We're convinced the 27.5 version is the one to go for
The Vitus Mythique 29 VRX is the flagship bike in a new range of full-sussers that is designed to blow your mind, not your budget.
Vitus Mythique 29 VRX need to know
- New range of affordable 140mm full suspension trail bikes from the hardtail kings
- A Marzocchi Bomber Z2 fork is paired with a RockShox Monarch R shock for a cool, calculated suspension response
- All modes available with 27.5in or 29in wheels
- Entry-level VR models start as £1,249 and have 10mm less suspension
If the new Vitus Mythique looks familiar, it’s probably because it shares the same battleship grey finish, bright red Marzocchi Bomber fork and most of its build kit with the popular Vitus Sentier VR hardtail we featured in Editor’s Choice.
Alternatively, it could simply be the angular lines the Mythique derives from it full suspension sibling, the Vitus Escarpe, that grabbed your attention. By top end we mean £1.599.99 for the VRX model featured here. Impressive, given the specification and the fact that most brands struggle to deliver a frame and shock, let alone a complete bike, for this kind of money.
More impressive still is that you have the choice of 29in or 27.5in wheels at each of the three price points. Regardless of wheel size, travel on the top two models is 140mm front and rear, where the entry-level Mythique VRs get 10mm less at both ends.
And it’s not just the angular profile that the new Mythique shares with the more expensive Escarpe, it also gets its superbly sensitive suspension. So even though it doesn’t benefit from the pierced seat tube and floating shock design of its more expensive stablemate, it still has that pitter-patter response to the 140mm rear end. A dialled shock tune also makes it a set an forget affair, but you do need to tweak the saddle position to get the most from this bike on the climbs, which we’ll get to in a minute.
Sensitive suspension isn’t the only personality trait that the Mythique has inherited from the Escarpe though. Less desirable attributes are the elevated BB height and limited seat post insertion, both of which I’ll address separately.
Let’s look at seat post insertion first. To get the reach I wanted I needed to be on the size L, and at 5ft 11in that’s obviously the correct size bike for anyone that’s my height or thereabouts. The thing is, I have relatively long legs and I still couldn’t get the seat post low enough in the frame without it interfering with the function of the dropper post. Having less of a kink in the seat tube would probably be enough to fix this, an added benefit being that it would also steepen up the seat tube angle and stop me having to run the saddle slammed all of the way forward on the head of the post just so as not to be sat too far behind the BB on the climbs. This is the tweak I was referring to earlier as it really helps stop the rear suspension from squatting too much when climbing sat down.
Now let’s take a closer look at the BB height. Measured in the MBR workshop it sits 347mm from the floor, a height you’d more likely find on a 170mm travel enduro bike, not one with 140mm travel and considerably less sag. Thankfully, the dynamic ride height of the Mythique 29 isn’t as high as the number suggests, so the bike actually feels pretty good on rolling flowing singletrack, the balanced suspension, generous sizing and relatively slack head angle making it a fun, fast and engaging ride.
Get it on anything steep, up or down, however and the tipping effect of being perched on the bike rather than sat in it becomes that much more pronounced and unsettling. Start to push the Mythique in these situations and you quickly discover that the bike doesn’t feel stiff enough to be riding has hard the slack head angle, long wheelbase and superb suspension encourage. At least the hard compound Schwalbe tyres act as an early warning device, so you’ll hear them ping and pop of roots and rocks long before the suspension gets you in over your head.