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With the Vitus Mythique VRX 27 the brand has created an entry level trail shredder without the limiting entry level geometry of old that seemed to linger in the lower end of most brands’ ranges longer than it should have.
- Brand: Vitus
- Product: Mythique 27 VRX
- Price: £2,099.99
- From: Vitus Bikes
- Review by: Rhys for Singletrack World Magazine Issue 147
Vitus is a brand with a remarkably long history and an even more remarkable commercial rescue themed makeover in the past decade. In the 1970s it was famous for pioneering manufacturing methods such as bonding aluminium tubes into pre-formed lugs for the most advanced road bikes of the era, in much the same design philosophy as Atherton bikes are manufactured today.
This is version three of the Mythique model and more of an evolution than the revolution that occurred earlier on. Geometry has been tweaked, frame design massaged into a prettier shape, specs brought up to current industry standards.
We tested the 27.5in wheeled Vitus Mythique VRX 27. The frame is very pretty. Having ditched the V2 model’s kinky top tube for a slender straight one it looks great from front to back. The angle of the seatstays matching the top tube when static is pleasing, and becoming a classic look on four-bar linkage suspension bikes. The racing green paint really catches the eye. Then again, so do the bold reds and whites of other models in the range.
With bikes at this price point the specification is often make or break. It’s obvious to anyone that there are limitations to assembling a reliable, functional, full suspension mountain bike for a smidge over two grand. Despite the gripes over the ‘cost of bikes’, these things aren’t cheap to make well.
The Marzocchi Z2 fork is lovely and supple and a proven chassis at the entry level price point. A RockShox Deluxe shock props up the back end with equally supple squish and reputation for reliability. The next bits on our priority list are wheels. Here we have 30mm internal width WTB rims on own-brand sealed bearing hubs. The WTB rims are notoriously strong and also provide a wide enough base for more tyre in the future – possibly sooner rather than later.
Finishing kit is from the ever-reliable Brand-X dropper seatpost and Nukeproof bars, stem and saddle.
The Vitus Mythique VRX 27 is a stylish, modern-looking trail machine and it rides just as well as it looks. Vitus has created an entry level trail shredder without the limiting entry level geometry of old that seemed to linger in the lower end of most brands’ ranges longer than it should have. The medium frame we have here has a 455mm reach, which is comparable to my enduro bike, and the 65.5° head angle is just about slack enough to balance the front centre with the 435mm chainstays. The lower slung front end of a 27.5in wheel bike, aided by the modest travel fork, helps prevent the head angle making the front end experience feel overly steep.
The bottom bracket height is just a smidge higher than I’d like for a bike with small wheels at both ends, at somewhere close to 350mm from my calculations. There are times where I felt more ‘on’ the bike rather than ‘in’ the bike. The result being a lack of the unfaltering stability I’m usually accustomed to when flicking a bike from one side to another through a series of corners.
The fork and shock are well matched, despite being from different brands. They provide a very supple, active ride feel to soak up trail chatter with just enough support for pumping through corners and compressions. I experienced a couple of harsh bottom out situations with the fork, which I put down to an air spring tuning error combined with some slightly rudimentary high-speed compression damping. A few more pumps with the shock pump and all was well.
Brakes then. These are lacking in performance. Twin piston basic Shimano brakes with 180mm rotors and resin pads really don’t cut the mustard on a bike with geometry and suspension as capable as this. Do not fear! This is a shortcoming easily rectified with an upgrade to bigger rotors and more aggressive brake pads, when things wear out or as soon as performance dictates. This is possibly the most cost-effective upgrade for any bike, never mind just the Mythique.
The Maxxis High Roller II tyres are unfortunately in the same lacklustre category. The 2.35in width is an old design and a generally low volume tyre. The compound is hard and makes for skittish behaviour over any hard surface. Tyres are once again easy to upgrade and have a huge cost–performance upgrade ratio.
The full 12-speed Shimano Deore groupset is ace. There’s a full range of gears for climbing and descending contained within the 10–51T. Anyone investing in the Mythique won’t be limited by lacklustre older designs with feebly inadequate cassettes.
For an extra few hundred quid you can have the AMP model which comes with SLX brakes and soft compound Schwalbe tyres along with some tastier drivetrain goodies and a RockShox Pike fork. This is where my money would go.
The updated Vitus Mythique VRX 27 will no doubt make a great bike for many riders. We can’t help but feel it’s aimed at those getting into the sport: its competent character and good looks will no doubt result in a fruitfully progressive relationship.
Overall suspension and chassis performance is excellent at this price point. Although the spring and damper units themselves are fairly basic, they are the entry level models to the top flight of suspension components and, therefore, the basic engineering is spot on.
The smaller wheeled model here may even be suited towards smaller or younger riders, while its bigger wheeled brethren would make a fine trail shredding partner for taller folk.
It’s great to see that Vitus isn’t afraid of making its cheaper less carbon fibre-y models as good as it can in the places that matter – primarily, frame design and geometry supported by well selected suspension components.
- Frame // 6061-T6 Alloy, 140mm
- Shock // RockShox Deluxe Select R, 185x55mm
- Fork // Marzocchi Bomber Z2
- Wheels // WTB ST Light i30 TCS 2.0 rims on Vitus hubs
- Front Tyre // Maxxis High Roller II 27.5 x 2.3in
- Rear Tyre // Maxxis High Roller II 27.5 x 2.3in
- Chainset // Shimano Deore 510, 30T, 170mm
- Shifter // Shimano Deore M6100
- Rear Mech // Shimano SLX M7100
- Cassette // Shimano Deore M6100 ,10-51T
- Brakes // Shimano MT501, 180/180mm
- Stem // Nukeproof Neutron, 45mm, 31.8mm
- Bars // Nukeproof Nuetron V2 Riser, 760mm, 25mm, 31.8mm
- Grips // Vitus Lock-ON
- Seatpost // Brand-X Ascend, 125mm
- BB // Shimano
- Size Tested // M
- Sizes Available // S, M, L, XL
- Weight // 14.7kg
Geometry of our size M
- Head angle // 65.5°
- Effective seat angle // 77.5°
- Seat tube length // 410mm
- Head tube length // 120mm
- Chainstay // 435mm
- Wheelbase // 1,207mm
- Effective top tube // 595mm
- BB height // 22mm drop
- Reach // 460mm
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|Product:||Mythique 27 VRX|
|Tested:||by Rhys for Singletrack World Magazine Issue 147|
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