Escarpe and Sommet Vitus mountain bikes get updated suspension layouts and geometry, carbon front ends and impressive build kits yet same killer pricing.

The Vitus Escarpe and Sommet are no strangers to MBR bikes tests. The Escarpe a previous mbr Trail Bike of the Year winner. For 2021 both models receive ground up redesigns. And it’s not just the suspension layout that has changed, all of the new bikes get carbon front ends. And Vitus has been really clear about its objective, stating that the goal was to create the lowest cost high performance carbon all mountain and enduro bikes on the market.

Read more: MBR Trail bike for the Year 2020 – best full suspension bikes

Looking at what is currently available from the likes of YT and Canyon, it’s clear that the latest models from Vitus are very competitively priced; the entry-level Escarpe CR and Sommet CR retailing for £1,999.99 and £2,399.99 respectively.

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The 2021 Vitus Escarpe and Sommet at a glance…

Choose your travel then your wheel size

Most bikes are categorised by the amount of suspension they have, and the new Vitus platforms are no different. As such, the Escarpe has 140mm frame travel and is designed specifically for trail riding. It is available with 27.5in or 29in wheels, with dedicated frame designs for each. Regardless of wheel size, both options get 150mm travel suspension forks where the specification and prices are also mirrored across wheel sizes.

2021 Vitus Escarpe

The new 140mm travel Vitus Escarpe is designed for trail riding

More travel… more money

Things get a little more complicated on the Sommet – the 27.5in version boasting 170mm travel while the 29er frame pumps out 162mm. Again, both options get the same fork travel, but this time it’s 170mm. Looking at the travel it’s clear the Sommet is an enduro bike through and through, which is reflected in the specification. All Sommet models come with piggy-back shocks and thicker casing Maxxis tyres, EXO+ up front and Double Down on the rear. They also cost a little more than the equivalent level Escarpes.

More travel and slacker geometry give the 2021 Sommet an enduro slant

One bike, two distinct geometry settings

Vitus hasn’t just updated the geometry and sizing on the new Escarpe and Sommet, it has also made it adjustable. With the addition of a flip-chip on the lower shock mount you can steepen the head angle by 0.5º and raise the BB height by 6mm. Both bikes are designed around the lower/slacker setting, so that’s how they will ship. If you feel like you need more pedal clearance, flipping to the high setting requires nothing more than a multi-tool.

2021 Vitus Escarpe/Sommet

You can see from the geometry chart of the Escarpe 29 that the seat angle gets progressively steeper as you go up through the frame sizes.

Longer dropper posts

An additional bonus of the new suspension layout on the Escarpe and Sommet is the improved dropper post insertion depth. On the old Escarpe we always struggled to get the post far enough into the frame to achieve the correct saddle height, especially as posts started coming with ever increasing amounts of drop. With the new design the seat tube actually flares out a bit to help accommodate longer dropper posts. In fact, even though Vitus fits a 125mm post to the size S, 150mm to the medium, and 170mm posts to the L and XL frames, the frame is designed to accept even longer posts, so there’s no issue upgrading to a 200mm post on the XL. The internal cable routing has also been improved, a larger radius where the cable passes over the BB should result in a lighter, smoother lever action.

The new frame design creates extra space in the seat tube for longer dropper posts.

Size specific seat angles improve fit

The Escarpe and Sommet are both available in four frame sizes, small to XL. And to achieve the best possible fit for different rider heights, Vitus uses size specific seat angles. The idea being, that as you move up through the size range, steeper seat angles help keep the saddle from moving too rearward with the associated increase in saddle height. It’s even dubbed the term Saddle Layback(J), so you calculate how far the centre of the saddle is behind the BB for a given saddle height (K). You can also think of it as a reach measurement for your saddle. Hopefully other brands will adopt this approach.

2021 Vitus Escarpe/Sommet

Saddle layback indicates how far the head of the seat post is behind the BB at a predetermined saddle heights for all four frame sizes.

Nice finishing touches

Both models come with protective frame coverings preinstalled – think Invisiframe. They also have threaded BB shells for ease of maintenance and the addition of SRAM’s universal derailleur hanger should make it easier to replace if you damage it. We also like the ample tyre clearance the bridge-less seatstays provide. All in the new Vitus Escarpe and Sommet frames tick every box, and it’s time to tale a closer look at both ranges.

2021 Vitus Escarpe range

vitus mountain bikes

Vitus Escarpe CR 27 & 29

Frame T700 carbon front, 6061 alloy rear, 140mm travel
Shock RockShox Deluxe Select R
Fork Marzocchi Bomber Z2 RAIL, 150mm travel
Crankset Shimano Deore M6100,
Rear Mech Shimano Deore M6100 12-speed
Cassette Shimano Deore M6100 12-speed 10-51t
Shifters Shimano Deore M6100 I-spec EV
Brakes Shimano MT420/MT410, 203mm/180mm rotors
Wheels WTB ST Light i30 rims/Vitus KT hubs, Maxxis Assegai/Maxxis Dissector-3C MaxxTerra compound, EXO/TR tyres
Stem Nukeproof Neutron Stem 45mm 31.8mm
Handlebar Nukeproof Horizon 31.8mm Bars – 760mm S/M, 780mm L/XL
Post Brand-X Ascend Dropper: S-125mm, M-150mm, L/XL-170mm
Saddle Nukeproof Neutron Saddle
Weight 27: 14.85kg / 29: 15.15kg

View Deal: Vitus Escarpe CR 27 at Chain Reaction Cycles for only £1999.99

View Deal: Vitus Escarpe CR 29 at Chain Reaction Cycles for only £1999.99

vitus mountain bikes

Vitus Escarpe CRS 27 & 29

Frame T700 carbon front triangle, alloy 6061 rear, 140mm travel
Shock Rockshox Deluxe Select+
Fork RockShox Pike Select, 150mm travel
Crankset Shimano SLX M7100
Rear Mech Shimano SLX M7100 12-speed
Cassette Shimano SLX M7100 10-51t
Shifters Shimano SLX M7100 I-spec EV
Brakes Shimano SLX M7120/M7100, 203mm/180mm rotors
Wheels DT Swiss M1900, Maxxis Assegai/Maxxis Dissector – 3C MaxxTerra compound EXO/TR tyres
Stem Nukeproof Neutron Stem 45mm 31.8mm
Handlebar Nukeproof Horizon 31.8mm Bars – 760mm S/M, 780mm L/XL
Post Brand-X Ascend Dropper: S-125mm, M-150mm, L/XL-170mm
Saddle WTB Volt 142
Weight 27.5:14.52kg / 29:14.82kg

View Deal: Vitus Escarpe CRS 27 from Chain Reaction Cycles for only £2699.99

View Deal: Vitus Escarpe CRS 29 from Chain Reaction Cycles for only £2699.99

vitus mountain bikes

Vitus Escarpe CRX 27 & 29

Frame T700 carbon front, 6061 alloy rear, 140mm travel
Shock Fox Float DPS Factory
Fork Fox 36 Factory GRIP2, 150mm travel
Crankset Shimano XT M8100
Rear Mech Shimano XT M8100 12-speed
Cassette Shimano XT M8100 10-51t
Shifters Shimano XT M8100 I-spec EV
Brakes Shimano XT M8120/M8100, 203mm/180mm rotors
Wheels DT Swiss M1700, Maxxis Assegai/Dissector – 3C MaxxTerra, EXO/TR tyres,
Stem Nukeproof Horizon Stem 50mm 31.8mm
Handlebar Nukeproof Horizon 31.8mm Bars – 760mm S/M, 780mm L/XL
Post Brand-X Ascend Dropper: S-125mm, M-150mm, L/XL-170mm
Saddle WTB Volt 142
Weight 27.5:14.00kg / 29:14.30kg

View Deal: Vitus Escarpe CRX 27 from Chain Reaction Cycles for only £3499.99

View Deal: Vitus Escarpe CRX 29 from Chain Reaction Cycles for only £3499.99

2021 Vitus Sommet range

2021 Vitus Escarpe/Sommet

Vitus Sommet CR 27 & 29

Frame Sommet T700 carbon, 6061 alloy rear, 170mm travel 27.5in / 162mm 29in
Shock RockShox Super Deluxe Select R
Fork RockShox Yari RC, 170mm travel
Crankset Shimano Deore M6100
Chain Guide Nukeproof ISCG-05
Rear Mech Shimano Deore M6100 12-speed
Cassette Shimano Deore M6100 10-51t
Shifters Shimano Deore M6100 I-spec EV
Brakes Shimano MT520/MT510, 203mm rotors
Wheels WTB KOM Trail i30/Vitus KT hubs, Maxxis Assegai 3C MaxxGrip EXO+ / Minion DHR II 3C MaxxTerra DD tyres
Stem Nukeproof Neutron Stem 45mm 31.8mm
Handlebar Nukeproof Horizon 31.8mm Bars – 760mm S/M, 780mm L/XL
Post Brand-X Ascend Dropper: S-125mm, M-150mm, L/XL-170mm
Saddle Nukeproof Neutron Saddle
Weight 27.5:15.50kg / 29:15.77kg

View deal: Vitus Sommet CR 27 from Chain Reaction Cycles for only £2399.99

View deal: Vitus Sommet CR 29 from Chain Reaction Cycles for only £2399.99

2021 Vitus Escarpe/Sommet

Vitus Sommet CRS 27 & 29

Frame Sommet T700 carbon, 6061 alloy rear, 170mm travel 27.5in / 162mm 29in
Shock RockShox Super Deluxe Select+ RT
Fork Rockshox Lyrik Select, 170mm travel
Crankset Shimano SLX M7100
Chain Guide Nukeproof ISCG-05
Rear Mech Shimano SLX M7100 12-speed
Cassette Shimano SLX M7100 10-51t
Shifters Shimano SLX M7100 I-spec EV
Brakes Shimano SLX M7120/M7120, 203mm rotors
Wheels DT Swiss E1900, Maxxis Assegai 3C MaxxGrip EXO+ / Minion DHR II 3C MaxxTerra DD tyres
Stem Nukeproof Neutron, 45mm, 31.8mm
Handlebar Nukeproof Horizon 31.8mm Bars – 760mm S/M, 780mm L/XL
Post Brand-X Ascend Dropper: S-125mm, M-150mm, L/XL-170mm
Saddle WTB Volt 142
Weight 27.5:15.25kg / 29:15.52kg

View Deal: Vitus Sommet CRS 27 from Chain Reaction Cycles for only £2899.99

View Deal: Vitus Sommet CRS 29 from Chain Reaction Cycles for only £2899.99

2021 Vitus Escarpe/Sommet

Vitus Sommet CRX 27 & 29

View Deal: Vitus Sommet CRX 27 from Chain Reaction Cycles for only £3599.99

View Deal: Vitus Sommet CRX 29 from Chain Reaction Cycles for only £3599.99

FrameSommet T700 carbon, 6061 alloy rear, 170mm travel 27.5in / 162mm 29in
Shock Fox Float X2 Factory
Fork Fox 38 Factory GRIP2, 170mm travel
Chain Guide Nukeproof ISCG-05
Rear Mech Shimano XT M8100 12-speed
Cassette Shimano XT M8100 10-51t
Shifters Shimano XT M8100 I-spec EV
Brakes Shimano XT M8120/M8100, 203mm rotors
Wheels DT Swiss E1700, Maxxis Assegai 3C MaxxGrip EXO+ / Minion DHR II 3C MaxxTerra DD tyres
Stem Nukeproof Horizon Stem 50mm 31.8mm
Handlebar Nukeproof Horizon 31.8mm Bars – 760mm S/M, 780mm L/XL
Post Brand-X Ascend Dropper: S-125mm, M-150mm, L/XL-170mm
Saddle WTB Volt 142
Weight 27.5:15.00kg / 29:15.27kg