An old brand given new lease of life

The Vitus name is as old as the hills but only since the stewardship of Chain Reaction Cycles have Vitus mountain bikes become a force to be reckoned with.

>>> All our recent reviews of Vitus mountains

Getting your head around 2018 Vitus mountain bikes

Point your web browser at Vitus bikes’ website and you’ll be faced with an impressive amount of bicycles. Too many to easily take in and comprehend. Even if you manage to scroll down to the mountain bikes section you’ll still be looking at little piccies of over thirty different models!

The first thing that we need to point out is… calm down. Yes there are 31 different Vitus mountain bikes. But in reality there’s only six fundamental models (and a couple of e-bikes). There, that’s better isn’t it? Let’s crack on with elaborating on this core half-dozen of Vitus bikes.

vitus mountain bikes

What type of mountain bike are you looking for?

Hopefully by now you have a general idea of the type of bike you’re after: hardtail or full suspension. You might still be undecided on which wheel size to go for ie. 27.5in or 29in. The best thing you can do is head over to our What to look for in a mountain bike general guide.

Once made your overall choice, or at least got a firm grasp of the core differences in mountain bikes, then please read on…

vitus mountain bikes

What type of riding are you interested in?

As we’ve said many times before, mountain bikes are extremely versatile. Pretty much all proper mountain bikes can turn their hand to any and every type of mountain biking.

You aren’t closing the door to enduro racing if you settle on buying a trail bike. Many bikes can adapt and/or be setup to deal with plenty of varied riding styles and demands. So don’t sweat it too much.

A caveat we would add to that is… be honest with yourself and the type of terrain and riding you are going to do most. Don’t be tempted with a screaming deal on a carbon XC hardtail if your main riding involves trail centres and uplift days. Similarly, don’t go for tech-laden long-travel full susser if you’re only going to be sat down cranking over mild fells for hours on end.

The mountain bike world is often a maze of confusing and OTT descriptions of differing riding styles. We reckon you can boil it all down to four genres though: cross-country, trail, enduro and downhill/gravity.

Cross-Country (XC) and downhill/gravity are self-explanatory. The differences between trail bike and enduro bike are less clear-cut and, in reality, do actually overlap into each other.

vitus mountain bikes

Basically, almost everybody will get along just fine with a trail bike with around 140mm of suspension travel and geometry suited to technical climbing and capable descending.

An enduro bike has more travel (160mm+), more weight (for the equivalent price tag) and often super low slung geometry that’s great for descending race tracks but can be impractical for a lot of real world trail pedalling.

Vitus hardtail mountain bikes

There are three hardtail models in Vitus’ 2018 of mountain bikes: Nucleus, Sentier and Rapide.

Vitus Nucleus

The Vitus Nucleus is an already legendary hardtail trail bike. Regularly awarded the coveted mbr Hardtail of the Year sub-£500 award. It’s almost unrivalled in its price range when it comes to an affordable bike that can be ridden by learners and experienced riders alike and both have a blast. All Nucleus bikes have aluminium frames with low, slack and long geometry. They come with either 100mm or 120mm travel suspension forks. And you can choose between 27.5in wheel versions (£399 to £699) and 29in wheel versions (£499 to £599).

Vitus Sentier

Another mbr Hardtail of the Year winner. Very similar to the excellent Nucleus, the aluminium frame Vitus Sentier basically ups the cutting edge technology and future-proofed features. It’s Boost. It takes 2.8in Plus tyres. It runs 140mm travel suspension forks. Available in either 27.5in wheel versions (£849 to £1,499) or 29in wheel versions (£849 to £999).

Vitus Rapide

XC race hardtail. Carbon. 100mm fork. Low. Oversized BB area. T700 hi-mod UD carbon. 10kg to 10.7 kgs. £1699 to £2,299.

Vitus full suspension mountain bikes

There are three Vitus full sussers (Escarpe, Sommet and Dominer). They all use the V-Link four-bar suspension design. The DH-only Dominer is self-explanatory. The choice of the trail bike Escarpe or the enduro bike Sommet is not so clear cut.

vitus mountain bikes

Vitus Escarpe

Excellent full suspension trail bike. Aluminium frame only. 140mm travel (some models are paired with a 150mm travel suspension fork). Geometry tailored for all-round mountain biking. A jack of all trades. Available in either 27.5in wheels versions (£1,449 to £2,699) or extremely popular in 29in wheel versions (£1,849 to £2,699). The latter Vitus Escarpe 29 VRX is one of Trail Bikes of the Year 2018 award winners.

Vitus Sommet

The enduro race bike. 160mm travel. Aluminium or carbon frame builds. V-Link four-bar. 27.5in wheel only. Aluminium frame Sommets range from £1,699 to £2,699 while carbon Sommets range from £2,299 to £3,699. The Sommet, while a decent bike, is arguably due a geometry makeover to pull it up to date with rival enduro race bikes but some of the Vitus Sommet CR carbon models make for a really rather fun and liveable trail bike.

Vitus Dominer

The downhill bike. 200mm travel. Aluminium. V-Link four-bar. 27.5in wheel only. Just the one model for £2,699.

Vitus e-bikes

Vitus’ electric mountain bikes are very easy to comprehend. Well, once you’ve read about the non-electric versions above anyway!

Vitus E-Sommet

The Vitus E-Sommet (pictured above) is a pedal assist full suspension e-bike for aggressive trail or enduro riding. 27.5in wheel only. Comes with 2.5in wide tyres but can accept 2.8in Plus tyres. Shimano STEPS motor system. 200mm diameter brake rotors at either end. Price range from £3,199 to £3,599.

Vitus E-Sentier

Pedal assist e-bike designed for trail riding. 27.5in wheel only. Comes with 2.5in wide tyres but can accept 2.8in Plus tyres. Shimano STEPS motor system. 200mm diameter brake rotors at either end. Price range from £2,499 to £2,899.