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Trail and Enduro Bikes

Vitus Escarpe Pro

All-action 130mm trail bike from Ireland

The brand designed in Ireland have been winning awards for a few years especially with their 150mm Sommet enduro bike, but 2014 saw a fresh design and new range of bikes from the team based in Belfast. And they have taken things by storm offering a great price, fantastic specification and solid geometry in this, the Vitus Escarpe Pro.

A recurring theme whilst choosing and evaluating bikes throughout the season is why go for less travel bikes that weigh the same as their longer travel stablemates? It’s a tricky one and it’s a story recurrent here with Vitus as they offer both the Escarpe and Sommet with the same marvellous component specification except the latter comes in with a bit more travel at 155mm.

“It demands a clever approach rather than a brutish one”

Performer

The Escarpe Pro is s a fun, capable shredder. Up front the 150mm RockShox Pike RCT3 solo air takes the first impacts incredibly well but so does the rear Monarch Plus damper giving the bike a lively up beat ride characteristic with charging angles.

Offering a feast of componentry from Shimano XT brakes, Sram X01 gearing, Reverb Stealth and the brilliant Mavic Crossmax Enduro 650b wheelset, the bike delivers on performance and reliability every time. There’s a few Nukeproof parts in there too together with a Funn stem and E Thirteen guide. All in all a really good package.

An attacking 130mm bike, up for nonsense

So why go for the 135mm Escarpe over the 155mm Sommet? Err, well most people wouldn’t, but I simply preferred the ride characteristic of the shorter travel bike and feel it to be more well suited to a lot of riding many people do. Plus it’s just so capable. 135mm is a very good amount of travel for a trail bike when it’s matched with a big hitter fork up front. OK, it will come up short when you start tackling some bigger more troublesome terrain, larger roots at higher speeds for example but as mentioned it’s a lively bike so the approach is different – avoidance more than collisions with the geology. It demands a clever approach rather than a brutish one.

Vitus is a small direct sales team run through Chain Reaction Cycles. Each frame and forks comes with a five year warranty and if there’s any issues you’ll not be waiting around for middleman but can go straight to the source. Not that you’ll ever need to as these are all great bikes, well made, with a load of love put into them.

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