Cutting-edge sizing and geometry but still needs a better shock tune and a dropper post
With the introduction of the Vitus Mythique 27, Vitus looks poised to dominate the entry-level full-suspension category just as it dominates hardtails.
When it comes to sub-£1k hardtails, Vitus is the undisputed powerhouse – its Vitus Nucleus and Vitus Sentier platforms perennial winners of our Hardtail of the Year test. But before we find out this full suspension Vitus has been successful in toppling the mighty Bossnut, let’s take a closer look at the Mythique line-up.
Vitus Mythique 27 VR review
There are seven options to choose from: three 29ers, three 27.5in bikes and a VRW 27.5in women’s bike. The frames all share pivot hardware, forgings and tubing profiles. That’s not to say they are identical though, as Vitus uses unique frame jigs and geometry for each frame and wheel size. Travel is split too, with the 27.5in bikes pumping out 130mm and the 29ers getting 10mm more.
Price-wise, the Mythique range is equally close. The Vitus Mythique 27 VR starts at £1,249.99, topping out at £1,599 for the VRX. There’s no price penalty for your preferred wheel size either. There is a weight penalty though, where the entry-level Mythique VR 27 is over a kilogram lighter than the top-of-the-range Vitus Mythique 29 VRS that we had in for a First Ride back in January.
The 27.5in bikes also have better geometry. Specifically, the BB height is 14mm lower than the 29er, so you feel much more in the bike, rather than perched on top of it. Regardless of wheel size, frame quality is first rate, the Mythique being the only bike in the test to get the wider, more common 148x12mm rear dropout standard that forms the foundation of a stronger rear wheel.
RockShox prevails on entry-level full suspension bikes, and for good reason. The product performs well, it’s reliable, and if anything goes wrong it’s easy enough to get fixed. So we were surprised to see Vitus deviate from that proven approach. Still, the 130mm travel X-Fusion RC32 suspension fork on the Mythique 27 VR impressed us with its smooth, controlled action and usable range of damping adjustment – adjustment that includes external rebound and a three-position compression lever.
Travel and suspension brands are matched on the rear, but the 10-position X-Fusion 02 Pro-R shock lacks the sensitivity of the top-end RockShox-equipped VRX.
Vitus hasn’t cut corners on the tyre specification, with the lighter, Kevlar-bead Schwalbe tyres and their soft, sticky rubber making it easy for you to cut corners on the Mythique. The Shimano disc brakes are also first rate – the 180mm rear rotor adding extra stopping power where it’s needed most. Another nice touch is the size-specific handlebar width.
What do you have to sacrifice to get these benefits? Gear range. The older 10-speed Shimano Deore drivetrain is limited by the SunRace 11-46t cassette. This is most notable on technical climbs.
From the very first pedal stroke the Vitus Mythique 27 VR felt purposeful and poised. The riding position, sizing and geometry are totally dialled, so you feel perfectly balanced between the contact patches of the tyres. It also feels like a reassuringly solid bike. The Mythique isn’t perfect though. The X-Fusion rear shock lacks the sensitivity of the RockShox Monarch R, so while the Vitus rides really stable and pedals with aplomb, it has given up some traction and agility, which were the two traits that impressed us most when we rode the more expensive Mythique VRX.