As part of the Chain Reaction Cycles/Wiggle empire, Vitus is known for excellent value for money, and its new Mythique 140mm trail bike, available with 650b or 29in (tested) wheels, offers new-school geometry and sensible, reliable parts for a great price.
Vitus Mythique 29 VRS frame
The aluminium frame uses a four-bar design with a chainstay pivot that allows more precise suspension tuning options. It’s got the latest Boost rear axle spacing and is 1x-specific, coming with a 12-speed SRAM Eagle drivetrain that boosts its climbing prowess.
With its kinked top and seat tubes, the curvy, hydroformed chassis follows the same lines as Vitus’s pricier bikes, but with the shock attached to the down tube, rather than piercing the seat tube.
The chainstays are marginally longer than on the Norco Fluid FS 3, Marin Hawk Hill 1 and Calibre Triple B also on test, at 445mm, and the frame is also a little taller off the floor, both in terms of the bottom bracket position and the seat tower height.
The X-Fusion 02 Pro RL shock supplied with my bike died shortly into testing, but its replacement was well-tuned and worked fine.
Vitus Mythique 29 VRS kit
You get a sorted, 12-speed SRAM SX Eagle drivetrain with a 50-tooth biggest cassette sprocket for easier winching up the steepest hills.
The Schwalbe rubber is way higher-spec than you’d expect for this little cash – a superb Magic Mary on the front (in the ‘right’ ADDIX Soft compound too, making a big difference to grip and security) and a fast-rolling Hans Dampf at the rear.
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A Brand-X Ascend 150mm dropper post – a model that’s proven reliable in the past – is another welcome addition to the sweet parts list.
X-Fusion handles the suspension. The Sweep fork has a reduced offset to stabilise steering at speed and a 110mm axle for increased stiffness and resistance to twisting. While it offers low-speed compression and rebound adjustment, and works okay, it isn’t as supple as the RockShox forks on the other bikes tested.
The 02 Pro RL shock worked fine on other bikes, but unfortunately for Vitus, the one on the Mythique died by the end of my first day riding. However, its replacement survived my testing unscathed.
With a 150mm stroke, the Brand-X Ascend post offers plenty of drop, although the kinked seat tube gets in the way a little.
Vitus Mythique 29 VRS ride impressions
Vitus’s new rig pedals very effectively without much bobbing or loss of energy, whether you’re stomping the pedals while standing or grinding up the steepest climbs seated.
The rider position is good, both in the saddle and out of it. Combined with decent angles, this makes the bike fast and efficient under power.
Off the gas, it feels solid and stable at speed when pointed down rough, rock-strewn bridleways or beaten-up trails.
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The four-bar suspension works calmly and effectively, dulling bigger hits. But in terms of pop and playfulness, the Mythique isn’t quite as chuckable and doesn’t have the same natural steering balance as the Triple B or Hawk Hill.
A significant cause of this is the saddle getting in the way of your thighs when riding dynamically. It’s annoying that something so simple as not being able to insert the dropper fully into the kinked seat tube to get the seat low enough (for me, at least) can kill your buzz.
The new frame is also slightly too high at the bottom bracket, so your feet feel further from the floor and a bit disconnected from the trail.
Increasing the shock sag to around 35 per cent helps to an extent and improves tracking. It doesn’t give you a too-soft rear end or bottom-out harshly either, but does make pedalling feel slightly less efficient.
The Mythique doesn’t feel as solid as something like the Triple B, which may be due to the longer fork stanchions and bigger wheels absorbing some energy when trying to load the bike in corners or force directional changes.
Vitus Mythique 29 VRS overall
All this is nit-picking, because the Mythique is a solid package that rides like many dearer bikes. The kit’s great overall, with details like top-spec tyres that you can really push. (It was doing just that, on some proper DH tracks, that killed the shock.)
Vitus Mythique 29 VRS geometry
- Sizes (* tested): S, M, L*, XL
- Seat angle: 75.6 degrees
- Head angle: 66 degrees
- Chainstay: 44.5cm / 17.52in
- Seat tube: 47cm / 18.5in
- Top tube: 62.4cm / 24.57in
- Head tube: 13cm / 5.12in
- Bottom bracket drop: 2.87cm / 1.13in
- Bottom bracket height: 34.6cm / 13.62in
- Wheelbase: 1,222mm / 48.11in
- Stack: 63.24cm / 24.9in
- Reach: 46.2cm / 18.19in