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Trail and Enduro Bikes

VITUS SOMMET

With roots originally in France, Vitus was an early pioneer of aluminium as a frame material. Fast forward to 2017 and with the brand under new ownership there is still a strong focus on building bikes in this material – well designed and great value machines too.

On a trip to Vitus HQ in Belfast two years ago, we got to ride both the Sommet and the Escarpe, both impressive trail bikes offering fantastic specifications along with solid geometry. We initially fell for the shorter travel 130mm Escarpe and it made a place in the 2016 Dirt 100, a high-value package to compete with the direct-sales brands from Germany.

We’ve spent more time on the longer travel (155mm) Sommet now, and it’s proven itself as a very solid, reliable and capable bike in this fiercely competitive mid-travel part of the market. It’s an area where many riders default to; 27.5” wheels with 150-160mm front and rear – bikes that carry the ‘enduro’ tag.

http://vitusbikes.com/news/vitus-sommet-enters-the-dirt-100-awards/

The standard model Sommet is our pick here at £1800. At a price where many bikes are compromised, either in frame design or specification, Vitus shows us just what can be done. A bike with an ‘up for it’ attitude, that has enough ability for a spot of uplift action at the bike park or an enduro race or two. As with the Escarpe, they’ve done a cracking job of the Sommet.

‘Manitou Mattoc Pro and the RockShox Monarch Plus are dampers you would be happy to find on bikes at twice this price’

With a triple butted 6061 aluminium frame, the Vitus has a finish and detailing of a premium trail bike. A low standover height, 65.5 degree head angle and roomy reach figures are qualities of a modern design; this isn’t a frame hanging on to times gone by. The pierced seat tube design has become a Vitus theme and is carried through to their Dominer DH frame as well as on the Escarpe.

The Horst-link style suspension design with horizontal floating shock mount dishes out 155mm of travel which balances well with the 160mm Manitou Mattoc, a fork we’ve used extensively over the last year and one that compares we’ll to the more expensive RockShox Pike and Fox 36. Vitus have spent plenty of time on the frame design, with pivot placement, leverage rate and shock tune all carefully considered. You even get a Monarch Plus rear shock as standard… Details such as internal dropper post hose routing, a bolt-on downtube protector and a large 15mm main axle with collet lock security are good to see.

The market has settled on single ring transmissions in most cases, especially on longer travel bikes and although you can run a double on this bike, few riders will. The recently launched 1×11 Shimano SLX transmission is driven by the popular RaceFace Aeffect 32T chainset, with the added security of a top chainguide from MRP. A nice touch.

Wheels are going to see some action on a bike of this nature and are often short-lived, even on bikes at twice this price. The Sommet is kitted out with a solid package of Novatec hubs, mid width tubeless rims and large volume rubber from WTB.

With a price tag of well below the £2K mark you’re not going to see many boutique brands on the finishing kit, which can come when you feel the need to upgrade. What you do get is a mix of very well spec’d components: A wide and well shaped Nukeproof bar, stubby Vitus stem and Brand-X dropper post all function well and haven’t let us down. There really is little to upgrade in the short term.

VITUS SOMMET

If you’re looking for a hard hitting, mid travel bike, you won’t be disappointed with the Vitus Sommet. A reliable and sorted frame design kitted out with an up-to-date spec, dishing out a ride that is truly impressive at an exceptionally keen price.

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Selected for Dirt 100 2017

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