Vitus has been steadily growing their lineup, athlete roster, and brand presence over the past few years, finding success with many of their well-priced and nicely designed bikes. They're not new to the e-bike market, with the E-Escarpe and E-Sommet already out in the world, but they've yet to hit the low-price mark that they tend to do so well. That's where the E-Mythique LT comes in, with the goal of fitting into more budgets while still delivering performance and value. With a nicely sorted geometry chart and seemingly up-to-the-task parts, the new Vitus could be an eMTB for the masses.
E-Mythique LT Details
• Aluminum frame
• Mixed wheel size
• 160mm suspension
• 170mm fork
• 64° head angle
• Bafang M510 drive unit
• 630Wh battery & 95Nm max torque
• $3,699-$4,599 USD
I like the Vitus philosophy when it comes to geometry, things are fairly middle-of-the-road, but appropriate for the use case. Here we have a solid all-mountain bike, with the additional shifts and tweaks we typically see to better accommodate the packaging and weight of the motor and battery. The 64° head angle is more and more the status quo we're used to, and keeps things maneuverable while staying comfortable in the steepest terrain around.
445mm chainstays are present on all sizes, which may feel a bit long on the smaller bikes, and keep the longer sizes somewhat balanced. Reach numbers range from 434mm to 504mm, hitting the sweet spot for the majority of riders, but missing the tallest end of the spectrum. The seat tube angle is nice and upright at 77.5°, which helps keep you in the middle of the bike on silly e-bike tech climbs, which are half the fun when you're zooming uphill.
There is one asterisk on the geometry chart, and that's the 160mm fork on the lowest-price spec bike. That 10mm fork travel difference changes a few of the numbers, but won't drastically shift the character of the bike. I've been riding one with a 170mm fork, and the geometry feels pretty dialed.Motor and Battery
Bafang is a brand more common to the commuter e-bike market, where they have a long history of developing drive systems to suit a variety of needs. Vitus partnered with the Chinese company to tune the M510 motor to best serve the needs of the E-Mythique LT, giving them quite a bit of latitude when making decisions about the feel and function of the system.
With 95Nm of peak torque, the Bafang's output is 10Nm higher than Shimano or Bosch's current offerings, 5Nm above Specialized's, and slightly below Rocky Mountain's Powerplay system, which delivers 108Nm. Of course, the feel of these systems isn't all in the numbers, but luckily the feel of the M510 is similarly impressive.
The E-Mythique offers 5 different drive modes, controlled by a wired remote on the left side of the bar. Eco, Eco+, Trail, Boost, and Race give you a wide range of assist modes, with varying levels of pick-up and max power. I spent most of my time in Trail mode, but made sure to enjoy the mega boost of the highest two settings as well.
For those who want all the data.
The 630Wh battery is in keeping with other full-power sleds, and was enough to do my typical e-bike test ride, managing four laps up a heinously steep climb in the area, for about 6500' of climbing in 18 miles. The battery can be removed by popping the cover and unlocking the cradle, giving you the opportunity to hot-swap batteries if you so desire.
Vitus focused heavily on the weatherproofing of the E-Mythique's electronics, with a gasket lip surrounding the battery cover and additional battery seals at the top and bottom of the cavity. Given their ties to the Nukeproof team in the UK, it makes sense that they'd sweat the waterproofness of a bike that's sure to see its fair share of slop. We'll see how those seals hold up in the long term.Build Kits
There are three different spec levels available with the E-Mythique LT: VR, VRS, and VRX. All three have the same motor and battery system, the same tires, and many of the same touchpoints. Ride Impressions
I always get a false sense of confidence while riding an ebike - maybe it's the muted and planted feel on the descents, maybe it's having full energy at the top of every descent, maybe it's just placebo, but it's there. The E-Mythique LT provides a very confident and fun ride on even the steepest and gnarliest tracks. I tend to only ride eMTBs in steep terrain, as it feels like the best bang for your buck, but even in mellower realms the Vitus is fun to ride. The Trail mode is well suited to singletrack pedaling, as the higher-boost modes can be a bit tricky to reign in when the turns are tight and frequent. On fire road climbs, the Boost and Race modes are very welcome, jetting you up the climb with little effort required.
The components seem well-suited to the bike so far, and we'll see how things hold up to many more miles of smashing lap after lap. One spec choice I immediately had to change for myself were the brake pads - the DB8s come with SRAM's "quiet performance" resin pads, which absolutely suck on anything sustained. I popped some metallic pads and fresh rotors on the bike, and found a lot more confidence in the steeps.
Pads, rotors, and rear wheel needed some love.
Only one other component hitch came up, with the rear wheel coming horribly out of tension on the first ride. It's not unusual for wheels to de-tension on the first few rides, but this was more than I've seen before, and required some trailside attention to keep going. Vitus assured me that this will not be present on any consumer bikes, so hopefully that holds true - I'd just keep an eye on things for the first couple laps to make sure all is well.
Sacrificial UDH took the hit.
The box that the E-Mythique arrived in was a bit worse for wear when it landed on my stoop, but that's really no fault of Vitus'. E-bikes are heavy, and mail carriers have hard jobs, so inevitably something is bound to happen. Luckily the only damage was to the UDH, which was easily replaced to get the bike up and running right out of the box.
All in all, my first few rides aboard the E-Mythique LT have been very impressive, and I'm looking forward to a lot more time on the bike. When riding with friends on much more expensive full-power e-bikes there's nothing I felt like I was lacking in terms of functional performance, and hopefully that sentiment remains over the next couple months as I ride the Vitus more.