Review: 2022 Vitus Sommet 297 AMP - Good Performance, Great Price

May 3, 2022 at 10:02
by Seb Stott  



Vitus describe themselves as "for real riders". They operate under the same roof as Nukeproof, hence the smattering of Nukeproof components on Vitus' bikes, but they're separate brands and Vitus aim to offer exceptional value for money. That ethos permeates everything from the spec choices and frame design to their direct-sales model. Because they don't spend as much on race teams and marketing campaigns as other brands, Vitus are easy to overlook, but their killer value has impressed us before.

Their enduro bike, the Sommet, has recently been updated. It's available as a mullet with 170 mm of rear travel (as tested) or a 29er with 162 mm of rear travel - both come with 170 mm forks.

Vitus Sommet 297 Amp Details

• Intended use: trail/enduro/park
• Suspension travel: 170mm f&r
• Wheel size: 29'' (f) / 27.5" (r)
• Carbon front triangle with alloy rear
• Flip chip
• 64° head angle, 435 mm chainstays
• 15.4 kg / 34 lb (actual, size XL)
• S to XL frame sizes
• Four build options starting at £2,700 / $3,700 USD
• MSRP as tested: £4,600 / $6,299 USD
vitusbikes.com

There are four models in the range, starting at £2,700 and running to £4,600. All use the same frame, with a carbon mainframe mated to an alloy rear end. Vitus chose to send me the top-tier AMP model, which uses a mix of high-end SRAM parts and Nukeproof finishing kit. To be honest, the cheaper models look like better value on paper, especially the entry-level CR (£2,700), which uses a Deore drivetrain and RockShox Domain fork, or the second tier CRX (£4,000), which has Fox Factory suspension and full Shimano XT groupset.

That's not to say the top model is a disappointment, though. With top-end SRAM suspension and components, plus a carbon handlebar and crank making it the lightest of the range and respectably light considering the price and the suspension travel. But how does it ride?



bigquotesThe 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. Seb Stott






Frame Details


The frame isn't the most flashy or feature-packed, but it offers everything you'd expect from a modern enduro bike: room for a full-size water bottle, a threaded bottom bracket, internal cable routing, rubber chainstay and downtube protection, UDH compatability and ISCG tabs. The cable routing may not be the neatest, especially under the bottom bracket, but it doesn't rub or rattle. There are no tube-in-tube cable guides, just foam tubes and wide ports to guide the cables through. Vitus say they couldn't hit the price point they wanted with moulded cable tubes.


There's a flip-chip located at the lower shock eyelet, which gives a 6mm change to the BB height and a 0.5-degree change to the head and seat tube angles. The carbon mainframe is the same between the mullet and 29" versions of the bike, but the seatstay and chainstay are wheel-size specific, so there's no option to fit a 29" rear wheel in here. You could put a smaller rear wheel in the 29er, but a 27.5" wheel has a 19 mm smaller radius, so the 6 mm flip-chip adjustment won't compensate for that. Tire clearance is 2.6" on the 297, or 2.5" on the 29er. One thing you don't see that often is internal cable routing in the top tube for a remote shock lockout cable. None of the stock models are specced with a remote lockout, but it's always nice to have options.





Geometry & Sizing


When comparing the above geometry chart from Vitus to my own measurements, most of the numbers match reality to within a few millimetres, except the wheelbase of my XL test bike measures 1,310mm, not 1,288. It's normal for manufacturers' geometry charts to be a little off, but that's quite a big difference. The head angle of my bike measures 63-degrees, and the effective seat angle at my pedalling height (82cm from BB to saddle-top) is 76-degrees. The bottom bracket height is 342mm. All these measurements are in the low setting.



Suspension Design

Vitus have gone with a classic Horst-link suspension layout (using a chainstay pivot in front of the rear axle) but unlike sister-brand Nukeproof, they use a vertically-mounted shock and a rocker link that rotates in the same direction as the chainstay.

Vitus designed the anti-squat levels (how much the suspension resists compressing while pedalling) to be on the low side in order to keep pedal kickback to a minimum, arguing that this helps suspension sensitivity. According to their numbers, the anti-squat ranges between 100 and 110% depending on the gear, which in theory would mean the rear suspension wouldn't compress at all when force is applied to the pedal, but in the real world, it does squat and bob more than many comparable bikes.

I asked Vitus how they generated their numbers and it turns out they had assumed a centre of gravity height that was 650 mm above the bottom bracket. Some of the graphs you'll see elsewhere (including those by Pinkbike's Dan Roberts) assumes a higher COG than this, and when I'm riding the bike, the centre of gravity will be higher still. With a higher COG, the lower the true anti-squat and anti-rise values will be, and so the more the bike will squat when pedalling and dive when braking out in the real world.

The leverage ratio drops throughout the travel, with the highest rate of change at the start. That means the suspension linkage is progressive throughout, and the force required to get the suspension moving from early in the travel is minimised.
At a little under 30% sag (50mm), the anti-squat ranges from about 110% in the lowest gear to 100% in the highest gear, according to Vitus.

Anti-rise levels increase slightly through the travel, but stay between 57 & 60% according to Vitus.

The leverage ratio between the rear axle and the shock goes from 3.12 to 2.31, meaning there is a change (progression) of 26%. That makes it more progressive than most, and so bottom outs should be rare even if running a generous amount of sag. Coil shocks should work well. The 29" version has a slightly lower overall leverage ratio, which combined with the shorter stroke shock (62.5mm instead of 65mm), results in 8mm less travel than the mullet bike.

Anti-rise - that's the amount the braking force is used to resist the suspension's tendency to extend (or rise up) while braking - is middle of the road, at just under 60% throughout the travel, again assuming the centre of gravity is 650 mm above the bottom bracket. That means the rear suspension will extend more than most while braking, but not as much as some bikes.

I measured the Sommet's vertical travel at 170mm, exactly as claimed, which isn't always the case.

The shock uses the L1 (light) compression tune and linear rebound.



Specifications
Price $6299
Travel 170mm
Rear Shock RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate RCT, 205 x 65mm trunnion
Fork RockShox Zeb Ultimate 29"
Headset Acros AZX-212-CO R5
Cassette SRAM X01 Eagle
Crankarms Truvativ Descendant Carbon
Bottom Bracket SRAM Dub
Rear Derailleur SRAM X01 Eagle
Chain SRAM X01 Eagle
Shifter Pods SRAM X01 Eagle
Handlebar Nukeproof Horizon V2 Carbon Riser
Stem Nukeproof Horizon, 50mm
Grips Nukeproof Sam Hill
Brakes SRAM Code RSC
Wheelset Nukeproof Horizon V2
Tires Maxxis Assegai MaxxGrip EXO+ / Minion DHR II MaxxTerra DoubleDown
Seat Nukeproof Horizon Enduro Saddle
Seatpost RockShox Reverb Stealth Dropper


The X01 mechanical drivetrain worked perfectly and you won't hear me complaining about the comfortable 30-52 tooth bottom gear.

The carbon bar was wasted on me - I soon swapped it for a 40 mm rise alternative.

Specifications

The once-common RockShox Reverb makes a rare appearance on the Sommet Amp, which works great and, with its hydraulic hose, makes it easier to move the post up or down in the frame than cable-operated posts, but its travel is limited to 175mm. Vitus chose a 30-tooth chainring along with a 10-52 tooth cassette, which along with the 27.5" back wheel, makes for a super low bottom gear. A good choice for "real riders" in my view - myself included. Vitus spec 200mm rotors front and rear, but the smaller rear wheel effectively makes the rear brake more powerful than the front, due to the lower mechanical advantage of the smaller wheel radius. Personally, I found this caused me to skid the rear wheel too easily, so I'd upsize the front or downsize the rear.

Clever details include the DoubleDown rear tire and MaxxGrip EXO+ front tire, offering grip and protection where it's most needed. I'm happy to see the Nukeproof Horizon V2 wheels which I reviewed recently, but the carbon crank and handlebar are flashy for the sake of it in my view.









Test Bike Setup

The sag and bottom-out markings on the RockShox shock make setup so much easier. It took 190 psi for me to get the O-ring to sit bang on the 30% mark (which is usually a good place to start). With the stock two volume spacers, it made it all the way to the max travel line on big hits without bottoming out harshly. Later, I found this to be too unsupportive on the trail, so I increased the shock pressure to 200 psi and added a third spacer. I left the compression damping fairly open for the most part but wound more on for tracks with big compressions. The shock's rebound range is super broad - of the ten-click range, only 4-7 clicks from closed are usable at these pressures, with each click having a very noticeable effect. I settled on 6 clicks.

In the 170mm-travel Zeb I'm running 66 psi with one volume spacer, high-speed compression was fully open with LSC nearer the middle. The rebound was 10 clicks from closed (pretty fast).

After the first hundred meters of climbing, I slammed the saddle forwards on the seatpost, and after a few rides, I swapped the 25 mm rise bar for a 40 mm rise one.



Seb Stott
Location: Tweed Valley, Scotland
Age: 29
Height: 6'3" / 191cm
Inseam: 37" / 93cm
Weight: 189 lbs / 86 kg, kitted
Instagram: Seb Stott On Bikes



Climbing

As you may have guessed by the saddle position, I found the seat angle a bit too slack in combination with the long-travel suspension, making it feel less eager and efficient when tackling steep climbs. The suspension bobs up and down more than most bikes of this travel too, and this unwanted suspension movement makes it feel less efficient than many enduro bikes. Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad climber, but there are better climbing enduro bikes these days, especially when things get steep. Switching to the high setting would improve the climbing position slightly, but I preferred the low setting for descending and that's what this bike is about.

For steep and smooth sections, I just flicked the shock's climb switch, which cuts the bob and makes the bike sit up a bit more too. Combined with that super low bottom gear, this means you can winch up even 20% gradients without having to mash the pedals at a plodding cadence. Scoff if you like, but a lower bottom gear is nice to have in some situations (and no, I'm not horrendously unfit), though I'd definitely shift up a gear or two for technical climbs. Speaking of which, there comes a point where the locked-out shock isn't ideal for rougher pedals, so I found myself switching between the two settings more often than I'd like.


Descending

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.

Vitus Sommet
Canyon Strive

How Does it Compare?

Comparing the £4,600 Vitus to a £6,000 Canyon may sound unfair, but the Strive has a more affordable stablemate. At £4,749, the Strive CFR Underdog is in the same price bracket as the Sommet AMP and has only superficial downgrades compared to the top-spec Strive I reviewed recently. When climbing, both bikes are evenly matched if the Strive is restricted to its descending mode, but flick the Shapeshifter button and the Canyon is noticeably more sprightly and upright.

On the descents, the Strive is a little more stable, not so much because of the geometry (the wheelbase is almost identical) but because of the suspension. The Fox fork and shock offer more mid-stroke support, and the Strive's suspension is more settled under braking, so there's less pitching and diving when hard on the anchors or pushing into compressions. At the same time, the Canyon seems to offer better small-bump sensitivity and traction. Both bikes had similar tires, but the Vitus was more prone to slide at the rear. On the other hand, the Sommet's 170 mm of rear-wheel travel and more active mid-stroke allow it to plough through fast choppy sections with a little less feedback.

It would have been a more interesting comparison if Vitus sent the Fox-equipped CRX model, and the further down the price list you go, the more Vitus's value stands out against similarly-priced rivals.



SRAM X01 drivetrain
Nukeproof Sam Hill Grips

Technical Report


SRAM X01 drivetrain: I've ridden a few bikes with SRAM AXS lately but the mechanical equivalent still feels more intuitive to me. I prefer the shifter ergonomics of the mechanical version - yes, I've tried switching over the button functions in the AXS app - and as long as it's set up properly, it just works and is less of a distraction while riding. The huge gap from 1st to 2nd gear isn't ideal, but thanks to the small chainring you could always switch to a 10-50t cassette and still have a super low climbing ratio.

Nukeproof Sam Hill Grips: I like the shape and the soft compound these have, but the outer lock ring sticks out a long way from where my hands sit, ready to catch trees. One of the grips broke in a crash where the plastic part enters the outer lock ring, so I borrowed a replacement from a Nukeproof test bike. A single lockring version with the same rubber compound and shape would be superb.






Pros

+ Long-travel and active suspension is great for plowing
+ Geometry strikes a good balance between stability and agility
+ Good value, especially the other models in the range

Cons

- Not the most upright climbing position and there's some pedal bob too
- XL size needs a higher bar
- The suspension isn't as supportive and stable as some bikes





bigquotesThere's a lot to like about the Sommet. Its geometry and suspension make it easy to ride fast over rough terrain and big hits. The suspension isn't particularly supportive and it's more prone to pitching when braking than some bikes, but the long front centre makes it well-suited to attacking steep sections anyway, especially after a little tinkering. I suspect the cheaper Fox-equipped CRX model would offer a more supportive ride too. It's not the best climber, but for riders who prioritise descending and want a bike at a good price, the Sommet is well worth considering. Seb Stott






128 Comments

  • 48 8
 Why aren’t 35mm+ rise bars stock on enduro bikes? It’ll keep the front high and if you don’t like it you can bring the stem down a spacer or two. It just makes a lot of sense to me.
  • 18 11
 I have the opposite problem even at 6'2". 170mm of travel + 29' and the front end is so high, it's hard to get the bars low enough even with a slammed stem. 648 stack is pretty damn high already.
  • 9 11
 because brands have been able to get away with not doing it. Supplying one size across the range is obviously cheaper. They should be called out though, and hopefully they'll move in the right direction.
  • 4 2
 Im 6'5 and ride an S4 Enduro. Got a 170 Zeb on it with a 9.5" steerer and a 35mm rise bar at the very top of it. It's like cheating.
  • 11 3
 It’s ridiculous how low the “standard issue” “riser” bar is. The first thing I do with any bike is swap to a tall bar, more recently that’s more swept at the same time, but that’s another topic entirely. The oem’s will catch up eventually.
  • 55 0
 These comments illustrate how subjective fit is. No matter what rise a brand specs, it's going to be wrong for someone. And the sweep probably sucks too. Stock bars are just a place to hang the controls until the owner gets a chance to fit their bar of choice.
  • 7 1
 @AndrewHornor: it is very interesting though how basically every geometry metric grows with size increase except stack. It's grows a bit but 5-10mm per size? Give me a break
  • 10 0
 I also have the opposite problem. I might be on the shorter end of the size range, and I am finding myself going lower and lower in stack to have more weight on the front.
  • 2 0
 @jalopyj: when you stand next to your bike on flat ground. Where would you say your handlebar height is in relation to your hips?
  • 1 0
 @jalopyj: Same. I run a flat bar on some bikes. With a high rise bar, I feel like I'm gonna fall off the back of the bike.
  • 1 0
 @jalopyj: agreed. I put some Burgtec Bryceland 38mm bars on my bronson from a 20mm bar and I had to drop the stem 5mm to get mote weight over the front end to get some grip out of the front tyre.
  • 1 0
 Actually makes more sense having rise on mid/short travel bikes. My bike with a 170mm fork needs less bar height than my bike with a 140mm fork. If I put a 35 rise on my 170mm bike, I'd probably have to run no spacers and/or a negative rise stem. I'd say 25mm is a safe 'all around' rise to put on a mountain bike. I have a 25mm on my 170mm bike and a 40mm on my 140mm bike.
  • 28 1
 It’s absolutely appalling that bike manufacturers don’t spec a bike with exactly the components I feel are required. How can they not understand that what I believe is correct is really what the prevailing spec choice should be. All manufacturers need to consult the PB comment section for spec, geo, and price considerations, regardless of where the bike is designed, or who it’s designed for…..

All in jest honestly,
Vitus, well done with your spec, and design choices, this looks to be a great bike for lots of people
  • 7 0
 @dthomp325: turn the riser bars upside down?
  • 3 0
 @onawalk: I see what your saying and as much as the people speccing these bikes definitely know more than us places like Pinkbike, Vital, and bike radar comment sections are places to look into. If dozens of comments are for example saying the tire choice wasn’t very good maybe they should take that into consideration or if they were speccing 160mm rotors on a size large enduro bike and everyone was talking about how stupid it was maybe they should take a hint. I recognize that we are particular people but we are also mountain bikers and we know (in most cases) If a spec is really off.
  • 5 0
 It depends on how you are built. If you have long arms but are short in height, you may want lower stack height for the bike to feel better balanced. Shorter arms and tall, you may want shorter stack height. I don't think everyone can be lumped into one bar riser height or stack height.
  • 8 0
 @Henrygoesfastsometimes: all we know, in general, is what we want, and generally mostly misguided.
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)
  • 3 1
 @onawalk: If everyone's happy with resin pads, I bet you live in a dry climate.
  • 7 0
 @AndrewHornor: I sure do,
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
  • 6 0
 @onawalk: you make a good point 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.
  • 6 0
 @AndrewHornor: you betcha,
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
  • 1 0
 20mm rise is about 'in the middle'
  • 2 0
 @dthomp325: Damn, I can only imagine how even at 6'2", how high the front is with a 29' front wheel! You should try a 29" wheel ;-)
  • 2 0
 Because not everyone is a basketball player
  • 1 0
 @foggnm: It is all irrelevant statement without you telling us how tall you are. Bar rise, chainstay length and grip diameter should change from size to size to keep everything promotional. This bike has Sam Hill grips, c'mon how his grips could fit my size of hands? I am almost a head taller than Sam....
  • 2 0
 @dthomp325: Sorry, but you either have non standard proportions or you ride trails that are too flat and not really suited for a 170mm 29er. I use a very similar stack having 5'11'' and it could still be much higher if my trails would demant it.There are really two reasons to lower the stack - uphills and flatter trail sections with not a lot of grip.
  • 1 0
 @dthomp325: you must have short legs for your height.
Being 6'3" and long legged I am running a 75mm riser bar on a bike with similar stack height.
  • 1 0
 @CFR94: you need an s5 my dude
  • 2 0
 It's just a matter of personal preference. I wouldn't expect a bike to come with a cockpit to my liking. Not just rise, but also backsweep and upsweep. On my previous 170mm bike I was running an 800mm flat bar with zero spacers and I was reallly loving it. No lack of attack confidence whatsoever, with the 30mm stem. I'm getting used to a slightly higher cockpit now for an easier time jumping and raising the front wheel (and because 800mm carbon flat bars just aren't available), but a 35mm rise bar all the way down would still not be low enough.
  • 28 8
 Man there are some KILLER entry level bikes coming out with spot on geometry. So great that you don't need $5k to unlock proper geo anymore. Also, I don't want to hear "mullets are just to get rid of old stock 27.5" wheels". It seems almost every bike released in 2022 has at least a mixed wheel option. Guess What, 27.5" rear wheels are are here to stay, Baby!
  • 40 2
 I think it is good value, but I don't think a 3700 dollar carbon bike can be labeled as an entry level bike
  • 32 0
 @bashhard: Agreed. The one tested here is $6300. Definitely not entry level, and I’m kind of wondering why they touted it as such a screaming deal.
  • 4 0
 @TheR: yea, I've been ogling the new Commecal Meta SX and Transition Patrol, both of which can be spec'd with the same top of the line RockShox for closer to $5k. I guess you could argue those are both AL bikes, but I'm just not sure how the Vitus sticks out as a better deal
  • 5 0
 They were even a better deal in previous years along with the other CRC brand Nukeproof. Now they've come up a bit in price. Still a decent value but compared to something like a Fezzari....not at all competitive.
  • 4 0
 Yea I agree, "entry level" is probably the wrong word even for the cheapest model, and $6,300 is more expensive than Commencal's Signature Meta SX, and should be enough cash to get you top tier components. Not the best value available right now (see YT Capra) But it is exciting to see so many companies offering mixed wheel bikes with nice geometry. So many good options on the market right now.
  • 3 0
 @IsaacWislon82: not sure about the the Patrol I think you’re referring to is GX, while this is X01, then the carbon vs alu, which some believe is an upgrade ($1000), wheels are better on this than the cheese that comes on the GX Patrol, and more expensive finishing kit on this.

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?
  • 5 1
 At £4600 ($6000) this is definitely not entry level. And for that I'm not particularly impressed from what this review says.
  • 4 3
 I own a 2019 Vitus Escarpe and it rips. They've only gotten better since. If only they would ship ebikes to the US...
  • 1 0
 @TheR: I don't understand how this one is so much more expensive than the CRX (Shimano XT/Fox Factory).

@redrook: It's basically the lovechild of a Norco Sight and a Transition Spire, so any differences should be down to suspension tune.
  • 2 0
 @boozed: Because all the X01 stuff is supposed to be a step up. Don’t shoot the messenger — I prefer XT. But X01 is supposed to be more high end than XT. Kind of billed as the more durable XX1. But for less money, I wouldn’t blink at an XT build.
  • 2 0
 @TheR: it’s such a great deal to them because they’d rather be riding one that cost twice as much. The boiling frog trick. Start with warm water and they don’t jump out!
  • 1 0
 @TheR: Yeah fair enough. I'd have thought the price difference between Rockshox and Fox would balance out the groupset but maybe not.

I should add that the entire Vitus Sommet/Escarpe range was amazing value in 2021, before the 20% price hike in 2022...
  • 3 0
 @boozed:
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 !
  • 1 0
 Mullets are legit. I converted both my 27.5 and 29 to mullets to experiment. The are rad on the downhills. The only drawback I found was that they were slightly more difficult to climb with. However, the new mullet bikes with mullet specific geo are dialed because they have a steeper seat tube angle making climbing more efficient.
  • 20 0
 No stupid headset cable routing and space for a water bottle? That should appease every PB reader
  • 2 0
 This.
  • 13 0
 Next field test: $6000 value bikes.
  • 8 1
 You're not wrong. Should only take 5 years or so:
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
  • 10 1
 Seb always provides really solid reviews.

For some reason, I get the distinct notion that NA testers don't really care/ notice much about any bikes' handling through turns.
  • 3 1
 Because there are no turns in NA Razz

(joking)
  • 6 0
 Would be nice if companies offer two links for 29er bikes regardless of travel, so you can opt for a mullet set up without altering geo.
  • 1 0
 Agreed, I wonder if some suspension layouts lend themselves to handling that better than others. I think the way forbidden does it is pretty cool.

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.
  • 8 0
 the price in EU (outside UK) just doesnt make sense.
  • 1 0
 That's why they didn't put it on the top specs sheet
  • 3 0
 I bought the sommet 2021 CRX for 4200EUR at the end of 2020, but after the brexit the price went up to 5200EUR...
  • 2 0
 Yes, thanks to the tariffs.
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.
  • 5 0
 I’m on my 4th Sommet. Love em. Suspension is not as smooth or as efficient as my old weigh-a-ton Alu Bronson, but value for cash, Vitus rule. Build quality is all there, and spares are all over the CRC site.
  • 8 2
 Those cables dangling under the bottom bracket would make me very very nervous going over anything rocky
  • 1 0
 It's a valid concern. My bike has similar routing and I did put a tiny hole in the brake hose once. It wasn't catastrophic, just made the brake slowly get more mushy until I found the leak. When I replaced the hose I added some of the foam cable sleeve that normally goes inside the frame.
  • 2 0
 I have a Sommet and cringe whenever I look at it. Been on it for a full year with no issues though. Lots of east coast rocky riding. Knock on wood.
  • 5 0
 When you install a chain guide then the cables underneath should be kept out of harm's way... but crazier things have happened, obviously.
  • 3 1
 @cgreaseman: in my experience, it's more about little sharp rocks flying up from the front tire than cables getting pinched against a boulder - after also crumpling the chainring. Which is still possible and I'm certainly not advocating against a bash guard.
  • 6 0
 I have a sommet for 3 years and a Dominer for 4 years. I'm in the south of France so very rocky terrain, especially at the local ski resort where it's all but rocks. I didn't have any issues on both bikes with the cable routing under the bottom bracket.
  • 4 0
 I have a Vitus escarpe that has the same cable routing. Never ever had an issue but yeah it is not ideal. However I use a bashgaurd which sticks out higher than the cables so they likely won't ever be an issue.
  • 2 0
 Several bikes are like that way. My Intense Primer has the cables going under the BB. I never had a problem with it. If you are going over anything rocky, it will likely hit your chainring before it hits the cables.
  • 2 0
 I've had my vitus escarpe for 4 years, same routing, zero issues thus far - and yes, plenty of rocks Smile
  • 1 0
 My last three FS bikes had cables like this, never been an issue over 12 years.
  • 2 2
 I also didn't have any issues with cables routed under BB...

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.
  • 2 0
 Sounds like a setup issue with the zeb, mine is way better than any fox fork I've ever owned, and that includes a 34 factory 2021. I specifically switched over to RockShox for the better air spring. If I could pick and choose, formula internals with zeb or 38 hardware would be awesome.

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.
  • 1 0
 I did wonder about this - no doubt Seb really knows what he's talking about. However, it's a really progressive rear end and it had lots of tokens in the shock, which would make it blow through then ramp up. And if the fork is doing the same, would it not be worth pulling a spacer? I'm just about to test the same thing on my fork
  • 1 0
 @mountainsofsussex:
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.
I'm lost.
  • 2 0
 @whoopsy: it's weird, I feel like most people get this wrong. If you want to increase midstroke support from an air spring, the correct approach is to remove volume spacers, increase pressure, and/or increase negative air volume (by removing bands on a MegNeg, or a fork air-spring mod). Adding volume spacers will make it either too progressive at the end of travel (with same pressure), or have even less midstroke support with lower pressure
  • 1 0
 @NightFalcon: Well said! Do you know if anyone (TFT, Avalanche, etc) have done a guide on what all the different tuning options actually do? The level of adjustments we have is similar (or in fact more than, for air springs) to an LMP car, who have whole teams of chassis engineers setting them up, while the majority of MTBers have no training in the subject
  • 2 1
 I'm kicking about on an XL '21 Escarpe CRX at the minute and found the same, I put a slightly shorter stem and a higher bar on, which made a noticeably positive difference. I am borderline between L and XL, so might have found the L a better fit out the box. Love the Vitus range, great levels of kit available for sensible(ish) prices.
  • 4 0
 So the subtext of the review is get the Fox and XT build kit as it’s way better than the top-tier one.
  • 5 0
 I thought/assumed the amp were an ebike...
  • 6 2
 "Good Performance, Great Price" - Er, £4600 is "great"? Seems pretty average and a below-average performing bike.
  • 1 5
flag boozed (May 10, 2022 at 16:53) (Below Threshold)
 When I was bike shopping a year ago, a Vitus Sommet was half the price of an equivalently specified Yeti, Santa Cruz, Pivot, Specialized etc. Vitus has had a 20% price bump since then, but what have the others done?
  • 6 1
 @boozed: You tell me. There is no chance that an equivalent in one of those brands is £9200.
  • 1 1
 @boozed: A Sommet was never half the price of any equivalent, unless you can provide a specific example.
  • 1 1
 @redrook & @Blerger: Ask and you shall receive.

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").

So...
  • 1 1
 @boozed: Not what I asked for. You said "but what have the others done?". I said "you tell me." And I'm working in £ so I don't care what things are in other currencies/countries. Taxes, or their absence, makes a huge difference.
  • 1 0
 @redrook: When I (in Australia) was shopping for a bike, I did it in Australian dollars and paid Australian sales taxes. HTH.
  • 1 1
 @boozed: And his original price was in £ jackass. You replied to his comment, not the other way around.
  • 2 0
 Great in depth review Seb, and kudos for mentioning effective seat angle at pedaling height. The bar and seat position issue are quite body type dependent, but stated rather in an absolute way.
  • 1 0
 "they had assumed a centre of gravity height that was 650 mm above the bottom bracket"

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?
  • 1 0
 "with its hydraulic hose, makes it easier to move the post up or down in the frame than cable-operated posts"

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.
  • 3 0
 Thx for the great review! I really like you check the numbers, as you cannot trust the geo tables to much.
  • 4 0
 And sold out
  • 1 0
 Shorter stems, riser bars, longer droppers, real good flat pedals should come stock on bikes these days! Everyone always swaps them out.
  • 1 0
 I feel like each of those things are so personal that I'd rather they just put something cheap on so I can just use what I want. Please don't spec a $300 bar stem combo that I'll feel guilty swapping out and pissed i paid for. Or just build up from a frame (which is what I did for both my bikes and will keep doing going forward)
  • 1 0
 When I was bike shopping ~1 1/2yrs ago, I looked at the Vitus. But there was hardly any local suppliers in the Vancouver area and out of stock via other suppliers.
  • 1 0
 Ah,No Need to Fox Out.take the Basic Version, sell the shock For a storia or get IT tuned by MST, NOVYPARTS,Same for the fork and you are cheaper and better of
  • 2 0
 What does AMP mean?
Is AMP the new EVO?
  • 5 0
 It means it goes to 11.
  • 1 0
 (SR)AMP
  • 1 0
 Thx for the great review. I really like you check the numbers as you can't the trust the geo tables from the manufacturers.
  • 2 0
 I'm glad I got a 2021 Sommet CRX.
  • 3 0
 Nailed the tire combo
  • 2 0
 Called the AMP. Not an ebike... *scratches head*
  • 1 0
 So the conclusion from this review of the Sommet 297 AMP must be to buy the Sommet 29 CRX instead.
  • 5 3
 Whats the point of the mullet again?
  • 2 0
 He nailed the review and performance of the ZEB…. Utter shit
  • 1 0
 Love the reach numbers on newer bikes! You can go 2 sizes down and still be able to party with a good-looking bike, nice!
  • 2 3
 Thought it was an ebike based on the name amp. Left disappointed. How about a filter for the ever increasing number of us who have no interest in legacy motorless bicycle?
  • 1 0
 This bike almost looks like the older norco
  • 1 0
 Are we gonna ignore Radon Bike on pinkbike for a longe period of time ?
  • 1 1
 Sweet, now test the Escarpe.
  • 2 0
 They did last year, the only major change for '22 is the carbon rear triangle, plus some more minor spec/colour changes. www.pinkbike.com/news/review-vitus-escarpe-29-vrx-2021.html
  • 1 0
 wideopenmag.com got you covered….
  • 1 1
 I personally don't like a 50mm stem but maybe it works with this bike
  • 5 7
 Carbon front triangle and aluminum rear triangle is really stupid.
Full alloy is best; if you have to use carbon for some dumb reason use it on the rear triangle
  • 7 6
 Best off not using carbon at all. Metal is stronger, cheaper and more durable.
  • 1 0
 @MattP76: There aren't too many steel or titanium mountain bikes out there though
  • 1 0
 Would buy a 267......
  • 2 0
 SORRY!!! meant to type 276 Doh
  • 3 6
 Why Vitus constantly put cables under BB area. It looks fugly and you can rip them of. How hard can it be to construct those cable routing differently...
  • 1 2
 What’s the deal with the seat? Angled forward/down.
  • 10 0
 What's the deal with not reading the article?
  • 2 0
 @MtbSince84:

Who read the articles, it’s not playboy. I just look at the pics and judge.
  • 1 1
 Great price
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