts for a gravity-oriented rider, rather than typical weight-conscious parts (e.g. bikesdirect approach). Vitus seems to tweak the geo a little too, doing the Mondraker forward-geo approach of making the XL tubing fit a smaller sized rider.
  • 2 0
 I have this exact bike and it is fully amazing.
Fitted a -2° slackeriser headset and she's set
  • 1 0
 Very interesting. I have this bike as well. I've found the geo to be perfect for myself but I'd love to try one of those angle sets to see if it makes much difference. I've also considered in the future trying a different fork at 150mm. I'll have to look into the slackeriser. Such an awesome bike! Just wish I saw anyone else on my trails ever riding this brand haha.
  • 1 0
 @DylanH93: it's not night&day different, but noticeably better with no significant downsides. My measured HA now is 64.6° so nothing crazy. It also slightly lowers the BB and steepens and SA
  • 3 0
 Spec it with Deore- win bike of the year as well.
  • 4 0
 agree.. a litle more deore than sx..
  • 2 0
 a litle more durable..
  • 5 3
 sram sx..i doubt it for "dirt/offroad" durability..waste of money..
  • 2 0
 The hotwalk carbon strider got robbed, carbon at 1k
  • 1 0
 So, is it pronounced Veee-tus, or Veye-tus?
  • 2 1
 veye-tus
  • 2 0
 This reminds me back to years ago when some customers thought Giant was pronounced Gee-ant.
  • 1 0
 Ah, *that's* where to object went from LZ's Presence album.
  • 2 0
 No Pivot?
  • 1 0
 "Hey, uh, we're gonna be taking off now." ~ Yeti
  • 1 0
 That bike is fugly...end of story....Happy New Year!!
  • 1 0
 TEAM VITUS!
  • 3 4
 If the pb editors were required to ride this bike would they quit?
  • 5 6
 Ibis was robbed
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