Antony checks out the Vitus Mythique, another great budget trail bike for your shopping list.
When I started riding mountain bikes, the more affordable end of the market seemed to be aimed at riders who were doing a completely different sport. Budget bikes had unwieldy frames, outdated geometry, and weird suspension designs (URT, anybody?) My standard advice to anyone looking to get their first mountain bike would be to buy something second-hand. Thankfully the past few years have seen competitively priced mountain bikes really up their game, with design, components and tech finding their way down from the high end of the market more quickly than ever. It’s still not the cheapest sport to take up, but there are now a fistful of full suspension bikes around the £1k mark which are brilliant performers.
Vitus is an in-house brand of Chain Reaction Cycles and Wiggle, who need no introduction, except to say that if you ride bikes and shop online, you’ve probably bought something from them. Its bikes are only available directly from either of the aforementioned websites. Vitus is known for offering a number of good value full suspension bikes around the £2-4k mark, but for 2020 the brand has set its sights firmly on the burgeoning budget market. The result is the new Vitus Mythique trail bike range, which come in between £1249 and £1599.
The Vitus Mythique is pitched as a first full suspension mountain bike for someone who wants to try a bit of everything. If you’re after a more specialised machine for hitting the bike parks or racing cross country, Vitus have those in their line-up too, but with this particular model they’re aiming for versatility. That’s not to say that Mythique is a one size fits all kind of deal. All the models of Mythique are available in 27.5in or 29in, and have 130 or 140mm of travel. This model, the Vitus Mythique 29 VR, is the lowest priced in the range, and as such it’s a tempting prospect for anyone looking for their first full suspension bike. And at the time of writing, this particular model is on sale for £999, which puts it within reach of a big group of buyers, so let’s dive in for a closer look.
The Mythique range of bikes share the same frame, a neatly formed 6061 aluminium chassis. The curvy tubeset may not be to everyone’s tastes, but looks-wise there are much much divisive bikes out there. However it does come across as more of a gangly cygnet than a beautiful swan, thanks to a paint finish in the same battleship grey as many of the other bikes from its brand stable.
The suspension is a tried-and-tested four bar linkage design, and the geometry also plays it fairly safe. Reach on the medium frame is a relatively roomy 450mm, while the head angle is a reasonably relaxed 66.6 degrees. The finish and welds all look cosmetically spot on, and while there’s no internal cable routing, except for a stealth dropper post, I suspect anyone who maintains their own gears will be able to forgive this.
Suspension on the Vitus Mythique 29 VR is supplied by X-Fusion, who may not have the shiny aura of the bigger brands, but have a reputation for making products that punch above their price point. The O2 rear shock is a basic air suspension unit with just a rebound control, while the RC32 fork seems to be lacking a bit of meat compared to the forks on models further up the range, but still has 130mm of travel, Boost compatibility and a 15mm bolt-up axle.
Drivetrain on this base model bike is a mix of Shimano’s Deore 10-speed rear mech and shifter, paired with Suntour Zeron 1x-compatible cranks, a Sunrace wide range cassette, and a KMC chain. The brakes are Shimano’s basic MT401 model, which means they lack some of the features of brakes at Deore level and above, and are only compatible with softer resin brake pads.
Given its launch at the start of a miserable UK winter, it’s encouraging to see that the Vitus Mythique comes equipped with decent tyres for damp conditions. The Schwalbe Magic Mary and Hans Dampf combination should be grippy enough for anything, and they’re mounted to some 32-spoke wheels with wide WTB ST i30 rims and cartridge bearing hubs. They also come set up tubeless, so full marks to Vitus here.
Complete bikes at this price point don’t tend to come with flashy finishing kit, and the Mythique is no exception to this. However it’s all perfectly usable, including some 780mm riser bars (20mm wider on the large size bike, 20mm narrower on the small), lock-on grips and a Nukeproof saddle. Another unsurprising absence is a dropper post, meaning you’ll have to make do with the quick release seatclamp unless you can upgrade.
Overall the spec of the the Vitus Mythique VR is very much what you’d expect on a bike at this price bracket. There are no nasty surprises, and a few nice ones, particularly the wheel and tyre combination. It’s also relatively light for a trail bike, and this base model is also noticeably lighter than the ones higher up the range, thanks to the svelte drivetrain and forks, and the absence of a dropper post.
The rest of this review is for subscribers.
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Vitus Mythique 29 VR Specifications
- Frame // 6061 alloy, 130mm travel
- Fork // X-Fusion RC32, 130mm, 29er
- Shock // X-Fusion O2
- Hubs // Vitus DHF112 front 110x15mm, Vitus M5ER rear 142x12mm, 32h, sealed bearings.
- Rims // WTB ST i30 29in
- Tyres // Schwalbe Magic Mary Evo R 2.35x29in front, Schwalbe Hans Dampf Performance 2.35x29in rear
- Crankset // SR Suntour Zeron, 32T, 170mm
- Rear Mech // Shimano Deore, 10 speed
- Shifters // Shimano Deore, 10 speed
- Cassette // Sunrace CSMS2, 11-46T
- Brakes // Shimano MT401, 180mm front & rear
- Stem // Vitus, 50mm, 31.8
- Bars // Nukeproof Neutron, 20mm rise, 760mm width S, 780mm width M, 800mm width L & XL,
- Grips // Vitus, lock-on
- Seatpost // Vitus, 31.6mm
- Saddle // Nukeproof Neutron
- Size Tested // M
- Sizes available // S, M, L, XL
- Weight // 14.0 kg / 30.8 lbs
|Product:||Mythique 29 VR|
|Tested:||by Antony de Heveningham for 3 months|