Field Trip: Vitus' $2,000 Mythique 29 VRX - The Value Trail Bike Defined

Mar 15, 2020 at 10:47
by Mike Levy  



PINKBIKE FIELD TRIP

VITUS MYTHIQUE 29 VRX

The Value Trail Bike Defined



Words by Mike Levy, Photography by Anthony Smith



The first bike in our Field Trip value bike review series is the Vitus Mythique 29 VRX, a 140mm-travel 29er that'll cost you $2,000 USD to get your hands on. Vitus might not be the first brand that comes to mind when you think of direct-to-consumer sales, but the name has fifty years of cycling history behind it and belongs to Chain Reaction Cycles these days. Unrelated, but who remembers the Trek VRX?

At this pricepoint, it's especially impressive that nothing on the Mythique needs to be changed before it sees some serious miles. That includes the 140mm Marzocchi Bomber Z2 fork, SRAM's 12-speed SX drivetrain, Shimano's sexy-sounding MT-501 stoppers, a dropper post, and proper Schwalbe tires.

Mythique 29 VRX Details

Travel: 140mm
Fork travel: 140mm
Wheel size: 29"
Frame construction: Aluminum
Head angle: 66-degrees
Chainstay length: 445mm
Reach: 462mm (lrg)
Sizes: Sm, med, lrg (tested), xlrg
Weight: 32.75lb
Price: $2,000 USD
More info: www.vitusbikes.com
I'm 5'10" when I stand up straight, which puts me on a large-sized Mythique with a 462mm reach. Interestingly, three of the four sub-$2,000 test bikes all hover around that number, whereas the four sub-$3,000 bikes all sport reaches between 470mm and 480mm. Mo' money, mo' reach? It appears so. The angles are 66 and 75-degrees, and its 445mm chainstays are the longest of the bunch, adding up to a 1,222mm wheelbase. Oh yeah, they also offer a Mythique 27 that gets, you guessed it, 27.5" wheels.

Vitus has employed a Horst Link rear-suspension layout on the Mythique, which is worth noting given that many others in this price bracket resort to simpler, and probably less expensive to manufacture, single-pivot designs. The 140mm of travel is controlled by RockShox's Monarch R shock that offers rebound adjustment but no pedal-assist lever.




Vitus Mythique 29 VRX review photo by Anthony Smith
Vitus Mythique 29 VRX review photo by Anthony Smith


Climbing

Sedona's climbing is often technical, steep, and can look more like a rock staircase for two feet than singletrack intended for two wheels. It's also prime hunting grounds for the Mythique, with the bike's more classic trail bike handling, great suspension, and 29" wheels being a near-perfect match for the ledgy climbs.

The 140mm-travel rear-suspension is near-invisible when you're in the saddle, and it always felt like the grey Vitus could carry a smidge more momentum across undulating ground. In an area where momentum can be hard to come by, this was especially helpful. The bigger-feeling Commencal and YT couldn't wriggle through the tight stuff as easily, either, with more body English being required for both. There was one section in particular that saw me out of the saddle and bumbling through on the other bikes, whereas I could stay seated on the Mythique while simply pedalling through with ease like I knew what I was doing.

Alright, I'll admit that the mail-order Vitus didn't show well in the desert version of the Impossible Climb (video on the way), but it was my personal favourite of the bunch regardless.


Vitus Mythique 29 VRX review photo by Anthony Smith

Vitus Mythique 29 VRX review photo by Anthony Smith
Vitus Mythique 29 VRX review photo by Anthony Smith


Descending

The Mythique 29 VRX isn't trying to be a part-time all-mountain bike, and it's better for it. With a contemporary but compact cockpit, and the best fork of the group in its Marzocchi Bomber Z2, the Vitus is a no-fuss trail bike that gobbles up the miles and rough ground, sometimes making its competition appear slow and over-gunned.

The fork's damper is similar to Fox's older Grip unit (they own Marzocchi) that I loved so much, and it's the same story with the slippery feeling Z2. With the spring rate dialled in (recommended pressures work just fine), the action is controlled and consistent enough to trick me into thinking this $500 fork costs twice as much. As you'd expect, it's a big reason why the Vitus was so impressive, but it's not the only reason. As we've seen with all of these value bikes, the Vitus' rear-suspension is a no-fuss, set-and-forget design that simply works, although it's possibly a bit more refined than some of the others. The back of the Mythique often felt more forgiving and more composed, further underlining its advantage in the suspension department.

If you'd rather go for a four-hour pedal than do four shuttle laps, or if you prefer a lively bike rather than a lazy one, you'll find a good friend in the Mythique. Even so, it feels decently sure-footed when you're riding the bronco through the rocks with your eyes closed (Me? No, never) or nosing into the steepest line that you have no business doing anyway, more so than both the Giant Stance and the Calibre Bossnut combined, if not quite matching the pricier Commencal.
Timed Testing

Our timed lap for the trail bikes was around 11 minutes long and split into three distinct sectors. First, a smooth, twisty singletrack climb topped out along a technical traverse that tested the bike's slow-speed handling and traction. After that, we dropped into a fast descent that began with rough, suspension-testing corners before some fast berms, flat corners, and a few fun-sized jumps. Nothing too rowdy, but representative of the terrain these trails bikes were intended to see.

Don't forget that timing is just one of many ways to judge a bike, and fast doesn't always mean it's the best for everyone.


Kazimer: "I had my second fastest overall time on the Vitus, with my fourth fastest climbing time, third fastest traversing time, and fourth fastest descent."

Levy: "I had my quickest total loop time while riding the Vitus, which included my second quickest descent (tied w/ two others), fourth quickest climb, and was first on the traverse.

Alright, let's get down to it and make some comparisons. The Mythique makes short work of the Giant Stance in every regard, from mellow trails to the kind that makes you forget to breathe, and it's the top of the class if we're talking pure trail bike use. It's a little foggier if that "trail bike use" includes fast, rocky singletrack, the odd hairy line, or a quest for ever-better Strava descent times, though, which is where the more expensive Commencal and YT pull ahead.

In my mind, the Vitus is best suited to a rider who measures the success of their trail ride by looking at it as a whole, whereas you might want a bit more bike if your idea of success is cleaning one particularly sketchy line or decent-sized move.


Vitus Mythique 29 VRX review photo by Anthony Smith





Pros

+ Impressive generalist
+ Great front and rear suspension
+ Classic, lively trail bike handling

Cons

- Not as solid feeling as the Meta or Jeffsy














The 2020 Pinkbike Field Test was made possible by support from: Smith, 7mesh, and Over The Edge Sedona.




Photos: Anthony Smith
Additional footage: Lear Miller



233 Comments

  • 79 2
 Do you say Vee-tus or Vye-tus?
  • 328 0
 You cant distract me from Dick Pound
  • 32 0
 I always said Vee-tus... but now you have me questioning all my life choices.
  • 13 1
 @masonguy: I love the fact that everything is a little bit lighter when DP tells you a bad news:

DP: Sorry your dog is dead.
Me: Sad sad.. But Dick as long as you are close to me we'll be all good together.
  • 18 1
 I go with the option that doesn't rhyme with penis
  • 12 0
 I have always said vye-tus. And I own one. Maybe I have been saying it wrong?
  • 15 6
 fetus.
  • 17 0
 @masonguy: His name is Richard Wilson Duncan Pound. (But he prefers Dick)
Just sayin
  • 86 0
 I'm more focused on how MYTHIQUE sounds like Mike Tyson trying to read X-Men comics. "That Mythique ith in trouble again."
  • 13 0
 I used to work at a high end road shop with a crochety old mechanic who'd previously wrenched for several pro road teams. He insisted it was vye-tus, so I had to call it vee-tus, obviously.
  • 100 0
 I call mine Ginger (ginger-vitus). It's the anti-dentist bike.
  • 1 2
 Did I hear tits?
  • 11 0
 @rkeyport11: Hahaha. You anti-dentite!
  • 3 2
 The correct way to say it from the brand managers is Vee-Tus
  • 4 1
 @Bailey100: Dick Willy Dunk-n-Pound
  • 1 1
 @sspiff: I’m sure he also said mah-vic just to be extra pretentious.
  • 3 0
 @steveczech: an-tee or an-tye tho ?
  • 2 0
 @masonguy: Not the first time you've said that, eh?
  • 3 0
 @steveczech: you mean Chris Eubank?
  • 1 0
 Always said Veetus myself (owned one, loved it) but Pager said Vyetus. He would know I guess?
  • 2 0
 @steveczech: I am upvoting the HELL outta this!
  • 3 0
 Being of french origin I always thought it was vee-tuuus.....
  • 4 0
 @chyu: That's what I called it, too, but for some reason, I wasn't allowed to call it the Fetus Mythique in the video haha Frown
  • 8 4
 Grim-donut.
  • 14 3
 @RockShoxs: What's that?
  • 9 0
 @mikelevy: is it Greem-Donut or Gryem-Donut? Gryem-Donüt?
  • 1 0
 It’s donner kebab not shish kebap @rickybobby18:
  • 3 0
 It's Leevy, not Lehvy, and apparently it's dropper leever, not dropper lehver. So what does that make a KS Lev?
  • 3 9
flag endurocat (Mar 24, 2020 at 9:48) (Below Threshold)
 The Marin Rift Zone 2 it's better for this comparison. Actually even a better bike.
  • 4 2
 It has to be Vye-tus... Not Vee-tus. We don't say Coronaveetus...
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy I say Vee-tahs or Vitas. It's all explained here www.youtube.com/watch?v=989-7xsRLR4
  • 3 0
 @steveczech: I am not an anti-dentite!
  • 2 0
 Why would anyone pronounce it either of those ways? It's clearly vih-tus.
  • 60 2
 Vee-tus is the correct answer Wink
  • 1 0
 @Dropthedebt: you're veering off topic though
  • 2 0
 @masonguy: he is the greatest canadian ever!!!!
  • 1 7
flag jorgeposada (Mar 24, 2020 at 10:45) (Below Threshold)
 Wish it had more travel and less wheel size and didn't say Vitus on the frame.
  • 1 2
 @rickybobby18: His name is my name tooooo!
  • 17 1
 @VitusBikes: It's official now!
  • 5 0
 @mikelevy: This review was really great, the Video in particular. It was "real". More of these please. Cheers
  • 6 1
 @E-ROG: Glad you liked it. A bunch more to come Smile
  • 2 1
 @steveczech: this needs to get upvoted more
  • 2 1
 @Bailey100: the fact that he prefers to be called Dick Pound is worrying
  • 2 2
 Vye, but I could be wrong
  • 1 2
 Seriously. First you guys pronounce vitamins weird and then when the pronunciation of Vitus is offered to you on a platter you pronounce it weird too. It's Vye-Tus.
  • 2 1
 @masonguy: Dick Pound, heard the name for years, either he's ignorant of the laughter, or maybe he's the guy in the changing room going " schwing " Smile
  • 1 0
 @sspiff: careful.. You're going to be that crochety old prick one day.
  • 1 2
 Vee-toos. I was wondering when this brand was finally going to be featured on Pinkbike. It's one of the best values out there.
  • 2 1
 Can we get a Dick Pound content filter for our feed? I don't want to miss any more important *up*dates..
  • 1 1
 @Bailey100: perhaps he should change his last name to Kilo?
  • 1 0
 It's latin, so neither.
  • 1 0
 @rkeyport11: Don't you mean anti-dentith?
  • 1 0
 @mark73: Mike Tython edition.
  • 32 0
 This is great. But it got me thinking about another field test y’all could do. It would be interesting to take a budget bike found here and compare it to its high end counter part. Find a way to black out all components and get feedback. You could even have a bunch of Pinkbike staff just do a lap or two on each and give opinion right after on the better ride. Call it the Black Bike Test. They did this with Snowboards awhile back. Had one rider with 10 blacked out boards spend a day on each and decide on best ride with out ever knowing brands, models. Might have to wait till eye contact in a public space is legal again.
  • 39 0
 Hard to do a completely blind test of a full bike, but I did a bunch of blind handlebar testing last year and the results were interesting. I had four different handlebars that were supposed to have different degrees of forgiveness to them, including one where that was its main selling feature, and I had someone else install and wrap them for me before I did a few shuttle runs on each. Same tire pressures, fork pressure, grips, and everything else. At the end of the day, I guessed wrong every time when it came to saying which handlebar was which, and I couldn't tell the supposedly forgiving one from the one you'd think was the stiffest.
  • 7 0
 @mikelevy: handlebar compliance I feel is something that impacts a small subset of the population and the rest will not be as sensitive to it. I've had nerve issues in my hands for a long time and can tell the difference between super stiff bars and those that are more compliant, because I have a specific issue that is aggravated with overly stiff bars, but most of my friends without similar problems can't tell any difference at all.
  • 16 0
 @shinook: Yup, that does make sense. Maybe I should re-do the test and include two people: Myself and a rider with a wrist or hand issue. Could be good!
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: I might be an outlier, but I find I notice bar stiffness more in technical climbing (especially pulling up on the bars, and to a lesser extent when standing and mashing) than in any descending situation.

I do not have nerve issues, but I do have arthritis, and I prefer the stiffest bar I can get. I'm 205 lbs., maybe that's part of it too.
  • 1 0
 @shinook: You're right on this one. The only thing that tells me a bar is too stiff is when I stop to feel my thumbs after some time into a ride ( = 60min). Outside of that, I just can't really feel the difference.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: Can you do the same test with sweep angle? I need to know if my SQ labs feel better for real, or if it's the placebo effect.
  • 7 0
 @mikelevy: "Hard to do a completely blind test of a full bike."

Blindfolds?
  • 1 1
 I reckon it's the same folks who are WiFi "sensitive" Wink


Jokes everybody, look at the smiley.
  • 2 2
 @dirtyburger: Take a hammer, smash the palm of your hand a few times, then go ride your bike. That's what it feels like for some of us when we're on rough terrain and the bike isn't setup compliant.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: maybe the difference is bigger for heavier riders, as they can put more stress on the bars?
  • 1 0
 @shinook: For some reason I did something to my nerves in my first enduro race, anytime my palms get irritated now, my body attacks them. They get super itchy and inflamed, just about every ride. Seems crazy, but I think my body was so stressed out at the time, it now looks at hand irritation and says to me "f*** you, you're not doing that again". I still ride anyway, but I've been focusing on bar comfort since then. The 6 years before that race I never had an issue, just got callouses. Is this anything like your experience?
  • 2 0
 @iduckett: No, my issues stem from ulnar nerve damage or compression. The pain I feel on certain types of trails is exactly like I described above, like someone has pounded the outside of my hand with a hammer repeatedly. If I push hard enough (e.g. several park days in a row) then I can feel weakness in my hand until I take time to let the nerve recover. I can't say I've had an itching or inflamed feeling, though (tingling, yes).
  • 2 0
 @shinook: Damn man, that sounds pretty bad. I'd ask if it was worth it, but that's a bit of a rhetorical question. Hope you keep putting rubber to dirt mate!
  • 2 0
 @iduckett: Thanks. I've found ways to reduce it and it's improved a lot lately due to various setup things I've done. It's rough but only flares up on certain trails, I just try to manage it, but it can be frustrating having to stop on a long DH just to let my hands chill.
  • 3 0
 @excavator666: I generally like to see where I'm going... It helps.
  • 2 0
 @Caiokv: Yup, of course, just like other things with "engineered flex"
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: so you're saying it's hard... but not impossible haha.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: have you ever seen Arthur Christmas, the last 5 minutes of the movie should show you how to perform blind bike test, crafty elves and wrapping paper.
  • 23 0
 My Friends (waiting again for me): "Is it lack of fitness or is it lack of skills?"
Me: "Yes."
  • 16 0
 10 years ago I couldn't have imagined a bike this capable with an MSRP of $2k.
Well done Vitus.
  • 11 0
 Pretty crazy, eh? $2,000 and you get good suspension, a dropper post, decent tires, and everything you'd need. Yes, you can spend way more than you could in 2010, but you can also spend way less but get more bike.
  • 4 0
 @mikelevy: So perhaps all our whining is working Smile
  • 2 2
 I don't know. Ten years ago, I bought my Specialized Enduro Comp (ground level) for $2500 -- not too far off the mark, and I'd argue the components were a little better, minus the dropper, which was just kind of becoming a thing back then. I guess if you adjust for inflation, that Enduro is a little closer to $3k in today's money, but the price wasn't completely out of hand.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: I’m pretty sure in 2010, companies like Cannondale had their Black Edition models for about $10k. And even more surprisingly they sold a bunch of them, in certain markets. Their top model now is about $11k, so I’d consider that only a little creep to inflation.
What you can get now for the money, is just amazing. If you step back in time, the difference is even more pronounced. I got my first “good” mtn in 1990 that retailed for $1000 for a full rigid steel frame and fork with brakes that sort of slowed you down. According to the US inflation calculator, that bike would be $2000 now. This Vitus has truly so much more value. Good times to be a mountain biker.
  • 1 0
 @TheR: but can you even get a new frame for that money, now?
  • 1 0
 @fruitsd79: You can get a Canfield Balance for less than 2k, but I’m not sure what that has to do with the topic.

The original poster said he couldn’t have imagined a bike this capable for 2k 10 years ago. I’m not so sure about that. I had what I would say was a better bike, with better components (SRAM X9, Lyrik fork), in about the same neighborhood for the price — admittedly a little more expensive, but in the neighborhood.

For what I got then, compared to this bike now, I not sure this is a big advancement in value. It’s nice this option is available for people who can’t afford something in the 3-5k range, though.
  • 1 0
 @TheR: the current specialized enduro frame only costs more then the base model you purchased and refer to.
That is what it has to do with the topic.
  • 14 0
 It’s just like guitars.... a great player can take a $200 guitar and kill it because tone is in the fingers
A great rider needs only a good bike not a rolls royce
  • 10 4
 Well, mostly. Good guitar players also know how to set up even cheap guitars to get the most out of the them: bridge / nut mods, truss rod adjustments, string gauges etc etc...but I agree most of it is still to do with skill for sure.
  • 1 0
 @greener1: true true sir
  • 2 2
 I'm guessing it would be the same for violins. A great player can make any of them sound pretty good, but a great player on a great violin sounds even better.
  • 4 2
 @TheR: Well, mostly. Good violin players also know how to set up even cheap violins to get the most out of the them: peg boxes / F holes, fingerboard adjustments, chin rests etc etc...but I agree most of it is still to do with skill for sure.
  • 3 1
 @kookseverywhere: Yeah, they can get the most out of a cheap violin, but a cheap violin will never sound as good as a fine instrument, even in the hands of the most capable player. And even as a student, there comes a point where a cheap violin is holding you back.
  • 10 0
 @TheR: All I know is I can't ride with a cheap violin.
  • 1 0
 @rrolly: Haha! I don't even know if the same applies to violins as bicycles, or even how many of us would notice. But there is a performance/sound difference between a cheap violin and a good one. There's got to be a performance difference with bikes.
  • 1 0
 @preach It's not the ride, it's the rider.
  • 1 0
 @greener1 your point is moot.
  • 1 0
 @kookseverywhere:
Always makes me giggle a little inside when someone says 'F hole'
  • 5 1
 @kookseverywhere: this is actually not true at all. My wife is a high end violin luthier and her customers wouldn't do anything beyond stringing their instrument. Professional players will often know when something isn't right; they rarely know how to fix it. These are instruments that cost as much as a dozen yetis so I don't blame them for leaving it to the professionals.
  • 1 0
 @sspiff: Yep. I was gonna say... my teacher would never fix his own. He’d take it to a luthier, in much the same way a World Cup racer leaves his bike to the mechanic.
  • 3 0
 @TheR: I call BS. Luthier? Fake word. There is no way that people that post on PB would know what someone who works on violins is called.
  • 1 0
 @rrolly: technically it's anyone who builds/repairs stringed instruments :-)
  • 1 0
 @TheR: It was a joooooke
  • 1 0
 @TheR: Haha! It's funny you mentioned that. In a blind test against violins of mythic proportions some great players actually preferred the new school of violins.

www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/05/million-dollar-strads-fall-modern-violins-blind-sound-check
  • 1 0
 @LexB: New school doesn't mean poorly made. Never said that. You can get new school instruments that sound good, and you can get some that sound like a tinny box. A good player will make those cheap ones that sound like a tinny box sound as good as they're going to sound, but they will never sound as good as a well-made instrument. And those that are well-made, even when new, are going to cost more -- at least 20 times more -- than a $200 pile of tinder.

Anyway, getting back to bikes -- it's a good analogy. Let's say Richie Rude gets on this bike. He will ride it and make it do things you and I wouldn't be able to do. And he could ride it fast. But not as fast as he could ride his top-of-the-line racer. It would hold him back, especially against other Enduro WC-level racers. In other words, he could definitely push this bike to its limits, but the bike would meet its limits before Richie reached the edge of his talents.

Now are any of us Richie Rude? No. Would this bike 100 percent meet the needs of most people here? Maybe. Definitely worth considering.
  • 16 0
 Vye-tus.
  • 1 0
 Vayee-Tuushhh
  • 11 3
 Canadians take note of an approx 30% import tax on this bike... effectively making it an almost $4000 bike. Obviously there are much better options locally at that price point.

Too bad, they make some great, well equipped and cheap kids bikes as well.
  • 6 1
 it says $2810 delivered with all duties and taxes paid at the current price which is 21% off. Not bad. With currency conversion, it's only about $100 more than Americans are paying. If you can though, shop local.
  • 3 0
 @JayUpNorth: with current conversion it is actually cheaper than 2000usd
  • 1 0
 @C0yotekid: i used my vpn to see how much it was to the US delivered and then did the conversion off of that number. I was around $2700cdn delivered all in to the US with shipping.
  • 3 1
 @JayUpNorth: Ya, hadn't looked in a while... its on sale right now (21% off), so it's $2810 CDN all in and delivered. Two things though.. 1. When it's not on sale... it's something like $3700 or so... and 2. I'd have a problem with giving my government $600 to $700 of my money just so I can buy a cheap bike?? I'd rather give that to a local shop.
  • 2 0
 @islandforlife: It doesn't matter if you import it or they do the government still gets their import duties. If you go through a bike shop you get to pay retail mark-up on that tax as well.
  • 1 0
 @islandforlife: i always assumed that was hidden in the cost we pay already (no idea though) but taxes isn't an issue with me. Buying local whenever possible is however quite important as CRC will never be around to fix my bike when i fall off a skinny or my chunky self needs yet another wheel truing. CRC almost always has sales but yes $3700 for that would be insane. For $2800 it's so close to a devinci troy nx, trance 3 29er, so yes, support local if you can. I was planing on buying a Devinci Troy locally but my contract job got cancelled and I have lung issues so I can't risk picking up work right now.
  • 1 1
 @plyawn: That's not how I understood it to work. An individual importing a whole bicycle pays 20 to 30% import duties and taxes depending on where it's coming from. Also this does not apply to bike parts. Now, I'm not 100% on all of this, but I don't think Norco is paying 20 to 30% to bring in their bikes frames and parts from various parts of the world. Nor do I believe local shops are paying this either, they all use distributors that would work under commercial licensed importers and pay different (substantially less) import duties.

I should say, I am totally not against paying my fair share of taxes, those built-in to the price (much less than 20 to 30%?) and the 5% GST I would pay at the point of sale. What I would like to avoid is paying that bigger chunk (30%) which, and again, maybe I'm totally out to lunch on this though... and if that's the way it works... fine.
  • 1 0
 @JayUpNorth: Ya I assumed there was taxes built-in... I just don't think Norco is paying the same import taxes to bring in their frames and parts... nor a bike shop through a distributor... as I would be importing a whole bicycle. I could be wrong though... and ya either way.. I'd prefer to support local, even it's a couple hundred more.
  • 1 0
 @islandforlife: There is no actual way to know how much the f*ckheads at the duties will decide it's worth so it's completely random on what percentage you'll end up paying. Before they started doing the guaranteed fees on CRC it was like playing lottery, will I get my ass spanked by the customs this time or not??? Guess we'll find out!
  • 1 0
 @C0yotekid: ya, I do that with tires and small parts... only had to pay once for duty I think. But, from what I’ve heard, the bigger the items, the bigger the chance of getting dinged. Although right now, I’m sure they’re overwhelmed and understaffed and don’t give a shit. Good time to order!
  • 9 0
 Baby, she's got it. I guess that makes her your Vee-tus.
  • 5 0
 I came across Vitus bikes while I was about to buy a Mega on CRC. I got a 2019 Escarpe VRX with Fox 36 factory, DpX2, guide brakes, xt drivetrain, DtSwiss 1700 wheels, DHF/DHR and (f**k yes!) threaded BB for $2600 + $70 shipped to my house. Great looking bike too. Geo is spot on for New England riding with a 65.5 HA and 75 SA. Incredible value for the money on the Mythique too which I will probably buy for my wife in 27.5.
  • 9 0
 Well done Vitus.
  • 3 0
 Yes. Is it me, or do they sound more enthusiastic about this bikes than they did about many of the high-end bikes they reviewed in the field test last year?
  • 3 0
 @TheR, the sunshine and lots and lots of burrito consumption may have played a role there.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: I gotta get down to Sedona. Somehow it's gotten on my radar over the last six months, and the more I read about it, the more I want to go.
  • 1 0
 @TheR: The riding is amazing. The town is awful.
  • 8 0
 I've heard SX eagle sucks.. can anybody vouch?
  • 8 0
 If it works, it's fine. Suffered from consistency issues earlier in the run, similar to NX
  • 11 2
 I mean ya, it totaly sucks compared to AXS!
  • 5 0
 I'd really like a stand alone review of SX. I'd expected it to shift as well as X5 back in the day which is to say quite poorly. If SX is just heavy but otherwise reliable and bangs out the shifting without fuss, that would be a really big a complishment for SRAM and totally upend their reputation (make great high end stuff and absolute garbage low end stuff).
  • 5 1
 @freestyIAM: I've ridden plenty of SX, NX stuff and the Achilles Heel is the weight of the cassette. It shifts okay, not nearly as good as SLX. The weight of the cassette completely ruins the handling of the bike when hopping/jumping around the trail at speed and I swear I could tell the difference in suspension performance after switching to a lighter cassette.
  • 3 1
 @freestyIAM: it is utter trash. NX was bad enough not sure why thought going even cheaper way a good idea...
  • 2 0
 I've only had a few short rides on SX, so I can't tell you anything about durability, but when I pressed the lever, it changed gears. There really isn't much feedback at all, either at the shifter or the pedals, sometimes it doesn't even feel like it changed gears, but it does...I'm guessing it's nowhere near as good as a higher end system at handling multiple shifts under load. If you really really need that 50 tooth then fine, but otherwise, I liked the feeling of my 10 speed Deore with the 11-42 cassette better. More feedback, less precise cable tension settings needed, and I've never had a problem with multiple shifts under load. Though tbf I was running an XTR level chain with that group, but you should always get the higher end chain if you can swing it no matter which groupset you have.
  • 2 0
 All of us mechanics at my work place hate the sx stuff. 11speed nx would be better. There's around 25 mechanics at our place.
  • 2 0
 @mnorris122: the feedback is a classic SRAM vs Shimano thing. Nice that it works out of the box, but Give it time and it will deteriorate astronomically or break. Cheers
  • 4 2
 Every bike I've bought that came with a SRAM drivetrain benefitted from swapping the SRAM cassette out and replacing it with a Shimano cassette. At least with NX and SX it uses the old Shimano freehub, so that's easy to do. I would imagine it's that way with SX - everything works fine except the cassette sucks. Shimano cassettes work just fine with SRAM derailleurs (better than with a SRAM cassette actually).

I actually kinda prefer SRAM derailleurs because they lock extended. Makes repairs etc. a lot more convenient than having to hold a Shimano derailleur extended with your hands while you swap a wheel or route a chain.
  • 12 0
 @mnorris122: Its too bad brands feel like they have to put 12 sp DTs on budget bikes. I'd rather have 11 or even 10 sp DTs with less weight, better shifting and more reliability, even if it means I don't get the mega range and tighter gearing intervals. If they speced a 28T or 30T ring up front, the bikes would have the low gearing it needs and the target buyer isn't going to be worried about spinning out their highest gear combo (when is the last time you spun out your 10T cog on your 32T chainring on anything other than a fireroad?)
  • 5 0
 @freestyIAM: Unfortunately when new riders do research they are brainwashed into thinking that they should only buy a 29er with a 12spd drivetrain. This demand has produced NX and SX...
  • 1 0
 @RickyMicky: whats so bad about it
  • 3 3
 Seems like there's a range of experiences with SX. I've had SX eagle on my hardtail for over two years now and have AXS XX1 on my enduro bike, previously had XTR. I mainly ride the hardtail in the wet winters. You'd think given the price difference that SX would be way worse, but it really isn't. Shifts aren't as smooth, it's harder to get dialed in, and it just feels a bit clunkier, but it works well. Once you get used to it, it kinda disappears except for the occasional missed shift.
  • 2 0
 @tgent: You don't get the same level of metrics and data collection from SX, so for me it's a non-starter...
  • 2 0
 @freestyIAM: agree - even on my higher end bikes I've been completely satisfied with 11spd XT and enver felt the need for more...
  • 2 0
 @freestyIAM: Fully agree. Still running 32Fx11-46R Shimano XT 10spd setup. You don't need anything more than this on a budget bike!
  • 3 0
 @fpmd:
Hard to have 2 years of ride time on SX when the soft release to the public was about a year ago.

I have a cheapo with SX eagle lying around and if you’re used to something like GX, you’re gonna miss shifts for a ride or two. Put a new shifter on it and it’s fine, if a bit heavy. Cassette is the same as NX, the derailleur is cheaper and uses a poly knuckle and is a bit more bend-happy. Full groupset is about half a pound heavier than nx.

Compared to deore 1x10, it’s less clunky feeling throughout the gears, but some people might like that clunk of a downshift to know what’s going on. Having the range and 12spd is generally what sells people on SX.

There’s a massive difference between SX and AXS. There’s a massive difference between GX and SX across the board.
  • 1 0
 @parkourfan: Sorry, misread and typo. I have GX eagle, not SX. D'oh!
  • 1 0
 @fpmd: No worries. Explains the smaller difference in performance for sure!
  • 3 0
 @parkourfan: thanks for straightening that out man. What I wrote is like total misinformation now that I look at it again
  • 4 0
 All through the video I kept hearing "It doesn't ride like the numbers suggest". Nimble despite the wheelbase and chainstay length. Not as stable as the wheelbase and chainstay length implies. Nimbler than the weight implies. Doesn't plow like the tank the weight implies. Maybe you're taking the wrong suggestions from those numbers?
  • 1 0
 So basically it's unstable with poorly damped suspension. I bet a rear shock upgrade would solve most of that.
  • 5 1
 Seems like a really solid bit of kit for the money including SX eagle. I'd love to hear more abut drivetrain stuff. All my bikes are metal but I do have a minimum standard when it comes to bad shifting.
  • 4 0
 Zero drivetrain issues, but the non-Matchmaker SX shifter ergonomics aren't ideal. This was true for all of the bikes, not just the Vitus.
  • 1 0
 If you have any standards for ergonomics or positioning at all, you probably want a GX or better shifter for NX or SX drivetrains. Luckily it’s a cheap and easy upgrade that makes a ton of difference.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: That's really great to hear. If I ever go 12 speed I'll have to check out the SX. It's still unnecessarily expensive, but if it works and lasts then it might be worth it. I'm still waiting for someone to do wider range 10 speed with the same concepts but just fewer speeds so it's lighter.
  • 1 0
 @A-HIGHLY-EDUCATED-PROFESSIONAL: Not sure, but might see if Seth's Bike Hacks has tried that - he's sponsored by Box. Looks like a great kit, though I'd probably rock a 10 or 11spd Shimano setup with 11-46 Sunrace Cassette ($60ish). A 10/11spd XT or SLX derailleur(11spd M7000 or M8000 to reach 46T cog) and shifter (10 or 11spd) will run you under $100. KMC chain for $10-20ish and you're good to go. Obviously the Box has more range, but it is more $$. Just need to decide how much you care about range. Can always go with a smaller front chainring (30T or 28T) to get a good granny gear, if you don't care about top end speed.

Or just get the Box Razz or Microshift 9spd (with lower range)
  • 3 0
 so with sizing, its worth mentioning that the pivot is so high that my 5'8'' friend couldnt run a dropper post on a medium. thats sorta significant imo. also, does the seatpost seem long on the xl? i'm 6'2'', so i'd be on an xl.
  • 7 0
 Looks like a....Niner.
  • 1 1
 It is nothing like a Niner, besides having wheels and other bike parts. Geo completely different, completely different suspension but they both have Saddles.
  • 1 0
 @SLBIKES: Aren't you a hoot? And the top tube design bears a resemblance to a Niner but apparently not to you.
  • 2 0
 I bought my wife the model lower from this one and have been impressed. CRC was great to deal with, except there’s no phone number to call for US customers, all customer svc was done by email.
Bike arrived within 8 days from Ireland and was mostly put together already. Bars and front wheel was it. Set the cockpit up , aired up the suspension and went on a ride. Crisp drivetrain, not the best brakes but they work well, frame and paint were appealing and everything worked. I’ve been impressed with the bike for the price point. Blew anything I looked at locally out of the water. Everything comparable was about $1k more.

No complaints here. Awesome bike for the price, especially sale price! \m/
  • 4 0
 Why compare to the Giant Stance 1(non Maestro) at $1800? The Giant Trance 29 3, or Trance 27.5 3 at $2,100 is the real crusher of this category.
  • 2 0
 That was a great review. You guys do a tremendous job of not being snobby or dismissive of the price point. Plus I feel like I have a decent sense of what that bike is and how it might feel to someone like me.

Sounds like that's exactly the sort of bike 80% of us should be riding.
  • 2 0
 Does not need a pedal switch on the rear shock. A bit harsh on the DH. So plenty of anti squat.
Long wheelbase but it's not easy to notice riding the bike.
Sounds like a dialed in trail bike.
2000$ And I would change nothing on this bike.
Nice!
  • 1 0
 Great recipe, the fundamentals are all in place. I think this would be a very solid package for a great price, if it wasn't for the outdated rear shock and outdated shock sizing. You could have at least mentioned that. At least it has boost standard through axles front and rear. Anyways, I'd really like to give this a try.
  • 5 0
 That's a fair point on the non-trunion shock, can't argue there. Zero performance difference, but certainly not good for the resale value Smile
  • 8 0
 The last few years have really changed my opinion on what “outdated” anything means in the mountain bike world. It used to mean something, then the bike world decided to increase sales by using the micro standard system of making tiny changes and calling them huge...

A bike like this is meant to be ridden and create good times, it’s not meant to be a resold product.

This is still a great bike, at a great price.

P.s. my bike is a few years old and I am just now learning how to tune my “outdated” suspension. Also still happily riding my bike and plan to for a good long while.
  • 5 1
 I'm not sure why this should be an issue. If you buy a bike on a budget, how likely are you to replace the shock with a bleeding edge piece that only comes in trunnion?
  • 2 1
 Older shock sizing is not a problem. You can still get V brakes and Cantilever brakes today. For manufacturers, making a shock in the old sizing standard is simply a different shaft length, especially when it comes to coil.
  • 3 0
 @Saidrick: Ya, what's the projected resale on a $2K new bike after a couple of hard years?

ride it hard and demote to your commuter/winter bike ina few years...
  • 1 1
 @mikelevy: Agreed, there's probably very little real-world difference and I don't even want to argue wether a bike with a legacy rear shock can still ride good and be fun etc.

But there definitley are quite a few differences in construction that extend beyond just the physical size in between a Monarch and a Deluxe or SuperDeluxe. The internals are quite different with one of the most important differences being the massively increased overlap on the air can and also on the piston/shaft - which (at least theoretically) increases stability and durability and reduces friction due to a more precise fit, which reduces the tendency of the components to buckle under pressure.

Also my main concern would be less the performance of the shock and more the availability of service- and replacement parts, since RockShox said they were going to phase out their non-metric products over the course of the next couple of years.
  • 1 0
 The Trek VRX was way ahead of its time in terms of flexy swing arm cracking technlogy! Add in Magura HS33 hydraulic rim break on the rear and that swing arm was SPREAD wide open! It was still the most excited I have every been about a new bike.
  • 2 0
 They looked like they were from the future!
  • 1 0
 That's not a bad bike for $2000 at all. I messed around with one of these when a buddy bought one and it felt pretty damn good. My wife wants to get into biking (hasn't in 2-3 years) and I'm between this, the Fezzari Abajo, and the YT Jeffsy base
  • 1 0
 FIY: the frame is an OEM model, Vitus just put their logo on it.
It's made by a company called Astro: www.astroeng.com.tw.

I had this exact frame 2 years ago and the seat tube broke, guess that's why they added that ugly support...
  • 1 0
 Astro make a lot of great bikes.
  • 4 2
 I can't bring myself to put any stock in the time comparisons (climbs, lap times, etc) in these reviews. There are too many variables that aren't accounted for.
  • 5 9
flag C0yotekid (Mar 24, 2020 at 7:56) (Below Threshold)
 Indeed, they are mostly there for shits and giggles and give you a general idea. Grow up.
  • 3 1
 Most people who own these type of bikes aren't looking to be the fastest. Does it really matter?
  • 5 0
 Yup, timing is just one element. For me, it's all feel and feedback, not what the clock says.
  • 1 0
 @trailfurnace: it takes me 30 minutes to climb our local blue trails that are 10 minutes down. I'm not sure how much a new bike will help on downs as I only have a 100mm travel 69 degree head angled bike, but it's safe to assume that cowardice and mediocre skills will still be a pretty decided factor on downhill speeds. So with that in mind, I'd take a more balanced bike that climbs decently over one that excels more on downs. When my bike and tires are dialed, and it feels 5% faster, that actually is a lot of fun for me on relatively tame trails.
  • 1 0
 @JayUpNorth: Any bike that inspires more confidence will inherently make you faster Smile
  • 2 0
 @iduckett: i am really hoping this is the case. We had an old 2006 reign that was a tank but made light work of stuff that I hesitate to try on my fluid. If i could get close to that feeling in a better climbing 29er, I will be pretty happy.
  • 1 5
flag C0yotekid (Mar 24, 2020 at 16:15) (Below Threshold)
 @JayUpNorth: 29ers Do not climb well.
  • 3 0
 Chain Reaction has this bike on Sale. $1869 + $70 shipped to the USA. Not a bad deal.
  • 3 1
 The mbr.co.uk review complained about a high bottom bracket on this one and recommended getting the 27,5 instead. Any thoughts?
  • 12 0
 LOL, PB would NEVER recommend getting any 27.5 over a 29er.
  • 4 0
 In Sedona you don’t want a real low bb so they probably wouldn’t have noticed it much.
  • 7 0
 Nope, not an issue for us at all.
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy: thanks for the quick reply!
  • 1 0
 I'm the only rider who likes high bottom brackets.
  • 4 0
 More bikes need Bomber Z2's.
  • 1 1
 i think it is a very good bike for the price ,but then you have the gear shifter that it is not the greatest and the brakes that ,well they brake but ,and in the cockpit of the pilot (rider)it is not the best placement they can fit ,and gears are not the best ,too slow changing and well can’t have the best I guess,cause picking on the dropper thing is just a c’on ,when you have a gear and brake that aren’t very ergonomic and “good”size reaching,and let’s not talk about the wheels and that hubs ,they are very good in the first months but after that ,it’s a matter of luck or not riding it very often,but the price tell you what there’s no excuse from getting a very good bike (frame the most)for the price you pay ,and Vitus has a bike with a paint job that makes every brand crying (the slic oil one what a beauty of a frame color ,keep on ,good job pink bike
  • 2 0
 Dude, your stream of consciousness is up there with Joyce's
  • 2 0
 I have a vitus sentier hardtail frame. Very impressed with the construction and ride quality. Nice hydroformed tubing. Wouldn’t think twice about getting another vitus.
  • 1 0
 I agree. I had a 2018 Sentier 29er. Best hardtail I've ever had.
  • 1 0
 I just love bikes like this for the fact that they're quite capable overall and offer very decent value to people who might otherwise not be able to get into the sport because of how much bikes can cost these days.
  • 2 1
 For a entry/intermediate level rider looking for a great dual trail bike without breaking the bank (depending on your situation) this is the bike IMO. Sorry !
  • 4 0
 Sorry for what? Have you considered the price of import taxes when buying from CRC? They come up to around 1000$.
  • 13 0
 @C0yotekid: dude I'm Canadian. I must finish every sentences with sorry.
  • 2 0
 I have a Trek VRX with triple-clamp SID. Weighs 30lbs with Atomic Lab pedals. Just sayin’

Big Grin
  • 1 0
 Stoked to see more reviews like this coming out... made more for the masses... not everyone is buying a 7k trail bike so.. good on yah PB
  • 3 0
 I wish these were available as frame only Frown
  • 3 0
 “Vih-tuese“
  • 3 1
 Best content on the internet right now!
  • 2 0
 Nice bike, what wheel hub sizes does it use?
  • 4 0
 It has Boost spacing - 15x110 front, 12x148 rear.
  • 1 0
 So I'm 5' 10" also should I do a large size too? I'm right in the middle between a medium and a large...
  • 1 0
 Is this Horst link suspension better than Rocky Mountain smooth link suspension?
  • 2 0
 Not sure, but it’s one of the few horst link bikes Levy said he didn’t need a climb switch on. Vitus did their homework!
  • 3 0
 Dick Pound
  • 1 1
 Nice looking bike. How durable is the paint finish on the Vitus @mikelevy ?
  • 4 1
 I have a 2016 sommet vrx- it’s quite thin and cable rub was showing its impact after a couple years. It was supplied with a spare touch up bottle of paint though which you can apply as and when.
Incredible bike and value though
  • 1 0
 No issues with paint, but it was only a two-week test Smile
  • 1 0
 My 2017 escarpe has had a lot of abuse over the years yet the paint looks a dam sight better than my buddy’s 2017 stumpy and his brothers 2019 transition patrol...
  • 7 7
 Potential bad marketing slogan: "The Vitus Sticks to The Trail like a Virus"
  • 2 0
 is that covid marketing?
  • 1 0
 Looks amazing value for money... Still can't shift them though
  • 1 0
 That top tube weld though...
  • 1 0
 Rhetorical question: Whats more important, the way said weld looks or the way it holds the two pieces together?
  • 1 0
 What? no looks like a Session comments. Sad day for PB
  • 1 0
 What's up with the cushcore on the huck to flat?
  • 3 0
 They stepped up to sponsor the Huck to Flat portion of the Field Trip, so all of the bikes were hucked using a wheelset that had CushCore inserts installed.
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: Do you change out that set of DTSwiss wheels often for the huck to flat tests? I think it would be very interesting to know how well they hold up to the repeated huck to flat abuse.
  • 1 0
 Good review ...sweet bike!
  • 1 0
 6:40 in the video......is that someone doing a MASSIVE fart?! lol
  • 1 0
 My bad
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: hahaha - I admire your honesty! Better out than in.
  • 3 5
 REAL seatpost angle? A crappy 67.5 degrees.

Please support taller riders. Real seatpost angle is crazy important.

youtu.be/5fnhhiPYneU?t=49
  • 2 0
 I'm 6'4" on on knolly.... Effective seat angle is what matters.
  • 2 0
 I'm 6'4" on a knolly fugitive... Effective seat angle is what matters.
  • 6 1
 What matters is where the seat is positioned relative to the bb. Effective seat angle numbers get you close enough that saddle fore/aft adjustment gets the job done. You’re being dramatic
  • 1 0
 How were the wheels?
  • 1 3
 Too bad that the Vitus bike is not called the Bossnut. Then it would rhyme with "penis" and be called the "Bossnut."
  • 1 3
 It's not very pretty though, is it?
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